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Spring 2021 at FIU: What to expect

Dear members of the university community,

We have completed a fall semester unlike any other, graduated our largest fall cohort in FIU history and are preparing for a well-deserved break.

Given the continued threat of COVID-19, we remind our university community to celebrate responsibly – limit gatherings to your immediate household, use face coverings, practice physical distancing and wash your hands with soap and water frequently or use hand sanitizer. In addition, consider making use of widely available COVID-19 testing.

With Spring 2020 just around the corner, our FIU is working diligently to ensure a successful new semester for our students, faculty and staff, including thoroughly cleaning our campuses and making sure our study spaces and public areas meet physical distancing guidelines.

Just like we did in the fall, as part of our Panthers Protecting Panthers plan, everyone must wear face coverings on campus, wash hands often and maintain physical distancing. Also, before arriving on campus each day, every member of the university community must complete the P3 app questionnaire.

These and many other measures have been taken to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and we thank you for your cooperation.

Below are a few additional steps we are taking to ensure your health and well-being in the Spring:

COVID-19 testing

Our university community has more access to COVID-19 testing than ever before. Based on available information on the prevalence of asymptomatic cases, we are strongly encouraging everyone (faculty, staff and students) to get tested prior to their return to campus after Winter Break.

Here are some options for your convenience. Tests are RT-PCR molecular tests (the more accurate type of test) and results are usually available within two days.

Curative Walk-up testing stations

  • We currently have two Curative walk-up testing stations on our MMC campus and one at BBC. The MMC testing stations are located near Parkview and on the gravel lot just east of PG5. At BBC, the testing station is near FIU Health, in the parking lot between the Royal Caribbean building and the Hubert Library.
  • Testing is free. To schedule an appointment, visit Curative.com. At MMC, both testing stations are open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The BBC testing station will be operational later this week. For hours of operation, visit Curative.com.

Tamiami Fairgrounds

  • The Tamiami Fairgrounds Drive-Thru testing site is operated by FIU in partnership with Miami-Dade County, the Florida Department of Health and Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition.

FIU Health – ACC Clinic

Tests are available by appointment only to faculty, staff and our community, Monday-Friday. Call FIU Health at 305-348-3627 to schedule an appointment. Appointments must be made at least one day in advance. Although patients will be asked to provide an insurance card, they will not be charged for the test.

Student Health Clinics
Tests are available by appointment only Monday-Friday. Call FIU Student Health at 305-348-2401 to make an appointment at MMC or 305-919-5620 to make an appointment at BBC. Appointments must be made at least one day in advance. Testing is free.

In addition, we have our own FIU COVID-19 lab that is processing surveillance tests of specific groups within the university community, such as student-athletes, spirit groups, band members, students working in research labs, researchers working with human subjects and on-campus residents.

Housing residents
All students returning or moving into on-campus housing following our Winter Break will be required to submit a negative RT-PCR test result taken within seven days of their arrival.

Students unable to provide a negative test prior to arrival will not be allowed to check in. Those students will be referred to get tested on campus and results will be processed by the FIU COVID-19 Lab the same day. Any student who tests positive before arriving on campus will need to remain at home until cleared by the FIU COVID response team.

All students staying on-campus through the break will be tested the week of January 4 ahead of our January 11 start date for our Spring semester.

Effective January 2021, all housing students will be required to participate in surveillance testing.

Updated CDC quarantine guidelines
Although the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days, this can impose personal burdens – including impacts to physical and mental health – and could cause economic hardship. To address some of these issues, the CDC recently amended its quarantine guidelines.

After reviewing these amended guidelines, and following additional guidance from the Florida Department of Health, FIU has adopted the following guidelines:

Using contact tracing, if a person must quarantine after being in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, they can:

  1. Quarantine for 10 days without testing if the person remains asymptomatic, or
  2. Quarantine for 7 days with a negative test and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. Specifically, an RT-PCR test may be performed on Day 6 or 7, but quarantine cannot be discontinued before seven days.

In every case, the CDC recommends that all individuals continue COVID-19 protocols, including symptom monitoring and use of face coverings, following release from quarantine.

Life on campus
This Spring, more than 50 percent of our courses – 4,600 sections – will feature an in-person component.

Libraries will be open and study spaces will continue to be available by reservation only.

Wellness & Recreation Center facilities will be open in the Spring and will continue to offer a variety of in-person and virtual programming. Stay tuned for additional information.

Select food and retail services will be open at MMC and BBC. For all hours of operation, locations and services available, please visit Shop FIU or visit the FIU Mobile App/Places & Shops.

Please note that these services will be available on a limited basis during the holiday break for students who will remain on campus.

Events, meetings and other gatherings
At FIU, we have limited our on-campus events to those that can accommodate physical distancing guidelines and other COVID-19 safety measures. Among them was our recent Commencement caravan, where more than 500 FIU graduates walked across the stage to take a picture with Roary while President Rosenberg cheered them on.

This Spring, we will continue to host select events. To request approval for an event, please submit an event request form. Please allow five business days for processing the request.

Visitors
Visitors, including vendors, must have an appointment. The on-campus contact must make sure visitors complete the safety screening questionnaire (through the P3 app) before arriving on campus. You can also access the app online. No visitors will be allowed in student housing.

For additional information, please visit our Panthers Protecting Panthers website.

We wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season and look forward to welcoming you back on campus in 2021.

Go Panthers!

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