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Updated: Aug. 5, 2020 

The UT Emergency Operations Team is continuing to monitor the coronavirus (known as COVID-19) and review strategies to ensure the health and safety of the UT community. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, please continue to check the CDC website, Florida Department of Health, Tampa Bay Times local map and UT's COVID-19 Resources and Updates webpage for updates.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

General

Academics

Health

Travel

Residential Students

International Students

Education Abroad

GENERAL

How is UT monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak? 
The Emergency Operations Team (EOT) has been monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak since it was first reported, using all available resources and in consultation with health and government agencies and peer colleges and universities.

Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases at UT?
Student, employee and patient confidentiality laws prohibit UT from disclosing personal identifying information. Counts of UT community members affected by COVID-19 is dependent on self-reporting to the institution. As such, UT may not be aware of all cases unless they are disclosed to us by the diagnosed person or the county health department.

The Florida Department of Health is following its protocol to identify, notify and quarantine any individuals that have had contact with these individuals. If you are concerned about your health, please call the Dickey Health and Wellness Center at (813) 257-3051. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing a fever and cough, call TGH Urgent Care at (813) 925-1903. You must call first, as not all TGH Urgent Care locations are designated COVID-19 evaluation and testing sites.

Will UT be open for Fall 2020?
The University of Tampa fully intends and is planning a safe resumption of face-to-face teaching, learning and campus life. This is dependent, of course, on the directives of public authorities. Please visit ut.edu/fall2020 for current information regarding Fall 2020.

COVID-19 cases appear to be climbing in Florida. Why did UT decide to start school early, rather than later?
We made this decision based on a number of reasons:

  • There were concerns about virus transmission as a result of Thanksgiving holiday travel.
  • We consulted with medical professionals who concurred with our concern with holiday travel and suggested a modified schedule.
  • Parent feedback showed a higher level of comfort with starting early and ending at Thanksgiving.
  • The modified schedule helps us to provide the fullest and best UT educational experience as safely as possible.
  • While the situation is dynamic, we feel confident that — with full community cooperation — the Spartan Shield Health Safety Plan will help mitigate the risks of virus transmission on campus.
  • The modified schedule reduces risk from any late in the year flu/virus season surges.
  • The modified schedule allows for a reduction in student travel time and expenses.

UT is an open campus; how is the University addressing visitors to campus?
Visiting campus is restricted to those required for essential service or who have been invited for a specific program or event. Visitors must adhere to physical distancing and other health safety precautions, including wearing a face mask/covering. Access to residential spaces is restricted to University students, faculty and staff, and approved vendors. No guests (non-UT student, faculty or staff) are permitted in the residence halls. The exception to this will be during move in and move out where each student will be allowed two helpers to assist them.

What are my options if I don’t feel safe coming back to campus with the spike in cases in Florida?
We know that we are living in uncertain times, but the University is following guidance provided by the CDC and other authorities and putting good practices into place. We are doing everything to prepare for a safe resumption of in-person learning this fall and are working with students who have medical conditions that put them at risk to find reasonable accommodations. There is not, however, a remote option for everyone. We suggest that before making a decision about attendance that students talk with faculty or a staff member who has been working closely on preparations for the fall. New students may want to talk to their admission counselor. We want you to have all the information you need to make a decision.

If I have to withdraw after the fall semester due to COVID concerns, will my financial aid be affected?  
Withdrawing prior to the semester ending can affect your GPA, credit completion requirements for certain aid, the possibility of owing a balance back to the school and the possibility of future financial aid can be impacted. Please contact your financial aid counselor prior to doing any type of withdrawal. 

If I want to defer my start until next fall or Spring 2021, will I keep my current financial aid?
Federal aid, merit scholarships and other grants are based on the FAFSA, along with the initial tests scores and GPA provided to the University for evaluation upon initial admittance to the University. Students will need to contact admissions to discuss starting at a later time. Depending on how and when you are admitted back into the University and the FAFSA, you are not guaranteed to have the same award package.   

If my parents’ employment status is affected during the fall semester due to COVID-19, is there any reconsideration for financial aid?  
The Financial Aid Office can explore this possibility on a case by case basis. Please note that additional aid is not guaranteed. Students will want to reach out to their assigned financial aid counselor by email to discuss this further. 

Are events being canceled?
UT has hundreds of meetings, activities and events weekly. Please check the  master calendar on ut.edu for event status, contact the event organizer and check this page often.

How is UT communicating to the campus community?
Beginning Jan. 28, the University has been providing information in various mediums about the COVID-19 outbreak along with recommendations for preventative practices and specific symptoms associated with COVID-19. For updates, visit COVID-19 safety and education. Please visit ut.edu/fall2020 for current information regarding Fall 2020.

Is UT cleaning campus more thoroughly now due to the COVID-19 outbreak?
Facilities Management continues to clean and disinfect all high traffic areas and environmental surfaces in residence halls and other facilities in accordance with CDC guidelines. We will continue to monitor this guidance and will update our cleaning protocols as appropriate. Facilities Management is increasing its frequency of cleaning high traffic areas as well.

I’m a UT student, and I have an on-campus job. What should I do?
Some student worker positions may be able to work remotely at the discretion of their supervisor, based on their ability to perform their job function from afar. Student workers are asked to notify their direct supervisor as to their plans to return to campus or their home.

