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Florida Tech community: Please view the Florida Tech Safe website for important COVID-19 information and "Return to Learn" plan details.

Florida Tech SafeCOVID-19 News and Notices

Messages from the President

Prior announcements and messages from President McCay to the greater Florida Tech community may be referenced below.

July 31, 2020

Dear Florida Tech Community,

Students will start moving onto campus in the coming days as we near the Aug. 17 start of classes. Their presence will be a reminder to all of us at Florida Tech of the momentous and no doubt well-researched decisions families make to embark on the journey of higher education. For many parents, this may be the first time their children are truly on their own – and we recognize and respect how exciting, frightening and important this new phase is.

So when parents speak, we eagerly listen.

Recently, the 2020-21 Florida Tech Parents Leadership Council, comprised of parents representing current students and recent graduates, offered, Why Florida Tech: An Open Letter. I applaud this thoughtful and thorough examination of Florida Tech’s unique strengths and innovative approach to the COVID-19 situation and thank Council members for taking the time to understand this challenging situation with which we are all dealing. Their insights are particularly welcome and appreciated as we kick off the fall semester.

“In light of current events, you may be thinking about how college this Fall will be different and how your student will be kept safe on campus,” they wrote. “We believe that Florida Tech is very well positioned to provide both a safe environment and the highest quality education for its students. We feel that this is the right place for our children, and for yours.”

The letter highlighted several reasons why we are poised to succeed, including our ability as a smaller school to be nimble in the face of pandemic challenges and how our early recognition of the pandemic’s looming impact allowed us to respond in unique and resonant ways, from virtual commencement to appropriate precautionary measures. The letter concluded, “We feel confident that our children are in a safe, supportive environment at Florida Tech; a place where they can learn and grow in spite of, and because of, the challenges we all face in the world today.”

As part of the process illuminated in the Council letter, we continue to offer weekly updates on COVID-19 within our university community. This week we are aware of two new cases of COVID-19 – one student living off-campus and one employee. All safety protocols are being utilized. We wish both a quick return to full health and remind our Panther family to continue to practice the proper pandemic protocols, including wearing face coverings, following social distancing measures, frequently washing hands and abiding by other relevant CDC health guidelines.

Please continue monitoring this page for the latest information. I will keep you updated, as well.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

July 24, 2020

Dear Florida Tech community,

The fall semester is quickly approaching, and there are a few items for which I want to make sure you have the latest information.

First, in addition to all of the day-to-day challenges and unprecedented situations we all are dealing with related to COVID-19, there is also now media speculation regarding which colleges and universities will survive financially due to the pandemic. One media account predicts Florida Tech will “perish.” This is false. I’ve been open and honest with you about our efforts to economize while maximizing the value of our core educational mission. We’ve made significant progress and will continue to do so. Even as the world struggles, I have great confidence in our future.

Second, most of our preparations for a return to face-to-face instruction Aug. 17 are now complete. We have reorganized and refreshed our coronavirus Web pages with new information for the fall semester, including an overview video of the “Florida Tech Safe: Return to Learn” plan that I hope you will find useful. We’ll continue adding frequently asked questions and other pertinent information to these pages in the days to come.

Finally, I wanted to report that we are aware of two new cases of COVID-19 within our university community this week—one student living off-campus and one employee. All safety protocols are being exercised. We wish both a quick return to full health. Meanwhile, let’s all continue following social distancing measures, face covering recommendations, handwashing protocols, and other relevant CDC health guidelines.

Thank you and I will continue to keep you informed.

Sincerely,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

July 17, 2020: Coronavirus Cases Update

Dear Florida Tech community,

I am reaching out to share our weekly update regarding the university’s COVID-19 planning and the “Florida Tech Safe: Return to Learn” efforts.

It remains a busy time of preparation. We are moving forward with our plans for a return to face-to-face instruction when fall semester classes begin Aug. 17, but doing so in a way that maximizes safety and flexibility. Remote options will be available for all students who need them. In our ongoing efforts to keep everyone informed, I hope you will take a few moments to review the video portion of this message. We’ll have more video information in the coming days as well.

