Latest BUCSAFE Updates


Still have questions?

Review our extensive list of frequently asked questions for the most up-to-date information regarding our BUCSAFE protocol. Last updated January 4, 2022

General Health

Omicron is incredibly contagious. A more infectious variant calls for a more protective mask. Simple cloth masks aren’t as effective when it comes to protecting you from inhaling particles carrying the virus, though they still do a relatively good job at blocking the exhalation of virus particles into the air around you. Be sure that you’re wearing a high filtration mask that fits closely to your face, creating a seal around your nose and mouth. While any mask will reduce the risk of infection, surgical or medical grade masks do a much better job than cloth alternatives. Remember that masks are just one tool in our arsenal used to combat COVID-19. 

https://www.poverty-action.org/sites/default/files/publications/Mask_Second_Stage_Paper_20211108.pdf.pdf 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/preventing-the-spread-of-the-coronavirus#:~:text=We%27ve%20known%20for,%22maskless%22%20hamsters.

The emergence of Omicron further highlights the need for vaccination. While breakthrough infections are more common in light of this variant, vaccines are still protecting against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Pfizer boosters provide 75% protection against symptomatic omicron infection and 85% protection against severe disease and hospitalization. Even if you’ve already been infected with COVID-19, vaccination will significantly enhance your protection against reinfection and is recommended by public health and medical professionals.  

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html 

https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n3079  

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/vaccine-induced-immunity.html#anchor_1635539757101 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34383732/  

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7044e1.htm?s_cid=mm7044e1_w  

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/27/9/21-1042_article  

SC DHEC has a vaccine locator. As a reminder, everyone aged 5 and up is now eligible for vaccination. The Pfizer-BioNTech product is approved for those 5 and older. Moderna and Janssen are approved for those 18 and up. Find an appointment here: https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov  

In accordance with the most recent guidance from CDC and DHEC, masks will be required in public indoor spaces on campus. This includes classrooms, the library, the dining hall (except when seated and eating), common areas, and all campus areas except your own residence hall room or private office.

https://scdhec.gov/covid19/protect-yourself-those-around-you-covid-19

Please reach out to covid19@csuniv.edu (monitored Monday through Friday from 9-5) and include information regarding your program of study and enrolled courses. We will do our best to work with you and find an approach that allows you to continue your studies while protecting the health and safety for you and those around you.

If a student, faculty, or staff member thinks that they might have COVID-19, they should not report to campus (or leave their residence hall room) unless they need to seek medical care. They should contact covid19@csuniv.edu, lglover@csuniv.edu, or report their symptoms via the Live Safe app. Next, they will likely need to seek testing. While waiting for test results, they should isolate to protect others from exposure. As a part of this process, those with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 will be asked to report their “close contacts”. This includes anyone that they have been within six feet of for 15 minutes or longer from 48 hours prior to their symptoms developing through the present. These individuals will be contacted and notified of their exposure, but the identity of the symptomatic/positive person will be kept private. The CSU Covid-19 Coordinator will help all affected community members by walking them through the testing process, any necessary isolation/quarantine, and their return to campus.

The University Pandemic Task Force monitors metrics such as hospital bed occupancy and ICU utilization rate. Additionally, they communicate regularly with area healthcare partners. In the event that local healthcare infrastructure is strained to the point that emergency healthcare services are not accessible, the Task Force will make recommendations to CSU leadership and a decision will be made regarding continuing normal operations. The health and safety of our community is always our primary concern.

The primary prevention strategy to protect from COVID-19 is vaccination. While vaccination is not required of any CSU student or employee, it is highly encouraged. CSU has partnered with Fetter Health Care Network, who offer vaccination with on-site registration and without an appointment. Their mobile vaccination clinic schedule can be found here: https://www.fettercovid19screening.org/vaccine-clinic

Vaccination is also available via area retail pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, Publix, Walmart, and others. More information regarding on-campus vaccination events will be released via social media and BUCMail when available.

Indoor masking requirements have been implemented on campus for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals due to the transmission rates in the greater Charleston area and in keeping with current CDC guidelines.

Testing is currently available through Fetter Health Care Network (on campus at least once weekly and available at other times by appointment off campus) and via St. Jude’s Labs in the football stadium parking lot.

