College students preparing to head back to campuses for in-person learning

Monday morning marks the first day of spring classes at UCF.

Staff and students who return in-person have been asked to get a COVID-19 test or self-quarantine.

Friday, on-campus housing students got these mandatory rapid tests before being allowed to check inside their dorms.

And people who test positive have two options, quarantine back home or isolate in designated on-campus housing.

“I think it’s really good that they are doing it before we go to the dorms, so we don’t, like, contract it to anyone else if we get something,” said Lauren Ifill, a UCF freshman.

And while UCF leaders told us safety is key, the first day back this semester won’t be the same at every area university.

Florida Tech returns back to in-person learning on January 25th after two weeks of remote learning.

And Bethune Cookman University returns back to campus next month on the 15th after going fully virtual beginning Monday, too.

“We thought this was in the best interest of our students,” said Dr. Brent Chrite, president of Bethune Cookman University.

Chrite said he made the tough decision due to a surge in cases, but it also comes with a cost since students aren’t living on-campus for a month.

“This is costing us a few million dollars, so this was not a decision made lightly,” he said. “We still expect to end our year in the black because that’s how we’re running the institution now and it’s how it deserves to be run.”

Meanwhile, UCF leaders told us their is plan to receive their initial batch of 1-000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week and give the shots to UCF healthworkers, and also faculty, staff and students over 65 who want them.

The appointments are supposed to start on Tuesday.

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.