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Frequently Asked Questions

The University has developed a list of frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19. These FAQs will be updated as new information becomes available.


About COVID-19

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure. Most people recover from COVID-19 without needing special treatment. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes are more likely to develop serious illness.

This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Have there been cases of COVID-19 in Escambia, Santa Rosa or Okaloosa Counties? 
Updates on the virus, including the number of confirmed cases in each county, are available at floridahealth.gov.

What happens when there is a confirmed case on the UWF campus? 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols are followed. Individuals who have had close contact with the patient will be contacted and monitored by the Department of Health with UWF’s full support.

Is it possible to become reinfected with COVID-19?
The CDC believes it is possible to become reinfected with COVID-19. The CDC has no confirmed reports to date of a person being reinfected with COVID-19 within three months of initial infection. After three months past the initial infection, it is possible to become reinfected with the virus.

If I was previously infected with COVID-19, do I need to quarantine again?
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to three months as long as they do not develop symptoms. If they develop symptoms again within three months, they need to quarantine and be re-tested.

If I was previously infected with COVID-19 and it has been longer than three months, do I need to quarantine if I feel sick?
Detailed recommendations on when to isolate or quarantine can be found at the CDC website.

Where can I stay up to date on University notices relating to the COVID-19 situation?
This is the official webpage to the COVID-19 pandemic and updates are sent out via email, uwf.edu and UWF social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter). 

Helpful Resources

Where can I find information on COVID-19 vaccinations?
For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations, visit uwf.edu/covidvaccine.

Where can I find information on COVID-19 vaccinations?
For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations, visit uwf.edu/covidvaccine.

Am I immune as soon as I’m vaccinated?
It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine.

Will I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the U.S. use the live virus that causes COVID-19.

Can I have side effects after vaccination?
After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. These are normal signs that your body is building protection. The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination, such as tiredness, headache, or chills, may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting vaccinated.

What guidelines do I follow after receiving the vaccination?
If you are fully vaccinated, learn more about the new guidance for fully vaccinated people.

Should I get the vaccine if I’ve already had COVID?
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

Do I have to get the vaccine?
While there is no federal or state mandate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, all eligible individuals are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are able. In addition to protecting each recipient against infection, it is essential that a large enough percent of the population receives the vaccine in order to achieve “herd immunity” to prevent continued spread of the virus causing COVID-19. We must each play our part in this process, as we have in the past with vaccines to eliminate the threat of polio, measles and other viral infections.

 

Students

What actions should students take if they have been exposed to COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19? 
All students who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19 should contact Student Health Services at 850.474.2172 for additional guidance and testing needs.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and need assistance with your classes please contact Case Management Services at casemanagement@uwf.edu or by phone at 850.474.2384.

Will faculty be contacted if a student in their class is exposed to COVID-19?
If a student notifies SHS or case management they have been exposed to COVID-19, the Dean of Students Office will contact the faculty who have this student enrolled in a course (online and in-person). Faculty should expect student outreach allowing them to coordinate with the student to address any missed class meetings and / or coursework, as needed. 

Faculty and students should never identify someone in their class that tested positive or was asked to quarantine to any other person, as this violates FERPA guidelines. 

What should students do if they cannot attend classes or keep up with coursework due to COVID-19 exposure? 
Students should notify their instructors and work directly with them on accommodations. If students need additional support, they should complete the COVID-19 Modification or Support Request Form for follow-up by the appropriate campus support office.

What should faculty communicate to students who have notified them that they have been exposed to COVID-19? 
Below is a template email for faculty to use when students contact them directly regarding exposure to COVID-19: 

Thank you for making me aware of your potential exposure to COVID-19 and I hope you are well. Please do not visit any UWF locations until you have contacted Student Health Services at 850.474.2172

As you feel able, please take a look at course assignments and participation expectations for the next two weeks and schedule with me to discuss a plan to keep you on track in the course. 

Should faculty and classmates quarantine if a student in their in-person class tests positive for COVID-19? 

If necessary, a UWF contact trackers will identify and contact those who may have had one-on-one contact and provide guidance. Otherwise, courses should proceed as normal.

If exposed to COVID-19, follow CDC guidance. Detailed recommendations on when to isolate or quarantine can be found at the CDC website.

Faculty and students should never identify someone in their class that tested positive or was asked to quarantine to any other person, as this violates FERPA guidelines.  

I am worried about missing coursework and required attendance days due to my exposure to COVID-19. What should I do?
The University is committed to supporting our students during this challenging time. Faculty have been asked to be flexible with all students during this time frame. Students should continue keeping open communication with all faculty and should complete the COVID-19 Modification or Support Request Form if additional support is needed.

Employees

What actions should employees take if they have been exposed to COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19? 
Employees who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their direct supervisor and  Human Resources immediately at hr@uwf.edu or 850.474.2694

Isolation and Quarantine

What are the guidelines if I need to isolate or quarantine?
Detailed recommendations on when to isolate or quarantine can be found at the CDC website.

Has UWF put any travel restrictions in place?
As of May 1, 2021, University-sponsored travel for grant and research purposes is permitted, following certain guidelines. All UWF students and employees are required to follow protocols before returning to a UWF location from domestic and international travel.

University-Sponsored Travel Requirements:

  • All travel must be approved by the division head. Approval from the division head must be attached to the travel request in Concur. 
  • All airfare must be booked through Concur using a University P-card. A personal card may be used if you set one up on your profile in Concur. This will help with cancellations. Exception allowed for guest travel.
  • Please continue to follow UWF COVID-19 guidelines, as you are representing the University during your travel. Face coverings are recommended. Keep six feet social distance where possible.
  • Avoid crowds and wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
  • Check quarantine requirements for your destination location. If a quarantine period is required for the state/territory/country you are traveling to, then you may not be allowed to attend the conference.
  • DO NOT travel if you were recently exposed to a COVID positive person, you are sick or you test positive for COVID.

