Winthrop University: Emergency Information - Coronavirus
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   LINE: 803/323-2222

EMERGENCIES: Dial 911

While Winthrop's campus is closed in compliance with state and national guidelines for COVID-19, our dedicated Admissions team is available to help you. To speak with someone from Admissions, please call 803-323-2191 between the hours of 9am-3pm (Monday-Friday) or email any questions to Admissions@winthrop.edu. The health and safety of our staff and students is of the utmost importance so we will do our best to be available for you as long as we can.

Also, please follow us on Instagram for further updates.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

This information is provided to you from Winthrop’s Critical Incident Management Team.

Corona Virus FAQ'sThe S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is currently investigating possible cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus in South Carolina.  University officials continue to closely monitor COVID-19 and are actively engaged in daily planning in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, as well as inform and provide guidance to faculty, staff, and students.

 

3/31/20 Presidential Update to Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleagues:

I never could have imagined less than a month into my interim presidency that Winthrop and the world would be facing such an unprecedented disruption to our way of life due to COVID-19. But I'm still so glad to be here, watching everyone band together more than ever to continue delivering a retooled Winthrop experience for our students. 

The tenacious Winthrop spirit that I have heard so much about has been front and center, and I'm thankful for each person's flexibility and perseverance as we navigate these new and challenging times together.

I wanted to update you on a couple things below:

Latest COVID-19 Information:

As you are aware, most all students have moved out of the residence halls and we are holding all classes remotely. Some essential personnel are physically on campus, but most faculty and staff are working remotely from home (as am I!)

I applaud each of you who worked quickly and diligently to move all academic instruction to a remote learning format. This is no small feat. As we start our second week of remote learning, our students have embraced these changes and continue learning and working toward their goals. Staff members continue supporting our students in all capacities, reinforcing that their learning, safety and health remain our top priorities. Our Admissions team is diligently working, and thinking, outside of the box to continue recruiting our incoming freshman class. You can read more about what Admissions is doing and the plans for upcoming virtual recruitment events.

All university-sponsored on- and off-campus events are cancelled or postponed through May 9, including all spring Commencement ceremonies. As I noted in an earlier email, we will find a way to appropriately celebrate our graduates when we feel it is safe to do so.

For now, I encourage you to keep monitoring your email and the university's COVID-19 website.

Board of Trustees Action on Summer Session 

Yesterday, the Winthrop University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to implement a reduced rate for 2020 Summer Session classes. The university’s summer offerings for in-state students already reflect a 20 percent discount as compared to fall and spring tuition. The board's action will provide an additional 12 percent discount for all regular classes offered this summer only.

I applaud and appreciate our trustees’ leadership in recognizing that our students may be facing financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. By reducing summer session tuition, we are able to facilitate our students continuing on their educational journeys with a focus on timely degree completion.

Trustees also approved the Division of Academic Affairs' recommendation that Maymester (May 18-June 5) and sessions that are set to begin June 8 (B and C sessions) be totally online, with any classes that require on-campus meetings to be scheduled for the final Summer Session July 13-Aug. 12 (D session). Getting these plans in place now will allow faculty and staff the time to prepare accordingly. You may read more about these actions in this press release.

Thank you again for all of your hard work throughout this month. I don't think any of us envisioned how this spring semester would play out, but together, I know that we will get through this. The Winthrop community is better together, and although we are physically separated right now we will emerge from this stronger than ever.

 

Sincerely,  

George W. Hynd 

Interim President 

 

Presidential and General Updates

    Winthrop University was informed today (March 23) that a resident student who stopped by a Winthrop residence hall on March 17 to pick up belongings during spring break has tested positive for COVID-19. This student followed the protocol of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and upon showing symptoms of the virus, sought medical advice and testing where s/he permanently resides. 

    While the resident was on campus for only a short time, precautions have been taken in the hall to sanitize shared space and frequently touched surfaces. These preventive measures will minimize the risk posed to other residents and the campus community. Others who may have come into close contact with the individual who tested positive are being notified of possible exposure. 

    This student is receiving the full support of the university during this difficult time. It is important to note that our Winthrop community will likely continue to be directly and indirectly impacted by this unprecedented public health crisis in coming days and weeks. The university does not intend to publicly announce each additional case, but we must remain vigilant in reinforcing the message that no one is immune to COVID-19 that we all must do our part to slow the spread of the virus.

    That commitment is further reflected in our announcement today of the process by which resident students may return to campus to pick up belongings this week. The staggered sign-up process we will employ underscores the requirement for social distancing with which we must abide so that we have limited numbers of students in the halls.

    Our recent decision to close campus for the remainder of the semester is in keeping with the advice of public health experts to maximize such social distancing. We strongly encourage everyone in our community to please take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe: maintain social distance, practice good hygiene by observing respiratory etiquette and washing your hands frequently, continually monitor your health, reach out to your health care provider if needed, and self-quarantine if you develop symptoms.

    Thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate this latest development and visit our COVID-19 website for additional information on the efforts of the Winthrop community to respond to this public health crisis. 

    Winthrop Families,

     

    I understand that our Student Affairs division has been sharing information with all of you so that you, too, may remain informed as we share information about remote learning and other topics with your student. Today I would like to reassure you of plans to keep teaching and learning moving forward, as well as ensuring the safety and health of our campus community. As you may know, with the Governor’s directive yesterday, we will be extending remote instruction through the end of the semester and have postponed our May commencement ceremonies.

     

    Academic Affairs Updates

    First, we are committed to completing this semester and ensuring our graduating students meet their requirements for graduation. Our talented faculty and academic support staff have been working overtime to prepare for the shift to remote instruction beginning Monday, March 23, and ensure our students continue to receive high quality learning experiences.

     

    We know our students are concerned about their ability to complete their work this semester. Please reassure them that the remote instruction preparations underway will give them a pathway to complete all coursework and get full credit for courses this semester. Where adjustments have to be made, faculty are at work making those adjustments. If students have specific concerns about the transition to remote instruction, please encourage them to reach out to their faculty. They are the front line of academic support. For international students returning to their home countries, faculty are prepared to work with them to complete all coursework remotely as well.