I have a credit-bearing internship. Who do I contact if I have questions about moving forward?
Contact your UT internship advisor.

Is the Fitness and Recreation Center open?
For the latest updates, visit the Fitness and Recreation website.

Did UT receive CARES Act funding?
On May 14, UT received $6.9 million in funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Half of UT’s grant award provided emergency cash grants to students whose education and lives were disrupted by the coronavirus. Nearly two-thirds of UT students were deemed eligible for a CARES Act grant, based on a number of criteria, including financial need. The Financial Aid Office sent an email on May 18 to students who were eligible to receive CARES Act funding. For more information about the CARES Act, visit Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting.

Will students who have fully online classes (commuter/medical/international) still be allowed to participate in recruitment because the process is virtual? Or are on-campus classes a requirement for participation?  (8/5/2020)
Students who are enrolled full-time, 12 credit hours or more, at the University are allowed to participate in recruitment whether they are taking in-person classes or taking classes online. Our College Panhellenic recruitment is completely virtual, while our Unified Greek Council and Interfraternity Council recruitments are hybrid. However, we are working with the organizations who choose to do a hybrid process to ensure they can accommodate students who are not comfortable with attending in person events. To learn more about recruitment, please visit Recruitment/Intake or email Fraternity and Sorority Life at utampafsl@ut.edu.

What steps are being taken in regards to dining options to limit students congregating in larger groups?  (8/5/2020)
UT Dining Services is committed to helping reduce the risk of COVID-19 while also still providing a quality dining experience for students this school year. Throughout the summer, we have extensively been working with UT and Sodexo in creating a re-opening playbook of all UT dining halls, which will allow a multi-phased opening of the dining halls.
 
As 
students return this August, we will be opening with the relaxed stage. In this stage, all dining locations will be open this semester; however, with some limitations. While menus at retail locations may be condensed to expedite service, we will still be offering an array of meals to include dietary needs, such as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-friendly items. Meal Exchange will be available and posted at retail locations. Menus for Ultimate Dining and Panache can be found on the BITE app and on our website, as well. 
 
Seating is currently at 50% capacity according to the state mandated executive orders
and all tables are separated 6 feet apart to ensure physical distancing. Students are encouraged to take their food to go when possible. We have added a new concept, Simply To Go, at Ultimate Dining and in our retail locations, so students can grab salads, artisan sandwiches, snacks, desserts and more to go!
 
All fall opening and regular fall hours of operation can be found on our website (dining.ut.edu). If 
students have questions regarding allergy or dietary restrictions, please contact Chef Mario at  Mariusz.Gladysz@sodexo.com

The following steps are also being taken: 

  • Contactless and Cashless Payment to avoid crowds at registers; 
  • Placing physical distancing decals on the floors of all dining locations along with signage on the walls and counter tops;
  • Add visual cues or barriers to direct traffic flow and distancing;
  • Separate and clearly identify entrance and exit to the food venues; 
  • Looking into mobile and online ordering; and 
  • Possible extending hours of operations for certain locations. 
I am a commuter student, and I likely will need a place on campus to sit and study. And, I might be in a situation where I have a face-to-face class, immediately followed by a remote class, in which I wouldn’t have time to go home, and would need to attend the class virtually on campus. Where should I go in both situations?  (8/5/2020)
We know that you may have time between your classes in which you would like a quiet and safe place to study. While you may have your favorite place, some additional areas that may be convenient, include:
  • Computer labs
  • Martinez Athletics Center student lounge and study spaces
  • Macdonald-Kelce Library
  • Pepin Stadium (under the grandstand)

Not all classrooms are in use throughout the day; you might consider using an empty classroom until the next session begins.

Be aware that some areas have restrictions on food and beverages. F or places in which you will be participating in remote delivery of a class or activity, please use headphones as a courtesy to those around you.

Academics

Will students studying in the visual or performing arts have regular classes, performances and lessons?
The College of Arts and Letters has prepared specific guidelines for classes in the visual and performing arts so that instruction can continue but in modified ways intended to decrease risk. Public performances will be limited, but we plan on having some performances in person for the UT community and others virtually available to wider audiences. Students will have access to studios, laboratories, instruments and equipment with detailed plans in place for sanitization and safety including reduced capacity in all areas. Students with questions about their specific academic area should reach out to their academic advisor or email  CAL@ut.edu.

How do I request a remote accommodation?
Remote learning accommodation requests for the fall 2020 semester will be considered for individual students, who are already enrolled in courses, on the following basis:

  • Is a student with a medical condition that puts them at high risk due to COVID-19.
  • Is a commuter student who lives with a family member who has a medical condition that puts them at high risk due to COVID-19.
  • Is an international student outside the U.S. who is unable to enter the U.S. due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • Is a U.S. citizen living abroad or in a U.S. territory who is unable to enter the continental U.S. due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Students will need to complete the Remote Learning Accommodation Request Form, including the required documentation.  Requests must be submitted by August 7, 2020.  Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Decisions will be communicated within a minimum of 7-business days following submission of all required information and documents.  Some requests may take longer to review due to the nature of the request. 

Students who qualify for a remote learning accommodation need to notify their faculty. Engaging in a remote learning environment can be a different experience than engaging in face-to-face or hybrid instruction. It is the responsibility of the remote learning student to adhere to all course requirements, attend remotely during the scheduled course times and complete all coursework by the designated due dates. If it is discovered that a course on a student’s schedule cannot be taught remotely, we will contact the student with alternative courses that will be offered remotely so that the student may adjust their schedule accordingly. Please keep in mind that studio/performance courses and some lab courses may require physical attendance and may not be able to be completed remotely.

