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Florida Tech community: Please view the Florida Tech Safe website for important COVID-19 information and "Return to Learn" plan details.

Florida Tech SafeCOVID-19 News and Notices

Q&A for Students and Families

Florida Tech is committed to the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty. We hope you find this FAQ helpful as we "Return to Learn" together. If you cannot find the information you need below, please submit your question so that we may answer it for you.

Health and Safety

For information about staying healthy while on campus.

Florida Tech will require all faculty, staff, students and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while on campus anywhere that 6 feet of social distancing is not possible. Face covering use will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing.

Face coverings are not required in one's own residence hall room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.

According to current research, the main risk of contracting COVID-19 is when a person is within 6 feet distance of another person for more than 15 minutes. Additionally, when neither individuals are wearing a face covering, the risk of infection increases. Therefore, practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings (with good hand hygiene) are vital to reducing the spread of COVID-19. 

Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff or students.

Florida Tech will provide one reusable cloth face covering to all members of our community for the fall 2020 semester.

If you’re at home and start feeling sick, or if you answer “yes” to any of the questions on the COVID-19 Daily Self-Checklist before coming to campus, stay home. Notify the Dean of Students and contact the Holzer Health Center for guidance on medical evaluation.

If you start to feel sick while on campus, contact the Holzer Health Center for guidance on medical evaluation.

If a student tests positive at the Holzer Health Center, with the student’s permission, the Dean of Students will be notified to arrange the appropriate accommodations. The Holzer Health Center will ensure the student is briefed on their responsibility to isolate themselves. If a student receives a positive test from an outside facility, they should contact the Dean of Students for accommodations.

The Dean of Students office will help the student arrange appropriate academic accommodations with their instructors and coordinate with Housing and Residence Life to initiate isolation protocols for campus residents.

Additionally, when any member of the Florida Tech community tests positive for or is diagnosed with COVID-19, the Holzer Health Center will follow guidance from the Florida Department of Public Health (FDPH). For students, Holzer Health Center will ensure the student is briefed on their responsibility to isolate themselves.

Florida Tech will support contact tracing efforts led by the FDPH and be prepared to assist the FDPH by collecting initial information from patients. We also will be available to engage in further tracing of potential on-campus exposures, as directed by the FDPH.

We will determine where a person with a positive test result or diagnosis of COVID-19 has spent significant time and deploy a specially trained team to clean and disinfect those specific areas.

Any student diagnosed with COVID-19 may not return to campus or leave isolation until all three of the following criteria are met:

  1. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  2. At least 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine and
  3. Symptoms have improved.

Testing to the Florida Tech community will be available through the Holzer Health Center as well as through primary care physicians and Florida Department of Health testing facilities.

Students with COVID-19 symptoms: Rapid testing will be available through Holzer Health Center. Appointments are available.

Faculty and staff with COVID-19 symptoms: Faculty and staff should seek tests through their primary care physicians or through Florida Department of Health testing facilities. The Holzer Health Center is available for consultation.

Students, faculty and staff with NO symptoms: Students, faculty and staff should seek tests through their primary care physicians or through Florida Department of Health testing facilities.

Florida Tech is implementing a self-screening process to support the early identification of positive cases. In addition to self-screening, thermal screening will be deployed in strategic locations. Thermal screening systems measure someone’s surface skin temperature without requiring close physical contact. We will ensure that screening does not create bottlenecks, crowding or other counterproductive situations.

All Florida Tech community members should use the COVID-19 Daily Self-Checklist every day before arriving on campus or leaving their residence. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions in the checklist, stay home and follow the appropriate steps.

Self-screening and thermal imaging are our primary screening methods.

Holzer Health Center: In-person appointments will be available to students.

We will provide a separate treatment and waiting space for patients having symptoms associated with COVID-19. Appointment schedules will be adjusted to limit the number of people in waiting areas, and all front-facing service areas will have Plexiglas installed to promote social distancing.

CAPS: 

In an effort to keep the health of our entire campus community a top priority at this time, we are providing support through teletherapy services.  

Please call CAPS at 321-674-8050 to schedule an appointment.

Visit the CAPS website for additional information including:

Everyone will be expected to continue to follow basic guidelines from the Florida Department of Public Health (FDPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the governor’s COVID-19 Task Force.

Florida Tech will require all faculty, staff, students and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while on campus anywhere that 6 feet of social distancing is not possible.

Other basic guidelines include:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer in the absence of soap and water.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or inner elbow.

