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SC universities&colleges watching coronavirus, deciding on schedule changes

ByPatrick PhillipsandLive 5 Web Staff|March 11, 2020 at 10:52 AM EDT - Updated March 13 at 8:44 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The University of South Carolina has canceled classes through March 22 and will institute online classes into April, university officials announced Wednesday morning.

That word comes as higher education institutions across the Palmetto State are deciding how best to keep their students safe from the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

Here’s a list of the latest updates from schools across the state:

College of Charleston

Officials with the College of Charleston have suspended in-person classes the week following spring break and extended the international travel prohibition through June 30, 2020.

According to the college, all academic instruction, without exception, will be held online Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27. The campus will remain open and operational during this e-learning week.

However,all campus events (i.e., performances, conferences, guest lectures, student gatherings) are canceled starting March 16 through March 29.

The Citadel

Recognition Day activities to include the gauntlet and the barracks recognition ceremony will be held Friday as scheduled. This is a closed event because of the dynamic conditions related to COVID-19. Please respect this decision and the importance it holds for the safety and sake of the cadets involved.

All campus events cancelled through March 31.Following the recognition event Friday, all events this month are cancelled including the Corps Day, March to Marion Square, Principled Leadership Symposium, dress parades, guest lectures, the Biloxi Blues play performance and other scheduled events

The Citadel’s spring furlough begins Fridaywith classes resuming on March 23. Members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets are scheduled to return to campus on March 22.

Citadel President Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.) told the school’s Corps of Cadets Tuesday to take all of their books, laptops and other items needed to study from home with them as a precaution in case conditions in the area escalate, or in case they encounter travel restrictions while attempting to return to campus after the break.

The Citadel has contacted the remaining 23 cadets and students studying abroad and asked to return to their homes in the U.S. That group includes 16 cadets at The American College of Greece which confirmed that a student there (not from The Citadel) has tested positive for COVID-19. TACG and health officials are working to determine any possible exposures, and working on arrangements to assist in the departure of the cadets. All will be able to complete their coursework online.

Charleston Southern Univeristy

Charleston Southern University officials say as a proactive response to the coronavirus threat, CSU will transition to online instruction during the week of March 16 – 20.

“This is NOT an extension of Spring Break, which ends on Sunday, March 15, but students who can reasonably stay home during this period are encouraged to do so,” CSU officials said. “All faculty will conduct classes online using Blackboard beginning Monday, March 16. This shift to online instruction for one week should provide ample time for the COVID-19 incubation period to run its course for students who may have been exposed to the virus.”

Claflin University

Claflin University has extended Spring Break (for students only) through March 22. The residence halls will reopen on March 22 at 2 p.m.

All on-ground classes will resume on Monday, March 23 at 8 a.m.

“Our Emergency Preparedness Team is closely monitoring national and international developments concerning the novel coronavirus (COVID-19),” university officials said. “With the safety of our campus community in mind, we have decided to extend Spring Break (for students only) through Sunday, March 22, 2020.”

Trident Tech

Trident Technical College’s administration and COVID-19 Task Force are monitoringthe coronavirus outbreak.

The college is following S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control guidance and is operating on a normal class and work schedule.

All study abroad programs and international travel has been suspended through May 31.

Domestic travel outside the tri-county area is suspended through April 3. Travel restrictions will be revisited on a weekly basis and updates provided.

While DHEC has not recommended canceling events at this time, the college – exercising an abundance of caution – has canceled college-sponsored events through March 31 to include:

  • Retiree Reception and Luncheon on March 18
  • Nursing Alumni Event on March 19
  • Chief Academic Officers/Chief Student Services Officers Joint Meeting on March 20
  • Youth Apprenticeship Conference on March 30-31

University of South Carolina

UofSC announced Wednesday morningit has canceled classes and campus events for next week, through March 22. From March 23 through April 3, all face-to-face instruction in lectures, discussion sections, seminars and other similar classroom settings will be suspended and move to virtual instruction.

The university will remain open, including residence halls, food services and limited transit.

Students are encouraged not to return to campus between this Monday and April 3, although they will not be forbidden from doing so. Students are urged to use their best judgement when making this decision, taking into account any preexisting health conditions and alternative housing options.

All intercollegiate athletics competition is expected to continue, however there will be no fans allowed at sporting events through March 30.

“The safety and well-being of our student-athletes, fans, coaches and staff is the most important responsibility we have in our athletics department," said Ray Tanner, director of athletics at USC."By limiting attendance at home athletics events, the SEC believes we are reducing the chances that the COVID-19 virus will spread in our community. I know this is disappointing for our great fans, but it is done with an abundance of caution during this difficult time.”

University of South Carolina - Aiken

The University of South Carolina Aiken extended spring breakto include the week of March 16-20.

“As the University of South Carolina Aiken continues to monitor the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), our first concern is the health, welfare and safety of our students, staff, faculty, and community,” Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan said. “We are currently working with the Department of Health and Center for Disease Control to determine an appropriate response that proactively protects at-risk populations and reduces possible spread of the virus among campus constituents.”

Throughout the extended break, the university remains open, including residence halls and dining services.

During the extended break, no face-to-face classes, including the Academy for Lifelong Learning and McGrath Computer Learning Center classes, or student meetings will be held. Online courses will resume as scheduled on Monday.

Athletic events will continue as scheduled. The Centers for Disease Control encourages people older than 60 with preexisting medical conditions to avoid attending events with large crowds because they are a higher risk of complications related to COVID-19.

