COVID-19 Campus Resources
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COVID-19 Campus Resources

Converse COVID 19 updates

Converse’s COVID-19 task force meets regularly and continues to make decisions to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. We had 39 confirmed COVID-19 cases during the fall semester for all faculty, staff, and students, with only 34 of those on-campus.

We are implementing a testing program that complements our other health protocols to promote a safe campus environment for Jan and Spring terms. Read more about the program here.

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and positivity testing rates in the Upstate and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our campus community, Converse is limiting on-campus operations. Beginning Monday, January 4, 2021, campus offices will be operating on a modified schedule. Please call before coming to campus since many offices will be operating on a remote-only basis and not open to the public.

Converse will begin Jan Term in a virtual/remote format during the week of January 11-15, 2021. In-person classes will begin on January 19, 2021.

The academic calendar is as follows:

Jan Term 2021

  • Converse’s 2021 Jan term begins on Monday, January 11, 2021. Jan Term will begin in a virtual/remote format the week of January 11-15. In-person classes will begin on January 19.
  • Classes will not be held on Monday, January 18 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
  • The last day of classes will be Friday, February 5, 2021.

Spring Term 2021

  • Spring term begins on Thursday, February 11, 2021.
  • Spring Break will be Thursday, April 1–Friday, April 2, 2021
  • The last day of classes will be Thursday, May 13, 2021.
  • Final exams will begin on Monday, May 17, and continue through Thursday, May 20, 2021.
  • Baccalaureate will be held on Friday, May 21, 2021
  • Graduation will be on Saturday, May 22, 2021

Watch how our students, faculty and staff maintained a healthy learning and living environment during Fall term:

Assessing risk levels on campus and within the community

The COVID-19 Response Team has developed a 4-level system that assesses the risk of COVID-19 community spread. The COVID-19 Response Team will continually evaluate our current level based on information that we receive from DHEC, campus reports, and other relevant stakeholders and will provide updates should the level of risk change.

We are currently at LEVEL 3 on the Converse campus. See the Campus Protocols section for a breakdown of each level and how it affects the campus.

    • Monday, January 11, 2021: Jan term begins online.
    • Monday, January 18, 2021: No classes – Martin Luther King, Jr Day of Service.
    • Friday, February 5, 2021: Last day of Jan Term classes
    • Thursday, February 11, 2021: Spring 2021 term begins

Converse’s courses have the necessary online components should administrators have to adjust the academic schedule again due to a resurgence of the virus, with the understanding that some courses such as laboratories and performances may not be able to be completely moved online.

To do all this safely and successfully, Converse has made changes to the way our campus community lives, studies, and works, and the College has reconfigured residential, classroom and office facilities to make it possible. Read more about those improvements here.

The health and safety of the Converse community is our priority. During the January and Spring 2021 terms, we are implementing a testing program that complements our other health protocols to promote a safe campus environment.

Key components of our ongoing program include:

  • COVID protocols around masking, physical-distancing, modified building access, and other operational changes to minimize the risk of contagion
  • Completion of the Daily Health Screening by all students and employees, working or learning both on and off-campus
  • Documentation of clearance (green check) required for access to classrooms, dining halls, and other areas on campus
  • Pre-arrival testing required for all students and employees before returning to campus
  • Arrival testing required for all residential students upon move back into residence hall facilities
  • Biweekly routine testing strongly encouraged for all students and employees throughout the Jan and Spring 2021 terms
  • Uploading of test results to a secure portal for pre-arrival and ongoing testing monitoring and data collection
  • Incentives for completion of routine testing and daily screenings provided throughout the semester

Information on the requirements under this plan, on-site testing options, and more will be updated frequently and shared through Daily Announcements and via this webpage.

Pre-Arrival Testing

All students, faculty, and staff returning to campus or using campus resources are REQUIRED to test 3-5 days prior to their arrival to campus and upload their results in this portal. This includes all students (residential, commuters, and graduate students) and all faculty and staff, including those who may only be coming to campus intermittently under our current remote working allowances. Pre-arrival testing is encouraged but optional for students who resided in campus housing during the break and who do not have transportation to visit an off-campus testing site. Essential personnel and contract employees who have remained on campus during the winter break are also required to complete this testing. Pre-arrival testing should be completed 3-5 days prior to your first return to allow for test results to be obtained and submitted before you return.

