Representatives from The University of South Carolina provided another COVID-19 school update Friday afternoon. As of Friday, there are 1,461 active COVID cases from students (1,443) and staff (18).
UofSC has expanded its quarantine capacity by signing a month-long lease agreement with SpringHill Suites on Lady Street, securing an additional 132 rooms for use by students. Only students under quarantine will be housed at the hotel during this period, and access will be closely monitored, according to school officials.
Representatives also said students in quarantine are provided an array of support to ensure their physical and emotional needs are met and that their academic progress in not hindered. This includes a dedicated healthcare coordinator, 24-hour access to mental health care, regularly delivered meals, online tutoring, and a peer-to-peer support program designed for those experiencing quarantine.
Additionally, UofSC has put three additional Greek houses under quarantine after residents tested positive for COVID-19.
Seven additional students have been issued interim suspensions this week for violating public safety, either through hosting/organizing large parties, or violating quarantine. A total of 22 students have received suspensions thus far.
Saliva testing at the university is intended to resume next week, after it was temporarily postponed Thursday.
University president Bob Caslen released a statement:
“Although our total number of positive cases remains high, this week we actually saw signs of a reduced campus case load and positivity rate. Following the holiday weekend, however, we anticipate an uptick in cases on campus in line with the anticipated national trend. Because of this, we have leased a local hotel to increase student quarantine capacity.
We remain committed to testing as many students, faculty and staff as possible. We want to identify every positive case, take care of each one, and get students back into the classroom as soon as we can. We continue to focus and work tirelessly on our top priority – the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff – as we provide the best educational experience for our students.
I remind our students, faculty and staff to follow social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings over the holiday weekend to take care of themselves and their loved ones.”