CIU 2021 COVID-19 Response

CIU's Coronavirus Response

University officials continue monitoring the latest developments with the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on University operations. Updates and new information will be added as needed and the community will be notified through email and updates to the website.

CIU continues to be open and operational.

For reliable, up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 please visit the Center for Disease Control’s website.

Please see below for the latest update from CIU.  If you have additional concerns or questions, you may contact the school at (800) 777-2227.

From the President

Greetings from CIU!

As you know, March 2020 we made the decision to extend spring break and transition all instruction online for the remainder of the semester. The feedback we received from our students is that they appreciate all we did to keep them safe and help them finish the semester; however, they are eager to be back on campus. Therefore, after much consideration, we have chosen to reopen campus in the fall.

We have learned much and continue to learn much about the challenges associated with COVID-19.  To address these challenges and safely reopen this fall, we created a team to identify the practices and procedures that need to be in place as students return. The plan this team developed takes into consideration the advice of local and national public health authorities on how to mitigate the spread of the virus and how to deal with potential cases.

The following core principles guided the development of the plan:

  • We want to do everything we can to maintain the health and safety of our community
  • We want to take all appropriate steps to mitigate the spread of the virus
  • We want to maintain our strong academic and student life offerings
  • We want to continue to sustain the university through this difficult period

Please join with me in praying for God’s wisdom and protection in the coming semester. This will truly be a time when we have the opportunity to live out our core value of prayer and faith.


In Christ,

Mark Smith


2020-2021 Calendar

Our commitment to the safety, health and well-being of the CIU community has been the priority in decision-making for the 2021 Academic year.  To minimize risk of potential COVID-19 exposure while allowing classroom meeting time we have made two adjustments to the calendar for the fall semester.  

Fall classes began as scheduled on August 24 and will end on December 11 with all currently scheduled breaks.

While the semester will end as planned on Friday, December 11, on-campus meetings will end Tuesday, November 24, and students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving.

Faculty will work to structure their courses so that students will have the option to finish most or all coursework by November 24 or complete online through December 11. The December Commencement will be combined with the May 2021 Commencement.

The Spring 2021 term will begin as scheduled on Monday, January 11 and follow the published schedule as noted in the complete 2020-2021 Academic Calendar.  The semester will end as planned on April 30, 2021.

Any additional safety measures will be communicated via

Student Life

Health and Wellness

Student Health

CIU Health Services will follow COVID-19 policies and procedures recommended by the American College Health Association (ACHA). Working in collaboration with a partner health care organization and/or local public health department, Health Services will:
  • Ask students in the residence halls to report health concerns to their RA/RD. All other students and employees should use the “” e-mail.
  • Direct students, faculty or staff with symptoms to testing locations.
  • Work with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to complete contact tracing, identification and quarantine of all persons exposed to COVID-19.
  • Handle case management of all persons with COVID-19 symptoms and/or diagnosis and all persons under quarantine after exposure, including placement in isolation/quarantine housing, psychological support, support for basic needs and ongoing monitoring while isolated.
  • Carry out ongoing tracking of influenza-like illness (ILI) and COVID-19 symptoms, through and other means.

Counseling Services

The need for the possibility of increased counseling will be monitored.

  • Counseling will be available in person or virtually.
  • Telehealth options are being explored based on recommendations from South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc. (SCICU).

Screening Protocol

  • Prior to arrival, all students will be asked to acknowledge that they are in good health, symptom free, and not still under any quarantine period.
  • Upon arrival (Residence Hall Students only), and prior to moving in, students will be asked to verify their statement of good health submitted prior to coming. Each student’s temperature will be taken.
  • Once the semester has begun, Health Services will be able to provide temperature checks for concerned students. Students in the Residence Halls may see their RA or the Residence Life Office for temperature checks.
  • All guests and vendors coming on campus must wear masks unless they severely prohibit the purpose for why the person(s) is here (chapel speakers, guest musicians, visiting faculty, etc.). Temperature checks will be provided as much as possible if not verified before arrival. The Physical Plant, Hallmark and Tree of Life will communicate expectations to any vendors coming to campus to assist them.
  • Self-monitoring apps are being explored that will give students the capability to track their own health. If an app is selected, students would not report daily information, only when health concerns are indicated.

