Frequently Asked Questions

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


About COVID-19

About Coronavirus

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?
Yes. After three months past the initial infection, it is possible to become reinfected with the virus. If you have symptoms and test positive for COVID-19, you will need to follow the Isolation and Quarantine Protocol.

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

Exposure

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 must fill out the Daily COVID-19 Pre-Screening on a daily basis if they are:

  • Visiting campus (every day they visit)
  • Living on-campus and leaving their residence hall room (every day they leave their residence hall room)

All students who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 must immediately submit the Daily Pre-Screening form, if they have not already done so or if information has changed since it was last submitted. If students are unable to complete the electronic pre-screening survey, they may complete one via telephone by contacting Student Health Services at 850.474.2172

Students will then be contacted by a UWF Contact Tracker and advised on next steps. Students should not visit a UWF location until advised by a Contact Tracker. 

As advised by the UWF Contact Tracker, students should contact faculty to make them aware of potential exposure and to communicate if they will not be able to attend in-person courses or if they are too ill to participate in hybrid or remote courses. 

Will faculty be contacted if a student in their class is exposed to COVID-19?
If a student is flagged as 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 been contacted by a UWF contact tracker and they have advised you. If you have not already done so, please fill out the Daily COVID-19 Pre-Screening to inform the University of your exposure. If you are unable to complete the electronic pre-screening survey, you may complete one via telephone by contacting Student Health Services at 850.474.2172. After filling out this form, you will be notified by a contact tracker who will advise you on what steps you should take next. 

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? 
Once a student is flagged as potentially exposed to COVID-19, the Dean of Students Office will contact all faculty who have this student enrolled in a course (in-person and online). 

If students and faculty were following appropriate procedures in class (face coverings and social distancing), most, if not all, would NOT be considered a one-on-one contact, and class would continue in-person.

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. 

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? 
All UWF employees (faculty, staff and OPS) regardless of remote or on-site must fill out the Daily COVID-19 Pre-Screening on a daily basis on every working day. 

Employees who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 must immediately submit the Daily Pre-Screening form, if they have not already done so or if information has changed since it was last submitted. Employees will be contacted by a UWF Contact Tracker and advised on next steps. Employees should not visit a UWF location until advised by a Contact Tracker.

Employees should then contact their supervisor to make them aware that they will not be permitted to return to UWF until advised by a Contact Tracker. 

If an employee is a permanent remote employee and not required to fill out the daily pre-screening, they must contact 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?
Once reported to UWF, students or employees will be contacted by an official COVID-19 Contact Tracker to evaluate potential exposure within the UWF community. They will be directed to quarantine or isolate, depending on the situation and must thoroughly review the UWF Isolation and Quarantine Protocol.

What should I do if I’m told to isolate and I live on-campus?
If directed to isolate, students may return to their permanent residence and notify housing@uwf.edu. Housing and Residence Life will provide isolation rooms and be available to assist those who choose to stay on campus. 

For students with dining plans, a Food Pack (equivalent of 3 meals) will be delivered each afternoon at 5 p.m. Those without dining plans have the ability to purchase a 50-block meal plan or utilize food available. Other options include having friends deliver food or utilize delivery. If the 50-block meal plan is purchased, it will be delivered daily by Housing and Residence Life. 

Residence Life staff hosts a daily “phone check-in” to students in isolation and is available on-call. 

Any students who live off campus and need to isolate should do so at their primary residences. University Housing isolation rooms are for on-campus residents only.

Travel

What should I do if I have traveled internationally, to a location within the U.S. with known community outbreaks or been on a cruise ship?
If you are returning from international travel, cruise ships or a location within the U.S. with known community outbreaks, or if you have been in contact with someone that has, the University asks that you quarantine for 14 days and avoid contact with others, except to receive medical care. During the quarantine period:

  • Students must notify Student Health Services that you are required to quarantine by emailing healthservices@uwf.edu.
  • UWF Employees should contact their health care provider and Human Resources.

Has UWF put any travel restrictions in place?
All university-sponsored domestic (U.S.) and international travel (business-related travel, study abroad, exchange, faculty-led programs) is prohibited until further notice, unless approved by a University vice president. Only travel deemed essential by a vice president will be approved. 

All university-sponsored domestic travel that was previously approved, must be reevaluated for approval by your respective University vice president. 

Any new university-sponsored domestic or international travel requests must be approved by a vice president.

The University strongly recommends all students, staff and faculty refrain from personal domestic and international travel except for emergency purposes.

What is the CDC’s and FDOH's latest travel guidance?
For more information on the CDC’s travel guidance, please visit: 



Campus Environment

Health, Wellness and Prevention

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.
  • Wear a cloth or disposable face covering when you have to go out in public. Face coverings are highly recommended to be worn at all times when six feet of distance cannot be maintained or if you are in a large group setting.
  • 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.

What is social distancing? 
Social distancing is the best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing refers to measures that are taken to increase the physical space between people to slow the spread of the virus. By maintaining a distance of six feet from others when possible, people may limit the spread of the virus. Social distancing also minimizes the number of interactions that provide the opportunity for the disease to spread. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Do not gather in groups.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.

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.
  • Conduct all meetings virtually, unless critical to the function of the institution. 
  • Maintain social distancing: 
    • Stay six feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
    • Avoid crowded places and mass gatherings.

What is UWF doing to protect the community?
The health and success of our community, on and off campus, is at the forefront of our decision making. Please know that we have been actively contingency planning for a range of operational scenarios. The University of West Florida is taking aggressive steps to prevent the spread of disease, such as COVID-19, by promoting healthy habits and enhancing its existing cleaning and disinfection practices. 

In an abundance of caution, we have increased our scheduled custodial cleaning of facilities on campus. We are taking extra measures to disinfect frequently touched areas like doorknobs, stair rails, elevator buttons and other surfaces (such as exercise equipment and classroom AV equipment). High traffic areas such as student housing, libraries, dining halls, bathrooms, locker rooms, as well as recreation centers also receive more cleanings. Additionally, the UWF trolleys are being deep cleaned weekly.

A task force, composed of university leaders, emergency management, health officials and others meets frequently to discuss the situation and any changes that affect our campus.

How can I interact with other members of the campus community?
Students and employees must limit all in-person interactions on and off campus to an #ArgoSquad of 10 or fewer people. Students and employees are expected to follow face covering and social distancing guidelines at all times. 

