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Division of Human Resources

COVID-19 Guidelines

The health of the campus depends on everyone doing their part to reduce the risks of COVID-19. These resources are provided to help departments and employees learn what guidelines to follow to keep everyone safe. 

Spring 2022 Return to Campus COVID-19 Requirements:

All faculty and staff must provide proof of one of the following by Monday, Jan. 10:

  • a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test collected between Jan. 3 to Jan. 10.
  • proof of a prior positive COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days and completion of a 10-day isolation prior to move-in date.
  • a completed COVID-19 vaccination record.


Spring 2022 Required Monthly Testing:

  • All faculty and staff reporting to campus for work must participate in monthly COVID-19 testing regardless of vaccination status.
  • Beginning on Jan. 18, 2022, monthly required testing will resume with testing of Group One. As in the fall, testing will continue in 4-week cycles with each group testing for one week. 
  • Faculty and staff will receive a notification email the week that they are scheduled for testing, and they will have seven days to participate in on-campus testing or to submit documentation of outside testing to be compliant. Nasal tests, saliva tests and antigen/rapid tests are all acceptable forms of testing. 
  • To be exempted from monthly testing due to prior infection, faculty and staff must provide results of a positive PCR or antigen COVID-10 test. This will exempt them during the 90-day period immediately following the date of the positive result. Off-campus positive results must be uploaded to the MyHealthSpace portal for review.

For more information about testing, please refer to the:


Vaccinations:

On November 29, 2021 we sent notification to impacted employees regarding federal Executive Order 14042, “Ensuring Adequate COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors.” The Executive Order requires federal contractors--including the University of South Carolina--to ensure that all employees who work on or in connection with a federal contract to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive approval for a medical or religious exemption.

On December 7, 2021, a federal court in Georgia issued a preliminary injunction preventing the federal government nationwide from enforcing the Executive Order’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors and employees. Therefore, the university is suspending the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for our employees who work on or in connection with a federal contract. Vaccinations are still recommended for those who are medically eligible. Visit our COVID-19 site for more information. The University of South Carolina is committed to complying with all federal requirements and we will provide additional updates as needed.


Face Coverings:

  • Face coverings are required in the following spaces:
    • Inside all campus buildings, unless you are in your own residence hall room or private office or you are eating inside campus dining facilities.
    • Medical facilities:  Required in the Center for Health and Well-Being, Thomson Health Center, COVID-19 testing facilities, and any other medical facility.
    • Public transportation: Required on shuttles, buses and other forms of university transportation.
  • The above face covering requirements will remain until conditions and public health recommendations dictate a policy modification. 
  • Medical-grade face coverings, such as N95, KN95 or surgical masks, are more effective than cloth coverings.  No matter the face covering you choose, make sure it fits tightly over your nose and mouth to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets.  
  • Employees who have medical conditions that make wearing a face covering difficult are encouraged to talk with their supervisor about alternative options. Depending on the situation and the needs of the unit, these alternatives may include using a plastic face shield as an alternative or modifications to a physical workspace such as a transparent physical barrier.
    Policy UNIV 3.04 Communicable Disease Outbreak Mitigation Measures [pdf] includes specific directives concerning the need for and use of face coverings on campus. 

For more information about face coverings, please refer to our frequently asked questions


Guidelines for Campus Safety:

The university has modified its operations to protect the health and well-being of our campus community. The most important thing you can do to keep yourself and others safe is to follow the safety guidelines. This includes:

  • Monitoring yourself for symptoms every day.
  • Staying home if you are sick.
  • Wearing your face covering.
  • Washing your hands frequently.
  • Maintaining a safe distance from others.
  • Disinfecting surfaces and maintaining a clean workspace.

If you are experiencing stress or anxiety, seek help. Employees have 24/7 access to counseling services through the Employee Assistance Program.

 

Isolation (if you test positive for COVID-19):

  • Following the most updated guidelines from the CDC and SCDHEC, students, faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 will be expected to isolate off campus for five full days to prevent the spread of illness regardless of vaccination status. Following this isolation, if symptoms completely resolve, the individual may leave isolation but must wear a face covering at all times for an additional five days when around others.


