As we approach the start of a new academic year, we look forward to having students back on campus for a healthy and productive term.
Two and a half years into COVID-19, we reflect on what we have learned and all the ways we can protect ourselves from the worst outcomes of this illness.
We have more ways than ever before to help prevent, mitigate and manage COVID-19 infection. We have very effective, safe vaccines that are easily available to anyone 6 months old and up. We have preventative medicines, antivirals for those most at risk, high degrees of natural immunity and the knowledge that high-quality masks, conscientious hand-hygiene and distancing are all very effective tools to help reduce the spread of this virus.
The College has transitioned how it addresses COVID-19, and we have adjusted many of our protocols as outlined below.
What You Can Expect from the College
Current Measure for Fall 2022:
Return to campus testing
Self-test kits are available at Student Health Services (students only) and the Office of Human Resources (faculty and staff only)
Posting weekly dashboard results of CofC positive cases and their close contacts
Continued surveillance of self-reports on campus and in the community, and adjusting campus protocols when and if necessary
Isolation and quarantine housing for residential students
Individual student-initiated plans for incidences of COVID-19. Plan to leave campus for five days or, if leaving campus is not an option, enact isolation-in-place protocol because no on-campus isolation and quarantine housing is available
Contact tracing of CofC community members
Individual responsibility for maintaining isolation and quarantine guidance as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
Daily individual phone calls to students in isolation
Access to Student Health Services (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday) as well as 24/7 virtual care through the Medical University of South Carolina
On-campus surveillance testing
Symptomatic students should reach out to Student Health Services for testing, and symptomatic faculty and staff members should reach out to their primary care provider
If viral conditions change substantially, the College will adapt to keep the community safe. The College will continue to follow the isolation and quarantine guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC).
What We Need from Students: Have You Had the COVID Talk?
It is extremely important for you to design a COVID-19 plan in collaboration with your roommates. Have the conversation now. Either you or someone around you will likely test positive for COVID-19 at some point this semester, so make sure you have a plan for how to move forward. If you do test positive, you must report your positive test using the self-report form, which once completed, will provide you with valuable information about quarantine and isolation as well as documentation that you can choose to share with your faculty if you must be out of class for a period of time.
Residential Students: If you are exposed to or develop COVID-19 this fall, make it your priority to leave campus for five days. Determine whether you will return home, stay with friends or family, or rent a space off-campus. Students in isolation for COVID-19 may not attend class, academic meetings or socialize on campus in any way.
If students living in university-sponsored housing have exhausted all options to leave campus, an isolation-in-place protocol may be necessary. No dedicated isolation or quarantine spaces are available on campus.
Off-Campus Students: Work with your roommates to make sure you have an isolation-in-place plan that works for everyone.
How to Prepare for COVID-19 with Your Roommates
- Talk about how you will isolate-in-place. Uninfected roommates may need to move into a common space, so that the roommate with COVID-19 can isolate in a room alone.
- Plan for how shared bathrooms will be cleaned between uses.
- Discuss that shared areas will not be occupied by any roommates with COVID-19 during their isolation period.
- Plan for roommates who have COVID-19 to isolate together, away from roommates who have not tested positive.
- Plan with your roommates or other friends for how you will get meals, go to the pharmacy or get any supplies if you are in isolation or quarantine. Students in isolation or quarantine may briefly leave their residence while wearing a KN95 mask and social distancing to pick up meals or other necessities.
- KN95 masks are available for pick-up from the following campus locations during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday).
- Residence Hall front desks
- Student Health Services, 181 Calhoun Street
- Stern Student Center, 71 George Street
- Human Resources, Suite 36, Lightsey Center basement, 160 Calhoun Street
- Public Safety, 89 St. Philip Street
- Campus Services HQ, 162 Calhoun Street, first floor of Berry Hall
Our shared responsibility to care for each other can be achieved by communicating with fellow students, friends, family and professors about how to handle COVID-19 this fall. Together, we can ensure the success, health and safety of our entire campus community.
CofC COVID-19 Leadership Team