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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • professor at a podium wearing a mask lecturing to students physically distanced at least 6 feet apart throughout the classroom

Faculty and Staff Information

Our focus is maintaining a stable, healthy environment and mitigating the risks of COVID-19 in ways that support greater teaching and student success. We'll continue to update this information as changes occur.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Students, faculty and staff have a variety of diagnostic testing options, including on-campus testing at the Center for Health and Well-Being and off-campus testing opportunities through community providers. We also partner with MUSC to provide additional walk-in or drive-thru testing events.

 

Faculty Tips for COVID-19 Cases in the Classroom 

To prevent and prepare for cases in your classroom:

  • Do keep a seating chart, record attendance, and ensure that students are wearing masks.
  • Do set attendance, participation, make-up work, and grading policies that anticipate students may legitimately miss class while they wait for a test result or have to be away from class for a couple of weeks (see the COVID-19 and the Classroom for guidance).
  • Do assure students that desks spaced at 4 feet or more with the use of face coverings is deemed
  • safe by our public health experts and that UofSC experience confirms this.
  • Do remind students to wash hands frequently and clean their desks before and after class.
  • Do remind students to avoid class if they feel sick and report COVID-19 symptoms to Student Health Services (SHS).
  • Do inform students that COVID-19 test results may not be accurate before the third to fifth day following exposure.
  • Do not devise procedures for monitoring and reporting student illness that circumvent SHS or that contradict University polices, CDC/DHEC Guidelines or federal law.
  • Do not remove signs or re-arrange seating in your classroom.

If a student tells you that they have been instructed to isolate or quarantine or have a positive test result:

  • Do express concern for the student and tell them to follow medical advice.
  • Do tell the student to complete the Student Ombuds COVID-19 report form. This will provide a confirmed excuse to each of the student’s instructors. (It may take a few days after the student submits for this to reach you, but it will show when you can expect the student to return to class).
  • Do tell the student what they can do to keep up with missed work in your class.
  • Do work cooperatively with contact tracers who may be in contact and follow the guidance from Student Health Services and the public health guidance.
  • Do not cancel class or change it to be completely online. Our risk mitigation strategies in the classroom should make this need highly unlikely. At any time, if there is a reason for classes to change based on public health risks you will be notified by the appropriate authority.
  • Do not require all students in class to get tested and be negative.
  • Do not divulge student medical information, such as a positive test result, to anyone else including other students in your class.

 

Returning to the Workplace

During the first week of June, the university began implementing our four-phase Return to Work Plan, coordinating a gradual expansion of on-campus operations. Employees should not report to campus unless they have been specifically notified to do so by their supervisor.

How to Prepare Your Team

As the university prepares for the safe return of employees to the workplace, the Division of Human Resources provides critical documents and support to help departments and units during the planning process, including resources for HR Contacts and managers.

Additional "Keep Working" resources to continue supporting remote workers include:

  • Tools and Technology: The Division of IT offers support to remotely access secure resources; forward calls and access voicemail; conduct meetings; receive IT support.
  • Strategies: Review resource guides for succeeding as a virtual team member or leader; find tips on transitioning to a remote environment; access professional development and learning opportunities.
  • Commitment to Staff Support: The university is committed to supporting staff through this crisis by keeping staff engaged and productive, sustaining income levels, and addressing physical and emotional health.
     

Teaching and Student Success

  • Fall instruction will take place in a variety of modes: fully in-person, hybrid in-person/online and fully online. Online components may be either live-streamed or recorded.
  • No class larger than 100 will meet in person, and classrooms will be adjusted to reflect physical distancing guidelines.
  • All instruction and final exams after Thanksgiving must be conducted remotely, and in-person exams must be concluded by Nov. 24.
  • Office hours may be held in-person or virtually.
  • Seating recommendations and traffic flow directions will be provided for classrooms. To facilitate contact tracing and encourage physical distancing, faculty are encouraged to keep seating charts, especially in larger classes.
  • Faculty have been granted the opportunity to choose to teach remotely. Changes in the modality of how courses are offered will be kept to a minimum so that students know what type of course they are taking and so classroom space can be assigned to maximize community safety.

