November 8, 2020

Friday’s COVID test results

Dear Campus Community,

We administered 911 COVID tests to juniors and seniors on Friday in response to the activities in downtown Greenville last Saturday that did not adhere to our health and safety measures. Additionally, we tested a random sample of first-year students and sophomores as part of our ongoing asymptomatic disease monitoring program.

The Earle Student Health Center has notified 13 students that they are asymptomatically positive and must begin the isolation process. Our contact tracers are also in the process of identifying the close contacts of these students so they can be quarantined immediately. This is a positivity rate of 1.3% for Friday’s asymptomatic testing, which is the highest rate our campus community has experienced this semester.

The COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated tomorrow as usual and will reflect at least six positive symptomatic cases and one additional asymptomatic case from earlier in the week, bringing the total positive cases this past week to 20. This is the highest number of weekly cases since August. While the increase is disconcerting, it is not at a level that triggers any additional safety contingencies at this time. We will continue to closely monitor the impact of the pandemic and update the campus via email and the Furman Focused website.

Effective tomorrow, juniors and seniors may discontinue the low-to-no contact period, and the dining facilities will return to dine-in operations at all locations.

We are grateful to all students, faculty and staff who continue to help promote the health and safety of our community. These increased numbers are a good reminder to us all that we must remain diligent and refrain from gathering in larger groups, particularly off campus and without face coverings, at a time when Greenville’s rate of COVID transmission continues to increase. Our diligence does make a difference, and we urge everyone to continue to follow the Paladin Promise as we approach the final weeks of in-person classes.

If you have any questions, please email furman.focused@furman.edu. We hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Sincerely,

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

Co-Chairs, COVID Response Steering Committee