Our priority is to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff at Columbia College. To safeguard our campus and limit the spread of COVID-19, we have instituted the following policies. We will continue to monitor updates from health officials and update policies and make changes to these policies as appropriate. 

Wil Lou Gray

Current Policies Regarding COVID-19

For questions or to report your positive COVID test, please contact Beverly James at bjames@columbiasc.edu or 803.786.3107.

As of August 12, 2021, all faculty, staff, and students who work, live, visit, or study on-campus are strongly encouraged to obtain a vaccination of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine if they are eligible to be vaccinated. Employees and students who chose not be vaccinated must follow the appropriate process outlined below.

Every member of the campus community must complete this form to indicate their understanding of the policy and update their vaccination status. 

While enacting these policies, we will remain courteous and respectful of all people so as not to stigmatize or discriminate against any groups.

Masks/Face Coverings on Campus

In light of the latest recommendations of the CDC and DHEC, all individuals on the Columbia College campus – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – are required to wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth while indoors. Masks may be removed by students when they are in their enclosed private room in their residence hall. Masks may be removed by faculty and staff when they are working by themselves in an office.

COVID-19 Symptoms or Positive Test Results

Directions for Students, Faculty, & Staff

If you've tested positive for COVID-19 or have active cold or flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, sneezing, vomiting, intestinal issues, or shortness of breath, please submit a COVID-19 Reporting Form. You can also reach out to your COVID-19 Contact during regular business hours.

During non-business hours, please call the Columbia College Police Department (CCPD) at 803.786.3333 and CCPD will contact the Administrator on-call. Have questions about self-quarantining and isolating on campus? Review our policies below.

Vaccination Status-Specific Instructions

FULLY VACCINATED** STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF:

To participate in the College’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program, members of the on-campus community will complete one the following steps:

  • Receive vaccination, or
  • Provide documentation that they have been fully vaccinated** by an external healthcare facility or clinic (e.g., at a private health care provider’s office or during a vaccine fair).

Vaccinated individuals can upload proof of vaccine here. This link can also be found on Koala Connection. Vaccines are not required but are encouraged, and more information about vaccine safety can be found on the CDC and DHEC websites.

UNVACCINATED STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF:

Faculty, staff, and students who work, live, visit, or study on-campus who are not yet fully vaccinated or who choose not to be vaccinated are required to participate in weekly testing. There is NO COST for testing. Rapid tests will be administered on the third floor of Eden Library on Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

**Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their last vaccination dose – either a second dose of a two-dose vaccine (Moderna and Pfizer); or 14 days after one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. 

MEDICAL MONITORING OF STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF 

Columbia College will retain a roster of students, faculty, and staff who are in quarantine and isolation. For students this includes their room/campus location, cell phone number, and their emergency contacts. If and when emergency response is required for those students, responding Columbia College staff will wear face coverings and maintain social distancing of 6 feet. Whenever CCPD, or staff are aware of an emergency response by external first responders to such a student, those Columbia College staff will inform the external first responders of the student’s status in isolation.  

GUESTS ON CAMPUS 

Outside visitors are allowed on campus. However, they must follow the COVID-19 policies of the campus. A downloadable copy of the policies will be available on the College’s COVID-19 updates page of the website.

All visitors to campus are required to wear masks when indoors while on campus.

QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION CARE POLICY 

Quarantine Protocols 

If a person is exposed to COVID-19, they must quarantine unless they provide evidence of being fully vaccinated. Quarantine is not required following known exposure for fully vaccinated individuals. If a person who has been fully vaccinated is a close contact of someone who has contracted the disease, then they should monitor their health. If they display symptoms they should quarantine and get tested. If an employee is required to stay home as a result of quarantine, if they are well enough to work and their work duties are amenable to remote work, then they may temporarily engage in remote work during the quarantine period. Columbia College faculty, staff, and students who are considering self-quarantine due to exposure but are asymptomatic will follow these procedures:

  • Students living on campus must notify the Human Resources at 803-786-3107 or 3784 and also complete the COVID Assistance Form. It will then be determined if self-quarantine is necessary given the circumstances (during non-business hours, please call CCPD 786-3333 and you will be connected with the Student Affair’s Administrator on-call).
     
  • Students must quarantine off-campus and are not allowed to remain in their residence hall.
     
