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Communications and Public Affairs

COVID-19 Resources

Use standard signage, templates and preferred terminology to communicate health and safety messaging consistently on the Columbia campus and throughout the university system.

Communications During COVID-19

As you communicate about campus conditions and health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19, it's important to ensure that communications align with current university COVID-19 messaging and campus policies. Remember to:

  • Use consistent graphics, templates and editorial standards to unify signage and messaging throughout the university campus.
  • Make photography selections that are consistent with current campus conditions and recommendations such as physical distancing. In layouts, detail images and beauty shots can be used more frequently while engaging spirit images may prove difficult to capture.

If you have a suggestion for an addition to our COVID-19 resources or have a specific communications need, please contact us.

COVID-19 Standard Signs

Post these standard signs on campus to consistently communicate health and safety tips or guidelines to our campus community. The 8.5"x11" designs are available as downloadable PDFs for easy printing on an office printer or you can order them pre-printed on repositionable material from Printing Services. Additional signs will be added as needs are identified.


COVID-19 Floor Graphic

Adhesive floor graphics, available from Printing Services, help encourage proper physical distancing in areas where waits and lines are common. The easy-to-apply 7.5" x 7.5" decals have a durable top coating and peel-and-stick backing that will adhere easily to flooring without surface harm.

  • Digital Display Guidelines


COVID-19 Sign Templates

Once downloaded, these 8.5"x11", letter-sized sign designs can be used as is or are customizable using Adobe InDesign software. To create your own sign, edit the message, detail text or icon regions. The templates are created in a non-bleed page setup for easier or lower-cost printing.


COVID-19 Digital Display 

Once downloaded, this digital display design can be used as is or use it as a template to create customized health and safety messages for on-campus digital display boards.

Correct alt text format:
A UofSC graphic of hands washing with text "Wash hands with soap for 20 seconds."


Coronavirus and COVID-19 Terminology and Guidance

* Denotes an exception to established AP style

Coronavirus: A coronavirus is one of a family of viruses named for crownlike spikes on its surfaces. While there are many coronaviruses, it is acceptable to use “the coronavirus” on first reference in stories about COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. In stories, use the article “the” with “coronavirus.” Omitting “the” is acceptable in headlines. See also, “COVID-19.”

COVID-19: “COVID-19” is the acronym for “coronavirus disease 2019,” the disease caused by a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. Use only in all caps. See also, “coronavirus.”

Face coverings: Cloth face coverings are washable and help contain a wearer’s respiratory emissions. They are different from disposable commercial face masks and medical-grade face masks, and should not be referred to as “masks.”

*Physical distancing: The preferred term for maintaining physical distance from others during the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike “social distancing,” “physical distancing” allows for the important distinction that maintaining social relationships is important to mental well-being. 

*Social distancing: Do not use the term “social distancing” in campus signage or marketing materials; the preferred term is “physical distancing.” Both “physical distancing” and “social distancing” are acceptable in stories. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.