University Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last updated 12:45 p.m. 3/26/2020

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

Jump to FAQs:
Campus Operations | Travel | Health

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Campus Operations

MUSC Health has 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.

Until futher notice, the following modifications to Employee Parking are in effect:

  • All essential employees working on-campus are authorized to park in University Parking Facilities as outlined below. 
  • To avoid traffic bottlenecks, employees should plan to arrive early to on-campus parking facilities.
  • Employees should plan on displaying their employee ID badge when entering the facilities. 
  • On-campus permit holders must park in their currently assigned parking location.
  • For the first several days of the transition Parking Management staff will be on location directing parkers to the available spaces.
  • Based on space available, please plan to use these parking resources in order listed:
    • President Street garage
    • M – parking lot
    • Bee Street garage
    • Rutledge Tower garage
    • Ashley-Rutledge garage
    • McClennan Banks garage
Employee Shuttles:
  • The MUSC Shuttle and CARTA Route 203 (Hagood Park & Ride) services are suspended pending resumption of remote parking.
  • The West Ashley shuttle is suspended indefinitely.
  • The intra-campus shuttle, primarily transporting patients and family members between clinical facilities, continues normal operations. The decision to continue will be made day by day in conjunction with MUSC Health leadership. 
ATS Services:
  • Dispatches continue normal operations pending direction from MUSC Health Leadership.
CARTA Buses:
  • CARTA is now running most routes on a Sunday schedule.
  • Express buses will continue to operate, however, all pushers will not be operating.
  • For details on this and further updates please visit the CARTA website and COVID-19 update page or follow @ridecarta on social media.
  • If you download the CARTA app “transit” and add your route as a favorite, you will get text updates when changes to services occur. Available on the App Store and Google Play.
  • If you have questions or concerns please reach out to CARTA via online chat or at 843-724-7420.

MUSC is moving into a modified operations status. At a statewide COVID-19 press conference on March 15, Governor Henry McMaster announced that all public colleges and universities across the state will be closed through March 31. 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. We are moving into a modified operations status that will 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.

Students will continue to take classes, tests and engage in other required assignments through alternative learning methodologies. Every college has mapped out plans for business continuity and ongoing education using advanced technology. For details, faculty, students and staff should connect with your program directors and individual college deans’ offices.

For university staff, 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, you may engage in telework starting as soon as you receive confirmation from your supervisor to begin.

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, a new website has been created to guide you in getting set up and receiving needed support. 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.

  • The university is suspending all MUSC-hosted group events whose audiences or attendees include high-risk or vulnerable populations (e.g. seniors, immuno-suppressed or otherwise health compromised individuals) to COVID-19.
  • MUSC will follow the CDC’s most recent guidelines regarding gatherings, events and meetings, which states: ...for the next eight weeks, organizers should cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 or more people. This is a noteworthy step as we actively pursue ways to flatten the curve and work against community spread of COVID-19.
  • For gatherings of any size, make your attendees aware of simple measures that will help to lower risk and prevent spread of any virus. Remind attendees to practice social distancing and avoid shaking hands. Provide easy access to handwashing facilities and have alcohol-based sanitizers readily available to all participants.

Please note the following operational details.

  • In an effort to encourage social distancing and to reduce possible spread of the virus on the MUSC campus, our on-campus MUSC library location will be closed until at least March 31. Access to online library resources remains available.
  • Research initiatives will continue with all appropriate risk-mitigation strategies in place.

In addition, all MUSC Health hospitals and facilities are in the midst of implementing visitor restrictions. There will be situations that we allow entry for extenuating circumstances, such as a dying relative, but we will be preventing entry for those who have been symptomatic in the prior 48 hours.

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 three options available.

  1. Scriptcenter is located in University Hospital Extension. Let your pharmacy staff know you would like this option. You will receive a text message with a unique code to enter on the machine to receive your prescriptions. It is available 24/7 and over-the-counter items are also available. Credit cards may be used.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 closed to MUSC employees, students and the public until further notice.

The Innovation Station tech store is currently open Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. to  2:00 p.m.

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

Travel

All MUSC-sponsored domestic and international travel is prohibited until further notice. This applies to all university faculty and staff and all MUSC Health employees, in addition to students, residents, and fellows. MUSC guidance regarding MUSC-sponsored travel refunds and credits will be forthcoming.

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.

Effective March 10, all MUSC-sponsored international travel is prohibited until further notice. This includes 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 in the rarest circumstances and must be approved by the respective dean, provost and the International Travel Oversight Committee.

On March 15, Governor McMaster prohibited any state-sponsored travel. You should educate yourself on the risk associated with the area to which you are traveling, and consider alternative methods to communicate and hold meetings, such as teleconferencing. While there are currently no restrictions on domestic travel, you are required to self-monitor for 14 days for fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and other respiratory symptoms. If you have any of these immediately leave work or stay at home, and go to the MUSC Health Virtual Care site to be further evaluated.

For personal travel, we strongly urge you to use extreme caution and judgment. Travel can increase the risks of exposure to you and the community. Government restrictions and public health measures are changing rapidly in the U.S. and abroad. You should consider your own health status and other reports before making plans for personal domestic travel, recognizing that the status of COVID-19 infection in the U.S. continues to change. Upon return to work from any out-of-state travel (either personal or MUSC-sponsored) you are required to self-monitor for 14-days for fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and other respiratory symptoms – if you have any of these immediately leave work or stay at home, and go to the MUSC Health Virtual Care site to be further evaluated. Immediately notify your supervisor. You may be required to self-quarantine and/or be tested for the COVID-19 virus before you are cleared to return to work.

On March 15, Governor McMaster prohibited any state-sponsored travel. We strongly discourage personal travel to these areas, and encourage finding alternate means of conducting business.

MUSC international travelers who are overseas with a medical emergency should contact International SOS by calling 1-215-942-8478. International SOS medical staff can provide advice on how to get treatment but will not be able to get you out of a country if any government restrictions have been put in place. International SOS is a resource for members of the MUSC community that provides emergency medical, security, and travel assistance.

At this time, MUSC is requiring self-monitoring for 14 days for anyone who has traveled out-of-state for MUSC-sponsored or personal travel. If you develop fever, cough, or other concerning symptoms within 14 days of your return, immediately leave work or stay at home, and go to the MUSC Health Virtual Care site to be further evaluated. Immediately notify your supervisor. You may be required to self-quarantine and/or be tested for the COVID-19 virus before you are cleared to return to work.

You must take your temperature two-times a day and watch for: feeling feverish, having a measured temperature of 100.4 degree F or higher, coughing, or difficulty breathing or other respiratory symptoms. If you have ANY of these symptoms you must:

  • Avoid all contact with others
  • Leave work or stay at home
  • Go online to the MUSC Health Virtual Care site to be further evaluated
  • Immediately notify your supervisor

You may be required to self-quarantine and/or be tested for the COVID-19 virus before you are cleared to return to work.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.