Health and Wellness

Are face coverings required on campus?

The College of Charleston has a voluntary face mask policy. This means that face masks will no longer be required in instructional spaces such as classrooms, labs and libraries.

Individuals who test positive are required to wear a high-quality mask such as a KN-95 for at least 10 days when around others at home and in public.

Faculty and staff members may request that others wear face masks when visiting their private offices and/or private workspaces, and to this end signs are available on the Back on the Bricks website for campus members to print and post.

The decision regarding face masks is based on the latest scientific data and guidance from public health officials. In addition, the results of a recent campus survey indicated that a majority of respondents favor a voluntary-only facemask policy. 

Individual members of campus may decide for themselves whether to wear a face mask. We continue to encourage face masks for those with symptoms of illness, those recently out of isolation from a positive COVID-19 test or those with recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 as well as for those at risk for illness and those who live with someone at risk for illness. KN-95 face masks are available for free at several campus locations.

We ask all community members to respect and honor each person’s individual choice on this matter. There are many reasons why an individual may choose to wear or not wear a face mask, and under no circumstances should that choice be questioned or challenged by any member of our community.

Are face masks available on campus?

Yes, students, faculty and staff can pick up one mask per person from the following campus locations during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday). 
  • Residence Hall front desks 

  • Student Health Services, 181 Calhoun Street 

  • Stern Student Center, 71 George Street

  • Human Resources, Suite 36, Lightsey Center basement, 160 Calhoun Street

  • Public Safety, 89 St. Philip Street

  • Campus Services HQ, 162 Calhoun Street, first floor of Berry Hall 

I am isolating on campus. How do I get my meals?

If you have COVID and are unable to isolate off campus, you are allowed to briefly leave isolation to pick up food to go if you wear a KN-95 mask. (Dine-in is not allowed.)

You have several on-campus dining options that work with your meal plan using a Meal Tap (MT), Cougar Cash (CC), Dining Dollars (DD) or personal credit card (PC).
  • Mobile ordering using the Transact app for the College of Charleston
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels (MT, CC, DD, PC)
  • Marty’s Place (MT, CC, DD, PC)
  • Starbucks (CC, DD, PC)
  • Chick-fil-A (CC, DD, PC)
  • Already prepared meals (MT, CC, DD, PC) at Market 159
  • Reusable to-go-box program (MT, CC, PC)
  • City Bistro
  • Liberty Fresh Food Co.

What do I do if I feel sick and/or have COVID-19 symptoms?

Are you experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? They include:

  • Fever or chills (over 100.4° or 38°C)
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of smell or taste
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • New or unusual headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • New onset of any gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite

I'm not feeling well and/or have symptoms:

  1. Follow CDC Guidelines 
  2. Stay at home or in your dorm room until you can get a medical evaluation and avoid taking public transit
  3. Separate yourself from others
  4. Students: contact Student Health Services at healthservices@cofc.edu or 843.953.5520 to make an appointment and be sure to report all positive test results
  5. Faculty and staff: contact your supervisor and primary care physician
  6. Find a COVID-19 testing location near you.
  7. If your test is positive, report your result via a secure self-reporting form for a positive COVID-19 test.

I have been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes) with someone who has been diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19:

  • Wear a well-fitted mask around others for 10 days — both indoors and outdoors;
  • Monitor your symptoms and get tested if you develop symptoms at any time; and
  • Get tested after day 5 of exposure. Note that a negative test does not shorten the 10-day mask-wearing period.

Please define isolation and quarantine.

 

People go into isolation when they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and either are awaiting test results or are known to be positive. On-campus students who are positive for COVID-19 should plan to move off campus for isolation immediately. Students who have exhausted all options to leave campus for isolation should initiate an isolation-in-place protocol with their roommates. Students will isolate in their own housing, ideally in a single room with private use of a bathroom. On campus students who are COVID positive and  isolation should only leave isolation briefly to pick up their meals and then return to their isolation space to eat. 

