Reopening and staying vigilant

President Don O'Shea
New College President Don O’Shea

I will present our “Campus Reopening Plan” to the Florida Board of Governors for the State University System (SUS) on Tues. June 23.

In the meantime, we continue to work out the details for implementing the various components called for by the reopening plan. These include the education and training of community members about safety guidelines, testing and tracing, and the return and orientation of students and the like.

We and our colleagues in the SUS are monitoring the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Florida. Both Manatee and Sarasota counties have had record numbers of new cases, in part, because of increasingly relaxed attitudes toward social distancing and other protective measures that have prevailed since emergency county and state measures have been lifted.

At New College, we are setting aside rooms in the residence halls for students who test positive for COVID-19. Having more than 10 students in quarantine at the same time will trigger a thorough review of whether New College can safely continue to offer face-to-face instruction. If Manatee or Sarasota counties become hot spots, we will evaluate a switch to operating entirely remotely and/or adopting additional protective measures, such as restricting visitors and vendors on campus.

Please continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and use face coverings in the presence of others.

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