CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – Coastal Carolina University President David DeCenzo unveiled the university’s phased approach to welcoming students back to campus for in-person learning.
In a YouTube video posted Monday, DeCenzo discussed the “Coastal Comeback,” a four-tiered approach to resuming face-to-face instruction after CCU was closed to students in the spring due to COVID-19.
“Without question, the COVID-19 pandemic has tested us in a multitude of ways,” DeCenzo said.
The Coastal Comeback was developed using five standards from the COVID-19 task force and then adopted by the emergency management task force group, according to DeCenzo.
“More than 100 members of our campus community, including faculty staff and students, have worked together to prepare the way to return to campus with face-to-face instruction,” said DeCenzo.
Those standards are: physical and social distancing; sanitation and disinfection; public health practices and personal protective equipment; health screening and monitoring; and COVID-19 testing and infection containment.
Currently, CCU is operating under a limited capacity of operations, DeCenzo said.
Phase 1 of the Coastal Comeback is recognized as a soft comeback. In this phase, CCU will slowly introduce the workforce and expand operations, welcome students back, and practice extensive safeguarding measures, according to the plan.
Students and employees are required to fill out a self-certification form before they come back on campus. The form will ask them if they were exposed to the virus or have traveled to any areas where the virus is widespread.
Everyone on campus will be required to wear masks while inside any buildings, and outdoors when it’s hard to maintain social distancing.
“We must emphasize how important it is for every one of us to follow all the protocols, standards and guidelines completely," said DeCenzo.
Phase 2 will feature modified operations that provide greater flexibility in face-to-face experiences, as well as modifying prevention/mitigation measures.
Phase 3 will see a return of operations to a normal, non-emergency status.
DeCenzo said the plan allows CCU to move forward when ready, or take a step back to a previous phase depending on what COVID-19 guidance and statistics tell them.
Last month, DeCenzo first announced that CCU will welcome students back to campus for the fall semester. A Facebook post stated residence halls will reopen on Aug. 12 and classes will begin on Aug. 19.
The University Place residence hall has made all of its rooms single-bed, and several of the other residence halls have reduced the bedroom sizes to have more single-bed options.
University Housing has also set aside spaces in each of the residence halls to quarantine any students that test positive while living on campus.
“During the summer months, we are working diligently to make your transition back to CCU run as smoothly as possible. We could not be more ready to say, ‘Welcome Home Teal Nation,’” DeCenzo said in Monday’s update.
The full video can be seen below. For more on the Coastal Comeback plan, click here.