New BUCSAFE operations effective Aug. 9
In early July, we shared our new protocols for the summer II session and our desired outlook for the fall semester—with the caveat that we would adjust our sails as needed along the way. Given the recent disappointing rise in COVID-19 cases locally, Charleston Southern University is slightly modifying our plan until this current surge passes. Lord willing, the surge will pass sooner rather than later.
On July 27, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control issued a statement recommending that all people, vaccinated or not, wear face coverings indoors while in communities of high viral transmission. Currently, Charleston County and surrounding areas are experiencing alarmingly high COVID-19 transmission rates that place our community in that category. Cases are 33% higher and the positivity rate of 16% is about the same when compared to numbers this time last year. What does that mean? In brief, this variant is far more contagious. According to the MUSC’s COVID-19 epidemiology intelligence project, the unvaccinated are at greater risk of contracting, spreading, and having severe symptoms of the virus.
The rapid rise in cases, due to the Delta variant, is concerning and is our primary reason for implementing the following protocols, effective immediately and only until this surge passes. Though it is a mild inconvenience and won’t make each of our family members happy, understand this is not necessarily a full semester guideline, and we will plan to modify once the current community situation improves. Watch Prof. Lindsay Egli share WHY we chose this path for now here. For a full list of FAQs, click here.
Latest BUCSAFE protocols:
- Classes will be in person this fall. Virtual learning accommodations are available in special circumstances, with the exception of clinical courses (e.g., physician assistant, athletic training, nursing, music therapy) as well as lab sciences.
- Masks are not required outdoors but are necessary for now inside all campus buildings except while you are in your own residence hall room, private office, or eating inside dining facilities.
- LiveSafe screening is no longer required, but we recommend using the app if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, by entering the classrooms, Dining Hall, and other campus facilities, you attest to the fact that you are symptom-free and have not been exposed to COVID-19 to your knowledge.
- Physical distancing will remain at three feet, per the updated summer protocol. In the event of possible classroom exposure, the class will be notified via email.
- Visitors are welcome on our campus but must abide by the same guidelines. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status or event/meeting type, should be sent the following letter with reminders of safety and risk: click here to view. We still support virtual meetings for our campus family and guests when possible. Don’t be afraid to use a Zoom room!
- Vaccination for COVID-19 is encouraged but not required. CSU urges anyone able to vaccinate to do so soon to protect you, your family, your friends, classmates, faculty and staff, and their families. As always, please consult your healthcare provider if you have questions about the vaccine, and think of others as you make your choice. Don’t forget to upload your proof of vaccination in order to qualify for exciting opportunities! 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.
- Students who are fully vaccinated and attend in-person classes will be eligible to win gift cards valued at $200-500 as well as be entered into scholarship drawings up to $5,000. In addition, vaccinated students are entered to win athletic packages this fall. Please upload your documentation of vaccination, antibody or antigen test results by clicking HERE.
- Faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated continue to be eligible for up to 80 hours of COVID-19 sick pay through the end of the year and will earn 4 PTO hours. In addition, fully vaccinated employees will be entered into a drawing for two available athletic packages. To qualify, upload your documentation of vaccination HERE.
Many in our campus family are concerned about what the future holds, but we know that God is in control. He always has been and always will be! We will not be deterred as we safely return to normal and continue to accomplish our mission of producing academic excellence in a Christian environment—for the good of others and the glory of God.
Thanks to the mighty hand of our loving God, the guidance of our University Pandemic Task Force, and implementation of BUCSAFE procedures over the last 16 months, Charleston Southern thrived in the midst of uncertainty. As we move ahead—prayerfully, carefully, faithfully, and confidently—we will continue to monitor the latest scientific research, community health data, and the input of public health experts to help keep our campus on track. And should anyone ask where our real help comes from, we will reply with enthusiasm, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).
Enjoy the remainder of your summer, Buccaneer. “Go” time is almost here, and this year is going to be amazing!