Does the University have any guidelines for UWF employee travel?
See the CDC’s latest recommendations for travel in the U.S.

International Travel Requirements:
All air passengers coming to the U.S., including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the U.S. CDC recommends delaying international travel until you are able to get fully vaccinated.

  • If you are fully vaccinated, you must send a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card to Human Resources. Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel. Test results must be sent to Human Resources. Self-quarantine until you receive an email from Human Resources approving you to return to a UWF location. You may work remotely during this time if approved by your supervisor.
  • If you are unvaccinated, get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. After your trip, get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine.
    • If you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days. 
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
    • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. 
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.

What is guidance for personal travel?
Those traveling for non-University-sponsored travel (personal travel) should follow the CDC’s travel guidance:

Campus Environment

What steps should I take to prevent the spread of germs?
The CDC advises following these simple steps to prevent the spread of germs:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

I am currently working on campus. What additional steps should I take? 
Below are recommendations for UWF employees currently working on campus. 

  • Clean personal items/areas before use (keyboard, chair, desk, etc.) daily. 
  • Maintain and utilize a personal bottle of hand sanitizer.

Am I required to get tested for COVID-19 before I return?
Testing is not a requirement for students or employees to return to campus. For students who wish to take a COVID-19 test before returning to campus, UWF Student Health Services is performing rapid COVID-19 testing. For more information, visit uwf.edu/healthservices.

Are face coverings required at UWF?
When on campus or at a UWF location, a disposable or cloth face covering is recommended, but not required inside all shared indoor spaces, as well as outdoor areas where social distancing is not possible.

Examples of shared indoor spaces include classrooms, laboratories, hallways, shared offices, office cubicles, open offices, restrooms, conference rooms, lobbies and lounge areas, retail spaces, museums, libraries and dining facilities.

The CDC provides additional information on how to wear your face covering and what type of face coverings provide optimal protection.

Am I required to wear a face covering if I’m officially representing UWF at an event off campus?
Any person representing UWF at an event should abide by relevant local and/or establishment requirements for face coverings.

Is the COVID-19 International Travel Pre-Screening Survey required?
Effective June 1, 2021, the COVID-19 International Travel Pre-Screening Survey will only be required for any student or employee who has traveled outside of the United States in the past 10 days.

What are the guidelines for working remotely?
Employees working remotely are expected to:

  • Work with their supervisors to receive approval in advance and develop a plan that allows them to meet deliverables and maintain communication, productivity and efficiency.
  • Fulfill all of their functions, duties and work hours. 
  • Ensure that they are connecting securely and following all University policies related to access, data security and data confidentiality. Employees should contact ITS for IT-related questions.
  • Review Continuity Tools provided by ITS.

Supervisors that have approved employees working remotely are expected to:

  • Assign work, projects or professional development that can be performed remotely. 
  • Monitor work and progress of all remote employees. 

If the job cannot be performed remotely, employees should work with their supervisor on plans to take accrued leave, leave without pay or devise a suitable solution that supports social distancing (such as rotating shifts, flexible schedules, etc.). Contact Human Resources at 850.474.2694 or hr@uwf.edu for assistance.

Can I continue my research? 
On-campus and field research activities may commence after May 1, 2021. To ensure appropriate support for on-campus research activities, UWF faculty should inform the university about their plan to conduct on-campus research by submitting a return to campus form.

All faculty and students performing on-campus research activities are required to follow all current UWF COVID guidance.

If I am approved to continue my research, what guidelines must I follow?
If more than one person is working in a lab space, then UWF recommends that all individuals in that room wear a face covering at all times. Face coverings are also recommended in all public spaces on campus, including hallways, stairwells and elevators.

Visit the Research Administration & Engagement web page for more information.

I am an international student and have questions. Where can I find information?
For frequently asked questions for international students, visit https://confluence.uwf.edu/display/public/International+Programs+Updates+for+COVID-19.

I am an Active Duty Member/ Veteran/Military Dependent looking for additional guidance, what resources do I have available?
The UWF Military & Veterans Resource Center has a variety of services available to students through this transition. These include guidance on impact for benefits (TA, GI Bill©, VA) technological and equipment assistance, one-on-one mentoring with our S.W.I.M TEAM and general support. Any Active Duty member or veteran student should contact the office by email at mvrc@uwf.edu or speak to someone live from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday from the MVRC website and click on “MVRC Customer Service Support.”

Community

Are visitors permitted at UWF locations?
Yes, visitors, vendors and volunteers are permitted at UWF locations, but they are asked to comply with guidelines and protocols that promote a safer and healthier campus.

Are UWF Libraries open to the public?
All UWF libraries are open to the public.

Testing

What does the pre-screening entail?
The COVID-19 International Travel Pre-Screening Survey is a brief survey that can be found in MyUWF. The COVID-19 International Travel Pre-Screening Survey is only required for those who have traveled outside of the U.S. and are returning to campus.

What happens if I answer “yes” to a pre-screening question?
If a student answers "yes," Case Management will contact the student for further instructions.

Employees who answer "yes" will be contacted by Human Resources for further instructions.

Does UWF have testing available for students?
UWF Student Health Services is now performing rapid COVID-19 testing for current students with a valid Nautilus ID card. Appointments are required to receive the test and will be offered daily, Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, contact SHS at 850.474.2172. The testing will be conducted at the Student Wellness Center - Building 960. The rapid testing will provide results within 15–20 minutes.

Students must complete documentation prior to arriving for their appointment. This will be sent securely through DocuSign. If this is not completed before a student arrives for their appointment they will be rescheduled.

At this time rapid COVID-19 testing is only being performed on students that have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days or is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.