Social distancing (6 feet of separation from others) at work:

  • Be respectful of others’ personal space.
  • Assess and adjust workspaces to maximize social distancing, including spacing furniture with 6 feet of separation.
  • Hold meetings virtually whenever possible.
  • Provide services remotely whenever possible.
  • Do not share phones, desks, offices, computers or other equipment. In cases where equipment is shared, it should be disinfected before and after each use.
  • Do not gather in groups of more than 10 people when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • When interacting in open environments (e.g., outdoors, atriums and auditoriums) or in indoor common areas, keep a safe social distance.
  • Limit occupancy in elevators.
  • Do not use a restroom when it is being cleaned.
  • Supervisors should allow employees to take meals outside or in separate locations.
  • Cancel or postpone any events or activities (networking happy hours, lunch-and-learns, etc.) or consider hosting them virtually.
  • Avoid all person-to-person contact, including handshaking.

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Florida Tech is implementing a wellness check protocol designed to help protect the health and safety of our community. All employees are advised to administer the COVID-19 Daily Self-Checklist before coming to campus.

Students will be required to sign a “Florida Tech Safe” commitment while staff will complete a daily wellness screening. Suggested training for students and required training for employees will be available.

What additional safety measures will be put in place for classrooms, specifically?

All classrooms are being reviewed and reconfigured to ensure social distancing. Special health and safety protocols for classrooms are also being developed. 

Some classes will be transferred to larger spaces that allow for social distancing. 

How often will classrooms be cleaned when classes resume on campus in the fall?

All high-traffic spaces, including classrooms, will be cleaned and disinfected on an increased schedule. 

How often will high-traffic areas and frequently touched surfaces be cleaned?

Florida Tech’s staff will disinfect door handles, railings, elevator buttons, countertops and other frequently touched surfaces. They also will increase restroom cleaning and disinfect desks and tables in classrooms, especially in high-use buildings.

Dining

For information about dining services.

Plans for fall include eliminating all self-service stations and providing grab-and-go options. Food will be prepackaged in single-serving containers, and dining hall staff will serve all food that is not prepackaged. All staff will wear appropriate PPE for food service and cleanliness, as outlined by CDC guidelines.

No-touch service will be available at all point-of-sale locations, and card readers will be disinfected frequently. Plexiglas shields will be installed at all point-of-sale locations to ensure social distancing.

Seating capacity in the Panther Dining Hall, Rathskeller and the food court in the Clemente Center will be reduced.

Trolley

For information about campus trolley services.

During the fall semester, routes and service frequencies will be adjusted to accommodate social distancing impacts on trolley capacity.

Fall guidelines for riding trolleys: 

  • Avoid riding the trolley if you are sick.
  • Face coverings are expected of all riders.
  • Seating guidelines will be in place for social distancing.

Academics

For information about learning during COVID-19.

Classrooms will be instrumented to allow for both synchronous and asynchronous remote attendance. Students who are unable to attend parts of the class in person will be able to attend remotely, synchronously via Zoom sessions or asynchronously through recorded sessions that will be made available.

Students that will not attend any campus classes may request access via the following forms.

Students attending on campus will have the ability to work with their faculty members on a course-by-course basis for remote access and individual flexibility.

Yes. Florida Tech will limit the number of students in group projects to five and enforce the use of face coverings and other safety guidelines. Other modifications include:

  • Routinely sanitizing laboratory areas and workbenches between student groups.
  • Adjusting schedules to accommodate laboratory work on alternating weeks or times.
  • Opening laboratories on weekends with GSA support to accommodate additional sessions.
  • Splitting current lecture/lab courses, allowing students to take lecture via remote access in fall and lab in spring.

The fall calendar looks different, but students will have the same number of contact days with instructors. To reduce travel, we will cancel the two-day Fall Break originally scheduled for Oct. 12–13.

  • 17: First day of classes
  • 7: Labor Day holiday
  • 25–29: Thanksgiving holiday*
  • 2: Final instructional day (no new material or scheduling of any other assessments)
  • 3–4: Study days
  • 12: Fall commencement (virtual, if necessary)

*In order to better preserve the health and safety of all, students choosing to leave campus for the Thanksgiving holiday will have the option of completing the remainder of the semester (including final exams) remotely. However, students are encouraged to stay, as appropriate.

To the best of our ability, we will prioritize the courses needed by graduating students, phase in campus activities as soon as feasible, and expand course delivery options and schedules to compensate for reduced class sizes due to social distancing.