Even if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine, Converse continues to encourage you to continue routine testing, as more is monitored and understood about the vaccine’s ability to stop the spread of the virus. Continued adherence to the other campus-wide protocols around masking, social distancing, hand hygiene and more is also required at this time even if you have had the vaccine. Thank you for taking this important step in mitigating the spread of the virus.

For additional questions on testing protocols, please contact the Wellness Center at wellnesscenter@converse.edu.

The only exception to the pre-testing requirement is for individuals who have received a positive COVID-19 test result since November 15, 2020. Students or employees who have received a positive COVID-19 test result must follow all CDC and medical guidelines and have completed their recommended isolation or quarantine period before they are able to return to campus. Individuals in this situation must submit a copy of their test results to the Wellness Center and can only return upon approval by the Wellness Center.

RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS: You will not be allowed to move back into your residence hall until you have uploaded your results into the portal. Results will be validated by our Wellness Center staff before access is restored to your residence hall. Students who receive an “indeterminate,” “inconclusive,” “detected,” or “positive” result must contact the Wellness Center before coming back to campus. You will not be allowed to return to campus if your symptoms have not improved or if you are in active quarantine or isolation. While it may create an inconvenient situation for your return to campus plans, you must be honest as to your current health status so that we can protect both your and others’ health.

All results, including negatives, must be entered into the portal via this link. You will be asked to upload a copy of your test results to the portal and answer a few short questions related to your name, contact information. test type, date, and location. This step must be completed each time a new test result is received, including for pre-arrival and biweekly routine testing.

“Not detected” means you are negative for COVID-19; “Indeterminate” or “inconclusive” means that the test did not detect a clear positive or negative result. You must contact the Wellness Center at wellness@converse.edu or call 864-596-9258 for further instructions. “Detected” or “positive” means you are positive for COVID-19. You must contact the Wellness Center at wellness@converse.edu or call 864-596-9258 for further instructions

Testing Upon Arrival

All residential students are REQUIRED to test again upon their return to campus. Upon arrival testing is optional but not required for commuters, graduate and other non-residential students. It is also optional for employees.

On-site testing will be available during student move-in. Testing will be conducted on:

  • Wednesday, January 13 from 1 pm – 5 pm in the Fairview Parking Lot
  • Friday, January 15 from 1 pm – 5 pm in the Fairview Parking Lot
  • Saturday, January 16 from  10 am – 2 pm in the Carmichael Parking Lot

Information to remember about on-site testing:

  • You will be required to pre-register with DHEC here and bring the QR code that will be emailed after DHEC pre-registration when arriving at the testing site.
  • Testing is free; no insurance required.
  • Test is an anterior nares – a much shallower and more comfortable nasal swab test than those administered at many other testing sites.
  • Drive-up testing is recommended to manage traffic flow, but walk-ins can be accommodated as needed during the 8 am – 10 am window.
  • Test results may take between 36-72 hours from the date that your test was taken. Results will be emailed directly to you at the email provided on your DHEC registration.
  • Residential students will need to remain in light quarantine in their housing unit until they receive a negative test result from their test upon arrival.

Rules for light quarantine:

  • Students must continue to follow safety protocols: masks, distancing, and handwashing.
  • Students may not gather in groups, and no room or suite visits are allowed.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to limit contact with others until negative test results are received.
  • Inside gathering and common areas will be closed until January 19.
  • The Montgomery Gym, labs, and studios will be closed until January 19.
  • All food services will be grab-and-go only with more limited options until the serving line resumes and Freshens reopens on January 19.

Routine Testing throughout Jan and Spring terms

All students, faculty, and staff are highly encouraged to test biweekly. At this time, this is highly encouraged but not required. As we continue to monitor conditions and our ability to continue operating safely during this pandemic, this may change. Check your email and Daily Announcements frequently for updates. Athletes may be required to test more frequently in order to comply with NCAA guidelines and should consult with their coach for specific requirements related to their sport(s).

For those individuals who have had a positive COVID-19 test within the past three months, routine testing is recommended to start after that 3-month window has lapsed.

On-site testing will be available in the Fairview Lot on Thursdays from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Students and employees are strongly encouraged to attend from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM on Thursday when the testing is dedicated for the Converse community. Starting at 10:00 AM, the testing site will become open to the public. While Converse students and employees can still test during this time, wait times are anticipated to increase. You will be required to pre-register with DHEC here and the QR code will be emailed after DHEC pre-registration when arriving at the testing site. Drive-up testing is recommended to manage flow of traffic but walk-ins can be accommodated as needed. Test results may take between 36-72 hours from the date that your test was taken. Results will be emailed directly to you at the email provided on your DHEC registration.

