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Updated: Oct. 5, 2021  

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

TABLE OF CONTENTS

General

How is UT monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic? 
How are confirmed cases of COVID-19 tracked, reported and shared with the UT community?
Are guests and visitors allowed on campus?
What are my options if I don’t feel safe coming back to campus?
Is UT hosting events again?
How is UT communicating to the campus community?
Is UT cleaning campus more thoroughly now due to the COVID-19 outbreak?
Is the Riseman Fitness and Recreation Center open?
Did UT receive CARES Act funding during the pandemic?
Are dining halls at full capacity? (7/7/21)

Academics

Will some classes be taught remotely?
Can I request a remote accommodation for COVID-19 reasons?
What if I’m in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19?
Do I have to wear a mask in classrooms?

Health

Who is expected to wear a mask on campus?
Why did UT institute a mask mandate in August (2021) when the University had decided to drop mask-wearing requirements in June 2021?
As a student, what if I have a medical condition that prohibits me from wearing a mask?
What is an acceptable face mask?
What constitutes “fully vaccinated?”
What if someone is unvaccinated and isn't wearing their mask?
Am I supposed to stay six feet apart from others?
Will surveillance testing be mandatory, or will the University do random testing?
How is UT increasing disinfection and sanitization in classrooms and other high traffic areas?
How will contact tracing operations occur for the campus community?
How is UT defining “close contacts” for the purposes of contact tracing?
What tips does the CDC recommend to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, like COVID-19?
What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?
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? 
How is quarantining/isolation being handled for UT students?
What is the guidance for vaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19?
What if it is after hours or on a weekend when I start feeling bad?
Any health advice for faculty and staff?
I’m a UT employee, and I’ve been either diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19. What do I do? 
What do I do if I suspect someone has COVID-19?
What can I do if I am feeling anxious about the COVID-19 situation?
Can I get out of quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test? 
What kind of COVID-19 tests have been authorized?
What if I’ve been vaccinated, but have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19?
I have not been vaccinated and I’ve been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. What should I do?
What activities can I engage in while I am waiting for Rapid Trace to contact me?  
What is communicated to others who wonder if they should be included in contact tracing?
What types of contact would make me a close contact to someone with COVID-19?
What can affect my quarantine or isolation time?
If there is an exposure to COVID-19, what are the protocols for sanitization in non-residential facilities?

Vaccine Information

Is UT requiring students and employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Is the Dickey Health and Wellness Center currently administering the COVID-19 vaccine?
Where else can I get the vaccine?
I live on campus and want to get the vaccine at a community provider. How do I show proof of residency for a COVID-19 vaccine?
I am not a full-time Florida resident. Can I get the vaccine in the community? 
Is there anything I should do after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine? What if I have side effects? 
If I am exposed to COVID-19 between the first and second dose, do I need to quarantine?
If I’m unvaccinated, am I more vulnerable to COVID-19?

Travel

Is UT issuing travel restrictions? 
Does the state of Florida have any travel restrictions?
Do I need to be tested before I travel? 
Are there any precautions I should take after travelling internationally?   

Residential Students

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?
How clean is the air in my residence hall room? Should I purchase an individual air filter?
Can Residence Life tell me if my roommate has COVID-19?
My roommate told me they have COVID-19. What should I do? Am I at risk?
Do students still have to quarantine if they have taken a COVID-19 antibody test?
What kind of communication will students receive while they are in quarantine or isolation?
Who is Rapid-Trace and do I have to speak with them?
When do residence halls open for Fall 2021?
Do I need to bring my COVID-19 vaccination card to UT?

International Students

What mode of delivery will UT offer Fall 2021 classes?
What are the arrival and enrollment requirements for Fall 2021?
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 2021?
I am either a current international student or alumni on OPT. Am I required to maintain my visa status during this time?
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?
What testing requirements are currently in place to enter the U.S.?
What international travel restrictions are currently in place to enter the U.S.?
What should I expect if I decide to travel internationally?
What if I am an international student currently in Tampa, and I need to withdraw or be part-time due to medical reasons or illness. What should I do?
Can I drop a course or withdraw from a previous semester?
My I-20/DS-2019 does not have a valid travel signature. How can I request a new one?
What if I decide to remain in the U.S. and my passport expires; what do I need to do to renew it?
What if I decide to remain in the U.S. and my visa expires?
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.?
Can I get a letter for the embassy to expedite my visa appointment?
Can I apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) from my home country?
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 U.S. for now. What are my options?
My visa status is expiring soon or has expired, flights are canceled and my country closed its borders. What should I do?

