Fall 2022 Plan

What is the plan for the fall 2022 semester?

The COVID-19 guidelines were developed in conjunction with other university officials across the state, public health officials from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (S.C. DHEC) as well as at the direction of the South Carolina General Assembly. The College of Charleston’s plan is in alignment with state law and other university plans across the state and also much of the country.

In preparation for the upcoming 2022-23 academic year, the College of Charleston has established the COVID-19 protocols outlined below. These guidelines are intended to minimize the spread of the virus in our community while at the same time allow us to continue providing exceptional academic and campus life experiences for our students.

Due to the increased availability of vaccines, treatments and rapid testing, South Carolina, along with other states and the federal government, has begun treating COVID-19 as an endemic virus. This designation means that the disease is circulating at an expected or normal level, minus an occasional outbreak.

As you make plans to return to campus, please be aware of the recommendations that were communicated to the campus community on July 6, 2022.

As a part of the protocols listed below, all students, including returning students, should complete the College of Charleston COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation Form by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022.

If you have questions about the College’s COVID-19 protocols please email covid19@cofc.edu.  

VACCINATIONS 

  • Every student, including returning students, should complete the College of Charleston COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation Form by visiting go.cofc.edu/vax-upload by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022.This information is critical to decision-making for College operations.  
    • Students who upload their COVID-19 vaccination documentation will be eligible for prize drawings to win $100 gift cards to the CofC Bookstore. Details will be announced soon. 
    • Information provided in the COVID-19 Documentation Form is kept strictly confidential and will only be used by the COVID-19 team for operational decisions. Neither parents nor students will receive an email after submitting this form that indicates a student’s vaccination status – whether vaccinated or unvaccinated.  
  • In accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the College strongly recommends that its students, faculty and staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  
  • CDC recommends COVID-19 primary series vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older and COVID-19 boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older, if eligible.  
  • COVID-19 vaccination is not required for any student to enroll or any employee to work at the College of Charleston. 

 

FACE-COVERINGS/MASKS 

  • Masks are not currently required on campus unless one of the following applies: 
    • You are on days 1-5 of isolation and have not yet left campus. 
    • You are on days 6-10 of your isolation and have returned to campus. 

 

IN THE CLASSROOM 

  • Classrooms and course sections will be filled to the regular (fire-code) capacity of the room. Please note that hand sanitizer stations will be at building entrances and hand wipes at the classrooms.

 

MEETINGS/GATHERINGS 

  • Non-academic gatherings are currently not subject to attendance restrictions. 
  • Please direct anyone who wishes to self-report a positive case to the self-report buttons at the top of the Back on the Bricks website. 

 

RETURN-TO-CAMPUS COVID-19 TESTING 

  • The College of Charleston does not require return-to-campus testing.  
  • All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to self-test for COVID-19 prior to move-in, prior to the start of classes and at any time they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. 
  • Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 is expected to complete isolation away from campus, per CDC guidance. 

 

COVID-19 TESTING OPTIONS 

  • The College of Charleston does not currently plan to offer large-scale COVID-19 testing programs for asymptomatic campus community members during the 2022-23 academic year.  
  • Members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms occur, individuals should isolate immediately, seek testing promptly, continue to isolate if the test is positive and follow CDC Isolation Guidance. 
  • All campus community members are strongly encouraged to stock up on at-home COVID-19 self-tests. Students living on campus should obtain these kits prior to arrival on campus. Order free tests at COVIDtests.gov. Free tests are also available through local health departments. 
  • All currently enrolled students who are symptomatic for COVID-19 may be tested at Student Health Services. 
  • The College plans to make self-test kits available throughout the fall semester to all faculty, staff and students. More details regarding the distribution of these tests will be announced closer to the start of the fall semester. In the meantime, staff and faculty can continue obtaining at-home self-test kits through the Office of Human Resources. 

 

ISOLATION 

  • The College of Charleston does not have dedicated isolation spaces available on campus during the 2022-2023 academic year to house residential students who require isolation. If they become positive, students living in CofC-sponsored housing should plan to leave campus for 5 days or, if leaving campus is not an option, enact isolation-in-place protocol.
  • All students should create a COVID-19 plan with their roommates outlining what they will do if someone becomes COVID-19-positive in their living space. 
  • Any individuals who test positive must isolate away from others for at least five days, regardless of vaccination status.CDC officials advise that individuals can end their isolation, if after five days they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication and symptoms are improving. They still need to wear a high-quality mask such as a KN95 through day 10.
  • Anyone who has had close contact with a positive case should wear a high-quality mask such as a KN95 for 10 days and should get tested after five days. 
  • All campus community members must self-report their positive tests using the self-report form located at the top of the Back on the Bricks website. 

 

COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON–SPONSORED TRAVEL 

  • For faculty and staff, College-sponsored domestic travel is permitted. For College-sponsored international travel, faculty and staff should work with their division/department heads.  
  • The CDC strongly recommends that individuals who plan to travel be fully up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines. 

