CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Going to college in the middle of a pandemic is a worry many parents and students are sharing as the school year draws closer. Officials at Coastal Carolina University said they’re fine-tuning their plans to ensure campus safe for everyone’s return.
CCU has a quarantine and isolation plan for resident students who may test positive for COVID-19, along with a plan for staff as well.
CCU Emergency Management Director Carissa Medeiros said during the time of isolation they’ll continue to provide care for students, including food delivery, health checks and providing other necessary items.
If a student tests positive and they have a roommate, Medeiros said university housing is contracted with off-campus housing to move the positive COVID-19 student to isolation.
Medeiros said for those off-campus students, procedures are in place to provide case management services, health, academic, and emotional support.
CCU has also made changes to university housing by reducing capacity. Medeiros said what this means is having more single rooms versus multiple people in the same rooms.
For example, students who would live at University Place will notice all bedrooms have been transitioned to single rooms.
But it’s not that way for everyone.
“The one thing that our university housing is looking at too is that when our students come to campus and let’s say they are in a pod or residential area with two to three other students that become their family,” said Medeiros. “That’s an area where they can relax, where they can take their mask off in their residential area and it’s one thing that we will make sure that our students are comfortable with.”
She added if a faculty member tests positive, their plan is for them to isolate at home.
CCU has their own contact tracing system and when it comes to who’s notified of a positive case, Medeiros said something they’re looking into right now is what’s considered a close contact in instructional environments.
“We understand that the definition of a close contact could be in a group within six feet for 10-to-15 minutes that is something that we are actually looking at, even though technically all those students would not be considered a close contact because they were six feet apart and wearing the appropriate protective measures we want to take the greater care in identifying what exactly we would identify as a close contact,” said Medeiros.
Medeiros added the school’s contact tracing plans are something their transition advisory group is looking into and added they are looking to expand it.