Qurantine (if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19)

  • Fully vaccinated individuals who completed a two-dose Moderna vaccine series within the last 6 months, two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series within the last 5 months or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last 2 months and those who have received a booster are not required to quarantine following exposure to a positive COVID-19 infection if they are not showing any symptoms. However, they should wear a face covering around others for 10 days and receive a COVID test 5 days after exposure.
  • Individuals who have had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days (tested positive using a health care-conducted viral test) are not required to quarantine following exposure to a positive COVID-19 infection if they are not showing any symptoms. However, they should wear a face covering around others for 10 days and receive a COVID test 5 days after exposure. 
  • Unvaccinated individuals must quarantine off campus for 5 days, get a test on day 5, and wear a mask around others for 5 additional days following exposure to a positive COVID-19 infection.
  • Individuals who received a Moderna vaccine series more than 6 months ago, Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series more than 5 months ago or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson more than 2 months ago and have not received a booster must quarantine off campus for 5 days, get a test on day 5, and wear a mask around others for 5 additional days following exposure to a positive COVID-19 infection.
  • All students living on campus are required to file a quarantine and isolation plan with Housing and Residence Life. Please update your plan for spring 2022; emergency arrangements will only be available under extreme circumstances.


Daily Health Monitoring:  

Employees working on campus must complete the Health Attestation form and monitor their own health daily. For help completing the form, please refer to the COVID-19 Attestation instructions.

  • The Health Attestation form is automatically routed to the appropriate Human Resources representative, and employees only need to submit this form one time.  
  • For technical issues with the eform, please contact the South Carolina IT Service Desk at 803-777-1800 or place a ticket with the Help Desk.
  • Staff members who cannot make this affirmation should contact their supervisor. Faculty members who cannot make this affirmation and who will be working on campus should contact their department chair.

Employees are expected to monitor their own health on a daily basis and take appropriate actions if they are not feeling well. 

  • Notify their supervisor and stay home or return home.
  • Follow up with their health care provider or call the university's Coronavirus Phone Bank (803-576-8511) if they are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  
  • Notify Environmental Health and Safety at 803-528-8191 so EHS can investigate and determine if this potential illness meets the OSHA reporting requirements for a workplace illness.
  • University Health Services offers quick tips for appropriate actions to take if an employee has been in close contact [pdf] with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. To protect the health and well-being of the campus community, a COVID-19 diagnostic test is required for all faculty and staff members who are new employees or who are returning to work on campus during the spring.

Faculty and staff must provide proof of one of the following by Monday, Jan. 10:

  • a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test collected between Jan. 3 to Jan. 10.
  • proof of a prior positive COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days and completion of a 10-day isolation prior to move-in date.
  • a completed COVID-19 vaccination record.

Testing sites will be open on campus to support faculty and staff testing.  

If you are tested on campus, your results will automatically upload into the MyHealthSpace system. 

If you are testing off-campus, you will need to upload your own test results.

Information about on campus testing is available on UofSC's COVID-19 Testing website.

Employees are also required to do be tested once every 30 days throughout the semester. 

Unless you are working 100% remotely, you are required to get monthly testing to ensure they are not putting themselves or others at risk.   

All employees are encouraged to monitor their own health daily and take appropriate actions if they experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or believe they have been exposed to the virus.  

Employees who come to campus to use facilities and services are required to get monthly testing to ensure they are not putting themselves or others at risk.  

All employees are encouraged to monitor their own health daily and take appropriate actions if they experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or believe they have been exposed to the virus.  

Yes. All faculty and staff must provide proof of one of the following by Monday, Jan. 10:

  • a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test collected between Jan. 3 to Jan. 10.
  • proof of a prior positive COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days and completion of a 10-day isolation prior to move-in date.
  • a completed COVID-19 vaccination record.

Employees are also required to do be tested once every 30 days throughout the semester. 

On campus tests are offered at no cost to employees.

Employees who are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to obtain a COVID-19 SAFE test

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, contact your health care provider or call UofSC's Coronavirus Phone Bank (803-576-8511) and follow their direction regarding testing.

Yes. Testing will be available through University Health Services.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, contact your health care provider or call UofSC's Coronavirus Phone Bank (803-576-8511) and follow their direction regarding testing.

The State Health Plan adheres to the testing guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

More information about which tests are currently covered is available from PEBA.

Monthly COVID-19 diagnostic testing is required for employees during the spring semester. 

Campus community members are invited to test more frequently than once a month if that is their preference or if they believe they have had a risk, but you must still test during your required week, even if you've recently tested negative.

Employees who are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to obtain a COVID-19 SAFE test

On campus tests are offered at no cost to employees.

Employees may test more frequently than once every 30 days.

Campus community members are invited to test more frequently than once a month if that is their preference or if they believe they have had a risk or have symptoms, but you must still test during your required week, even if you've recently tested negative.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, contact your health care provider or call UofSC's Coronavirus Phone Bank (803-576-8511) and follow their direction regarding testing.

Yes. Face coverings are required at all times inside all campus buildings, unless you are in your own private office or you are eating.

They are also required on shuttles, buses and other forms of university transportation, as well as inside the Center for Health and Well-Being, Thomson Health Center, COVID-19 testing facilities, and any other medical facility.

Policy UNIV 3.04 Communicable Disease Outbreak Mitigation Measures [pdf] includes specific directives concerning the need for and use of face coverings on campus.

