March 19, 2021

Furman Focused update: Yellow Phase

Dear Campus Community,

Only 50 days left until the class of 2021 walks across that stage on May 8. We cannot believe how quickly this semester is moving. Seniors, we hope you can soak it all in and cherish each remaining day.

While the total number of positive cases is slightly lower than last week, the COVID disease incidence on campus continues to be too high to move to the Purple Phase. Notwithstanding our continued improvements in our surveillance testing, all cases on campus this past week have been symptomatic, and more close contacts have also become symptomatic positives. Additionally, the exponential improvement of the health metrics in Greenville has slowed this week. While we have not moved further away from the Purple Phase this week, we also have not moved closer; therefore, we will continue operating in the Yellow: Enhanced Precautionsphase next week.

Please carefully read the following updates.

COVID Dashboard

We completed surveillance testing for 369 on-campus students this week, resulting in 0 asymptomatic positives (0.00% positivity rate). However, there were 16 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 20% 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.

Burnout and mental health support

Experiencing loss while also trying to learn and work remotely due to the pandemic continues to deeply affect mental health and wellness. Burnout is one consequence of the resulting heartache and stress. Please know that there are many resources available to you. If you are experiencing burnout or need any support, please consider taking advantage of the upcoming CLP, “Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle,” and the many other resources available through the offices below. Click here to learn more about the CLP and to register.

Counseling Center: 864-294-3031
Office of Spiritual Life: 864-294-2133
Office of Student Life: 864-294-2202

Student activities

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

May X courses available

May X courses will be held from Wednesday, May 12, through Wednesday, June 2, and will be offered in a variety of modalities. If interested, register now for a May X course. For additional information on dates, costs, and housing, see these frequently asked questions.

Spring holiday weekend

Although we discourage traveling off campus, we realize that some students will travel home to be with family for the long weekend on April 2-4. Students who plan to travel are encouraged to review Furman’s Travel Policy and Guidelines as they make preparations. Furman will not require a negative COVID test to return to campus after that weekend.

Tip of the week: Vaccination record 

Students, faculty and staff who have received the complete dose of the COVID vaccination may voluntarily share their vaccination record with the Earle Student Health Center (students) and Human Resources (faculty and staff). Sharing your record will help Furman understand how many of our community members are vaccinated. We are strongly encouraging everyone to be vaccinated because it will greatly impact in a positive way our ability to have in-person activities at increased capacities. For employees, this information will not be shared or stored as part of personnel records, and no personnel actions will be taken based on whether employees have received the vaccine or not.  Please submit only your vaccination record and do not include any medical information along with it.

Faculty and staff town hall 

Human Resources and the SAT are planning a Faculty and Staff Town Hall for Thursday, March 25, at 10 a.m. To participate, please register here. Registrations are limited to 500; the town hall will be recorded and posted online for those who may not be able to attend. You may also submit any questions you have by this Monday, March 22, using this form. We will also take questions during the town hall through the webinar chat function.

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