Quarantine Procedures

If a residence hall student is symptomatic and Health Services determines that quarantining is recommended, or if a residence hall student tests positive for COVID-19, the following steps will be taken:

  • The student will be asked to return home for the quarantine period. CIU will assist the student, within reason and where possible, in getting home.
  • If returning home is not an option:
    • The first option for quarantining on campus is the Alumni Guest Rooms. Students will be housed one per room.
      • Health Services will do daily checks on the students(at a minimum, though not necessarily in person) and give further guidance as necessary.
      • Physical Plant will provide additional cleaning in the room/residence hall where the student was housed.
      • Hallmark/Security will assist in the delivery of meals to any students quarantined in the Alumni Guest Rooms.
      • The student will be permitted to return to their original room once cleared by Health Services.
      • Physical Plant will provide thorough cleaning of the guest room once it is vacated.  It is suggested by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that we wait 24-48 hours before the deep cleaning.
    • The second option for quarantining residence hall students is the use of the RA rooms. RA rooms have a bathroom inside each room and will allow the student to stay on the hall without having to use the common restroom/shower facilities located on each hall.
      • When the room is needed, the RA will relocate into the room with the hall's CLC, allowing the RA room to be prepped for the student to be quarantined.
      • The same service procedures will follow as explained above.
      • The student will return to their original room once cleared by Health Services.
      • The RA will not return to their room in case the room is needed in the future.
    • Per DHEC guidelines, if a student tests positive on the hall, we will likely require students on that hall, or a defined portion of that hall, to quarantine in place for the prescribed 14-day period. Health Services will monitor and recommend testing as determined by CDC/DHEC criteria. Students who wish to leave and return home for the quarantine period will be permitted to do so.

Contact Tracing

DHEC will perform contact tracing with individuals who test positive for COVID-19. They have stated that they will determine, from the individual, who has sustained significant contact and inform those individuals of their exposure.

  • CIU will determine whether a general announcement needs to be made to those suspected of significant exposure. The decision will depend on the location and role of the individual testing positive. (Significant exposure is defined as more than 15 minutes of contact within six feet of the person testing positive).
  • Any individual who tests positive will be reminded by CIU of their responsibility to follow through with DHEC as well as personally contacting any individuals with whom they have spent significant time.

Student Wellness Training

  • All training materials will be provided by the CDC and ACHA.
  • Student Life staff will undergo general training in August prior to students’ arrival.
  • All student leaders will receive general training during the student leaders retreat prior to the arrival of new students.
  • RDs and RAs will receive more in-depth training during their student leader retreat.
  • Residence hall students will receive training at the initial All-Residence Meeting held the second day of the semester. Additional instruction will be provided at Hall meetings by the RAs and CLCs at the start of the semester and as needed throughout the semester. 

Fitness Center

  • Signage will be posted stating:
    • 6 foot social distancing is recommended
    • Keep hands washed / sanitized
    • Masks are encouraged
  • Each room will have additional “sanitation stations” to promote hand sanitation.
  • Student workers will have additional sanitation and monitoring duties.
  • Additional cleaning will be provided for each venue.

Student Leaders and Student Events

Students will be educated on the risks of attending gatherings and events off-campus during Welcome Week, All Resident meetings, Hall meetings and periodically through CIU’s communication channels.

  • Student events will take place in the largest reasonable venue for the specific event, not exceeding adjusted maximum capacity based on state and federal guidelines for group gatherings.
  • Upon arrival at events, students will check-in through the touchless QR code feature integrated into the CIU app. By checking into the event, students will acknowledge the risks associated with the event and waive liability for COVID-19. Checking into the app also increases the accuracy of contact tracing.
  • Student Leaders will be trained prior to the start of the semester on CIU’s social distancing policies and how to plan events accordingly, including guidelines for utilizing or obtaining additional technology for livestreaming, virtual events or other resources necessary.
  • All student events that include catering will follow guidelines developed by Hallmark Dining Services.
  • The Physical Plant will be notified of all events and the spaces used in order to follow their protocols for proper cleaning before and after events, as well as to provide any necessary supplies for events (i.e. hand sanitizing stations).

Residence Halls – plan on file


Rooms are set up to provide distancing for occupants while sleeping/studying.