The Office of the Provost is sharing resources with instructors on converting courses currently taught in-person to online. Information includes:

  • Preparing for course disruptions
  • Communicating with your students
  • Teaching remotely: Tips, tools and resources
  • Blackboard basics
  • Individual and group assistance

The Center for Teaching Excellence page also offers guidance for strategies for the varied instructional modalities.

Thomas Cooper Library offers a wide range of services for instructors, including:

  • Getting your course readings in Blackboard
  • Locating open educational resources for your class
  • Scanning library content 
  • Providing copyright information
  • Offering research guides and workshops

Activities taking place in laboratory spaces and associated research facilities, such as shared research office space, workshops, and studios, referred to here as “laboratories,” must follow all university guidance related to COVID-19 as well as those specific to research-related spaces.Upon complying with the university’s Return to Work (RTW) guidance, approval by the Future Planning Group’s Summer Operations and Campus Return team and implementing these guidelines, laboratories may resume research activities by bringing back personnel whose duties cannot be completed remotely and where hygienic social distancing practices can be maintained. 

The Office of the Vice President for Research has offered timely, professional guidance and support for our vital research community. 

To help faculty navigate the challenges of teaching in the classroom during to the current pandemic, the Faculty Senate's Faculty Welfare Committee and the Committee on Scholastic Standards and Petitions, in conjunction with others across campus, have developed some useful COVID in the Classroom materials presented in five sections:

  • an overview of related to COVID-19 public health directives
  • guidance on the enforcement of public health directives in the classroom
  • suggestions and recommendations for managing attendance and class participation
  • other ideas and suggestions that faculty can consider implementing in the classroom
  • recommendations for language that can be used in course syllabi


Mental Health & Emotional Well-Being

Prioritize your mental and emotional health. Coping with the demands of professional life, the current social climate, caring for loved ones, the ongoing worries of coronavirus and COVID-19 makes it easy to focus on the needs of others rather than your own. Your needs matter, too. If you're dealing with the effects of having COVID-19, grieving the loss of someone you love to coronavirus, or just feel isolated, our COVID-19 resources can help.

 

Travel Advisory

The university has suspended all university-sponsored or affiliated travel, both domestic and international. Please visit the Office of the Controller website for more details and support.

Additional Employee Information and Support

Student Health Services

Student Health Services plays a pivotal role in Fall 2020 COVID-19 mitigation and treatment efforts, and beyond. They will provide COVID-19 diagnostic testing for the campus community, host the 24/7 Coronavirus Phone Bank and lead the campus contact tracing efforts. Faculty and staff that need a COVID-19 test should visit the Student Health Services website to make an appointment.

Workplace Safety, Changes and Modifications

Combatting COVID-19 requires an effort from the UofSC community to maintain a clean and safe environment for all. Workspaces and procedures will be altered using risk mitigation measures in some cases to help avoid the spread of the virus and keep students, faculty and staff safe and healthy. 

You can also access the PPE Supplies Order Form and other PPE information through the Purchasing department.

COVID-19 Communications Resources

The Office of Communications and Public Affairs has developed COVID-19 resources including health and safety graphics, standard signage, sign and digital display templates, editorial guidelines and more.

Special Events Guidelines

If you are planning a group gathering, be sure to follow the university's special event guidelines. There will be a risk at any event, so event organizers should be mindful of the risk and consider all factors before planning an event. If there is substantial risk, planners should conduct the event virtually or in a hybrid of in-person and virtual means.

 

Athletics

The University of South Carolina Athletics Department is committed to following the requirements as outlined in UofSC Campus Reopen and Risk Mitigation Plan. Visit Gamecock Athletics COVID-19 updates for the latest information.


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