Faculty FAQ on COVID-19 - Coastal Carolina University
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Faculty FAQ on COVID-19

(last updated August 26, 2021)

If you don’t find an answer here, please consult the Fall 2021 Operations Plan or contact the CCU COVID-19 Call Center at 843-349-4100.

What do I do if one of my students is not wearing a mask in my classroom?

The university currently requires all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings indoors. This applies to all spaces across campus except for private offices, assigned residential rooms/suites/apartments, and individuals actively eating inside a campus dining facility.  The Dean of Students has updated mask guidance here. If you have any case-specific questions, e-mail dso@coastal.edu.

If you are teaching a class and a student is not wearing a mask, please follow this process:

  1. Remind the student of the mandate
  2. Offer the student a mask (masks should be available at sanitation stations)
  3. Give the student a chance to put on the mask

If the student refuses to wear a mask, inform them that they will be referred to the Dean of Students office.  If a student still refuses to wear a mask, you should ask the student to leave class. After class, inform the Dean of Students Office of the incident via the Community Health Concern Report.

If a student refuses to leave a class after they are told to do so, please follow the steps in the classroom disruption flowchart: https://www.coastal.edu/sai/disruption/.  Mask noncompliance and refusal to leave the classroom are disciplinary matters best handled by the Dean of Students. Do not contact the Department of Public Safety to enforce the mask mandate.  The DPS should only be contacted in the rare event of imminent physical danger (i.e. beyond just COVID exposure) to you and your students.  Potential punishments for poor student conduct are not for faculty to determine – leave the student conduct process to the Dean of Students. However, a student absent from your class as a result of a refusal to follow a university policy should be reminded that unexcused absences can have academic consequences.

If a student claims they cannot wear a mask due to a disability or medical condition, please see below.


What do I do if a student claims they cannot wear a mask due to a disability or medical condition?

If a student has a disability or medical condition and believes they are experiencing an academic barrier, they should engage in the Accessibility and Disability Services (ADS) accommodation determination process.

What notifications will I get if a student in my class tests positive for COVID or is quarantined as a close contact? 

Students who have been isolated or quarantined due to COVID are instructed that it is their responsibility to contact their instructors to explain their situation and discuss procedures/options for keeping up with their coursework.  A contact tracer may contact you if they need assistance to identify impacted students, but in many cases you may never be contacted or officially informed that one or more of your students are isolated or quarantined.  The responsibility for notification has been given to the students for practical and logistical reasons.  Contact tracing is a race against time to identify and isolate or quarantine students as soon as possible.  Contacts expand exponentially with time, and every positive COVID student impacts multiple classes with contacts that in turn impact additional classes.  The contact tracing and notification process is dramatically slowed if contact tracers also have to notify every instructor for every class for every impacted student. 


A student approaches me in class and says they just received a quarantine notification letter and is not sure what to do.  What do I tell them?

Normally, a student who has been asked to quarantine will have already talked to a contact tracer, but in rare cases a student may actually receive a written notification before speaking with anyone directly.  This may occur, for example, if a contact tracer has been unable to successfully contact a student after multiple attempts.  In this case, a student may be reading about their quarantine for the first time and asking you for guidance.  In this case, please ask the student to step outside of the class and immediately call the CCU COVID-19 Call Center at 843-349-4100 for clarification.  The COVID-19 Call Center is staffed Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST), and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. (EST).  Students can leave a message during off hours and a contact tracer will return their call. If they are unable to reach the call center for further instructions, they should not attend any classes or other gatherings until they have spoken with the Call Center.

Please do not act as the enforcer and tell them they must quarantine immediately.  It is possible that a further discussion with a contact tracer may alter the recommended action, so your primary role is to direct them to the call center for further information.


How can I update my classroom seating chart?

Each college has designed a system to collect and maintain class seating charts for their courses.  Consult you dean’s office for the best way to submit updates and changes.  COOL has prepared a set of customizable seating charts built through Google Slides that can be accessed here. A “seating chart” might also be a photo of a class, with students labelled.  


Is there a defined threshold for my course at which I might need to change my teaching modality due to COVID impacts?

This is a case-by-case decision.   Our commitment to our students is to do all we can to maintain face-to-face instruction. In circumstances where it is temporarily inadvisable for a class to meet in person (for example, when a critical mass of the students in that class are under quarantine or when an instructor tests positive), we have the technology needed to maintain continuity of instruction.  Decisions regarding any short-term adjustments to your teaching modality must be made in consultation with your dean, department chair, and Emergency Management. 


Can a student get vaccinated on campus?

Yes!  Student Health Services is an approved COVID-19 provider and has the capability to store, manage, and administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for free to our students, faculty, and staff. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, requiring a second dose 28 days after the first dose. For additional information about the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and to schedule a vaccine appointment, visit the Student Health Services webpage.

COVID-19 vaccines are free and widely available to the public. Students, faculty and staff can find an off-campus local COVID-19 vaccine provider on SCDHEC’s Vaccine Locater website.


How can a student get tested for COVID-19?

Student Health Services provides COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, and staff who are symptomatic or have been identified as a close-contact. SHS offers COVID-19 rapid, molecular point-of-care testing with test results provided during the appointment. SHS also has a partnership with LabCorp for off-site testing for COVID-19, Nucleic Acid Amplification (test results in 2-4 days). Specimen collection for both types of tests is a swab of the nasal turbinates.

To make an appointment, visit the Student Health Services webpage or call 843-349-6543. SHS clinical staff reports all COVID-19 positive cases to SCDHEC and the COVID-19 Call Center to initiate contact tracing and case management activities.

The SC Department of Environmental Health and Control (SCDHEC) hosts many free COVID-19 community testing sites throughout the state for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. To find a free testing site near you, visit SCHED’s COVID-19 Testing Locations website and check the ‘free testing’ box in the search fields


How do students submit their vaccination records in order to be eligible for the scholarship incentive drawings?

Students should visit the Vax to the Max incentive program for instructions to upload their Covid-19 vaccination records via the Student Health Services My SHS Portal, and for details about the many scholarship incentives and weekly drawings available for vaccinated students during the 2020-21 school year.


How is CCU counting and reporting cases? What is included in the COVID-19 dashboard?

Case numbers are published on Friday mornings, reflecting data collected from Wednesday to Wednesday. This allows one day for SHS and the contact tracing team to evaluate and clean the data (i.e., examine duplicate reports, collect missing data, etc.). These numbers include positive testing from SHS, surveillance testing of student athletes, and student, faculty, staff, and affiliate positive cases reported to the University.  The dashboard also reports the numbers for both quarantined and isolated resident students (see sections 4.4.3 through 4.4.5 of the Fall 2021 Operations Plan for a complete explanation of definitions and procedures). 

The positive cases are of those individuals who were actively engaged on campus, posing a risk to the campus community, and reported during the specific period. For example, a student who lives at home and is only taking classes online may inform CCU that they have tested positive, but because that student has not been on campus, they are not counted in the caseload numbers. However, if that student has visited the library or SHS or other on-campus services, that individual would be counted in the caseload numbers.