Areas where employees are required to wear face coverings include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Entrances/Exits
  • Hallways/Stairs
  • Elevators
  • Breakrooms/Copy rooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Conference rooms
  • Desks that regularly interact with other employees, students, or visitors

Employees may take off face coverings inside buildings when:

  • They are alone in an enclosed private office.
  • They are alone in a private cubicle that has walls high enough to provide a physical barrier to mitigate the spread of respiratory particles under normal circumstances. For example, if the cubicles are in an area where all occupants are normally seated, the walls would need to be as high or higher than the face of a seated person. If the cubicle is in a high traffic area, then the walls would need to be as high or higher than the face of a standing person of average height.

A private office is an enclosed space with a single occupant.  

A cubical may be considered a private office if the cubical walls are high enough to provide a physical barrier that blocks respiratory particles under normal circumstances. For example, a reception desk with a high counter would not be a private cubical since a normal interaction involves someone speaking over the counter. (Other protective equipment such as a wellness screen might mitigate this risk, but unless the space is enclosed it is not a private office.)

It is recommended that you keep your face covering close to your desk. If somebody walks into your office, you should wear your face covering while interacting with the visitor.

If you are close to a doorway, you may want to consider keeping the door partially or fully closed, particularly if you are not fully vaccinated and in an area with substantial foot traffic.

If your desk is in an area that frequently has individuals walking past it, you should wear a face covering.

 

Unless there are physical barriers between workspaces that can effectively block respiratory droplets under normal working conditions,  you and your co-worker(s) should wear a face covering.

Employees who do not have a private office may continue to eat or drink at their desk if allowed by office policy. However, it is recommended that employees only take the face covering off while actively eating or drinking.

Employees should utilize discretion if it means removing their face coverings for a long period of time surrounded by other individuals. Face coverings should only be removed while actively eating or drinking and should be replaced as soon as they complete the active consumption of their meals.

Employees are encouraged to respectfully remind fellow employees of the guidelines. If you do not feel comfortable addressing the situation directly, you should have a discussion with your supervisor and request that they discuss the face covering requirements with the employee or the employee’s supervisor.

Employees who have a health condition are encouraged to talk to their supervisors about alternative options. Depending on the situation and the needs of the unit, these alternatives may include using a plastic face shield as an alternative or modifications to a physical workspace such as a transparent physical barrier.

No. Employees are expected to self-monitor their temperature and overall health daily.

Some areas on campus, such as the University Health Center, are taking daily temperatures.

When you submitted the online form your  Health Attestation is automatically routed to the appropriate Human Resources representative.   

No. Once you have completed your  Health Attestation form you no longer need to complete a daily screening form.  

You are still expected to monitor your own health every day and not report to work if you are sick.  

If you are sick contact your supervisor. If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 contact your health care provider or call UofSC's Coronavirus Phone Bank (803-576-8511) 

Yes. Testing is available through University Health Services.

The State Health Plan adheres to the testing guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

More information about which tests are currently covered is available from PEBA.

Use of restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure at least 3 feet of distance between individuals.

Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

Identify areas where personnel are likely to congregate and implement physical distancing protocols.

Yes, we suggest limiting walk-ins and schedule appointments for customers when possible.

As with most communicable diseases, common hygiene practices are the best way to mitigate the spread of germs. 

  • Cover mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  • Wash hands often for 20 seconds.
  • Clean shared surfaces and equipment often.
  • Avoid touching eye, nose and mouth
  • Stay home if sick and call your doctor if needed.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has many videos and information on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. You can find some videos here.

 


Balancing Childcare and Work

The pandemic has created additional challenges for employees who have school age or pre-school children. The information on our parenting resources webpage is provided to assist employees who need to balance childcare and work.


Benefits Updates – COVID Related 

Review changes that occurred to filling deadlines and benefits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Information for Supervisors

Tools to help you as you support your employees.

 

Information for HR Contacts

Access remote work status trackers, webinar information and FAQs.


Additional Resources


Return-to-Work Plan

In June, 2020 the university began a phased expansion of on-campus operations. year. Phase 1 was June 1-21, 2020, Phase 2 was June 22-July 13, 2020, Phase 3 was July 14-Aug. 3.  Phase 4 covered the 2020 academic year.

 

Executive Order, Return to Normal Operations

On March 5, 2021 Governor McMaster issued Executive Order 2021-12, which directed “all state agencies to immediately expedite the transition back to normal operations”  

The university implemented a plan to finalize the safe return to on campus work [pdf]. Based on the plan most administrative personnel and staff returned to the campus workplace during the week of March 15, 2021 and the university completed the Return to Normal Operations Plan on April 17, 2021.

This information is subject to change.


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