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Stetson Outlines Multiple Measures for Safer Return to Campus in Fall

Weekly Update 6

As you are aware, Stetson is planning a return to campus in August, and bringing our community of students, staff and faculty together again. Stetson’s Budget Priorities Working Group, Safer Campus Task Force and the academic working groups (schedule, face-to-face and policies) are making great progress toward a safe, fall return to campus. This is consistent with what many other colleges in Florida and around the country are now planning. Stetson’s plan is contingent on the current health situations in our local areas, and on our ability to prevent the spread of disease on campus by following CDC and Florida DOH guidelines as well as our own mitigation strategy.

Stetson’s Safer Campus Task Force is utilizing Stetson’s tiered system to help us contextualize our mitigation and response efforts at different levels of COVID-19 climate on campus and in the region. Currently we are moving from the Virtual Environment to Tier 1 for Fall Orientation.

Our goal with Stetson’s overall strategy is to use multiple measures, which taken together will reduce the likelihood of disease transmission within our community. Mitigation efforts are most successful when practiced consistently by all members of the community, and when used in combination. Our plan will include some combination of:

  • Face coverings
  • Physical distancing
  • Regular self-screening assessments for students and employees
  • Testing
  • Contact tracing
  • Protocol for rapid response to ill or exposed community members
  • Environmental restrictions (for example, one-direction stairways) 
  • Limiting guests 
  • Altering the academic calendar and class schedules 
  • Limiting group sizes and events 
  • New, enhanced cleaning protocols by both facilities staff and community members 
  • Regulating traffic in high exposure areas (Lynn Dining Commons) 
  • Community education and more
  • Increased access to hand sanitizer
  • Reconfiguration and reassignment of classroom spaces 

None of these things will work alone, and we will continue to evaluate new options as they become available and are supported by research and organizations like the ACHA and CDC.

The CDC says keeping 6 feet of space between yourself and others is one of the best tools to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Graphic courtesy of CDC

The health and safety of our students, staff and faculty are our top priority. For the fall semester, you can expect a robust COVID-19 screening program that is currently under construction, along with best practices for testing, contact tracing, self-quarantine, and isolation for students who may be exposed or test positive for COVID-19, as well as protocols for face coverings, physical distancing and limited-density activities.

The revised Fall 2020 Academic Calendar shows classes begin on Thursday, Aug. 13, and final exams ending on Tuesday, Nov. 24, before Thanksgiving. Students who leave campus at Thanksgiving will not return to campus until the start of the spring semester in January 2021. More information on the calendar is at the link above.

As we return to campus in August, we should all be aware of the anxiety this period of uncertainty brings, and we know you will come together with compassion, creativity, flexibility and a willingness to care for and collaborate with each other and with our students.

There will be more information in July. In the meantime, thank you for all you are doing in these challenging times. We are honored to be working with colleagues who are so deeply committed to building and sustaining a genuinely caring learning community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit the FAQs, which have been updated on Stetson’s COVID-19 Communications website. We will update these questions and answers regularly as more information becomes available.

Budget Priorities Working Group

Now that the Budget Priorities Working Group has submitted its report (see Executive Summary) to the Board of Trustees, its work is completed. The email, budgetpriority@stetson.edu, will no longer be monitored.

If you have comments/questions/suggestions, please email SaferStetson@stetson.edu. While we are not able to respond to every email, we do read all of them and appreciate your feedback.

-Read Weekly Update 5
June 17, 2020