November 19, 2020

Dear Students,

A chill is in the air in Gainesville, which serves as a vibrant reminder that the semester is winding down.

This fall, we have conquered and achieved so much together. And we have also been taught some valuable lessons along the way.
Personally, I have I made it a priority to reach out to old friends and relish every connection point. I am also grateful for the new friends and colleagues I have gained over the last ten months, as I cannot imagine navigating so much new terrain without an amazing base of collegiality and support.

As an institution, we have learned the value of collaboration on a deeper level and how to pivot when necessary. We rediscovered what it truly means to be a Gator and heard the resounding noise our impact makes across the state and country.

Over the last semester, our doctors, scientists and epidemiologists have learned even more about the virus and its impacts to our campus community. After significant testing of air exchange, testing and contact tracing, UF Health has not detected any transmission of the virus in classroom or laboratory settings. In any case where there has been transmission of the virus, disease investigators have been able to trace it to social interactions, often off-campus, which is why we continually reinforce the need for masks and physical distancing.

We now know that surfaces are not a major cause for concern since little or no transmission has occurred through this avenue. UF’s Facility Services has reviewed air exchange data for the campus classrooms with UF Health epidemiologists. They have concluded that current classroom ventilation does not create additional risk within the university community.

Our successful coronavirus surveillance program has helped the university limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus, and as we wrap up the semester over the next several weeks, all students can still schedule a test before the holidays at

Additionally, we are expanding our testing framework as we look toward the spring semester.

Beginning in January, all students living in residence halls, those participating in Greek life in Gainesville, and students engaged in face-to-face classroom instruction are required to be tested once every two weeks as part of our mandatory surveillance testing plan. Students will receive an email with additional information regarding scheduling their test as they return to campus in January.

For more about our plan to combat the virus, I invite you to visit the UF Health website about the Spring 2021 testing plans.

Lastly, one housekeeping note: As I know the weekends can get busy and emails can get lost in the shuffle, I will be moving my weekly message to you to Thursdays. I hope you find these messages helpful in providing updates for the week as well as offering information regarding what to expect as we move ahead in our goal of supporting students.

Be safe, be well, and as always – Go Gators!
Dr. D’Andra Mull
Vice President for Student Affairs

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