Am I required to get tested for COVID-19 before I return?
Testing is not a requirement for students to return to campus. However, Student Health Services will be notified if a student answers "yes" to a question in the pre-screening, and will assist with testing recommendations.

Are face coverings required at UWF?
A disposable or cloth face covering is 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, open offices, restrooms, conference rooms, lobbies and lounge areas, retail spaces, museums, libraries and dining facilities. Anyone using a dining facility should cover their face until they sit down to eat and then put the face-covering back on immediately after. 

Face coverings may be removed when inside of private building space, such as a single-use office or residence hall room.

When and where can I obtain a face covering and hand sanitizer from UWF? 

  • Students: To view face covering pick-up locations, visit uwf.edu/coronavirus/returning-to-uwf/resources/face-covering-distribution. Students must be enrolled in classes for the Fall 2020 semester with a valid UWF ID to receive a face covering.
  • Employees: Each division has a logistical liaison that you can contact to obtain a face covering and hand sanitizer.

What happens if I lose my UWF face covering? 
If you lose your face covering that was provided by UWF, you will need to provide your own face covering.

Am I required to wear a face covering if I’m representing UWF at an event off campus?
Any person representing UWF at an event should abide by all local and/or establishment requirements for face coverings. Attendees at any University-sponsored off-campus event must follow University guidelines on face covering requirements.

Are there exceptions for face coverings?
Yes, in very limited circumstances. Individuals with a medical condition or disability who cannot wear a face covering may contact Student Accessibility Resources (students) or Human Resources (employees) to determine if reasonable accommodations can be made.

What are the consequences for violating UWF COVID-19 protocols?
Failure to comply with the safety measures, such as completing the COVID-19 Training and daily pre-screening, wearing face coverings and social distancing, will potentially result in the accountability measures for students and employees. For more information on compliance, visit the UWF Compliance webpage.

What do I do if I need accommodations due to a disability or medical condition?
Students should contact the Office of Student Accessibility Resources for assistance. Employees should contact Human Resources for assistance at hr@uwf.edu or 850.474.2694.

Daily COVID-19 Pre-Screening

Employees

If an employee receives results that they cannot come to campus what are the next steps? Does the supervisor get notified? How do we know what to do or how to handle that employee?
The survey is flagged and sent to Human Resources to follow up. If the employee cannot come to a UWF location, the immediate supervisor is copied on the email to the employee, which provides all information on next steps. Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety will handle the sanitation of the employee’s work area and notification to other employees, if needed. 

What does it mean if an employee is "flagged"?
If an employee is flagged, it means they answered yes to a question and will need follow-up from Human Resources.

What does it mean for an employee to be "clear"?
"Clear" means that the employee indicated they plan to come to campus and they were not flagged by other answers on the survey for that day only. It does not necessarily mean that they are coming to campus. Supervisors should be aware of an employee's schedule for the day.

Student Employees

How can we view student employees if they have multiple jobs at UWF?
Student employees can be claimed by more than one department at the University. 

What happens if a student selects “student” instead of “student employee” when completing their pre-screening? Will supervisors still see the results on the tableau report?
The tableau report shows supervisors all people who have been claimed by a department regardless of what answer is given.

Should students who are student employees always select "Student Employee" on the pre-screening form, even on days that they are not working for contact tracking purposes? Or should they select "Student" on days they are not working as a student employee?
Student workers should select "student employee," even on days that they are not working. This is to facilitate contact tracking when necessary. If there is an issue and they need to be quarantined/isolated, the supervisor also needs to be notified.

Students

What if I do not have access to a phone or computer to take the pre-screening before coming to campus?
If students are unable to complete the electronic pre-screening survey, they may complete one via telephone by contacting Student Health Services at 850.474.2172.

Who (if anyone) is checking that students are completing the survey before attending class or receiving services on campus?
The health and safety of UWF is a shared responsibility for all involved. The University is able to monitor who has taken the Daily COVID-19 Pre-Screening each day and able to reach out to students and employees who are not completing the survey on a regular basis. 

Should offices request to view pre-screening results when students are visiting in-person?
Offices are not permitted to view student’s pre-screening results, however, after a student completes the pre-screening, they receive an email confirming their eligibility to visit campus on that specific date. Offices should request to see this email confirmation.  

What if a student does not have their email confirmation available?
If a student has not received a confirmation email for that day, the office should ask the student to step outside and retake the pre-screening survey on their mobile device or return home to take it if they do not have a mobile device. Students can take the survey multiple times in one day.

If a student has not completed the pre-screening and refuses to do so, do offices have the right to refuse service to the student? If so, what is the process to report the student for noncompliance?
If a student does not complete the pre-screening, offices can suggest scheduling a virtual appointment. If a student continues to refuse completing the pre-screening or refuses to do a virtual appointment, then the Dean of Students office should be contacted.

If a student is not wearing a face covering, do offices have the right to refuse service to the student? If so, what is the process to report the student for noncompliance? 
If a student is not wearing a face covering, offices can suggest scheduling a virtual appointment. If a student refuses to wear a face covering or schedule a virtual appointment, then the Dean of Students office should be contacted.

What should faculty and classmates do if a student in their in-person class tests positive for COVID-19? Should the faculty and classmates quarantine?
The student needs to be advised to complete the Daily COVID-19 Return to Campus pre-screening available in MyUWF. This pre-screening asks relevant questions and automatically notifies the appropriate support offices. Contact trackers will identify those who had one-on-one contact, and they will be notified as needed. If students and faculty were practicing social distance and wearing face coverings in class then most, if not all, in the class would NOT be considered a one-on-one contact, and class would continue in-person. Classroom capacity reductions and social distancing spacing of seats were designed to prevent one-on-one contact.

If students are unable to complete the electronic pre-screening survey, they may complete one via telephone UWF by contacting Student Health Services at 850.474.2172.

Faculty and students should never identify someone in their class that tested positive to any other person.

Campus Life and Events

Are in-person events and meetings permitted?
In-person University events and meetings, on and off-campus, are not permitted at this time. This follows the current phase as part of the University's Returning to UWF plan. The University will continue evaluating this decision based on CDC guidance and provide an update on a regular basis to the campus community. Future in-person events should not be planned or promoted until these guidelines change.

