Colleges end in-person instruction ahead of Thanksgiving to prevent COVID-19 spread

VIDEO: Colleges end in-person instruction ahead of Thanksgiving to prevent COVID-19 spread

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The College of Charleston, Charleston Southern University and The Citadel are ending in-person instruction ahead of Thanksgiving. School officials made the decision to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Tuesday is the last day for students at the Lowcountry colleges and universities. Many cancelled fall breaks and started the semester early to makeup for instruction time.

College of Charleston Senior Jailan Williams will be returning home to Florence.

“I kind of understand it, starting off virtual and then going on campus and then ending virtual,” Williams said. “The only thing is what are the plans going to be when we come back for the spring since COVID cases are going back up. November, December and January are critical times for not just the coronavirus but the flu and other sicknesses.”

Following Thanksgiving break, students will complete the remainder of their courses and exams virtually at College of Charleston.

College of Charleston President Andrew Hsu says students will return to in-person and online instruction next semester in January.

“Throughout the semester we have done a lot of thing to try to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 and first is foremost is our very strict mask requirement on campus,” Hsu said. “We have administrators, our senior leadership team members as well as private security doing mask controls on campus.”

College of Charleston officials encouraged students to reduce participating in potentially high-risk activities ahead of break.

Students who are staying in on-campus housing also have COVID-19 testing requirements when they return from break. Students must get tested the week of November 30. This requirement includes students who remain in campus housing through the Thanksgiving break and student who are returning to campus housing following the break.

The Executive Vice President of Student Affairs for CofC Alicia Caudill says the college responds to reports of students not complying to COVID policies and most students are following the safety guidelines.

“If they do test positive or are close contact, we can help them isolate, we can help them quarantine, take care of them and make sure they are not unknowingly spreading the virus,” Caudill said.

College of Charleston freshman Eve Alexander lives in campus dorms. She says her first semester has been different, but she’s adapted.

“I agree with how they are conducting it all,” Alexander said. “We moved in five weeks later than we would so this semester has gone by extremely fast for me.”

Officials with Dorchester School District Two, Charleston County School District and Berkeley County School District say there are no changes planned for the instructional model following Thanksgiving break.

Charleston Southern University

Charleston Southern University students completed their finals ahead of Thanksgiving Break.

University officials say their pandemic task force in coordination with academic affairs began the semester a week early and canceled fall break in order to finish the semester before Thanksgiving. They say it allows their students to go home with their families and not have to worry over virtual finals or returning to campus.

At this time, officials say they intend to resume spring classes, residential life, and student activities as planned for next semester. The CSU pandemic task force will announce a final update for the spring semester, based on COVID data, by late December.

The Citadel

The Citadel officials say they resumed classes early so that the semester could end before Thanksgiving break. Students will return to classes in January.

You can learn more about the The Citadel’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 here.

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