     

    Advising sessions for fall 2020 registration also will happen remotely, so our faculty and staff are working to make sure we have processes in place to support that important work as well. Parents and extended family can partner with us in this regard by encouraging students to keep checking their email and texts, look for communications from advisors as well as faculty, and be prepared to discuss degree progress and completion plans. We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that our students all make steady progress toward their goals.

     

    Finally, we know that many students are concerned about completing their cultural events credits for the semester. For seniors graduating in May and August 2020, all remaining cultural events credits will be waived, as long as all other degree requirements are met. For non-graduating students, they will have ample time in the future to work on this degree requirement. 

     

    Student Affairs Updates

    Secondly, we have taken steps to limit the number of individuals on campus and thus the potential for COVID-19 spread. We have closed the residence halls to all students but those with severely extenuating circumstances. Our Dining Services staff will provide pick-up meals to students remaining with us. Our on-campus dining locations are closed.

    To ensure that students receive appropriate support during this stressful time, the following guidance is offered to students and families:

    • Students who are currently engaged with Counseling Services or Office of Victims Assistance counseling should check their email for messages from their counselor about telemental health needs. Please visit the Health and Counseling Services webpage for more information.
    • Office of Accessibility (OA) staff are available for students via email. OA can then explore options such as Skype, telephone, or other online options to engage in discussion and conversation. OA staff can be reached at OA_Team@winthrop.edu.
    • Health Services is offering telephone triage appointments for eligible students during the remote instruction time period. Please visit the Health and Counseling Services webpage for more information.
    • The Dean of Students Office is available to assist with resource needs. Students may reach out to Assistant Dean of Students, Miranda Knight, at knightm@winthrop.edu with questions and concerns. As there will likely be a delay in responding and limited options on campus, please call 211from your cell phone or visit 211.org for immediate assistance with resources.
    • The Center for Career and Civic Engagement (CCE) will continue to provide career services to students virtually and by phone. To make a career consultation appointment, students should visit the CCE website and press the “Book Now” button. Next day resume reviews are still available to them through EAGLELINK.

     

    General Updates 

    As you know, the Winthrop campus is closed. Essential employees are working, including those who are deep cleaning campus facilities and preparing for the campus community’s eventual return. All internal and external events have been cancelled for the immediate future.

     

    Finally, we know financial concerns are paramount to many of you. I am working with the university’s Board of Trustees and senior leadership to provide answers as soon as possible. All decisions on refunds, credits, commencement and other concerns will be communicated to students and parents as soon as possible. 

     

    The COVID-19 situation remains very fluid. These are challenging and unprecedented times. Please do not hesitate to reach out using the links and contacts above if you have specific questions or needs with regard to your student. Thank you for the patience you have shown as we work through extraordinary circumstances and do our part to reduce the spread of this virus. Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our students. Thank you for entrusting them to our care. 

     

    Sincerely,  

    George W. Hynd 

    Interim President 

    Per Governor McMaster’s update earlier today, Winthrop University will extend our move to remote instruction for all courses for the remainder of this semester. In this way, all students will have the opportunity to complete their spring 2020 courses while maintaining safe and healthy precautions against COVID-19. Despite it being challenging, Winthrop’s strength is our family-like concern for each other and our tradition of delivering a student-centered experience.

    The move to remote instruction may create new and unexpected difficulties, but we will face them together. Our talented faculty and staff are working diligently to accommodate student needs and expectations. Faculty, staff, and students should continue to monitor email and our website for information regarding when residence halls will be open for retrieving belongings, access to technology while away from campus, decisions about student refunds and/or credits, and other important updates.

    We know our seniors and graduate students are faced with unprecedented events that are taking away from what should be a joyous time as they conclude their academic career at Winthrop. Because of that, we will postpone our spring commencement ceremonies. Although these circumstances are beyond our control, we can assure our students that their Winthrop experience will not end without recognizing and celebrating that they will be Winthrop graduates. At this time, we cannot say when or how commencement will happen, but we will rejoice in their accomplishments and honor our graduates in a way and time that is safe to do so.

    Thank you for your hard work, understanding, and continued patience as we move forward in these uncertain times.

    I write to you to provide an update as to the recommendations I have now received from Winthrop's Critical Incident Management Team.  Based on their recommendations and my judgement as to our rapidly evolving situation, I am providing this update as a follow up to our communication yesterday regarding Governor Henry McMaster's announcement of the closure of all S.C. public universities through the end of March.

    • Guidance received from the Commission on Higher Education indicates that colleges and universities have some flexibility to continue online or remote coursework moving forward and to make some decisions on how we might serve (using essential personnel only) those students who must remain on campus.
    • In general, faculty, staff and students should STAY AWAY from campus until instructed otherwise. Our president and senior administrators are leading by example by cancelling all face-to-face appointments and conducting business by phone whenever possible. It is imperative to the health and safety of our campus community for non-essential personnel to STAY AWAY from campus at this time. For those who may be instructed to work from home, we are designating five hours tomorrow (Tuesday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) for employees to pick up materials and other items needed to work from home.
    • Essential personnel (in-person presence on the campus) have been identified as facilities management, police, housing, environmental health & safety and other employees who have been contacted by supervisors.  All other personnel should remain at home and contact their supervisor for further direction on work expectations. 
    • As of now, a decision has not been communicated from the Governor’s office regarding whether Winthrop will be authorized to apply leave with pay for leave-eligible employees for the time the Governor has ordered the university closed.  Unless the federal or state government takes additional action, employees in non-leave earning positions (temporary and student employees) will be in unpaid status for this time unless they are in one of the “essential” areas and actually work.  We are hoping to hear more information from the Governor’s office soon about how leave-eligible employees should report their time on timesheets and leave reports.  HR will provide additional information prior to March 31, 2020.
    • Essential personnel who believe they are at-risk (older adults; people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease; people with compromised immune systems; and pregnant women), should communicate concerns to their supervisor either verbally or in writing. No certification by a medical professional is required. Supervisors are strongly encouraged to be flexible with work for these personnel and direct any questions to HRHelp@winthrop.edu.
    • Beginning immediately, faculty preparation and training will continue remotely. The provost is working with deans and other academic leaders to ensure faculty and staff in Academic Affairs have the supports they need to make this transition to remote instruction in addition to working from home. Faculty who require training through the WOOL office are able to accomplish this remotely through resources provided on our Continuity of Instruction website and through remote appointments with WOOL staff.
    • Faculty already teaching fully online courses may need to make adjustments as well based upon the campus closure, but delivery of these courses will continue according to their approved schedule until otherwise notified.
    • The Computing and Information Technology help desk will be available with limited staffing 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    We take your health and well-being, and that of your families, seriously.  The uncertainty of this unusual situation may cause high levels of anxiety and stress.  Employees have access to counselors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling 800-633-3353 or 704-529-1428. To access work-life services, log in to mygroup.com using the username "winthrop303" and password "guest".

