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UCF has spent nearly $5 million on COVID-19 safety measures

The spending isn’t over.

The University of Central Florida has spent roughly $5 million so far to protect its population from the spread of COVID-19.

As one of the largest universities in the nation, UCF has the tall task of protecting more than 69,000 students and more than 13,500 employees, some of whom may be on campus at any time come Fall.

The cost of UCF’s COVID-19 measures has prompted the university to adjust its budget to help manage the continuing expenses. The university may also consider other budget alternatives such as hiring and purchasing freezes.

Thus far, UCF has purchased:

— 1,200 touch-free hand sanitizer stations with 2,000 cases of sanitizer refills and 600 disinfecting wipe dispensers with 1,200 cases of wipe refills for a total of $491,000.

— 100,000 reusable face coverings; all students, faculty and staff will receive one for a total of $110,000.

— 250,000 disposable masks for vendors, visitors and distribution as otherwise needed for a total of $199,000.

— Materials and labor to upgrade ventilation systems with UV-C ultraviolet lighting in high-traffic buildings for a total of $600,00; and upgraded filtration across campus.

— 400 retrofitted motion-sensors for doors for a total of $57,000.

— 615 foot-operated door openers for a total of $16,000.

— 203 touch-free faucets and toilet valves for a total of $43,000.

— 530+ Plexiglas panels, approximately ¼ mile, to be installed in the welcome center, financial aid office, student advising office and other high-traffic areas for a running total of $30,000.

— 1,350 touch-free paper towel dispensers for buildings that don’t have them for a total of $93,000.

— Labor and materials for enhanced cleaning, with hourly wipe-downs of high touch-points like door handles, elevator buttons, common-area surfaces and bathrooms for a total of $3 million.

Documents show that UCF will also utilize disinfectant foggers that can kill viruses on contact and post signs that encourage social distancing and the use of masks. No costs, however, were provided for those items.

While most classes will be held online, the university plans to begin limited on-campus instruction on Aug. 24 in large-scale classrooms.

“For example, a class with 25 students may be held in a room designed for 100,” the university explained.

Additionally, UCF will transition to fully remote classes after Thanksgiving break.

In June, the Board of Governors approved the reopening plans for Florida’s 12 state universities.

UCF’s reopening plans include reduced capacity for on-campus housing. In total, UCF will reduce occupancy by roughly 450 beds.

The university will also limit double-rooms to single occupancy and designate more than 50 single isolation rooms for students who need to self-quarantine or isolate.

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

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