September 3, 2021

Furman Focused update for campus

Dear Campus Community,

We have completed another busy week on campus with the hustle and bustle of student activity and engagement. Thank you again for doing everything you can to protect the health and safety of our community.

COVID Dashboard

Overall, more than 88% of our entire campus community reports being fully vaccinated.

As anticipated with the start of the semester and the increased density of the campus community, there was increased disease incidence on campus this past week. There were 17 positive student cases reported by the Earle Student Health Center (ESHC). While there have been breakthrough cases among vaccinated students, this week’s data reveals that our unvaccinated students are exhibiting rates of infection that are nearly 10 times that of fully vaccinated students. Students who decide to be vaccinated may still do so at the ESHC.

Starting next week, the Furman Focused Dashboard will be updated each Monday and Thursday.

Quarantine and isolation protocol for faculty and staff

The quarantine and isolation protocol for faculty and staff is accessible as a flowchart. The protocol for students is also accessible as a flowchart. Faculty and staff who are symptomatic or have obtained a positive test should not report to work and are REQUIRED to submit the LiveSafe Health Survey or notify Human Resources.

Access to COVID-19 testing

With the increasing disease incidence and positivity rate in Greenville County (and across the state), access to COVID-19 testing has been more difficult. Many pharmacies are requiring several days to schedule appointments for tests, SC DHEC sites are backed up several hours every day and the turnaround time has increased to 72 hours and longer. “At-home” rapid antigen tests are also sold out at many pharmacies, further complicating access to asymptomatic screening.

Diversified Labs’ testing site is 14 miles from campus, located at 15 Commerce Center Drive, Greenville, SC, 29615 (near Premier Medical). It’s open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Faculty, staff and students may show a Furman ID for the $55 discounted rate for a PCR test with 24-hour results.

As a reminder, symptomatic students or unvaccinated students traced as close contacts must be tested through the ESHC. Please contact the ESHC at the first sign of illness for an evaluation, and follow required quarantine protocols in communication with ESHC staff. Obtaining testing for these purposes off campus or using “at-home” COVID test kits can extend isolation time and result in increased exposures to other members of the community.

Adjusted hours in the DH

After monitoring the traffic last week, Bon Appetit will adjust the Dining Hall hours and open earlier, starting at 7:15 a.m., effective Tuesday, Sept. 7. All dining facilities will have adjusted hours for the holiday weekend.

Furman-sponsored, overnight trips

New guidance is now available on the Fall 2021 Plan website about university-sponsored, overnight trips. Anyone planning such trips and retreats must review this guidance to ensure compliance.

Masking required at CLPs

Masking is required for CLPs, regardless of campus location, and regardless of attendance size.

We are closely monitoring the number of positive cases in our campus community to determine the appropriateness of any adjustments or contingencies. If you have any questions, please email furman.focused@furman.edu.

Have a fun, safe Labor Day weekend!

 

Sincerely,

The COVID Response Committee