Does UWF plan to host Homecoming this fall? 
The Homecoming Student Executive Board is planning a series of virtual programs for Homecoming 2020 in the fall. The Colchis concert, Cardboard Boat Race and other traditional Homecoming events will be hosted in Spring 2021. This plan honors the tradition of Springcoming, UWF's original homecoming program.

Are student organizations resuming operations this semester? 
Student organizations are active and operating in adherence with University and state guidelines.

Are UWF athletic events taking place in the fall?
The Gulf South Conference has postponed competition in basketball, football, soccer and volleyball until at least Jan. 1, 2021. Cross country and golf competitions are permitted during the Fall 2020 semester with the GSC Cross Country Championship date potentially moved to better accommodate the calendar. For football, soccer and volleyball, the conference will evaluate options for the spring semester that provide meaningful competition for these student-athletes. A spring season may not feature the use of traditional formats for regular-season play or tournaments. For basketball, the GSC will work over the next several weeks to outline a calendar for the regular season and tournament. The conference will also work through the NCAA governance process to advocate for additional weeks of competition in the Spring 2021 semester. 

Are athletic trainers available?
Athletic trainers are on campus for athletes undergoing rehabilitation and/or surgery.

Is UWF planning to hold Spring Commencement at a later date?
The Florida Board of Governors announced a directive to all Florida institutions to postpone all summer commencement ceremonies, including the spring ceremonies that were rescheduled due to COVID-19. The University hosted a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, August 8, inviting family members, friends and faculty members to celebrate with graduates on its social media channels. The commencement ceremony video is available for viewing on UWF’s Youtube channel.

If you haven’t already viewed it, please take a moment to watch this video from our faculty and staff congratulating our graduates on this wonderful achievement. While it in no way replaces the in-person ceremony, it illustrates our pride for our students and our commitment to their continued success. 

Student Services and Support Resources

How do I apply for CARES Act emergency financial aid?
The University of West Florida is distributing CARES Act funding in a way that prioritizes students with the greatest demonstrated need and ensures that funds are distributed as widely as possible. Students can email the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@uwf.edu to apply for the CARES Act Student Emergency Grant. For more information, visit uwf.edu/cares.

What do I do if I need accommodations?
If you need any special accommodations, please contact the Office of Student Accessibility Resources at 850.474.2387. Employees who need special accommodations are to contact the ADA Programs Office at 850.474.2694 or ada@uwf.edu.

Is the ITS Help Desk open?
The ITS Help Desk is operating at full capacity remotely, and is able to take calls, emails and Jira tickets. ITS is also working closely with your Local Support Providers (LSPs), as we all are met with new challenges each day to help you all be productive from home. ITS has created ITS Security Guidelines for Enterprise-wide Remote Access as a reference for technology support professionals in ensuring work-at-home can be done safely and securely.

Is Counseling and Psychological Services Open? 
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) remains committed to supporting student well-being and resilience. CAPS acknowledges the impact on UWF students related to COVID-19 and recognizes it is typical to experience anxiety, worry or fear. In order to limit personal contact to reduce the risk of infection and deliver services safely, all CAPS appointments are taking place remotely at this time.

For all students:

  • CAPS offers individual and group teletherapy. In alignment with state laws, regulations, and ethics, teletherapy is only available to currently enrolled students who presently reside in the state of Florida. CAPS partners with Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) Connect, Inc. for access to the secure and private Zoom platform to execute teletherapy health services. To make an appointment for teletherapy, call 850.474.2420.
  • Telephone crisis counseling is available to all students including out-of-state students. To access this service, call 850.474.2420 and dial 6.
  • All CAPS in-person events are suspended at this time.
  • All students are encouraged to utilize TAO modules to strengthen skills to cope with anxiety, depression, stress management and more. TAO is an interactive web-based self-help program that is available 24/7. Access TAO anonymously at uwf.edu/tao.
  • Follow us on Facebook (@uwfcaps) and Instagram (@uwfcounseling) for tips and resources.
  • If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

For faculty and staff:

  • We appreciate your ability to be supportive of students' well-being.
  • Should you need to consult with a counselor about supporting a student(s), please call and request a call back at 850.474.2420
  • Therapy Assistance Online: Therapy Assistance Online is a web-based program that offers engaging, interactive modules to teach life skills and help you bounce back from disappointments or stumbling blocks in life. TAO is confidential, free and available to all UWF faculty and staff.
  • Aetna Resources for Living: UWF has contracted with Aetna Resources for Living to provide an Employee Assistance Program for employees and their family members. The Employee Assistance Program helps employees resolve personal and work problems through professional assistance. Employees may contact Aetna directly by calling their toll-free number 800.272.7252. All services and calls are strictly confidential between the employee and Aetna. Their website provides services that are available for employees, as well as informative articles and information. The user name and password for University employees and family members is UWF (must be in all capital letters). Brochures are also available through the Human Resources department.
  • Employee Assistance Program: COVID-19 response is bringing a lot of changes to our lives, including stress and anxiety. The Employee Assistance Program has put together national resources, including articles, videos and infographics, to help you cope during this challenging time.
  • Managing Stress During Distance Learning – How Faculty Can Support Their Students: Faculty play an important role in the lives of college students, especially during times of uncertainty. As colleges and universities navigate the constantly evolving changes in response to COVID-19, we recognize that there is much stress and anxiety that instructors need to manage whether they were already teaching online or were recently required to shift to online modes of content delivery for students. This webinar explores how faculty can provide support for their students during distance learning while keeping in mind the needs of particularly vulnerable student populations.

For additional resources, please see these links:

What services are being offered by Student Health Services? 
Student Health Services is offering both telehealth and in person services to current students. Telehealth and in person appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Appointments can be made online or by calling 850.474.2172.

Telehealth services are offered through Spruce Healthcare and can be accessed through your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Complete instructions will be provided when appointment is made. Unfortunately, there are some issues that cannot be handled by telehealth. This will be at the discretion of the provider. In those situations, for your health and safety, you may be directed to contact your primary care provider or visit an urgent-care center or emergency room for a face-to-face evaluation.

*Due to legal restrictions, students participating in Telehealth must be physically located within the state of Florida.

Student Health Services is also performing rapid COVID-19 testing for current students with a valid Nautilus ID card. For more information, visit uwf.edu/healthservices.

