BUCSAFE Update from the President
We have successfully made it to the end of another semester in the wake of a global pandemic. I don’t know about you, but I never imagined that we would still be talking about COVID-19 going into 2022. But I have been increasingly impressed by the grit of our campus family, and I can’t thank you enough for your willingness to do what we had to do to accomplish our mission. We have endured this race, and we will continue to survive and advance with the heart of a champion and the mind of Christ. Well done, Bucs.
Now I have the privilege of announcing the final scholarship winner from our Community Immunity Challenge. Savannah Culp, a sophomore nursing major, is the blessed recipient of $5,000 for her spring semester. This Buc has had the unique opportunity to see how COVID ravaged the hospitals during clinical experience.
“I entered the front lines of COVID-19 this previous summer and was exposed to the hardcore truth. Patients maxed out on oxygen and medications, hazmat suits lying everywhere, and alarms going off from heart rates flatlining. Codes, masks saturated in tears, and the look of defeat on nurses’ faces was a normal thing on the unit. One of our patients went from watching football games (a young married guy with two kids) to having his spouse draped over him with tears pouring down her face. I was devastated when I had to help place his lifeless body into a body bag to be sent to the morgue. This was when I decided to get vaccinated. I respect other people’s views and understand why the vaccine is still such a controversial issue. However, I felt as if I should get it because of working on a unit with such sick patients. The fear of being responsible for someone becoming this ill is real for me.”Savannah Culp, sophomore, nursing
The Omicron variant has initiated more questions for our world. As indicated in last week’s email, much remains to be answered with this variant of concern. One topic that pervades the headlines is that of “immune escape.” We still do not know if a variant-specific booster will be needed to enhance the protection from original vaccines. However, research suggests that vaccine-induced responses remain intact. We should all pray to that end.
Community transmission levels, unfortunately, have risen in the neighboring Dorchester County (High). Berkeley and Charleston remain at Moderate and Substantial levels, respectively.
Here are our numbers as of December 7, 2021:
- TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN ISOLATION: 16
Of these 16 students, 0 are being housed on campus, and 16 are isolating off campus. 10 are confirmed positive.
- TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN QUARANTINE: 4
Of these 4 students, 0 are being housed on campus, and 4 are quarantining off campus.
- TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN ISOLATION: 4 (3 confirmed positive)
- TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN QUARANTINE: 3
ISOLATION is reserved for actively symptomatic or known positive cases, and QUARANTINE is reserved for those who have been identified as a close contact of someone who is positive or who has symptoms. People in QUARANTINE are NOT ill – we are simply watching them to ensure they do not become symptomatic. LEARN MORE
Community Immunity Status
As of December 8, 2021:
- Students: 43.6%
- Faculty and Staff: 74%
- TOTAL: 48.3%
Our goal is to reach 70% community immunity on campus, which includes proof of vaccination and/or evidence of natural immunity among those who have recently been infected with COVID-19. Natural immunity includes those who have had a positive COVID test July 1, 2021, or later.
There will be a temporary pause at the PCR testing site in the football stadium parking lot. We hope to resume the free services starting December 13.
Fetter Health Care, our on-campus healthcare partner, is in the Student Center lot every Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. In addition to walk-up appointments for your medical needs, Fetter offers immunizations and rapid testing with advance notice. To book vaccines, COVID tests, or to schedule an appointment off campus, call 843-466-6129.
Please continue to reach out to Dr. Laurel Glover if you’re experiencing symptoms, have been exposed to the virus, or otherwise find it necessary to pursue testing. Do NOT go to class or to work if you feel sick. Take care of yourself and others by staying home.
Event and Meeting Guidelines
In planning any event on or off campus, employees and students must submit their proposal at least two weeks prior via the Event Form. Please do not email your event to the task force. It is important to submit via the application link in order to receive a timely response.
With COVID numbers on a current decline and Community Immunity percentages on the rise, the task force recommended a few changes to our guidelines:
- Visitors may not attend events at CSU, with the exception of the Office of Enrollment and outdoor sporting events.
- Lightsey Chapel’s maximum capacity increased to 750 (50% of seating) on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.
- All campus meetings are highly recommended to be conducted virtually for now. However, meetings may be conducted in person and indoors in small numbers, with masks. Food is best served and eaten outdoors.
This will likely be the last BUCSAFE update until the new year. The University Pandemic Task Force will continue to dive deep into the latest data and make recommendations over the break. We will certainly press on toward the spring semester with continued hope and constant prayer. Fortunately, our hope is in Christ—the living Hope whose birth we celebrate soon.
Merry Christmas! And, as always, Bucs, let’s spread the Word, not the virus.