Furman Bell Tower

Fall 2021 Plan

The COVID Response Committee and the Public Health and Safety Advisory Group, along with other teams across campus, have developed the plans for Fall 2021. We will continue to follow CDC guidelines and adjust these guidelines and protocols as needed.

Masking guidelines

Face coverings protect others from infectious droplets that are released from your nose and mouth. Cloth face coverings should include at least two layers of fabric that fully cover the nose and mouth, and fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face. In general, face shields are not acceptable as a replacement for face coverings for general campus use. Students, faculty, staff and campus visitors are expected to follow these guidelines for masking indoors on campus.

Protocols for contact tracing, and isolating symptomatic or positive cases

  • 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.
  • Students who are symptomatic or have obtained a positive test should not go to class, must remain in their campus residence and are REQUIRED to submit the LiveSafe Health Survey or contact the Earle Student Health Center (ESHC).
  • Furman will continue to follow our protocols for isolating symptomatic or positive individuals, as well as quarantining close contacts who have been contact traced. Fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine, unless they are symptomatic.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals who are exposed to an individual testing positive for COVID-19 as a close contact and who are not symptomatic may continue normal activities and are encouraged to mask indoors, monitor for symptoms and get tested in 3-5 days.
  • A close contact is defined as exposure within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour window, within 48 hours prior to symptom onset or a positive test.
  • Instructors will be notified of a health status that requires a student to be prohibited from attending the physical classroom.
  • Failure to follow the above protocols will result in appropriate conduct action (see section on enforcement below) for students and employees.
  • See this Positive COVID Case flowchart to help students understand these protocols.
  • See this Positive COVID Case flowchart to help faculty and staff understand these protocols.

Symptomatic testing for students

  • The ESHC will administer a COVID test to students who are symptomatic, regardless of vaccination status.
  • The ESHC will also test unvaccinated students who are traced as close contacts to a positive case. Vaccinated students who do not have symptoms, but are concerned about being exposed to a positive case may wear a mask and consult with the ESHC to determine the best course of action.
  • Depending on disease incidence on campus and in the local community over the course of the semester, we may require additional surveillance testing.

Off-campus testing sites

  • SC DHEC lists COVID-19 testing locations on their website. The free testing sites are marked.
  • 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 them a Furman ID for the $55 discounted rate for a PCR test with 24-hour results.

Quarantine and isolation

  • All students who are not fully vaccinated must have a plan to quarantine off campus.
  • Fully vaccinated students identified as close contacts are not required to quarantine unless symptomatic.
  • Furman has a limited number of isolation beds on campus which are primarily for international students and students who live far away. We will manage each student who tests positive for COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis to determine the best course of action for isolation at that time.
  • Furman does not guarantee remote access to academic courses and/or any other offerings during quarantine or isolation. Students must communicate with their individual instructors to develop a plan to make up any missed academic work, as is our normal protocol for other illnesses.
  • Tuition, room and board charges will not be reduced for students who are required to quarantine/isolate. Students are responsible for any personal costs and expenses associated with COVID-19.
  • See this Positive COVID Case flowchart to help students understand these protocols.
  • Want more information? Read the Quarantine and Isolation FAQs.

Dining

  • All dining locations have returned to normal operations (e.g., no distancing, masking not required, self-serve options) for students, faculty and staff only.
  • Payments are swipe, credit or debit cards only. Cash is not accepted at this time.
  • All dining locations are NOT OPEN to the general public, with the exception of the Barnes & Noble Café and Traditions Grille.

PAC fitness center

  • The PAC fitness center will continue to be open to students, faculty, staff and Furman retirees.
  • The PAC fitness center will remain closed to OLLI members, employee dependents and the general public until further notice.
  • Masking will be required in the fitness center on Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Masking is strongly recommended after 4 p.m. and on weekends.

Housing

  • Campus housing has returned to normal operations and visitation rules.
  • Masking is not required in campus housing.

On-campus events and activities

  • Students and student organizations are encouraged to plan events and activities. Outdoor events are preferable to indoor events, but both are permitted.
  • To register any on-campus activities (other than regularly conducted re-occurring meetings), students may do so on their student organization’s syncDIN portal. Select manage organization, click the three bars in the top left corner, select events, and then create event. For questions, contact the Office of Student Involvement and Inclusion.
  • Student organizations must maintain a participant/guest list that is available upon request for contact tracing (if necessary). Events and activities are for Furman community members only.

Internships and other Furman-sponsored, off-campus activities

  • Internships, shadowing, community engaged learning, volunteering and other Furman-sponsored curricular, co- and extra-curricular experiences are permitted.
  • Students should follow the safety precautions observed at the off-campus site, including masking where required or indicated by the Center for Engaged Learning.
  • Masking indoors while off campus is strongly recommended.
  • Students participating in fall international study away programs led by affiliates are proceeding as planned. Students who have questions should contact the Study Away office.

