ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) – As the coronavirus continues to spread across Florida and the United States, universities are beginning to activate emergency preparations.
Officials at the University of Central Florida said teachers have been instructed to prepare to teach courses online. UCF is currently on spring break.
The University of Florida recommended on Monday that in-person classes be conducted online. It’s not being required, but a statement said there is a strong possibility it will become a requirement.
Florida State University also directed faculty to be ready to shift their courses from face-to-face classes to online, should the need arise.
A UCF student told WESH 2 News he decided against traveling home for spring break because of the coronavirus.
“It was a big risk. So, I’m not afraid of like dying or anything but if like, I got it, and was at school, I’d have to stay at my room for at least two weeks and that’s something that wasn’t worth the risk,” Jace Pibil said.
While there have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at UCF, the school is being proactive in planning for a possible outbreak.
In an emailed statement to WESH 2 News, UCF officials said, “Faculty members have been encouraged to consider and develop contingency plans for course delivery. Monday, UCF launched a robust online resource to help faculty members deliver online learning should there be a need.”
Students like Pibil said that rather than having classes canceled, moving to online learning would be preferable.
“That would be nice so you don’t have to miss anything, it seems like a precaution that’s necessary,” Pibil said.
Other Central Florida schools are taking similar measures.
Rollins College officials said they are actively crafting contingency plans for a number of scenarios.
Valencia College is making plans to support students and faculty if it becomes necessary to move instruction out of the classroom, officials said.
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