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New Year, Same Restrictions?

Photo by Julia Bonavita

By Katie Loudermilk
Staff Writer
Did 2020 really end?
Although the calendar says it is 2021, the world does not seem that much different.
After COVID-19 led to millions of deaths, unemployment rates skyrocketing and forcing students to learn from home, we begin to wonder when this will all end?
The vaccine has finally arrived in the state of Florida but there is a limit on who can get it first.
Governor Ron DeSantis has signed the Executive Order 20-315 which outlines that providers can only administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the following groups:
– Long-term care facility residents and staff.
– Persons 65 years of age and older.
– Health care personnel with direct patient contact.
– Persons deemed to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 by hospital providers.
As of Jan 6, 2021, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Vice President and Chief of Staff Susan Evans shared they are current discussing with the Florida Department of Health the possibility of providing on-campus vaccinations to FGCU employees and students who are 65 years of age and older, but this is not confirmed at this time.
Additionally, Lee county offers the vaccine at 16000 Chamberlin Parkway. Reservations are required before arriving to the site. There are only two dates- Jan. 12th and 13th, but new information will be posted on their county website.
Collier and Charlotte county also offers it to the same age and job requirements. They are filling up quickly due to the high demand.
To schedule an appointment, you must follow the directions on the Eventbrite links located on their websites.
Information is being updated weekly so be sure to confirm dates and times on their websites. and
The school will continue to encourage social distancing and the face mask mandate until further notice.
Evans announced on Jan 11 that they established a new Protect the Nest (PTN) student team to provide students with COVID-related information and answer questions to keep everyone safe.
The school also encourages students, faculty and staff to complete the daily required Veoci app (Daily Health Screening app).
Not only is FGCU focusing on the well-being of the nest, but there is still work to be done for the whole community. Lee Health is in urgent need for blood donations.
A blood drive will be held here on campus starting January 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Health Services parking lot. Appointments are not necessary, and walk-ups are encouraged, and all donors will receive a free t-shirt.
The blood drive especially needs donations from those who have had COVID-19 and recovered.
The donation can be turned into convalescent plasma which is used to treat others with advanced COVID illness.
If this applies to you, and you have been symptom free for 14 days, a pre-screening is required.  Please email [email protected] prior to the blood drive to begin the screening process.
Most students will be taking their courses from Zoom opposed to attending in person classes. The decision is based on the professor’s preference for the layout of each course.
COVID-19 campus requirements from the Fall semester remain in effect until further notice. There is uncertainty of how long this will last and could possibly occur through the Summer semester of 2021.
Like the Fall 2020 semester, Mia Vital, FGCU Junior, will be staying home in Naples for the Spring. She chooses to look at the bright side.
“I don’t really mind it,” said Vital. “Staying home will help me save money on rent and food while also reducing the spread of it.”
Be sure to follow announcements from Protect the Nest tab on FGCU’s website.

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