College updates and answers related to COVID-19

Eckerd College continues to closely monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority as college leaders work closely with local, state and federal agencies to share the most updated information.

  • Monitoring novel coronavirus (COVID-19) - August 6, 2021
    Faculty, staff, and students have supported our goal of achieving an Eckerd community vaccination rate of 85%. For Autumn Term (August 14-September 2), the campus community has reached an 88% vaccination rate. Due to the spread of the Delta variant and its impact on younger age groups, coronavirus remains a serious concern. For Autumn Term and the start of the Fall Semester, we will require face coverings indoors, enforce guest limits in residence halls, and allow only outdoor seating at dining facilities. We are monitoring the campus, regional, state and national data and will reassess protocols as conditions change.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please check this page regularly as new questions may be added and some answers may change. All updates will be noted with a date.

Has there been a case of coronavirus at Eckerd College?

Updated October 21, 2020

All active COVID-19 active cases, quarantine and isolation totals are available on our Plans & Reports page.

What is the status of coronavirus in the Tampa Bay area?

Updated June 23, 2021

Pinellas County and the CCity of St. Petersburg allow businesses to set their own mask/face covering policies for adults. In Florida, 52.5% of residents have taken at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For vaccination and other statistics at Eckerd College, please monitor the Plans & Reports page.

What is the College doing to address the coronavirus?

Updated June 23, 2021

Until the campus reaches an 85% vaccination rate for all on-campus populations (students, faculty and staff), adherence to safer behaviors—which may include the use of face coverings, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection and dining and residence halls protocols—will continue. Students who have not submitted proof of vaccination will be required to submit negative COVID-19 test results before returning to campus from summer and term breaks. All faculty, staff and students on campus are subject to the mandatory surveillance testing program unless they have provided proof of vaccination to Health Services or Human Resources.

If I have symptoms that seem to indicate possible COVID-19 infection or have been exposed to someone known to have tested positive, what should I do?

Updated June 23, 2021

If you have come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, email the COVID Care Team at together@eckerd.edu (students) or call your healthcare provider (employees and staff) for further instructions

What tips does the CDC recommend to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, like COVID-19?

Updated June 23, 2020

All members of the Eckerd College community can do their part to prevent the spread of illness, including COVID-19, by following the CDC hygiene recommendations:

  • Get complete COVID-19 vaccination before moving into on-campus housing or returning to in-person classes. Students can voluntarily submit proof of vaccination to Health Services, and staff and faculty may submit to Human Resources.
  • If you are unvaccinated, wear a mask indoors and outdoors when social distancing may be challenging to maintain.
  • To help prevent the spread of all germs and disease, wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. While not as effective, use hand-sanitizer if you cannot wash with soap and water.
  • Clean your high-touch items frequently. Eckerd College’s cleaning supplies meet Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for emerging pathogens, and housekeeping staff clean high-traffic areas more frequently.
  • Do not attend classes, or come to work, if you feel ill.
  • Practice social distancing, particularly if you are unsure whether those you are with have been vaccinated. Continue to wear a mask when in large groups.
  • If you are suffering from symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing), please call the campus Health Services or your primary healthcare provider; Pinellas County residents who have these symptoms and also have recently traveled or were exposed to someone known to have tested positive, should call the Pinellas County Health Department at 727.824.6932.

Is Eckerd College still hosting events?

Updated June 23, 2021

All College Program Series (including Presidential Events Series) events will be hosted via digital platforms. Intercollegiate and club sporting events are closed to the public until further notice.

Admission-related

Can prospective students and families interested in Eckerd College plan an Admission visit?

Updated July 27, 2020

We are currently welcoming a limited number of families to campus each week. Appointments must be made in advance at our Admissions website or by calling 727.864.8331. Families of four or fewer who visit can experience a student-led tour. To maintain the health of the Eckerd community, all visitors will have their temperatures taken, and masks must be worn. Social distancing also must be maintained. For those who prefer to continue their college searches virtually, we invite you to learn more about the Eckerd experience through the following ways:

Please be in touch if you have any questions about Eckerd.

For current students and families

Who is the best point of contact if an international student is in need of support?

