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University Reopening Plans Could Change As COVID-19 Cases Spike In Younger Floridians

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

A rise in COVID-19 infections in younger people is spurring Florida’s public universities to reconsider their reopening plans for Fall.

“What we’re talking about today in our Fall 2020 plan could obviously be very different when we start at the end of August and we all know that. We’re prepared to do that, and prepared, I think, to make changes as necessary," said Florida State University President John Thrasher.

The school is designating a dorm solely for quarantining infected students and is requiring all faculty, staff, and students to get tested. It will also conduct random screenings throughout the fall. Thrasher says it’s up to students to police themselves and that the school will enforce social distancing and face mask guidelines.

Florida A&M University is requiring faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear masks. It’s also making mask kits and sanitizers available to students and employees in the Fall.

“One disposable face covering, two reusable face coverings and two personal containers of hand sanitizer. Each kit will also have information about university expectations regarding hand and cough hygiene, social distancing, and face-covering wear instructions," FAMU Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer Rica Calhoun told members of the state university system governing board.

The board took up university reopening plans Tuesday.

FAMU is also urging its community to get COVID-19 tests and is asking for daily temperature checks that would be uploaded through the school’s app. The school is building temperature kiosks in high-traffic areas like the library. And, it’s turning all dorms to one student per room.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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