Tuition and costs for courses will not change due to an approved accommodation for remote attendance.

The remote learning accommodation is a temporary accommodation for the Fall 2020 semester only and is in response to COVID-19. The University of Tampa will continue to monitor conditions around COVID-19 and will update the policies and procedures accordingly, including policies surrounding requests for remote attendance.    

Which Fall 2020 courses will be taught remotely?
For a list of courses, view Fall 2020 Remote Courses (PDF). Please check back often, as updates will be made frequently.

How will the absence policy work if I have to quarantine/isolate during the semester?
The instructional continuity plan for faculty asks faculty to design their courses such that if a student or instructor has to be quarantined, work in the course can continue remotely until the student(s) may safely return to the classroom.

What about registration for the fall? 
Registration for Fall 2020 will continue as normal. Please check your UT email for important information regarding the registration process.

How is UT’s technology infrastructure able to support online courses and services?
The transition to online courses and services at UT has been a relatively seamless and smooth transition for faculty, staff and students. 

  • Cloud applications utilized at UT allow students, staff and faculty to access technology resources with a reduced or single-sign on to our identity management system.
  • Faculty have the use of key academic solutions to use in student classes, such as Blackboard Learn, VidGrid, Qualtrics and Adobe Creative Cloud Solutions.
  • The entire campus community has full use of Zoom, a collaboration solution that allows for establishing virtual video meetings, classroom sessions, office hours, presentation and document sharing, and working together on group projects.
  • Using UT’s cloud student information system, Workday, students will soon be using mobile devices or computers to register for classes quickly and conveniently, without being bogged down by slow response times or legacy on-premises systems that can’t handle peak traffic hours.

Making all of this possible is a community of faculty, staff and students who have the willingness to try out these cloud solutions and discover not only the ease of using them, but the enhanced capabilities and features they offer to engage students in quality teaching and learning activities. To access the IT service desk, UT community members should visit either the student service desk, faculty service desk or staff service desk.

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HEALTH

Will mask wearing be mandatory?
Faculty, staff, students and visitors, including vendors, will be required to wear face masks/coverings in all common areas of campus facilities including classrooms and outdoor campus areas where social distancing is not possible. Exceptions are permitted for the use of dining facilities, participation in athletic practices and contests, and instruction in selected fine arts.

Faculty, staff and students will be provided two branded UT face masks. Other masks/coverings may be personally supplied and used.

Per CDC guidelines, facial coverings should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
  • Completely cover the nose and mouth.
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops.
  • Include multiple layers of fabric.
  • Allow for breathing without restriction.
  • Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.

What if someone isn't wearing their mask?
Per UT’s Spartan Code and code of conduct, it is the expectation that everyone on the UT campus will wear a mask to protect themselves and others in the UT community.

Will testing be mandatory, or will the University do random testing?
No. Testing for the UT community will not be mandatory, nor will there be random testing. However, all members of the UT community are asked to conduct daily COVID-19 self-assessments. UT will also provide hands-free temperature screening systems at various locations across campus.

How are students being made aware to identify if they have underlying health conditions? What safety measures and accommodations will be available to them?
Students must consider their own personal health status and increased risk factors inherent with community living, including the risk of exposure or infection by COVID-19, when deciding to live on campus. Students with high-risk medical conditions are encouraged to consult with their primary care provider or the health center to determine if they should live in on-campus housing, even with reasonable accommodations made.

Since there are students and families coming from all over the country and world, how is the University preparing for the health and safety of everyone? Will they be required to get tested? 
After thorough review of the guidance from the American College Health Association and the CDC, The University of Tampa is not mandating testing for the campus community. Instead, we are asking that all members of the University community conduct daily COVID-19 self-assessments, not only for one’s own health and safety, but to mitigate the spread of the virus and to protect those members of the UT community who are at high risk.

  • Faculty, staff and students will be asked to begin a daily self-assessment screening on Aug. 19 and continue daily assessments during the week prior to the start of the fall semester.
  • All members of the UT community are strongly encouraged to monitor for fever through daily temperature checks and self-assessment of COVID-19 signs and symptoms.
  • Staff and faculty with symptoms will be asked to stay home and seek medical attention; students will be advised to seek medical attention at the Dickey Health and Wellness Center.
  • To facilitate self-monitoring and assessment, UT will provide hands-free temperature screening systems in several locations across campus.
  • International students from out of the country are required to quarantine for 14 days prior to the beginning of classes. 

How is UT increasing disinfection and sanitization in classrooms and other high traffic areas?
UT is fortunate that Sodexo, UT’s partner and a worldwide provider of dining and facilities management solutions, has been through contagious pandemic conditions in Asia and Europe, and their standard operating procedures (SOP) have been developed and revised for decades.

As such, Facilities Management has upgraded its SOP for enhanced disinfection and sanitization of common contact and high traffic areas at UT. Common high-touch surfaces have been identified for frequent sanitization and an escalated schedule of cleaning has been created for high traffic areas. Facilities Management staff will ensure that classrooms are sanitized at the start of each class day and will conduct regular rounds throughout buildings and campus facilities. Cleaning wipes will be available in classrooms. Students and faculty are encouraged to use these materials to clean desktops and seats between classes.

