July 8, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
In response to the recent increase in community spread of COVID-19 and upon the recommendation of our Future Planning Group (FPG), I write today to update the earlier guidance about wearing face coverings. The updates are also intended to reflect the recent City of Columbia ordinance [pdf].
- The university will provide a washable, reusable face covering for every student, faculty and staff member.
- Employees and students should carry a face covering of their choice on campus at all times so as to be prepared for other environments where a face covering is required.
- The university will require face coverings inside all buildings, with the exceptions
- Students are not expected to wear face coverings in dormitory rooms and individual study rooms.
- Employees are not expected to wear face coverings when alone in individual offices.
- Individuals are not expected to wear face coverings when eating in campus dining facilities.
- University employees who cannot wear face coverings due to health conditions should contact their supervisors.
- Students who have documented conditions that could be exacerbated by wearing face coverings should submit an application to become registered with the Student Disability Resource Center. Students who become registered with the SDRC will be entitled to reasonable accommodations that may help mitigate issues caused by face coverings mandates.
- All individuals on campus in outdoor areas are expected to wear a face covering whenever physical distancing (six feet or more) is difficult or the risk of infection is high.
Additional information about our face covering policy can be found on our COVID-19 site.
Put simply, we wear face coverings in order to protect others, and as Gamecocks we pledge to demonstrate concern for others. The research is clear: an infected person wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others. It could be easy to assume that you don’t need to wear a face covering if you feel fine, but we all know that asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 could unknowingly spread the virus to those around them.
It is incumbent upon all of us to prioritize the safety of our community as we return to campus over the next few weeks. The new normal is upon us, and I know we will work together for the greater good and enjoy being back together on this campus we all love.
Forever to thee,