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University Presidents Urge Florida Students To Get Vaccine Before Returning To Campus

Daylina Miller
WUSF Public Media

The presidents of Florida’s 14 state universities — including the University of South Florida — wrote an open letter Tuesday urging students to be vaccinated before returning to campus.

The letter was written on the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed its earlier guidance and is now encouraging indoor masking for fully vaccinated people.

“We strongly recommend that all students get vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus before arriving on campus,” states the letter, which was signed by the presidents of each university.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, our successes are a result of our campus communities accepting a shared responsibility for their health and well-being and practicing recommended precautions. Being vaccinated can protect your health and you are likely to avoid disruptions in your semester if you are exposed to COVID- 19.”

It also was written as Florida is seeing a spike in coronavirus cases largely driven by the delta variant, and hospitals across the greater Tampa Bay region are filling up.

With a statewide surge in COVID-19 cases, some schools are ramping up their messaging.

The letter also comes a week after Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson released a video urging students to get vaccinated. It kicked off a $1 million campaign as an enticement, as any student who gets vaccinated will enter a drawing to win prizes, such as cash or an iPad.
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Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.
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