Additionally, Facilities’ plan is to sanitize restrooms up to four times a day, with at least one full cleaning. In some buildings, such as Plant Hall and the Southard Family Building, the main restrooms are sanitized and cleaned more due to the increased usage. This also includes elevators, which are sanitized even more frequently as there is only one per building and due to the amount of occupants traveling. Additionally, when buildings can be closed or spaces isolated, Facilities utilizes electrostatic sprayers and foggers with chlorinated disinfecting tablets. Facilities is already incorporating the sprayers nightly and upon request.  

How will contact tracing operations occur for the campus community? (8/5/2020)
The Department of Health has ultimate responsibility for contact tracing, but to enhance their efforts UT has contracted with a professional tracing company, Rapid Trace, to rapidly deploy a team of qualified contact tracers when a member of the UT community tests positive for COVID-19. Rapid Trace will identify close contacts of individuals who receive a positive test result and work closely with campus leadership to support and assist those individuals, both the individual who tested positive and those who have been exposed.

How is UT defining “close contacts” for the purposes of contact tracing? (8/5/2020)
According to the CDC, a close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. There are three types of contact that Rapid Trace contact tracers will look for when a case has been identified:

  • Physical contact – touching without protection
  • Close contact – within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more
  • Proximate contact – More than 6 feet but in the same room for an extended period (an hour or more). However, if students, faculty and staff were wearing masks and were 6 feet or more apart, then they would NOT be considered close contacts, regardless of class time or time in a room together.

Please remember that these are general guidelines, and it is important to always follow UT’s Spartan Shield directives for health and safety.

What tips does the CDC recommend to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, like COVID-19?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • 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.

What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?
The Dickey Health and Wellness Center offers testing for COVID-19. UT students with symptoms are encouraged to call the health center at (813) 257-3051 to make an appointment. The health center must follow certain protocols for suspected cases of COVID-19, so please contact the center prior to arrival. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing a fever and cough and the health center is closed (after 5 p.m. or during the weekend), call Tampa General Hospital Urgent Care powered by Fast Track at (813) 925-1903. You must call first, as not all TGH Urgent Care locations are designated COVID-19 evaluation and testing sites.

Also, as a benefit of  United HealthCare Student Resources, all students covered under the UT student insurance plan (all full-time undergraduate students and international graduate students) have access to non-emergency telehealth ( HealthiestYou). If you are experiencing symptoms and want to consult with a doctor, this is an excellent option, as it is available 24/7. In addition, here is a resource on options for when the health center is closed.

I’m a UT student, and I have been diagnosed with COVID-19 by an off-campus medical facility. What is my responsibility to the UT community? 
Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 off-campus should confidentially report it to local contact tracers Rapid-Trace, so they can confidentially notify anyone else who may have been exposed. Students can contact Rapid-Trace at (813) 699-3551 (daily from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., with after-hours voicemail available) or  selfreport@rapid-trace.com. The contact tracers can assist them with information and resources available to make a full recovery and to be successful in completing the semester. UT has partnered with Rapid-Trace to assist with contact tracing services.

How is quarantining/isolation being handled for UT students? 
For quarantine/isolation student cases, students may choose to quarantine at home if they are local and within driving distance. They may be more comfortable in doing so. If students need to quarantine in a residence hall, there are a number of rooms reserved for this purpose in Urso Hall and at the Barrymore Hotel. Students in temporary isolation or quarantine have access to private bathrooms, receive medical guidance and review quarantine protocols from our Health Center prior to entering quarantine. It is recommended by the Florida Department of Health that students in quarantine have access to fresh air daily, and we have designated a time of day for them to be outdoors for this purpose with the proper personal protective equipment to mitigate spread of the virus. Also, an increased sanitation schedule is in place for all residence halls. Regarding air ventilation, fresh air is supplied to each individual suite/apartment common area and/or bedroom depending on the configuration of the building. Air is not transferred back and forth between any rooms. 

Please note that recent guidance from the CDC has reduced the concern about surface or fomite spread of COVID-19. Also, contact with those who test positive for the virus must be prolonged (more than 15 minutes) and in close contact (less than 6 ft without a mask) for increased risk of infection. Where students are quarantined and isolated, the risk to other students in the building is minimal, further preventing exposure and close contact. Additionally, every student will need to wear a mask both indoors in all public spaces (including residence halls) and outdoors in public spaces when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

What if it is after hours, or on a weekend when I start feeling bad?
If it is after hours, and you are experiencing symptoms, call the Florida Department of Health at (813) 307-8010 for assistance. As always, if you are severely ill or it is an emergency, call 911 or go to an emergency department at a local hospital. In addition, here is a resource on options for when the health center is closed. Faculty and staff experiencing symptoms should contact their healthcare provider or the county health department. If you become ill while traveling abroad, the CDC’s  Find a Clinic is an excellent resource.

Any health advice for faculty and staff?
Faculty and staff who, at any time, experience symptoms similar to COVID-19 should take precautions by self-isolating, and call ahead to schedule an appointment with their primary care provider or the local health department. Faculty and staff who are covered by the UT employee health care are also eligible to access non-emergency Teladoc. For additional information, contact Human Resources at (813) 253-6237. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing a fever and cough, call TGH Urgent Care at (813) 925-1903. You must call first, as not all TGH Urgent Care locations are designated COVID-19 evaluation and testing sites.