    Remember, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and trouble breathing.  If you have symptoms, CONTACT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. Please continue to check your email frequently and review our COVID-19 website.

    Earlier today Gov. Henry McMaster announced the closure of all South Carolina schools, including public universities such as Winthrop. Winthrop's senior leadership is seeking additional clarification on how the closure will impact instructional plans we put in motion just days ago. 

    For tomorrow, offices will be closed, but essential personnel, including all facilities management employees, police officers, housing and environmental health & safety staff, and others who may be contacted by their supervisors should report to work.

    Please check your email and/or the website frequently as we will communicate information as soon as have additional details. Thank you for your patience as we navigate this unprecedented situation. 

    A Message from Interim President George W. Hynd

    We are shifting our COVID-19 campus response as new information is coming quickly and the ability to be nimble is what we have been working toward for several weeks. I am pleased that our vice presidents and unit leaders are following recommendations from the CDC, DHEC, and their professional associations, as well as modeling plans from peer institutions as we learn of them. As a result of widespread campus consultation in the last few days, primarily through leadership in the academic and student affairs divisions, Winthrop’s senior leadership has new recommendations. Based on their recommendations and on further due considerations, I am informing you of the following.

    Changes to Instructional Delivery Post-Spring Break

    Out of an abundance of caution, we will move to remote instruction for March 23-April 3, which are the two weeks following Spring Break. To prepare for this shift, faculty will start now preparing for delivery of remote instruction, and their efforts will continue March 16-20, while students are away on the break. The Academic Affairs division has been working on this for the last two weeks, and Winthrop’s Office of Online Learning has prepared a Continuity of Instruction (COI) website to support this effort. It is important to note that despite this shift to remote instruction, all university offices will remain open and staffed until further notice. The work of this fine university must continue so students will receive the full advantage of the Winthrop experience!

    Residence Halls and Dining Services

    Understandably, the above action should decrease the number of students who are residing on campus which, in turn, will decrease the chance of COVID-19 exposure to our campus community.  Students traveling home for break should stay home during the two-week remote instructional period, while international students and other populations with specific needs will be accommodated on a case-by-case basis. In general, there will limited access during this two-week period, March 23-April 3, for students to enjoy the full range of residential and dining services to which they are accustomed. But more on that will come from the Division of Student Affairs as details are determined.

    Recall of Students Studying Abroad

    With President Trump’s directive last night that travel into the U.S. from a large number of European countries will tighten considerably for the next month, it is prudent for us to recall from those countries. While we have been in regular contact with them and know they are enjoying their experiences, there remains too much uncertainty in international travel for us to allow them to continue their experiences. We are committed to assisting them on their return, and those wheels already are in motion. We will continue to monitor all of our students abroad and take action as appropriate.  

    Travel During and After Spring Break

    As we have noted, we recognize that some members of the Winthrop community will be traveling over the break. Per earlier information shared, Winthrop is prohibiting university business travel through the end of April to international destinations designated by the CDC as travel warning level 3 or higher and strongly encouraging our community members to avoid non-essential domestic travel to areas where COVID-19 cases have been identified. Again, out of an abundance of caution, Winthrop’s senior leadership has decided that no new non-essential Winthrop business travel will be approved through April 30, 2020. Faculty and staff should not make new, work related travel plans during this period.

    University Events

    Until further notice, all university-sponsored events scheduled between Sunday, March 15 and Friday, April 3 are cancelled, and alternative options for holding or rescheduling events in key areas are being considered. Of note, we have decided that our athletics events will follow recommendations and guidance from the NCAA. Student-athletes should look to their coaches for the latest details on games and events.

    Health Information and COVID-19 Case Response Planning

    The Critical Incident Management Team and its sub-groups have been meeting daily to prepare for possible spread of COVID-19 to the Winthrop campus. Guidance on prevention, screening, self-quarantine and more has been communicated via email and uploaded to our COVID-19 information page. Of note most recently, Health and Counseling Services, 803/323-2206, will move to telephone triage for responding to health issues after the break, and will do the same for tele-mental health, as appropriate. This ensures the high level of service students have come to expect, while at the same time protecting our front-line health care professionals.

    Thank you for your patience as we have worked on solutions that we believe to be in the best interests of students and the university. As you can imagine, there are many moving parts here, and the situation is changing rapidly. It would be helpful for you to direct your questions to the respective divisional offices, or you may reach out to me at president@winthrop.edu.  Please know that at the forefront of any institutional decisions are your health and safety.

    The health and safety of the Winthrop community remains the university’s top priority. 

    Spring Break 

    Winthrop’s spring break is March 16-20, 2020. We continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 internationally, domestically and locally and rely on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). 

