BUCSAFE Update from the President
Welcome to a new year in the life of Charleston Southern University! For some of you, it’s the first week of a glorious voyage. For others, you’re inching closer to your destination. We’re together on this journey, and I am thankful to God for each of you.
As I said in this morning’s Prayer First Chapel, like all of you, I thought the pandemic would be over by now. I wanted to sing, “Free at last, free at last, I no longer wear a mask.” Yet here we are.
Seventeen months ago, we proactively transitioned to online instruction for what we thought would be a short quarantine period post-Spring Break. COVID-19 took us all by surprise. But God wasn’t surprised. In fact, we know that God placed many here at CSU to help guide us through the waves of this pandemic. Because of that, we remain steadfast in our faith in God and in our commitment to keeping our campus family safe.
In order to have as close to a normal experience as possible at CSU, please follow our BUCSAFE guidelines. They are strategic and thoughtful. Absolutely none of us—traditional students, faculty, staff, or administration—wants to go virtual this year. Help us get through this surge. Together forward, and a few feet apart.
For those fresh faces on campus and online, this weekly update is a continuance of our communication from last year. Each week, you will receive the COVID Status Dashboard, the Community Immunity Status, and any relevant resources or guidance associated with our BUCSAFE campaign.
Here are our numbers as of August 24, 2021:
- TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN ISOLATION: 27
Of these 27 students, 3 are being housed on campus, 24 are off campus, and 24 are confirmed positive.
- TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN QUARANTINE: 52
Of these 52 students, 12 are being housed on campus, 40 are off campus.
- TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN ISOLATION: 7 (5 confirmed positive)
- TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN QUARANTINE: 21
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 August 24, 2021:
- Students: 20%
- Faculty and Staff: 53%
- TOTAL: 25%
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.
Fetter Health Care Network continues to offer our entire campus family a convenient, vital health resource on our own turf. This year, the mobile clinic will be in the Student Center parking lot on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. This begins NEXT Wednesday, September 1! 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 in limited quantities on site every Wednesday, but anyone requesting any immunizations must notify Fetter ahead of time.
SCDHEC and MAKO Medical continue to operate a COVID-19 testing site in the stadium parking lot, offering testing via PCR (polymerase chain reaction) at no cost. While this is a convenient resource for our faculty, staff, and students (especially those affected by quarantine), 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.
Updated Event and Meeting Guidelines
Due to the high number of cases in our community and in an effort to keep our campus open for classes, we are implementing additional capacity limits as well as visitor protocol on campus. At this time, 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 especially limited.
Lightsey Chapel’s maximum capacity for chapel and other events is set to 387 (25% of seating). For other spaces on campus, please pay attention to the posted BUCSAFE capacity signage.
For any event, employees and students must submit their applications through the Event Form.
The task force also recommends all campus meetings involving faculty and staff be conducted virtually for now. Any meetings that must be conducted in person, we ask that you continue to mask and social distance.
I’m excited for a new year on our voyage at Charleston Southern. Join me in prayer daily for the pandemic to end, for unity, and for Jesus to shine through each of us when the world seems dark.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (ESV)
As always, let’s spread the Word, not the virus.