A local look at college COVID-19 reporting

Updated: Sep. 17, 2020 at 7:03 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - College and universities depend on COVID-19 data to shape policies and procedures for campus operations, but not all South Carolina schools are reporting COVID cases the same way.

All eleven Division-1 college and universities in the Palmetto State had updated COVID case counts, as of last week. While all schools showed their total number of positive cases since the pandemic began, only four, the University of South Carolina, the Citadel, the College of Charleston, and Presbyterian University, specifically reported “Active” cases.

In total, the eleven schools have managed 4,217 positive COVID-19 cases.

“Transparency is credibility enhancing and lack of transparency when it is an option is not a good situation and often becomes a point of friction,” the Citadel’s Col. John Dorrian said.

The Citadel is now reporting more COVID data, and they are working with Roper St Francis hospital to track numbers and do contact tracing. The military college is also the only one of the eleven schools that’s reporting how many people have recovered from the virus.

“We don’t want people to think we have more than 100 people on campus who have COVID. We don’t. We have 7 people part of campus community who have COVID. None of the faculty or staff have it. So, we want people to have an accurate and contextual understanding of what’s happening here,” Dorrian said.

Most schools shared how many students were in quarantine and/or isolation, which is around 522 college kids.

Presbyterian, Wofford and Winthrop are sharing the basic numbers, while schools like Clemson, USC, Coastal and the College of Charleston have extensive, interactive data dashboards.

South Carolina State University did not have current COVID data on its website, however a spokesperson said the school has had eight self-reported cases.

“This is something that requires constant attention, and it won’t just be a test of our grit. It’s also a test of our endurance,” Dorrian said.

Click the links below to see COVID reporting at these respective schools:

Clemson University

University of South Carolina

Coastal Carolina University

Charleston Southern University

The Citadel

College of Charleston

SC State University

Furman University

Presbyterian University

Winthrop University

Wofford College

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