Other off-campus experiences and activities

  • Students are able to leave campus to work, shop, eat, and have fun.
  • Student organizations may plan off-campus events and activities following the normal approval process with the Office of Student Involvement and Inclusion. To register any off-campus activities, students may do so on their student organization’s syncDIN portal. Select manage organization, click the three bars in the top left corner, select events, and then create event.
  • Student organizations must maintain a participant/guest list that is available upon request for contact tracing (if necessary). Events and activities are for Furman community members only.
  • We expect our students to follow recommended health and safety protocols when going into the Greenville community, especially in dense areas. If students want to continue to experience “normal” activities on campus, we strongly encourage students to minimize any high-risk engagement (e.g., no masking, no distancing) with the off-campus community.
  • To minimize the risk to the Furman and Greenville communities as much possible, we recommend that students keep the following guidelines and precautions in mind:
    • As much as possible, maintain small pods of close contacts, and avoid large gatherings, large tables, etc.
    • Adhere to physical distancing and masking recommendations while off campus in large public venues.
    • It is recommended that masking should be maintained at all times during travel if any member of the party is not fully vaccinated.

Furman-sponsored, overnight trips for students

Overnight and local trips are permitted under the following conditions:

  • Accommodations should be no more than two individuals per room (or tent if camping).
  • All travelers are required to mask in vehicles regardless of vaccination status.
  • Masking and reducing density in vehicles, in sleeping quarters, and while engaging in social activities are essential.
  • Trip leaders must have a plan to immediately separate symptomatic individuals from the group, connect them with a healthcare provider, and safely return them to campus.
  • The University may cancel overnight trips based on disease incidence on campus at the time of the trip, so trip leaders must have a contingency prepared and understand that there might be financial losses incurred.

Multi-day and/or multi-destination trips must be approved by the COVID Response Committee.

  • The proposed travel plan should be submitted to furman.focused@furman.edu well in advance of the trip for review.
  • The travel plan should include 1) a required pre-departure negative COVID-19 test for unvaccinated individuals; 2) required masking in all forms of travel (air, charter bus, private vehicle, etc.); 3) sufficient support staff and access to medical resources to care for any student or leader who becomes ill during the trip; 4) the ability to rapidly test a symptomatic individual at the first sign of symptom development (rapid antigen “at-home” tests may be the best choice, with proper training of the trip leader); and 5) a plan for the group to return to campus if an individual tests positive, with provisions to take care of providing separate transportation for the positive case(s).
  • The University may cancel the trip based on disease incidence on campus at the time of the trip, so trip leaders must have a contingency prepared and understand that there might be financial losses incurred.

Athletics events and club sports

  • Athletics events and competitions will continue as planned and will adhere to the health and safety protocols and procedures outlined by the NCAA and the Southern Conference.
  • Wherever possible, students will be separated from the general public at sporting events.
  • Masking is required at all indoor sporting events.
  • Club sports and intramurals will operate under normal protocols. Masking is required for indoor competition and for all students on both teams.

Eating & drinking in class or research settings

  • For students or employees who are drinking water, they must use a personal bottle with a sealed lid and a self-contained “straw” or similar device for drinking the liquid by vacuum rather than “pouring” into the mouth.
  • The straw or similar device should be of a design that it can be slipped under the face covering to take a drink.
  • Individuals should not eat in classrooms, labs or academic buildings unless there is a medical emergency/medically approved necessity. In those cases, the individuals should separate themselves from others at distances of greater than 6 feet. The exception is faculty and staff may eat in their offices alone or in a common area in their suite that is not accessible to students.

Campus visitors

The public and approved campus visitors are expected to follow campus visitor guidelines.

Enforcement

  • Students should review the Student Conduct Code and Housing & Residence Life Policies for standard expectations.
  • Students who do not adhere to the COVID safety protocols (on or off campus) outlined in this communication, future communications, and/or on the Furman Focused website may be charged with Failure to Comply, Disorderly Conduct and/or Endangerment.
  • Employees who do not adhere to the COVID safety protocols outlined in this communication, future communications, and/or on the Furman Focused website may be subject to disciplinary action.

Contingency planning

  • Our COVID Response Committee, the Public Health and Safety Advisory Group, and Human Resources are closely monitoring the circumstances related to the Delta variant and any other evolving COVID-19 concerns to determine the appropriateness of any adjustments or contingencies.
  • These protocols could be adjusted at any time.

Furman University Front sign

Campus Visitors

The Furman campus has outlined these guidelines for the public and campus visitors.

Campus Visitor Updates

Masking Guidelines

Students, faculty, staff and campus visitors are expected to follow these guidelines for masking.

Read our Masking Guidelines
Health Check poster outside DH

The university will closely monitor the evolving circumstances related to COVID-19, along with rapidly developing scientific knowledge and medical resources, to determine the appropriateness for adjustments and contingencies.  For general questions, please email furman.focused@furman.edu