Education Abroad

What are the current COVID-19 requirements for travel abroad?
When will I be able to register for a future study abroad?
What if the education program suspension affects my academic progress?

GENERAL

How is UT monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic? 
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.

How are confirmed cases of COVID-19 tracked, reported and shared with the UT community?
Student, employee and patient confidentiality laws prohibit UT from disclosing personal identifying information, including personal names and locations of individuals. Positive COVID-19 counts are dependent on self-reporting to the institution and/or diagnosis in the Dickey Health and Wellness Center. While UT is strongly encouraging self-reporting, UT may not be aware of all cases in the campus community. Go to UT COVID-19 Cases for more information.

Are guests and visitors allowed on campus?
Campus guests and visitors are now permitted, as long as they abide by the masking recommendations of the Spartan Shield plan update and all University regulations as outlined in the University’s Visitors policy. Guests and visitors to residence halls will be permitted according to Residence Life campus living policies.

What are my options if I don’t feel safe coming back to campus?
The University is following guidance provided by the CDC and other authorities and putting good practices into place. We are doing everything to continue a safe resumption of in-person learning.

Is UT hosting events again?
Yes. Please check the master calendar on ut.edu for event information.

How is UT communicating to the campus community?
Since Jan. 28, 2020, 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, check this webpage often. 

Is UT cleaning campus more thoroughly now due to the COVID-19 outbreak?
Facilities Management will continue 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.

Is the Riseman Fitness and Recreation Center open?
Yes. For updates and hours, visit the Fitness and Recreation website.

Did UT receive CARES Act funding during the pandemic?
On May 14, 2020, 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, 2020, to students who were eligible to receive CARES Act funding. For more information about the CARES Act, visit Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting.

Are dining halls at full capacity? (7/7/21)
Yes. Seating in the Ultimate Dining Café and other venues is at 100% capacity. Washable dishware is being used, rather than disposable. Sodexo continues using contactless payment and Simply to Go options, and is implementing BITE+ for retail mobile ordering. The catering area continues to use served buffets with attendants, and all pick-up orders are prepackaged. Food service at events follows best practices as directed by Sodexo.

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ACADEMICS

Will some classes be taught remotely?
No. Beginning in Fall 2021, the University will no longer utilize emergency remote teaching. This will represent important changes in instruction compared with the emergency conditions that have been in place since March 2020:

  • All courses will be offered in a face-to-face format during the regular semesters. The only exceptions are graduate level courses or programs that been approved for distance delivery independent of the emergency pandemic.
  • Courses will meet at the scheduled time in the classroom assigned. The only exceptions to this are courses that do not have a set time, such as internship courses and independent studies.
  • Faculty may use technology tools to enhance the instruction, but the mode of instruction is fully in-person.
  • Neither faculty nor students shall have accommodations to teach or learn remotely.

Isolation or quarantine due to COVID will be treated like any other illness. That illness will be an excused absence from class, and governed by the University’s attendance policy published in the catalog.

Can I request a remote accommodation for COVID-19 reasons?
Neither faculty nor students shall have accommodations to teach or learn remotely. UT delivers in-person instruction as a fundamental way of delivery, and has returned to a face-to-face environment. While this is our primary method of delivering both curricular and co-curricular experiences as well as services, some services, such as advising, may still use video conferencing technology. With the exception of a few graduate programs, UT does not deliver courses remotely. Remote accommodations for COVID-19 purposes will expire on Aug. 14, 2021, for students.

What if I’m in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19?
Students should not expect and cannot demand remote delivery of instruction while in isolation or quarantine. They should contact their faculty members to determine how to replace missed work or assignments; arranging to replace missed work is the responsibility of the student.

Do I have to wear a mask in classrooms?
Effective Aug. 16, 2021, and until further notice, all UT community members and their guests are required to wear face masks while indoors on campus, regardless of vaccination status. This includes in classrooms and laboratories, those who are not vaccinated should wear a mask. In addition, instructors and podium presenters who are vaccinated and physically distanced may remove their masks for the duration of their presentation.

