Students not required to test for COVID-19 at CCU
Students at Coastal Carolina University are currently in the midst of their fall semester classes. Testing for COVID-19 was never a requirement for students returning to campus, but informing symptoms of the virus was.
Junior interdisciplinary studies major Ebony Wright decided to spend her fall semester at home due to CCU not requiring testing for COVID-19.
Wright said, “USC wanted their students to get tested before coming back; certain schools were saying you couldn’t [return] unless you were tested, and with [CCU] they weren’t even saying you had to be tested before coming back.”
While Wright does commend the university for all of their social distancing guidelines, she thought it would be safer for her to stay where she already resides.
Students aren’t necessarily reporting whether they have symptoms of COVID-19.
“This might be true and it might not. It [may be] true because [CCU] probably [doesn’t] want students to [worry],” Wright said, “I feel like they probably don’t want to lose money; I felt like this is a money thing for me, they want us to come back so bad so [CCU] can keep things running.”
Wright believes that students should report whether they believe they have COVID-19, or if they are not feeling their best, so others will know. She also expected the idea of record keeping to take place at CCU; a record of students that have been tested and their symptoms as well.
Although CCU is starting to test students now, Wright concludes that testing should have been done prior to the fall semester kicking off.
“Now that it is October, students have been there for a minute so maybe we do need to see what is going on because in the Myrtle Beach, Conway area people were testing positive for COVID, so you do not know where students are going and who they are around,” said Wright. “This is a good time, but they should have done it in the beginning.”
Wright mentioned that if she were in charge of preparing students for the fall semester, she would’ve made testing mandatory prior to returning to campus. She would’ve still attempted social distancing protocols, but at the same time, she wouldn’t have let students come back at all.
Wright said, “I do understand students do like that face to face, but you have to think of everybody as a whole [just to keep everybody safe].”
Director of Student Health Services, Caesar C. Ross IIII, has been in this position for 14 years now and once cases of COVID-19 started popping up, he and his team knew they needed a plan to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.
When March was cleared for no return for students, Ross said, “As an University designated essential service, the health center remained open for students who remained in the residence halls, and the health center began COVID-19 planning activities.”
Many changes were made for the fall semester when it came to student health services. Their CCU page allows students to make an appointment, get lab results and submit immunization records as well as screening for coronavirus-like symptoms.( https://www.coastal.edu/health/ ) The Coastal Carolina Comeback Plan is the University’s plan for resuming face-to-face academic instruction on campus in fall 2020. Throughout the plan there are phases that lead up to the Fall semester and various videos sent out to students showing the preparations CCU has been conducting for students, teachers and faculty’s return. (https://www.coastal.edu/services/safety_and_security/covid-19/coastalcomeback/)
Ross said that one thing he would have made sure to reinforce and highlight to the CCU family is the three W’s: Wear face coverings, Watch the distance between yourself and others (physical distancing) and Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. He recommends everyone abides by these three W’s, to ensure the safety and health of all.