March 7, 2021: TCTC Response to Governor’s Order Regarding Masks
On Friday, March 5, Governor Henry McMaster issued Executive Order No. 2021-12. The order addresses two items that pertain to Tri-County Technical College: 1) face coverings/masks are no longer required – though they are still recommended – in state buildings and 2) state agencies are to expedite the transition of all employees back to the workplace.
As outlined in TCTC Strong: Our Path Forward, the College’s return to normal operations is contingent upon not only directives from Governor McMaster but directives from the president of Tri-County Technical College and guidance from health authorities such as the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At this time, SC DHEC and the CDC still recommend that people wear face coverings/masks while indoors. Therefore, the College’s face covering/mask requirement will remain in place.
Return to Work
Human Resources is putting together a plan on how we will transition employees back to the workplace. The plan must be submitted to the state by Wednesday, March 10, and is subject to review and approval by the Department of Administration. Once we receive approval, we will communicate next steps. Until that time, please continue with your planned work schedule and location for the week of March 8, 2021.
COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Information
Even though a number of states have begun loosening restrictions, COVID-19 is still present in our communities. Until more people are vaccinated, we must remain vigilant and continue to practice the health and safety practices proven to slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes wearing face coverings/masks, practicing physical distancing, washing hands, testing for COVID-19, and getting vaccinated when eligible.
SC DHEC begins Phase 1B of its vaccination plan on Monday, March 8. Based on the eligibility criteria listed on SC DHEC’s website, we believe that TCTC employees fall under the category of frontline workers with increased occupational risk.
Those interested in obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine should contact providers directly to schedule an appointment. To locate a vaccine provider, visit scdhec.gov/vaxlocator. If you are a patient of Prisma Health or AnMed, you can schedule an appointment through your MyChart account. Local pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens and grocery store chains like Ingles and Publix also offer vaccinations.
TCTC continues to offer free on-campus saliva testing to employees through a partnership with Clemson University. Testing is available on Thursdays, 8-8:45 a.m., in Anderson Hall Room 250. Watch for an email from Marcia Leake, associate vice president of human resources, for information on how to register.
Our Path Forward
Over the past year, we have learned new ways of delivering courses and support services in a virtual environment and also how to safeguard our facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have overcome numerous obstacles, and I am proud of our accomplishments.
I am also grateful for your resilience and patience. Your adherence to the health and safety measures on campus and in the community is what allowed us to return to in-person instruction in the fall and spring, and a sustained commitment to these health and safety measures is what will allow us to expand in-person instruction this summer and fall.
For now, though, let’s focus on staying safe and finishing the spring semester strong.
In your service,
Galen DeHay, Ph.D.
On Friday, March 5, Governor Henry McMaster issued Executive Order No. 2021-12. As part of that order, the governor stated that face coverings/masks are no longer required in state buildings; however, the governor also said that face coverings/masks are still recommended.
Because the governor and health agencies like the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to recommend that people wear face coverings/masks while indoors, the College’s face covering/mask requirement will remain in place.
In addition to wearing a face covering/mask, please continue to practice physical distancing and wash your hands frequently. Please also review the COVID-19 Health Screening Form on a weekly or even daily basis. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, do not come to campus. Instead, stay home and notify Student Support by completing the COVID-19 Student Issues and Help Form. A member of the Student Response Team will contact you to determine next steps.
If you have questions or need assistance with a COVID-19 situation, please contact Student Support at (864) 646-1569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I appreciate your commitment to the health and well-being of our college community, and I look forward to the completion of an uninterrupted spring semester.
In your service,
Galen DeHay, Ph.D.