Isolation and quarantine space has been made available for affected students on the CSU campus.

Virtual options are available for many events.

No. Testing is not required prior to attending classes or moving into the residence halls. However, by entering on campus buildings you are attesting to the fact that you are not currently experiencing any symptoms potentially attributable to COVID-19, nor have you been exposed to the virus to your knowledge. If you traveled recently and/or been around others outside of your normal bubble, you may want to test out of an abundance of caution.

Upon receipt of a positive test (or development of symptoms), students will be required to isolate. Isolation is for those who are symptomatic and/or positive. Quarantine is for those who have been exposed to the virus. Isolation typically lasts for a period of 10 days and is facilitated by our COVID-19 coordinator. Students have the option of returning home to isolate or isolating on campus in temporary housing. Note that students are unable to remain in the general dorm during the isolation period due to the risk of exposure for their roommates and suitemates.

The COVID-19 vaccine is not required, but is highly encouraged in the absence of contraindications for its administration.

CSU has partnered with Fetter Health Care Network, who offer vaccination with on-site registration and without an appointment. Their mobile vaccination clinic schedule can be found here.

Vaccination is also available via area retail pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, Publix, Walmart, and others. More information regarding on-campus vaccination events will be released via social media and BUCMail when available.

Vaccination is a safe, effective way to protect against COVID-19! The risk of infection, severe illness, hospitalization, and death are all minimized when an individual is fully vaccinated. You can read more here.

First and foremost, we want you to stay healthy! Vaccination protects you, protects your family, and protects our CSU community while helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. Vaccination is a way to use the gift of medicine and science to love our neighbors by increasing safety in our community. To love our neighbors as ourselves means that we cannot be indifferent to the wellbeing of others.

Current recommendations for COVID-19 testing can be found here: https://scdhec.gov/covid19/who-should-get-tested-covid-19

Student Life + Housing

Yes! While we will have to adjust due to the ongoing pandemic, we have already offered a great deal more opportunities this academic year than the last.

Both! Chapel will be available virtually, allowing those uncomfortable with indoor, large gatherings to obtain required credits.

Meals will be available in the Dining Hall for both in person consumption and take out.

Students have the option of returning home to quarantine/isolate or doing so on campus in temporary housing. We highly recommend making a plan to quarantine or isolate off campus as our on-campus housing is limited.

Note that students are unable to remain in the general dorm during the quarantine/isolation period due to the risk of exposure for their roommates and suitemates.

Academics

From January 10-21, courses scheduled for traditional classroom delivery will be recorded and made available to students with approved documentation of a positive test/isolation/quarantine from Dr. Laurel Glover. Professors may choose to provide synchronous opportunities for participation when appropriate. Students absent due to isolation and quarantine will not be counted toward a grade of “failure” for nonattendance.

No. CSU will begin the semester as planned. Students in traditional classrooms will have the option to attend synchronously online if they are in quarantine or isolation, but must inform their professor(s). Recordings of courses will be available from January 10-21. 

Recordings will not be readily available after the first two weeks of class. However, absences will not be counted toward a grade of “failure” for nonattendance for students who miss class due to quarantine or isolation. 

Students may seek long-term medical accommodations through Student Success. Those who need assistance with this must contact Dr. Annie Watson. 

Students who wish to attend online only should first attempt to register for online sections of their courses. They can do so by contacting their academic advisor. Virtual learning accommodations are available, but are subject to limitations and restrictions. Virtual learning is not available for clinical programs or lab sciences.

Not necessarily. In the event of a classroom exposure, the class will receive notice via email. Individuals specifically reported as close contacts by the positive individual will be contacted individually and required to quarantine. Note that the identity of the positive individual will not be divulged.

The majority of classrooms allow for 3 feet of social distancing. This will be adjusted as needed based on transmission and infection rates on campus.

Professors are able to meet with students in person (and masked) if their office space allows for social distancing and they are comfortable doing so. Office hours may be held via Zoom in the event a professor cannot meet in person.

Tutoring is able to meet with students in person (and masked) if office space allows for social distancing and they are comfortable doing so. Tutoring may be held via Zoom in the event employees or students are uncomfortable meeting in person.