UCF welcomes back students as Florida COVID cases continue to surge

University released plan of continued cleaning, distribution of masks

ORLANDO, Fla. – The spring semester at the University of Central Florida began Monday with health and safety protocols in place during the rise of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

UCF released a plan in early January stating the university would continue increased cleaning of classrooms, access to hand-sanitizing stations and the distribution of masks.

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As students returned to campus, they were also greeted by long lines at the Garage A main campus testing site. UCF said testing would continue to be available free of charge for students, faculty and staff.

“It is definitely really hard to get even an at-home test and the lines in person are always super long,” sophomore Cat Cunningham said. “I think UCF does a really good job of providing (tests).”

With cases surging throughout Central Florida, students are encouraged to follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but no major changes have been implemented because of the omicron variant.

“As we are learning to live with the virus, university leadership continues to be in constant communication with health officials, medical experts, the State University System and the Florida Board of Governors,” UCF President Alexander Cartwright wrote to faculty and staff last week. “Despite the continued challenges imposed by COVID-19, I have tremendous optimism for what we will accomplish together this year.”

UCF urged all students, faculty and staff to get fully vaccinated and boosted. Vaccines and boosters are available, free of charge, at the Student Health Center by walk-up or appointment.

The latest information on UCF’s response to the pandemic can be found by clicking here.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.