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UT Expects Full Return of Face-to-Face Instruction for Fall 2021 

By Kendra Williams

On Monday, March 22, The University of Tampa sent out a global message to all students, faculty and staff. The University of Tampa is set to return to full face to face instruction for Fall 2021.

“I was actually surprised when I heard about the email,” says Sherifie Tatis, a junior art major. “I didn’t really see it coming, since Covid cases are still happening.”

Almost one year ago, UT moved fully remote amidst the surge of Covid-19 cases in America. When UT decided to move classes fully remote, the school was on spring break. Many left campus and have not come back since then. Some have come back to campus for hybrid instruction.

Last Fall, there were 832 total reported cases on campus, including staff and faculty. As of January 2021, there were 761 reported recoveries. Still, there is still some concern about the safety and health of UT Students.

“I just don’t feel too sure about not social distancing,” says Tatis. “But I am glad that we will still be required to wear masks.”

Others feel UT simply does not care for its students. “I was shocked and disappointed about the email,” says Ashley Ruehle, junior psychology major. “I feel like UT does not care about the students and their lives outside of school.”

Currently, there are 2.03 million reported Covid-19 cases in Florida. There are 120,000 cases in Hillsborough County along with 1,601 deaths. The virus is most dangerous to those who are high risk. High risk individuals are usually older and or have underlying medical issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart or lung disease.

“I feel like some students will have increased stress and anxiety,” says Reuhle. “Just because you get vaccinated, does not mean you cannot be a carrier and give it to someone else.”

In the United States as a whole, 14.4 percent of the population are fully vaccinated and 133 million doses have been given. In Florida, 8.81 million cases have been given and only 14 percent of the population is vaccinated.

On May 1, the vaccine is set to be available to all ages of people across the United States. Still, the CDC is still researching the effectiveness of spreading the virus to others, even if you have a vaccine. As of now, they are ruling that it is still possible to pass the vaccine to others, even with the vaccine.

Even though the vaccine protects someone from getting seriously ill if they get Covid-19, the CDC is still urging others to practice social distancing guidelines and wear masks until 70 percent of the population is vaccinated. With only 14 percent of the population vaccinated, many people are very skeptical about taking the Covid vaccine.

“I am waiting until more people take the vaccine,” says Barbara Clark, Tampa Bay CPA. “Though the news is urging everyone to take the vaccine, I would rather wait and see how it affects others.”

UT plans to no longer enforce social distancing guidelines for its campus next semester, for classes, activities, and residence halls. They still expect students and faculty to wear masks, and continue extra hand washing.

The CDC has urged others to follow a 6 feet distance towards others.

“I do not feel safe going back because students and staff do not do their part in helping the crisis,” says Reuhle. “the clubs and bars are still packed every weekend. Students and staff, not wearing their masks. It’s frustrating”

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