The Governor's School's highest priority is the health and safety of our students and employees. Please review the following information and resources to stay informed on the latest school and COVID-19 updates.

School Updates

For Students, Parents, and Employees: While the school updates below are general announcements to the Governor's School community, we ask that students, parents, and employees check their school email accounts regularly for updated information and specific instructions.

August 4, 2021

Dear Govie Community: 

We are eagerly anticipating everyone’s return to campus and the start of the 2021-2022 school year! The opening of school is always a time of excitement and celebration on our campus. As we make preparations, we continue to work to support a safe, healthy community for all members.

On Thursday, July 29, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) provided updates to all schools through their COVID-19 Interim Guidance for K-12 School Operations. This document provides direction for plans for the reopening of schools statewide. In alignment with these guidelines, the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities has implemented the following protocols for our campus.

COVID-19 Vaccination: DHEC states that vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, vaccination with Pfizer vaccine is available to all people aged 12 years and above. Vaccination with the Moderna and Janssen vaccines is available to those 18 years and above. For these reasons, the COVID-19 vaccination is encouraged, but not required, of any community member. The school does not track, request, or otherwise identify which members of the community are vaccinated, except when a community member voluntarily provides vaccination information to limit isolation as outlined below. We encourage you to talk with your healthcare provider about the vaccine and its applicability to your individual needs. The vaccine remains readily available to all South Carolinians. Visit DHEC’s website for more information and to find a vaccination site near you.

Masks: Consistent with DHEC’s guidance, all members of our school community are encouraged to wear face coverings when indoors, but consistent with state law are not required to do so. DHEC notes:

Masks are strongly recommended to be worn at all times in school facilities (classroom and non-classroom settings), with exceptions for specific people (children under 2 years old,anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone unable to remove the face covering without assistance), or for certain settings or activities, such as while eating or drinking or when alone in an office.

Documentation or opt-out forms are not required for any community member who chooses to not wear a mask. Community members must provide their own face coverings. Those participating in performing arts activities (i.e. dancing or movement classes, singing, shouting or projecting the voice, playing wind instruments, etc.) are encouraged to use appropriate protective equipment such as face shields and instrument covers due to the increased exhalation involved in these activities. This equipment is available from the school. While masks are not generally recommended outdoors, we do encourage those accessing downtown Greenville to use masks due to the congested nature and current high rate of transmission. 

Consistent with DHEC guidance and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order, all users of school vehicles are required to wear masks while on such transportation.

Exposure and Contact Tracing: The school follows current DHEC protocols for isolating/excluding those exposed to COVID-19. The school utilizes the full exclusion timeframe as outlined by DHEC and has not opted for an abbreviated protocol.

Fully vaccinated people and people verified (positive PCR or antigen test) to have been infected with COVID-19 in the previous 90 days who were in close contact with someone who has COVID- 19 but do not have COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms. Individuals may voluntarily choose to provide documentation of their full vaccination status to eliminate the need for quarantine. Fully vaccinated people are recommended to get tested 3-5 days after exposure, even if they do not have symptoms, and it is important for them to wear a mask at school until 14 days after exposure or they receive a negative test result. Asymptomatic close contacts who have been previously fully vaccinated or tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days may voluntarily provide documentation in order to opt out of quarantine/exclusion. Documentation for students should be provided to the Health Services office and documentation for employees should be provided to Human Resources.

Staying Away When Ill: All members of our campus community are required to remain off campus when exhibiting symptoms of any contagious illness. Separating from the school community when ill is one of the most effective strategies to limit the spread of illness. Further, the SCGSAH follows the DHEC School Exclusion List criteria for all illnesses. For questions about exclusion from school, please contact Suzanne Munson, RN.

Testing: The school does not currently offer COVID-19 testing on site. We will, however, explore voluntary surveillance testing if it is provided by DHEC and the South Carolina Department of Education. Further details will be provided at a later time should the school provide this option.

Layers of Protection: It is important that all members of the school community utilize layers of protection, including frequent hand washing, social distancing whenever possible, and reporting of health concerns. Hand sanitizing stations remain available across campus. DHEC notes that there are ways to minimize community transmission, including: vaccination; mask use; physical distancing; contact tracing, in combination with isolation and quarantine; staying home when sick and getting tested; screening testing to promptly identify cases, clusters, and outbreaks; ventilation; handwashing and respiratory etiquette; and cleaning and disinfection.

Bullying: All members of the SCGSAH community are supported in their choices regarding vaccination and masking. Bullying or harassment based upon COVID-19 healthcare decisions will not be tolerated and should be immediately reported to the appropriate school official.

Should you have any questions, families should contact Suzanne Munson and employees should contact LaTomya Doctor. We look forward to a healthy and engaging new year.


Sincerely,

Matthew Burns
Vice-President for Student Development

August 24, 2021

Dear Govie Community,

Thank you for your efforts in adhering to our campus safety protocols as we opened the fall semester. Our students and employees have made a great effort in maintaining a level of wellness on the campus and I commend every member of the Govie community for their commitment to the cause of guarding our collective health.  

