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USC to complete semester online, postpones graduation

Traditional May commencement ceremonies on all campuses will be postponed.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina will continue remote learning for students through the remainder of the Spring semester.  

Officials say students will begin online instruction as previously scheduled and it will continue through the completion of final exams in May. 

This applies to all institutions across the university system (Columbia, Aiken, Beaufort, Upstate, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter and Union). 

In addition, traditional May commencement ceremonies on all campuses will be postponed.

May commencement ceremony will not impact students’ degree completion status for those scheduled to graduate in May. 

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“I realize that these actions will be deeply disappointing to our students, particularly those who are about to graduate and were looking forward to a final semester on campus,” said UofSC President Bob Caslen. 

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Students previously granted permission to remain on campus due to extenuating circumstances will be allowed to stay. All other students residing in residence halls will have an opportunity to retrieve their belongings at a later date. University Housing is developing a schedule for retrieval and will update students as soon as possible 

Plans also are being developed for a reimbursement schedule for students who paid for university housing, parking and meal plans. The state’s Commission on Higher Education also is coordinating with colleges and universities to ensure student investments are protected. 

What is the Coronavirus? 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as pneumonia. DHEC is working with CDC to identify all those who might have been in contact with these individuals. These people will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

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People can help to prevent the spread of the virus in the following ways:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using 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. And, always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • stay home when you’re sick.
  • cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and put it in the trash immediately.
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • get the influenza vaccine.

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For general questions about COVID-19 residents should visit the DHEC website at scdhec.gov/COVID19 or the CDC website here.

For residents concerned about their own personal health or are showing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your personal doctor or healthcare provider. DHEC has launched its Care Line. If residents have general questions about COVID-19, the DHEC Care Line is here to help. Call 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call volume has been high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time.

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