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HEALTH

Who is expected to wear a mask on campus?
Effective Aug. 16, 2021, and until further notice, all UT community members and their guests are required to wear face masks while indoors on campus, regardless of vaccination status. The Florida Department of Health has good resources on masks and their care.

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 daily without damage or change to shape.

Why did UT institute a mask mandate in August (2021) when the University had decided to drop mask-wearing requirements in June 2021? 
On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance indicating that all people wear masks in indoor spaces if they are in an area of substantial or high COVID-19 transmission. Florida is at present an area of high transmission. At this time UT believes that the combination of an indoor masking requirement and other Spartan Shield Health Safety Plan guidelines strengthens UT’s approach to protecting the health of all our students, faculty and staff. As a private, independent institution of higher learning, we recognize there may be situations where, for the health, safety and/or wellbeing of the University community, that we must make changes to policy and practice. This is one of those circumstances. The COVID-19 situation is fluid, and the recent increase in delta variant cases and the upsurge in breakthrough infections of vaccinated people necessitate additional health and safety rules. These masking measures are but a temporary response to the delta variant. We are monitoring the situation and will adjust policy as conditions change.

As a student, what if I have a medical condition that prohibits me from wearing a mask? Any student who wishes to be exempt from the mask requirement must apply for an accommodation through the Student Disability Services office. To determine your eligibility for a mask accommodation, submit the necessary forms and documentation to Student Disability Services and follow their process for registering with a disability.

What is an acceptable face mask? 
All face coverings, whether disposable or reusable, must

  • be made with at least two layers of breathable material;
  • fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin;
  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; and
  • be secured with ties or ear loops, allowing one to remain hands-free. 

Based on the guidance of health authorities, the following are not acceptable face coverings: neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind. In addition, the CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. Therefore, unless a face shield is coupled with a face mask, it is not considered an acceptable masking practice on our campus.

The Florida Department of Health has good resources on masks and their care.

What constitutes “fully vaccinated?”
Fully vaccinated is defined by the CDC as two weeks after a second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

What if someone isn't wearing their mask?
Per UT’s Spartan Code, it is the expectation that everyone on the UT campus will commit to actions that benefit our community and others.

Am I supposed to stay six feet apart from others?
Although physical distancing limits have been lifted on campus, physical distancing is still a mitigation strategy and can increase safety, especially when paired with mask wearing.

Will surveillance testing be mandatory, or will the University do random testing?
No. Surveillance 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. In addition, UT Athletics will follow NCAA guidance and may include surveillance testing of athletes. UT also provides hands-free temperature screening systems at various locations across campus. If you are symptomatic, please seek immediate medical attention for evaluation and possible COVID-19 testing.

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?
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. Any individuals who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, asymptomatic and provide proof of vaccination to Rapid-Trace will not be required to quarantine. 

How is UT defining “close contacts” for the purposes of contact tracing?
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 two 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

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?

  • Get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are widely available.
  • 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) 253-6250 to make an appointment or go to a community provider for evaluation and possible testing. 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.

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?
All current students who receive a positive COVID-19 test must contact Rapid-Trace at (813) 699-3551 so that they can receive support during isolation, have an official medical notification sent to their professors and be contact traced. As required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Dickey Health and Wellness Center must provide the Florida State Health Department data elements (such as race and ethnicity) and test results for individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 or diagnosed with COVID-19.

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. In addition to the spaces reserved for quarantine and isolation in Urso Hall, there are many instances on campus when a student is able to safely isolate or quarantine in their own residence hall room on campus. This may be preferable for the wellbeing of the student and does not bring any additional health risk to students on the floor or residence hall.

Students who are relocated for isolation or quarantine have access to private bathrooms, receive medical guidance and review quarantine protocols from our Health Center or Rapid-Trace prior to entering quarantine. Students in quarantine will 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 feet 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, students in quarantine and isolation 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.

For Fall 2021, the University will employ both the 7 and 10-day CDC quarantine options for the UT community dependent upon testing availability, symptom tracking and compliance. Day 7 and Day 10 quarantine means release on day 8 or 11.  

What is the guidance for vaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19? 
On July 27, 2021, the CDC updated its guidance for vaccinated individuals. If you are vaccinated and have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, the CDC is recommending that you should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, even if asymptomatic. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive.

