October 23, 2020

Dear Students,

We are halfway through the fall semester!

With everything going on and the extra challenges this unique year presents, I hope you take a moment to be proud of all you have accomplished and dedicate some time for self-care.

This is the time to re-center and re-commit to your goals, your studies, and your health.

This week, I had the pleasure of joining a few student organizations’ virtual meetings. In each of those discussions, students shared with me important questions they have about testing and behavioral expectations.

The first reoccurring question revolves around access to testing. As Dr. Michael Lauzardo, director of UF Health Screen, Test & Protect, mentioned in his letter to campus yesterday, testing on campus has never been easier. Students are encouraged to complete a weekly COVID-19 screening questionnaire through UF Health Screen, Test & Protect. And regardless of whether you have symptoms, you can schedule a saliva test at no out-of-pocket cost to you. It is fast and convenient to get a test and results. In fact, it is often quicker to get results through campus testing than other off campus locations.

Our testing abilities continue to increase. We encourage you to take control of monitoring your health, especially as we move into flu season, and schedule a test every two weeks.

How to get tested:
• Go to one.uf.edu.
• Complete the screening questionnaire again.
• Schedule the test within the next two days, and results will be emailed to you no later than 48 to 72 hours after your test.

The other questions I have recently received center on confusion between behavioral expectations on-campus, in Alachua County and Gov. DeSantis’ complete re-opening of the state of Florida’s bars and restaurants.

UF’s behavioral expectation policies are still in full effect. We need you to continue to wear your masks and practice physical distancing. We know that these are two of the best ways to reduce spread and combat this virus.

In the city, you should also wear masks in public spaces or whenever physical distancing is not possible and limit gatherings of more than 50 people. As per the governor’s order, bars and restaurants are open at full capacity. I encourage you to exercise your autonomy and best judgement by avoiding risky situations. The more people are in tight, enclosed spaces without masks, the easier the virus spreads. It is important to know that COVID-19 numbers continue to increase.

There is so much to look forward to this semester, including more football games, Halloween events and more. We need you to continue to practice healthy habits so our entire campus community can participate.

Want to learn more about what is ahead? I invite you to tune into the Student Government State of the Campus Address on October 27 at 6 p.m. being held virtually.

Lastly, as I mentioned above, I love the opportunity to connect with our students more directly. Whether it is attending a virtual general body meeting or meeting with your student organization executive board to learn more about your organization’s goals, I hope to engage more with you over the coming months. If you would like to extend an invitation, please send me a message at dmull@ufsa.ufl.edu.

Hope you have a wonderful and restful weekend.

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

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