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University of Florida releases draft reopening plan

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida released a draft overview of its strategy to reopening campus after the COVID-19 pandemic forced shutdown during the Spring 2020 semester.

The 17-page document was published ahead of a June 12 deadline set by the Florida Board of Governors for the all its state-run universities to submit reopening plans.

“No plan is perfect and no plan should remain fixed in time,” the UF plan said. “We expect that UF’s plan will evolve as the status of COVID-19 and our understanding of best practices to address the virus evolve.”

The Florida Board of Governors on Thursday approved a blueprint for reopening as a guideline for each of the state’s 12 universities to create its own plan.

The UF plan involves a full reopening of campuses for the fall 2020 semester, including UF facilities in Alachua County and other parts of the Sunshine State.

The plan was constructed by 11 different issue-oriented task forces as well as the deans of all the UF colleges and medical experts, according to the drafted document. It also accounts for all local state and federal guidelines for health and safety.

The drafted plan is meant to be flexible to be able to adapt to any potential changes in the COVID-19 climate including a possible resurgence of the disease.

A policy group comprised of academic deans and the university’s emergency operations team was assembled to discuss five advisory themes; a new higher education paradigm, safety and well-being, education delivery and degree completion, continued work, and minimalization of financial impact.

This info-graphic was included with the University of Florida's reopening plan draft on June 1, 2020.
This info-graphic was included with the University of Florida's reopening plan draft on June 1, 2020. (Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

“The University of Florida’s draft plan outlines how UF will strive to create a safer, healthier campus environment and continue its research and education missions using screening and testing, enhanced protective measures, comprehensive communications and other tools,” a UF press release said.

The university wants public input on the reopening plan, which can be submitted at reopen@ufl.edu.