  • Employees who require self-quarantine and who will miss work or will need to arrange to work from home, must notify their supervisor and Human Resources of their absence.
     
  • Students and employees must quarantine for at least five days and present a negative COVID-19 test result before returning to campus.

Mandated Isolation 

Any person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 must isolate.  This includes people who are fully vaccinated. If an employee is required to stay home as a result of isolation, if they are well enough to work and their work duties lend themselves to remote work, then they may temporarily engage in remote work during the isolation period.


Isolation Protocols 

Columbia College faculty, staff, and students diagnosed with COVID-19 who require mandated isolation will follow these procedures:

  • Students living on campus who test positive for COVID-19 must notify Human Resources at 803-786-3107/3784 during regular business hours and complete the COVID Assistance Form. During non-business hours, the student must call the Columbia College Police Department (CCPD) at 803-786-3333, and CCPD will contact the Student Affairs Administrator On-Call. The Administrator On-Call will work with the student to assist in contacting the student’s family to arrange transportation from campus. The student must leave campus immediately.
     
  • Commuter students should stay home and notify Human Resources, at 803-786-3107/3784 and complete the COVID Assistance Form. Employees who require self-quarantine and who will miss work or will need to arrange to work from home, must notify their supervisor and Human Resources of their absence.
     
  • Students in mandated isolation must contact Kristin Brooks kbrooks@columbiasc.edu in the Office of Student Success within 24 hours to discuss academic continuity.
     
  • Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 must notify their supervisor and Human Resources of their absence and shall not return to the campus for any reason until completing a 10-day isolation period. Employees may not send their family members or friends who they may have exposed to the virus to campus to retrieve any belongings. The employee may reach out to their supervisor to arrange pick-up of possessions by a non-exposed third-party.
     
  • Students must provide medical documentation from the identifying hospital or physician indicating the need for mandated isolation.
     
  • Employees who are mandated to isolate and will miss work or will need to arrange to work from home, must notify their supervisor and Human Resources of their absence. Employees must also provide medical documentation from the identifying hospital or physician indicating the need for mandated isolation.
GROUP ASSEMBLIES

Events and large gatherings must continue to go through the College’s protocols.

Classroom Capacity: Classroom assignments are based on normal capacity. If there is a need for social distancing due to un-vaccinated rates or increased positive COVID cases, the classroom capacity will be re-evaluated.

Dining Hall Capacity: Dining hall will operate based on normal capacity. If there is a need for social distancing due to un-vaccinated rates or increased positive COVID-19 cases, then seating will be adjusted and indicated with appropriate signage. Tables and other high traffic / high touch areas will continue to be cleaned and disinfected frequently. However, there will no longer be the expectation that every table will be cleaned and disinfected after each seating of diners.

Outdoor Event Capacity: Outdoor events will operate based on normal capacity. If there is a need for social distancing due to un-vaccinated rates or increased positive COVID-19 cases, seating will be adjusted and indicated with appropriate signage. In addition, we will review the CDC guidance on large gatherings (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/large-gatherings.html, accessed on 5/19/21) and consider requiring masks for certain events. Those requirements will be part of the event approval process.

Indoor Event Capacity: Indoor events will operate based on normal capacity. If there is a need for social distancing due to unvaccinated rates or increased positive COVID-19 cases, the seating will be adjusted and indicated with appropriate signage. In addition, we will review the CDC guidance on large gatherings (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/large-gatherings.html, accessed on 5/19/21) and consider requiring masks for certain events. Those requirements will be part of the event approval process.

As of July 19, 2021, all faculty, staff and students who work, live, visit or study on-campus are strongly encouraged to obtain a vaccination of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine when they are eligible to be vaccinated. Employees and students who chose not be vaccinated must follow the appropriate process outlined in this policy.

PERSONAL SANITATION AND RESPIRATORY ETIQUETTE
  • Wear your face coverings.
     
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
     
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
     
  • The College will provide hand sanitizer in common areas and at all building entrances. Bottles of soap and paper towels are in all bathrooms at handwashing areas.
     
  • Practice good respiratory etiquette, including coughing and sneezing into your elbow or a tissue and turning away from others when coughing or sneezing.
     
