The University continues to prepare for the start of fall classes, working closely with local, state, and federal officials to adapt and respond to the evolving circumstances of COVID-19.
University of Miami Logo
August 7, 2020
To the University of Miami Community:

The University continues to prepare for the start of fall classes, working closely with local, state, and federal officials to adapt and respond to the evolving circumstances of COVID-19.

Please read this message carefully, as we have made a few significant changes to our testing procedures.

The following is the latest in our series of weekly updates provided to keep you informed about the University’s preparations for the fall. You may review last week’s message here.

Health, wellness, and testing

Before returning to campus

  • New requirement: All students will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test before returning to campus. Information regarding testing requirements and instructions has been sent directly to students. Learn more.
  • Students who test negative and successfully complete the attestation will be cleared to return to campus and are expected to follow CDC guidelines.
  • As of today, approximately 89 percent of residential students and 38 percent of non-residential students who plan to attend classes in person have requested their test. Students are urged to complete their test as soon as possible to ensure they receive a timely clearance to return to campus.
  • Students who test positive must self-isolate at home in accordance with CDC guidelines and will need to contact Student Health Service to obtain clearance prior to returning to campus.
  • Those with a positive test result from an external vendor should seek care in their community of residence and complete the Student Health Service COVID-19 Self Report Form.
  • Students, faculty, and staff who are on campus are required to use a daily symptom checker and respond appropriately to the guidance it provides. Information and instructions on this tool will follow shortly, but it is currently available on the COVID-19 Return to Campus Tools website:

Asymptomatic testing

  • We will initiate voluntary testing of randomly selected University faculty, staff, and students to monitor the prevalence of infection. This will help us to identify and respond quickly and decisively to any observed uptick in disease in certain areas of campus or groups. If you are selected for testing, as a public health matter, you are strongly encouraged to participate.

Symptomatic testing

  • Faculty and staff who are experiencing possible symptoms consistent with, or who have been potentially exposed to, COVID-19 should contact the University’s COVID-19 hotline at 305-243-8378.
  • Students who are experiencing possible symptoms consistent with, or who have been potentially exposed to, COVID-19 should contact the University’s COVID-19 hotline at 305-243-8378 and should follow the guidance on the Student Health Service website.

Complete information regarding the University’s testing requirements, including how to report positive test results conducted outside the University of Miami and self-isolation requirements, can be found at

Shared behaviors

  • Face coverings are mandatory at all times while in public spaces on our campuses, whether indoors or outdoors. Failure to follow this requirement will result in disciplinary action for students, faculty, and staff. The CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal, everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings.
  • For faculty unable to wear a face covering while teaching, the following are recommended:
    • Wear a face covering or mask to and from the class (unless there is a medical condition, such as trouble breathing).
    • Clean and disinfect podium area (wipe down podium, microphone, keyboard/mouse, etc.) immediately upon entering the class.
    • Wear a face shield while teaching.
    • Stay in an identified area during the lecture that is at least six feet from students—refrain from walking among students or back and forth in front of the class.
  • All students, faculty, and staff must complete the We Are One U: COVID-19 Safety Principles online module, by Monday, Aug. 10.


  • Our facilities and operations teams are working to maintain a healthy environment for our University community. View the latest facilities actions update.
  • Protocols to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in the wastewater for all three campuses have been developed and will be implemented shortly. Similar to random testing, this information will help us map and respond to any potential community spread.

Teaching and learning

  • Fall 2020 classes will begin on Monday, Aug. 17, and on-campus instruction will conclude on Friday, Nov. 20. Final exams, which will be conducted exclusively online, will take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4.
  • To date about 23 percent of enrolled students have opted for the remote/distance modality. This will facilitate our ability to further reduce density and promote physical distancing in classrooms.


  • Appointment-based access will be available at the Richter Library, Architecture Research Center, Weeks Music Library, and Rosenstiel Library. Capacity has been reduced to accommodate the need for physical distancing. Online resources and services are available at any time.
  • Books and other equipment can be requested and picked up at convenient locations, and laptops will be available for check-out.
  • Learning Commons’ tutoring and consultations will be available online, and peer research consultants, subject librarians, and data services librarians are also providing online support.
  • If you have questions, visit to connect via chat, email, or phone.

Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center

  • The Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center on the Coral Gables Campus reopened on Aug. 3 to students only. The center plans to reopen to non-student members on Nov. 1. More information is available on the center’s website.

Student life

  • Resident students who plan to move into their Fall 2020 semester housing assignment after Aug. 16, must notify Housing and Residential Life by completing the request form before Aug. 17.
  • The University has hired 75 students to serve as Public Health Ambassadors to educate the University community on healthy behaviors, including physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and practicing good hand hygiene.
  • A campus-wide curfew of 10 p.m. will be enforced until further notice. With the exception of any University credit-bearing classes ending past 10 p.m., all resident students must return to and be within their residential college or apartment area by the stated curfew. Non-resident students are expected to follow campus and local curfews. Currently Miami-Dade County has a countywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day.
  • The University Counseling Center will provide students continued care through a tele-health option, either by phone or video conferencing. In-person sessions will no longer be provided during this time. Additional information is available at
  • The Student Center Complex is taking proactive measures to ensure that physical distancing can be respected within its facilities. Learn more about the center’s reservations, guidelines, and policies.
  • The Department of Student Organizations and Student Activities has developed University-wide guidelines for all undergraduate student meetings, programs, and events on campus.


  • Residential dining and retail locations are expected to resume regular schedules in a reimagined and redesigned format. Visit the dining website for the latest updates or email with specific questions.

Faculty and staff

  • All staff who are not required to provide direct support to students or patients should continue to work from home and should return to campus only after receiving explicit approval from their manager, dean, or administrative vice president.
  • An online health screening/attestation is required for all faculty and staff before returning to campus.
  • Staff identified by their managers to return to campus will receive a link to the health screening/attestation form via email, which will need to be completed prior to returning to campus for the first time, as well as after any leave of absence or extended absence from campus. Faculty and staff approved to return to campus will also be required to complete the daily symptom checker.
  • Staff working from home should continue to complete the COVID-19 Telecommute Arrangement in Workday for each week that you work from home. For assistance, please review the COVID-19 Telecommute Arrangement in Workday Tip Sheet.
  • The COVID-19 Return to Onsite Work Policy has been developed to establish expectations for effective and appropriate workplace standards related to COVID-19.
  • Faculty and staff at UHealth and the Miller School of Medicine should continue to follow guidance shared by Medical Campus leadership and review the latest Medical Campus advisories and information here.


  • Faculty should continue to follow the Research Standard Operating Procedure, which is based on our robust, evidence-based strategy to reduce disease transmissibility, devised by UHealth clinical leadership and public health experts, and relies on five Ts—testing, tracing, tele-vigilance, tracking, and teamwork—to minimize new exposure and spread of infection.

Our careful and thoughtful approach to reopening campus is rooted in following the Four Pillars to help slow the spread. For more information about our plan for a safe return to campus, please visit the coronavirus response webpage, which is updated regularly and includes frequently asked questions.

Together, we will work toward a safe, engaging, and productive academic year.

We Are One U.
This email was sent by: University of Miami - Communications
6200 San Amaro Drive, Suite 400 Coral Gables, FL, 33146, United States