UCF will begin a phased approach for reopening campus for faculty and staff and plans to start a “slow return” to work as early as June 1, according to a Wednesday press release from President Dr. Alexander Cartwright.
An announcement regarding decisions about reopening campus to students in the fall, including residence halls and campus activities, will hopefully be made in June, the release said.
“In all of our planning, we are prioritizing the safety of our entire campus community and following guidance from public health officials and [Gov. Ron DeSantis’] plan for reopening Florida,” Cartwright said in the release.
Central Florida is in Phase One of reopening, which began on May 4, and restaurants can operate at 25% capacity, barber shops and salons can open, and several county-wide curfews have been lifted, according to DeSantis’ plan.
UCF has moved to remote instruction through the summer, but will continue to monitor the threat of COVID-19 as it plans its slow return to campus, the release said.
The university will release more information regarding specific protocols to the campus’ reopening later on and this includes social distancing, face mask requirements, cleaning and the continuation of virtual meetings, the release said.
President Dr. Alexander Cartwright and chairwoman Beverly Seay introduced three scenarios of the university’s reopening in a Board of Trustees meeting on April 23.
Scenario 1 is the best case scenario, according to the Board of Trustees' meeting materials.
According to the Board of Trustees, in Scenario 1,
Social distancing will be more relaxed with health protocols in place
Remote instruction will continue through the summer and students can return to campus for face-to-face instruction in the fall
Research activities and remote employees can return to campus this summer
Sports events can be held in the fall with spectators
Residence and dining halls can fully reopen in the fall
Student involvement and recruitment activities can resume in the fall
Scenario 1a introduces a similar reopening schedule as Scenario 1, except face-to-face instruction, research activities, remote employees, spectators at sports events and student involvement and recruiting activities, and housing and dining halls will not be seen on campus until October, according to the Board of Trustees meeting materials.
Scenario 2 will be put into place if there is a recurrence of COVID-19, according to the Board of Trustees meeting materials. This scenario prepares for the possibility of remote instruction through the fall with sports events held in the fall with no spectators. Student activities and housing and dining halls will reopen next spring while research activities and remote employees will work on a case-by-case basis.
Scenario 3 is the worst case scenario, according to the Board of Trustees' meeting materials. Campus will not see a reopening until as late as fall 2021 with some exceptions occurring next spring.
“As we phase in our return to campus, we will remain vigilant through the summer and into the fall,” Cartwright said in the release. “Together, we will continue to adjust our practices based upon the latest available guidance from local and state officials, always with the goal of creating a safe environment for everyone at UCF.”
UCF will continue to operate under the assumption that it will resume face-to-face instruction in the fall, according to a release, but will continue to prioritize everyone’s safety.