University Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

MUSC is closely monitoring and responding to new information about the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We know that there are many questions you may have regarding how this evolving health situation might impact campus operations.

MUSC leadership and key units across the university and health system are meeting daily to assess the situation and are making preparations to protect the health and well-being of the MUSC family and those we care for, and to 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 will update this page regularly as new information becomes available.

Read all MUSC COVID-19-related news releases
MUSC Health Coronavirus Information
MUSC COVID-19 Epidemiology Intelligence Project 
Most recent University directives for faculty, staff, and students
Academic plans for fall 2020 semester (PDF)

Jump to FAQs:
Campus Operations | Travel | 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.

Patient/Visitor Parking Operations

The Office of Parking Management has resumed control of the Patient-Visitor parking system. Gate-controlled entry and fee collection policies are in place again. 

Employee and Student Parking Operations

As the 2020-2021 academic year begins, we anticipate an increased number of students, faculty and stuff returning to campus. This results in the demand for on-campus parking to increase, bringing an end to the modified operations parking system.

Effective Wednesday, August 12, the on-campus parking system will return to normal operations and the Hagood Park and Ride system will be relaunched under modified operations. As of Aug. 12, only those registered to park in the paid on-campus system will be authorized to do so.

New Park and Ride Shuttle Service Procedures

  • This applies the Hagood Park and Ride system, including the Hagood city lots, Harborview Office Tower Garage (HOTG), 99 WestEdge garage. The BB lot on Lockwood remains closed and these parkers will be assigned to HOTG.
  • Care team members and employees registered for the Park and Ride system arriving between 4 a.m. and 2 p.m. are to return to their Hagood Park and Ride assignments.
  • Care team members and employees arriving for shifts that begin after 2 p.m. will continue to park at the McClennan Banks, Bee Street and President Street garages.
  • Direct routes will be used to better serve passengers and decrease wait times.
    • The Hagood city lot will depart and go to SJCH/ART then Jonathan Lucas. These shuttles should complete a pickup every 8-10 minutes.
    • The Harborview Tower garage will depart and go to SJCH/ART then Jonathan Lucas. These shuttles should complete a pickup every 12 minutes.
    • 22 WestEdge will depart and go to SJCH/ART then Jonathan Lucas. These shuttles should complete a pickup every 15 minutes.
    • The SJCH/ART stop will be relocated to Courtenay Drive, in front of Starbucks.
    • Passengers should plan to arrive early and show patience. Leaders will be onsite and make on-the-spot changes as necessary to ensure this is an effective, safe service.
    • Effective Wednesday, August 12, at 3 p.m., buses labeled "Harborview" will add 99 West Edge as a stop.

COVID-19 Mitigation Processes

  • One passenger per seat.
  • Masks must be work by all passengers and operators on the shuttles.
  • Seating will be reduced to 50% capacity.
  • At each stop, the driver and/or other transportation staff will wipe down the hard surfaces at every stop. This includes all major touch points, wiped down with a hospital-grade cleaner.
  • After each route is complete, the handrails, seats and grab bars will be wiped down again.
  • At the beginning and after each shift, the bus will be thoroughly cleaned with electrostatic sprayers.

CARTA to resume normal services

Effective Wednesday, August 12, CARTA will resume the 203 Medical Shuttle route.

  • The CARTA 203 will operate from 5 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and restart at 3 p.m., continuing until 12:30 a.m.
  • This route flows similarly to the MUSC shuttle routes: Hagood Parking Lot – Harborview Tower – SJCH/ART - JL – and return to Hagood via Lockwood.
  • Masks will be required on all CARTA buses.

All MUSC employees and students are reminded that with their employee badge they may access, free of charge, all CARTA regular scheduled routes, including CARTA Express.

All other routes and schedules resumed on May 26. Hand sanitizer will be provided on all vehicles and masks provided for those who don't have their own. Visit CARTA's website for the latest information.

Please let University Transportation know of any questions or concerns. Please e-mail or call Ron Sheppard with shuttle operations questions.

