Francis Marion University students return to campus with COVID-19 precautions in place

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Francis Marion University students have returned to campus for the start of the fall semester.

As COVID-19 cases rise, FMU has re-instated a mask mandate and other safety precautions for students and staff.

RELATED COVERAGE | FMU will require masks indoors for students, faculty no matter vaccination status

FMU President Doctor Fred Carter said they proved last year that those precautions can be successful during a pandemic. Carter said FMU ended last year with one of the lowest COVID-19 positive rates among state universities.

“We think what we’re doing this year parallels with what we did this year, plus we have the additional supportive of the vaccinations this year, so we think we’ll get through this year really well,” Carter said.

Carter wants to keep COVID-19 cases down and get vaccination numbers up. The university will host 13 on-campus vaccination clinics this fall.

Carter is incentivizing students to get the shot by holding a weekly cash drawing for vaccinated students.

“Two $1000 prizes a week for those who enter the drawing, you have to be fully vaccinated to enter the drawing, and we’ll be doing that the rest of the semester,” Carter said.

Carter said pandemic or not, the return of students is his favorite time of year. He said the pandemic changes things somewhat, but Francis Marion University will continue to give students the best experience possible.

“We need to keep things as positive and bright and upbeat as we can, while still being vigilant of the pandemic, and that’s exactly what we’re doing on this campus,” Carter said.

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