I am pleased to report that, this week, we are unaware of any new, confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Florida Tech faculty, staff, or students. It remains imperative that we all continue following social distancing measures, face covering recommendations, and all CDC health guidelines.

Please continue monitoring the coronavirus website for new information. I will keep you updated as well.

Sincerely,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

July 10, 2020: Update

Dear Florida Tech community,

I am writing to you as part of my continuing commitment to keep everyone informed regarding our COVID-19 efforts and the “Florida Tech Safe: Return to Learn” plan.

Our plan remains to resume face-to-face instruction with the start of the fall semester Aug. 17, and we continue monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation very carefully. Remote learning options will be available to students as necessary. Meanwhile, a range of new health and safety steps have been taken across campus, including the addition of transparent plastic shields in high traffic areas, new hand sanitization stations, revised building protocols to assist in social distancing, additional safety signage, and so much more.

We are aware of three additional COVID-19 cases within the university community since I last updated you—one employee and two students. The employee has not been on campus since March and both student cases are off-campus as well. We wish all three a speedy recovery.

Please continue following social distancing measures, face covering recommendations, and all CDC health guidelines. Also continue monitoring this page for information. I will keep you updated, too.

Sincerely,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

June 26, 2020: Coronavirus Cases Update

Dear Florida Tech community,

I wanted to update you concerning our COVID-19 Fall preparations. Our academic instruction plan continues to be adjusted to ensure flexibility as we resume face-to-face instruction Aug. 17. I remain confident that all necessary steps are being taken to maximize the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff. In fact, the university has purchased 10,000 reusable face coverings that arrived yesterday and will be distributed to employees as well as students arriving this fall.

We are now aware of a total of four confirmed COVID-19 cases within the university community—two staff members and two students. At this time, the cases appear unrelated, and campus safety protocols are being followed. We hope all four will return to full health soon.

I urge everyone to continue following social distancing measures, face covering recommendations, and all CDC health guidelines. Please continue monitoring this page for updates and additional information. I will keep you informed as well.

Sincerely,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

June 22, 2020: COVID-19 Case

Dear Florida Tech community,

Florida Tech was informed over the weekend that a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member experienced flu-like symptoms and is recovering well, isolated at home. We wish this member of our Florida Tech family a full and speedy recovery.

As Florida Tech has no face-to-face instruction this summer, student exposure in this case is not an anticipated issue. Employee exposure is also minimal, given that the university is still operating under a reduced on-campus staffing plan. However, The Brevard County Health Department is aware, contact tracing is underway and the staff member’s workspace has undergone additional sanitization protocols.

In moments like these, the university will protect the privacy rights of individuals while also ensuring the health of our broader community. We realize that this kind of news can create concerns and anxiety, and we will continue to communicate when necessary while also remaining diligent in our ongoing consultation with health officials. This is a sober signal of how widely the impact of this illness continues to be felt, and also indicates how access to testing has increased.

It is critically important that we all continue to follow recommended social distancing measures, face covering recommendations and all CDC protocols while being sure to practice good public health hygiene, including washing hands as frequently as possible.

Please continue to monitor this page for updates and additional information.

Sincerely,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

June 19, 2020

Dear Florida Tech community,

Our COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team has been working diligently for months to assess and address what steps Florida Tech should implement to ensure a safe return to face to face instruction for Fall Semester. I am pleased to report that the team has drafted a comprehensive plan that prioritizes student, faculty, and staff health while also maintaining the flexibility that will be required to deal with evolving circumstances.

The university is launching a plan called Florida Tech Safe to help keep everyone healthy. Some of the steps we are taking:

  • Establishing class attendance caps so that we don’t exceed 50% of building capacity
  • Wearing face coverings in places where social distancing cannot be observed
  • Implementing a one student/one bedroom policy for campus housing so students will have more privacy and more personal space and will not have to share a room, unless otherwise requested
  • Health screenings for employees
  • Increasing safety cleanings across all campus facilities
  • Limiting public access to campus and making some areas student-only
  • Setting up classes so that students can continue to attend remotely if the situation calls for it

These are just some of the actions we are taking. For additional information, please review the Florida Tech Safe: Return to Learn Plan.

