September 4, 2020

Update on COVID-19 testing plan for students

The following notes were emailed to various groups of students and their families, and to faculty and staff regarding Furman’s COVID-19 testing plan.

 

The note below was emailed to students currently on campus and approved commuters.

 

Dear Students,

We appreciate everything you are doing to fulfill the Paladin Promise. To further support the health and safety of our campus, we are adjusting our testing protocols. Furman will test all on-campus students, including approved commuters, and will require returning second- and third-year students to provide a negative test result before arriving on campus.

We are modifying our testing protocols in part because of concerns over the recent outbreak related to off-campus activities. Also, the return of second- and third-year students will increase campus density and bring together two populations that have been living in different environments. Most importantly, we want to have more complete data so we can continue to adjust our plans based on the best information available.

You will receive additional information later today with your scheduled time to be tested tomorrow (Friday, September 4) at Timmons Arena. Starting today and following your test, we are asking that you limit and track your contacts while awaiting your results, which will be available in 2-3 days. You will be provided with instructions and a log to track your close contacts.

During this low-contact period, we urge you to stay on campus while continuing to follow all of the health and safety guidelines of the Paladin Promise. If you go home this weekend, you should not return to campus until you have received your test result. We encourage you to take advantage of the outdoor spaces, keeping in mind the importance of maintaining six feet and masking.

To ensure students limit the number of close contacts they have over the weekend, meals will be available in the Dining Hall and Pala-Den during normal times, but students will not be able to eat inside those facilities, starting with lunch on Friday. The Milford Mall food tent will also be open for lunch and dinner over the weekend.

This test tomorrow is mandatory, so thank you in advance for your cooperation. We really appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to do everything we can to protect your health and safety.

Sincerely,

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

The note below was emailed to students returning September 11-13.

 

Dear Students,

We are excited to welcome you back to campus soon. To further support the health and safety of our campus, we are adjusting our testing protocols. Furman will test all on-campus students, including approved commuters, and will require returning second- and third-year students to provide a negative test result before arriving on campus. Our goal with this adjustment is to safely prepare for your return so we can continue our in-person, on-campus experience.

We are modifying our testing protocols in part because of concerns over the recent outbreak related to off-campus activities. Also, the return of second- and third-year students will increase campus density and bring together two populations that have been living in different environments. Most importantly, we want to have more complete data so we can continue to adjust our plans based on the best information available.

Before you come to campus, we are asking that you get a molecular PCR test between September 5-9, and submit those results to Furman’s Earle Student Health Center at furmanstudenthealth@prismahealth.org no later than September 10. If you have already tested positive for COVID-19 using a SARS-Cov-2 PCR test in the last 90 days, you may submit those results instead of being tested next week. A rapid antigen test is not sufficient for current or prior testing.

If you receive your test results after September 10, but before you leave home to return to campus, please bring a hard copy of your test results with you. You will be required to present that document before moving into campus housing.

If you are unable to get tested, you will be tested upon arrival before moving into housing, and then you will be required to stay in a designated quarantine space until your test results are available, which can take 2-3 days. If at all possible, please arrive with your negative test result to avoid having to quarantine.

Most medical insurance plans will cover the cost of the test. Furman will cover the difference using the Student Sickness Benefits plan. You will just need to submit a claim for reimbursement.

If you test positive, you must stay home and contact the Earle Student Health Center. Further guidance on your return to campus will be provided by the health center.

We really appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to do everything we can to protect your health and safety. If you have questions about the required testing, please email furman.focused@furman.edu. If you have questions about the move-in process, please email HousingandResidenceLife@furman.edu.

We look forward to your return soon.

Sincerely,

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

Co-chairs, Fall Planning Steering Committee

The note below was emailed to all faculty and staff.

 

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We appreciate all you are doing to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our students. We are writing to update you on the status of our current COVID-19 infection rates and modified testing plan for students who are on campus and those who will be returning next weekend.

Since August 12, four positive cases have been confirmed that do not appear to be directly related to the off-campus parties that resulted in an outbreak. These numbers are anticipated and manageable, but we want to be especially vigilant as we prepare to welcome back our second- and third-year students.

Tomorrow, Furman will test all on-campus students at Timmons Arena during scheduled blocks that do not conflict with individual student class schedules. In addition, we are asking all of our returning second- and third-year students to be tested and provide a negative test result before coming to campus.

We are modifying our testing protocols in part because of concerns over the recent outbreak related to off-campus activities. Also, the return of second- and third-year students will increase campus density and bring together two populations that have been living in different environments. Most importantly, we want to have more complete data so we can continue to adjust our plans based on the best information available.

Students who are being tested on campus are being asked to have a low-contact weekend and to track their close contacts while awaiting results, which will be available within 1-3 days. Students will be provided with instructions and a log to track their close contacts. Students who test positive will be isolated, and their close contacts, as identified through contact tracing, will be quarantined.

For our returning second- and third-year students, we are requiring that they be tested between September 5-9 and provide test results by no later than September 10. Any students who are unable to get tested before their return will be tested before moving into campus housing, and will be required to stay in a designated quarantine space until test results are available.

We will continue to provide regular updates and information on the Furman Focused website and update our COVID-19 Dashboard each Monday afternoon. This message replaces our usual Friday update email this week.

Again, thank you for all you do, but especially for supporting our students and helping to promote a healthy community.

Sincerely,

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

Co-chairs, Fall Planning Steering Committee