“We hope these measures will help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 at the university and in our community,” Jordan said.

Clemson University

Clemson University officials say they are moving all classes to online instruction after spring breakuntil at least March 30. This includes all undergraduate, graduate and Bridge courses held on the main campus and at University facilities across the state.

While classes will not take place in person, Clemson will remain open and operational. Student services, including housing, dining and health care, will remain available for those on campus.

“This decision was not made lightly and is consistent with the actions being taken by many other universities across the country,” Clemson President Jim Clements said. “By moving temporarily to an online structure, the campus community can engage in social distancing and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, while also ensuring our students’ academic progress is not interrupted.”

South Carolina State University

South Carolina State University has placed a moratoriumon all international university-sponsored travel for students, faculty and staff. SC State officials continue to monitor the progression of coronavirus related cases.

Orangeburg Calhoun Tech

Classes will continue as usual beginning Monday, but all extracurricular and community activities have been suspended through March 31.

Coastal Carolina University

In an updated posted to the university’s website, CCU is extending spring break for students through March 20. Classes will resume on March 23.

The Provost’s Office issued an advisory Sundayto correct incorrect information circulated that the school had planned to cancel classes.

“To dispel any rumors, please be advised that the University has no plans to cancel classes or otherwise alter class schedules this week or after students return from spring break,” the advisory stated. “Students and faculty are encouraged to use your voices and roles as influencers and peer leaders on campus to dispel this rumor and assure all that the University will continue to operate as normal.”

Furman University

Furman University announced Wednesday it will extend spring breakby one week, March 22. Furman is suspending all on-campus class meetings, and students should stay home and not return to campus until further notice. Remote instruction will begin March 23 through at least March 27, at which time university officials will decide how to continue.

Starting Monday, all non-athletics events are canceled or being postponed through at least March 30.

The university says it is attempting to get clarity on President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday that he was suspending U.S. entry for most foreign nationals from certain European countries and will notify their students who are studying abroad.

Charleston School of Law

Charleston School of Law extended its spring breakthrough Tuesday. Classes will resume Wednesday at their regular times but will be online until at least April 3.

Any students who may have visited an area with active reported cases, or visited an area where you may have been exposed, are asked to notify administrators so they can properly accommodate those risks and minimize exposure to other students.

The operational offices of the School will remain open until further notice. Faculty and staff should report during their regular working hours.

All student organization events scheduled between this Monday and April 3 will be canceled and organizations are encouraged not to schedule events after April 3.

Wofford College

Wofford College has chosen to extend spring break to promote social distancing at this time. The college will continue academic programming through Friday, March 20. Then, the college will remain on spring break, with a plan to return to classes on Monday, April 6.

“The health and safety of our campus community is Wofford College’s top priority,” President Nayef Samhat said. “It is important for all of us to look out for our friends and neighbors while showing compassion and erring on the side of caution at this time.”

The campus will remain open for faculty and staff during the extended break for students. The college will continue to closely follow the situation involving COVID-19 to make the most informed decision possible for a plan after spring break. Wofford is prepared to continue the semester remotely through online teaching if necessary.

The college will make accommodations for students facing extenuating circumstances and unable to return home.

All campus events are canceled until further notice.

Midlands Tech

The college is under normal operationsand academic classes will resume as scheduled on Monday.

Students who believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus or are showing symptoms should stay home and call the Student Coronavirus Contact Line at 803-732-5201.

College faculty and staff who believe they have been exposed to the virus or are showing symptoms should stay home, and contact the MTC Human Resources Line at 803-822-3500. MTC will work with students and employees on their individual circumstances.

MTC is a non-residential college, where students do not live in close proximity to one another. Our students come on-and-off campus for class, and class sizes are purposefully small for optimal teaching and learning.

Along with our normal operations, we are performing specific, proactive sanitation and disinfection activities on a regular basis.

Columbia International University

Columbia International University is extending Spring Break one weekfor residential courses, through March 20. CIU will continue to monitor the situation and make a determination next week regarding the possibility of temporarily moving to e-learning.

Note that while classes will not take place in person, CIU will remain open and operational. Employees are expected to report for work as normal, unless they are sick.

If circumstances require it, students who do return should note some operational modifications including:

  • Dining services will be available, but modified to reduce risk.
  • Extracurricular events or activities that would result in large gatherings are canceled.
  • The Library will be open but students may not congregate in common spaces.

Meanwhile,the John Maxwell event scheduled for Tuesdayon the CIU campus is postponed.

Southern Wesleyan University

Southern Wesleyan University has made the decision to temporarily move on-campus courses online beginning Thursday. On-Campus courses scheduled for Monday, through Wednesday will be postponed. On-Campus students should plan on signing into their course on Thursday.

Existing SWU Online classes will continue to operate normally without any interruption.

All athletic events (home and away) will be suspended until further notice.

The main campus of the university will remain open and operate at a Level 2 status as outlined in the university’s Infectious Disease Response Plan as a part of our heightened awareness; however, currently there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of the virus on campus or in the immediate area.

Offices, student and health services, residence halls, and food service will continue to operate on a normal schedule; however, appropriate precautions are being taken including additional cleaning and sanitizing throughout the campus. Events on campus are being curtailed, rescheduled, or moved online as appropriate.

This list will be updated as schedule changes are announced. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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