Will recreation facilities be open in the fall?
Recreation facilities are open and operating with modified hours. Reservations are required to use the HLS facility and may be made up to 72 hours in advance through the UWF Recreation app or visiting IMLeagues. The Aquatic Center is open only for lap swimming. HLS hours may be found at the Annual HLS Facility Hours of Operation webpage. Aquatic Center hours may be found at the Pool Hours of Operation webpage.

Can I still access Argo Pantry for groceries?
Yes, the Argo Pantry is open and operational. Visit uwf.edu/argopantry for days and hours of operation.

Are the trolleys running in the fall?
Campus trolleys are running as normal during the fall semester until Thanksgiving break. Following the break, only the Express Trolley will run. 

Is the Bookstore providing curbside pickup in the Fall?
Yes, the Bookstore is providing curbside pickup from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday during the fall semester. 

Which facilities will be accessible after Thanksgiving break?
The Nautilus Market, UWF Bookstore, Postal Services, Nautilus Card office, WEPA stations and the trolley and ECAT buses will remain open after Thanksgiving break. The Argo Fan Shop and Starbucks in Argo Village will also remain open.

Is the library open?
The UWF John C. Pace Library has reopened with reduced hours and reduced access to certain spaces. The University Archives department is by appointment only; the third and fourth floors of the library are closed; study carrels and group study rooms are closed; and the 3D printing lab in SkyLab is closed, but printing may be requested. Library instruction is conducted virtually and reference consultations are by video appointment. The Reference Desk is accessible through open online office hours. 

Furniture is spaced appropriately and cleaning supplies are available for students to wipe study tables down before and after using. Returned equipment and materials are quarantined and then cleaned before returning to circulation. Late fees are waived until the library is fully operational.

The UWF Library follows the Council of State University Libraries’ Guiding Principles for Reopening University Libraries and the CDC guidelines.

Am I able to access library resources if the library is closed?
In order to access library resources from off campus, you need to be sure you are logged in using your Argonet username and password (the same one you use for eLearning and your UWF email). You can double-check to see if you are logged in by looking at the Access tab on the UWF Libraries homepage. These resources are available at uwf.edu/library.

What if I need help from a librarian on a research assignment?
Library staff and research librarians are available via email, chat, and text to answer any questions or concerns regarding library check-outs, technology, and equipment. Please use our Ask-a-Librarian service located here: https://uwf.edu/library/research_help/ask-a-librarian/

If you need research assistance, you are highly encouraged to email your subject-specialist librarian directly. Please see this page for further information: https://uwf.edu/library/about/people/subject-librarians/

Please visit UWF Libraries' website for up-to-date information on library hours and services: https://uwf.edu/library/

If I have library books due during this time period, am I required to return them? 
All library fines and late fees are currently suspended until UWF Libraries resumes regular operations. You are not expected to return any materials or technology that you currently have.

I can't afford to buy my textbooks and the library doesn’t offer a PDF version online. What do I do?
Textbook reserves and Course Reserves will circulate. Staff will clean items between use. Students are encouraged to wash their hands after using any of these materials.

What do I do if I want to order my textbooks, but I am not on campus to pick them up?
To facilitate better access to course materials and general merchandise, the UWF Bookstore provides free shipping of online orders to the U.S. and Canada.

How do we return rental books from the Bookstore?
Free shipping labels will be sent to students with their rental return reminder emails.

How is the textbook buy-back process being handled?
Buybacks are handled in store and online. Students can bring their books in during the Bookstore’s adjusted hours or can use the link "Sell Your Books" on the bookstore website to sell their books.

How do we access our online textbooks?
You can access course textbooks virtually through our online library resource. These resources are available at uwf.edu/library

Is Dining Services open in the fall?
The Nautilus Market and most retail dining operations are open and follow social-distancing guidelines, including reduced occupancy. The Nautilus Market provides full services and offerings for Fall 2020. Customers are served instead of some stations being self-service. To-go dining options are available if desired. For complete information on hours for retail dining operations, visit uwf.edu/dining.

Are there any changes to dining meal plans?
There is a 175 Block Meal Plan available to mandatory and voluntary meal plan participants. This plan is ideal for students who will not return to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday and is only available for the Fall 2020 semester. Complete information on all Fall 2020 Meal Plans can be found at uwf.edu/dining.

Will Dining Services refund me if I leave due to a COVID-19 spike?
There are no plans to provide refunds to mandatory meal plan participants at this time. These plans may be revisited should the situation warrant.

I am an Active Duty Member/ Military Veteran 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©) 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 the “MVRC Customer Service Support.” There is also a direct line to our Vet Success on Campus, VA rep for confidential conversations, click on “VA Customer Service Support” to be connected.

How can I access other student support services?
The Division of Academic Engagement and Student Affairs and its services, events and programs are modified while campus facilities are temporarily closed. A list of all services and links to provide more information on how to access services remotely is available here: https://uwf.edu/academic-engagement-and-student-affairs/

Who can I contact if I am experiencing a personal hardship that could interfere with my education?
Case Management Services provides support to students needing to overcome financial obstacles in order to continue their education at UWF. Students experiencing financial hardship can seek assistance through the emergency grant, emergency loan or the student emergency support fund. Assistance is available as funding permits. Please contact Case Management Services at casemanagement@uwf.edu for further information.

Prospective Students

Are campus tours and information sessions still happening?
All public and private in-person tours of UWF have been discontinued until further notice. UWF is taking steps to minimize the need to gather in large groups and spend prolonged time in close proximity with each other. Our actions are consistent with the recommendations of leading officials on how to limit the spread of COVID-19. The UWF Virtual Tour and guided virtual tours remain available.

Housing and Residence Life

Is UWF Housing open to students in the fall?
UWF has continued honoring housing contracts for the fall semester.

What precautionary measures is UWF Housing taking?
UWF Housing is enhancing student health and safety measures for residents through the following protocols: 

  • Move-in Day has been expanded to a full week, during which a drive-through move-in process has been established. 
  • Residents are being provided with welcome back kits that include a cloth face covering, no touch tool, thermometer and hand sanitizer. 
  • Residence hall common areas are being cleaned several times a day in compliance with enhanced CDC cleaning protocols. 
  • All residential spaces, including common spaces, have been evaluated for maximum occupancy under social distancing. These limits are posted throughout the residence halls. Students are required to follow the new capacity numbers. 
  • The number of guests a resident may have at any given time are limited to one person.
  • Health, wellness and prevention promotional materials are posted throughout each residence hall.

