February 12, 2021

Furman Focused update: Yellow Phase

Dear Campus Community,

We are happy to share that, effective today, we are moving to the Yellow: Enhanced Precautions phase. Thank you, our Furman community, for your commitment to prioritizing the health and safety of our campus.

While this is an exciting move, we want to be clear that the prevalence of COVID in the Greenville community continues to be concerning to our Public Health and Safety Advisory Group and our COVID Response Steering Committee. As such, please understand that we are just barely into the yellow phase, and we must remain diligent. To remain in the Yellow Phase, we must keep the disease prevalence on campus low, which means students must continue to avoid bars, crowded restaurants, and any location where masking and distancing aren’t being practiced.

In the coming week, off-campus internships and other engaged learning experiences will continue to be limited to virtual delivery. Organized community service, service-learning and community-engaged learning will also continue to be limited to virtual delivery. We will continue to monitor local conditions and adjust accordingly.

Please carefully read the following updates, including adjustments to the campus operational guidelines.

COVID Dashboard

We completed surveillance testing for 759 on-campus students this week, resulting in 5 asymptomatic positives (0.66% positivity rate). In addition, there were 13 additional positives reported by the Earle Student Health Center. The Furman Focused Dashboard and Campus Operational Phases were updated yesterday.

Surveillance testing

We will continue with our COVID surveillance testing next week, testing 25% of the student testing pool, split between Monday and Wednesday. Selected students will receive instructions the day prior to testing. We will not conduct surveillance testing for employees next week.

Indoor and outdoor meetings and events

Per the Yellow Phase guidance, effective Monday, indoor and outdoor organized events may now include up to 30 individuals or a maximum capacity of the event space (whichever is fewer). This means that student groups and organizations may continue to plan indoor and outdoor meetings following these guidelines.

Students may informally gather outdoors in groups of 30 or fewer, remaining physically distanced and wearing masks.

Per students’ requests, to encourage more outdoor eating and studying, heat lamps will be available next week outside the DH in the back courtyard, on the patio of the Duke Library, and by the tables in the lower Hill Atrium Courtyard (between the PalaDen and Barnes & Noble).

No classes next Thursday

There are no classes scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 18. This day was designed for students to take a mental break. Sleep in. Take a walk around the lake. Socialize with friends (small groups, masking, and distancing, of course). Go for a swim at the PAC. Read a book for pleasure.

So students can sleep late, the Dining Hall hours for next Thursday are as follows:

  • Breakfast, 9 a.m.—11 a.m.
  • Lunch, 11 a.m.—2 p.m.
  • Dinner, 5 p.m.—9 p.m.

The Snatch-a-Snack Truck will be on the move again in the residential areas next Thursday starting at 9 p.m.  Surprise theme.

Dining options for employees

Effective Monday, Bon Appetit is offering drive-through lunch service to faculty and staff Monday-Friday, 11 a.m-1 p.m., at the DeSantis Pavilion. Tables and chairs will also be available for those who want to park and eat outdoors as the weather permits.

Student activities

Programming for Black History Month kicked off last week. Students and several departments on campus have worked diligently to develop a rich, virtual experience. For details, follow @slbc.fu, @naacpfurman and @furman_cic on Instagram and visit the events page on SyncDIN to stay up-to-date on programming and events throughout the semester.

Club sports may now operate under the Yellow Phase guidance. Students may contact club sports presidents or coaches for more information.

Whether on campus or off, there are many ways for students to connect and stay fit (mentally and physically). See this week’s edition of DINformation for upcoming opportunities.

Athletics events

Limited tickets will now be available for students to attend athletics events, including the football season opener next Saturday, Feb. 20, at 2 p.m. Tailgating will not be permitted until further notice. An email with more information about all athletics events and ticketing will be sent to the community on Monday. Attendance will include a limited number of university-invited faculty, staff, and guests.

COVID Student Advisory Group

We have formed a student advisory group to serve as a liaison between the COVID Response Steering Committee and the student body. This group meets with members of the steering committee every Friday morning. There is representation from residential students, commuters, remote learners, student-athletes, fraternity and sorority life, student diversity council, student government, and various other student organizations. These students have agreed to be available to the student body, who may ask them questions and/or send them suggestions to share with the steering committee.

If student groups would like a member of the COVID Response Steering Committee to attend one of their meetings for a Q&A, please email furman.focused@furman.edu to make those arrangements.

Visitors to campus

There have been concerns shared about unapproved visitors coming to campus. To clarify, the general public is still not permitted to come to campus. Admissions will continue to offer very restricted, outdoor campus tours to the individual families of accepted students. Employees and their families are now permitted to come to campus to walk the lake (no indoor access). Parents and families of students may continue to come to campus to visit in outdoor spaces. Barnes & Noble is accessible to these approved visitors. More information about visitors is available here.

Tip of the week: Face coverings

  • Cloth face coverings must include at least two layers of fabric that fully extend over the nose and mouth, and fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face.
  • When outdoors, if physical distancing (more than 6 feet) can be expected to be reasonably maintained, face coverings may be removed, but should always be carried in the event you encounter situations where distancing is not possible.
  • If traveling with others in a vehicle, a face covering should always be used by all present.
  • All students and employees are required to wear cloth face coverings at all times when in a campus building, except as provided by limited exception.
    • Employees may remove their face covering in their private office when the door is closed.
    • Students in campus housing may remove their face coverings in their rooms/apartments and in the presence of their roommate (though regular use is still recommended).
    • Students in the dining hall, food court or other indoor eating establishments may remove their face coverings to eat, but only when actually eating.
    • Students must wear face coverings in the common spaces and hallways of campus housing, including laundry rooms and lounges, and inside their assigned housing space when guests are present.

Please continue to follow the Paladin Promise, complete your daily LiveSafe health survey, and check the Furman Focused website and your email for regular updates.

Have a fun, safe weekend!

Sincerely,

Ken Peterson, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Connie Carson, Vice President for Student Life

Co-Chairs, COVID Response Steering Committee