Health & Safety
In order to make our return to campus as safe as possible, all members of the Furman University community will need to do their part to monitor their own health and protect others.
It is important for each visitor and member of our community to recognize that even though the university will take precautions to reduce the risks of COVID-19 on campus, individuals can never be completely shielded from all risk of illness caused by the virus, and everyone in our campus community shares the responsibility for the health of the community.
If You Feel Ill
Do not go to class or work if you have a fever of 100.4° or above.
Students with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who have recently had close contact with a symptomatic person should remain in their residence and contact the health professionals at the Earle Student Health Center for additional guidance (864.522.2000, monitored 24 hours daily).
All students and employees are expected to self-monitor and report their own health and symptoms daily through the LiveSafe app. This application, an electronic tool for smartphones that simplifies daily health and exposure checks, can be downloaded during the required education and training activities. Students without access to a smartphone should contact Student Life at email@example.com to identify an alternative method for complying with daily self-screening. Employees should contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org for alternative methods.
Students and employees are expected to provide their own digital thermometer for daily use to facilitate an effective health screening.
Personal and community protective measures are Furman’s best strategies to reduce viral transmission and keep our community well. It is the responsibility of each member of our community to familiarize themselves with the guidance provided, recognizing that guidance may change over time with emerging scientific evidence about the virus and disease transmission. We will continually evaluate our recommendations and revise them based on federal, state and local guidance as needed.
Modes of Transmission
COVID-19 is a highly transmissible disease primarily spread through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets containing the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be released into the air when someone infected with the virus coughs, sneezes, talks, or breathes. These droplets can land in the mouth, nose or eyes and can be inhaled by someone nearby (typically, within 6 feet), or can land on nearby surfaces. Further, the virus can be spread in this way even if the infected person has no symptoms.
Personal Protective Measures
To most effectively reduce the chance for infection, distances of a minimum of 6 feet between individuals should be maintained whenever practical. If you are unsure how far is far enough, spread out your arms and imagine others around you are doing the same. If your hands would touch, you are too close together. Classroom seating and common areas (e.g., dining hall, lounges, office areas, library spaces, and the Physical Activity Center) have been arranged to facilitate physical distancing.
Face coverings protect others from infectious droplets that are released from your nose and mouth. If you are infected, you are most likely to spread the virus via droplets when you sneeze, cough, talk, or breath, even if you have no symptoms. All students and employees are required to wear cloth face coverings at all times when in campus buildings unless a specific exception is granted. 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. Any exceptions will be indicated through campus messaging. Individuals requiring any accommodations with respect to masks should contact the Student Office for Accessibility Resources at SOAR@furman.edu (students) or Human Resources at email@example.com (employees). Download the CDC’s guide to Using Cloth Face Coverings [PDF].
When outdoors, if physical distancing (more than 6 feet) can be expected to be reasonably maintained, masks may be removed, but should always be carried with you in the event you encounter situations where distancing is not possible. While routinely wearing a face covering may be a new experience, it has been shown to be very effective for reducing transmission and demonstrates respect and concern for others who may be at high risk of COVID-19 complications.
Furman will issue cloth masks to all students and employees and provide training on their use and care. Additional masks may be purchased on campus or brought from home.
Education and Training
Students and employees will complete mandatory virtual Return to Campus training prior to returning to campus.
Students and employees should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible. This is especially important after using the restroom, blowing your nose, and interacting with spaces that include frequently touched items such as door handles and desktops. If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% isopropyl alcohol may be substituted.
Other Infection Prevention Measures
Students and employees should avoid any in-person contact with those who are symptomatic and/or who have tested positive for the virus. If coughing or sneezing occurs without a mask, use a tissue, your sleeve or the crook of your elbow to prevent droplet spread, and wash your hands. Get in the habit of refraining from touching your face, and do not share drinks, phones, eating utensils or other personal items.
Community Protective Measures
Facilities Services, Housing and Residence Life, and Dining Services have each developed enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols for common areas and high-touch surfaces including classrooms, labs, and offices, consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Each Furman student or employee has a shared responsibility for the health of our campus and the greater Greenville community. As an indication of our joint pledge both to ourselves and the health and safety of our classmates and colleagues, all students and employees will be asked to commit to the principles of The Paladin Promise before they return to campus.
Students and employees are expected to provide their own digital thermometer for daily use to facilitate an effective health screening as outlined above. Students who are unable to provide their own thermometer should go to the Earle Student Health Center to request one (there is a limited supply). The university has purchased no-touch infrared thermometers that may be used by major operating units such as the PAC, Dining Services, Furman Police, Housing and Residence Life, and Athletics.
Testing and Contact Tracing
The university is developing robust plans regarding testing and contact tracing in consultation with Prisma Health and other providers. Furman is also following recommendations from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American College Health Association.
Isolation & Quarantine
A plan is being developed for the isolation and quarantine of employees and students who are exposed to, symptomatic of, or test positive for COVID-19. For residential students, this will include procedures for health checks, meal delivery, remote learning, and other support services.
Policy Protective Measures
All students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to remain in the South Carolina Upstate area during the Fall semester. University-sponsored travel must be approved. For student groups and organizations, only essential travel will be authorized. Faculty/staff travel should be limited to those trips deemed critical for business and must be approved by a member of the Senior Administrative Team. All approved employee travel must be registered with the appropriate supervisor and include a safety plan.
Furman is also identifying additional policies to determine other ways to promote the health and safety of our students and employees. Among others, this will include policies on accommodations for students/employees with elevated health risks as well as policies surrounding campus visitation, hosting outside events, social gatherings, and participation and attendance at athletics events and activities.
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.