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Coronavirus in Florida

Some Florida universities are shifting summer classes to online only

The University of Florida now has 14 positive student cases.

Several state universities are moving some of their summer classes online in anticipation that the novel coronavirus pandemic won’t be easing anytime soon. Campuses are currently doing online and remote classes for the rest of the spring semesters by direction of the Board of Governors.

The most recent numbers, updated Monday morning, show Florida has a total of 1,171 positive cases, including 1,096 Florida residents. The death toll has gone up to 14, an increase of one from Sunday evening. That person was from Palm Beach County.

More cases are also popping up on the college campuses. 

The University of Tampa, which has six students who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus has moved its summer classes online. One is a travel case and five were together for spring break.

The University of Florida, which is moving classes online starting in May, now has 14 positive cases, up from 4. It’s yet to make a decision on classes starting in July.

Florida State University announced that its summer classes beginning in May, including law school courses, will be held online. A decision about June classes will be announced later. The University of Central Florida’s May classes are also all going online, but they have also not yet made a decision on June classes.  

UCF announced on March 20th a student and a military contractor tested positive. A staff member from Florida International University also tested positive. FSU says they are not aware of any positive cases. A University of South Florida Tampa employee and a student at the school’s St. Petersburg campus have also come down with the illness. USF will hold May classes online, but haven’t yet made a determination about the format of classes being held later in the summer.  

Universities are also canceling or rescheduling commencement ceremonies. UF has moved the event to the weekend of July 31-Aug 2nd. Florida A&M University has said they will conduct their spring commencement remotely and will announce at a later date when they will reschedule it. USF is postponing its spring commencement ceremonies and considering holding them in conjunction with summer graduations, but a final determination has not yet been made.

Some universities have yet to announce on their websites whether any of their summer classes will be online or on-campus, such as FIU, FAMU, Florida Polytechnic University and St. Petersburg College.

Written By

Sarah Mueller has extensive experience covering public policy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2010. She began her career covering local government in Texas, Georgia and Colorado. She returned to school in 2016 to earn a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting. Since then, she’s worked in public radio covering state politics in Illinois, Florida and Delaware. If you'd like to contact her, send an email to sarah@floridapolitics.com.

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