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, go to the nearest urgent care such as Tampa General Hospital-Powered by Fast Track 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, even if vaccinated, 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 enrolled in the ICUBA Benefit plan have countless options available when experiencing symptoms related to coronavirus. Many local pharmacies, county programs and urgent care centers provide testing, such as Hillsborough County Health Department, CVS Minute Clinic, Walgreens and Tampa General Hospital–Fast Track Urgent Care. By partnering with TGH—Fast Track on Kennedy Boulevard, faculty and staff have access to tele-video health services in addition to immediate testing with rapid turnaround time. Before scheduling an appointment, faculty and staff members may contact Mei Mei Soe, benefits manager, at msoe@ut.edu for more information.

Faculty and staff enrolled in the ICUBA Benefit plan also have access to Teledoc at no cost during the national pandemic. Members may contact Teledoc 24/7/365 by either using the mobile app found in the App Store or Google Play, or by calling (800) 835-2362. Members will have access to a network of board-certified doctors who will assess their COVID-related symptoms and refer to a testing site if needed. This service is available to all members and their dependents enrolled in the BCBS medical plan. 

Faculty and staff on UT’s health insurance plan may go to SpartanNet and then Human Resources for COVID-19 information specific to the UT health plan.

I’m a UT employee, and I’ve been either diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19. What do I do?
Faculty and staff who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are asked to contact Human Resources between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (813) 257-3724. After hours and weekends, email lehamilton@ut.edu for additional information. Human Resources will reach out to Rapid-Trace and the contact tracers will assist with additional information and resources. They can also provide COVID-19 related information on testing or offer additional guidance and support. Caregivers and anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days. However, anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and who meets the following criteria does NOT need to stay home.

  • Has had COVID-19 illness within the previous three months; and,
  • Has recovered; 
  • Is fully vaccinated; and,
  • Remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath).

Faculty and staff who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are asked to contact Human Resources.

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) 253-6250 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. 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) 253-6250. If you are feeling in crisis during clinic hours, you may walk to the Dickey Health and Wellness Center, and you will be seen within 30 minutes. If you are feeling in crisis after clinic hours, you may reach a UT counselor by contacting Campus Safety at (813) 257-7777. 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 (HealthiestYou) services at no cost. If you are feeling anxious or have other mental health needs that are not an immediate crisis, HealthiestYou may also be a helpful resource. Counseling sessions through campus counseling services and through HealthiestYou are being provided virtually through zoom.

Can I get out of quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test?
Non-vaccinated close contacts in quarantine who are asymptomatic and test negative on day 6 or later after the last date of exposure may be eligible for release from quarantine after day 7 of quarantine.

Priority testing will be provided to symptomatic cases and based on availability; close contacts can be tested in our medical clinic.

What kind of COVID-19 tests have been authorized?
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act authorized emergency use of two different COVID-19 testing options: diagnostic tests and serology (antibody) tests. A diagnostic test will identify if an individual has an active coronavirus infection. Currently, there are two types of diagnostics tests available – molecular tests, such as real time reverse polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) which detect the virus’s genetic material, and antigen tests that detect specific proteins from the virus. Antigen tests for COVID-19 return results in 15 minutes. They are generally less sensitive than the polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests. Proper interpretation of the antigen test results and confirmatory testing when indicated is crucial for accurate clinical management and for patients with suspected COVID-19. An antibody test looks for antibodies made by the immune system in response to a specific immune attack, such as a specific virus. It can take several days or weeks to develop antibodies after an infection and may stay in the blood for several weeks or more after recovery. The antibody test cannot be used to diagnose COVID-19. The use of antibody tests to exclude from quarantine is not well known and is not recommended for this purpose by the CDC or the FDA. Due to the importance of accurate collection, at home COVID-19 antigen self-tests will not be accepted.

What if I’ve been vaccinated, but have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19? 
If you are vaccinated and have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you should get tested (PCR test ONLY) 3-5 days after exposure, even if asymptomatic. Community members who have been exposed to COVID-19 will be asked to demonstrate proof of vaccination to Rapid-Trace, UT’s contact tracing provider.

