University Health Guidelines
Coastal Carolina University’s COVID-19 response priorities remain: Protect the health and well-being of the University community; reduce the likelihood for COVID-19 community spread; and continue to provide quality education and services for our students. Because it is not feasible to eliminate all potential risks of an endemic infectious disease, the objective is to provide a systematic and feasible path for operation within the pandemic environment. Maintaining a healthy environment is a shared responsibility among students, faculty, and staff. In an effort to ensure that the Coastal Carolina University community can learn, work, and teach in a safe environment, prevention and mitigation measures have been put in place for the safety of all.
Face coverings are an important tool in protecting members of the University community from COVID-19. The most recent COVID-19 guidance from the CDC and DHEC recommend that everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, wear their masks when indoors and in public settings in areas with substantial and high transmission.
All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings indoors. This applies to all spaces across campus except for private offices and individual residence hall rooms. Face masks are also required on University shuttles. Free disposable face masks are available in Sanitizing Stations located throughout campus facilities.
Face coverings are required while moving throughout University Recreation facilities. Users are required to wear face coverings during exercise, however; face coverings may be pulled down or removed while swimming, participating in cardio activities, or while performing (or recovering from) strenuous exercise that causes respiratory distress. Users should strive to remain physically distant from others while mask is removed. Research from the American Council on Exercise has determined most people can exercise safely with a cloth face covering, provided that they do not have a pre-existing lung or cardiovascular issues and are monitoring their body’s reaction to the workout.
Request for Accommodation Regarding Face Coverings/Masks
If a student has a disability or medical condition and believes they are experiencing an academic barrier as a result of the University’s mask wearing requirement, they should engage in the Accessibility and Disability Services (ADS) accommodation determination process.
Employees with disabilities or medical conditions seeking a work-related accommodation as a result of the University’s mask wearing requirement should refer to University policy FAST-247 Access and Reasonable Accommodation Policy for Employees and Applicants for Employment.
Noncompliance of wearing face coverings and other required public health practices should be approached through a conversation on community health from an educational perspective. Those involved in a conversation like such should share facts, offer resources, and reaffirm community expectations for all members of Teal Nation.
Noncompliance with face coverings can be addressed through the following do’s and don’ts of a community health conversation:
- Let the individual know that wearing a face covering is an expectation of being on campus.
- Offer to help obtain a face covering. Free disposable face masks are available in Sanitizing Stations located throughout campus facilities.
- Discuss that wearing a face covering is a sign of respect and care for others, while also serving as a physical barrier for respiratory droplets.
- Ignore an individual who declines to wear a face covering.
- Ask the individual if they have a disability or health issue that prohibits them from wearing a face covering.
- Engage in discussions that are political or opinion-based about face coverings.
Students who refuse to wear a face covering may be held accountable via the Code of Student Conduct. If a student declines to wear a face covering as required, the faculty member will refer the student to the Dean of Students Office via the Community Health Concern Report.
If the situation occurs in a classroom or other academic setting, it is considered a classroom management issue. The student will have a chance to comply by putting on a face covering, but if the student refuses, the matter will be referred to the Dean of Students Office.
If the situation occurs in University Housing, it will be handled the same way any other housing violation is addressed. University Housing staff will address the student and educate the student about the face covering requirement. If the violation persists with the same student, an incident report will be completed and the student will follow the typical student conduct process.
If an employee (student employee, faculty, or staff) declines to wear a face covering as required, the supervisor is responsible for addressing it with the employee. Employees should refrain from addressing noncompliance or perceived noncompliance directly with other employees and should instead report issues directly to their supervisors.
Campus visitors and approved vendors who are not abiding by face covering requirements will first be offered a disposable face mask, if possible. If they refuse to comply with face-covering requirements, they will be asked to leave campus.
Students, faculty, and staff are responsible for daily self-screening and self-monitoring for symptoms and/or exposure to COVID-19. Individuals must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19, without a known underlying cause, before reporting to campus or class. Individuals can use the CDC website to ensure symptom monitoring aligns with the most up-to-date list of COVID-19 related symptoms.
Faculty and staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are advised to consult with their primary healthcare provider and not come to campus. Students can make an appointment with Student Health Services (SHS) by calling 843-349-6543 or visit the Student Health Services webpage.
COVID-19 viral testing is available through Student Health Services by appointment only for students, faculty, and staff who are symptomatic or have been identified as a close contact.
Members of the University community are expected to practice healthy behaviors through their individual personal conduct and hygiene practices, such as:
- Wash hands often with soap or use hand sanitizer frequently if soap and water is not available.
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
- Avoid close contact with others when possible.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover mouth and nose when one coughs or sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect personal surfaces.
The University has implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures. Every member of the University community has a joint responsibility for sanitation in their own work/learning area and when using shared resources (e.g. copiers, meeting rooms, commonly touched surfaces, etc.) Custodial Services staff will perform enhanced cleaning and disinfection as follows:
- High touch surfaces in common areas will continue to see additional occurrences of cleaning and disinfection at least twice per day.
- All classrooms and labs will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
- All restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
Sanitizing stations are available throughout campus buildings to provide individuals access to resources to sanitize spaces and items before use and to provide hand sanitation and disposable face masks. Custodial Services will monitor supplies and refill them routinely.
The Facilities Planning and Management Department has applied a layered approach utilizing multiple control strategies to improve air quality and minimize risk of transmission of COVID-19 indoors. Strategies include increasing the amount of outdoor air to be introduced inside buildings, inspection of CO2 sensors, HVAC filter maintenance, and adjusting temperature set points. Staff will continue to monitor systems to ensure they are operating properly.