Friday afternoon, Santa Fe College President Paul Broadie II, Ph.D. released the following statement to the college community about updating the college’s COVID-19 safety protocols. His message is below.
Dear Santa Fe Family,
I would like to provide you with an important update. First, however, I want to express my utmost gratitude to our college community for your admirable response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I truly appreciate the hard work and ingenuity shown by our faculty and staff in adapting to many changes over the past fourteen months. Through it all, you have worked tirelessly in finding ways to continue to support the academic success of our students.
We remain committed to safely providing the best possible learning opportunities to our students, who are looking forward to a vibrant college experience and the face-to-face interactions with each of you that are at the heart of their academic experience. I want to take this opportunity to welcome our employees back to campus from your temporary work locations. Zoom has been a great tool for us to stay connected, but it can never replace the richness of our in-person interactions with each other, our students, and the public.
Based on evolving scientific evidence, on May 13th the CDC changed its recommendations for wearing face masks, stating that fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing. As a result, we re-examined our mask protocols with guidance from the Alachua County Health Department, our Return to Campus Committee and medical professionals.
Effective immediately, Santa Fe College will suspend mask requirements outdoors. To provide unvaccinated individuals an opportunity to obtain a vaccine, our college will continue to require masks indoors in accordance with our existing protocols until June 27th . With the start of Summer B on June 28th, masks will be optional, and beginning this fall semester, physical distancing requirements will be relaxed, and we will resume full-scale operations and instruction. Individuals not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are recommended to continue wearing masks according to CDC guidance.
Throughout the pandemic we have been committed to following guidance from the CDC, the Alachua County Health Department, our Return to Campus Committee, and medical professionals. In the last year, the college has provided onsite testing and vaccination clinics, along with contact tracing, COVID training and significant environmental controls to mitigate the spread of the virus. These environmental controls remain in place. Air filters that allow for optimal air flow are being used by Facilities Services throughout the college. We will continue to encourage individuals to stay home if they are ill. Contact tracing and required reporting of symptoms or positive cases will also continue.
Based on the widespread availability of the vaccine to anyone 12 years and older and the absence of a mandated vaccine in accordance with Florida law (SB 2006), I encourage all those that are able and wish to get a vaccine to do so. Anyone who wants to get vaccinated may contact the Alachua County Health Department at 352-334-7900, or the Bradford County Health Department at 904-964-7732. Alachua County has also set up a COVID vaccine waitlist at uf.tfaforms.net/f/achd-vaccine-waitlist. In addition, more than 30 retailers and many private practices have doses on hand in Alachua County; there are also retailers in Bradford County and across our state with available vaccines.
I sincerely thank our Return to Campus Committee, Alachua County Health Department administrator, Mr. Paul Myers and our local medical professionals for their recommendations and guidance that have informed our decisions.
I encourage any SF employee who has any questions to reach out to your supervisor, who can consult with Human Resources as needed. Students can contact Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
We will continue to monitor the health of our campus and local community in partnership with our local medical professionals and our local health department. I want to express my deepest appreciation for your resilience and patience as we look forward to a robust fall semester.