Parents react to Clemson updating face covering and testing requirements
Based upon recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Clemson University officials announced today the following changes to face covering and testing requirements.
• For fully vaccinated** individuals, no mask requirement in university facilities except in instructional spaces (classrooms, labs).
• For those individuals who are not considered fully vaccinated, current requirements for face coverings remain in effect.
• Anyone who wants to wear a face covering regardless of their vaccination status is welcome to do so.
• No quarantine requirements following known exposure for fully vaccinated individuals.
• Current recommendations for physical distancing in University facilities remain in place.
• Events and large gatherings must continue to go through University protocols for approval.
EFFECTIVE JUNE 1 FOR STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF
• No mandatory testing requirements for fully vaccinated** individuals who have voluntarily uploaded proof of vaccine using the upload tool.
• Weekly testing requirements for individuals not fully vaccinated continue for main campus and CU-ICAR clearance. Pre-arrival testing and clearance required for other statewide locations.
VACCINE UPLOAD AND CLEARANCE STATUS
Vaccinated individuals can upload proof of vaccine through the University’s upload tool. Vaccine upload status and clearance status can be found in the My.Clemson app and online here. Vaccines are not required but are encouraged, and more information can be found on the CDC and DHEC websites.
As further guidance and vaccination data becomes available, the University will continue to evaluate and update its health protocols.
Clemson’s leadership will continue to prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and community, and any adjustments to policy and procedures will be made in conjunction with internal and external public health experts.
Visitors are welcome on Clemson’s campus and statewide facilities and are encouraged to follow the same guidance for face coverings and physical distancing described above.
**Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their last vaccination dose – either a second dose of a two-dose vaccine (Moderna and Pfizer); or 14 days after one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Other vaccines approved by the World Health Organization will be accepted through the Vaccine Upload Tool
COVID-19 RELATED NEWS:
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Medical University of South Carolina says their doctors are trying to raise awareness of the devastating effects of MIS-C and the importance of vaccinating children over 12.
The group of doctors at MUSC is raising alarm about what they’re calling a “concerning rise” in the number of cases of the rare but serious COVID-related illness in children.
Doctors say Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children usually appears one to two months after a child contracts or is exposed to COVID-19. While rare, it can lead to life-threatening and long-term impacts on children.
The Medical University of South Carolina pediatric providers say they are concerned about general loosening of important mitigation strategies like mask wearing in our pediatric population. They say it is adding risk factors to the rise in MIS-C cases.
“Recently however we have seen great improvement in the state, both with respect to the number of COVID cases,” MUSC Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Allison Eckard says. “At the same time the pandemic is not yet over. We are both confident and hopeful in the progress has been made. So we urge everyone, and in particular parents, to remain vigilant and to continue to take reasonable and appropriate steps to safeguard children and others from the effects of COVID-19.”
The latest data from the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control reports a total of 110 cases of MIS-C in South Carolina, including 17 in the Lowcountry. MUSC said it has treated 28 cases, including three that left children on advanced life support.
Eckart says the combination of an increase in cases, coupled with the fact that few children have yet to be vaccinated is dangerous to the youth of South Carolina. She warns that COVID-19 still can harm children and accompanying MIS-C could be deadly.
“New studies also continue to inform our knowledge, and other potentially harmful long term effects of COVID-19 in children and adolescents,” Eckart said. “Moreover, we have seen concerning rise in the number of cases of MIS-C, or multi system inflammatory syndrome in children. This is rare but this is a life threatening condition associated with previous COVID-19 infection.”
With school set to let out soon, the doctors are warning parents and kids alike not to let their guards down when it comes to COVID-19.
“One of the parts of MIS-C that is particularly alarming is that these are all healthy children,” Eckard said. “And so when parents say my kids can’t be affected by COVID, they forget sometimes that MIS-C really is a risk.”
The doctors said children who show symptoms of MIS-C -- including a fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, confusion or muscle aches - and may have been exposed to COVID-19 should seek medical attention immediately.
Since children under 12 still cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine, the group stressed that people ages 12-and-up should vaccinate to avoid spreading the virus to children and others who cannot be vaccinated.
MUSC Director of Ambulatory Services Andrew Savage urged parents to vaccinate their children as soon as they are able.
“So masking, when you’re in large contained groups works. And hygiene works. Social distancing works. And how do we know that? Because outside of COVID-19, all the related illnesses in the last nine months have plummeted; have kept children out of this hospital through the winter months. Because these things work.” Savage said. “To me there is a vaccine that can prevent MIS-C, there’s an easy fix to this and it’s getting the [COVID-19] vaccine.”