Am I permitted to stay in UWF Housing if I have been exposed to COVID-19?
UWF has reserved spaces for COVID-19 isolation. A student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be moved immediately to an isolation space or that student may return to their permanent residence for the duration of isolation. If someone comes in one-on-one contact with that student in their living space, that unit will be quarantined until test results are available.

Visit the UWF Isolation and Quarantine Protocol for more information.

Will UWF Housing remain open after Thanksgiving?
Yes. Residents will have access to their rooms as normal until the end of the semester. 

Will housing rates be altered since the University is remote after Thanksgiving?
Since UWF Housing will remain open the entire semester, rates will stay the same.

Employees

Are UWF Employees reporting to work and what are the guidelines?
For more information, please visit the Return to Campus section of the Coronavirus webpage.

Are high-risk employees required to report to work?
On March 25, 2020, the Florida State Surgeon General and State Health Officer issued a Public Health Advisory for high-risk individuals. High-risk employees are defined as persons greater than or equal to 65 years old and those with serious underlying health conditions. 

If you are considered a high-risk individual, please work with your supervisor to develop a remote work plan, if feasible. 

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 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 with 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, high-risk individuals may be required to use accrued leave.

Supervisors should consult Human Resources for guidance. 

As a student employee am I required to work?
Paid student employees (Work Study, OUR Works, Contracts, Grants, etc.) as well as graduate students on assistantships are employed by the institution and are expected to work remotely during this time period. Supervisors are expected to provide assignments to employees. Employees working remotely are expected to fulfill all of their normal duties and work hours. If employees are in roles that do not traditionally accommodate remote work, supervisors must assign other work, projects or professional development that can be performed remotely.

Does FMLA apply if I contract COVID-19? Does FMLA apply if my spouse or child contracts the virus and I must stay home to care for him/her?
The Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA) provides for Expanded Family and Medical Leave (E-FMLA) in this type of situation. Information on eligibility can be found at https://uwf.edu/offices/human-resources/ under Employees Rights Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Families First Coronavirus Definitions and Q&A.  

You may also qualify under the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA). Information on eligibility can be found at the Human Resources Leave webpage.

If the above criteria for E-FMLA and/or FMLA are not met, the following options are available, although not all options will be available in all situations, depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness or care provided:

  • Use accrued leave hours
  • Request a leave of absence without pay
  • Adjust the workweek with supervisory approval
  • Work a flexible schedule with supervisory approval
  • Work Remotely with supervisory approval

Can my department order cleaning and disinfecting supplies?
Cleaning, PPE, and disinfecting supplies can be ordered by the department following the submission and an approval to purchase Jira ticket; see link: Restricted Item Request (Non-Furniture).

I do not have enough leave to cover my absence from work due to illness. How can I afford to stay home until I am completely well before returning to work?
To minimize the potential exposure to others, it is very important that you do not return to work until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever, or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, a doctor’s note is required to return to work.

The following options are available although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness.

  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek for Non-exempt University Work Force staff and OPS hourly employees with supervisory approval. UWF’s workweek begins at 12:00 a.m. on Sunday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the following Saturday.
  • Faculty or Exempt University Work Force staff may make-up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same pay period with supervisory approval, or if absent for a full workday, may use accrued leave.
  • Work from home with supervisory approval.
  • If an employee is out for 3 or more days in a 30 day period, the employee should apply for Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA or Medical Leave).
  • Request a leave of absence

I’m not sick, but I don’t want to come to work for fear of becoming ill. Is my supervisor required to approve my request for time off?
You may request to take Annual Leave; however, your supervisor is not required to approve your time off request, especially if your department is short-staffed. It is important to educate yourself about the virus and its transmission via the resources provided on this webpage. 

If an employee is sent home, or stays home from work due to illness, how will they be paid?
The following options may be available depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness:

  • Use accrued leave; for example, Annual or Sick Leave.
  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek for  Non-exempt University WorkForce staff and OPS hourly employees with supervisory approval. UWF’s work week begins at 12:00 a.m. on Sunday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the following Saturday.
  • Faculty or Exempt University Work Force staff may make-up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same pay period with supervisory approval, or if absent for a full work day, may use accrued leave.
  • Work from home with supervisory approval.
  • If an employee is out for 3 or more days in a 30 day period, the employee should apply for Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA or Medical Leave).
  • Request a leave of absence

Note: OPS employees do not receive pay for time not worked. OPS employees do not accrue leave or paid time off days.

Working Remotely

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? 
Limited on-campus and field research activities are being considered for action. UWF faculty may submit a request for UWF employees (faculty, staff, and student) in their research group to return to on-campus or field-based research activities; all volunteer research efforts remain prohibited at this time.

Requests to conduct research can be submitted by completing the Phase 1 UWF Field and Laboratory Research Broadening Access Survey. Applications will be reviewed by the Assistant Vice President of Research Administration and the faculty member’s college Dean.  

All employees who are approved to return to on-campus or field-based research activities are subject to all of the requirements of the UWF Phase 1 Return to Campus plan.

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 all parties in that room must wear a face covering at all times. Face coverings are not required if staff are working alone in a lab space with a closed door. If the lab includes annex rooms with a door that can be closed (i.e., a sub-room), then face coverings need not be used if only one person is working in the sub-room. Face coverings must also be worn in all public spaces on campus, including hallways, stairwells and elevators.

If traveling in a car, then proper social distancing (six feet between persons) must be maintained at all times (e.g., sitting in different rows of a departmental van). If that is not possible, then consider alternate transportation (e.g., driving separately) or all parties must wear a face covering while traveling.

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

How do I access the files in my H Drive?
ITS has kicked off a project to help the campus move their files from their H: Drive to Google, so they can be accessible to you much more easily from anywhere.  Please read more about the Google Drive for work project, and submit a request today, and we’ll get working on moving your files, which will not only benefit you but allow us to shrink our file storage needs on campus, which helps all of us.

Can I take equipment home (e.g., monitor)?
Your local equipment is owned by your department. Check with your department for its policy on taking equipment home. With supervisory approval, employees may check out equipment from the University to use during telecommuting and must follow procedures described in the Property Guide in Confluence’s Business Process Library including completing and submitting the Equipment Check-Out Form. Supervisors must maintain the Department Equipment Check-Out Log.

