Please see the below updates on the University of South Carolina’s COVID-19 response:
- The University expanded its quarantine capacity with a month-long lease agreement with a local hotel (SpringHill Suites), securing an additional 132 rooms for use by students. Only UofSC students under quarantine will be housed at the hotel during this period and access will be closely monitored. Students in quarantine are provided an array of support to ensure their physical and emotional needs are met and that their academic progress in not hindered. This includes a dedicated healthcare coordinator, 24-hour access to mental health care, regularly delivered meals, online tutoring, and a peer-to-peer support program designed for those experiencing quarantine.
- UofSC instituted three additional quarantines of houses in the Greek Village this week after residents tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 12 houses are currently in quarantine. All student cases to date were either asymptomatic or experiencing very minor COVID-19 symptoms prior to their tests and none required hospitalization. The university’s decisions regarding quarantine are made in consultation with SC Department of Health and Environmental Control and are designed to reduce the risk of spread into the community.
- Seven additional students were issued interim suspensions this week for violating public safety, either through hosting/organizing large parties or violating quarantine. To date, a total of 22 students have received COVID-19 related interim suspensions. The university strongly urges all of students to follow public health guidelines to keep our entire community safe: wear face coverings, socially distance and avoid large in-person gatherings where distancing cannot be achieved.
- The university plans to resume saliva testing next week. Testing will ramp up over a short period as replacement personnel are certified. In order to get our saliva testing capacity operational, we are working with two of our community partners, the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control and Nephron Pharmaceuticals, who are providing back-up staffing and additional testing support.
- The UofSC COVID-19 dashboard has been updated and can be viewed here. This dashboard is updated every Tuesday and Friday. Please see the following quote from President Bob Caslen concerning the updated dashboard data:
“Although our total number of positive cases remains high, this week we actually saw signs of a reduced campus case load and positivity rate. Following the holiday weekend, however, we anticipate an uptick in cases on campus in line with the anticipated national trend. Because of this, we have leased a local hotel to increase student quarantine capacity.
We remain committed to testing as many students, faculty and staff as possible. We want to identify every positive case, take care of each one, and get students back into the classroom as soon as we can. We continue to focus and work tirelessly on our top priority – the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff – as we provide the best educational experience for our students.