Alternative, free off-site testing locations can be found by visiting DHEC’s COVID-19 Testing Location website. Additional locations can be found here or at other local colleges hosting public testing events. While many free options are available, should a student or employee wish to obtain a test off-site for a fee, the cost remains the individual’s responsibility.

You are not required to isolate or quarantine while you wait for your test results if you are otherwise asymptomatic, have not been in close contact with a confirmed or presumptively positive case, and are only testing for routine purposes. Continue to practice health protocols found here.

If you are having symptoms, have been in close contact with another individual presumed or confirmed positive, or have been otherwise instructed by the Wellness Center to isolate or quarantine, you must continue to adhere to that guidance while awaiting results. Contact the Wellness Center upon receipt of your latest results for further guidance on next steps for your particular case.

All results, including negatives, must be entered into the Proof of Test portal on my.converse. You will be asked to upload a copy of your results to the portal and answer a few short questions related to your name, contact information, test type, date, and location. This step must be completed each time a new test result is received.

General Information About Testing

Your test information will be protected. Your test results will be highly protected and access will be limited to only essential personnel.

If you are planning to test during work hours, please always consult with your supervisor beforehand. Wait times may vary, so plan accordingly to minimize interruption to your work and school commitments.

While routine testing is optional, Converse will provide rewards to those who participate in routine testing.

If you have questions regarding testing, please refer to this chart: https://www.converse.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Converse-Return-to-Campus-Spring-2021-Testing-Program-grid.xlsx-Sheet1.pdf

For additional questions on testing protocols, please contact the Wellness Center at wellnesscenter@converse.edu.

Campus Store

The online store is accessible 24/7.

Regular hours will resume in January 2021 for Jan term. *Be sure to wear a face-covering and adhere to physical distancing protocols.

Emails will be monitored, and our website is always available for ordering.

For questions please call or email Alex Talley:

Phone: 864-596-9453 or 864-596-9454

Email: 1484mgr@follett.com

Financial Planning

Financial Planning will be open beginning January 4 from 8:30 am – 5 pm. You can email us at financial.planning@converse.edu. The Director and Associate Director are available for Zoom, GoogleHangouts, or FaceTime meetings if you would rather meet virtually.

Gee Dining Hall

See the dining hall menus here.

Beginning January 10th, Gee Dining Hall will be open for all students and faculty/staff for TAKE-OUT ONLY.

Gee Dining Hall operating hours will be January 6 through January 18 for brunch from 10 am to 12:30 pm, and dinner from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Gee Dining Hall and Freshens plan to resume full operating hours once the college moves to on-campus operations on January 19. Dining services has adapted operations to incorporate physical distancing, enhanced sanitization protocols, and modified service style. While our dining facilities may look different, know that the focus on the safety and well-being of the Converse community has never been stronger.

Mail Room

*Be sure to wear a face-covering and adhere to physical distancing protocols.

Hours:

Monday, December 21 – Friday, January 8, 2021: Closed for scheduled holiday
January 11-15, 2021: 10 am – 2 pm.
Starting January 19, 2021: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – 4:45 pm.
Mail will not be forwarded during the break. Please contact the mail room should you have an issue or specific need.

Mickel Library

Hours:

Beginning Monday, Jan 4, 2021
Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm (REMOTE/ONLINE ACCESS ONLY)
Saturday & Sunday Closed

Converse students, faculty, and staff have the option of 24/7 access, via the Internet, to periodical and reference databases, eBooks, and other online resources and services on the library’s homepage. Users who need books or other circulating items from the print collection should submit requests through “Ask a Librarian.”

Please feel free to contact the library staff at mickel.library@converse.edu or through Ask a Librarian if you have any questions about your patron account.

Office of the Registrar

The Office of the Registrar will be open January 11-15, 2021 from 10 am – 2 pm. Beginning January 19 the office will be open: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – 4:45 pm. Be sure to wear a face-covering and adhere to physical distancing protocols. Please wait outside the door if another person is being assisted by the staff. You may contact us at registrar@converse.edu for assistance.

Wellness Center

Visits are APPOINTMENT ONLY. We are not accepting any walk-in appointments. All patients must call 864.596.9258 or email in advance so that the Wellness Center can screen you prior to coming in.

