Phase I Return to Work - May 26

Dear Colleagues,

Today we are taking the next steps to resume a little more normalcy on our campus. Of course, until there is a way to control the spread of the coronavirus, such as a vaccine, normal operations as we know them will elude us a little while longer. You have been invited to return with the Phase I personnel on Tuesday, May 26. We've missed you being with us on campus and appreciate all you did remotely to advance our mission. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your willingness to return during this first phase to maintain the institution's operations. Some of you have been on the UofSC Aiken campus since spring break, and I'm certain they join me in welcoming you back!

As a university, some of our administrative roles during this pandemic included: maintaining open communication, carefully considering a way forward based on the best information available, training our community to increase understanding of the steps everyone needs to take to keep our community safe, acquiring supplies and using procedures to help us mitigate the spread of the virus, maintaining hygienic spaces, forming committees to provide campus input, and developing alternate plans we can implement quickly, if the original approach failed to produce the desired results.

Truthfully, our return to more normal operations will depend on our combined efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus. The responsibility to protect our community of fellow workers, students and visitors is a shared one, and thus, is in your hands.

As was true in historic periods of disruption and sacrifice, this is a moment in time that requires each of us to dig deep, find the best in our ourselves, and to respect our friends, neighbors, and colleagues, by putting their safety and health above our own personal comfort and convenience at times. We are facing a challenging year ahead, but it will be made more successful if you willingly comply with the best practices and university protocols that will help to keep our Pacer community safe.

Here are the steps we all need to follow and adhere to as we continue our phased-approach to returning to campus.

  • Practice personal hygiene recommendations of the CDC and DHEC by washing your hands frequently; sneezing and coughing into a disposable tissue; using sanitizer throughout the day, especially before and after you touch items where the virus may live; and additional actions outlined by the CDC (see for more details).
  • Ensure physical distancing in your workspace and in the common areas on the campus.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when you leave your personal workspace or interact with others.
  • Utilize appropriate cleaning products to keep your workspace sanitized, and clean your keyboard and workspace at least twice a day (when you arrive and when you leave).
  • Do not share supplies, pens, keypads, chairs, if at all possible. If you have to work at someone's keyboard or workspace, please wear a mask and sanitize your hands.
  • Avoid shaking hands or close contact with your colleagues, students, or guests to campus.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • If you are not feeling well or if you have any of the symptoms of the virus, please stay home, contact your supervisor, and contact your healthcare provider. If your medical professional advises you to be quarantined, please contact your supervisor.
  • When you enter another space or come in contact with others, please sign in or keep a personal log of the spaces you enter and the people you encounter.

Additionally, each morning, you will be required to complete and submit to your supervisor a health monitoring form.

If you are in an high-risk category for the coronavirus, please inform your supervisor and make alternate work arrangements if possible.

Finally, if you notice a colleague on campus not taking the precautions outlined here, please let your supervisor know so we can help reinforce the appropriate actions and deportment required during a pandemic. Shortly, Human Resources will share a short video, reinforcing best practices. When that video is available, you will be required to watch it. Also, as soon as it is available, please consider getting a flu shot as the flu has many symptoms in common in COVID-19.

As we welcome back more individuals to our campus, it is important that we remain vigilant, selfless, and committed to keeping our community safe.

As always, thank you for all you do,

Sandra Jordan, PhD


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All messages sent regarding the coronavirus can be found within the messages to our community below.