University Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

MUSC is closely monitoring and responding to new information about the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. MUSC leadership and key units across the university and health system meet daily to assess the situation, make preparations to protect the health and well-being of the MUSC family and those we care for and ensure the continuity of our educational, research and patient care missions. This page contains answers to some commonly asked questions regarding COVID-19 and how it may affect the university community, as well as resources for additional information. We update this page regularly as new information becomes available.

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Most recent University directives for faculty, staff, and students

 

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Campus Operations | Health

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Campus Operations

All non-mission critical university visitors to campus are prohibited until further notice.

Hospitals and ambulatory sites have reduced the number of entry points and implemented tighter visitation policies for all hospitals and ambulatory sites on the peninsula. Please find the most up-to-date information on the MUSC Health Visitor Restrictions page.

Patients seeking emergency treatment should continue to seek care at any MUSC Health emergency department.   

If your supervisor has designated you as an employee who should work remotely, or of you are a student who will be engaged in remote learning, please visit musc.edu/remotework (login required). There you will have the option to select your role at MUSC, which will link you to appropriate, available resources.

The Information Solutions team will be available as always to provide support to remote workers and can be reached by calling 843-792-9700. Please be patient and anticipate longer than normal hold times as many employees transition to a remote work scenario. You can also submit a help request ticket by visiting the IS support portal at https://musc.service-now.com/sp.

Non-mission critical events should be cancelled or offered virtually until further notice. Exceptions to this will only be granted in rare circumstances and with written approval from the Program Director (for students and residents), Department Chair (for faculty) and unit supervisor (for staff). All requests should include a description of how the event will adhere to social distancing guidelines and the University directives for staying safe

Person-to-person contact in the retail pharmacies is limited to comply with DHEC’s guidance on social distancing. If you need prescriptions we have two options available.

  1. Prescriptions can be mailed to off-campus addresses at no additional cost. Your mailing address needs to be confirmed and a credit card number provided for any co-pays.
  2. If the prescription cannot be obtained by the above, there are locations open on campus: Ashley River Tower, Rutledge Tower, and Hollings Cancer Center.

The Wellness Center is open an under modified operations. This effects the hours, group exercise classes available, guest policies, safety protocols and more. All guests must wear a mask at all times other than when exercising, thoroughly sanitize machines and equipment after use, practice social distancing and remain home if sick. Stay up-to-date on their Facebook page, blog, and website.

The Innovation Station tech store is currently open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Health

MUSC Health began receiving COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020. MUSC is adhering to guidance from the CDC and SC DHEC to determine who receives the vaccine. Learn the latest about who is eligible and how to schedule an appointment when you are eligible.

Following a referral for testing, you will be contacted within 24 hours to schedule an appointment for specimen collection. Please arrive in an enclosed vehicle, not a motorcycle or convertible with non-closing top, at the appointed time. After your collection is tested and results processed, you will be notified of a positive or negative result.

Learn about making a virtual visit here.

Due to privacy considerations, this information will not be shared other than in a situation where it is believed other employees may also need to self-isolate.

While both isolation and quarantine refer to methods of preventing the spread of illness, they do not mean the same thing. Isolation refers to separating people who are sick from those who are not sick. Quarantine refers to separating people who are, or may have been, exposed to a pathogen, but are not showing signs of illness. Quarantine is used to minimize the spread of an illness during the incubation period, the time it takes for symptoms to emerge.

All MUSC family members including employees, faculty, staff students, residents and fellows who are symptomatic (respiratory infection, fever, cough, flu-like symptoms) or asymptomatic (and have had a known exposure to COVID-19), should visit MUSC Health virtual urgent care for screening and medical advice from a trained MUSC Health care provider. Learn more about making a virtual urgent care visit.

This secure, virtual care option will help with infection prevention and control, while also allowing patients to receive care and counsel without exposing themselves or others to further sickness in the hospital or clinic setting.

MUSC Health virtual urgent care is free to all MUSC staff, students, faculty members, and their dependents, as well as state employees covered under PEBA. We are additionally offering free consultations and screenings to anyone experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms located in South Carolina with the promo code COVID19, for both new and existing patients.

A new MUSC Health telephone hotline has been established and offers screenings in English and Spanish.

This hotline should be used only by those who fall into one or more of these categories:

  • The person has already visited MUSC Virtual Care (musc.care) and experienced a technical difficulty.
  • The person does not have internet access or has a disability that hinders navigation of online virtual care.
  • The person has already been screened and tested for COVID-19 but is looking for follow-up information.

Accessing the COVID-19 telephone screening hotline:

  • Those who meet one or more of the above criteria can reach the hotline by calling 843-985-8888.
  • The hotline is staffed seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

We realize that many people may not have a thermometer at home and that even if you order one today, it could take months for delivery; however, in addition to taking your temperature, there are other ways to self-monitor.

  • Are you experiencing chills, sweats, or feelings of weakness?
  • Are you developing a dry cough?
  • Do you feel short of breath?
  • Do your cheeks or forehead feel hot to the touch of your fingertips or back of your hand?

If any of the above-mentioned symptoms appear, take action and visit MUSC Health virtual urgent care. A provider will advise you of appropriate next steps.

Learn more about self-monitoring and return to work protocol for University employees here.

MUSC Health has gathered a page of resources and information. Visit our Coronavirus Information page for the latest updates.

Social distancing is a way to reduce exposure, slow the spread and minimize transmission of contagious diseases. Use video- and teleconferencing tools instead of holding in-person meetings when possible. Try to maintain at least a six-foot distance between yourself and others and remove yourself from the presence of anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Avoid shaking hands and close physical contact with anyone displaying symptoms. Wear a mask on campus and in public.

We understand you may feel anxious about this evolving public health situation and are here to help.  

  • Students can call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 843-792-4930.
  • Faculty and staff can contact the MUSC Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 843-792-2848.

Our Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has put together a very useful information packet Managing Anxiety Related to COVID19 (PDF). It is also available in a Spanish version (PDF).

No. Wearing masks, gowns, and gloves are all standard procedures that emergency responders and some MUSC care team members routinely follow when treating a variety of illnesses — such as colds, the flu, and other viral illnesses — and these procedures are not specific to COVID-19. Additionally, patients with respiratory illnesses may be asked to wear a mask to reduce the spread of droplets when they cough, sneeze, or speak. This is similar to procedures in place at many hospitals and health care facilities.

Masks are now required to be worn by all individuals on MUSC's campus. Full details on MUSC’s mask policy may be read here or watch a short video about the campus mask policy.

Yes, a repeat patient may access the Virtual Urgent Care platform and be rescreened for suspected COVID-19, again using the promo code COVID19. This code is not a one time offer, though the subsequent visits must still be for suspected COVID-19.