IF YOU HAVE A FEVER AND RESPIRATORY ISSUES PLEASE LET US KNOW WHEN YOU CALL.

Converse has received a grant to assist students in having real-time access to healthcare. Effective July 1, we have deployed iSelectMD, a service that allows students to have 24/7 access to tele-healthcare for COVID-19 concerns as well as many other non-urgent, acute illnesses. This service is only available to currently enrolled Converse students. Click here to learn more.

Personal Safety Practices

We are implementing a screening and quarantining process for when you return to campus to mitigate virus spread. These screening and quarantining processes apply to all students, faculty, and staff who are working on campus. You can read more about testing protocols here.

To minimize potential exposure to COVID-19, students are encouraged to isolate themselves from others outside of their immediate household 14 days prior to their return to Converse.

Guidance for Masks/Face Coverings: After careful consideration of  CDC recommendations, the College requires all students and employees to wear a face-covering or mask when in the presence of others and in indoor public settings (e.g., common workspaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.) or outdoor public settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing. Masks/face coverings are to be worn and physical distancing is to be maintained at all times in shared campus community spaces such as kitchens, common areas, copier rooms, meeting rooms, and bathrooms.

It is permissible to wear cloth reusable face coverings, masks, or neck gaiters that have been made or purchased as long as these coverings:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Are secured with ties, ear loops, or equivalent (if not a gaiter)
  • Include multiple layers of fabric such that it is difficult to see light through the covering
  • Allow for breathing without serious restriction
  • Can be laundered without damage or change the shape

Face Mask Hygiene

Putting on the face mask/covering

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face mask/covering.
  • Ensure the face mask/covering fits over the nose and under the chin.
  • Situate the face mask/covering properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
  • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
  • Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face mask/covering.

Taking off the face mask/covering

  • Wash or sanitize your hands before removing the mask. If that is not possible, then:
    • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing the face mask/covering.
    • When taking off the face mask/covering, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
  • Wash hands immediately after removing.

Disposal of disposable face masks

  • Keep face masks stored in a paper or plastic bag when not in use.
  • Disposable face masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in a trash receptacle.
  • Dispose of a face mask if it is visibly damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured materials), dirty or visibly contaminated.

Care, storage and laundering of cloth face coverings

  • Keep face-covering stored in a paper or plastic bag when not in use.
  • Cloth face coverings must be washed after use for one day.
  • Disinfecting method: Launder cloth face coverings with regular laundry detergent before first use and after each shift/day. (Disposable masks are not washable.)

Physical Distancing: Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at a safe distance from others, even when wearing a face covering and even if you have no symptoms. Physical distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Faculty, staff, and students on campus must follow these physical distancing practices:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about arms’ length) from other people at all times
  • Do not gather in groups of 10 or more
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

Handwashing: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water is not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.

Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene: If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the preferred form of hand hygiene in healthcare settings.

Cleaning/Disinfection: The Budd Group Housekeeping teams will clean based on CDC guidelines for disinfection. High touch (doorknobs, light switches, etc.) areas will be cleaned often. Facilities will also maintain hand-sanitizer stations at major building entrances, elevator stops, and high-traffic areas. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and monitoring systems will be assessed and readied prior to the reopening of buildings.

Thermometer: All students should bring their own digital thermometer in order to complete daily temperature checks.

Gloves: Gloves are not necessary for general use and should not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often with soap and water is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks.

Daily Questionnaire: Students, faculty, and staff are required to answer a daily online questionnaire before they leave their residence hall, engage in Converse activities or before they start work (whether planning to work on campus or remotely). The questionnaire is a vital piece of monitoring our campus’ and the Converse community’s health and will ask: if they are awaiting results of a COVID-19 test; whether they have tested positive for COVID-19; whether they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive; and whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19. Upon completion of the questionnaire, an email confirmation will follow that either provides a green checkmark clearance for the day or a red “X” that instructs the student, faculty or staff member to follow up with their supervisor and the Wellness Center for further instruction. The daily green checkmark will need to be shown upon entering classrooms, the dining hall, events and other campus activities.