What do I do if I suspect someone has COVID-19?
Avoid making assumptions about individuals who you believe may or may not have come into contact with someone who is carrying the virus. However, as a concerned friend, co-worker or family member, suggest they contact their healthcare provider. If the person is a UT student, encourage them to call the Dickey Health and Wellness Center at (813) 257-3051 to make an appointment. The health center must follow certain protocols for suspected cases of COVID-19, so they should contact the center prior to arrival. If the person thinks they have been exposed to COVID-19 or is experiencing a fever and cough and the health center is closed (after 5 p.m. or during the weekend), they can call Tampa General Hospital Urgent Care powered by Fast Track at (813) 925-1903. They must call first, as not all TGH Urgent Care locations are designated COVID-19 evaluation and testing sites. If the student is covered under UT’s student insurance plan they have access to non-emergency telehealth ( HealthiestYou). This is an excellent option as well, as it is available 24/7.

What can I do if I am feeling anxious about the COVID-19 situation?
We understand that some community members are concerned. If you would like to talk with someone, support is available to students through campus counseling services. Please contact the Dickey Health and Wellness Center for an appointment at (813) 257-3051. You may also contact the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay by calling 211 to reach a crisis counselor. Also, students covered under the UT student insurance plan can access non-crisis telecounseling ( Better Help) services at no cost. If you are feeling anxious or have other mental health needs that are not an immediate crisis, Better Help may also be a helpful resource.

How can I protest safely during a pandemic? 
Learn tips on what to do before protesting, during protesting and after protesting by visiting  How to Protest Safely During a Pandemic.

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TRAVEL

Is UT issuing travel restrictions? 
The University of Tampa has suspended all nonessential overnight travel for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

  • Faculty - Some travel will be allowed for tenure candidates as approved by the provost and the availability of travel funds. Travel related to grants and research with external funding may continue.
  • Staff - Travel related to mission-critical institutional priorities may be considered on a case by case basis and will require senior staff approval. Travel and conference attendance will not generally be supported for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Students - Student experiences, that adhere to CDC and local and state guidance that involve travel for the upcoming year will be limited to only experiences that are tied to their academic program, are essential to their co-curricular activity, adhere to physical distancing protocols while traveling, and are approved in advance by their senior staff representative.

What about students, faculty and staff who traveled to or through a level 3 country?
The CDC issues guidance regarding travelers returning to the U.S. from countries that have a level 3 travel health notice. Presently, these countries include Brazil, China, Iran and South Korea, as well as most European countries - Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City. Following CDC guidance, UT requires travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days from the time they returned home from travel. Students who have traveled to or through level 3 countries within the past 14 days must call the Dickey Health and Wellness Center, prior to coming to campus, at (813) 257-3051 for risk assessment and further directives on social-distancing and self-monitoring. Faculty and staff who have traveled to or through level 3 countries within the past 14 days should notify Human Resources at (813) 253-6237. Remember, the status of countries or regions may change while you are traveling and affect airport or other travel processes. Stay connected to the CDC and U.S. State Department websites to ensure you have the latest information.

What happens if my existing UT-sponsored international travel plans must be canceled?
Students, faculty and staff should email abroad @ut.edu to be advised on appropriate cancellation procedures, and clarify academic and financial questions.

I took a cruise. What do I do?
UT community members who traveled by  cruise ship, should, according to the CDC,  are advised to stay home for 14 days, monitor their health and practice  social distancing.

Is Florida still requiring travelers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut quarantine for 14 days?
That requirement is still in effect. However, on June 5 an executive order was put into effect that added an exception to the quarantine requirements for those traveling for the purpose of academic work, internships, sports training and any other activity or program approved by the educational institution. Additionally, there is a good faith interpretation that parents from the Tri-State area can accompany students to Florida since they are persons involved in traveling for the reasons of an academic program.

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RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS

Are residence halls open?
Residence halls are closed for the summer with the exception of Urso Hall. Urso Hall remains open for approved summer residents. The Office of Residence Life looks forward to welcoming new and continuing students back to the residence halls for the Fall 2020 semester. 

I understand students infected with the coronavirus have self-isolated in UT residence halls. What does that mean? Am I in danger of being infected?
Students who test positive for COVID-19 and are living in a UT residence hall room cannot leave their rooms (which have individual air-flow systems), and they have their meals delivered to them. Your risk for being exposed to COVID-19 is very low by just being in a residence hall where there is an individual in isolation. You would need to have had close contact with the affected individual. Every time a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the health department conducts an investigation of each case, tracks who they have been in contact with and notifies and assists those individuals directly..

How do I return my keys?
If you still have your keys, please include your name, ID number, and keys in a sturdy envelope. Use certified mail to send your keys to:

  • Office of Residence Life
    401 W. Kennedy Blvd
    Box 109F
    Tampa, FL 33606

If I remain on campus for summer, what policies and procedures are in place?

  • Students are expected to carry their Spartan ID card and keys at all times.
  • The  Student Code of Conduct remains in effect for all students on- and off-campus. The  Campus Living Policies also are in effect for students remaining in the residence halls.
  • Hosting of non-student guests or visitors in the residence halls is prohibited. 
  • Making unnecessary visits to other student rooms is discouraged.
  • Students should practice social distancing (six feet between you and another person) at all times including while in common residential areas like lounges and common rooms.
  • The majority of campus events have been cancelled and all students, staff and faculty are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing.
  • Faculty, staff, students and visitors, including vendors, are required to wear face masks/coverings in all common areas of campus facilities including classrooms and outdoor campus areas where social distancing is not possible.

