Health, Wellness and COVID-19

The health and wellness of every individual on campus is our top priority. In order to make our return to campus as safe as possible, we will work together to implement safety precautions and maintain healthy habits. We pledge to uphold CDC, SCDHEC and other governmental guidelines to protect the campus community. The College strongly encourages all member sof the campus community to review CDC and SCDHEC guidelines including the following. Details can be found on the CDC site: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html and the SCDHEC site: https://www.scdhec.gov/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.

Both face masks and six feet of social distancing are required while on campus; it is not one or the other

Students, faculty and staff must always make every effort to maintain at least six feet or more between people and to limit the time of potential exposure to coronavirus, to reduce viral loads.

You must wear a face covering over your nose and mouth at all times while on campus. Even if you are alone and not near other people, you must still wear a face covering. 

Report a COVID-19-related health and safety concern by clicking on this form link. (Alleged violations that can be reported to Student Affairs through this form include non-compliance with requirements for face coverings and social distancing, failure to comply with isolation or quarantine orders, and failure to adhere to limits on social gatherings of more than 10 people.)

Remember the three Ws: 

  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands 
  • Watch your distance

The three Ws are not mutually exclusive: you should do all three. 

“I want to thank our campus community for continuing to abide by our requirements for face coverings and social distancing. Face coverings are required at all times on campus – both indoors and outdoors. There are very few exceptions to this rule. When in doubt, you should have a face covering on.” -CofC President Andrew Hsu

Face covering guidelines

The College will provide at least one reusable face covering to ALL students, faculty and staff and will make available training/guidance on proper use, removal and washing of reusable face coverings. Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.

The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. However, masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others. This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others. Therefore, the CDC does not recommend using masks with an exhalation valve or vent for source control.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control advises that not all face coverings provide the same protection. Citing a recent study by Duke University, DHEC warns that neck gaiters may be among the least effective types of face coverings for preventing the spread of respiratory droplets. Neck gaiters are circular fabric tubes designed to be slipped on over the head, worn around the neck and pulled up over the mouth and nose. 

You may also learn more at How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings

Exceptions to wearing a face covering include:

  • If you are working outside or in a private office and can guarantee six feet or more of social distancing.
  • If you are in your assigned, on-campus residence hall space.
  • If you are actively eating. Please note that wearing a face covering and social distancing will be required in dining halls.
  • If an individual requires reasonable accommodations, per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) https://www.ada.gov/ada_intro.htm, a reasonable accommodation can be provided.
  • If a person is actively having trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove their face covering without assistance; or if the face covering presents or exacerbates another hazard or condition.
  • For disability accommodations:

The College encourages the continued use of virtual interactions for meetings and other gatherings.

Personal hygiene precautions and sanitation

  • Wash hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, frequently use enough hand sanitizer with at least a 60% alcohol content to rub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Campus wide sanitization stations will be installed in high-traffic areas.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow, not hands.
  • Properly discard used tissues and paper towels.
  • Stay at home if you are sick, have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone with the COVID-19 virus.
  • Large academic, administrative and residence buildings will have clearly marked pedestrian traffic flow patterns to limit personal contact when moving about buildings.
  • Elevators will be marked with signs displaying limited occupancy and usage.

image of people wearing masks and encouraging social distancing