Classrooms: Students should be prepared to show their daily green checkmark upon entry into the classroom. Classroom assignments have been modified whenever possible to allow for social distancing of students.  Students may not enter a classroom if they are not wearing a facemask. Classroom buildings will have directional signage to encourage one-way traffic flow in stairwells and at entry/exit points.  Students may be asked to aid in the disinfecting of desks/work areas after classes.  Students should not congregate in the hallways or common areas and should follow social distancing guidelines.  Hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms.  Classes may utilize a variety of formats/teaching practices so students should check their email for communications on any changes.

Working in On-Campus Office Environments: If you work on campus in an open environment, be sure to maintain at least 6 feet distance from co-workers. If possible have at least one workspace separating you from another co-worker. You should wear a face mask or face covering at all times while in a shared workspace/room. A mask or face covering is not required if you are working alone in a confined office space (does not include partitioned work areas in a large open environment).

Using Elevators: Use of elevators should be limited where possible to avoid close proximity with others in a confined space. Those using elevators are required to wear a disposable face mask or face covering regardless of traveling alone or with others. Only two people should use an elevator at a time.

Using Restrooms: Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

Meetings: Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using the extensive range of available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, Google Meet, telephone, etc.). In-person meetings are limited to the restrictions of local, state, and federal orders and should not exceed 50 percent of a room’s capacity, assuming individuals can still maintain 6 feet of separation for social distancing requirements. Classrooms have already been set up and scheduled to meet these mandates.

Meals: Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. If dining on campus, you should wear your mask or face covering until you are ready to eat and then replace it afterward. You must maintain social distancing during meals.  Meals can also be taken to go and eaten outside.

The health and safety of our College community remain our highest priority, and this includes visitors to our campus. Under current operations, Converse is permitting a limited number of visitors to campus, primarily those who are essential to Converse’s operations and prospective students. Certain buildings and areas of campus may have different visitation restrictions so it is important to check with your Converse host for specific instructions pertaining to your visit and to answer any questions you may have.

To ensure a safe environment for our students, employees, and guests, all visitors must complete a health screening form prior to coming onto campus. A new form must be completed for each day that you need to be on campus and mirrors our daily student and employee screening. A member of our team will verify the completion of that form and that you have been granted access to the campus. If you receive a Not Cleared email response after your form completion or if you are feeling ill, do not come to campus and notify your Converse host of the reason. We will assist in finding an alternative approach or will reschedule your visit for a later date.

Our campus is a perfect backdrop for engagement, graduation and wedding photos. To minimize campus exposure to COVID-19 we now require anyone wishing to take photos on campus to complete a request form. A campus representative will respond to your request within two business days.

Students may have visitors for certain Converse Activity Board (CAB) planned events unless CAB limits the event to students only. Each student is limited to only one visitor per event and the student will be responsible for the visitor’s actions while on campus. The visitor must show event staff their cleared form to enter the event.

While on campus, all permitted visitors must comply with Converse’s COVID-19 safety protocols including those for face coverings, social distancing and posted signage while we also encourage good hand hygiene throughout the day. Below are quick links to the applicable policies that you should familiarize yourself with prior to your visit.

Visitors are not allowed in student residential spaces and only when in the company of a Converse host are visitors allowed in Gee Dining Hall at this time. For visitors to special performances, guests are required to adhere to our masking and physical distancing guidelines. Please review the event site for further details and any additional requirements that may apply.

Thank you for your adherence to all health and safety guidelines to keep our Converse community safe.

COVID testing process:

We are implementing a screening and quarantining process for when you return to campus to mitigate virus spread. These screening and quarantining processes apply to all students, faculty, and staff who are working on campus:

  • Test before you return: All faculty, staff, and students are expected to have been tested 3-5 days prior to their return to campus. You can get a COVID-19 test at any DHEC testing facility.
  • Test again when you return: In addition, all will also need to be tested either on-campus or at a local DHEC location when you return to work. On-campus testing will be available from Wednesday, January 13, through Saturday, January 16. More details will be provided regarding specific times and locations.
  • Positive test before 1/5/2021: If you provide documentation of a positive COVID-19 test between November 15, 2020, and January 5, 2021, and you have completed all CDC and medical guidelines from that test, you do not need to be tested or quarantine when you return. A copy of your positive test results must be provided to the Wellness Center prior to your return.

When you return to campus, and until we get test results back and begin classes, everyone will be in “Light Quarantine,” which means:

  • You continue to follow safety protocols: masks, distancing, and handwashing.
  • Students may not gather in groups, and no room or suite visits are allowed.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to limit contact with others until negative test results are received.
  • Inside gathering and common areas will be closed until January 19.
  • The Montgomery Gym, labs, and studios will be closed until January 19.

