Masks And Vaccines Encouraged As USF Students Return To Campus
Students are urged to wear masks and get the COVID vaccine, but neither are required.
Fall semester begins Aug. 23 at the University of South Florida. It marks a return to full in-person instruction for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
USF interim president Rhea Law says classes might move to remote learning if there’s an uptick in COVID-19 cases on campus, or if a student tests positive and contract tracing needs to be done.
"Any decisions to pivot to temporary remote course instruction will be made under the direction of the Board of Governors," Law said at a virtual town hall last week. "The provost's office is providing a detailed guidance to help instructors prepare for and manage in-person classroom activity. We ask that you remain flexible."
Residence halls — which open this week — will operate at full capacity. COVID vaccines and face masks are not required on campus, but university officials are urging students to do both.
Donna Petersen, dean of USF’s College of Public Health, says there will be plenty of opportunities for unvaccinated students to get the shot.
"As we open this semester in the fall, we'll be having some tabling going on where some of our staff will be available at different points on campus, where there's a lot of foot traffic to reach out," she said at the town hall.
Vaccines are available for free to all USF students, faculty, and staff at all three campuses. Information on the university's COVID policies for fall semester can be found here.