I have not been vaccinated and I’ve been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. What should I do?
In this case, individuals should adhere to the following CDC guidelines for quarantine:

  1. As soon as a non-vaccinated student becomes aware that they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must report it to Rapid-Trace, (813) 699-3551, if they have not already been notified by Rapid-Trace. These individuals may need to quarantine for 7-10 days from last exposure.
  2. Non-vaccinated close contacts of positive cases who have been diagnosed at the Dickey Health and Wellness Center or who have self-reported to Rapid-Trace will be notified and required to quarantine in their residences for 7-10 days since the last exposure.
  3. Quarantine requirements extend to any non-vaccinated individual deemed a close contact by Rapid-Trace, which would include any individual who shares bathroom facilities in a residence.
  4. Individuals under quarantine should check their temperature twice per day and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms daily.
  5. Rapid-Trace will regularly contact quarantined individuals to monitor their health status. Students should respond to all outreach from Rapid-Trace.
  6. Any student with symptoms of COVID-19 should contact the Dickey Health and Wellness or a healthcare provider for evaluation, even if they are vaccinated.
  7. Faculty and staff should work with their primary care physician or go to a testing facility.
  8. Students, faculty and staff who provide proof of full vaccination of COVID-19, have had at least 14 days pass since their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or single-dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, and are asymptomatic will not be required to quarantine.
  9. Proof of vaccination should be shared with Rapid-Trace when contacted during contact tracing to be exempt from quarantining.

What activities can I engage in while I am waiting for Rapid Trace to contact me?  
Faculty and staff who are not experiencing any symptoms can continue normal business activities while wearing a face covering and practicing safe distancing. Those who are experiencing symptoms should contact Human Resources for further guidance. 

If you are a non-vaccinated student or symptomatic vaccinated student and you are waiting on a call back from Rapid-Trace due to an exposure that you reported, please quarantine yourself and continue to follow Rapid-Trace’s directions after they make contact.

What is communicated to others who wonder if they should be included in contact tracing?
Only those who are identified as a potential close contact will receive communication from Rapid-Trace (students) or Human Resources (employees). If you do not hear from Human Resources or Rapid-Trace then no further action is needed. If you believe you are a close contact please notify Rapid-Trace yourself (student) or the Human Resources associate director (employees) for further guidance. 

What types of contact would make me a close contact to someone with COVID-19? 
There are two types of contact that Rapid-Trace contact tracers will look for when a case has been identified:

  • Physical contact – touching without wearing a mask
  • Close contact – within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, with or without a mask

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

What can affect my quarantine or isolation time?
The University will employ both the 7- and 10-day CDC quarantine options for the UT community dependent upon testing availability, symptom tracking and compliance. An individual can be released after seven days if they have a negative PCR test completed on day six after exposure and do not display any symptoms. If a PCR test is not given, they must quarantine for 10 days. Day seven and Day 10 quarantine means release on day eight or 11. Individuals who have a medical necessity that requires a longer quarantine time should contact Rapid-Trace. If someone develops symptoms during their quarantine, they should work with Rapid-Trace and their medical provider, as they most likely will become a positive case that needs to start isolating. Isolation times typically last 10 days. It could be longer if the individual’s symptoms are not decreasing and they still have a fever. 

If there is an exposure to COVID-19, what are the protocols for sanitization in non-residential facilities? 
According to the CDC, if there has been a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in your area within the last 24 hours, you should clean and disinfect the space. To this end, classrooms will be sanitized nightly, with the exception of laboratory spaces.

If the exposure is employee-related, the contact tracers will notify Human Resources. Human Resources will notify Facilities Management, indicating that there has been a COVID-19 exposure and identify the location of the exposure. Facilities Management will call the point of contact for the area as identified by Human Resources. Facilities Management will discuss with the point of contact the best course of action. Meeting room/office occupants can use University-supplied disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces of concern, should they wish to do so.

If the exposure involves only students, the contact tracers will notify the assistant vice president for wellness. The assistant vice president will notify Facilities Management, indicating that there has been a COVID-19 exposure and identify the location of the exposure. Facilities Management will call the point of contact for the area as identified by the assistant vice president. Facilities Management will discuss with the point of contact the best course of action. Meeting room/office occupants can use University-supplied disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces of concern, should they wish to do so.