Given the continued spread of the delta variant in recent days and the increase of COVID-19 cases in our local community, we are reinstating our symptom monitoring program effective Wednesday, August 25. This program requires a quick self-survey prior to the start of each day on campus. Students and employees will receive a direct link to the survey.

In line with the most recent guidance from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), our previously communicated protocols for the campus remain as follows:

COVID-19 Vaccination/Mask Use
While the proviso issued by the Governor and General Assembly does not support mandatory COVID-19 vaccines or masks in public schools, consistent with current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation, students and employees are encouraged to accept the vaccine if they are eligible at this time. Unvaccinated individuals may require a longer quarantine period as determined by their vaccination status should one be necessary. DHEC has made the vaccine readily available at sites across South Carolina. Full information on vaccination locations may be found here. Additionally, students and employees are encouraged to wear masks whenever indoors, in the presence of others, whenever a minimum of 3 feet social distance is not possible, and/or in large groups.

Campus Visitors
Effective immediately, all campus visitors, including parents/guardians and outside contractors, will be required to wear a mask in any SCGSAH facility or when engaging SCGSAH students. Visitors should maintain social distancing for the duration of their time on campus.

Staying Away When Ill
All members of the campus community are required to remain off campus when exhibiting the symptoms of any contagious illness. As a public school, the Governor’s School follows the School Exclusion List as promulgated by DHEC. This list provides information about when any member of a school community should be away from campus for the health and safety of all. Many common symptoms and illnesses are listed, including influenza, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and respiratory distress. Isolation rooms in the residence hall are provided only for the time required for a parent to travel to Greenville. Long-term on-campus isolation is not available.

Exposure Control
The SCGSAH follows DHEC protocols for any potential COVID-19 exposure. Specific school personnel are responsible for exposure control and coordination with DHEC: Suzanne Munson for students and LaTomya Doctor for employees. Both of them will follow the most recent DHEC guidance, issued July 29, 2021, outlining direct steps for schools to take in the case of suspected or known exposure.

Symptomatic Individuals: If an individual is exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as noted by a medical professional, they are required to quarantine and are strongly encouraged to be tested. Testing is available at many DHEC sites across South Carolina at no cost. Symptomatic individuals must remain off campus until symptoms resolve and/or they receive a negative test.

Individuals with a Positive COVID-19 Test: If an individual receives a positive COVID-19 test, they must follow DHEC’s isolation protocol. These steps include remaining away from the school campus for ten days from the onset of symptoms and being symptom-free on return. Further, the individual must provide a list of close contacts as defined by DHEC.

Contact Tracing: Contact tracing begins upon notification of a positive COVID-19 test result. DHEC defines close contact among students in the K-12 setting as those unvaccinated students within 3 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period from 48 hours prior to symptom onset (or specimen collection for an asymptomatic infected person) until the infected person meets criteria for release from isolation. While mask use among unvaccinated individuals of all individuals age two years and older is strongly recommended, the presence or absence of masks does not affect the DHEC definition of a close contact for K-12 students. As the SCGSAH does not track vaccination status, all individuals meeting this time and distance are notified.

DHEC notes the following information for those fully vaccinated:

Fully vaccinated people and people verified (positive PCR or antigen test) to have been infected with COVID-19 in the previous 90 days who were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 but do not have COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms. Individuals may voluntarily choose to provide documentation of their full vaccination status to eliminate the need for quarantine. Fully vaccinated people are recommended to get tested 3-5 days after exposure, even if they do not have symptoms, and it is important for them to wear a mask at school until 14 days after exposure or they receive a negative test result.

For those not fully vaccinated, quarantine is required. Individuals must remain off-campus for 14 days. Returning to school after 14 days requires being symptom-free. We strongly encourage any individual required to quarantine to test for COVID-19.

Testing: The current offerings for on-site testing require staffing and facilities unavailable on our small campus. In the past two weeks, DHEC has begun sharing information about a staffed testing option. We have indicated our interest in this program as it develops. As testing is an individual and family decision and due to the logistical challenges involved, we do not have the resources to provide transportation to testing sites. We are happy, however, to connect families to free testing locations statewide. Those are also available on DHEC’s website.

Please note that our procedures will remain aligned with the revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). In the same manner, as we have expressed throughout the pandemic, the Governor’s School respects the opinions of all individuals with regard to vaccinations and/or masking and does not permit or condone bullying or harassment in any form against those with differing healthcare opinions related to COVID-19.

We will continue monitoring the guidance of DHEC and the CDC and will make appropriate updates to our policies as additional information is made available. As always, your continued efforts in supporting the mission of the Governor’s School are deeply appreciated.

