COVID-19 Update from the President
Happy October! I hope and pray you are all enjoying this slightly cooler weather now that fall is officially here. We continue to be tremendously blessed by impressively low numbers of COVID cases and close contacts on campus, and we are so thankful to everyone in our campus community who continues to partner with the University Pandemic Task Force by adhering to the policies and procedures that are helping to keep our campus safe, healthy, and open for business! For everyone’s sake, please continue to practice our proven health and safety measures, both on and off campus, and avoid large gatherings whenever possible to limit your potential exposure to this virus.
I am often reminded that many people who contract the virus aren’t even aware that they have it, and most of those who are infected won’t die from the virus. In the next breath, however, our public health experts caution that we don’t yet know the long-term health effects on those who are infected. What I do know is that I don’t want you to get it, even though you are unlikely to die from it or suffer from it long term. I don’t want you to get it because not getting it is best for you, your friends, your family, and others with whom you come into contact (who may not be as fortunate as you).
As anyone who has been there will tell you, spending 10 days in isolation or 14 days in quarantine is nowhere near as fun as masking up and living your life to its fullest while smartly avoiding infection. Part of living a life of flourishing in this season is taking reasonable precautions while not cowering in fear. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are people of faith, not fear (2 Timothy 1:7). And of all the lessons we should learn as we travel this pandemic road, these three should dominate: (1) we need to trust God completely, regardless of our circumstances; (2) we must daily renew our minds in Christ, which is the primary antidote for pandemic-induced anxieties; and (3) we should constantly yield to the Holy Spirit, Who will empower us to thrive in and through trials of every kind (1 Peter 1:7). Let’s embrace and embody these truths together as we lead, learn, and serve.
Here are our numbers as of October 7, 2020:
- TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN ISOLATION: 13
Of these 13 students, 6 are confirmed positive.
Of these 13 students, 1 resides on campus, 12 reside off campus.
- TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN QUARANTINE: 15
Of these 15 students, 4 reside on campus, 11 reside off campus.
- TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN ISOLATION: 0
- TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN QUARANTINE: 2
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.
One of the most important ways we can keep the campus safe this semester is by having EVERYONE receive their flu shots. We had a remarkable turnout at our two flu shot clinics, so thanks to all who participated! If you were unable to attend one of these, Fetter Health Care Network will be have flu shots available on Wednesdays during their clinic time from 8:30 – 1 p.m. at the Russell Horseshoe.
Events on Campus
As the numbers of COVID cases on campus remain relatively low, we are excited to increase the number of activities on campus for our students. Check out the BucNation App for upcoming Student Life events—Densonville, BucTober, Christmas at CSU, and the OCC Packing Party this fall, along with updates on Chapel, Elevate, and so much more!
All event managers and leaders should continue to submit all events here, no matter the size of the event: www.charlestonsouthern.edu/bucsafe/campus-life. Events with less than 30 attendees no longer need approval from the task force at this time, though events should continue to be submitted for record-keeping purposes. Small events should continue to follow these precautions:
- No food or beverages will be served.
- No outside visitors are involved.
- Established room occupancies are adhered to.
- Leadership responsible for the event will keep a roster of attendees.
Student Feedback Opportunity
As we continue to meet and make plans for 2021, we assume the spring semester will look very similar to this fall as we await the wide distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine that allows us to slowly return to a new and modified normal. BUT the University Pandemic Task Force is committed to making sure things in the spring are BETTER than the fall. In order to do so, we would like to give students the opportunity to provide feedback about their experience this semester. Please provide constructive and healthy feedback with suggestions for improvement. The task force has worked incredibly hard to make this the best semester possible in light of the circumstances. Now we want you to help us make it better.
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CSU-COVID-Student. It will remain open until next Wednesday, October 14 at 5 p.m. We look forward to reading both your observations and your recommended solutions.
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! And remember: Spread the Word, not the virus.