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June 24, 2020
As communities reopen across the country, we continue to closely monitor the rise in COVID-19 cases, especially here in South Florida. The recent spike in positive cases reported in Florida is understandably concerning since we are in the midst of planning for the repopulation of our campuses this fall. Yet amid these unpredictable times, be assured that the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remain our highest priority.

This message is to reaffirm to each of you our commitment to your health and safety, and to remind you about the plans in place to offer a safe environment this fall.

The increase in reported positive cases has served as a reminder of our shared responsibility to adhere to the practices that we’ve already put in place to ensure the safety of our family, friends, and neighbors.

Together, we can slow the spread and keep our loved ones and our communities safe. This requires that we wear face coverings when in public (and hold family members accountable to do so as well), continue to practice physical distancing, wash our hands frequently, and avoid all unnecessary domestic and international travel—both personal and professional.

We are continuously evaluating and updating our travel guidelines based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the State Department, and public health officials.

As a reminder, University-related international travel continues to be prohibited, and members of the University community who travel internationally are required to quarantine for 14 days upon return. In addition, any employee who operates in or supports clinical care is prohibited from any domestic and/or international travel to ensure appropriate staffing levels should situations warrant.

In many ways, the message we are sharing today is a reminder of what we have been doing all along for the past several months. Consistency and the adherence to all guidance is what will help all of us combat the pandemic.

As we move forward with our plans to welcome students back in the fall, we will be using the four pillars as our guide. The four pillars include testing, tracing, and tracking; cleaning and disinfecting; protecting personal space; and vaccinating. Details regarding the four pillars can be found at These pillars were created with thoughtful consideration of our complex environment, and will help us cover every facet for a safe return.

Our University of Miami Health System is caring for many of South Florida’s newest COVID-19 patients. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation and work with emergency management to ensure we have appropriate supplies, staffing, and inpatient beds to treat all patients. Employees are being reminded to remain steadfast, wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and frequent hand washing, among other activities.

We are going to continue to do what’s best for the health and well-being of our community by planning a safe welcome home for each of you this fall.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.

See you soon.
Jeffrey L. Duerk signature
Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Jacqueline Travisano signature
Jacqueline Travisano, Ed.D
Executive Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Operating Officer
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