    Most Winthrop students will not be on campus for spring break, but all students need to be proactive in considering how the possibility of changing circumstances could impact Winthrop and, therefore, students’ ability to return to campus after the spring break. Think through what you should take when you leave this week in case you cannot return to campus for any reason on March 22. This includes medical, academic, financial and personal needs. Take your books, laptop and other items you may need to study from home. Check your email and the website for any institutional updates since they may have an impact on your plans. 

    Updated Travel Guidance 

    Some members of the Winthrop community will be traveling over the break. Per earlier information shared, Winthrop is prohibiting university business travel through April 30, 2020, to international destinations designated by the CDC as travel warning level 3 or higher and strongly encouraging our community members to avoid non-essential domestic travel to areas where COVID-19 cases have been identified. 

    Furthermore, Winthrop’s senior leadership has decided that no new non-essential Winthrop business travel will be approved through April 30, 2020. Faculty and staff should not make new travel plans during this period even for future dates. The university will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on travel.  

    Info for supervisors: 

    • All non-essential Winthrop business travel is cancelled.
    • Essential travel is determined by deans/vice presidents. 
    • Examples of essential travel—training, certification or professional development that is essential for the individual’s function at the institution.
    • All previously approved university business travel must be reviewed by department heads with final decisions made at the dean/VP level due to rapidly changing circumstances.

    Self-Quarantine Information  

    Faculty, staff and students who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or were engaged in travel as noted above (destinations designated by the CDC as travel warning level 3 or higher OR domestic travel to areas where COVID-19 cases have been identified) upon return must contact their health care provider OR the DHEC Care Line (1-855-472-3432, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily) for a decision on the need for self-quarantine. Do not return to campus until you have contacted your health care provider or DHEC. You will be asked questions to help determine your risk of exposure. You should note when you called, to whom you spoke, etc. This documentation and documentation of your travel may be required upon your return to campus.  

    If self-quarantine is prescribed by your provider OR DHEC, you must self-quarantine away from campus to protect the health and safety of your Winthrop colleagues and friends. For most individuals, this will be your permanent residence. If you are a student and your permanent residence is not domestic, please contact the Department of Residence Life as soon as possible. The Dean of Students office will handle student absence verification and faculty notification.  If you are a faculty or staff member who is prescribed self-quarantine, then contact your supervisor and Human Resources, Employee Diversity and Wellness. You may be required to provide documentation of your travel as well as your provider contact and the circumstances that led to the self-quarantine advice.  

    If you experience symptoms during quarantine, do one or more of the following immediately: 

    • Notify your health care provider. 
    • Visit MUSC Health virtual urgent care for screening and medical advice from a trained MUSC Health care provider. Use the promo code "COVID19" at checkout.   
    • Consult the DHEC Care Line which is available for general questions about COVID-19 (1-855-472-3432) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.  

    Other Measures Winthrop Is Taking: 

    Making decisions regarding internal events: All university-sponsored events through April 3, 2020, are cancelled. Winthrop is continuing to monitor guidance from the CDC and DHEC regarding gatherings. 

    Sanitizing campus spaces: The university is taking additional sanitizing measures throughout campus, including disinfecting high-contact surfaces such as light switches, desks, doorknobs, and handrails throughout the day. Custodial staff are restocking hand soap and sanitizer in all restrooms frequently. Social distancing is recommended, so some common study areas may be closed so custodial staff can focus on more frequently used open spaces, labs, restrooms, etc.  

    Communicating with specific groups: This includes resident students and others. 

    Continuing to monitor the situation: This is a fast-moving and fluid situation. The Critical Incident Management Team continues to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 internationally, domestically, and locally.  

    Collecting frequently asked questions: CIMT is adding questions to a new FAQs page where you also may submit a question.

    South Carolina residents who are COVID-19 symptomatic (respiratory infection, fever, cough, flu-like symptoms), may visit MUSC Health virtual urgent care for screening and medical advice from a trained MUSC Health care provider. Use the promo code "COVID19" at checkout. 

    For general questions about COVID-19, the DHEC Care Line is available. Call 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. 

    • The health and safety of the Winthrop community remains the university’s top priority. As such, any travel abroad to areas designated by the CDC as travel warning level 3 or higher due to COVID-19 is prohibited. In addition, with Winthrop’s spring break March 16-20, please consider avoiding non-essential domestic travel to areas where COVID-19 cases have been identified. 
    • Please be advised that any student, faculty or staff member who chooses to travel to a country designated by the CDC as travel warning level 3 or higher due to COVID-19 or an area experiencing widespread or sustained transmission of COVID-19 domestically will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return at their permanent residence and be symptom free before they can return to campus.
    • It is important to note that travelers also could be subject to assessment by federal health officials at airports upon re-entry into the U.S. or restricted travel within your community by South Carolina health officials.
    • Winthrop faculty or staff members who are considering traveling internationally or domestically to areas where COVID-19 cases have been identified for Winthrop business from now until the end of April 2020 should consult with their supervisor and dean/vice president for approval, subject to change as circumstances warrant.
    • S.C. DHEC’s continued guidance regarding steps to take if you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing has been amended to state that you should NOT call the local health department but rather contact your health care provider for instructions.

    Winthrop is actively monitoring communications from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) for updated information and guidance. Winthrop officials are in contact with our international students on campus and those Winthrop students who are currently studying abroad. We want to ensure that all of our students are safe and healthy, wherever they may be in the world.

    As of 3/2/2020, the CDC is recommending that institutions of higher education should ‘consider postponing or canceling upcoming student foreign exchange programs and consider asking current program participants to return to their home country.’ In terms of study abroad programs, Winthrop continues to closely monitor the situation including (but not limited to) information obtained from the U.S. Department of State, as well as various news and media networks from around the world. The health and safety of Winthrop students, faculty, and staff remain our top priority and will play a significant role in any decisions made regarding current and upcoming study abroad opportunities and/or faculty led programs to international destinations.

    Additionally, Winthrop officials are preparing contingency plans for academic programs and campus operations pending COVID-19 expansion in our region. Until further notice, Winthrop asks students and employees who choose to travel to countries identified by the U.S. State Department as a Level 3 or Level 4 threat, to self-quarantine for at least 14 days upon returning to the United States.