We take the health and safety of all of our students, faculty, and staff very seriously, and our plans will remain flexible, depending on the situation this fall. Stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you in August.

Sincerely,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

May 4, 2020: Florida Tech to Resume Normal Operations in Fall

Dear Florida Tech community,

This era of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for us all. However, I have been most impressed with how our students, faculty, and staff continue to weather this situation. All have proven their tenacity, dedication, and willingness to tackle challenges even under unusual circumstances. Fortunately, our Florida Tech family remains healthy and hard working.

While closely monitoring and actively addressing the realities of the moment, Florida Tech is also focused on the future. We have already shared that Summer classes will be conducted virtually, but we have also been carefully studying and planning for the Fall. I am pleased to announce that for Fall 2020, Florida Tech plans to resume normal operations Aug. 10 when faculty report and students begin moving into residence halls. Face to face classes will begin Aug. 17, as reflected in the academic calendar.

Now “normal operations” will be a new normal, to be sure. Florida Tech will continue with extra sanitization steps, modified social distancing, and other measures necessary to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We will be flexible as the situation requires. The health of all remains a top priority.

Again, thank you for your hard work and dedication during these challenging times. Together, we will persevere.

Sincerely,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

April 27, 2020: Summer Camps Canceled

Florida Tech has canceled all 2020 summer camps.

The cancellations are for camps operated by Florida Tech, including in athletics, academics and art, as well as camps hosted at Florida Tech. Camps were scheduled to begin June 1 and continue through July 31.

With the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic unlikely to fully recede by summer, and needing to ensure the safety and health of camp participants and operators, the university made the difficult decision to cancel.

Inquiries about refunds and other summer camp questions may be sent to the university’s Conference Services Bureau at conference@fit.edu. Please include the name of the camp and of the attendee(s) in the email.

April 20, 2020: Housing Credits

To our Florida Tech Students and Families:

In ways large and small, the coronavirus pandemic has touched us all. It has created deep and difficult challenges. But it has also allowed us as individuals and as organizations to reach out, to help and support, to show grace and compassion.

I am pleased to announce that Florida Tech will be granting eligible students credits for housing and meal plans for up to the last seven weeks of the Spring 2020 academic term.

On March 23, when face-to-face classes would have typically resumed but instead were replaced with fully online instruction, many students opted to stay home. Some returned for a week or two and then left. Students who had been living on campus for the Spring 2020 term will receive a housing credit for the number of weeks they were away – up to the final seven weeks of the term.

Additionally, students with meal plans who lived on or off campus will receive credits based on the same time frame.

These Spring 2020 room and board credits will be automatically applied to students’ accounts upon their completion of the application form available here and on Florida Tech’s page. We will process those applications and expect to have credits applied to students’ accounts in June.

For most students, the credits will go toward offsetting costs associated with the Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 academic terms. Those eligible students graduating in Spring 2020 or Summer 2020 will have the credits applied to any balance due on their accounts with any remaining credit funds being issued directly to them as refunds.

While we understand that the financial impact of the coronavirus is just one of many hurdles the pandemic has placed before us, we hope our response reflects how important it is to all of us that Florida Tech continues to support its students and their families. We are in this together, proud to be Florida Tech Panthers.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

April 9, 2020: Weathering COVID-19 Together

Dear Students and Parents,

I hope this message finds you in good health and positive spirits despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Please know that your university is doing everything it can to reduce and when possible, reverse, the burden this crisis has placed on us all.

You may already be aware that Florida Tech recently took steps to modify our policy regarding FlexCredits for the benefit of returning students. After careful review of state regulations regarding this matter, Florida Tech has arranged for all unused FlexCredits invested in Spring 2020 meals plans to roll forward, allowing returning, registered students who sign up for meal plans to use them in the summer or fall.