Can I still collect mail and packages?
Students remaining on campus will still be able to collect their mail and packages through the intelligent parcel lockers in the lobby of Mail Services. Window services will be discontinued at this time and any questions should be directed via email to mailservices@ut.edu or (813) 257-3477.

Will residence halls be open for Fall 2020? 
The Office of Residence Life looks forward to welcoming new and continuing students back to the residence halls for the Fall 2020 semester. More information regarding residential arrival and assignments has been emailed to the student’s Spartan email address from the Office of Residence Life.

UT leadership is currently developing a comprehensive, operational COVID-19 safety plan that addressed policies, procedures, facilities and operations that will mitigate the COVID-19 threat on campus. Visit ut.edu/fall2020 for details.

How clean is the air in my residence hall room? Should I purchase an individual air filter?(8/5/2020) Fresh air is supplied to each individual suite/apartment common area and/or bedroom depending on the configuration of the building. Air is not transferred back and forth between any rooms. Off-the-shelf air purifiers are not approved or listed to stop the spread of COVID-19. Although students may purchase and provide their own units for their bedrooms, they will be responsible for filters and maintenance on the units. Also, individual unit specifications should be reviewed to ensure the unit does not produce ozone (shall be UL 2998 listed). Additional resources can be found at CDC.gov, ASHRAE/COVID19.org, epa.gov.

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

What mode of delivery will UT offer Fall 2020 classes? 
The University of Tampa will be operating under a hybrid model as defined by SEVP, which means UT will offer both in-person classes and some online learning classes during Fall 2020. Students should refer to the Fall 2020 Opening page for more information.

What do I need to know about the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Guidance for Fall 2020? (7/30/2020) 
On July 24, 2020, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released a broadcast message and clarifying questions for Fall 2020. The guidance is a return to the policy directive that was in place for Spring and Summer 2020 found in the March 13, 2020, SEVP guidance here.

On July 14, 2020, the Fall 2020 guidance issued on July 6, 2020, and July 7, 2020, was fully withdrawn.

I am either a current international student or alumni on OPT. Am I required to maintain my visa status during this time?
Yes, it is important that international students maintain their  nonimmigrant student status, even during emergency events. This means international students must continue to take all the necessary actions to remain in status, to the extent possible under the circumstances, and communicate their plans, including enrolling full-time each fall and spring semester, and reporting any changes to their address.

If UT is required by public directives to move to fully online instructional format in the middle of the Fall 2020 semester, will my SEVIS record remain active?
Yes. Your SEVIS record will remain in active status.

I am a CURRENT international student at UT. When am I expected to return to the U.S.?   In accordance with  CDC guidelines, one of the health steps that is required of those who are entering the U.S. from abroad is a 14-day quarantine before your arrival to campus.  If you are already in the U.S. and will remain in the country until  the start of the semester, this requirement does not apply to you. There is no waiver of the quarantine requirement if you are entering the U.S. from abroad. Fall semester begins Aug. 26. This means you need to arrive in the U.S. no later than Aug. 12 in order to complete the quarantine before classes start. If you are checking in to a residence hall between Aug. 23 and Aug. 25, you must quarantine at least 14 days before your check-in date assigned to you by the Office of Residence Life.

Please see the Residence Life/Move In section of the  Fall 2020 opening page for more information on the quarantine.

Make sure to carefully review the  UT Travel Information website to verify you have all the immigration documents you will need as an international student for re-entry into the U.S.

I am a CURRENT international student. Can I take all online classes for Fall 2020 from either inside or outside the U.S. and keep my SEVIS record active? (7/30/2020) 
International students who have maintained valid status since March 9, 2020, and who apply and are approved for a Remote Learning Accommodation for fall may take their current schedule of classes fully online, and their SEVIS record and visa status will remain active.

UT has also published a list of courses that will be taught remotely. This list will continue to be updated on a regular basis. If a course you are enrolled in cannot be taught remotely, or if you are not eligible for a remote learning accommodation, you can try to use the list of courses that will be offered remotely to make changes to your schedule if seats are available.

Students in their final semester should note that F-1 students are required by USCIS to be inside the U.S. at the time of application for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Students outside the U.S. are not eligible to apply for OPT.

I am a CURRENT international student. What if I am unable or do not wish to take any classes in person or online for Fall 2020? (7/30/2020)
International students who cannot or choose not to take any classes at UT for Fall 2020 must first submit the online  SEVIS Leave of Absence/Withdrawal request to the International Programs Office to put your F-1 status on hold for one semester. Students would then need to submit a UT Withdrawal Request to advising@ut.edu.

Once submitted, your SEVIS record and form I-20 will be terminated for “Authorized Early Withdrawal.” If you are still within the U.S., you will be required to depart within 15 days of your withdrawal date. If you plan to return for a future semester, you will be able to indicate this on the forms, and your international student advisor will assist you with obtaining a new form I-20. This could affect eligibility for practical training.

