State approves UCF reopening plans for fall semester

Students say accountability most important for safety, health

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Board of Governors approved the University of Central Florida’s plan for reopening come fall. While several UCF students have mixed reactions on those new plans, most agreed that the most important part of the plan is accountability.

The university plans to implement targeted testing for certain students like athletes and those living on campus. UCF is not making it mandatory for all students to get tested for COVID-19. That’s something incoming senior Macy Walker said could be risky.

"Test all of us, you need to take the necessary steps. If some people are asymptomatic and going into classrooms putting others at risk, this can cause an even bigger situation," said Walker.

[RELATED: 3 UCF football players test positive for coronavirus | Florida Gators confirm 11 student-athletes test positive for coronavirus]

Senior Alisha Taylor said doing what she can to protect herself from the virus and said seeing UCF require face masks in all of its buildings gives her peace of mind. That policy is already in effect.

“Yesterday started Summer B classes. Around campus at the bookstore and other locations, between certain hours if you have your student ID you can pick up a free reusable mask,” said Taylor.

UCF's reopening plan also includes limited capacity in classrooms and staggered seating for social distancing. Labs and health care buildings will be excluded, but students and staff will be required to wear PPE. During the presentation, the university also announced it will be creating its own public COVID-19 dashboard.

Even with the additional safety protocols in place, other students are concerned about accountability.

“Not everyone is going to adhere to social distancing, not everyone will have on their masks,” said Walker. “The school is going to have to learn how to diffuse those situations.”

Other students think the university should stay closed altogether as the pandemic continues to develop.

“I still think with the numbers coming in, and reports that Florida could be the new epicenter for the virus, I think it’s too soon for them considering reopening as it is,” said Samantha Barlow, an incoming senior.

Many students were asking about football games and other athletic events at UCF. The university said the decision to host games and limited spectators will depend on state and local officials as well as the NCAA.

Click here to read the university’s reopening plan.

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