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Florida Directs Public Universities to Transition Online Due to Coronavirus

The State University System of Florida issued a directive late Wednesday afternoon requiring all public universities to switch to online as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“Effective immediately, all universities will make plans to transition to remote instruction as soon as possible,” said spokesperson Renee Fargason in a statement.

For students who have already returned from Spring Break, officials are directing those schools to transition to online classes as soon as possible. In addition, they are encouraging students to return home for at least 14 days. Those schools include:

-University of Florida

-Florida International University

-Florida Polytechnic University

-Florida Gulf Coast University

Schools with students currently on Spring Break or going on Spring Break should direct students not to return to campus for at least two weeks after Spring Break ends. Those schools include:

-Florida State University

-Florida Atlantic University

-Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

-University of Central Florida

-University of North Florida

-University of South Florida

-University of West Florida

-New College of Florida

“First and foremost, the health and safety of students within the State University System is our top priority,” a press release said. “As we have continued to monitor the spread of the COVID-19 virus it has become clear that to protect the students and the residents of our state, proactive rather than reactive guidance to universities is necessary. To be clear, campuses will remain open, and operations will continue, although some adjustments may be made as determined by each university.”

All state universities will continue to provide dining, counseling, health services, and library services, but on a limited basis.

Each university will develop a plan for providing residential accommodations for students who need assistance or who must remain in place.

The State University System says it will continue to monitor guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and provide “expanded guidance” if necessary.