Students - August 18, 2021

Dear Campus Community:

On August 5th I wrote you noting that our mitigation strategy for COVID-19 is evolving and exists in a dynamic environment. We have certainly seen that reflected in South Carolina’s higher education community in the last 24 hours. 

With yesterday’s S.C. Supreme Court decision allowing mask/face covering requirements at public higher education institutions, I was prompted to consult our Board of Trustees and discuss with our leadership team the institution pivoting quickly to a mask/face covering requirement for the Winthrop community to prevent the spread of the virus on campus. That suggestion had been the recommendation of the COVID response team earlier this summer, and I am pleased we will now be able to exercise the autonomy that we had hoped to have at that time to help ensure the health and safety of our community this fall. 

With the full support of the trustees and our leadership, the face coverings requirement will be in effect immediately for all members of the campus community, regardless of vaccination status, while around others indoors in all of our campus facilities, including classrooms and laboratories. 

The mask requirement does not apply in a student’s own residence hall room, a faculty or staff member’s private office (if alone) or while eating/drinking indoors on campus. Masks are not required outdoors unless gathering in close proximity to others. As we continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our community, we will periodically review this requirement and its continued implementation, guided by advice and recommendations of the CDC and SCDHEC. 

I hope you will once again embrace change in this pandemic and graciously do your part to help ensure we can continue to offer the exceptional educational experience that our students deserve and that we have a reputation for providing. 

Mask up, Eagles, so we can continue to fly safely this fall!



George W. Hynd
Interim President