TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The only thing more important than the syllabus this semester is coronavirus safety as students and staff return to class with case numbers still rising across the country.
Both local colleges started the semester virtually to allow time to identify cases that may have occurred over the holiday break.
Before Florida A&M students and teachers get back in the classroom, university officials have updated its safety protocols.
"We have included a requirement for training for our faculty staff and students COVID-19 training," said Rica Calhoun, FAMU Chief Compliance Ethics Officer. "We have expanded our testing framework to include pre-return testing, initial testing, and a scheduled biweekly testing for faculty staff and students."
Only 12 students and six employees at FAMU have tested positive in the week ending on January 15. University President Dr. Larry Robinson says their efforts to contain virus spread on campus seem to be working so far.
"We've seen about a two-percent positivity rate within the staff which is far below the rate for Leon County, and remarkably we've seen less than one-percent thus far among our students and that's really really good," said Robinson.
He hopes continued testing and monitoring will keep their numbers low.
Kelsey Mira visits FAMU for ROTC but attends Florida State University. Mira says she's noticed students on both campuses taking the virus seriously.
"I get always a little bit nervous with large groups but I do know that my peers who have in-person classes this semester are taking precautions," said Mira.
After her experience within person-classes last fall, she adds, "I think FSU did a good job of ensuring that students weren't just walking around the building and potentially exposing others."
We also reached out to FSU administrators for an update on the university's updated coronavirus numbers, but we were told no one was available for comment.
Both Universities have canceled spring break and will end their semesters early on April 23.