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COVID-19 Update Aug. 26, 2021

COVID-19 Update Aug. 26, 2021

St. Petersburg College expects face coverings to be worn by ALL individuals indoors at all college facilities. This includes students, faculty, staff, visitors and partners and is particularly important, as positive cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the Tampa Bay region and across the state.

Recent guidance from the CDC and public health officials states that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can transmit COVID-19 to others. The CDC strongly recommends face coverings indoors. While we cannot mandate face coverings, SPC does expect that our college family will help us mitigate the spread of the coronavirus by wearing a face covering indoors. (Some clinical, lab and studio spaces will require face coverings by nature of the work performed in those areas. Such spaces will be marked as such.) You should also avoid overcrowding and continue good hygiene practices, like frequent hand-washing.

It is critically important that anyone coming to an SPC campus or site, take the college’s symptom checker self-assessment. Do NOT come to campus if you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms.

If you have been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19, please review the college’s guidance regarding items such as: when you should quarantine, get tested and return to campus. Guidelines for students can be found here and guidelines for employees can be found here.

Based on guidance from the CDC and our local public health officials, we strongly encourage the college community to get vaccinated as soon as possible as it provides the best protection against serious illness and is the most effective tool to help prevent the spread of the virus. The CDC states that vaccines are safe, effective, free and widely available. You can find vaccination sites here. If you have concerns about the vaccine, we encourage you to talk to your health care provider.

The college will not require employees or students to provide proof of vaccination. However, some of our agency partners in health and/or public safety programs may require faculty or students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to participate in their facilities/on their properties. In those cases, proof of vaccination may be required prior to the first day of class and/or clinical/agency participation. If you have any questions, please reach out to your academic department.

SPC is holding classes on campus, online and via the Live Online (Zoom) format this fall. Student services will continue to be held in a combination of virtual and on-campus formats. Mitigation measures such as plexiglass barriers, availability of hand sanitizer, cleaning protocols, etc., will continue.

Please bookmark the college’s COVID-19 Hub and refer to it as it contains the latest updates. You can also learn more about the college’s Fall 2021 Comeback Plan, which includes information on when individuals should quarantine and refrain from coming to campus and when they may return.

Hurricane Season (June 1 – Nov. 30)

Hurricane Season (June 1 – Nov. 30)

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. During this time, SPC officials closely monitor Pinellas County Emergency Management bulletins and official weather forecasts when SPC falls within the National Hurricane Center’s zone of landfall probability. By doing so, SPC will have time to activate the college’s Emergency Management Plan, alert campus personnel, recommend protective actions, including evacuations, and communicate emergency notifications.

To prepare, you should:

Types of messages

Emergency communications during hurricane season could include:

  • Recommended actions to take when the college is monitoring a storm
  • Recommended actions to take when the college is preparing for a storm
  • What to do when an evacuation is ordered
  • Ways to stay in touch with the college during a storm
  • When the college anticipates reopening
  • What to do if the college is closed for an extended period

In the event of a closure, campuses will reopen only after the college damage assessment and recovery teams have surveyed the damage and re-powered critical systems.

Information regarding re-openings will be provided through:

  • this blog
  • the college toll-free number: 866-822-3978
  • SPC e-mail
  • local media outlets.

The college president has authority to close the college or cancel classes. The college is required to close when an official state or local governmental agency issues a mandatory evacuation order for Pinellas County. Beginning in 2010, the evacuation zones for 73,000 property parcels in Pinellas County changed because of new ways of collecting storm data.