I am a NEW international student at UT for Fall 2020. When am I expected to arrive to the U.S.?
In accordance with CDC guidelines, one of the health steps that is required of those who are entering the U.S. from abroad is a 14-day quarantine before your arrival to campus. If you are a transfer student already in the U.S. and will remain in the country untilthe start of the semester, this requirement does not apply to you. There is no waiver of the quarantine requirement if you are entering the U.S. from abroad.

The check-in and residence hall move-in date for new students is Aug. 20. This means you need to arrive in the U.S. no later than Aug. 6 in order to complete the quarantine before your move-in date. 

International student immigration check in may be completed remotely for new students who cannot attend the New International Student Immigration Check In on Aug. 20 due to the quarantine period. You will need to schedule this option in advance by emailing international@ut.edu and include your full name and student ID number.

I am a NEW international student. Can I take all online classes for fall while INSIDE the U.S.? (7/30/2020)
No; new international students must take at least one in-person class for fall in order to keep their SEVIS record and F-1 visa status active.

I am a NEW international student. Can I take all online classes for fall while OUTSIDE the U.S.? (7/30/2020)
Yes; new international students who submit and are approved for a Remote Learning Accommodation Request for Fall 2020 will be able to take their current schedule fully online from outside the U.S. However, you will need to defer your entry to the U.S. and your Form I-20 start date to Spring 2021. Contact your admissions counselor to request this.

UT has also published a list of courses that will be taught remotely. This list will continue to be updated on a regular basis. If a course you are enrolled in cannot be taught remotely, or if you are not eligible for a remote learning accommodation, you can try to use the list of courses that will be offered remotely to make changes to your schedule if seats are available.

What international travel restrictions are currently in place? (7/30/2020) 
Travelers who have been in one of the countries listed on the  CDC website in the 14 days prior to entry will not be allowed to enter the US.

However, on July 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of State posted that students with a valid F-1 visa and valid Form I-20 traveling to the U.S. from the Schengen area, United Kingdom and Ireland automatically qualify for a “National Interest Exception.” This means students travelling from the Schengen area, UK and Ireland may not be subject to the above CDC restrictions.

The US State Department has  travel advisories by country with information about traveling to the US. We recommend that you also check with your home country government for any travel restrictions to and from your home country. As a resource, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) introduced a free online interactive world map  to provide travelers with the latest COVID-19 entry regulations by country.

What should I expect if I decide to travel internationally?
If you decide to travel, make sure to be prepared and aware of the risks. In many countries, there are entry and exit control measures, and quarantines that could severely impact your plans and/or delay your travel at personal cost. Depending on your destination, you may have to reach difficult decisions to change or even cancel travel plans to ensure your own well-being.

We encourage you to monitor developments through the  State Department and  CDC websites for updates. 

Re-entry into the U.S. for persons traveling from or through impacted countries is outside the control of the University. Please be advised you may not be able to re-enter the U.S. for an unknown period. 

Make sure to carefully review the  UT Travel Information website to verify you have all the immigration documents you will need as an international student for future re-entry into the U.S.

I have recently traveled and returned to UT from a country impacted by COVID-19. Do I need to let the University know?
In accordance with CDC guidelines, one of the health steps that is required of those who are entering the U.S. from abroad is a 14-day quarantine before your arrival to campus. Students should refer to the Fall 2020 opening page for more information.

Students, faculty and staff who have traveled to areas significantly impacted by COVID-19 should notify the Dickey Health and Wellness Center as soon as possible after their return via email or phone. If you believe you have had contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19 please do the same.  The Dickey Health and Wellness Center can be reached at (813) 257-3051 or  healthcenter@ut.edu.

What if I am an international student currently on campus, and I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?

  1. Follow the directions from the  CDC.
  2. Contact the  Dickey Health and Wellness Center at (813) 257-3051 or  healthcenter@ut.eduimmediately for directions.
  3. Contact the International Programs Office (IPO) via email at  international@ut.edu.

If it is not possible for you to complete your coursework and remain enrolled full time in the fall or spring semesters, you may be eligible for a medical reduced course load in your SEVIS immigration record. You will need to provide medical documentation from a doctor to the IPO office to request this authorization prior to withdrawing from any classes.

What if I am a current international student who is outside of the U.S., and I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?
If you are exhibiting symptoms of the virus, please follow the directions from the  CDC. Contact a local health provider remotely. Also, contact IPO at  international@ut.edu immediately to inform your international student advisor.

Can I drop a course from a previous semester? 
If dropping a course from a previous semester will put you below full time for that semester, do not drop without first speaking to your international student advisor. Retroactively withdrawing will have serious consequences for your immigration status.

I am a current international student. If I have been outside of the U.S. for more than five months, will my Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record and visa remain active? (7/30/2020) 
The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance states that if students maintained their status since March 9, 2020, and kept their SEVIS record active, the five-month temporary absence provision addressed in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(f) (4) will not apply. 

Current students who have been outside the U.S. for more than five months and have an expired F-1 visa will remain eligible to apply to renew their visa, as long as you have been maintaining valid F-1 visa status since March 9, 2020, according to SEVP’s Clarifying Questions for Fall 2020.

My I-20/DS-2019 does not have a valid travel signature. What should I do?
Please see the  UT Travel Signature Request page for instructions.

What if I decide to remain in the U.S. and my passport expires; what do I need to do to renew it?
Do not allow your passport to expire while inside the U.S. Please see the  UT Passport Information page for instructions.