Protocols we are currently implementing include:

  • Self-isolation for 14 days prior to your return to campus;
  • Health screening upon return to campus;
  • Setting up areas for regular voluntary temperature checks with infrared thermometers;
  • Self-screening health via a daily symptom checklist questionnaire; and
  • Wearing a face covering in buildings in communal areas and whenever physical distancing is not possible.

In addition, our facilities team is working with the Registrar’s Office to outline and implement building procedures, including:

  • Designating “Entrance Only” and “Exit Only” doors and one-way stairwells;
  • Placing signage to reinforce social distancing and line management in high traffic areas;
  • Re-configuring seating arrangements and occupancy to promote social distancing;
  • Additional cleaning procedures in between classes:
  • Frequently wiping down high-touch surfaces like keyboards, door handles and desks with a hospital-grade disinfectant, listed as an EPA-approved product for killing the COVID-19 virus;
  • Misting rooms on a regular basis with hospital grade disinfectant; and
  • Placing hand sanitizer stations across campus.

Within the residence halls and in Gee dining hall, we are:

  • Limiting capacity of communal spaces;
  • Prohibiting visitors in residence hall rooms;
  • Implementing scheduled move-in dates over a longer period;
  • Requiring students and their families to move themselves into their rooms;
  • Providing assistance and accommodations for those who are immunocompromised;
  • Establishing a telemedicine option for students; and
  • Redesigning how meals are provided and seating arrangements in our dining hall.

Watch this video to see how we are maintaining a safe learning and living environment for our Converse community:

Converse Risk-Level Assessment

The COVID-19 Response Team has developed a 4-level system that assesses the risk of COVID-19 community spread. The COVID-19 Response Team will continually evaluate our current level based on information that we receive from DHEC, campus reports, and other relevant stakeholders and will provide updates should the level of risk change.

We are currently at LEVEL 3 on the Converse campus.

Level 3 – Statewide stay-at-home orders are in place OR the Spartanburg community and/or College’s conditions make it imperative to shift to eliminate all unnecessary activity and interactions on campus. Classes will shift to virtual/remote. All non-essential personnel will work from home. Students may be encouraged to temporarily move home or to an off-campus location; exceptions may be made for students due to visa requirements or home situations.

Level 2 – The College is open; however, at times, additional time-limited restrictions may be added in order to prevent the College from raising to a higher level. Possible restrictions include (but are not limited to) asking students and employees to stay home for a short period of time; greater limits on community access, increased PPE use, and elevated precautions. High-risk individuals may be asked to limit their presence on campus.

Level 1 – The College and the community of Spartanburg are operating with moderate-to-low confirmed cases of COVID-19. The College is open, though protective measures are actively in place. The underlying threat of outbreak remains, but the prevalence of the virus is moderate- to-low and contact tracing capabilities are robust enough to serve the College.

Level 0 – The College and the community of Spartanburg can operate normally in a high-density environment. Once vaccines and/or highly-effective treatments are approved and widely available, and there is low circulation of coronavirus, prevention practices can be gradually lifted more fully.

Social Distancing: Students are advised to minimize their contacts with persons outside of their household 14 days prior to arrival on campus or start of classes.  Students should avoid engaging in parties and large scale events during the 14 days prior to arrival on campus or start of classes.

Accommodations: Any student requesting accommodations should follow the established request procedure on my.Converse. This includes students who are deemed vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus pursuant to CDC guidelines. Students should keep in mind that there will be students, faculty, and staff on campus this fall who may have underlying conditions rendering them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. It is the responsibility of each community member to fully commit to protecting the Converse community collective health and well-being.

Housing Access: Building access will be limited to only the residents in each building.  Students may not have off-campus guests or overnight guests in their rooms. Students are encouraged to socialize outdoors or in common spaces with guests or friends who live in other residence halls.  Students are asked to keep social distancing.

Housing Common Areas: Common area spaces in the residence halls like study spaces, lobbies, computer labs, and kitchens will be open. All common areas will have posted maximum capacity occupation limits.

Students are expected to abide by social distancing protocols when in commons spaces. In an effort to assist students with distancing, we have reduced and rearranged furniture in commons spaces and posted signs with limited capacity requirements. Students should follow posted guidelines that will help identify paths of travel to prevent close interactions and maximum capacity limitations in common spaces. The success of our Return to Campus Plan will hinge on all of us working together to follow posted guidelines and practice healthy behaviors like wearing a mask in public spaces.

