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Lowcountry colleges take precautions in response to COVID-19 threat

Staff //March 12, 2020//

Lowcountry colleges take precautions in response to COVID-19 threat

Staff //March 12, 2020//

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Gen. Glenn M. Walters, president at The Citadel, talks to cadets about the COVID-19 virus on March 10 prior to the college's spring furlough. (Photo/Provided)

Local colleges and universities are taking measures for online classes and remote instruction in response to the threat of the new coronavirus.

Charleston Southern University will move to online instruction next week as a proactive response to the COVID-19 threat.

The university’s spring break ends on Sunday, and students who can stay home are encouraged to do so. Faculty will conduct classes online using Blackboard beginning Monday.

A news release from the university said the shift to online instruction for one week should provide time for the COVID-19 incubation period to run its course for students who may have been exposed to the virus. An announcement about the resumption of on-campus classes will be made March 19.

Offices at Charleston Southern University will remain open next week, on a regular schedule, and residential students may return to the campus, according to the release. Students who do not feel well are encouraged to stay at home until they are healthy, it said.

Updates will be posted online and through university communication channels.

As of now, The Citadel will continue to operate as normal.

The Citadel’s spring furlough begins Friday. Cadets are scheduled to return to the campus on March 22 with classes resuming the next day. There have been no modifications to operations on campus as of today.

Kimberly Keelor-Parker, senior director of communications at The Citadel, said the military college’s president, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, has asked cadets to take all of their academic belongings with them on furlough in case other modifications are decided during the break. He talked to the cadets about taking hygiene seriously and paying attention to travel advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Keelor-Parker said.

Cadets were asked to fill out leave roster documents so the commandant will know where the largest populations of students are located during the break — same step taken during hurricane threats.

The Citadel is posting updates online by 4:30 p.m. each day, and more frequently if needed, Keelor-Parker said.

The College of Charleston announced today it will hold all academic instruction online March 23-27, when classes resume after spring break next week. The campus will remain open and operational, and staff will be expected to report to work as normal, but faculty members have the option to conduct e-learning classes on campus or remotely that week.

All campus events are canceled through March 29. President Andrew T. Hsu said the school’s international travel prohibition has been extended through June 30.

Students are encouraged to return home or stay home during the spring break and e-learning week.

The college had previously planned a trial run of online and distance classes today, before deciding today to move online the March 23 week.

The campus is continuing all other normal operations during today’s test, and Mike Robertson, senior director of media relations at CofC, said it is too early to determine the results.

Trident Technical College has suspended all study abroad programs and international travel through May 31. College-sponsored domestic travel outside the tri-county area has also been suspended for students through April 3, and events through March 31 have been canceled.

The college will provide updates online about actions it is implementing.