    Faculty and staff may review workplace-related COVID-19 information here.

 

Human Resources Updates

    The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will take effect on April 1, 2020.  The FFCRA seeks to assist employees, including student employees, impacted by COVID-19 and includes two forms of paid leave, even for employees who may not otherwise be eligible for paid leave.

    • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL)
      • Provides up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for employees for six qualifying reasons related to COVID-19.
    • Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFFMLA)
      • Expands the federal Family and Medical Leave Act to provide leave for employees who are unable to work, including work-from-home, as a result of having to care for a minor child due to a COVID-19 related closure of a school or childcare center.

    Both paid leave provisions take effect April 1, 2020, and both expire December 31, 2020.

    The provisions of the FFCRA are only for those employees who cannot work, including work-from-home, as a result of COVID-19.  As directed by Governor Henry McMaster in his executive orders, supervisors should still first offer work-from-home opportunities to employees to the maximum extent possible.  Paid leave under the FFCRA will only be available to employees when work-from-home opportunities are not available.

    Leave provided under the FFCRA is available to all employees, including those who do not earn other forms of leave.  This includes temporary employees and student employees.  Employees are eligible to take leave under the EFMLA if they have been employed at least 30 calendar days.  Employees are eligible for EPSL from their first day of employment.

    Both EFMLA and EPSL will need to be specifically requested by employees using forms provided on HR’s COVID-19 Information for Employees website.   Additional guidelines may also be found on the website.  Please see the federal poster associated with the FFCRA and feel free to forward related questions to HRHelp@winthrop.edu.

    Thank you,

    Office of Human Resources, Employee Diversity, and Wellness

    Human Resources, Employee Wellness and Diversity revamped and expanded its COVID-19 information. Please see the updated site.

    Dear Colleagues,

    Our university is committed to limiting the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe. Classes are continuing through remote instruction. Critical work will continue to be done on campus, such as residential housing support, remote instruction support, IT, public safety, and some administrative services. However, unless specifically directed by their supervisor, EMPLOYEES SHOULD NOT REPORT TO CAMPUS.

    Based on guidance from Governor McMaster, beginning March 23, 2020, and until the university resumes normal operation, or until further notice, supervisors will allow employees to work remotely to the extent possible. Every effort will be made to assign remote work to employees, including temporary employees, and work may be assigned on a part-time or full-time basis. Employees may feel free to suggest work opportunities to their supervisor. Please refer to the Temporary and Remote Telecommuting/Remote Employment Guidelines for additional information.

    On Monday, March 23, 2020, employees may come to campus to retrieve work-related or personal items between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. During this time, employees are expected to be on campus only long enough to retrieve items and should not remain for an extended period of time. While on campus, employees must practice social distancing.  Employees are prohibited from bringing children to work either during this item retrieval period on March 23, 2020, or at any time during the COVID-19 event.

    Regardless of whether employees are continuing to work, timesheets and leave reports are required to be submitted according to the submission deadlines on Wingspan.  According to state guidelines, unless the governor allows leave with pay associated with emergency closures of state institutions, employees must use available leave or take leave without pay for related absences. At this time, the governor has not allowed leave with pay for this COVID-19 event.  Based on this, please refer to the information below regarding time reporting.  If at a later date the governor determines that leave with pay can be provided for all, or a portion of the time, employees would be reimbursed for leave used.

     

    All leave-eligible employees must submit timesheets or leave reports in the regular manner and according to the deadlines for reporting on Wingspan.

    • Employees who submit timesheets should report time not worked as a result of the campus closure and the social distancing directive as either sick or annual leave, compensatory time taken (if available), or leave without pay. The pay that employees who submit timesheets receive on April 1, 2020, will be for work performed March 1 – March 15, so the university closure will not be a factor.
    •  Employees who submit leave reports should report time not worked as a result of the campus closure or social distancing directive as either annual or sick leave. The pay that employees who submit leave reports receive on April 1, 2020, will be for work performed March 16 – March 31, so the university closure may be a factor.
    • During the COVID 19 event all leave earning employees are authorized to use available sick leave to cover time not worked.

    Leave-eligible employees who do not have available sick or annual leave may be advanced up to 15 days of sick leave. Employees may request an advance of sick leave using the Sick Leave Advancement Request form. Documentation from a licensed health care provider will not be required for advancement of sick leave directly connected to the COVID-19 event. All advanced leave will be repaid as the employee earns future sick leave. Employees may view their available leave balances on the Employee Detail tab on Wingspan.

    Faculty, including adjuncts, will continue to receive their regular pay.

    Temporary employees who submit timesheets and who work during the time the university is closed should submit timesheets in the normal manner, reporting only time worked. Temporary employees are not eligible for leave with pay for absences from work. Temporary employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits through the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. We strongly recommend that temporary employees contact SCDEW for additional information.

    Salaried temporary employees will continue to be paid as normal, as long as they are continuing to work or will be allowed by their supervisor to make up the time spent not working at a later date.

    Check the university’s COVID-19 page for additional tips on how to stay healthy.

    Employment-related questions may be directed to HRHelp@winthrop.edu.

 

Academic Affairs Updates

    As you have already learned, undergraduate students will have the option to elect additional S/Us on or before the final day of classes.  It is very important for you to make a well-informed decision about choosing to use S/U grading instead of a letter grade for one or more of your classes this semester.

    We want to make sure that you do not make an S/U decision that could negatively impact (1) your  Life/Hope or other scholarships, (2) your eligibility for future classes, (3) your overall academic progress, or  (4) perhaps even your upcoming graduation.  Consequently, we suggest that you speak with your advisor or the Student Services professionals in your college prior to selecting the S/U option for a particular class if you have questions or concerns. If you have already selected S/U for some or all of your classes, review that decision with your advisor and/or the Student Services professionals in your college.

