Update on Transitioning the University Back to Normal Operations

A Message from MUSC Leadership - May 7, 2020

To the MUSC University Community:

Recently, we shared a communication about plans to begin a slow transition toward working on-site where it might be feasible.

After conversations with senior university leaders, our team decided that those who can continue to work from home remotely should continue to do so until further notice. We did create criteria and an approval process for basic science and clinical researchers who are unable to continue their research remotely and for certain additional mission critical activities that can no longer be effectively managed remotely. These criteria that maximize the safety and health of our faculty, staff and students must be met for approval to be granted.

Please note that our current criteria require the use of masks for faculty, staff, students and visitors when on campus, specifically when social distancing is not feasible (e.g., in elevators, hallways, shuttle busses etc.). The university will be providing disposable isolation masks and each leader will be responsible for instructing their teams on how to obtain and dispose of masks. In addition, leaders will be responsible for implementing appropriate safeguards, including social distancing or other measures, to allow employees to return to campus safely. Also, as we transition back to working on-site, note that the Hagood parking lot is currently closed and no shuttles are running. Parking will be available in any parking lot on a first-come, first-served basis. On or about June 1, we anticipate that the Hagood lot will reopen, shuttles will begin operating, and normal parking in assigned lots will resume.

All university personnel who are working on-site must continue to self-monitor and if there are any signs of COVID-19 infection (e.g., runny nose, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle aches, headache, subjective fevers, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, sudden loss of taste and/or smell), they must remain at home and submit a request through the MUSC Health telehealth platform to be tested for COVID-19. COVID-19 testing will be required as a condition of continuing to work for all employees who become symptomatic, even if symptoms are minimal. If the employee is subsequently diagnosed as being COVID-19 positive, they should inform their supervisor immediately and quarantine for at least 14 days. Guidelines for return to work, developed by the MUSC Health system, will be followed for university faculty, staff and students as well. Human Resources is available to answer any questions regarding available sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or university policy.

If any university faculty member, staff or student is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will ask that they provide information about other team members that they may have interacted with as a means to trace known contacts. We will notify those individuals who have been in contact with the diagnosed person to the extent possible. We will not, however, identify the specific individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19.

We have also updated the MUSC travel, event and visitor policies, which can be found at here.

Please know that we continue to meet regularly to discuss plans for the summer and beyond on the university campus and will inform you as those plans change. As we slowly transition toward a new normal, each of us must maintain our commitment to prioritize public health and safety.

Lisa K. Saladin, PT, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Lisa P. Montgomery, MHA
Executive Vice President for Finance and Operations