Can I have UWF work-related shipments delivered to my home address?
The University does not permit goods shipped to a home address during normal business operations, and this policy is still in effect for COVID-19. If you are working remotely, you are not authorized to have shipments delivered to a home address. The UWF Post Office and Central Receiving remain open and are accepting deliveries.

Only under extenuating circumstances will a shipment be permitted to a home address. This requires written approval from a dean, director, or higher authority. These requests must be submitted to Procurement for evaluation before the purchase. Each will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with a final decision made by the vice president of finance and administration. Any comments or questions can be sent to UWF Procurement at procurement@uwf.edu

International Students

Where can I find Fall 2020 enrollment guidance for international students?
For more information on enrollment guidance for the Fall 2020 semester, visit https://confluence.uwf.edu/display/public/Fall+2020+COVID+Enrollment+Guidance+for+UWF+International+Students.

I am an international student and have additional 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.



Community

Community FAQs

Are visitors permitted at UWF locations?
Yes, visitors, vendors and volunteers are permitted at UWF locations, but they are required to comply with guidelines and protocols that promote a safer and healthier campus. For more information on visitor guidelines and protocols, view the Visiting UWF webpage.

Are UWF Libraries open to the public?
UWF libraries are not open to the public at this time.



Testing

Testing FAQs

What does the pre-screening entail?
The Daily COVID-19 Return to Campus Pre-screening is a brief survey that can be found in MyUWF.

What happens if I answer “yes” to a pre-screening question?
If a student answers "yes," Student Health Services will be notified and will assist the student in testing. Housing and Residence Life will quarantine students immediately if they live on campus. 

Employees who answer "yes" will be contacted by Human Resources and the employee must contact their immediate supervisor.

Are employees who are not visiting a UWF location required to complete the pre-screening?
Yes. 

As of July 27, 2020, all employees must fill out the pre-screening daily, regardless of working on-site or remotely.

Exemptions:

  • Employees considered permanent remote work as part of their job description. If permanent remote employees plan to visit a UWF location, they must also fill out the Daily COVID-19 Pre-Screening
  • Employees taking annual leave. These employees must resume when their annual leave is completed. 
  • Employees who are currently quarantined or isolated and have already notified Human Resources. These employees must resume when their quarantine or isolation period is complete. 

If employees are visiting a UWF location that day, they must have the pre-screening completed before they enter the location. 

The daily pre-screening is one of many efforts to keep all Argos healthier and safer. All employees filling out the survey allows the University to appropriately monitor cases and provide resources to all employees. 

How is UWF verifying that every student or employee is completing this before visiting a UWF location?
The health and safety of UWF is a shared responsibility for all involved. The University is monitoring who has taken the Daily COVID-19 Pre-Screening survey each day and is able to reach out to students and employees who are not completing the survey on a regular basis. 

Should student employees fill out a different pre-screening than employees?
There is only one comprehensive survey. It asks the appropriate questions to determine the person’s affiliation with the University. If someone is a student and also an employee, they only need to fill out the pre-screening once daily. 

Do employees have to fill out the pre-screening on weekends? 
Employees must fill out the Daily COVID-19 Pre-Screening on a daily basis on every working day. If employees’ assigned working days include the weekends, they must take the pre-screening at that time. 

Are 9-Month faculty not teaching during the summer required to fill out the pre-screening during the summer semester? 
No. 

Is on-campus COVID-19 testing free for students, faculty and staff?
There is no cost for COVID-19 testing at the on-campus testing site for Florida residents. A Florida driver's license is required.

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 from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, contact SHS at 850.474.2172. The testing will be conducted outside of the Student Wellness Center - Building 960, Parking Lot A. 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.

All students must adhere to campus safety protocols including completing the Daily COVID-19 Return to Campus Pre-screening before arriving for appointment.

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 14 days or is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

Is there a testing site on campus? What is the schedule of operations?
At the request of the Governor’s office, the direction of the Florida Department of Emergency Management with the support of the Florida Department of Health, Escambia and Santa Rosa counties opened a mobile testing site to the public at the University of West Florida Pensacola Campus. Both nasal swab and self-swab tests are offered. 

Individuals ages 5 and up can be tested for COVID-19, but must register ahead of time. It is a self-swab process. Please register at doineedacovid19test.com or by calling 800.635.8611 to pre-register prior to arrival. 

Those over the age of 18 may also request an antibody/antigen test. The results are provided within 15 minutes. This test requires a small needle stick.

The drive-through test site is located at the SP2 parking lot, which is on the east side of campus, near the East Sports Complex. The mobile testing site is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until daily capacity is reached and weather permitting. Individuals are asked to remain in their vehicles, and pre-screening is not required. A Florida driver's license is required.

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 testing, please contact the State Public Information Office hotline at 850.921.0217 or via email at ESF14@em.myflorida.com.

You can also view your results online at covid19resultsfl.com.



Academics

Academics FAQs

Since we are more than 6 feet apart in our seats in class, does that mean we can remove our face coverings once we sit down? 
A disposable or cloth face covering is required inside all classrooms and should not be removed during the duration of any class.

Teaching (Faculty)

I am a faculty member and need assistance setting up my course. What do I do?
The Center for Global Online Learning and Development is available to assist faculty with making this transition. Resources and training are available at uwf.edu/gold. Canvas course shells for all sections already exist, but faculty may not have activated the shells. UWF Library services for faculty are conveniently located at uwf.edu/library/services_for/faculty--staff.

How can I best accommodate my students during this time period?
Communicate clearly with students regarding any changes in expectations or deadlines for coursework and class meetings. Be understanding whenever possible to those facing unforeseen, stressful circumstances, such as losing work/income or taking care of children home from daycare or school. Be prepared to accommodate students requesting to miss class sessions due to illness, clearly communicating opportunities and expectations around alternative assignments or makeup work.

What are the safety protocols for face-to-face instruction?
Classroom facilities in use for Fall 2020 are being thoroughly cleaned and include signage and barricade tape that indicates where students can sit based on social distancing guidelines. It includes an indicator of where faculty may stand and how close students may get to faculty to ensure six feet of distance at all times.

UWF has provided one reusable cloth face covering and a bottle of hand sanitizer for every student and employee. Face coverings are required in ALL UWF locations. Exceptions include private office settings, as well as outdoor work and areas separated from others by at least six feet. A person not wearing a face covering will be asked to put one on or leave the area.