What if I decide to remain in the U.S. and my visa expires?
Please see the  UT Visa Information page for instructions and information.

If I am outside the U.S. or decide to depart the U.S., and my visa is expired or will expire, do I need to renew it before I return to the U.S.?
If you decide to depart the United States and your visa will be expired as of the date of your planned return, you will need to apply to renew your visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in order to return to continues your studies or OPT. (A visa is not required for citizens of Canada and Bermuda.)

Please note that the U.S. State Department announced on March 18 that  routine visa services has been temporarily suspended worldwide. Some embassies will resume routine visa processing starting July 15.

Do not enter the U.S. on a visitor visa or Visa Waiver Program, as international students are not allowed to study in the U.S. in these visa statuses.

Please see the  UT Visa Information page for instructions and information.

I moved to another part of the U.S. to be with my family or friends. Do I need to let the University know?
Yes, you must update your new “U.S. Primary Local” address in your Workday account within 10 calendar days, according to F-1 visa regulations. The International Programs Office (IPO) will then report your new address to your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record. See the  IPO website for instructions.

I am a current international student. Can I work on campus or off campus? 
Please read the  UT Employment Information page for more information.

I am currently participating in Practical Training (CPT or OPT). What should I do if my employer asks me to work remotely or if my employment ends early?
Changes to workplace requirements may impact your practical training. We encourage you to consult with your employer to seek alternative ways to maintain employment, such as teleworking or other arrangements if necessary. If your employment/internship is affected or ended due to COVID-19, please contact the International Programs Office immediately at  international@ut.edu.  Some examples of changes you must report to IPO include the following to determine if your SEVIS record needs to be updated:

  1. If your CPT or OPT is ended early.
  2. If your CPT or OPT will continue but will be done remotely.
  3. If your address or the physical address of your CPT or OPT work location changes.
  4. If your hours during OPT have been reduced to less than 20 hours per week.

Can I apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) from my home country?
No, F-1 students must be present in the U.S. at the time the OPT and STEM OPT application is mailed to USCIS.

I am an international student nearing the end of my F-1 visa status, and I am unable to return to my home country or would prefer to remain in the US for now. What are my options?
Please contact  international@ut.edu to discuss your options with your international student advisor, as every student’s situation is different. Here are some options:

If you are a current international student:

  1. Remain in the U.S. after your graduation date and depart by the end of your grace period, which is 60 days for F-1 visa students and 30 days for J-1 visa students after your graduation date
  2. Remain in the U.S. and apply for  Optional Practical Training (OPT)before the end of your grace period.
  3. Pursue another degree program in the U.S. (at UT or another institution) and  transfer your SEVIS record before the end of your grace period.
  4. Change to another nonimmigrant visa status if eligible, such as H-1B or visitor visa. For more advice about this option, please see the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at  uscis.gov and contact an experienced immigration attorney.

If you are a UT alumna/alumnus on OPT:

  1. Remain in the U.S. during your grace period after your OPT end date. Your OPT end date is the “card expires” date on your EAD card. Your grace period is 60 days for F-1 visa students and 30 days for J-1 visa students. However, please note that if you reach the 90 days of unemployment limit, you do not have an additional grace period.
  2. Pursue another degree program in the U.S. (at UT or another institution) and  transfer your SEVIS record before the end of your grace period, or before you reach 90 days of unemployment.
  3. Change to another nonimmigrant visa status if eligible, such as H-1B or visitor visa. For more advice about this option, please see the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at uscis.gov contact an experienced immigration attorney.

My visa status is expiring soon or has expired, flights are cancelled and my country closed its borders. What should I do?
We understand that this is a highly stressful and uncertain time with travel restrictions and flight availability changing daily.

The U.S. government has not announced any extension to grace periods or the 90 days limit of unemployment while on OPT.

  • Please see the answer to the above FAQ about options for remaining in the U.S. after graduation or OPT to see if any apply to you. If you are unsure, please contact your international student adviser at  international@ut.edu.
  • Contact your country’s embassy in the U.S. to see if they can provide any assistance or special accommodation to help you return home.
  • You may be eligible to apply to change to another nonimmigrant visa status, such as visitor visa status. For more advice about this option, please see the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at uscis.gov contact an experienced immigration attorney. 

Please inform the International Programs Office immediately at  international@ut.edu if your status will expire soon, and you have not been able to depart the U.S. due to COVID-19. Your international student advisor will update your SEVIS record, so U.S. immigration officials are aware of your circumstances. 

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EDUCATION ABROAD

When will I be able to register for a future study abroad?
At this time, there is an indefinite hold on education abroad programs for faculty, staff and students.

An Education Abroad advisor is available to discuss study abroad program options with you during regularly scheduled times. Please check MyUTampa to access the TDS for Study Abroad portal to schedule an appointment. When logged into MyUTampa, you will notice the TDS for Study Abroad chicklet. Select it and the Education Abroad portal will open. Select the "Education Abroad Appointments."  PLEASE NOTE: Appointments with an education abroad advisors will take place through Zoom meetings.

What if the study abroad programs suspension affects my academic progress?
UT works closely with our academic departments in order to mitigate potential impacts on students’ academic progress. We will work with students to consider alternate means to maintain academic progress following the options set out by the students’ respective program.

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FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

UT will continue to monitor and update the community as this situation evolves. For questions, please contact  wellness@ut.edu