    Here are only a few things you should consider:

    • If you select an S/U in all your courses, you could jeopardize your Life/Hope or Palmetto Scholarship if your GPA after fall was below a 3.000 (or you don’t have a GPA yet because Spring 2020 is your first college semester).
    • If you are graduating in May or August and need a specific course that you are taking this semester, remember that a D- in a course gives you credit for the course; a U does not.
    • If you are not graduating in May or August, you should consult your Catalog to make sure that you know the specific pre-requisite grade requirements for courses you plan to take in Fall 2020 or later in your degree program. We will accept S grades as satisfying pre-requisite requirements based upon the unique situation this semester. However, a U will not satisfy a pre-requisite requirement, whereas a D- might (unless the pre-requisite course also has a letter-grade requirement).

    Again, please use the right resources:  your specific Winthrop University Catalog, your advisor, or your Student Services professionals.  Your best friend may not have the correct information.

    Your academic progress and your health are priorities for us.  Please take advantage of the assistance available to you.

    Hello All,

    As each of you are busy performing incredible feats of re-imagination, I wanted to send a few reminders and words of encouragement:

    1) Keep checking into the coronavirus website. Important updates show up daily, such as....

    2) Students have selected times to retrieve their belongings this week, with access windows that started today and will end Saturday. This may impact their ability to respond quickly on remote assignments or advising.

    3) This is the first week. Like the first pancake, it may not be perfect. That's okay.

    4) Think "less is more," and allow yourself and the students you teach/support/advise to ease into all of this change.

    5) As you prepare for advising appointments and student problem-solving, think about places where you might tweak your normal checkpoints, such as asking students whether they are opting into additional S/U's and what they need to keep in mind if they have.

    Have a great Wednesday!

    Adrienne

    I wanted to update you on Dacus Library’s remote hours now that the university has moved to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. Librarians continue to be available to assist you and your students with resource needs. We are regularly checking the Reference Desk email (refdesk@winthrop.edu); we are on chat from 9am-9pm Monday-Thursdays, 9am-7pm Fridays, 1-6pm Saturdays, and 1-9pm Sundays; and we are offering virtual Book-a-Librarian appointments (http://libcal.winthrop.edu/appointments/).

    Please remember that to access the library’s electronic resources, you must login to your Library Account – instructions for how to set up your account and login can be found here: http://libguides.library.winthrop.edu/libraryaccount. We have a number of eBooks (which you can find through our catalog), and databases (https://libguides.library.winthrop.edu/az.php), all of which you and your students can access remotely.

    PASCAL and InterLibrary Loan (ILL) requests have been suspended for the time being. Please hold onto any materials you have from other institutions until further notice. Contact Phillip Hays (haysp@winthrop.edu) if you have questions about PASCAL or ILL.

    Lastly, we have a Library Services for COVID-19 Response guide that we update regularly with information about library services, remote access, updated electronic resources (such as electronic textbook providers!), and more: http://libguides.library.winthrop.edu/libraryservices_covid. Please share this guide with your students.

    Thank you for continuing to use the library’s resources during this unprecedented time. Please contact me (Emily Deinert, Reference Services Librarian, deinertv@winthrop.edu) if you have questions.

    Dear Winthrop Faculty and Staff,

    Let me begin by saying I am deeply impressed by the resilience and problem-solving efforts I am seeing across Academic Affairs as we all work to prepare for remote instruction, and now with new guidance from Governor McMaster, remote work from home as well! We are reinventing our jobs and roles daily, in response to rapidly changing conditions. Responding to this environment requires patience, creativity, and teamwork. I have the utmost confidence in all of you as you find new ways to deliver on your unwavering commitment to the success of our students. That is why I chose to work at Winthrop. We put student learning at the center of all we do, and that has not changed. We’ve got this!

    Please know that the Academic Leadership team, Senior Leadership, and the Board of Trustees stand ready to support you in any way possible as we shift to remote instruction and the remote work environment. Stay tuned to email for updates as we reinvent business processes. Don’t forget to utilize the resources available on our Continuity of Instruction website, which we are updating frequently as new resources are made available.

    Please communicate frequently with your students and remember that next week in particular will be a test-drive on many levels. Please provide as much flexibility in your asynchronous remote instruction plans as possible, as students will need to retrieve their personal items from the residence halls in addition to completing course work and planning for advising sessions.

    Supports are being developed for students as well, such as the resources for remote learning site provided through our Winthrop Office of Online Learning. Many other supports are available via remote access as well, including tutoring and counseling.

    A few updates for all that will help us move through the remainder of the semester with additional focus on course completion and making steady academic progress:

    • All remaining Cultural Events credits for seniors planning to graduate in May or August 2020 are being waived, as long as students meet all other degree requirements to graduate.
    • For Spring 2020 only, all students will have the option through April 28 (study day) to choose S/U as a grading method for all courses, whether they are major, minor, or elective requirements and regardless of the current number of courses they may have selected for this grading method. The Registrar will contact students regarding how to request the S/U grading method.
    • Please communicate with your students soon and frequently, if you have not already. Have contingencies for your contingencies. If you’re all set to go online or have your remote assignments lined up, that’s great! Perhaps also get cell numbers in case you need to set up another communication method.
    • Advising will also start next week, and will require adjustments as well. Cut yourself and your students some slack; it doesn’t have to be perfect. Think of this as an opportunity to look beyond the chaos of Spring 2020, and put tentative plans in place for Summer and Fall 2020 courses. Use this opportunity to review with students whether to take advantage of increased S/U options!
    • Students who are currently enrolled in internships and other experiential opportunities may have unique questions. Make sure you are prepared to answer them, with updated information from your particular college dean or department chair.
     

    Next week, in the language of my teenagers and the ancients, will be epic! But I have deep confidence in all of you. Your creativity, talent, and dedicated teamwork will see us all through the challenges ahead.

