After careful consideration and significant consultation with the University’s COVID-19 public health strategy team and external health consultants, University leadership has made the decision to revert to online-only instruction following the Thanksgiving holiday for the final two weeks of the Fall semester.
The final day of in-person instruction will be Tuesday, Nov. 24.
The health strategy team projects the need to quarantine or isolate at least 200 students in the first week following the Thanksgiving break should students return to campus from the holiday. Additionally, students would continue to need to be tested for COVID-19 upon their return through the end of final examination period on Dec. 11, which could result in some students being quarantined or isolated well into the year-end holiday break should they become infected or exposed to the virus.
The University is strongly encouraging all students to not return to campus or the surrounding community following the Thanksgiving break. Those students whose personal circumstances are such that remaining on campus, or returning following the holiday, is their best option can request permission to remain in their residence hall. Details on how to request an exception will be forthcoming soon.
On-campus resident students and unlimited meal plan holders who do not return to campus will receive a credit or refund for the unused portions of their housing and dining contracts.
As announced last week, the University’s academic calendar for the Spring semester remains unchanged at this point, although we reserve the right to change course if the situation warrants. As we approach the Spring semester, and with the help of our public health strategy team, we will provide specific guidance about how to prepare for our return to campus in January.
The University’s aggressive testing strategy, data-driven decision making and the largely responsible behavior of our students, has placed us in a position to successfully complete the Fall semester in the face of a most challenging environment. The decision to not bring students back to campus for classes following the Thanksgiving break, we feel, gives us the best chance to complete the semester and greatly minimizes the possibility of some students being forced to spend part of their year-end break in quarantine or isolation.
Asking students to not return after Thanksgiving reduces the likelihood of an increase in transmission of the virus in the broader community over the holidays. It also will give our staff and faculty valuable time to prepare for a more normal Spring semester with increased in-person teaching and activities.
We want to thank our faculty, staff and students who have worked so hard this semester to make it possible for Clemson to offer some in-person instruction and on-campus activities. It is our hope that this decision will provide a strong foundation for a successful Spring semester.
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