Residence Life Staff, RAs and CLCs will undergo additional training prior to students arriving related to public health concerns, social distancing guidelines and the use of personal protective equipment.

Move-in Plans

  • A schedule will be created with time slots for students to move in.
  • There will be staggered move-in times available to maintain a level of social distancing.
  • Students will be asked their preferences regarding other students helping them move in.
  • Generally, families will help students move their belongings with limited outside help.

Lounges and Other Common Areas

  • Students will have access to lounges and lobbies by appointment only.
  • The number of students in common areas will be limited.
  • Guidelines will be posted.
  • No outside guests will be allowed in common areas other than the lobbies of Memorial and Founders.
  • Masks are encouraged.
  • The Physical Plant will increase the level of cleaning and sanitization.

Open Dorms

  • There will be no open dorms during the fall semester. 
  • No outside visitors will be allowed in the residence halls except for the main lounges in Memorial and Founders. 
  • Residents who wish to socialize with residents from other halls should do so in the Student Center, other campus common areas (not including residence halls) or outside.

Laundry Facilities

  • The use of laundry facilities will be by appointment only. 
  • Sign-ups will be posted. 
  • Each residence hall will be given certain days each week to use the laundry facilities.
  • Students will need to remain in the laundry area while doing their laundry.
  • Masks are encouraged while doing laundry.

Restroom Facilities

  • Residents should use the restroom closest to their room.
  • Disinfectant/wipes will be available for clean-up between use.

Emergency Evacuation

Plans will be formulated to ensure a level of social distancing during tornado and fire drills.

Daily Health Checks

  • Students are responsible to follow the “self-check guidelines” posted in their rooms.
  • Each day students will be asked to initial a statement that they have complied with the guidelines and are healthy.


  • Sanitization dispensers will be located near entry/exit points
  • Cleaning agents will be available on each hall for residents.
  • Necessary supplies will be provided by both the Physical Plant (cleaning agents, hand sanitizer) and Health Services (touchless thermometers, disposable thermometers, masks).


Social distancing will be practiced in coordination with the seating schematics developed by the Registrar’s Office.

  • The use of additional locations, live feeds and outside events will be considered in the development of the fall chapel plan.
  • Plans will be developed for the entering and exiting of each potential chapel venue.
  • There is a possibility of having two chapels back-to-back with half of the students going to chapel and the other half going to class or lunch, the other half would attend chapel the second session. This would also alleviate the rush to the cafeteria immediately following chapel.
  • Previously scheduled events are being revisited and adjusted to comply with seating capacity based on social distancing guidelines. (Andrew Peterson speaking and concert during World Christian Week). Use of the CIU app for students attending the event will allow for an “acceptance of risk” sign-off as well as a list of attendees for contact tracing.


Students in the residence halls will be asked to report health concerns to their RA/RD. All other students and employees should use the “” e-mail.


CIU’s food service provider, Hallmark, has produced its own “HMS Safe Reopening Plan COVID-19,” which details specific procedures for the cafeteria and its workers. Highlights include:

  • Daily screening of employees.
  • Instructions for use of personal protective equipment, i.e., masks and gloves.
  • Procedures for cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Preparation of meals for students in quarantine.
  • Provision for social distancing in the dining room.
  • Changes to systems of food delivery to minimize contact, with self-service options being eliminated except for pre-packaged items.

International and Out-of-State Students

Pre-screening will take place via e-mail or Zoom call. Upon arrival, students will verify their current health (verbal screening/temperature check). If symptomatic, students will be requested to quarantine for 14 days. Students will follow online screening procedures to determine if testing is necessary.

  • From that page students will click “Check Your Symptoms and Risk for COVID-19” and create a free Cigna Health log-in.
  • CIU will not impose any quarantine period or requirement for testing beyond what is required at the US border (point of entry to the US) or required/recommended by DHEC and/or the CDC.

