“We cannot afford to lower our guard. There are challenging days ahead” – President Robinson.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., is urging students to carefully follow safety protocols to protect themselves and their families during the holiday season.
Robinson’s words of caution are part of the University’s “Protect the F.AM.” and “Know before you go”messaging as students leave campus for the remainder of the semester. The stepped-up warning comes as the number of COVID-19 cases are surging locally, statewide and nationally.
“We want our students, faculty and staff to have a safe and happy holiday season. We especially urge our students to do everything they can to protect the health and safety of their parents, relatives, and friends,” Robinson said. “It has been a long year, but the COVID-19 threat is still very much with us. We cannot afford to lower our guard. There are challenging days ahead; however, by working together we will continue our tradition of “Excellence with Caring.’”
Most students are expected to leave campus in anticipation of the closing of residence halls on November 25. The campus reopens for business on Monday, Nov. 30, but students will complete the semester doing remote or online instruction.
About 60 students are expected to remain in campus housing after Thanksgiving. Since there will be no food service after Nov. 25, those students will be moved into on campus apartments, which have kitchen facilities, according to Jennifer Wilder, Ed.D., director of the Office of Housing.
Students are scheduled to begin returning 9 a.m. Jan. 4, 2021 for the spring semester. They are being urged to undergo rapid testing before they check into the residence halls on their return. If they test positive, they will be placed in isolation for at least 14 days. The University is finalizing plans for the spring semester.
This fall, FAMU received 7,000 rapid test kits from the White House. The University is also expected to start up a laboratory to do PCR testing for students, faculty and staff in an initiative funded with $1.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and $2.5 million in equipment and supplies from Thermo Fisher Scientific. Free, no-referral required walk-up testing is available at the Bragg Memorial Stadium COVID-19 test site, which is run by the Florida Division of Emergency Management in partnership with FAMU and the Florida Department of Health, Leon County. More than 100,000 tests have been administered at the site.
In preparation for the holidays, Student Health Services Director Tanya Tatum has issued tips for those travelling home.
*Wear a clean mask anywhere you will be around others.
*Review regulations governing travel to your destination.
*Delay travel if sick or exposed.
*Plan for the shortest trip available.
*Take disinfectant wipes if you must travel.