Quarantine is a period of watchfulness that is used for those who may have had exposure to a positive case (someone who is/was infected) and may become infected. Quarantine does not mean that someone is infected, sick or will definitely become infected. In many cases, people who enter into a period of quarantine never become ill or infected.

In the case of COVID-19, because people can transmit the illness before they show signs of being ill (or even if they become infected but never feel very sick at all), while CDC does not require quarantining, wearing a well-fitting mask for 10 days following close contact with a COVID-19 positive case remains in place as does testing on day 5 or if symptoms develop.

Under what circumstances will students need to isolate?

COVID-19 Positive students both on and off-campus as well as faculty and staff (regardless of vaccination status):

  • 5-day isolation away from campus required. 
  • Your isolation period is determined from the date of the positive COVID-19 test. Day 1 of isolation begins the day after the positive test date. 
  • If you have no symptoms after five days and you are without fever for 24 hours and not on fever-reducing medicines, you may return to campus but  MUST wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional five days. 
  • If your symptoms have not improved on day 5, a full 10-day isolation away from campus is required.

For individuals identified as close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case,

    • No quarantine required. 
    • Masks are required for 10 days in public spaces following exposure.       
    • Monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms develop, stay home and seek testing.  
    • If asymptomatic, testing is encouraged on day 5 or after, but is not required.     
  •  

Individuals with a documented positive COVID-19 test in the last 90 days both on- and off-campus:

  • No quarantine recommended if documentation is on file at Student Health Services
  • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Reach out to your primary care provider if you have concerns or questions

Students who are not compliant with College of Charleston Isolation Protocols may encounter conduct violation charges which will be addressed by the Office of the Dean of Students.

What information or resources can the College provide regarding isolation?

The College has compiled some important information and resources about preparing for and entering isolation for COVID-19. Please take some time now to review this information and refer back to it as needed.

I tested positive for COVID based on a laboratory-confirmed test within the last 90 days and am out of my isolation period. I was around someone who tested positive. Do I need to quarantine?

No quarantine is required if documentation of a positive result is on file at Student Health Services.

Monitor your symptoms and get tested if you develop symptoms at any time.

How will students address class attendance if in isolation?

Students are encouraged to reach out to their faculty directly about how to best engage with the class. Faculty will work with students to ensure there is minimal disruption to their academic work if they are required to isolate because they tested positive for COVID-19. If the student is sick and cannot complete the coursework, the student will need to work out a plan with the professor.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be required?

No. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and S.C. DHEC guidelines, the College of Charleston strongly recommends its students, faculty and staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, please note: a COVID-19 vaccination is not required for any student to enroll or participate in campus activities. Nor is the vaccine required for any employee to work at the College of Charleston.  

Will Student Health Services be able to handle COVID-19 cases and its normal health care services?

Yes. The College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) are joining forces to provide enhanced student health care, including psychiatric services, to CofC students. Additional information can be found on the Student Health Services site. Please also the after hours care site for assistance at night and weekends.

Will extended hours be offered to students for their healthcare?

The College has partnered with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to provide 24/7 virtual care to actively enrolled students. Any actively enrolled student with a CofC email address will have access to this care at no additional cost. This service will augment the usual care that is offered at Student Health Services, M-F 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. For more information visit https://studenthealth.cofc.edu/after-hours-weekends-alt-care/index.php

What happens in a class if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

If a student is determined to have been in class while thought to have been contagious with COVID-19,  individuals may be considered a close contact of the positive case. 

    • No quarantine required. 
    • Masks are required for 10 days in public spaces following exposure.       
    • Monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms develop, stay home and seek testing.  
    • If asymptomatic, testing is encouraged on day 5 or after, but is not required.    

If accommodations are needed or someone wants to consider being completely online due to health reasons this fall, what should they do?

Students should reach out to the Center for Disability Services to discuss the accommodations process.