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VACCINE INFORMATION  

Is UT requiring students and employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
UT strongly encourages students and employees to get the vaccine if they are able, as recommended by the CDC. However, at this point it is not required. By getting the vaccine, you will help protect yourself, your friends, your coworkers and your community from COVID-19. People who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic, including many pre-pandemic activities.

Is the Dickey Health and Wellness Center currently administering the COVID-19 vaccine? UT has partnered with the Walmart Neighborhood Market, 1601 W. Kennedy Blvd., to provide COVID-19 vaccines for the UT community. Scan the QR code to schedule your appointment or use this link: https://www.walmart.com/cp/flu-shots-immunizations/1228302

QR code for covid vaccine information

Where else can I get the vaccine?
All Florida residents age 12 and up are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida. There are federal, state, county, pharmacy and hospital locations offering the vaccine. Be sure to review specific location requirements before visiting a chosen site.

For the latest information about COVID-19 vaccination eligibility, please visit your county health department’s website. For locations throughout the U.S. visit the CDC’s vaccine finder. If you live in Hillsborough County, here is the COVID-19 vaccine information. Here are the websites for Pinellas CountyPasco CountyPolk County and Manatee County

For locations throughout the U.S. visit the CDC’s vaccine finder.

I live on campus and want to get the vaccine at a community provider. How do I show proof of residency for a COVID-19 vaccine?
If you are not already a full-time Florida resident, to be eligible for the vaccine, you will need to show two forms as proof of residency.  

The Office of Residence Life can provide a letter to residential students to confirm their residency on campus. Additionally, students are encouraged to utilize a copy of their housing agreement (lease) as a second form as proof of residency.

To download the housing agreement, please follow the directions below:

  • Log into MyUTampa
  • Click on the Residence by Symplicity chicklet
  • On the top right-hand menu on your Residence home page, click on the “more” link and then select “Contracts.” 
  • In that section, you can click “view contract” next to the 2021-2022 Housing Agreement.
  • Once the current agreement is open, select “actions,” and then click “print pdf.” 

I am not a full-time Florida resident. Can I get the vaccine in the community? 
Yes. You can search for providers at floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/.

Is there anything I should do after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine? What if I have side effects? 
After receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, the CDC is encouraging individuals to register with V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker. V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through V-safe, you can quickly tell the CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Depending on your answers, someone from the CDC may call to check on you. V-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose.  

If you are a student and you experience pain at the injection site and/or any fever, muscles aches or fatigue, please take Tylenol or ibuprofen for a few days and see if the symptoms resolve. If you have any concerns about your symptoms, please schedule an appointment with the health center to see a medial provider at (813) 253-6250. Information on after-hours care can be found on UT’s website. 

If you are UT faculty or staff and have any concerns about your symptoms, please schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or utilize an urgent care.

If you are having a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

If you had a severe allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, CDC recommends that you should not get the second dose.

If I am exposed to COVID-19 between the first and second dose, do I need to quarantine?
If you were exposed between doses, call the health center at (813) 253-6250 and the nurse will provide you with guidance. For faculty and staff, please call your medical provider. 

If I’m unvaccinated, am I more vulnerable to COVID-19? 
According to recent news reports, an Associated Press study — that was based on information from the CDC — as of June 25, 2021, found that nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are in people who aren’t vaccinated.

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TRAVEL

Is UT issuing travel restrictions? 
The University travel policy will return to the pre-pandemic policy as of July 1, 2021. 

The CDC recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated.

Does the state of Florida have any travel restrictions?
Currently, the state of Florida has no travel restrictions in place.

Do I need to be tested before I travel? 
Some airlines and destinations require a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to travel or be exempt from a mandatory quarantine. The following locations provide COVID-19 testing for travel. Students should plan to make sure they obtain the right kind of test for their needs and allow adequate time for processing – usually three days before travel to destinations where a negative PCR test result is necessary. 

  • Fast Track Urgent Care- (813) 925-1902
  • BayCare Health System and Tampa International Airport have partnered to provide passengers access to COVID-19 testing services. Visit https://baycare.org/TPA-Testing for details.

For more information about domestic and international travel, check the CDC website, Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Are there any precautions I should take after travelling internationally?   
Follow the CDC’s after international travel recommendations.

