South Carolina State University will require all employees and students to undergo biweekly COVID-19 testing as part of the university’s efforts to curb the virus’ spread on campus.

“With the rising cases of COVID-19 infection in South Carolina, I’ve decided for South Carolina State University to join other public universities in the state to mandate testing for the entire campus community,” Interim SC State President Alexander Conyers said Thursday in a letter to faculty and staff members. “We all have a shared responsibility to keep the campus safe.”

Everyone must be tested or show proof of testing every two weeks. Effective immediately, the mandate applies to all administrators, faculty and staff members and adds commuter students to the existing requirement for residential students implemented at the start of the school year. Tests are required regardless of a person’s vaccination status.

While employees and students may get tested off-campus, testing is free at the testing site between the Smith Hammond Middleton Memorial Center and Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. The site is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., but university officials hope to expand those hours.

The free testing is a result of a longstanding partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Test results are delivered confidentially via an email notification with directions to a website, where the user sets up an online account.

Conyers also announced that SC State would soon launch a COVID-19 dashboard to keep the campus community, as well as students’ families and the public, informed about the status of cases on the campus. The dashboard will be available on the university’s website at www.scsu.edu alongside any other developments in SC State’s efforts to mitigate the virus’ impact. SC State maintains a separate quarantine hall on campus for students who test positive for COVID-19.

While SC State does not require COVID-19 vaccination, all employees and students are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and follow previously published health protocols. SC State does require all employees, students and campus visitors to wear face coverings while indoors, except in residence hall rooms, in private offices and while dining. Those on campus also are encouraged to practice social distancing when possible and avoid large gatherings.

“We all have a shared responsibility to keep the campus safe,” Conyers said.

The interim president said employees would soon receive further instructions about testing procedures.

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