The Florida Board of Governors has instructed that all state universities currently on spring break, which includes UWF, should instruct students not to return to campus for at least two weeks following spring break. This includes the Fort Walton Beach campus.

Students at the University of West Florida won't be coming back to campus for at least two weeks after spring break due to the coronavirus outbreak and will instead shift to online classes.


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The Florida Board of Governors has instructed that all state universities currently on spring break, which includes UWF, should instruct students not to return to campus for at least two weeks following spring break. This includes the Fort Walton Beach campus.



The board announced the instruction in a press release Wednesday afternoon that said universities not on spring break should begin to transition to "remote instruction" as soon as possible. Each individual university will send out specific instructions for their students and staff to respond to the board's directive.


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"All universities will continue to provide essential services, such as dining, counseling, health services, library services, etc., potentially on a limited basis or remotely," the board press release said. "Each university with clinical and other non-classroom based programs will communicate directly with those students. All university employees, including student employees, are expected to report to work as usual at this time."


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Each university will also develop a plan for residential housing for students who need assistance or must remain in place on campus, the release said.


Face-to-face instruction at UWF will resume March 30, according to a university press release.


In the meantime, UWF encouraged students to remain off-campus, though student housing and dining services will remain open to on-campus residents.



"The University will make every effort to be considerate of instructor and student concerns during this unprecedented situation," the UWF press release said. "Instructors are expected to be similarly considerate of student concerns. Students should contact their instructors with any course-related questions or concerns."


The university was already in the process of preparing to transition to online classes for the rest of the semester in response to COVID-19 before the announcement from the board of governors.


The university sent out an email to teachers Wednesday morning recommending they begin moving their classes to "online delivery" immediately.


"While this is not a requirement at this time, there is a strong probability that it will become a requirement soon," the email said. "Therefore, instructors are strongly encouraged to transition now."


The university was already in the process of preparing to transition to online classes for the rest of the semester in response to COVID-19 before the announcement from the board of governors.


The university sent out an email to teachers Wednesday morning recommending they begin moving their classes to "online delivery" immediately.



"While this is not a requirement at this time, there is a strong probability that it will become a requirement soon," the email said. "Therefore, instructors are strongly encouraged to transition now."


The university was already in the process of preparing to transition to online classes for the rest of the semester in response to COVID-19 before the announcement from the board of governors.


The university sent out an email to teachers Wednesday morning recommending they begin moving their classes to "online delivery" immediately.


"While this is not a requirement at this time, there is a strong probability that it will become a requirement soon," the email said. "Therefore, instructors are strongly encouraged to transition now."


As of Thursday morning, the Florida Department of Health reported there were 26 Florida residents who had tested positive for coronavirus, and two of those residents had died. There were also two non-Florida residents who tested positive in the state and five Florida residents outside the state who were at federal sites and would be repatriated once they're healthy.


Jim Little can be reached at jwlittle@pnj.com and 850-208-9827.