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RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS

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 will be contacted by Residence Life to determine an appropriate isolation location. All residential units have individual air-flow systems, and students will have their meals delivered to them. The risk for being exposed to COVID-19 is very low by just being in a residence hall where there is an individual in isolation or quarantine. You would need to have had close contact with the affected individual. Every time a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the health department or Rapid-Trace will conduct an investigation of each case, including who they have been in contact with, and then notifies and assists those individuals directly. 

How clean is the air in my residence hall room? Should I purchase an individual air filter?
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 and epa.gov.

Can Residence Life tell me if my roommate has COVID-19?
Health and medical information of this kind is protected and confidential, and so we are not able to disclose any specifics to students about their roommates. You may want to contact your roommate to directly check in with them.

My roommate told me they have COVID-19. What should I do? Am I at risk?
The University has contracted with Rapid-Trace to conduct our contact tracing. If you are at risk and need to quarantine, Rapid-Trace will contact you. If needed, Residence Life will work with you to determine the best quarantine space available on campus. You may also contact Rapid-Trace to discuss your particular situation at (813) 699-3551, seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m or selfreport@rapid-trace.com. If you do not reach someone immediately by phone, please leave Rapid-Trace a message, and they will return your call.

If you are not contacted by Rapid-Trace or Residence Life, you should continue practicing the safety recommendations in the Spartan Shield Health and Safety plan, and you may continue to attend your classes. If you develop symptoms at any time, please call the Dickey Health and Wellness Center to make an appointment, (813) 253-6250. When the Health Center is closed, call Fast Track powered by Tampa General Hospital at (813) 925-1903. Students may also utilize telehealth service, HealthiestYou, for consultation and treatment of acute illnesses 24/7. 

Do students still have to quarantine if they have taken a COVID-19 antibody test?
Yes, students still have to quarantine even if they have taken an antibody test that shows they have COVID-19 antibodies. The antibody test cannot be used to diagnose COVID-19. The use of antibody tests to exclude from quarantine is not well known and is not recommended for this purpose by the CDC or the FDA and for this reason, The University of Tampa cannot use this test to end quarantine. 

What kind of communication will students receive while they are in quarantine or isolation?
Students in quarantine and isolation will receive communication from Rapid-Trace or the Dickey Health and Wellness Center via phone call, text or email on a regular basis to complete symptom check-ins and manage their quarantine or isolation period.

Residential students also receive emails and phone calls from Residence Life professional staff when going into and leaving quarantine or isolation, in addition to the communication from Rapid-Trace or the Health Center.

Who is Rapid-Trace and do I have to speak with them?
Rapid-Trace is The University of Tampa’s contact tracing company, working to stop the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in the community. Students who have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19 may be contacted by Rapid-Trace for contact tracing. All UT students must cooperate with Rapid-Trace for contact tracing and follow directives for quarantine and isolation.

When do residence halls open for Fall 2021?
The Office of Residence Life looks forward to welcoming new and continuing students back to the residence halls for the Fall 2021 semester. For Fall 2021, students will select their own move-in appointment time during the scheduled move-in dates. Students will be emailed appointment setting instructions this summer.

  • New international student move-in appointments will be offered Wednesday, Aug. 25, and Thursday, Aug. 26, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • New student move-in appointments will be offered Wednesday, Aug. 25, through Friday, Aug. 27, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Continuing student move-in appointments will be offered evenings Wednesday, Aug. 25, through Friday, Aug. 27, and all-day Saturday, Aug. 28, through Sunday, Aug. 29.

Do I need to bring my COVID-19 vaccination card to UT?
Yes. Students who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are encouraged to bring either their vaccination card or a clear photo of their vaccination card. Students may be asked for proof of vaccination during the contact tracing process in the event of exposure to COVID-19 and only the card or a photo of the card can be accepted. Students who provide proof of full vaccination and are asymptomatic are not required to quarantine per CDC guidance.

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

What mode of delivery will UT offer Fall 2021 classes?
UT will return to in-person learning, working and University activities in the fall. International students should plan to be in Tampa for fall.

What are the arrival and enrollment requirements for Fall 2021? 
New international students should visit the New International Student Orientation page for details on the deadline to arrive on campus.

Continuing international students should arrive by the start of fall classes on Aug. 30, 2021. 

International students must enroll full-time each fall and spring to maintain status (12 credits undergraduate, 8 credits graduate).

Since UT is returning to normal operating procedures for Fall 2021, the previous Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance will not apply.

