Dear FIU faculty and staff,
There can be no doubt that our campuses are at their best when fully repopulated with the people they were built for - you! We are excited that life and humanity are slowly and carefully returning to our learning sanctuaries!
Together, we are building on our sense of community and demonstrating prudence in navigating our new normal, as we continue to practice safety protocols and look out for each other. I thank every member of our Panther family for your cooperation and patience during this time.
By now, 100 percent of university departments, units and centers should be participating in on-campus repopulation rotations. We should aim for at least 50 percent occupancy in each of the divisions and units, where possible, while observing all mitigation measures in place through our Panthers Protecting Panthers COVID-19 protocols. These measures include, but are not limited to: daily completion of the P3 app safety screening questionnaire before the beginning of each day on campus; wearing facial coverings at all times while on campus; handwashing with frequency, and maintaining physical distance. We recognize that maintaining physical distancing in our workplaces may result in less than full capacity on any given day. The health and wellbeing of our university community continues to be a top priority.
Please use all resources available to you as you make decisions regarding the repopulation of departments, units, and centers. These include the Panthers Protecting Panthers Safety Course, recorded Town Halls on Repopulation and FIU’s Guidelines for Repopulation.
Flexibility has been a guiding value for us since the inception of this pandemic. We have asked supervisors to be flexible to help accommodate faculty and staff members who have children still learning remotely or are caregivers for relatives, as well as those who self-identify as having a health vulnerability. The university’s COVID-19 Emergency Policy offers several options to address unique circumstances including the listing of qualifying Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) addressing childcare provisions associated with COVID-19.
What’s open on campus
To facilitate your return, retail locations and campus partners will continue to serve our FIU community. This includes dining locations, Barnes and Noble at FIU and service partners such as Wayki’s Salon (formerly Santi’s), Golden Touch, Ricoh and College Optical. For a complete list of what’s open, hours of operation and information on appointments and reservations, visit shopFIU.
As we increase our physical presence on our campuses, we will do so in the same manner we have done things since the beginning of the pandemic: carefully and informed by data. We will continue to monitor the case numbers in our university community as well as in South Florida and will adjust our plans as necessary.
Flu shot recommended
The FIU Health Faculty Practice is open and performs COVID-19 tests. We encourage all members of the university to get the flu shot as soon as possible. Please call 305-348-3627 for an appointment. COVID-19 testing is also available throughout the community, including a free Miami-Dade County testing site located on the fairgrounds next door to MMC.
Upcoming holiday season
We can look forward to the forthcoming holiday season. However, we cannot let our guards down - to ensure the health and well-being of our FIU family, we deeply regret that holiday gatherings are not permitted on our campuses this year. Anyone wishing to celebrate with colleagues or business units could do so virtually. Hopefully next year we can make up lost personal greetings and the joy of traditional holiday celebrations.
Nonetheless, as each of you finds an opportunity to share joy and thanksgiving with your family and friends, we urge you to adhere to all measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. This pandemic knows no limits or boundaries. Stopping the spread is task number one for sure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued some recommendations for holiday celebrations to help you and your loved ones stay healthy.
Thank you for your cooperation. You are valued, appreciated and needed to make our community prosper. Please stay safe and healthy!
Mark B. Rosenberg