Clemson will require COVID-19 testing for all students in spring

Updated: Dec. 1, 2020 at 5:25 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Clemson University will increase the number of students on campus in the spring semester and require all students to get weekly COVID-19 tests.

During a virtual board of trustees meeting Tuesday, President James Clements said the university will be able to test more people, get results at a faster rate and a lower cost. He said this will allow the school to safely hold more in-person classes in the spring semester.

“We are already working hard to configure classroom space to allow for more in-person instruction and have plans for more than half of our class sections to include an in-person component in the spring,” Clements said.

All students returning for the spring semester must be tested for COVID-19 at least once, according to Provost Bob Jones. He presented the university’s strategy for testing and increased in-person learning.

On-campus students will not be allowed to access university facilities until they present two negative PCR tests. They must test negative between Dec. 28 and Jan. 2. The second negative test will be conducted when they move in on Jan. 3. Off-campus students and employees must have one negative test on or after Dec. 28.

The only people exempt from presenting a negative test will be students who have tested positive for COVID-19 since Oct. 1, 2020.

“Beginning January 11, everybody goes back into the pool and we’ll be testing everyone once a week,” Jones said. “We’re getting right back into our aggressive testing strategy and, of course, at any time should things change we will adjust our strategies appropriately as we have done in the fall.”

Provost Jones also highlighted the university’s plan for a “Return to Normalcy” by adding about 30 percent of classes in-person. The school did not offer any courses entirely in-person during the fall semester. About 25 percent of students will be taking classes in a blended format.

As of Dec. 1, only 1,293 students (including undergraduate and graduate) have registered for online-only courses. A total of 3,803 chose to take only online classes during the fall.

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