Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise across Florida, and we cannot ignore the reality that the virus exists in our communities. As outlined in our Return to Campus Plan, UCF’s approach to opening in phases will allow us to respond to changing conditions, and we remain positioned to make adjustments as needed.

Health care systems across our region are currently stressed due to the influx of cases and demands for testing. While we are actively working to improve our own testing and tracing processes at UCF, it is incumbent on each of us to not let our guards down. Lives are on the line.

No matter where we are, we must take the actions required to help us reduce spread by wearing facial coverings, respecting physical distancing, washing hands regularly, and avoiding large social gatherings. Remember that is it highly possible to have COVID-19 yet not exhibit symptoms, so practicing these behaviors is a matter of keeping those around you safe.

We also must respond responsibly when either we or someone we know tests positive or thinks they may have COVID-19.

With the increase in positive cases of COVID-19, I would like to address many of the questions I have received and share the steps and guidelines all UCF students and employees are expected to follow.

Tracing

We continue to bolster our contact tracing practices in collaboration with the Department of Health as we prepare for the next phases of campus reopening. To assist in our efforts, we ask for your help:

  • Students: Ensure that your contact information in myUCF is up to date. This is the information that will be made available to tracers in the event there is the need to reach you about possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • Employees: Fill out the COVID Self-Checker each day before arriving on campus to screen for symptoms and share location information that could be used for contact tracing. The self-checker is available via the UCF Mobile app or online. Student employees returning to campus should complete the online form.

Determining Whether You Need to be Tested for COVID-19

NOTE: Testing may not be appropriate for all individuals, according to CDC guidelines. Especially with the current strain on testing and health care systems, it is important to consult with your provider about whether a test is necessary. Your risk of exposure is greatly reduced if you have been wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing and sanitizing protocols.

  • Based upon consultation with a doctor, you could be tested at one of the UCF testing sites or a location near you.
  • While you exhibit symptoms or await a test or test results, stay home and avoid contact with others until you learn whether you are positive for COVID-19 or have been cleared by a health care provider.

Testing on Campus

With the rise in COVID-19 cases, health care systems across our region are stressed. Like many other local providers, the Aventus Biolabs testing sites at UCF’s main and College of Medicine campuses also have been impacted by the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19 and have experienced challenges with scheduling and the timely delivery of test results.

We are actively working on improvements that will better position us for the fall, when residents returning to UCF Housing and on-campus Greek housing will be tested upon move-in. These improvements will include enhanced customer service and the delivery of test results in a timely, reliable manner.

Conversations are ongoing and planning is fluid, but I want our community to know that we have heard your concerns and are addressing them. If you’d like to  receive testing at either site on UCF’s campuses, please note the following:

  • Testing sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only until all appointments are filled.
  • Main Campus: Both COVID-19 and antibody tests are available in Garage A, located at 12491 University Blvd.
  • College of Medicine: COVID-19 testing is available in the parking lot behind UCF’s Lake Nona Cancer Center, located at 400 Sanger Road, Orlando FL 32827.

In order to obtain any tests, individuals must have an order from a physician and then schedule an appointment for testing. To schedule, call one of the following numbers:

  • UCF students: Student Health Services, 407-823-2701
  • UCF faculty and staff: UCF Health, 407-266-3627
  • Community members who need to schedule an appointment or speak with a physician: Aventus Biolabs, 407-986-0133

More information on campus COVID-19 testing available here.

If You Test Positive for COVID-19

  • Stay home and do not come to campus. For students who reside in a UCF residential community, stay in your room and contact the UCF COVID Line at 407-823-2509. A staff member of Housing and Residence Life will contact you with additional instructions.
  • Do not report to work, class or a training site.
  • Avoid contact with others, and do not leave home for non-essential reasons. Consider contact-less methods for grocery shopping and picking up medication, for example, and do not engage in any activity where you could expose others.
  • Consult with your doctor before resuming normal activities, including returning to work.
  • If you have not already, notify the UCF COVID Line by calling 407-823-2509 to coordinate contact tracing with the Department of Health.
  • Consult with your doctor before resuming normal activities, including returning to work.

If Someone Close to You Tests Positive for COVID-19

  • Stay home and do not come to campus. For students who reside in a UCF residential community, stay in your room and call the UCF COVID Line at 407-823-2509. A staff member of Housing and Residence Life will contact you with additional instructions.
  • Do not report to work, class or a training site.
  • Contact your primary care physician to determine whether you should be tested.

If You are a Supervisor and Someone in Your Office Tests Positive

  • Require that individual to stay home and not return to work.
  • Require that individuals who had close contact with the employee (more than 15 minutes within 6 feet over the past 14 days) not return to work until they receive further guidance from their health care provider.
  • Contact the UCF COVID Line at 407-823-2509 to coordinate contact tracing with the Department of Health and the assessment of disinfecting needs in collaboration with Environmental Health & Safety.
  • Take other steps as appropriate based on the situation to minimize potential exposure to others (examples could include having more staff work remotely, posting additional signage, etc.). Supervisors will need to make assessments on a case-by-case basis and can contact Human Resources for additional guidance.

Through contact tracing at UCF, you will be notified directly if there is a possibility you have been exposed to COVID-19 and may require quarantine and/or testing because a colleague has tested positive. In line with public health practices and medical and student privacy laws, only those who would need to know about confirmed COVID-19 cases for personal health and safety reasons will be informed.

We are aware that due to the surge in cases, there have been delays in tracing efforts by the Department of Health. Our contact tracing practices are continuing to be improved and enhanced as we prepare for a return to UCF, with student volunteers who will receive training from the Department of Health starting later this month. They will join Student Health Services staff members who have been coordinating contact tracing.

This week, we launched the COVID Self-Checker in the UCF Mobile app to get employees accustomed to monitoring their symptoms and to collect data to assist contact tracing efforts, all in a generic method that protects individual privacy. Employees returning to campus must fill out the health assessment in the mobile app or online each day before they come into work.

UCF is focused on our community’s health and well-being, and is taking numerous steps to reduce the likelihood of spread of COVID-19. However, so much of our community’s well-being relies on the small, simple actions each of us takes every day.

Stay informed, take personal precautions and be considerate of the welfare of others. UCF has compiled a robust list of FAQs that addresses common questions, and we are making regular updates to the university’s coronavirus website. Armor Up, Knights.