  • Don’t use other individual’s phones, desks, books, computers, and equipment, when possible. When it is not possible, all borrowed equipment should be disinfected before and after each use.
     
  • The College has provided hand sanitizer inside the classrooms and across campus in shared common areas. Every student should disinfect their hands when entering and leaving these shared common areas.
HEALTH & SAFETY POLICIES AT CAMPUS FACILITIES 

A.    Cleaning and Disinfecting

Health and Safety at Columbia College is an integrated part of the Environmental Services mission to improve quality of life. The Environmental Services staff are trained and will provide routine cleaning and disinfecting services, following guidelines and public health recommendations to prevent and reduce community spread of the COVID-19 virus. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols include:
•    Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces in classrooms, residence hall communal spaces, and public restrooms
•    Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces in common spaces
•    Enhanced cleaning and disinfection after notification of a confirmed COVID-19 case

B.    Cleaning for Prevention 

General guidance is to increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, focusing on high-touch surfaces, such as residence hall communal rooms, public restrooms, George’s Gym, library tables, elevator buttons, handrails, tables, faucets, doorknobs, and shared keyboards.  

Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting with attention to these areas helps remove bacteria and viruses, including the novel coronavirus.

All frequently touched surfaces are cleaned, followed by a disinfecting process: 
•    Light switches/pulls
•    Door handles/plates
•    Elevator controls
•    Tables and chairs
•    Desks
•    Cabinets
•    Windowsills
•    Telephones
•    Faucet/faucet handles
•    Railings
•    Soap/hand sanitizer dispensers 

C.    Staff Health Habits 

Facilities Management Staff follow everyday health habits using personal protective equipment to complete the cleaning and disinfecting process and practicing good hand hygiene of washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  

D.    Classroom and High-Touch Areas 

1.    Bathrooms

  • Wash hands for 20 seconds using warm water and soap or use the hand sanitizer stations located across the campus.
  • Always use a paper towel to open the door.

2.    Classrooms

  • Masks and/or face coverings are required to be worn by those who haven’t been vaccinated.
  • Sanitize your hands with the sanitizer provided inside or outside the classroom.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily.


3.    Elevators

  • Elevators will resume the normal operation prior to the pandemic.
  • Columbia College has an elevator cleaning process and has updated the cleaning process to ensure ongoing cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as elevator panels/buttons.|


4.    Kitchens and Laundry Areas 

  • The kitchen and laundry facilities will resume the normal operation prior to the pandemic.

5.    Residence Life and Housing Spaces 

Our goal is to provide students with an enriching experience while implementing operational procedures for the health and safety of the entire residential community. The policy changes for the 2021-2022 academic school year are below:  

Face Coverings/Masks

For your health and safety masks are encouraged to be worn, if not vaccinated, in all shared common spaces of the residence halls and your room, when you have visitors.  

Move In 

Students will be assigned a move in time. A move in request form allows students to select a preferred move in time. 

Visitation 

Visitation of the residence halls will resume to normal operation prior to the pandemic. Masks/face coverings are encouraged to be worn by all whom are not vaccinated.   

Overnight Visitation 

Overnight Visitation of the Residence Hall will resume to normal operation prior to the pandemic.

Common Spaces 

All common spaces (kitchen, laundry room, lounges, etc.) will be held to CDC guidelines.
Laundry Rooms - resume to normal operation prior to the pandemic. 

Kitchens - resume to normal operation prior to the pandemic. 

DINING HALL PROCEDURES AND TRAFFIC PATTERN

Please refer to Sodexo website for all updates and changes for Dining Services.

USE OF ATHLETICS FACILITIES
  • The McNair Fitness Center will re-open and resume to normal operations.
     
  • All recreation facilities to include George’s gym, Porter gymnasium, Greer Natatorium, and all athletic fields will resume to normal business operation prior to the pandemic.  
     
  • Student-athletes will be advised to follow protocol and procedures that will be outlined in the Student-Athlete Handbook.
JUDICIAL PROCESS FOR STUDENTS

Refer to the Student Handbook.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

As further guidance and vaccination data becomes available, the College will continue to evaluate and update its health protocols.

Columbia College’s leadership will continue to prioritize the health and safety of faculty, staff, students and the community, and any adjustments to policy and procedures will be made in conjunction with internal and external public health experts.

To download a complete copy of the policy, click here.

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