Stethoscope and pen resting on insurance papers

COVID-19 Guidelines & Protocols

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

Vaccination requirement

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities across the country adopted an array of effective testing protocols, and more recently many have required COVID vaccinations and boosters for their residential populations. Furman is following the guidance provided by recognized national, state, and local clinical and public health experts in requiring COVID-19 vaccination and boosters, as well as testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus when appropriate.

Furman requires residential students to have a current COVID-19 vaccination for the fall 2022 semester. Students can apply for an exemption to the vaccine requirement based on a medical contraindication or religious beliefs.

The ESHC can provide the Moderna vaccine and/or booster.

Once vaccinated and/or boosted, students must submit a copy of their vaccination card to furmanstudenthealth@PrismaHealth.org. A simple photo of the card attached to an email will suffice.

Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to be immunized against COVID-19 and to receive the booster vaccination when eligible. If a faculty or staff member has been fully vaccinated or has received a booster, and they have not yet provided this information to Human Resources, a copy of their vaccination card should be submitted to humanresources@furman.edu as soon as possible.

Faculty and staff may not ask students about their vaccination status, and may not require more stringent safety measures from unvaccinated students or treat students differently based on vaccination status. Please remember that there are a number of reasons that a student may choose not to be vaccinated. Students must be treated equally, regardless of vaccination status. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Human Resources.

Supervisors may not ask employees about their vaccination status, and may not require more stringent safety measures from unvaccinated employees or treat employees differently based on vaccination status. Please remember that there are a number of reasons that an employee may choose not to be vaccinated. Employees must be treated equally, regardless of vaccination status. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Human Resources.

Feeling ill?

STUDENTS: If you are concerned about your health and are experiencing symptoms (fever of 100.4˚ or higher and/or chills, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, body ache, new or persistent cough, loss of taste or smell, new rash or blisters), please submit the LiveSafe Health Survey and call the Earle Student Health Center at 864-522-2000 to schedule a virtual visit. You can also schedule a Virtual Visit via your MyChart account. Our team will evaluate your illness and, if appropriate, discuss the need for COVID-19 testing.

In the meantime, DO NOT go to class or engage in any other activity with other individuals.

For general questions about COVID-19, please call the Earle Student Health Center at 864-522-2000 and our clinical team will assist with answering your questions.

FACULTY AND STAFF: Employees 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.

Masking guidelines

Instructors may not require masking in classrooms, and masking is not required at CLP events.

  • Faculty and staff may require that students and colleagues wear a mask when entering their office, studio or high-contact lab areas, or when meeting individually. Likewise, students may ask faculty or staff to wear a mask when meeting with them individually.
  • Faculty, staff and students may require masking of all participants when traveling in vehicles on or off campus for university-sponsored purposes.

Faculty and staff who require or may qualify for reasonable accommodations based on a disability may work with the Human Resources to inquire about the ADA process. Students who require or may qualify for reasonable accommodations based on a disability may work with the Student Office for Accessibility Resources to inquire about the ADA process. Additionally, students, faculty and/or staff may receive notification that masks are required in classrooms or other spaces on campus to reasonably accommodate a student or colleague’s confidential disability.

We are supportive of students, faculty and staff who choose to continue to wear masks, and individuals should not be questioned about their decision, nor should they be discouraged or prohibited from wearing them.

Symptomatic testing

Students who are symptomatic or who are concerned about being a close contact to an individual who is either symptomatic or has tested positive for COVID-19, should contact the ESHC instead of seeking assistance in the external community, for the following reasons:

  1. We can coordinate and expedite testing if needed, providing all testing options for you.
  2. We can clarify and explain what type of exposure you may have had to an infected individual (i.e. primary vs. secondary), thus helping to decrease anxiety.
  3. We can initiate contact tracing to protect the Furman community.
  4. If you need to be in isolation or quarantine, we are able to help coordinate effective remote learning, meal delivery, and other support.
  • Individuals who receive a positive result from a rapid test must report that result to the Earle Student Health Center (students) or Human Resources (faculty and staff).
  • 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.
Contact tracing and isolating symptomatic students
  • 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 individuals who test positive, as well as quarantining close contacts who have been contact traced.
  • 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.
Quarantine
  • Individuals who are exposed to another individual who is symptomatic or positive go into quarantine
  • All students who are not fully vaccinated or boosted (if eligible) must have a plan to quarantine off campus.
  • Fully vaccinated and boosted individuals will not be required to quarantine, unless symptomatic. They will be required to mask around others for 10 days, monitor for symptoms and get tested on day 5.
  • Individuals who are fully vaccinated and not yet eligible for the booster will not be required to quarantine, unless symptomatic. They will be required to mask around others for 10 days, monitor for symptoms and get tested on day 5.
  • Individuals who are eligible for the booster, but not yet received it, will be required to quarantine for 5 days, obtain a negative test on day 5, and mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • Individuals who are unvaccinated or who request an exemption from the booster will be required to quarantine for 5 days off campus, obtain a negative test on day 5, and mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • Furman does not guarantee remote access to academic courses and/or any other offerings during quarantine. 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. 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.
Isolation
  • Individuals who are symptomatic and/or test positive for COVID go into isolation.
  • All students must have a plan to isolate off campus.
  • 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 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 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.
Furman-sponsored travel
  • Faculty, staff and students participating in Furman-sponsored travel are expected to follow required local, state, federal and international health and safety protocols.
  • The following tips will help minimize the transmission of disease:
    Wear masks in all forms of transportation;
    Reduce density in sleeping quarters; and
    Maintain small pods of close contacts.
  • 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.
  • Individuals and trip leaders must have 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).
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

Administrators and health professionals will continue to monitor COVID-19 conditions in our community. While the COVID Response Committee (CRC) and the Public Health and Safety Advisory Group (PHSAG) will significantly reduce COVID-19 related management activities effective March 18, either or both groups may reactivate should conditions change. If it becomes necessary, previous mitigation protocols may be reinstated, and new mitigation protocols may be created.