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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • a student holds a SAFE test tube in front of the lower half of his face

Current COVID-19 Guidelines

Informed by data and supported by science, our public health approach to COVID-19 continues to reflect the vigilance with which we are tracking the global presence of the virus and its local impact on our campus community.

COVID-19 Testing

Vaccinations

  • The university strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to get fully vaccinated in order to protect themselves and the community. In addition, we recommend everyone complete their booster vaccination once eligible.
  • Everyone is eligible for a booster if it has been more than 6 months after the second Moderna vaccine, 5 months after the second Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or 2 months after the initial J&J/Janssen vaccine. Data from South Africa and the United Kingdom demonstrate an increase in vaccine effectiveness against Omicron infection from approximately 35% to 75% when a booster dose is received.
  • University Health Services continues to offer COVID-19 initial and booster vaccinations Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Center for Health and Well-Being. 
  • If you have received the vaccine, please upload your vaccine record into the MyHealthSpace portal. The portal is compliant with federal health privacy law and your records will not be shared. For instructions on how to upload a copy of your completed vaccine card to MyHealthSpace visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Information page. If you received your vaccine on campus through University Health Services, your vaccine status will be updated automatically.

Face Coverings

  • After careful consideration, and consistent with current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the university will make mask wearing optional in all campus instructional and research spaces beginning Thursday, March 17. 
  • Masks will still be required in medical facilities, including the VA School of Medicine campus, and at testing sites.
  • We continue to encourage mask wearing for people in the following situations:
    • If you are at high risk for illness – those who are elderly, immunocompromised, pregnant or who have certain medical conditions
    • If you live or regularly interact with someone at high risk for illness
    • If you have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine
    • If you have symptoms of COVID-19
    • On public transportation
  • Voluntary masking in all remaining areas of campus is supported, and KN95 masks are available from University Health Services or through your department procurement official. Visit the procurement site for additional details.

Isolation (if you test positive for COVID-19)

  • Following the most updated guidelines from the CDC and SCDHEC, students, faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 will be expected to isolate off campus for five full days to prevent the spread of illness regardless of vaccination status. Following this isolation, if symptoms completely resolve, the individual may leave isolation but must wear a face covering at all times for an additional five days when around others.

Quarantine (If you are exposed to someone  with COVID-19)

  • Fully vaccinated individuals who completed a two-dose Moderna vaccine series within the last 6 months, two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series within the last 5 months or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last 2 months and those who have received a booster are not required to quarantine following exposure to a positive COVID-19 infection if they are not showing any symptoms. However, they should wear a face covering around others for 10 days and receive a COVID test 5 days after exposure.
  • Individuals who have had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days (tested positive using a health care-conducted viral test) are not required to quarantine following exposure to a positive COVID-19 infection if they are not showing any symptoms. However, they should wear a face covering around others for 10 days and receive a COVID test 5 days after exposure. 
  • Unvaccinated individuals must quarantine off campus for 5 days, get a test on day 5, and wear a mask around others for 5 additional days following exposure to a positive COVID-19 infection.
  • Individuals who received a Moderna vaccine series more than 6 months ago, Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series more than 5 months ago or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson more than 2 months ago and have not received a booster must quarantine off campus for 5 days, get a test on day 5, and wear a mask around others for 5 additional days following exposure to a positive COVID-19 infection.
  • All students living on campus are required to file a quarantine and isolation plan with Housing and Residence Life. Please update your plan for spring 2022; emergency arrangements will only be available under extreme circumstances.
  • Based on updated CDC guidelines that require shorter quarantine periods, students who live in a campus residence hall with private bedrooms will be allowed to quarantine in their own room. This applies to those students who have come into close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, not those who have tested positive. Detailed guidance will be provided directly to students if they should be required to quarantine.

Environmental Monitoring

  • The university will continue to conduct environmental wastewater monitoring to identify and rapidly respond to COVID-19 outbreaks within our campus community.

International Travel

  • The Emergency Management Team will continue regular monitoring of international disease activity and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, US Department of State and others. 
  • Guidance is available for faculty through Global Carolina and for students through Education Abroad.

Event and Activity Approval

  • The Emergency Management Team transitioned control of campus events and activities to the Dean and/or Vice President level for approval of all events taking place on Aug. 16, 2021 and later. See the group gatherings guidelines for some recommendations to keep in mind.

Mental Health & Emotional Well-Being

  • Your mental and emotional health matter. Caring for your overall well-being is essential as you face the challenges of your academic pursuits, the current social climate, the ongoing effects of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, and all that comes with everyday life. If you're dealing with the effects of having COVID-19, grieving the loss of someone you love to coronavirus, or just feeling isolated, our mental health resources can help.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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