Board of Governors approves FSU’s reopening plan

Florida State is overjoyed after climbing eight spots over last year's ranking. (Florida State...
Florida State is overjoyed after climbing eight spots over last year's ranking. (Florida State University)(WJHG)
Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 12:04 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida Board of Governors has approved FSU’s plans to reopen campus for the fall semester, with significant changes and restrictions due to COVID-19.

The board voted unanimously in favor of the plan at its meeting at the University of Central Florida in Orlando Tuesday.

Board members called FSU’s blueprint a “terrific plan with lots of detail.” The board also emphasized the need for flexibility in the next two months as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, and encouraged the university to conduct a “dry run” to prepare for a possible outbreak on the FSU campus.

Prior to the vote, Florida State University President Thrasher and other administrators presented the details of the plan.

“What can you do to keep students, faculty and staff as safe as possible? That’s throughout our program. It’s a very strong emphasis in our plan,” Thrasher said.

Social distancing guidelines will be in place and face masks will be required for all members of the university community, along with visitors.

Thrasher emphasized individual responsibility and talked about a new “Stay Healthy FSU” plan, which will emphasize that responsibility to students.

But he said there will be enforcement if needed. “If we see some major issues, we’re going to take charge of that,” Thrasher said.

Thrasher also emphasized testing, saying by the start of fall semester, FSU will be able to conduct 4,000 COVID-19 tests a week with their own lab at Innovation Park.

The university has set the goal of having all students, faculty and staff tested before the start of the semester. Testing would then continue on a regular basis throughout the semester.

If a case is found while a student is on campus, that student would be quarantined in Rogers Hall and a team would work to trace any and all contacts.

Most classes will continue to be taught online. Classes like arts and lab courses will take priority for in-person instruction. Other courses may be offered face to face as well.

“I really believe in face to face classes to the extent the university can do it feasibly,” said Thrasher.

The last two weeks of the semester following Thanksgiving break will be conducted virtually. Prior to that, any significant outbreak could trigger a return to full distance learning.

Move in at Florida State is scheduled August 10 and the semester is set to begin August 24.

The meeting was broadcast live on Youtube.

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