Spring 2021 at Jacksonville UniversityReady to Return

A dolphin seen through a forward arrow.

Jacksonville University is excited to welcome students back to live, learn and grow on our campus for the Spring 2021 semester. In order to do that safely, every member of our campus community must continue to do their part. Though vaccinations against the virus are underway in the U.S., we expect it may take months before the vaccine is widely available to the general public. This means we must remain diligent in protecting our health and that of others this spring term.

This webpage is designed to help you understand your role in maintaining a healthy campus. This information is fluid and subject to change as we learn new information about COVID-19 and adjust to updated guidance. We will update this site and add new announcements as decisions are made.

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Have a Safe and Happy Holiday

Greetings to all of you members of the Jacksonville University community.
I have a few things if you can listen for a couple of minutes, some things we want to talk to you about, about what we've just gone through as a community at the university and what I think we see in front of us for the next six to nine months.
First of all, let me say this: thank you. Your performance, your ability to keep your discipline, your ability to keep each other
safe is just exemplary. We started this year off with high hopes and ambitions of the kind of breakthrough year that a special university like this one can have, and it changed dramatically in early March for all of us.
COVID is a challenge like none of us have ever faced before, and higher education across the country has its hands full, but we laid out a series of protocols for all of the students, and it is remarkable how well they have complied. In fact, I'd say more than compliance. What the faculty and students have done here is they've cooperated. They've collaborated. You've all controlled your own destiny on this one.
So we're one of few universities that have made it through
a successful 15, 16-week window.
I want to say thank you, I want to say congratulations, and I want to tell you a little bit of what I think is going on in the larger
setting here.
If you look out nationally we're very fortunate as a country now that there are important vaccines beginning to emerge from Pfizer and Moderna. There's also an at-home testing kit emerging.
Over time these are going to be put on the market, and they're going to work. It's going to be three months, maybe six months before that vaccine is in the hands of our student body, and there's such a disparity of course between our 18 to 24 year old students, our staff and administration, our faculty in terms of age and risk factor.
Here's what I'm asking you: please be diligent. If ever there were a time when we see light at the end of the tunnel on the challenge being brought to us by this virus, it's literally right now.
When you have a moment like this when you know there's a good opportunity in the future to address this kind of disease, now is when we need to keep our discipline.
We need to continue to stay in the moment, to be aware of the
fact that we are going to continue here on campus when you return, and I ask, while you're gone, physically space six feet. Ten
feet. Wear your mask. Gather only in small groups. Please find a way to do it outside. And when you think about a university like this one that has students from 48 states and 71 foreign countries, I know that means cold weather for some of you, but we have to keep that discipline.
We just spent 16 weeks all learning to study outside, to eat outside, to access food trucks, to do things online.
You were remarkable, but we need you to keep that discipline.
The spring will be different again because the land we're standing on is shifting.
We're going to make decisions on testing and contact tracing. We're going to have new inputs from outside. We'll have new timelines on vaccines. But we'll have the same excitement and vigor for your future at this university as ever.

How to Stay on Campus

What You Need to Do

  • Get tested 4-5 days before you return to campus.
  • Wear a face covering in all indoor spaces, except your own residential room.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Stay 6 feet away from anyone you do not share a living space with.
  • Check your health daily and stay home if you feel even a little bit sick.
  • Meet virtually as much as possible. No large gatherings, and no parties.
  • Avoid crowded places or places where social distancing is not being observed. If you leave campus, wear a mask while you are out, and maintain 6 feet of space away from anyone you don't live with.
  • Disinfect your personal space regularly.
  • If you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you have chosen to get tested somewhere off campus, let us know.

What We're Doing

  • Spring semester starts Jan. 25 and ends May 7 for traditional undergraduate students.
  • Face coverings are required in all indoor spaces and any time 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained.
  • Facilities team is cleaning & disinfecting more frequently.
  • Campus Safety and Security are conducting temperature checks and asking health screening questions before allowing visitors on campus.
  • Many faculty and staff are on campus in staggered or adjusted schedules to minimize traffic on campus.

If You Feel Sick

  1. Stay home.
  2. Call your health provider.
  3. Report positive test results:

All students, faculty, and staff should perform daily self-checks and watch for COVID symptoms.

How did we come up with this plan? The Planning Process

The health and safety of every member of our campus remains at the forefront of every decision the University makes. The information found here reflects months worth of collaborative discussions with senior leaders, consultation with outside experts, evaluation of best practices across higher education, and careful consideration of the overall JU experience. These important discussions are ongoing and fluid, as is the COVID-19 public health crisis and global response.

The policies on this website have been developed by a broad committee including senior leadership and faculty experts based on a close review of published guidelines and recommendations produced by the CDC, OSHA, WHO, ACHA, and the FDOH, in addition to outside consultation with our legal counsel, Public Health experts from Mayo Clinic’s Infectious Disease Unit, and the Duval County Department of Health.

The task force that developed this plan continues to meet weekly to review the latest developments so that we can adapt swiftly to the changes in our environment. This website will be updated regularly to reflect any adjustments to the plan.