I do not present this accommodation as a panacea, but I sincerely hope it provides some much-needed financial relief for you and your family during these uncertain and difficult times. I know a little help can go a long way.

Please remember that we continue to update our Coronavirus FAQs as developments warrant. Together, we will persevere. I wish you all the best as you complete the academic year.

Sincerely,

Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

April 6, 2020: FlexCredits

Dear Students and Parents,

I hope this message finds you in good health and positive spirits despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Please know that your university is doing everything it can to reduce and when possible, reverse, the burden this crisis has placed on us all.

You may already be aware that Florida Tech recently took steps to modify our policy regarding FlexCredits for the benefit of returning students. After careful review of state regulations regarding this matter, Florida Tech has arranged for all unused FlexCredits invested in Spring 2020 meals plans to roll forward, allowing returning, registered students who sign up for meal plans to use them in the summer or fall.

I do not present this accommodation as a panacea, but I sincerely hope it provides some much-needed financial relief for you and your family during these uncertain and difficult times. I know a little help can go a long way.

Please remember that we continue to update our Coronavirus FAQs as developments warrant. Together, we will persevere. I wish you all the best as you complete the academic year.

Sincerely,

Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President

April 1, 2020: Support for Students Throughout Governor's Order

Dear Florida Tech community,

Gov. Ron DeSantis is issuing an order for Floridians to stay at home for the next 30 days and only leave their homes for essential services. This order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, April 3.

Florida Tech continues to house some students in the residence halls and will continue to support these students at their campus homes throughout the governor’s “safer at home” order. This means essential Florida Tech employees, as identified by their supervisors, will continue to report to work during this period to support the university’s essential functions.

Other university employees will telecommute during this period, and most support offices will remain open “virtually.” Students or parents who have questions or concerns should continue to email or call the appropriate offices to have their questions answered.

Maintaining the health and safety of our university community remains our top priority during these unprecedented times. Thank you for your patience, support and cooperation.

Stay well,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

March 18, 2020: Transition to Online; Spring Commencement Canceled

Dear University Community,

I am writing to update you concerning our coronavirus plans and share with you the latest information regarding modifications to university activities. Our leadership is working daily to address a range of complicated issues and make the best decisions possible to preserve health and safety while also delivering on our educational mission. Our online FAQ has many answers you may wish to review.

As you are aware, Florida Tech has suspended campus face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the Spring semester. There are no classes this week, and students are not required to return to campus at this time. However, residence halls remain open.

As a reminder, the university shifts to online classes starting Monday, March 23. Students, please look for instructions from your professors on how classes will be conducted. Carefully monitor your university email as well as Canvas for these and other announcements. If you have specific questions, email or call your professor.

Additionally, Spring 2020 Commencement and ROTC commissioning exercises are now cancelled. We had hoped to conduct reconfigured ceremonies for graduating students with no in-person audience, but more recent federal guidance limiting public gatherings makes this accommodation unworkable. The cancellation will not impact students graduating and receiving their diplomas by mail if they meet all graduation requirements. Graduating students who wish to march in a future Commencement ceremony will be accommodated. We will announce details at a later date.

While students are encouraged to engage in social distancing, campus resources like the Evans Library and Panther Dining Hall remain open. However, the Clemente Center and its fitness center will suspend operations beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, March 20.

Working together, we will overcome these challenging circumstances that we all face. We will continue to update you as new information becomes available. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President & CEO

March 25, 2020: Message from SVP of Student Life

To our Campus Community:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order that we wanted to let you know about, as it may have an impact here at Florida Tech.

The order, which took effect March 24, mandates that all people who fly to Florida from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut – areas he said have a “substantial community spread” of coronavirus – must isolate or quarantine for 14 days from the time they enter the state or the duration of their presence in Florida, whichever is shorter.

Violating this order is a criminal offense and could result in second-degree misdemeanor charges punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, or both.

If you are a campus resident and have visited or recently returned from any of these three states, please let us know that you are self-isolating so we can offer you the appropriate support and confirm you are getting the supplies and attention you need. You can do that by filling out this form.