CIU Code of Conduct (Student Handbook)

The CIU Student Handbook will be updated to reflect the following:

  • Release of financial obligations in the event of closure due to local, state or national guidance due to a second outbreak.
    • In the event of school closure or a shortened term due to external mandate (state or federal government action) or natural disaster, Columbia International University cannot be held fiscally responsible for any tuition costs, room & board costs or fees lost by any student due to the closure. This closure may come as the result of weather, pandemic or other state/national/global crisis that is completely out of the control of CIU.
  • Sanctions will be put in place for persistent violators of social distancing guidelines, quarantining restrictions or general careless behavior demonstrating negligence toward the CIU student body, faculty and/or staff.
    • Individuals not adhering to social distancing guidelines may be denied access to campus facilities, classrooms, offices, programs and activities and services. Reckless and/or intentional disregard will result in corrective action for students or disciplinary action for employees. Reckless and/or intentional disregard by student organizations will result in a probationary period and temporary loss of funding.
  • Residence Hall guidelines/requirements will be communicated at the All-Residents Meeting (and in a follow-up e-mail) and each student’s signed acknowledgement of the Residence Life Handbook covers additional items communicated by the Residence Life Office.

Pine View Properties

  • New Pine View student residents (except families contained in a single unit) should also undergo a prescreening process before being permitted to move in to their space. Temperature checks may be administered at move-in and new student residents manifesting symptoms will be asked to quarantine off campus for a 14-day period. CIU will not be able to provide a quarantine location.
  • Should a person test positive who is a member of the Pine View community, the same contact tracing steps will be taken as mentioned above.
  • The options for quarantining are limited. Residents will not be required to vacate their apartment unless they are in violation of CIU’s lifestyle standards, have failed to pay rent, no longer meet the eligibility requirements or otherwise violate the terms of their lease.
  • Current Pine View student residents will be asked to quarantine within their own homes. In the case of roommates, Pine View may offer to quarantine affected individuals in a vacant Pine View apartment pending availability. Pine View cannot guarantee a vacant apartment will be available, nor can they guarantee a furnished apartment.
  • Student residents will be provided guidelines for cleaning procedures should it be necessary for the person testing positive to quarantine in place.  (Pine View management and Health Services can provide information for cleaning procedures during the quarantine period and at the end of the period).
Academics and Classrooms

Masks are encouraged for all students in classrooms. Classrooms will be configured to promote physical distancing. Room-specific plans have been developed for every classroom and instructional space, including studios and rehearsal spaces.

Each classroom will be equipped with a sanitation station, providing supplies so students and faculty can clean surfaces and shared computers and equipment when they enter and leave the space.

All courses will be designed and taught in ways that allow students who must be quarantined along with others who must shift to fully remote learning to continue to complete the course. Faculty will communicate with students throughout the quarantine or remote learning period to ensure that students understand the expectations of and resources available to them.

Classes / Teaching Plan

  • Faculty will prepare classes to be delivered online, if needed, in case of a possible transition to fully remote learning. This could occur if there is a regional resurgence of the virus or if the campus experiences enough cases to make temporary closure of the campus necessary.
  • Faculty will be urged to accept assignments via electronic means in order to limit students’ use of public printers and copiers, which are high touch items.
  • Faculty will receive resources to help them with online course development.
  • CIU will have a lenient absence policy in the fall granting flexibility in assignments for those who are sick or quarantined. Students who become ill should alert faculty and stay away from class.
  • Students are encouraged to wear masks in class and in situations where social distancing is not practical.
  • In order to reduce the amount of travel off campus in the fall, as many on-campus Christian Service Learning assignments will be developed as possible.
  • Faculty will make adjustments in the weighting of attendance and/or class participation grades for students who are quarantined or ill.

Class Size and Classroom Modifications Necessary for Social Distancing

  • Appropriate distance in classroom seating will be accomplished by:
    • Placing classes in larger classrooms.
    • Removing seats from classrooms.
    • Using the Chapel and other non-standard spaces as classrooms.
    • Rescheduling classes if needed, depending on the spaces available and needed during high usage times.
    • Dividing classes into smaller sections and using larger classroom spaces.
  • CIU will provide for frequent cleaning of classrooms, making sure chairs/desks/tables are wiped down.
  • Disinfectant wipes will possibly be available in classrooms to allow students to clean classroom surfaces.
  • Faculty will be encouraged to use assessment alternatives to avoid proctored exams, reducing large gatherings of people.
  • Faculty will be encouraged to use remote means for one-on-one advising.

