November 17, 2020
Dear Students, Parents and Families,
Two weeks ago I wrote to parents and families and asked you to talk with your students about getting tested for COVID-19 before returning home for Thanksgiving. I write again today – to parents, families and students – to say again how important it is for all students to get tested before the holiday. As you know, COVID-19 is raging in many parts of the United States and is likely to get worse in the coming weeks.
Students, there simply is no good reason not to get tested. We have expanded testing this week and through next Tuesday, November 24. The testing schedule is updated regularly, and our outstanding staff have worked tirelessly to make testing convenient for you. There also are many testing sites in the local community.
More importantly, there is a very good reason to get tested: the health, safety and wellbeing of your family and loved ones. I know you do not want to unknowingly take the virus home to your family members, some of whom are likely advanced in age and face a greater risk should they become infected with COVID-19.
Parents and families, please talk with your students. Insist that they get tested before coming home, out of love and respect for your family.
The upcoming holidays will be unique for all of us, but I know we can still enjoy the spirit of the season while doing what's necessary to protect ourselves and each other during the pandemic. We know that masks, social distancing, and aggressive hand washing are effective in minimizing the risk of spreading or contracting the virus. Not only will these behaviors help mitigate the spread of COVID-19; they also will help protect you against other illness, including the flu virus.
As we approach Thanksgiving, I am grateful to all of you for your patience and support throughout this semester. I look forward to seeing all of our students back here next semester, safe and healthy, so let's finish Fall 2020 strong and do what it takes to keep ourselves and others healthy and safe during the upcoming holiday season.
Thank you very much. Go Gamecocks!