These are unique and challenging times we are living inIt takes all of us working together to best ensure the health and safety of our university family. Thank you for doing your part.

Sincerely,

Bino Campanini
Senior Vice President, Student Life & Alumni Affairs

March 24, 2020: First Week of Virtual Classes

 

Dear Florida Tech Community,

America—and the world—continue to deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. To say that it has temporarily transformed our society is an understatement. Regardless, we all persevere in the face of adversity, each of us making the best decisions we can to preserve health and ensure safety.

As we begin this week, I am pleased to report that Florida Tech has transitioned from face to face instruction to online learning for the remainder of the Spring Semester. We learned a great deal the first day, and as questions or issues arise, we are doing our best to quickly address them.

I want to thank our students and their parents for their patience in this process and encourage our students to continue taking their learning seriously while remaining in close contact with their professors. If you have a question or a concern, ask it. I also want to express my deepest gratitude to our faculty, buoyed by our excellent instructional technology personnel, who have made this possible. A great many extra hours of effort and energy have been invested to make this online transition work—and this investment will continue for the remainder of the term. 

Meanwhile, as the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, university leadership is assessing and addressing daily the impact on our Florida Tech community. We will continue to keep you updated and encourage you to monitor our coronavirus information page on the Web.

No one knows what news tomorrow will bring, but I suggest to you, and believe myself, that uncertainty and fear do not define us. Resilience, paired with prudent decision-making, are key in these difficult times. Following the best guidance of our health officials, supporting one another, and maintaining our calm, will help us to overcome this invisible threat. We are all in this together.

Sincerely,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President

March 12, 2020: COVID-19 University Update

Dear Florida Tech Community,

As we continue to review and assess the coronavirus situation and its impact on Florida Tech, we have decided to immediately suspend campus face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the Spring term. There are no classes the week of March 16, and students are not required to return to campus at this time. The university will shift to online classes starting Monday, March 23.

Campus events are postponed for the remainder of the Spring 2020 term, with the exception of prospective student tours and commencement. Please contact event organizers for additional details.

Florida Tech Online programs and Virtual Education Center courses will continue normal operations. Florida Tech's Education Centers’ face-to-face classes will begin online synchronous instruction via Zoom technology on Monday, March 16. 

Faculty and staff are expected to return to work Monday, March 16.

For those students who opt to return or who have remained on campus, the full complement of university accommodations and services will be available. These students are asked to check in here.

For students, faculty and staff, there are several matters that require your careful attention upon returning. Any student or other member of the university community who has traveled to one of the CDC-identified Level 3 countries within the last two weeks (as of now these countries are Iran, Italy, China and South Korea) should self-quarantine for 14 days, even if symptoms are not presenting.

All students, faculty and staff who need to self-quarantine should, 24 hours prior to their return, call the university hotline at 1-877-358-3240. This will allow for both proper tracking of all students in this situation and for students living on campus to be assisted in finding a self-quarantine location. Students living off-campus should plan to self-quarantine at their residence.

HOW TO SELF-QUARANTINE

When under self-quarantine, you should remain in your residence for 14 consecutive days, avoiding contact with others. Monitor for symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. On-campus students may work with Dining Services at the start of their quarantine to establish food delivery options.

WHEN TO SEE A PROVIDER

If you have returned from any international travel or a cruise within the last 14 days and are presenting the symptoms listed above, or if you have been in close contact with someone who is presenting those symptoms and has recently traveled internationally or been on a cruise, you should contact the Brevard County Health Department at 1-866-779-6121 or the Florida Tech Holzer Health Center at 321-674-8078.

If medical attention is needed and coronavirus exposure is suspected, it is important to call ahead before visiting a health care provider, including the Holzer Health Center, to allow the provider to take proper steps to avoid further spread of COVID-19.