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 2021?
International students who cannot or will not return to UT for Fall 2021 must submit the online SEVIS Leave of Absence/Withdrawal request to the International Programs Office no later than Aug. 30, 2021.

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 the U.S. 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.

Contact the Office of International Programs at international@ut.edu with any questions.

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.

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?
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 they have been maintaining valid F-1 visa status since March 9, 2020, according to SEVP’s Clarifying Questions for Fall 2020.

What testing requirements are currently in place to enter the U.S.?
Effective Jan. 26, 2021, the CDC requires all air passengers entering the U.S. to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days. See the CDC testing information website for more information.

This requirement applies to those who are vaccinated as well.

What international travel restrictions are currently in place to enter the U.S.?
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 U.S., except for those who qualify for a National Interest Exception (see the Department of State and Travel Restrictions and Exemptions). This means the following for new and continuing students and alumni on OPT:

  • Students traveling from the Schengen area, United Kingdom and Ireland qualify for the National Interest Exception and may enter the U.S. at any time.
  • Students traveling from India, China, Iran, Brazil or South Africa will qualify for the National Interest Exception but may enter the U.S. only within 30 days of the start of fall classes on Aug. 30.

Students who want to verify if they will qualify for a National Interest Exception should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling.

The U.S. State Department has travel advisories by country with information about traveling to the U.S. We recommend that students also check with their home country government for any travel restrictions to and from their 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.

What if I am an international student currently in Tampa, and I need to withdraw or be part-time due to medical reasons or illness. What should I do? 
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 (RCL) in your SEVIS immigration record. You will need to provide medical documentation from a licensed medical doctor to the IPO office to request this authorization prior to withdrawing from any classes.

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

My I-20/DS-2019 does not have a valid travel signature. How can I request a new one? 
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 continue your studies or OPT. (A visa is not required for citizens of Canada and Bermuda.)

Please note that the U.S. State Department began phased resumption of visa services in July.

On Sept. 14, 2021, the US Department of State issued an announcement that the in-person interview requirement for F, M and academic J visas may be waived through the end of 2021 for the following:

  1. Applicants who were previously issued any type of visa, and who have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived, and who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility; or
  2. First-time F, M and academic J visa applicants who are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), provided they have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility

See each individual U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s website to confirm the level of services currently offered and to find guidelines for applying for a visa without an interview.

For consular-specific information, view the travel advisories on the U.S. Department of State's website. If the embassy or consulate in your country is not operating, you may schedule your interview at another U.S. embassy or consulate.

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.

Can I get a letter for the embassy to expedite my visa appointment?
Send an email to international@ut.edu with your request for this letter and include a copy of your confirmation of your current visa appointment date. The letter will include your personal information as listed in SEVIS and will provide information about the start date of classes. We will not entertain requests to change this letter.

Please note that on Sept. 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of State issued an announcement that the in-person interview requirement for F, M and academic J visas may be waived through the end of 2021 for the following:

  1. Applicants who were previously issued any type of visa, and who have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived, and who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility; or
  2. First-time F, M and academic J visa applicants who are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), provided they have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility.

Applicants should check the website of the relevant U.S. embassy or consulate to confirm the level of services currently offered and to find guidelines for applying for a visa without an interview.

Can I apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) from my home country?
No, USCIS requires that F-1 visa students be present in the U.S. at the time the OPT and STEM OPT application is submitted 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 U.S. 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 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 and contact an experienced immigration attorney.

My visa status is expiring soon or has expired, flights are canceled 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 advisor 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 and 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

What are the current COVID-19 requirements for travel abroad? 
UT is adhering to all entry requirements for the countries to which students may travel as part of a UT program. Also, starting January 2022, some education abroad program providers are requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

When will I be able to register for a future study abroad?
After a comprehensive review of worldwide travel restrictions from the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UT will continue the previously announced suspension of international travel through Fall 2021. At this time, we are accepting applications for Spring and Summer 2022 programs; however, the status of those programs may change due to travel restrictions.

An Education Abroad (EA) advisor is available to discuss education abroad program options with you during regularly scheduled times. Please check MyUTampa to access the TDS for Study Abroad portal to schedule an appointment.

What if the education program suspension affects my academic progress?
UT works closely with our academic departments 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 programs.

For Additional Information

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