For more information about course delivery and schedules, contact the Registrar’s Office.

Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, we have prepared to move seamlessly from one modality of instruction and operations to another as public health guidance and conditions dictate.

Florida Tech has several buildings with spaces designated for our community to gather, including Olin Engineering, Evans Library and Evans Hall.

During the fall semester, these buildings will be open to the Florida Tech community following state and CDC guidelines. Public areas, study spaces, reading rooms, collaboration and rehearsal rooms, and group study spaces will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine capacity and whether social distancing can be achieved. Some small rooms or spaces may be limited to individual study.

Yes. The makerspaces will begin accommodating undergraduate students working on design and class projects in the fall. Makerspaces will use virtual queuing and online scheduling when possible and designate waiting areas for high-volume machines. Space managers will oversee lab and hand tool cleaning, ensuring that disinfecting processes are in place, that tools are cleaned after every use and that all common areas are cleaned.

Yes. Academic Support Center services will be available both in-person and virtually.

Yes. Career Services will have a mix of in-person and virtual operations. Career advising will be done virtually in one-on-one or group sessions. Limited in-person meetings will follow social distancing requirements. Existing online career and well-being resources will continue to be offered and enhanced for remote use.

Yes. Many academic advisors are meeting with students virtually. For First Year Experience (FYE), students have options for advising, including telephone, email, video conferencing or in-person sessions. Appointments are required.

After careful consideration, the university has decided to not offer this option for Fall 2020. The allowance for Pass/No-Credit made in spring was due to the fact that courses were moved exclusively to an online format, without the possibility for students to take in-person classes. For Fall 2020, the vast majority of our courses will be offered in person (face-to-face), with a voluntary option for remote attendance.

Financial Matters

For information about tuition and financial aid.

Students should inform the Financial Aid Office of their intent to delay attending. For those students that delay one term, the Financial Aid Office will simply remove the fall portion of your financial aid so you are ready for spring classes.

As long as a student remains full time status there will be no change in financial aid offered through Florida Tech.

The tuition rates do not adjust with a change in modality as students are still participating in the campus class, just through remote access.

In both circumstances, there may be eligibility for partial refunds on housing and meal plan costs. The date a student turns in their key will determine their refund amount based on the following schedule:

  • A 60 percent refund will be provided if keys are turned in by Sept. 6.
  • A 40 percent refund will be provided if keys are turned by Sept. 13.

There will be no refunds after Sept. 14.

Students may also want to consider a plan from Florida Tech tuition protection partner GradGuardTM. This may help secure up to 100 percent reimbursement for tuition payments, room and board fees, and other nonrefundable expenses at any time during the semester if the withdrawal is due to a covered injury or mental health condition.

Facilities

For information about the usage of common campus buildings and services related to daily operations.

How will operations shift to protect students using Evans Library?

Physical Modifications

  • Face coverings are required in the Evans Library.
  • The south entrance is designated as Enter Only and the north entrance is designated as Exit Only.
  • Stanchions are installed at the iDesk to control the traffic pattern and maintain 6-foot distances between patrons and staff.
  • Plexiglass is installed at iDesk stations as a barrier between students and staff.
  • Waiting positions are marked at 6-foot intervals at the iDesk and printing stations.
  • Signage is installed in the staircases directing students to stay to the right when using the stairs.
  • Elevator use is limited to 2 people at a time.
  • All study rooms are closed. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for single-occupancy use.
  • Keyboards and chairs are removed from every other computer station on the first and third floors. Signage is installed at these stations indicating these stations should not be used.
  • Chairs are removed from tables and study carrels to maintain 6-foot social distancing. Signage indicates the appropriate number of people that can use the table.
  • Seating on multi-person seating (couches, loveseats, sectionals etc.) has been limited through the use of signage.

The library is open only to Florida Tech students, faculty, staff and visitors that have been cleared by Florida Tech Security or Florida Tech Admissions Office.

Increased mindfulness of social distancing and the importance of sanitation are at the forefront of all planning for Clemente Center opening:

  • Clemente Center open for students only.
  • Face coverings are required for entry.
  • Swipe your own ID upon entering the facility.
  • Maintain 6 feet of social distancing throughout the building.
  • Observe arrows on the floor for traffic flow.
  • Weight room and mezzanine limited to 50% capacity.
  • Use of the weight room is limited to one hour to maintain proper capacity.
  • Clean equipment before and after use with disinfectant provided.
  • No sharing of towels and cleaning rags.
  • Wash hands and use hand sanitizers before and after working out.
  • No group fitness classes until further notice.
  • Bottle-filling stations will be available for use with your own resealable container.
  • All courts and locker rooms are closed until further notice.
  • No checkout equipment or outdoor rec rentals available at this time.