    Please check in to the campus coronvirus website frequently. News from Academic Affairs has been separated out from other updates, and will continue to be posted there in the future. I will do my best to keep you all apprised of changes as they arise. Once the dust has settled on the shift to remote instruction and remote work, you will hear from me again on plans for resuming our other work and responding to other pressing questions, such as what this means for faculty on the tenure track who are missing out on important professional development opportunities. I am thinking about and working on all of those things. Adolphus Belk and I will work together to make sure we have solutions in place in support of the faculty and staff.

    Best of luck in your remote instruction adventures, and thanks in advance for doing all you can to model positive thinking, resilience, and creative problem-solving for our students.

     

    Have a great weekend,

    Adrienne 

    Dear Winthrop Students,

    I am deeply impressed by the resilience and problem-solving skills faculty and staff are tapping into in preparation for the shift to remote instruction next week, and now with new guidance from Governor McMaster, they are figuring out how to work from home as well, just as you are! We are reinventing our jobs and roles daily, in response to rapidly changing conditions. Responding to this environment requires patience, creativity, and teamwork. I have the utmost confidence in our faculty and staff, who are unwavering in their commitment to your success.

    Next week will see us moving into remote instruction, most of which will be asynchronous, which means you will have some flexibility in when you work on assignments. This may be new to you! So please communicate regularly with your faculty and advisor as you make plans to return to campus to retrieve your personal items, and as you commence remote instruction tasks. Monitor emails and texts. Check out the resources for remote learning provided through our Winthrop Office of Online Learning. Many other supports have been moved to remote access as well, including tutoring, counseling, and general advising processes. Rest assured that we will be here to answer your questions as we work through this transition together!

    A few updates for all that will help us move through the remainder of the semester with additional focus on course completion and making steady academic progress:

    • All remaining Cultural Events credits for seniors planning to graduate in May or August 2020 are hereby waived, as long as students meet all other degree requirements to graduate.
    • For Spring 2020 only, all undergraduate students will have the option through April 28 (study day) to choose S/U as a grading method for all courses, whether they are major, minor or elective requirements and regardless of the current number of courses they may have selected for this grading method. The Registrar will contact students regarding how to request the S/U grading method. Discuss whether this is a good option for you with your advisor!
    • Advising will also start next week, and will require adjustments as well. Think of this as an opportunity to look beyond the chaos of Spring 2020, and put plans in place for Summer and Fall 2020 courses. What are your next steps? What do you need to do to be ready for them?

    Just as I am confident in the faculty and staff as they prepare to support you, I am also confident in your ability to take these changes in stride and find a path forward to complete your goals. Winthrop students impress me daily with their strength, resolve, and flexibility. Working together, a community with this much talent can get through a challenge of this size and learn things we did not know about ourselves in the process. We’ve got this! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at provost@winthrop.edu with any questions you have in the coming weeks.

    Colleagues, librarians are available to assist you and your students with resource needs during our remote instruction period. We have a number of eBooks (which you can find through our catalog), and databases (https://libguides.library.winthrop.edu/az.php), all of which you can access remotely. For instructions on how to access resources remotely, please see our Library Account Setup and Access Instructions guide (http://libguides.library.winthrop.edu/libraryaccount).

    Librarians are regularly checking the Reference Desk email (refdesk@winthrop.edu); we are on chat from 9am-5pm through the remainder of Spring Break and will be on chat from 9am-9pm Monday-Thursdays, 9am-5pm Fridays throughout the remote instruction period; and we are offering virtual Book-a-Librarian appointments (http://libcal.winthrop.edu/appointments/).

    Additionally, we have a Library Services for COVID-19 Response guide that we update regularly with information about library services, remote access, updated electronic resources, and more (http://libguides.library.winthrop.edu/libraryservices_covid). Please share this guide with your students.

    Thank you for your patience as we work on making library resources available to the Winthrop community during this unprecedented time. Please contact me (Emily Deinert, Reference Services Librarian, deinertv@winthrop.edu) if you have questions.

    Message from Adrienne McCormick, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs:

    Please find additional guidance (pdf - 330KB) from Academic Affairs as a follow up to Dr. Hynd's email from earlier today. We will continue to provide guidance as our planning unfolds. Thank you for your patience and your support of our students and each other as we work through this unprecedented situation together.

 

Student Affairs Updates

    The Winthrop University Post Office will begin forwarding student mail this week. Your mail will be forwarded to the off campus, local address that you provided in Wingspan. If an off campus address is not specified, your mail will go to your permanent address.

     

    If you do NOT want your mail forwarded to your permanent address, BUT still want it forwarded,  please logon to Wingspan and put any address in the U.S. in the off campus, local address field. Please DO NOT change the permanent address or take out your PO Box, just add an off campus, local address.

    Students who want to continue to receive mail at their current PO Boxes, within the DiGiorgio Campus Center, should contract Christina Childers via email at childersc@winthrop.edu or by calling 803-323-2293.

    Just a reminder that students have access to their PO Boxes 24/7 in the Campus Center by swiping their Winthrop ID at the ground level, outside doors near the Post Office. Please remember to use CDC recommended practices including using the provided sanitizer as soon you enter the Post Office.

    Stay safe out there!

    Dear Resident,

    As promised in our residence hall communication to you on Friday, this email will provide details of residence hall move out. Move out will be a staggered process with a priority of maintaining proper social distancing. You will need to sign up for a move out time. Each move out time slot provides a 3-hour window to arrive back to campus, pack up and move out your belongings, return your room key, and leave campus. Below is a link that will take you to the app for scheduling your move-out time. The schedule runs from Tuesday, March 24 through Saturday, 28 for move-out. It is imperative for the health and wellness of our campus community that you abide by the time you selected and confirmed. If you show up outside of the time you selected, you may be turned away. All exterior doors will be locked without resident access and includes Roddey and Courtyard residents.

