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University Beat

USF Moves To 'Modified Phase II' Of Its Reopening Plan

USF sign on brick wall surrounded by ivy
Carl Lisciandrello
/
WUSF Public Media
In a letter to the university community Friday, USF President Steven Currall announced the school has moved to a modified Phase II of its reopening plan. Classes are scheduled to begin August 24.

University of South Florida President Steven Currall announced Friday that the school has moved to a modified Phase II of its return-to-campus plan.

In a letter to the university community, he said that USF officials have been closely monitoring the latest figures for COVID-19 cases and test positivity rates for Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

Under the school's reopening plan, Phase II means courses will be delivered through a combination of face-to-face, hybrid and online instruction and learning; all employees who can work remotely should continue to do so; and no more than 50 percent of employees should be on campus at a time.

In addition, residence halls will open with new health and safety policies; and some services, like libraries, student centers, and campus recreation facilities will also be allowed to open.

However, all meetings and events should still be held virtually, with some limited exceptions allowed after the USF COVID-19 Task Force reviews plans.

Fall classes are scheduled to begin on August 24. Currall said making the decision to go to Phase II now gives people time to better finish preparations for the start of the semester.

That includes providing faculty additional training for hybrid classes and allowing students and resident assistants to move into residence halls prior to the first day of classes.

Students who do not want to take classes in person will not be required to do so, and USF recently published a guide for faculty – particularly those in a high-risk category or those who live with someone at risk – to help them with reopening in the fall.

Currall also said that everyone coming to campus will have to complete a daily COVID-19 symptom check using a digital platform.

“The success of our plan relies on USF’s culture of caring and a shared sense of responsibility to sustain the well-being of our community, even in our daily lives when we’re not on campus. Anyone who feels sick should stay home,” said Currall.

“To be clear: There will be zero tolerance and serious consequences for individuals who don’t comply with our expected behaviors and who jeopardize the health of others.  We’re all in this together.”