Leadership Update December 29 2021

After extensive deliberations, MUSC has decided to continue in-person instruction for the Spring 2022 semester. However, we will revert to remote virtual learning only if the number of positive cases amongst our faculty, staff and students continues to increase to an unacceptable level. In addition, we will be taking additional steps to prevent the spread of COVID and to maximize the health and safety of the MUSC community.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is now accounting for 61% of all positive cases tested at MUSC and the total number of positive cases (all variants) in the community has more than doubled since before Christmas. The number of positive cases in those who are vaccinated is also increasing and, while these cases are predominantly less severe compared to those who are unvaccinated, it can still disrupt work/learning activities. Current projections predict that the Charleston area will be in the middle of another significant COVID-19 surge by the middle of January. Therefore, we have made the following decisions to maintain the health and safety of the MUSC community and the larger community around us.

The following safety measures are effective immediately.

  1. MUSC will be conducting testing on campus Monday, January 3rd from 7 am to 7pm in front of the drug discovery building and we highly recommend that everyone who traveled for the holidays or celebrated with others not in their household get tested before returning to work/school. You must pre-register to get tested and bring the barcode provided to the testing site. You can only retrieve results by selecting “Get Last Test Results” from the link above NOT from MyChart.
  2. Masks are required again indoors in all public spaces for all (individuals) faculty, staff, students, the public etc.) whether you are vaccinated or not. This will be in effect until further notice and will be enforced.
  3. Masks are strongly recommended outdoors if you are in close proximity to others.
  4. All MUSC sponsored food events that require the removal of masks to eat in the proximity of others are cancelled until further notice. Boxed lunches that can be taken away to eat privately are still allowed.
  5. The current most frequent symptoms of COVID (in order) are headache, cough, sinus congestion, body aches, sore throat, chills and fever. A reminder that not all individuals will have all of these symptoms and that these are similar to those experienced with a cold or flu. Any individual experiencing any combination of the above symptoms should not come to work/school and should notify their supervisor. In addition, anyone experiencing symptoms must be tested for COVID-19.
  6. All individuals who test positive are also required to self-report via redcap or e-mail at COVIDWATCH@musc.edu to allow for prompt contract tracing. You are also required to inform your supervisor or program director immediately and follow their guidance regarding return to work. (New guidance for return to work/school will be disseminated the week of January 3rd.)

Thank you for patience and understanding as we work as a team to continue to address this public health challenge. Additional updates will be forthcoming as the situation changes.

Lisa K. Saladin, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Rick Anderson
Executive Vice President for Finance and Operations, MUSC