University of Florida returns to classes with more students and more testing

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 6:33 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2021 at 6:52 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The campus of the University of Florida does not look much different than it did a year ago, before the covid-19 pandemic, but there are some changes compared to the fall semester.

“The biggest change that people are going to notice is that there will be more students in classrooms than there were in the fall semester,” says UF Vice President of Communications Steve Orlando. “What we were aiming for is to have at least as many class sections for the spring as we had in the spring 2020 before we went on lockdown. We’ve accomplished that by and large.”

UF also plans to increase student testing. They plan to administer up to 3,200 COVID tests daily. Currently they are testing 2,600.

UF students say they feel the University is doing a great job of keeping them safe.

“I get COVID tested all the time and it’s a very easy process as well as I’m paying for part of it as well,” says senior Lauredan Official. “I can get tested every week and not go broke, so that’s really great on the University of Florida’s half of things.”

Lauren Lemasters, a junior, says “I feel like they’ve done a really great job. The gator nation as a whole has really stepped up and been like oh yeah we do want to be protecting each other. And so I feel like they’ve done a great job enforcing all the safety guidelines and just making sure that everyone is doing their part for sure.”

For the first day of classes, the UF student government hosted a mental health awareness giveaway, which is part of mental health awareness week.

“The purpose is really to just emphasize that throughout the semester and the year and whenever, for students to like take time and care for themselves and make these like self care habits important as a part of their day,” says junior Nandini Goel. Students received shirts and had to option of creating a self care bag to take with them.

The UF student government will be hosting more events throughout the week. They include a tie-dyeing event, a sunset yoga event, and a movie night.

Events for mental health awareness week.
Events for mental health awareness week.(WCJB)

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