In the midst of these difficult and uncertain times, we’re committed to continuing to go above and beyond to protect the health and safety of our students.

We’ve worked tirelessly to develop procedures that follow the health and safety recommendations outlined by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Resources for 2020-2021 Academic Year 

We've provided a number of quicklinks and resources for students, faculty, and parents navigating college life with us during the coronavirus pandemic. 

COVID-19 Campus Guidance

Information about COVID Education Funding

The information posted below outlines our commitments and assurances in compliance with Section 18004(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Higher Education Relief Funds

About the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Given the growing concern around the spread of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, Columbia College is actively reviewing its emergency response processes to keep you in the know of any important information as it develops.

This advisory is to provide background information on COVID-19 and precautions to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will update their website with any additional information as it becomes available.


  • Cases of 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) respiratory illness were first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and the novel Coronavirus was identified as the cause in January 2020.
  • Since then, cases have been confirmed in multiple countries outside of China, including the United States (U.S.).
  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
  • COVID-19 is a respiratory infection caused by a newly identified coronavirus that is responsible for the current outbreak and not previously known to cause human illness.
  • Fourteen days is believed to be the longest time between when a person may have been exposed to novel coronavirus and when symptoms may begin (the incubation period).
  • The chances of being infected are low unless a person traveled to China or had contact with someone who is a lab-confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. A probable case is defined by the CDC criteria and is referred to as a “person under investigation (PUI).”
  • Screening of all individuals traveling from China into the U.S. at major international airports seeks to further reduce the risk of transmission in the U.S. Most cases outside of China are travel-associated; however, transmission person-to-person can occur.
    o COVID-19 symptoms primarily include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
    o Other less common symptoms may include sore throat, chills, muscle aches, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing kits to test for COVID-19 that state public health laboratories will soon be able to perform. Testing must be coordinated through DHEC and must be confirmed by CDC.
  • There is no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 infection currently; care to relieve symptoms is supportive only.

Recommendations for Prevention

Here are some precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Self-isolate if you become sick.
  • Avoid contact with respiratory secretions.

Clinical/Symptom Screening

COVID-19 symptoms primarily consist of measured or subjective fever (> 38°C or 100.5°F), cough, and/or difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Other less common symptoms may include sore throat, chills, muscle aches, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Testing for COVID-19 is specific and not included in commercially available respiratory viral pathogen panels and must be coordinated through DHEC. Also, there is no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 infection; care is supportive only.

For any persons with a consistent travel history and any of the above symptoms, providers should immediately report to their regional DHEC office for further discussion of laboratory testing and necessary control measures.

Additional Resources

An attached screening tool is provided and can be utilized to assist with the screening process. Contact your regional DHEC office if your institution will need further assistance or guidance to conduct an appropriate symptom and exposure risk screen.