August 13, 2021

Furman returns to normal campus activities with some continued safety measures

Dear Campus Community,

Because of your diligence in achieving an extremely high vaccination rate on campus (see COVID Dashboard), effective immediately, Furman’s physical distancing restrictions will be lifted and many normal campus activities will resume.

Given the rising infection and transmission rates in our local community and across the country, some of our health and safety measures will remain in place. We are not announcing a campus operational phase today. Since the phases and their criteria were developed, health and safety guidance has changed, new variants have appeared, and vaccinations became widely available. The COVID Response Committee (CRC) and the Public Health and Safety Advisory Group (PHSAG) are updating the phases and criteria, taking all of this – and the high level of vaccination on campus – into consideration.

In order to 1) provide a robust, in-person student experience; 2) maintain the health and wellbeing of our internal and external communities; and 3) foster a supportive environment that does not divide the vaccinated from the unvaccinated, Furman will continue to require the health and safety precautions described below and more fully detailed on the Furman Focused website.

Masking is REQUIRED (regardless of vaccination status):

  • in all academic buildings and academic settings, including the libraries;
  • when traveling in vehicles together on or off campus for university-sponsored purposes;
  • at university-sponsored, indoor events with more than 50 individuals in attendance;
  • in the PAC fitness center on Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; and
  • of all admissions tour participants when indoors in any building.

Masking is NOT REQUIRED:

  • in non-academic buildings (e.g., Trone, Younts, Dining Hall);
  • in campus housing; and
  • outdoors.

Faculty and staff may require that students and colleagues wear a mask when entering their office, and we must all commit to respecting and complying with such requests. Employees are encouraged to print and post the appropriate sign on their door.

Faculty and staff may not ask students about their vaccination status, and may not require more stringent safety measures from unvaccinated students or treat students differently based on vaccination status.

We are supportive of members of our community who choose to continue to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status.

As a reminder, all students, regardless of vaccination status, must have a plan to quarantine or isolate off campus.

Our fall plans are more fully outlined on the Furman Focused website, so please carefully read our protocols and expectations for the fall semester about the items below:

  • Protocols for isolating symptomatic or positive cases
  • Symptomatic testing for students
  • Pre-arrival negative COVID-19 PCR test required
  • Quarantine and isolation
  • Dining
  • PAC fitness center
  • Housing and move In
  • On-campus events and activities
  • Internships and other Furman-sponsored, off-campus activities
  • Other off-campus experiences and activities
  • Athletics events and club sports
  • Eating and drinking in class or research settings
  • Campus visitors
  • Enforcement

Our CRC, the PHSAG, and Human Resources are closely monitoring the circumstances related to the Delta variant and any other evolving COVID-19 concerns to determine the appropriateness of any adjustments or contingencies. Our current protocols could be adjusted at any time.

We continue to be proud of our campus community for all that you have done to help us navigate this pandemic together, and we are excited for the fall semester. If you have any questions, please email furman.focused@furman.edu.

Sincerely,

The COVID Response Committee