CONWAY — While various reports of a potential COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal Carolina University circulated online early Friday, university officials are telling a different story.
According to Martha Hunn, the school’s associate vice president and chief communication officer, CCU “does not have a cluster among our students.”
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control currently defines a “cluster” as: “2 or more COVID-19 cases identified among students or staff members in the same class or cohort (or finite setting) within 14 days of each other. This definition is provisional and is subject to change as additional guidance is made available.”
According to Hunn, “the only location on our campus where students are in a ‘finite setting’ is our residence halls,” as classes have started in an online setting only. The university’s plan is to begin some face-to-face instruction on Sept. 8.
Hunn did indicate that there have been students or staff that live or work on campus that have tested positive since move-in day, which started on Aug. 13.
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Those that have tested positive have been moved into isolation, “either in their single-room residence area or off campus in the additional space the university has acquired through a contracted lease agreement,” according to Hunn.
Subsequently, there are students in quarantine on campus “as a result of potential exposure to COVID-19,” Hunn said.
According to Steve Harrison, CCU’s vice president of auxiliary enterprises, the school has a high percentage of single bedrooms, which makes quarantine or isolation easier for students.
Harrison also indicated that they are asking students to self-report any COVID-19 symptoms or exposures to Student Health Services.
In-person gatherings — outside of athletics — have also been discontinued for the time being.
Hunn indicated that the school was still in its Phase One of the Coastal Comeback plan, which the university has indicated is its “transition period,” where students are welcomed back to campus and university operations are slowly expanded.
Reach Nick Masuda at 843-607-0912. Follow him on Twitter at @nickmasudaphoto.