The University of South Carolina was made aware last night (March 20) that a student living in a residence hall on the Columbia campus has tested positive for COVID-19. Under the direction of the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, this student and 17 others residents of the building have been placed in quarantine pending further investigation as a preventive measure to minimize the risk posed to the campus and the greater community. Others who may have come into close contact with the individual who tested positive are being notified by health officials. University staff will provide meals and assist the quarantined students with academic and emerging health needs that may arise. These students are among those who applied for and received special permission to remain on campus during its closure due to extenuating personal circumstances.
To date, we are aware of 11 additional students and one faculty member, all residing in other states or off-campus, who have tested positive for COVID-19. They are receiving the full support of the university during this trying time.
Those in our Gamecock community directly impacted by this unprecedented public health crisis will likely grow in coming days and weeks. The university does not intend to publicly announce each additional case, but it’s vital that we help reinforce the message that no one is immune to COVID-19 and that we all must do our part to slow the spread of the virus.
Our recent decision to close campus for the remainder of the semester is in keeping with the advice of public health experts to maximize social distancing. We strongly encourage everyone in our community to please take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe: maintain social distance, wash your hands frequently, monitor your health and self-quarantine if you develop symptoms.
As Gamecocks, we make a pledge to demonstrate concern for others as part of our Carolinian Creed. Now more than ever, we must rise to meet that aspiration by following the guidance of health professionals, despite any personal inconveniences it may create.
Visit our COVID-19 website for additional information.