Modified hours of operation as follows:

  • Monday–Friday: Open 6 a.m.–9 p.m. | Closed for cleaning: 9–10 a.m., 2–3 p.m., and 9–10 p.m.
  • Saturday: Open 9 a.m.–8 p.m. | Closed for cleaning: 2–3 p.m. and 8–9 p.m.
  • Sunday: Open Noon–8 p.m. | Closed for cleaning: 3–4 p.m. and 8–9 p.m.

Student Life

For information related to student organizations and activities.

Yes! Student Life is using Florida Tech Engage to post and share COVID-19 related information for student clubs and organizations. Students are encouraged to check out the COVID-19 Event Planning Resources page in Engage.

Residence Life

For information about campus living and housing.

Florida Tech is striving for a "One Student/One Bedroom Policy."

Housing will separate students to one per bedroom in traditional residence hall housing and will prioritize high-risk student relocations to individual suites. This will not impact apartments.

All meeting spaces in residence halls will be closed for the first eight weeks of the semester. Other common spaces, which are more essential, will have scheduled closings throughout the day to allow safety cleaning teams to clean and disinfect the space. Occupancy of those common spaces will be limited to adhere to social distancing practices, including limiting occupancy of community restrooms.

Residence Life events will have an online component, and a reservation system will be deployed to limit in-person attendance.

Yes. Upon notification of a positive case within a residence hall, the COVID-19-positive resident(s) will be moved to dedicated locations for isolation and quarantine.

Florida Tech will ensure that students who isolate or quarantine on campus receive accommodations from their instructors, any health services they need and individually boxed meals delivered to their isolation/quarantine location.

Move-in will be spread out over several days to limit the risk of crowding in hallways and elevators.

To ensure the continued health and safety of all in the Florida Tech community, administration is working hard to ensure that visitors will:

  • Have a wellness check
  • Wear a face covering while on the premises
  • Maintain physical distancing at all times

“Visitors” refers to all guests of the university, other than postal carriers/delivery drivers. This policy does not refer to remote employees or employees from other university locations. Visitors must check in at the Florida Tech Security Office, which is located at the south located on the first floor of the South side of Shaw Hall, and show a valid photo ID:

  • Visitors will sign a daily visitor log citing their name, time in and purpose of their visit.
  • Visitors will receive day passes and are required to display them on their outer garment.

International Students

For information about coming to Florida Tech from countries outside the U.S.

All Florida Tech students are expected to follow CDC guidelines before they return to campus.

The Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has issued guidance for fall 2020 for international students. In summary:

  • SEVIS-Pending I-20’s (these include brand new students, transfer students, and change of education level students): if inside the US, or able to gain entrance into the US, all students must be registered as full-load students, BUT cannot be registered for ONLY online courses; they must have at least one (1) face-to-face course.
  • SEVIS-Pending I-20’s (these include brand new students, transfer students, and change of education level students): if outside the US, the student can keep their fall 2020 admission and register for coursework online. The student’s immigration document I-20 will need to be re-issued for spring 2021 for entry into the US. If a SEVIS-Pending student decides not to register for fall 2020, their admission and immigration document will need to be updated for the appropriate semester of deferral.
  • Students in SEVIS-Pending status cannot enter the US more than 30 days after the current “report by date” on their immigration document I-20 (August 10, 2020). It is important to note that all entry into the US, at any time, is at the discretion of the port of entry officials.
  • SEVIS-Active students: international students who are currently outside the US, and are unable to return to the US, are able to keep their ACTIVE immigration status as long as they are registered appropriately to comply with immigration regulations (12 credits undergraduate students; 9 credits graduate students) in online coursework. Those students unable to comply with immigration regulations will have their immigration status terminated. It remains to be seen if a “continuing” student would be allowed to enter the US during the middle of a semester.
  • SEVIS-Active students: international students who are currently in the US, OR are able to gain entrance into the US, are able to keep their ACTIVE immigration status as long as they are registered appropriately to comply with immigration regulations (12 credits undergraduate students; 9 credits graduate students); these classes can be all face-to-face, online, or a combination of both.

Students who choose to study from their home country will have their documents reissued with the new dates to reflect when they will be starting or returning to campus. New students should contact Admissions and returning students should contact ISSS