USCB COVID-19 Resources For Faculty & Staff

USCB COVID-19 Resources For Faculty & Staff

The University of South Carolina Beaufort continues to monitor the dynamics of the coronavirus pandemic and continues to work with state and local partners, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control and Beaufort Memorial Hospital, on mitigation best practices, following closely national guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. Cooperation and compliance with mitigation protocols are our best means to protect the health and well-being of our community.

Latest Updates

As of October 1, 2020

Per the chancellor’s communication dated May 22, 2020, USCB will welcome students back to its three campuses for face-to-face instruction during the 2020-2021 academic year.

May 22, 2020 Message:

Dear Sand Sharks:

After thoughtful consideration of recommendations from our internal working groups, I write to share the decision for USCB to welcome students, faculty, and staff for face-to-face operations during the 2020-21 academic year.  

Because your well-being remains our priority, university operations will be meaningfully enhanced to adhere to guidelines and advice from the CDC, SCDHEC, and local public health authorities.  Among top recommendations is a phased-in return to campuses, which we will begin in July (details to come).

USCB will adopt new social-distancing protocols (inclusive of new configurations for classrooms, dining service, libraries, indoor recreation facilities, and other shared spaces) as well as a revised academic calendar. Experts suggest that a resurgence (if any) of COVID-19 in the Lowcountry is likely to accompany colder weather in late November. Therefore, face-to-face classes will begin Wednesday, August 20 and conclude Wednesday, November 24.  The modified fall semester will run straight through (no Fall Break) in order to meet federal financial aid and academic accreditation requirements.  Further, for the fall semester, students will not return after Thanksgiving Break – instead finishing the semester remotely.

Fall 2020 Semester Calendar:

  • August 20:  Classes begin
  • September 7 (Labor Day):  No classes
  • October 15-16:  Fall Break is cancelled; Normal class schedules will be followed
  • November 3 (Election Day):  Remote classes will be held
  • November 24:  Face-to-face classes end
  • November 25-29:  Thanksgiving Break
  • November 30-December 2:  Remote classes will be held
  • December 3-4:  Remote reading days
  • December 7-14:  Remote final exam period

USCB’s collective “new normal” will require the individual cooperation of every single Sand Shark.  Maintaining social distance, wearing face masks in public spaces, washing/sanitizing hands regularly, limiting unnecessary travel/commuting, and screening routinely for signs of illness are best practices for all of us.  

We will provide details and instructions about new protocols, enhanced technologies, training sessions, and more in the coming weeks.

Fins Up,
Al

Employees who are sick should stay home and not return to work until they are well.  SCDHEC recommends that employees who have been ill not return to the workplace until:  a) 10 days have passed since their symptoms began, b) they have no fever (body temperature of 100.4°F or less using an oral thermometer) for 3 days without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and c) their other symptoms have improved. 

Using the CDC’s Self-Checker, employees are required to self-monitor daily for the following symptoms:

  • Fever Greater Than 100.4°F
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing
  • Sore Throat
  • Muscle or Body Aches
  • Headache
  • Chills or Shaking
  • New Loss of Sense of Smell and/or Taste
  • Congestion or Runny Nose
  • Nausea or Vomiting (more common in children)
  • Diarrhea (more common in children).

USCB has completed testing of all residential students. Continuing testing protocols include routine testing of student athletes in accordance with NAIA conference recommendations as well as testing of students and employees who report symptoms, which is consistent with SCDHEC recommendations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for each of us.  Individuals who are experiencing feelings of isolation, anxiety, and/or stress are encouraged to use the Employee Assistance Program.

Further, the federal government’s Family First Coronavirus Response Act expands employee protections and relief.

Each employee will be provided a personal health kit, which will include two reusable face masks, pocket hand sanitizer, and a germ key. In line with USCB’s Communicable Disease Outbreak-Mitigation Measures, face masks/cloth face coverings are required to be worn by all employees and all students on all campuses when in the presence of others and in all settings where six-foot social distancing is difficult to maintain. Face masks/cloth face coverings are not required while working alone in enclosed spaces.

Appropriate use of face masks/cloth face coverings is critical to minimizing risks to those around you. You can spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Face masks/cloth face coverings mask must cover the nose and mouth to be effective. Home-made or commercially manufactured face masks/cloth face coverings help contain a wearer’s respiratory emissions. It is recommended face coverings are made primarily of cotton and double-layered.

Reusable face masks/cloth face coverings must be properly laundered after each day’s use. After one day’s use, they must be laundered before another day’s use. Having a week’s supply of face masks/cloth face coverings can help reduce the need for daily laundering.

Each division/school of the university will be provided a kit, including hand sanitizer, disposable masks and gloves, disinfecting wipes, and disinfecting spray for use in maintaining healthful conditions for individual and shared spaces.

Various spaces on campuses, e.g., classrooms, dining and recreational facilities, libraries, and the bookstore, are reconfigured to support six-foot social distancing.  Further, plexiglass, face shields, and social-distancing signage and decals will be utilized to promote safe practices.