For more information regarding parking and transportation COVID-19 response planning, please visit the following MUSC website pages:

Parking Services - Net ID and password required (for employees only):

Patient and visitor parking

Transportation Services - NetID and password required (shuttles, CARTA, etc.) (for employees only) 

MUSC is currently under modified operations status. As an academic health sciences center with students engaged in course work, ongoing clinical rotations and patients who need our help, MUSC must continue operations and meet the varying needs of our constituents. The current status and guidelines maintain the safest, most well-organized and productive environment for all of our constituents. Certain employees will be designated to continue their work on-campus as is necessary. Supervisors will confirm which individuals and teams will need to continue their regular duties to support the institution.

Learn more about the current status here, particularly the expectations for members of the University.

Students, faculty and staff should consult the Academic Plans for Fall 2020 Semester (PDF), updated as of July 23, 2020, and their college deans.

Note: Masks are required to be properly worn by all on campus. Watch a short video about mask requirements on campus.

MUSC’s goal is to continue providing world-class education, producing outstanding research and delivering excellent clinical services while maximizing the health and safety of our community. Leaders and experts throughout campus have developed the Academic Plan for the Fall 2020 Semester (PDF). This semester will start and end at the regularly scheduled and posted dates.

MUSC will maximize face-to-face learning activities where feasible to do so within the constraints of our safety directives. Most didactic lectures will remain online. Programs have submitted a risk and safety mitigation plan for each activity/course that will occur in person for approval by senior administration.

Every college has mapped out plans for business continuity and ongoing education using advanced technology. For details, faculty, students and staff should connect with program directors and individual college deans’ offices. Instructors should also review this information.

For university employees, please communicate with your manager, supervisor or department chair to determine whether you have the option and technology to work remotely. If you have assigned work that can be done remotely, the technology to do so and you have approval from your supervisor, please engage in telework.

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. Instructors should also review this information.

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.

Please note the following operational details.

  • Students, faculty and staff should consult the Academic Plans for Fall 2020 Semester (PDF), updated as of July 23, 2020, and direct questions to their college deans.
  • The Colbert Education Center & Library Building will be reopening in phases. Find full details about the physical reopening in the Academic Plans for Fall 2020 Semester (PDF) in section I. Access to online resources remains available.
  • Research initiatives will continue with all appropriate risk-mitigation strategies in place. 
  • All MUSC Health hospitals and facilities continue to have visitor restrictions in place. Learn about these restrictions here.
  • The MUSC Bookstore has permanently become online only.
  • University Press has resumed production operations, with access restricted to prearranged order pickups. Please place an online order or contact universitypress@musc.edu to place an order.
  • University mail services continue to receive, sort and deliver inbound USPS mail. Point of delivery and retrieval has permanently changed for Main Campus. Locate your delivery node here. Retail operations at the MUSC Postal Store located in the Bee Street Parking Garage remain suspended.
  • Masks are required for all individuals on MUSC’s campus, except when specifically noted. Some employees, patients and visitors may wear cloth masks. Full details on MUSC’s mask policy may be found here.  
  • Patient and visitor parking has resumed normal operations. As of August 12, modified parking operations are transitioning to normal operations and the Park and Ride system is resuming. Full details may be found here.

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 MUSC Wellness Center is currently open with reduced hours. Group fitness classes are not currently being offered. 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.

A multi-phase re-entry plan that prioritizes the health and safety of users of the Colbert Education Center and Library Building is being developed. MUSC is committed to providing study spaces that are welcoming, safe, and conducive to positive student educational outcomes. Find the details about this plan in the Academic Plans for Fall 2020 Semester (PDF), in section I.

Phase I focuses on providing study space for students whose presence is required on campus or who have no adequate study space at home. Starting approximately August 1 (students will be notified when official), the 3rd and 4th floors of the Colbert Education Center and Library Building will be available for student study. The Library staff will continue to work remotely during Phase I. 2nd and 3rd floor group study rooms will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Adherence to the established occupancy posted for each room is required. Study carrels will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each college has also been asked to provide additional study space for their students and will communicate these options to their students.

All individuals accessing the library will be required to follow the University’s Directives for MUSC Faculty, Staff and Students for Staying Safe. Individuals who violate these directives risk losing privileges to use the library.

Learn about the services and content the library continues to deliver digitally or in section I of the Academic Plans for Fall 2020 Semester (PDF).