Do I have to indicate whether I am vaccinated or not?

Every student, including returning students, should complete the College of Charleston COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation Form. This information is critical to decision-making related to the operation of the school during the 2022-23 academic year.

The information entered into the Microsoft form is kept strictly confidential; neither parents nor students will receive an email that indicates their vaccination status – whether vaccinated or unvaccinated.

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 should wear a high-quality mask such as a KN95 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. N-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.

How will isolation be managed during the fall semester?

The College of Charleston has no available space during the 2022-2023 academic year to house residential students who require isolation.

All campus community members must self-report their positive tests using the self-report form located at the top of the Back on the Bricks website. 

  • All students and employees who test positive are responsible for notifying their close contacts about their exposure. 

All students positive for COVID-19 living in CofC-sponsored housing should make a plan with their families to leave campus immediately during their first five days of isolation. If all options to leave campus have been exhausted, students should create a plan with roommates to isolate in place.

Students who need to isolate in place should create a plan with their roommates outlining what they will do. 

  • Talk about how you will isolate-in-place. Uninfected roommates may need to move into a common space, so that the roommate with COVID-19 can isolate in a room alone.​
  • Plan for how shared bathrooms will be cleaned between uses.​
  • Discuss that shared areas will not be occupied by any roommates with COVID-19 during their isolation period.
  • ​Plan for roommates who have COVID-19 to isolate together, away from roommates who have not tested positive.
  • Plan with your roommates or other friends for how you will get meals, go to the pharmacy or get any supplies if you are in isolation or quarantine. Students in isolation or quarantine may briefly leave their residence while wearing a KN95 mask and social distancing to pick up meals or other necessities.

If a student is in isolation, is there a plan for them to attend their classes virtually?

Students who are required to isolate need to communicate with their faculty members. The student and faculty member will decide how to best have the student engage with the class. In some instances, they will be able to attend remotely but if that is not possible, faculty members will work with their students to make certain that they can keep up with their assignments.

As a student do I have the option to attend a class in person or virtually? If I start with in person, can I switch to virtual?

Most classes will be offered in person and are available depending upon demand, but if you enroll in an in-person class, you must attend in person. If you are enrolled in an in-person class, but decide you want it online, you will need to switch classes (from an in-person to online) before the drop/add deadline for full semester classes. For questions about class availability, contact the respective department chair/program director for options.

What is the travel guidance for the fall semester?

COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON–SPONSORED TRAVEL 

  • For faculty and staff, College-sponsored domestic travel is permitted. For College-sponsored international travel, faculty and staff should work with their division/department heads.  
  • The CDC strongly recommends that individuals who plan to travel be fully up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines. 

For College-sponsored international travel for faculty and staff (see U.S. State Department Travel Advisories):

Travel to countries with U.S. State Department travel advisories of Levels 1 & 2:

Travel Authorizations (TAs) will be considered through the current, regular review process, but must be accompanied by a separate explanation of support by the dean that acknowledges COVID-19 travel restrictions and protocols for the traveler in question. TAs should also include possible additional costs (charged to same index as the other travel expenses) that may be incurred due to aforementioned restrictions and protocols. The complete TA and accompanying explanations should be sent directly to the Controller’s Office.

Travel to countries with U.S. State Department travel advisories of Levels 3 & 4:

The TA must be accompanied by separate explanations of support by the dean and chair that acknowledge COVID-19 travel restrictions and protocols for the traveler in question. The TA should also include possible additional costs (charged to same index as the other travel expenses) that may be incurred due to the aforementioned restrictions and protocols.The complete TA and accompanying explanations will be reviewed by committee. Please send to delmastromp@cofc.edu.

For those employees traveling for work, the CDC strongly recommends being vaccinated.

Guests from foreign countries (all travel advisory levels):

TAs will be considered through the current, regular review process but must be accompanied by separate justifications from the chair and dean that acknowledge COVID-19 travel restrictions and protocols for the traveler in question. TAs should also include possible additional costs (charged to same index as the other travel expenses) that may be incurred due to the aforementioned restrictions and protocols. A COVID-19 release form will be required for each guest.The complete TA and accompanying justifications should be sent directly to the Controller’s Office.

I am taking all my classes online, do I have to submit COVID documentation?

No, if a student is not coming to campus for any reason, the student can fill out the following exemption form: https://forms.gle/3zkq77mYRnj1hYCp6.

How can I make sure you got my COVID-19 information? If I already uploaded the vaccination card, do I have to do it again before coming to campus?

If you uploaded vaccination status to Vax on the Bricks (go.cofc.edu/vax-upload) then further action does not need to be taken. At the end of the form, you can print a copy of your responses or email them to yourself. To confirm the status has been uploaded, you can try to upload and the form will say "already submitted" if the upload has been completed.

Will classrooms be filled to regular capacity?

Yes. Classes and course sections will be filled to the fire-code, regular capacity of the room.