Dear USF faculty, staff and students,
Welcome back for the start of the spring 2022 semester. As always, USF prioritizes the health and safety of our community as we continue to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are closely monitoring the latest developments with the Omicron variant and the recent increase in positive cases in our state and across the country. Our experts from USF Health currently project this wave will be relatively short in duration, perhaps only a few more weeks.
It remains clear that we can all take steps to reduce the spread of the virus and keep each other healthy. As we return to our campuses for in-person classes and other activities, USF continues to urge everyone to get fully vaccinated, including boosters, stay home if you do not feel well, wash hands frequently and wear a mask. Vaccines are free and readily available on our campuses and at sites throughout Tampa Bay. Anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested.
I encourage you to spend a few minutes reviewing our spring semester guidance that was issued last month, which we have modified slightly to account for the recent spike in cases and new recommendations from governmental agencies.
We anticipate that some students will test positive and won’t be able to return to campus in time for the start of classes on January 10, or may test positive shortly after returning. We ask our faculty to remain flexible in accommodating students who are in this situation.
As we’ve done throughout the pandemic, employees with preexisting health issues, or health issues among members of their family, can request an accommodation through Human Resources. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. More information is available here.
Please be aware that our guidance is subject to change as we continue to track new COVID-19 information, updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida Department of Health, or other relevant federal or state orders.
Rhea F. Law