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Keeping our community healthy and well is a shared responsibility. The best way to support your fellow Panthers is by taking care of your own health. Everyone who visits one of our campuses or academic locations must follow all on-campus protocols – including completing the P3 app before visiting FIU, wearing a face covering, practicing physical distancing and washing hands frequently while on campus – and observe safety guidelines in offices, classrooms, public spaces, housing and laboratories. 

Below you’ll find information related to your return to FIU. In addition to this information, researchers should also visit the Office of Research and Economic Development website.



Environmental health and safety

  • Cleaning

    The university has implemented robust cleaning and sanitation protocols in all campus facilities and is using EPA-approved cleaning supplies that are known to kill the COVID-19 virus. FIU disinfection teams have been formed and trained to use equipment that employs electrostatic ionization technology, reflecting current best practices, and specific disinfection protocols are being followed in accordance with direction from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), FIU Health and/or FIU’s Contact Tracing Team.

    Classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned once a day. Restrooms and other high-traffic common areas will be cleaned twice daily. Additionally, cleaning supplies will be available for individuals who wish to self-sanitize their areas. 

    Areas/furniture under the specific control of a department will be the responsibility of that department.

    All dining areas and stations as well as RICOH will be managed by Business Services or the venue operator. General seating and common areas will follow a preset cleaning schedule managed by Facilities Management.

    Service centers and work areas frequented by visitors and students will feature plexiglass and hand sanitizing stations. 

    Deep cleaning can be requested by calling Work Management at 305-348-4600. If you suspect a Covid-19 spread, please contact the EOC at dem@fiu.edu immediately.

    Should their services be required, the university has contracts in place for decontamination services by third-party vendors.

    For additional questions, please contact Facilities Management at facmgmt@fiu.edu.

  • Classrooms and Physical Distancing

    All classroom seating is being redesigned to account for a 6-foot social distancing requirement. In rooms with movable seating, only the appropriate number of seats are available and the room is being marked off to show where the seats need to be. For classrooms with fixed seating, the seats that can be used are being marked and the seats that cannot be used are being made inaccessible. Students must also maintain awareness of their own personal space and not congregate by doors or teaching podiums. Both students and professors must wear masks at all times while class is in session.

  • Elevators

    We encourage you to use the stairs when possible and follow the directional arrows as posted. Most elevators will be limited to four (4) occupants per cab with the exception of oversized elevators such as those found in the Green Library, which will allow six (6) passengers. There will be floor stickers in every elevator indicating where you should stand. In addition, you are required to wear a face covering at all times while on campus, including while using an elevator (regardless of whether or not you are alone).

    Touch the elevator buttons with something other than your hand or fingers, if possible. The edge of a pen, for instance, can be used to press an elevator button. When you leave the elevator, please sanitize your hands immediately, preferably with soap and water. If that’s not possible, hand sanitizer dispensers are available at building entries and at the first floor elevator bank of all buildings. In the libraries, hand sanitizer dispensers are available at all elevator lobbies.

    While waiting for an elevator, please practice appropriate physical distancing.

  • Signs

    More than 22,000 signs have been printed for placement around FIU’s campuses and academic locations to help remind you of the new protocols.


Personal responsibility

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus when it is safe to do so. Several things are required for your return:

  • completion of an online training program called Panthers Protecting Panthers (students can access the course here)
  • completion of FIU’s screening app, the P3 app, before coming to campus
  • use of a face covering, proper physical distancing and frequent hand washing 

Online training

FIU has developed an online training program, called Panthers Protecting Panthers, that consists of training modules to provide guidance on maintaining a safe workplace. The course is required to be completed by all faculty, staff and students since maintaining a healthy environment is everyone’s responsibility.

P3 app

The P3 app consists of a series of screening questions that must be answered by all faculty, staff and students who come to our campuses or academic locations. In order for the app to be effective, we all have to do our part and answer the screening questions with honesty and integrity. The results of this daily check-in will initiate testing protocol established by our workgroup on Guidelines for Screening, Testing, Tracing and Disinfection.

Learn more about P3

Face coverings

As part of the Panthers Protecting Panthers initiative, everyone who comes to one of FIU’s campuses or academic locations is required to wear a face covering. 

Students: We’re giving all FIU students enrolled in the Fall 2020 semester one free face covering. You can get yours via special vending machines at MMC, BBC and the Engineering Center.

Find a vending machine close to you (Please note -- You’ll need your FIU One Card to get your free face covering from the vending machine).

Faculty: All instructors who teach an in-person class are required to mask at all times during that class.

Faculty and Staff: If you are alone in your office and the door is closed, a face covering is not required. If, however, someone visits you in your office, all of you must wear a face covering. It is also recommended that hand sanitizer be available for everyone.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing for students and employees is an integral component of the university’s plan to keep our community healthy and well. This function will be conducted by the university’s own COVID-19 Prevention and Response Team. After interviewing employees and students who test positive for COVID-19, the team will contact the identified close campus contacts and advise them to obtain a COVID-19 test and quarantine themselves. The team will also contact the Facilities Department to clean and disinfect any affected buildings. The team will also be responsible for providing clearance documentation to students and employees who have recovered from COVID-19 infection.

Should you have any additional questions, please call the COVID Response Team (305) 348-1919



COVID-19

Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness, but anyone can have mild to severe symptoms anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure to the virus – or not at all if they are asymptomatic.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms.

Testing

FIU is partnering with Miami-Dade County, Florida Department of Health, and Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition to operate a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site. Free testing takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily by appointment only. The entrance to the site is located on S.W. 107th Avenue and 20th Street. Appointments must be made by calling 305-499-8767. The call center opens at 9 a.m. and takes appointments for the following day until all slots are filled. To qualify for testing, a person must be at least 5 years old. 

Testing is also available at our Ambulatory Care Clinic and Student Health Clinic. You may also be tested through your healthcare provider or other county sites. 

The university has obtained CLIA certification for one on-campus lab, which will allow FIU to develop in-house testing protocol.

Is it the flu or COVID-19?

Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. While they share many of the same characteristics, there are some key differences between the two. It may be hard for you to tell whether you have the flu or COVID-19 based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

While more is learned every day, there is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it. The CDC has created this page that compares COVID-19 and the flu, given the best available information to date.

Returning to school or work

Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, students and employees coming back to campus after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis must:

  • Wait at least 10 days from the day of the test or the onset of symptoms; AND
  • Have no fever for at least 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medications); AND
  • Have had all other symptoms improve


Self-quarantine

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

Who needs to quarantine?

Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. 

What counts as close contact?

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Steps to take

Key steps to take while waiting for your test results

Stay home and monitor your health

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell and/or taste, or other symptoms of COVID-19
  • If possible, stay away others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. FIU strongly recommends staying away from others for the full 14 days, even if you test during this time and the results are negative, because the incubation period for the virus is 2-14 days.

Frequently asked questions