Students will not be allowed to store open items or dishes in residence hall kitchens. Any open or used grocery items, dishes, or other items will be disposed of immediately. The college will not replace discarded items.

In residential bathrooms, students should practice physical distancing and follow any additional posted guidelines for use. Common area bathrooms will be cleaned multiple times daily.

Health and Safety Checks: Students are required to clean and disinfect weekly in rooms and shared in-suite spaces. The Residential Life staff will increase the frequency of scheduled room health and safety inspections. Students are advised to discuss and outline expectations for cleaning in roommate/ suite contracts. Inspections will include bathrooms and kitchens in suites and apartments.

Residential Community Support: We are developing virtual programming/community building opportunities led by the Residential Life Staff. Community Advisors will do regular one-on-one communication with residents and provide resources to assist them. Our Converse Cares and Student Development teams will be providing support if we receive information that a student is struggling with adjustment to these challenging times. Concerns can be reported at https://converse.formstack.com/forms/converse_cares.

Converse is implementing a number of practices to support the health and wellness of residential students. These practices include enhanced cleaning and sanitization, physical distancing guidelines for commons spaces, reduced occupancy of residence halls, and the development of virtual programming models:

  • In order to maintain lower density in residential spaces, students will only have access to their assigned residential building, students are encouraged to socialize outdoors or in commons areas, while practicing physical distancing.
  • High touch areas like door handles and elevator buttons will be cleaned throughout the day. Hand sanitizer stations will be posted at all building entrances and exits. Common area and hall bathrooms will be cleaned multiple times a day. Hall bathrooms will have spray cleaner on hand for use by residents before or after use.
  • Common area spaces in the residence halls like study spaces and lounges will be open; to encourage physical distancing, furniture may be rearranged in those spaces. Students should follow posted guidelines that will help identify ways to yield to others and outline maximum capacity in each space.
  • Students will be expected to wear face masks in public spaces like hallways and common areas. In residential bathrooms, students should wear masks when possible, practice social distancing, and follow any additional posted guidelines for use.

Room Change: In most cases, housing assignments will not be changed during the term. In some rare instances, students who already have a housing assignment for the term may need to move based on their requests for housing accommodations and our ability to fulfill their needs in their currently assigned space. Upon arrival, students with extenuating circumstances may address concerns and requests with their Resident Director or the Director of Residential Life and Student Conduct.

CARES Act

Converse received funding under the CARES Act to help students whose education has been disrupted by this pandemic. To receive these funds, you must have filed a FAFSA.

Read about how the CARES Act assists Converse students:

Cares Act Consumer Information and Disclosure

The following disclosures are in compliance with Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) reporting as required by the Office of Postsecondary Education.

2021 Jan term study-travel programs have been canceled.

Internships

Internships will move forward on an individual basis, either online or in-person, taking into account the public health conditions and the willingness of the internship site to continue to receive interns. Cathy Gowan will work with students on their specific internship.

Student Teaching

Student teaching will follow the guidance of the State Department of Education and individual school districts, keeping in mind public health conditions.

Effective December 11, 2020: Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and positivity testing rates in the Upstate and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our campus community, Converse will be limiting on-campus operations for the duration of December. All non-essential personnel are expected to work from home; please coordinate with your supervisor to determine if you are deemed essential and to discuss any work accommodations you need.  If you have questions or you may contact Dr. Keshia GilliamEssential personnel should report to campus to perform their work in coordination with their supervisor.

Converse Faculty and Staff Policies and Resources

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Web Page

The Conference Carolinas Board of Directors has postponed all fall sports competition until the spring of 2021 after extensive deliberation.

Our Task Force is developing a student-athlete return protocol that will include guidance on athletic activities, from practices to competitions.

Our main priority is to ensure the health and safety of our campus community.

If you or any close contacts are diagnosed with COVID-19, call the Wellness Center at 864.596.9258 immediately so we can respond.

The best way to prevent viral illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. As a reminder, everyday preventive actions help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

See additional up-to-date information and resources on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Web Page

Symptoms of COVID-19

S.C. Department of Mental Health

CDC Travel Health Notices

Coronavirus Cases in the United States Reported to CDC

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

See COVID-19 campus updates, office hours and resources  COVID-19 Updates >
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