International students who have questions or need to notify the College of a change in their plans should contact Olivier Debure, Director of International Student Services, at debureoc@eckerd.edu.

What should a student do if their family’s financial situation has changed and they may be in need of additional financial aid?

We recognize that the pandemic has caused a change in financial circumstances for some families, and we invite them to contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaidappeals@eckerd.edu to discuss their circumstances.

Are Athletics teams competing?

Updated August 26, 2021

All sports seasons will be competing this academic year following strict guidelines in accordance with College and the NCAA protocols to support player, coach, and community safety. Per guidance from the NCAA and its medical staff, masks are not required while actively participating (practice and games).

Universal protocols include: testing for individuals that have not voluntarily provided proof of vaccination or are symptomatic, strategic placement of roommates/individuals during overnight stays, pause protocols, and universal masking for travel and indoor areas (team meetings, athletic training room, weight room, and locker room). Additional protocols may be adjusted once individual teams reach an 85% vaccination rate.

Fans are permitted at contests at reduced occupancy, and fans in attendance at indoor facilities must follow universal masking protocols of the institution.

Outside of athletic participation, student-athletes will follow all Eckerd College COVID protocols for students.

Protocols may be changed as updated data emerges from the national, state, or institutional level.

Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?

Updated July 27, 2020

If you have any additional questions, please email together@eckerd.edu. A member of the planning team will respond as soon as possible. You can also sign up for our Eckerd Alerts to receive updates from the College.

For on-campus learners

How will housing assignments and move-in work? How many people can assist each student with move-in?

After receiving a finalized room assignment and move-in date from the Housing Office, students will be permitted to have up to 2 guests assist them with moving into their assigned residence hall room. During this time everybody will need to follow social distancing guidelines and masks must be worn at all times. Any guests who are not following these protocols will be asked to leave campus immediately. Guests are only permitted to be in the room during scheduled move-in and they need to be off-campus four hours after the student receives their room key.

What is the campus dining experience like?

Updated January 23, 2021

Bon Appétit Management Company, the College’s food service vendor, has developed protocols for safer food handling and service. Those protocols include:

  • All food in the main cafeteria is served by food service employees as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Disinfecting and sanitizing of all highly touched surfaces takes place every 30 minutes.
  • Dishware is eco-friendly but disposable.
  • All food outlets have capacity limits and extended hours.
  • Additional food trucks and food kiosks provide creative and delicious food options.

If the campus achieves 85% vaccination rate for all populations, indoor dining and residence hall lounges will reopen for daily use. Until that time:

  • Food in the Pub and CEC cafeteria is grab-and-go only.
  • No interior seating will be available, but outdoor covered seating has been expanded at the main cafeteria.

Find more information about Bon Appétit’s plans.

What is the testing protocol?

Updated June 23, 2021

To return for Fall Semester 2021, students who have not submitted proof of vaccination to Health Services must secure their own tests in the communities where they reside prior to their return to campus, or can find options for at-home tests in the Pre-Arrival Testing Protocols document. Details and instructions for submission also can be found in the Pre-Arrival Testing Protocols document. Results must be from either a PCR test (nasal swab or saliva test are acceptable) or a NAAT (nucleic acid amplification test). Antigen test results are not acceptable. Students should check with their local department of health or the Health and Human Services website for community-based testing sites.

After arrival, students will be required to download a symptom monitoring app to their mobile phone and log the results daily. Bayfront Health will provide on-campus coronavirus testing in the health clinic. Symptomatic or recently exposed students, faculty and staff should self-isolate and call ahead to 727.864.8326 to schedule an appointment.

Students, faculty and staff who have not provided proof of vaccination to Health Services or Human Resources will take part in weekly surveillance testing on-campus. All students will be assessed a $750 surveillance testing fee for the semester that can be waived or prorated upon receipt of proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Participants will be notified on Thursday or Friday to report for testing on Monday. Compliance is mandatory. Pool results will be shared on our Plans & Reports page.

For remote learners

Are there courses not available via remote delivery?

Due to the nature of the courses, faculty are unable to offer some instruction via remote delivery. Classes unavailable to remote learners are indicated in the registration module in which students choose classes.