February 19, 2021

Furman Focused update: Yellow Phase

Dear Campus Community,

Students, we hope you enjoyed the well-deserved, no-class day yesterday.

We will continue operating in the Yellow: Enhanced Precautions phase this next week. As many other colleges and universities have shifted to more restrictive operations because of increased disease prevalence on their campuses, we continue to be proud of your commitment to the health and safety of our community.

While our disease prevalence on campus is slightly higher compared to last week, this is not unexpected with the shift to more in-person activity this past week. To remain in the yellow phase and work toward the purple 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.

Please carefully read the following updates.

COVID Dashboard

We completed surveillance testing for 386 on-campus students this week, resulting in 6 asymptomatic positives (1.55% positivity rate). In addition, there were 5 positive cases 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 monitoring next week, testing 25% of the student 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. 

Travel policy and guidelines

If you must travel off campus, please follow these guidelines.

Men’s basketball watch party

Limited tickets will be available for students to gather in Timmons Arena to watch Men’s Basketball play their final game of the regular season at Wofford on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. Athletics will provide more information next week.

Lunch option for employees

Bon Appetit will continue to offer 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.

PAC open for employees

Effective Monday, the fitness center will be open to employees between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. (closed for cleaning between 12:20–12:45 p.m.).

Vaccinations and quarantine

Consistent with recently updated interim guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fully vaccinated persons who experience a close contact exposure to someone suspected or confirmed to have an active COVID-19 infection are required to quarantine unless they meet ALL of the outlined criteria. If you have received a complete vaccination, you must send documentation to the Earle Student Health Center (students) or Human Resources (employees).

Groups of 30 clarification

To clarify, indoor and outdoor organized events may include up to 30 individuals or a maximum capacity of the event space (whichever is fewer). This does not apply to guest restrictions in campus housing (see Section 8) or informal indoor gatherings elsewhere on campus.

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

Tip of the week: Call the Earle Student Health Center

Students with symptoms of COVID-19, or those who have recently had close contact with a symptomatic person, should remain in their residence and contact the health professionals at the Earle Student Health Center for additional guidance (864-522-2000, monitored 24 hours daily). The ESHC will administer testing on site with no out-of-pocket expense to symptomatic students or close contacts. Please do not go off campus to get tested on your own.

Employees with symptoms of COVID-19 should initially contact their supervisor and consult medical guidance through PRISMA Health’s Virtual Care or their health care provider.

Students, remember that you can reach out to your peers on the student advisory group to ask questions and send them suggestions to share with the steering committee.

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