    Sign up Here for a move out time: Residence Hall

    Important things to note:

    • You may ONLY bring with you two people to assist with your move-out. This is to ensure we are reducing exposure risks and promoting social distancing. Individuals who are sick, autoimmune compromised or the elderly should not assist with move-out.
    • You are strongly encouraged to bring your own moving dollies/carts and boxes. Moving bins will not be available, in order to reduce the possibility of exposure to the virus.
    • Upon arrival to campus, check in at your hall office and then proceed to your room. You will then need to collect and pack up your belongings, empty your refrigerator, dispose of trash in the dumpsters outside the building, and return your key to a designated area in each residence hall. Residents CANNOT leave any belongings behind in any case.
    • Residents who are currently quarantined, sick, or autoimmune compromised may designate one person to collect their belongings and return their key. Residents who elect to do this must email the name, contact information, and relationship to residencelife@winthrop.edu from their Winthrop email. If you do not have a designee, please email the Department of Residence Life to make alternate arrangements.
    • To forward your mail, go to Wingspan and update your local address. The Winthrop University Post Office will forward mail to that address.
    • Lofts: If you leased or rented a loft from Timbernest, leave it assembled in your room. Look out for an email from Timbernest for details. If you purchased a loft from Timbernest, you are expected to move it out along with your other possessions.

    If you live a substantial distance from campus, you are under quarantine, and/or you live in a state which has instituted “Shelter in Place Orders” and cannot get back to campus within the timeframe given, please email the Department of Residence Life at residencelife@winthrop.edu to make alternate arrangements.

    Thank you for your flexibility and understanding throughout this process and stay safe!

    This information was sent to all resident students from Residence Life to prepare students for moving out of the residence halls:

    As announced on March 19, 2020, by President Hynd, Winthrop University will be extending remote learning for the duration of the semester. Residence Life is developing a plan for residents to return to campus to collect their belongings and return their room key. This plan is being created with CDC recommendations for social distancing as a priority to ensure the health and safety of the campus community.

    Please do not show up unannounced to gather your personal belongings. It is very important that you adhere to this request. Residence Life does not have the proper staffing in place for this process yet. Students will not have access to their residence hall and will be told to return home. This includes Courtyard and Roddey residents.

    Our plan will consist of a staggered move-out process with residents selecting the date and window of time in which they will return to campus. Information about the staggered move-out process will be sent to your Winthrop University email. Please continue to monitor your email frequently.

    We thank you for your understanding and flexibility during this time.

    Health and Counseling Services posted this information for students on the website today.

    The Office of Accessibility has the following to share regarding Accessible Online Classes.

    Residence Life today sent information to all resident students with additional details on the closing of residence halls. Lee Wicker, Margaret Nance, Phelps, Richardson, Thomson, and Wofford residents received this information, while Courtyard and Roddey residents received this information.

    Residence Life shared some ways to encourage good health while living on campus in messaging that went to all resident students. That information also was posted to their website.

 

Miscellaneous Updates

    Computing and Information Technology posted these updates to assist the Winthrop community.

    Winthrop offices remain open for normal business hours.

    • During spring break and the remote instruction period March 23-April 3, Winthrop residence halls will only be available to students who are approved to remain due to specific extenuating circumstances. Residence Life provided specific guidance to residents yesterday.
    • Dining Services will operate on a limited hours schedule.  Self-service options also will be limited to avoid potential cross contamination of serving utensils.
    • Dacus Library will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. during spring break. During the March 23-April 3 remote instruction period, the library will be open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight. Note that the Information Commons Desk will close at 5 p.m.  See more information on the library’s website.
    • The West Center will be closed beginning Sunday, March 15, and is anticipated to reopen on Monday, April 6.
    • The DiGiorgio Campus Center will be closed weekends through the end of March. The building will be open for staff and limited business activities only beginning March 16  Monday-Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. until April 3.
    • All campus-related events using Winthrop facilities are cancelled through Friday, April 3, including such internal campus events as scheduled student meetings, Winthrop-sponsored events like the Model United Nations, and externally sponsored events.
    • McBryde Hall will close after an event on Saturday, March 14, and will remain closed until Thursday, March 19, when it will be cleaned and reopen. Go around the building and enter any building offices from the parking lot in front of the West Center.
    • The Athletics Department has suspended all spring regular season competition through March 30, 2020. Additionally, the Big South Conference has suspended athletic team events through March 31, 2020.

     

 

General Information

    According to the CDC, human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. COVID-19 is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness.
    Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:

    • Fever
    • Dry cough
    • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

    Person-to-person spread is occurring, likely through respiratory secretions, so it is essential to cover your cough and sneeze, and maintain personal space. People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. (source: CDC)

    There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed.
    Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

    • Practice respiratory etiquette to include:
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% rubbing alcohol.
      • Avoiding touching of eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
      • Covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; immediately discarding used tissues in a trashcan. 
      • If tissues are not readily available, the cough or sneeze may be caught by the sleeve at the elbow or shoulder.  Remove mucus or debris with a tissue and then wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Change or cover clothing contaminated with mucus to prevent spreading.
      • Washing or sanitizing hands after using tissues and after contact with respiratory secretions.
      • Wash hands after interacting with people, touching high volume places (door handles, tables, shopping carts, gas pumps, etc.), before eating, and once you arrive home.
      • Avoid shaking hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing and in the last 14 days you:

    • Traveled to Wuhan or visited an affected region in China, or
    • Visited an affected region in another affected country, or
    • Had close contact with someone who had traveled to an affected region in China or other affected country, and had respiratory symptoms

    You should:

    • Self-isolate to avoid contact with others.
    • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. Please do not utilize public transportation or just arrive at a healthcare provider’s office.
    • Winthrop students may call Health Services (803-323-2206) to request a telephone triage to discuss their health concerns with a nurse who will provide instructions about appropriate next steps.
    • Employees should contact their health care provider.
    • Do not travel while sick.
    • Practice the aforementioned steps for respiratory etiquette.
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Follow the S.C. DHEC website for updated information https://www.scdhec.gov/health/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
    • Monitor the CDC link to track cases in the U.S. and globally https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

    Travel advisories continue to change. Please monitor the CDC and WHO websites for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.

 

Corona Virus FAQ's

Last Updated: 4/2/20