Holzer Health Center

  • Hours: Monday-Thursday 8AM-7PM; Friday 8AM-5PM
  • Phone: 321-674-8078

After hours/weekend hospital care: Holmes Regional Medical Center

  • 1350 Hickory St. Melbourne, FL 32901
  • 321-434-7000

Urgent care: Premier Urgent Care

  • 6300 N. Wickham Rd., Ste. 101, Melbourne, FL 32940
  • 321-242-7425

A more comprehensive list of urgent care centers is available at https://www.fit.edu/health/after-hours-care/.

As this situation unfolds, remember to stand at least six feet away from those you are interacting with while also practicing enhanced cleaning of surfaces touched by others and frequent handwashing.

We expect to resume campus face-to-face classes and full university operations starting with the Summer 2020 term.

We are here to support you. We will provide our next update no later than Wednesday, March 18. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Sincerely,

Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President

March 10, 2020: Re-configuring Spring Commencement Exercises

Dear Florida Tech Community,

We continue to carefully monitor the coronavirus situation and take steps to preserve the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and their families. Keeping that in mind, understanding the challenges of international travel in the current climate, and out of an abundance of caution, we are reconfiguring Spring Commencement exercises scheduled for Saturday, May 9: We are canceling the Clemente Center ticketed ceremonies in favor of graduates-only ceremonies in the Gleason Performing Arts Center. These smaller ceremonies will be webcast live, video recorded and photographed, but will not be open to guests.

Details regarding these reconfigured Spring Commencement exercises are still being finalized, and we will announce those details as soon as we can. Given that Florida Tech boasts students from more than 100 countries, we felt it prudent to make this announcement as soon as possible so that families of graduates could adjust their travel plans accordingly—particularly those who would have traveled internationally to join us on campus.

If any Spring 2020 graduates would like to march during the Fall Commencement exercises Dec. 12, they will be welcomed to participate.

We will share additional information as quickly as possible.

Sincerely,

Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President

March 4, 2020: Novel Coronavirus Update

Dear Florida Tech community:

We continue to carefully monitor the coronavirus situation and take steps to ensure the health and safety of everyone on our campus. We have a leadership team meeting regularly to assess developments.

As spring break approaches, we know many individuals have travel plans. Travelers should make informed decisions when choosing destinations, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing travel advisories for countries with widespread or sustained community transmission. The updated list and additional details are available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

The following areas have some level of travel advisory at present: China, Iran, South Korea, Italy and Japan. The university has suspended business travel for faculty and staff to these affected areas. Additionally, based on guidance from Gov. Ron DeSantis and the State Surgeon General, any students and employees returning from these countries need to self-quarantine and not return to campus for 14 days after their return, unless cleared by a coronavirus test. Students who need to self-quarantine should contact the Dean of Students at rbowers@fit.edu; faculty should notify their department chairs; and employees should notify their supervisors.

Meanwhile, Florida Tech's Alternative Spring Break trips to Puerto Rico and Peru remain scheduled. The group Beyond the Map, which operates those excursions, reports there are no U.S. federal travel advisories relating to those itineraries, and unless or until that changes, the trips will continue as planned.

Regardless of where you travel in coming days and weeks, we encourage you to be vigilant concerning your health. If you feel unwell, our Holzer Health Center on campus is ready to assist you. We recommend staying up to date on the situation by monitoring the Florida Department of Health website at http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/, where links to the CDC and World Health Organization are available. Florida Tech updates will be shared on the university's coronavirus webpage.

Looking ahead, Florida Tech is also monitoring travel to the UK, Spain and the Netherlands where the university operates summer study abroad programs. All summer programs are proceeding as planned, as there are no coronavirus-related travel warnings to those areas at this time. Florida Tech will follow guidance that is consistent with CDC, U.S. State Department, and each country's government health authorities. The university will email any updates to participants in these programs.

Assessing the coronavirus's potential impact on campus activities is something our administration is regularly reviewing throughout the Spring Semester. At this point, all Florida Tech campus events are proceeding as scheduled, including Spring Commencement. Any updates for students and their families will be communicated directly to students and the full university community via email, the Florida Tech website and social media.