The following requirements are in place:

  1. Stay at home if you feel sick.
  2. Wear your mask at all times while in the library building. Read the full details on MUSC’s mask policy or watch a short video about mask requirements on campus.
  3. See something, say something, remind fellow students to wear their masks.
  4. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer during study hours to reduce the risk of potential person-to-person infections.
  5. Follow social distancing guidelines by remaining 6 feet apart from all other individuals. When studying in groups (two or more), spread out and do not sit directly across from other students.
  6. Adhere to occupancy limits posted on 1st floor classrooms and 2nd floor study room doors.
  7. Do not remove or add furniture to the classrooms or student rooms.
  8. Wipe down study areas/surfaces and equipment before and after use.
  9. Report issues with printers and photocopier to https://www.library.musc.edu/s/ask.php

The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) and Writing Center office's programs will remain online, and its office spaces are closed. All its services are available at http://lifenet.musc.edu or by emailing hugginsc@musc.edu.

MUSC is receiving numerous generous from community members wishing to help provide necessary and in-demand health care supplies, along with food for our care team or financial contributions. See more information about accepted supplies and donation methods

Potential vendor recommendation process

The following items are in particular demand: surgical masks with shields, disinfecting wipes, goggles, glasses, isolation gowns (level 2 and above), surgeon gowns (level 3 and 4), hand sanitizer, Nitrile exam gloves all sizes, and surgical gloves. If you have knowledge of a vendor or channel through which these items can be purchased, please email Eric Baker or call by phone at 843-792-3503.

Travel

All MUSC-sponsored domestic out-of-state and international travel continues to be prohibited until further notice. This applies to all university faculty and staff and all MUSC Health employees, in addition to students, residents, and fellows. Exceptions to this directive will be granted only for essential travel in the rarest circumstances and must be approved by the respective Program Director (for students and residents), Department Chair (for faculty) and unit supervisor (for staff). A written request for approval must include justification for necessity of travel and a risk assessment plan.

For students, residents, and fellows, this includes any travel that meets one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Any portion of the trip is paid for from any MUSC source.
  2. The trip is for academic credit or if any faculty members are traveling with the students or advising these students.
  3. The trip is part of a student organization or chapter at MUSC.
  4. Students are representing themselves as affiliated with MUSC on the trip.

For faculty and staff, this includes any travel that meets one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Any portion of the trip is paid for from any MUSC source.
  2. You are specifically traveling for business purposes because of your MUSC affiliation.

Personal domestic and international travel is strongly discouraged and, in some instances, may be prohibited by governmental officials. When traveling for personal reasons, you should educate yourself on the risks associated with the area to which you are traveling

Upon return from international or domestic out-of-state travel, whether MUSC-sponsored or personal travel, university faculty, staff, fellows, residents and students and all MUSC Health employees are required to continue following MUSC’s COVID-19 self-monitoring and return to work guidance.

A full catalog of MUSC’s guidelines for University and MUSC Health employees and students may be found here with MUSC log-in credentials. If you experience any symptoms, immediately leave work or stay at home, and go to the MUSC Health Virtual Care site to be further evaluated.

Specific instructions for self-monitoring and return to work may also be found here:

MUSC Health employees (PDF) 
MUSC University students and employees (PDF)

Upon return from international or domestic travel, whether MUSC-sponsored or personal travel, university faculty, staff, fellows, residents and students and all MUSC Health employees are required to continue following MUSC’s safety, self-monitoring and return to work policies.

A full catalog of MUSC’s guidelines for University and MUSC Health employees and students may be found here with MUSC log-in credentials.

Please review the full university directives on staying safe or university-specific self-monitoring and return to work guidelines (PDF). MUSC Health employees should follow these return to work guidelines (PDF) 

All MUSC Health and University personnel, including faculty, staff, students and all employees, must continue self-monitoring.

A full catalog of MUSC’s guidelines for University and MUSC Health employees and students, including self-monitoring requirements and useful tools, may be found here with MUSC log-in credentials.

Health

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 some members of our MUSC family may feel anxious about this evolving public health situation or have concerns about friends and family living in areas with confirmed cases of COVID-19. We 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.