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USF proposes plans for phased reopening

The detailed plan for USF campuses will be presented June 23 for approval by the Florida Board of Governors.

TAMPA, Fla. — The University of South Florida shared its proposed plans for reopening campuses on Tuesday, with new procedures including masks in classrooms and social distancing.

Last month, the State University System of Florida's task force presented reopening guidelines for universities. USF uses these guidelines as a blueprint for its own plans.

The detailed plan for USF's campuses will be presented to the Florida Board of Governors for approval on June 23.

"Things will look different on our campuses than they have in the past and we will all be asked to behave in different ways," USF President Steve Currall said in a note to students and faculty.

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Some of the new measures proposed to combat the spread of coronavirus on campuses include requiring face masks in enclosed spaces like classrooms, enhancing cleaning of high-traffic areas and following CDC guidance on social distancing and limiting the number of people in certain spaces.

And, those who feel sick must stay home.

"It will be imperative that we all see this as a shared responsibility to adopt these new behaviors for the health and safety of the entire university community," Currall said.

Currall also said procedures for screening, testing and monitoring for COVID-19 will be in place before the start of the fall semester. More details on those procedures will be shared at a later date.

As for classes, USF said it plans to have a "flexibly hybrid approach" with some in-person classes, some fully online classes and other courses with a mix of both. Courses with labs or studios will be prioritized for in-person meetings.

For those living on campus in Tampa and St. Petersburg, residence halls will reopen with restrictions for health and safety. Common areas and lounges will have limited capacity and access hours and the university plans to have restrictions on visitors.

And, USF aims to create isolation spaces for students living on campus who test positive for coronavirus but are not able to safely return home.

Currall said a more detailed reopening plan will be shared once the university gets approval from the Board of Governors.

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