Sincerely,

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D.
President

Jan.-Feb., 2020: University Notices

February 26, 2020

Florida Tech has been monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak through various outlets. As spring break approaches, we understand that many individuals plan to travel. While traveling is not prohibited, please note the following advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to the following destinations:

Detailed travel information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. If updated advisory or requirements are announced, we will inform the campus community.

Lastly, as a reminder per the CDC’s Prevention & Treatment:

A vital preventative action you can take to help prevent the spread of disease is to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available.


 

February 7, 2020 - 10:56 a.m.

Facts about 2019 nCoV-

Disease:  2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.

How does it spread:  Most often, spread from person-to-person happens among close contacts (about 6-feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It’s currently unclear if a person can get 2019-nCoV by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

Symptoms:  or confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:

-Fever

-Cough

-Shortness of breath

Testing:  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a new laboratory test kit for use in testing patient specimens for 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The test kit is called the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Panel.”

This test is intended for use with upper and lower respiratory specimens collected from persons who meet CDC criteria for 2019-nCoV testing. CDC’s test kit is intended for use by laboratories designated by CDC as qualified, and in the United States, certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to perform high complexity tests.

On Monday, February 3, 2020, CDC submitted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) package to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to expedite FDA permitted use of the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel in the United States. The EUA process enables FDA to consider and authorize the use of unapproved, but potentially life-saving medical or diagnostic products during a public health emergency.

Prevention:  There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

-Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

-If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

-Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

-Stay home when you are sick.

-Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

-Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Treatment:  There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

What You Should Do:  Stay informed – CDC is updating its website daily with the latest information and advice for the public. (www.cdc.gov/ncov)

Remember to take everyday preventive actions that are always recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

-Avoid close contact with sick people.

-While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.

-Stay home if you are sick.

-Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

-Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

-Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.

If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to China or were in close contact with someone with 2019-nCoV in the 14 days before you began to feel sick, seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Information can be found at Florida Tech Environmental Health & Safety’s Main webpage at: https://www.fit.edu/office-of-environmental-health-and-safety/

And at our Public Health Information webpage at:

https://www.fit.edu/office-of-environmental-health-and-safety/public-health-information/

Here is some additional information about the virus from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

If you have any questions or concerns, you may send them to Florida Tech’s Department of Environmental Health & Safety at ehs@fit.edu.


 

January 30, 2020 - 3:56 p.m.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today confirmed that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has spread between two personnel in the United States, representing the first instance of person-to-person spread with this new virus here.

Previously, all confirmed U.S. cases had been associated with travel to Wuhan, China, where an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by this novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December 2019. However, this latest 2019-nCoV patient has no history of travel to Wuhan but shared a household with the patient diagnosed with 2019-nCoV infection on January 21, 2020.

Recognizing early on that the 2019-nCoV could potentially spread between people, CDC has been working closely with state and local partners to identify close contacts of confirmed 2019-nCoV cases. Public health officials identified this Illinois resident through contact tracing. Both patients are in stable condition.

“Given what we’ve seen in China and other countries with the novel coronavirus, CDC experts have expected some person-to-person spread in the US,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D.  “We understand that this may be concerning, but based on what we know now, we still believe the immediate risk to the American public is low.”https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0130-coronavirus-spread.html

The university will continue to monitor the situation.

No confirmed cases in Florida.

If you have any questions or concerns, you may send them to Florida Tech’s Department of Environmental Health & Safety at ehs@fit.edu.


 

January 30, 2020 - 9:46 a.m.

Campus Community:

Information can be found at Florida Tech Environmental Health & Safety’s Main webpage at: https://www.fit.edu/office-of-environmental-health-and-safety/

And at our Public Health Information webpage at:

https://www.fit.edu/office-of-environmental-health-and-safety/public-health-information/

The university will continue to monitor the situation.

No confirmed cases in Florida.

Here is some additional information about the virus from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

If you have any questions or concerns, you may send them to Florida Tech’s Department of Environmental Health & Safety at ehs@fit.edu.