The Virus & The College
MARCH 4, 2020, 2:52 P.M.
The following message regarding the coronavirus was delivered to students, faculty, staff and parents on March 4:
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Parents,
As you prepare for Spring Break next week, we want you to have the latest information related to the coronavirus and to update you on the work the College is doing to continuously monitor and prepare any needed response for the ongoing situation.
Presbyterian College’s main priority remains the health and safety of everyone on campus. As you may have seen in the news, there are now over 100 coronavirus cases in the United States that are spread over 15 states. There are currently no identified cases in South Carolina, however, and in that context the current threat to the PC community is still considered to be low.
You may have seen that some universities are withdrawing students from current international programs and cancelling upcoming study away trips. College officials are in regular communication with those students who are off campus, as well as their host schools, and given where our students are in Europe this semester, we do not anticipate an immediate cessation of our programs. We will continue to monitor this, however, and we will make sure to keep both students who are away from PC this semester and those who are planning travel later this spring posted about their current and potential trips.
Since many of you will be leaving PC to pursue fun experiences over Spring Break, however, we want to strongly encourage you to be safe and healthy as you do so.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can help stop the coronavirus by knowing the signs and symptoms:
Shortness of breath
The CDC recommends keeping yourself and others healthy by:
Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Staying home when you are sick
Covering your cough or sneezing with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash
If you’re planning to travel over Spring Break, please see the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for frequently asked questions regarding travel. There, you will see that the “CDC provides recommendations on postponing or canceling travel. These are called travel notices and are based on assessment of the potential health risks involved with traveling to a certain area.” For more information, you should visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
College officials continue to monitor this significant public health concern. Members of the leadership team have engaged in conversations with academic department chairs, directors across campus offices and programs, and others responsible for implementing potential plans if a coronavirus outbreak were to impact South Carolina, Laurens County, or PC in the near term. To be clear, we anticipate no changes in our campus operations at this time, and you should plan to keep your normal schedule in place both next week and later this spring.
A working group is in place, however, in order to continue our conversations and to implement and share any updated plans as necessary. In doing so, we will keep you posted regularly by email as well as by notices on the webpage we have developed to share new information as we receive it about the coronavirus and its spread. You may find this at: https://www.presby.edu/campus-life/counseling-health/campus-health-notice-novel-coronavirus/.
We want everyone on campus to have a great spring break, but as you do please be safe and healthy wherever you may be.
PC Leadership Team