COVID-19 Update from the President
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday morning, which means Pennsylvanians can count on 6 more weeks of winter. Thankfully, we aren’t bound by his prognostications, so we don’t have to participate in his bonus plans for winter. Thank the Lord.
We all agree that every day of COVID-19 feels a little bit like Groundhog Day. But we remain hopeful, trusting in God to help “us not grow weary in well-doing, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Which is why I’m confident that together we’ll do everything necessary to make our way to the 1st of May.
Today’s numbers reveal a spike in both the number of positive cases of COVID-19 on campus and in those who are being identified as close contacts across campus. While we are all experiencing some level of COVID fatigue as Groundhog Day continues, it is more important than ever to remain diligent in our best practices to reduce the risk of infection:
- Face masks, which cover the mouth and nose, are REQUIRED in all areas of campus for all faculty, staff, students, and guests. Face masks may only be removed outdoors when socially distant or while living in your personal dorm room or suite. The face mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.
- All students will be required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure prior to arriving to campus or leaving assigned dorm rooms every day utilizing the LiveSafe application. All students will be required to demonstrate successful completion (green check mark and time stamp) of the Daily Health Survey prior to entering their classrooms or the dining hall on campus. If you’d prefer to not download the app, you can use this link to screen before you leave home (or on a tablet or laptop): https://livesafe.jotform.com/201878043637864/. You just need to take a photo of your completed screen (and the resulting green check mark) to show at check-in. LiveSafe is free when using your student email address.
- Do NOT come to campus if you do not feel well. If you are symptomatic or if you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must notify our team using the email@example.com email address.
- The BUC-SAFEST approach in your interactions with others is to ACT AS IF everyone with whom you come into contact has been infected with COVID-19. If this perspective guides your actions, you will be less likely to contract the virus and infect others.
It is also important to note the University Pandemic Task Force does not have authority over non-CSU off-campus events in which students choose to participate, but these events do have the potential to increase the risk of viral spread in our campus community. Therefore, it is critically important that we all work together to follow these guidelines both on- and off-campus to ensure the safety of ourselves and others—and to allow us to continue in-person classes and upcoming on-campus events this semester.
We all have a shared responsibility to do the right thing this semester by following all of the policies and procedures we have in place to keep the campus safe. To emphasize our commitment to loving our neighbors as ourselves and to foster mutual accountability, students, faculty, and staff who are unwilling to comply with these policies will be asked to remain off campus until risks associated with this pandemic are reduced to the point that our policies can change. Students who elect to study off campus as a result of this choice can still make academic progress toward their degrees, but, for the sake of everyone else, will not be allowed on campus unless they are willing to follow the guidelines we have in place. Let’s all do our part to make the most of these next three months on campus!
Here are our numbers as of February 2, 2021:
- TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN ISOLATION: 28
Of these 28 students, 21 are confirmed positive.
Of these 28 students, 2 reside on campus, 26 reside off campus.
- TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN QUARANTINE: 54
Of these 54 students, 26 reside on campus, 28 reside off campus.
- TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN ISOLATION: 5 (5 confirmed positive)
- TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN QUARANTINE: 14
As a reminder, 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.
Fetter Health Care Network offers our entire campus family a convenient, vital health resource on our own turf. The mobile clinic is at the Russell Horseshoe each Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. (That’s today!) To schedule an appointment with Fetter’s off-campus locations, call 843-709-5989. Note that rapid COVID testing is available on site every Wednesday, but will require an appointment.
SCDHEC and MAKO Medical continues 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 Professor Laurel Glover if you’re experiencing symptoms, have been exposed to the virus, or otherwise find it necessary to pursue testing.
Remember, you can always reach out to the University Pandemic Task Force with questions or concerns. You can contact them directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address is monitored Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Any emails received after 5 p.m. on Friday will be addressed on Monday.
Stay safe, stay focused, stay healthy, and stay faithful to the Lord and His provision as we work together to continue enjoying a healthy CSU! As always, let’s spread the Word, not the virus.