Anyone with a medical condition or disability who cannot wear face coverings will be directed to Student Accessibility Resources (students) or Human Resources (employees) to explore reasonable accommodations.

Am I permitted to remove my face covering to teach my in-person lecture?
Faculty must wear a face covering in the classroom as indicated in the University’s Returning to UWF plan. A disposable or cloth face coverings remain necessary even when wearing a face shield and/or staying behind the lectern's plexiglass shield.

The University understands that talking and providing a lecture with a face covering on may be difficult. While the use of face coverings may muffle and reduce the volume and enunciation of speech, the following tips* will help improve speech understanding from the perspective of the student:

  • Use a disposable surgical mask while lecturing. These masks have better air flow and less muffled sound than cloth or N95 masks. Note that N95 masks should only be used by front line medical professionals.
  • Get the student listener’s attention by saying their name before addressing them.
  • Utilize the AV/microphone system when available. Clip the microphone close to your face, ensuring that your mask is not touching or rubbing against the microphone.
  • Before you begin your lecture/class, make sure the student listeners can hear and understand you.
  • Maintain good eye contact and face the student listener you are speaking to while still maintaining safe social distance of six feet.
  • Speak at a normal or slightly slower pace.
  • Speak slightly louder but naturally. Do not yell or over-enunciate.
  • Rephrase rather than repeat words that were not understood.
  • Use PowerPoint or a similar type of presentation when lecturing. Having the information in the lecture written helps alleviate difficulties in understanding.
  • Use gestures and a classroom pointer to illustrate what lecture topic you are on. This can be particularly useful if you are presenting a PowerPoint or similar type presentation.
  • Provide lectures on Canvas for students to refer to later.

*Tips prepared by Supraja Arnand, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, CSD, USF Tampa campus; Michelle Arnold, Au.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, CSD, USF Sarasota-Manatee campus

What should faculty do if a student refuses to comply with the established guidelines?
In cases of non-compliance, after a request is made for a student to observe applicable health and safety measures, the instructor can ask the student to leave the class for that class period. The instructor should notify their chair/supervisor and document the matter, per any internal documentation procedures. If the student refuses to leave, the instructor may dismiss the class for the safety of others in the class.

The instructor can also make a referral to the Dean of Students Office (Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities) by completing an incident report or emailing deanofstudents@uwf.edu. OSRR will review and address the matter via documented processes.  

Please note that any student with a disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering should be directed to Student Accessibility Services.

Are faculty supplied with cleaning supplies to sanitize their classrooms?
The University has supplied each employee with a bottle of disinfectant wipes as they return to their work location.

In addition, UWF has increased its scheduled custodial cleaning of facilities on campus and taken extra measures to disinfect. Every effort is being made by Facilities to disinfect all classrooms; however, faculty members and students should share this responsibility to help ensure a safer, healthier classroom for all.

What documentation is required to identify faculty as high-risk and who has access to that information? 
If you have not already discussed your situation with your department chair or Human Resources, please do so immediately.

If a class has to disband because of illness/exposure (due to faculty or students falling ill), how will those classes proceed? 
Chairs and deans should be contacted immediately if this situation occurs. In consultation with the chair, the faculty member can move the class online. Faculty and chairs are asked to develop contingency plans for their classes should conditions change during the semester that requires a move to remote instruction. Instructors should have a detailed topic outline and a minimum of 14 days of lecture material available in advance. 

Are there limitations or guidelines on guests (e.g., guest speakers) visiting classes?
Yes, guest speakers are allowed to come to classes as long as they follow all UWF safety protocols and do not exceed the room capacity. Faculty must ensure visitors are aware of protocols that promote a safer and healthier campus. To learn more, visit the Visiting UWF webpage.

How was the number of students that a classroom can accommodate lowered to provide space for distance between students and between students and faculty? 
The UWF Classroom Review Board and faculty conducted walkthroughs of every classroom and applied social distancing standards with at least 6 feet between seats, as guided by the CDC. Appropriate seats are marked.

See the Academic Program Development page for examples of classroom layout.

Are we considering an institutional-level Zoom account? 
Yes, we are pursuing an enterprise licence and will let you know if/when it is available. In the meantime, additional features for breakout sessions in Webex are now available in Webex Training for faculty. These features can be found by selecting "Webex Training" in the lower-left corner of Webex. Additionally, faculty may use the "Webex Events" to host virtual events in Webex.

Where can I find enrollment guidance for international students on an F-1 visa?
Information on specific enrollment concerns for international students can be found on this page.

Is UWF planning to host a fall commencement ceremony? 
Fall commencement is still to be determined.

Who should I contact to help me put my courses online?
The Center for Global Online Learning and Development is available to assist faculty. Canvas course e-learning shells exist for all sections, and resources and training are available at uwf.edu/gold. UWF Library services for faculty are located at uwf.edu/library/services_for/faculty--staff

How can I ensure the academic integrity of my online exams?
UWF Global Online offers faculty support to ensure the integrity of online exams, including the use of tools including Respondus Lockdown Browser, Respondus Monitor, and Honorlock. Additionally there are numerous strategies faculty can use for enhancing academic integrity. For more information faculty can access the Global Online website

Can I ask individuals to leave my class who are not complying with the University’s established health and safety protocols?
UWF utilizes a shared responsibility and accountability model that establishes and implements procedures to check that students comply with safety measures, prescreening and training. Failure to comply with the safety measures, including requests to wear face coverings and social distancing, may result in accountability measures and student conduct and/or disciplinary repercussions for students.

Please review the Student Compliance section of the Returning to UWF plan.  

In cases of non-compliance, after a request is made for a student to observe applicable health and safety measures, the instructor can ask the student to leave the class for that class period. The instructor should notify their chair/supervisor and document the matter, per any internal documentation procedures. The instructor can make a referral to the Dean of Students Office (Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities) by completing an incident report or emailing deanofstudents@uwf.edu. OSRR will review and address the matter via documented processes.  

Please note that any student with a medical condition or disability who cannot wear a face covering should be directed to Student Accessibility Services

Instructors are also encouraged to add a statement regarding expectations for health and safety compliance related to COVID-19 to the course syllabus. To view the prewritten language for course syllabi, visit the CUTLA Teaching Resources web page

The Dean of Students Office is here to assist if you have any questions or concerns regarding student compliance and accountability. We are all in this together and it will take a unified effort to make sure that our community is safe and well.