Sincerely,

Cedric L. Adderley, DMA
President

September 20, 2021

Dear Govie Community,
 
As stated in last Saturday’s Weekly Bulletin, COVID-19 testing is now available on the Governor’s School campus every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the gymnasium. The free PCR tests are provided through the statewide partnership with DHEC and MAKO Laboratories. 
 
Testing is voluntary and restricted to Governor’s School students and employees. Appointments are not required and all tests will be administered on a walk-in basis during the designated timeframe. Students under the age of 18 are required to complete a one-time consent form which will be kept on file by both MAKO Labs and our Office of Student Services. Families may return the consent form to studentlife@scgsah.org.
 
Please be advised that we will continue with all previously communicated health and safety protocols and testing does not eliminate the requirement for symptomatic students to be excluded from school.
 
We greatly appreciate the tireless efforts of Ms. Suzanne Munson, Coordinator of Health Services, in securing these services for the Governor’s School community. If there are any questions regarding our process for on-campus COVID-19 testing, Ms. Munson can be reached at suzannemunson@scgsah.org.
 
Sincerely,
Cedric Adderley, DMA
President

View the COVID-19 Dashboard

COVID-19 Protocols

COVID-19 Vaccination/Mask Use

While the proviso issued by the Governor and General Assembly does not support mandatory COVID-19 vaccines or masks in public schools, consistent with current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation, students and employees are encouraged to accept the vaccine if they are eligible at this time. Unvaccinated individuals may require a longer quarantine period as determined by their vaccination status should one be necessary. DHEC has made the vaccine readily available at sites across South Carolina. Full information on vaccination locations may be found here. Additionally, students and employees are encouraged to wear masks whenever indoors, in the presence of others, whenever a minimum of 3 feet social distance is not possible, and/or in large groups.

Campus Visitors

Effective immediately, all campus visitors, including parents/guardians and outside contractors, will be required to wear a mask in any SCGSAH facility or when engaging SCGSAH students. Visitors should maintain social distancing for the duration of their time on campus.

Staying Away When Ill

All members of the campus community are required to remain off campus when exhibiting the symptoms of any contagious illness. As a public school, the Governor’s School follows the School Exclusion List as promulgated by DHEC. This list provides information about when any member of a school community should be away from campus for the health and safety of all. Many common symptoms and illnesses are listed, including influenza, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and respiratory distress. Isolation rooms in the residence hall are provided only for the time required for a parent to travel to Greenville. Long-term on-campus isolation is not available.

Exposure Control

The SCGSAH follows DHEC protocols for any potential COVID-19 exposure. Specific school personnel are responsible for exposure control and coordination with DHEC: Suzanne Munson for students and LaTomya Doctor for employees. Both of them will follow the most recent DHEC guidance, issued July 29, 2021, outlining direct steps for schools to take in the case of suspected or known exposure.

Symptomatic Individuals: If an individual is exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as noted by a medical professional, they are required to quarantine and are strongly encouraged to be tested. Testing is available at many DHEC sites across South Carolina at no cost. Symptomatic individuals must remain off campus until symptoms resolve and/or they receive a negative test.

Individuals with a Positive COVID-19 Test: If an individual receives a positive COVID-19 test, they must follow DHEC’s isolation protocol. These steps include remaining away from the school campus for ten days from the onset of symptoms and being symptom-free on return. Further, the individual must provide a list of close contacts as defined by DHEC.

Contact Tracing: Contact tracing begins upon notification of a positive COVID-19 test result. DHEC defines close contact among students in the K-12 setting as those unvaccinated students within 3 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period from 48 hours prior to symptom onset (or specimen collection for an asymptomatic infected person) until the infected person meets criteria for release from isolation. While mask use among unvaccinated individuals of all individuals age two years and older is strongly recommended, the presence or absence of masks does not affect the DHEC definition of a close contact for K-12 students. As the SCGSAH does not track vaccination status, all individuals meeting this time and distance are notified.

DHEC notes the following information for those fully vaccinated:

  • Fully vaccinated people and people verified (positive PCR or antigen test) to have been infected with COVID-19 in the previous 90 days who were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 but do not have COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms. Individuals may voluntarily choose to provide documentation of their full vaccination status to eliminate the need for quarantine. Fully vaccinated people are recommended to get tested 3-5 days after exposure, even if they do not have symptoms, and it is important for them to wear a mask at school until 14 days after exposure or they receive a negative test result.
  • For those not fully vaccinated, quarantine is required. Individuals must remain off-campus for 14 days. Returning to school after 14 days requires being symptom-free. We strongly encourage any individual required to quarantine to test for COVID-19.

Testing: The current offerings for on-site testing require staffing and facilities unavailable on our small campus. In the past two weeks, DHEC has begun sharing information about a staffed testing option. We have indicated our interest in this program as it develops. As testing is an individual and family decision and due to the logistical challenges involved, we do not have the resources to provide transportation to testing sites. We are happy, however, to connect families to free testing locations statewide. Those are also available on DHEC’s website.

COVID-19 Resources

The links below contain updated information from the following government agencies.