BUCSAFE Update from the President
We’re in our second week of classes and much has happened on campus and in our world in just the last few days. We continue to keep the family and friends of CSU freshman Lorvens Florestal in prayer as we grieve his untimely passing. As always, our hope is in the Lord.
As COVID cases continue to rise across the state, it’s increasingly important for all of us to do our part to limit the spread as much as possible. That means following our BUCSAFE guidelines so we can continue to experience the joys of campus life in every aspect. The guidelines are helpful both on and off campus, in the classroom and in a store, in your church and while attending events where lots of people are in close proximity. The decisions you make can either increase or decrease your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Please consider how your choices can negatively affect every student, professor, and staff member at Charleston Southern.
As you might imagine, we are prepared for any contingency based on how the pandemic is impacting the health and safety of our campus and community. We have every intention of staying face-to-face, but we are prepared to pivot to virtual learning at any time (for as short a time as possible), if necessary. None of us want that, so let’s do what we can to limit the spread of the virus and stay in person. Please wear your mask indoors, practice physical distancing and good hygiene, and (if you are able) get vaccinated. Best of all, pray! Remember that if it does become necessary to transition to online or hybrid learning, however briefly, that announcement will come from official channels. We aren’t there yet.
The great news is that we’ve seen a 2% increase over the last week in our Community Immunity numbers! In the next few days, we’ll announce our first winners of the drawings. Stay tuned. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to the challenge. Together forward!
Here are our numbers as of September 1, 2021:
- TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN ISOLATION: 49
Of these 49 students, 5 are being housed on campus, 44 are off campus, and 41 are confirmed positive.
- TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN QUARANTINE: 63
Of these 63 students, 14 are being housed on campus, 49 are off campus.
- TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN ISOLATION: 7 (5 confirmed positive)
- TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN QUARANTINE: 27
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.
Community Immunity Status
As of September 1, 2021:
- Students: 22%
- Faculty and Staff: 55.2%
- TOTAL: 27.2%
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.
Our University Pandemic Task Force has created a simple flow chart to answer your questions of when to quarantine or isolate should you be exposed or present symptoms of COVID-19. Check it out. In the event you live with someone who tested positive, please contact Dr. Laurel Glover.
Also, a kind reminder: don’t go to class or to work if you are sick!
Today was the first day back on campus for Fetter Health Care Network. We are excited to have their mobile clinic in the Student Center parking lot each Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Remember, CSU covers the copay for ALL students! To schedule an appointment with Fetter’s off-campus locations, call 843-466-6129. Note that rapid COVID testing is available on site every Wednesday, but anyone requesting any immunizations must notify Fetter ahead of time.
SCDHEC and MAKO Medical continues to offer convenient, FREE PCR testing under the white tent in the football stadium parking lot. The opportunity is available from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. every weekday. Please continue to reach out to Professor Glover if you’re experiencing symptoms, have been exposed to the virus, or otherwise find it necessary to pursue testing.
Updated Event and Meeting Guidelines
Last week, we announced additional capacity limits and visitor protocols on campus due to the high number of cases in our community. Please remember this is a temporary plan, and we look forward to stepping back to normal once we get past this surge. In planning any event, employees and students must submit their proposal via the Event Form.
- Visitors may not attend events at CSU, with the exception of the Office of Enrollment and outdoor sporting events. Though some visitors may attend indoor sports, the capacity will be extremely limited and at the discretion of the Athletics department.
- Lightsey Chapel’s maximum capacity for chapel and other events is set to 375 (25% of seating). For other spaces on campus, please pay attention to the posted BUCSAFE capacity signage.
- All campus meetings involving faculty and staff are highly recommended to be conducted virtually for now. For any meetings that must be conducted in person, please continue to mask and social distance.
As you walk through the semester, you’re likely to experience many ups and downs. Here’s some encouragement straight from Jesus: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV) Wow! That’s what I’m talking about.
Bucs, cast your cares on the Lord and have a safe, relaxing (long) Labor Day weekend. As always, let’s spread the Word, not the virus.