Learning (Students)

What steps can I take to be successful in online or remote learning? 
The best way to be successful in online courses is staying connected with your instructor. Follow your typical morning routine, as you normally would with on-campus courses. Build a support system of family and friends to encourage you to keep up with lectures and assignments. UWF has created a page that allows students to better understand online learning. 

Are the temporary grading and credit options put in place for the second half of the spring semester (S/U) implemented again for the fall semester?
No, the temporary modification to give undergraduate and graduate students the option to convert courses to Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory grading was only available for the Spring 2020 semester.

What should I do if I do not have reliable internet access? 
Numerous service providers are providing free internet service for a limited amount of time to customers who qualify, such as Cox, Comcast and Spectrum. Please check for other providers in your area.

Additionally, University of West Florida students can access the national Eduroam system at no charge in many places across the United States. There are 97 sites in Florida alone, including many campuses of the State University System. Please see the map indicating all the Eduroam sites in the U.S. If you can get a WiFi signal at any of these sites and your device has already been configured for Eduroam, it will automatically connect to the Eduroam network. Otherwise, please visit Configuring Your Device For Eduroam for configuration instructions. 

If you have any issues with internet access, please contact your instructors and ask them to help you develop a plan of action. 

I do not own a personal computer or laptop. How will I complete my online classes?
As a part of our efforts to make the transition to online learning as smooth and seamless as possible for students, the UWF John C. Pace Library is providing a limited number of laptops for students who do not have a computer to check out. 

These laptops will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis for those who fill out this form as soon as possible: https://bit.ly/3aVcqlC.

Why are courses switching to remote instruction following Thanksgiving? 
UWF will switch to remote instruction following Thanksgiving to reduce exposure that could result from students, faculty and staff returning to campus after traveling for the holiday to areas where COVID-19 may be prevalent. Final exams and assessments will be remote.

University operations are normal, with residence halls, libraries and study and dining spaces remaining open for student use.

I am worried about transitioning to remote instruction for final exams. How can I be successful?
The best way to be successful in online courses is staying connected with your instructor. Follow your typical morning routine, as you normally would with on-campus courses. Build a support system of family and friends to encourage you to keep up with lectures and assignments. UWF has created a page that allows students to better understand online learning.

You can also search for other resources to help you be a better online student. Here are two examples:

If you need any additional support, please reach out to the Center for Academic Success at success@uwf.edu.

Should students travel to campus for meetings with instructors?
During this time period, students are not to travel to campus for meetings with instructors. Faculty should host office hours virtually instead.

How can I contact faculty or utilize office hours?
Faculty and academic advisors are available to students remotely. They are using a variety of means of communication, which range from email, phone calls, Google Chat and video chat for office hours and to speak directly with individual students. Contact your course instructor via his/her campus email address or according to instructions provided on your course e-Learning/Canvas page to request an office hours meeting.

How can I access tutoring during this time period?
The Center for Academic Success is conducting entirely remote operations until further notice. Visit the center’s confluence page for more details on services and contact success@uwf.edu for tutoring and other services.

  • Connect with Tutoring and Learning Resources via email at tutoring@uwf.edu or call 850.474.3176 and leave a message. Messages will be returned during normal business hours. 
  • Please see our tutoring schedule for updates about subject-based tutoring services that are available virtually.
  • For online resources related to strategies and resources for how to be successful in an online course, general study skills, time management, subject based skills, etc., students may enroll in the online Academic Success Course through Canvas
  • Academic coaching students: Your coach will email you with information about how to have a virtual meeting through Google Meet.

Will the University consider grade appeals for hardships due to COVID-19? 
The University of West Florida will follow established processes for grade appeals. Students are encouraged to communicate with their faculty about any hardships they are experiencing in class that may impact their grades. Additionally, students are encouraged to work with their academic advisors and faculty to understand course withdrawal deadlines and policies. 

What protocols are in place to ensure student-athletes are healthy before participating in athletic activities?
Student-athletes are required to complete the Daily COVID-19 Return to Campus Pre-screening survey. In addition, student-athletes have their temperatures checked before beginning any athletic activities. Any student-athlete whose temperature is 100.4 or greater is evaluated by our Athletics Medicine staff and referred to the appropriate health care provider if necessary.  

If student-athletes have additional questions, they should contact their respective sport’s coach.

Will online course delivery affect students with military benefits who are required to take face-to-face courses?
The Registrar’s Office has been asking faculty if the change from face-to-face to online is COVID-19-related. During spring, summer and fall, Chapter 33 and 31 students have been allowed to receive their full housing amount of the VA benefits for their classes online if classes are delivered on campus (hybrid, hi flex) and/or have the COVID attribute. This rule does not apply to Chapter 30 or 35 benefits; those benefits do not require face-to-face courses. Please contact Lori Milkeris (lmilkeris@uwf.edu) if you have any further questions.

Internships

How are internships and practica being handled?
Students are required to sign an “Internship Release” form before starting their placement. Students should refer to their academic advisor or other UWF internship liaison to complete the form.

Which health and safety guidelines apply to me when I’m at my internship or worksite?
Students should follow the health and safety guidelines of the internship host site. 

What if the working conditions are unsafe?
Students should report unsafe working conditions per the protocol established by their academic department.

What should I do if I decide to leave my co-op or internship?
If you decide to leave your current co-op or internship position or your employer implements measures that discontinue your employment due to this unprecedented situation, you must complete the following:

Co-op:

  • Inform your co-op faculty member through email. 
  • Request an evaluation from your supervisor and send it to your co-op faculty member. Your co-op faculty member will assess your grade based on your performance at your position up to the point you leave.

Internship:

  • Inform your internship advisor through email.
  • Request an evaluation from your supervisor and send it to your internship advisor. 
Financial

Do students still have to pay a distance learning fee for classes that were originally in person?
The University waived the distance learning fee for courses that were transitioned from face-to-face to online for the fall semester due to COVID-19. Courses that were originally offered online still have the distance learning fee.

What does the distance learning fee cover?
Online classes require an increased expense since they demand student accessibility, help desk support and an efficient learning management system to assure a successful learning experience.

Research

Can faculty and students access labs to conduct research?

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