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Hillsborough Community College Begins Fall Semester with Increased Safety Measures

08/17/2020

(TAMPA, Fla.) – Hillsborough Community College begins to welcome students back to campuses today with the start of the 16-week fall 2020 term.

While the fall semester begins today, HCC is still offering flexible start classes that begin throughout the semester with a variety of start dates and course lengths. For more information, please see hccfl.edu/flexstart.

Because the safety of the college community is our highest priority, HCC has implemented numerous safety protocols in preparation for the return to campus and identified five key actions to take to maintain the health and safety of our community:

· Physical distancing – This includes staying at least six feet apart from other people and not gathering in groups or crowds. Classrooms and common areas at HCC facilities have been arranged to allow for such physical distancing. Schedules for on-campus community members have been staggered as well.

· Wearing a mask/face covering – As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all faculty, staff and students are required to wearing a mask/face covering while on college property. Students are encouraged to bring their own, but the College will have a limited supply of masks available for those who arrive at any HCC facility without one.

· Hand washing – Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20-30 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Signage has been installed to encourage personal hygiene best practices, designate hand sanitizing stations and help the movement of people through public campus spaces.

· Cleaning surfaces – Clean and disinfect high-touch, high-traffic surface areas regularly. The frequency and level of cleaning services to those areas have increased in preparation for the return to campus.

· Staying home if you are sick or instructed to isolate/quarantine – If you are sick or believe you have been exposed to an infected person, please stay home.

Whenever the College learns that a person who has been on an HCC campus or site has tested positive for COVID-19, the Hawk Tracing protocol will be implemented. This process will allow the details of each occurrence to be evaluated and assessed following CDC guidelines, which will allow a specific plan for each particular case to be developed to address the actions HCC will follow for people and spaces that were possibly exposed. Hawk Tracing is not contact tracing, so the College will coordinate efforts with the Hillsborough County Health Department for that process.

Following guidance from the CDC and direction from Governor Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan, HCC began a phased reopening plan on July 20, which included the limited reopening of campus-based student services. For the fall semester, the College is offering a variety of classes in both in-person and online formats.

The College understands that our plans will be modified as needed as the public health continues to evolve. Check hccfl.edu/COVID for updates and more information for mitigating risk and containing the spread of COVID-19.

 

About HCC:

Hillsborough Community College serves more than 48,000 students annually at campuses on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa and in Brandon, Plant City, Ruskin and Ybor City. HCC is accredited to offer associate degrees and certificates by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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