Calendars / Schedules / Registrar / Enrollment Management

Semester Calendar

  • The semester will begin on the published date of August 24.
  • The last day of on-campus class will be Tuesday, November 24.
  • The last two weeks of the semester, including instruction and final assessments, will be available online.
  • Students will have the capability of completing all course requirements before they leave for Thanksgiving.
  • The semester will formally end on the published date of Friday, December 11.
  • Fall commencement will be cancelled and graduates will participate in the Spring 2021 commencement.

Library and Academic Success Center

Social distancing will be practiced in the library.

No in-person workshops will be held. All workshops will be held virtually using Canvas.

Group study rooms:

  • Group study rooms 109, 114, 115, 116, and 118 will be open.
  • Group study room 117 will be closed and used for quarantining purposes.
  • The second-floor study rooms will be used by the Academic Success Center or for projects.
  • Only two students at a time will be allowed to use 109, 115, and 116 with a one-hour time limit
  • Room 114 will be limited to five students.

The stacks will be open to patrons. Signage about social distancing and proper placement of touched items will be installed.

Circulation of Tangible Items

Checkout: a self-checkout system will be employed. A standalone checkout station in front of the service desk area will be installed.

Check-in: patrons will place materials in the external or internal book-drops.

Disinfecting/cleaning of materials:

  • There will be a 72-hour quarantine of collection items, including all material returned via the two book drops.
Loan procedures:
  • Fines will not be charged on institution-owned materials.
  • Faculty, staff, and students will have a due date of January 30, 2021 for all items checked out in the fall.
Interlibrary Loan items (ILL):
  • ILL materials will be quarantined for 24- hours before checkout since they have had time in transport.
  • Return dates for ILL materials will be set by the lending institution.
  • As a lending institution, we will follow our check-in procedures for all returned items.
There will be normal access to library collections; all items on return carts will be quarantined.
Emergency CARES Act Fund

CIU has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement form for HEERF funds and has used 100% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide HEERF grants to students. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided Columbia International University with $338,471 in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds for student grants. The funds are targeted to give students cash to cover their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. During the week of May 18, 2020, CIU dispersed CARES Grants to approximately 626 students.

Grants were awarded to students based on guidelines from the US Department of Education. To be considered students had to be eligible for federal student financial aid as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Additionally, students had to be enrolled in the Spring of 2020 in classes that were not exclusively online prior to the closure of campus. Following the federal government's recommendation to prioritize students with the greatest need, CIU made decisions accordingly. Undergrad Pell Grant recipients received $676, Undergrad non-Pell Grant recipients received $510 and residential graduate students received $330.  Students with a missing or incomplete FAFSA did not receive grants.

Students did not have to apply and no additional action on part of the recipients is anticipated. Funds were sent directly to the student and not credited to their CIU student account.

View the Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting under CARES Act.

RAM Athletics

CIU’s athletics programs will follow the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) and Health Services best practices and guidelines. The priority will be on the health and safety of student-athletes, mitigating the risks of sports participation through hygiene and regular health screening.

Athletic competitions will be held in venues with adjusted maximum attendance and physical distancing, based on local and state guidelines. When possible, athletic teams will compete with regionally located teams in order to reduce travel to and from remote locations.

Providing the lowest health risk possible and still maintaining the integrity of competition is the highest priority. The athletic trainer will lead in communicating, implementing and supporting these efforts.

The procedures in place for the fall:

  • Temperature checks for all athletes/coaches prior to each road trip.
  • Temperature checks for all athletes/coaches prior to all home games.
  • Follow the university plan to isolate, test and quarantine any student-athlete who shows symptoms of becoming ill.

CIU coaches and administration will uphold and communicate the importance of cleanliness and social distancing (when possible) with their athletes.

All student-athletes in the dorms will be living on halls with their teammates to limit exposure.

Student Athlete Travel Restrictions

  • Athletics will follow all NAIA and American Athletic Conference (AAC) guidelines in regard to team travel.
  • Overnight travel by teams will be minimized as much as possible
Sports Venues (inside and outside)
  • At each location, signage will be posted and seen by the public stating:
    • 6 foot social distancing is recommended
    • Keep hands washed / sanitized
    • Masks are encouraged
  • Each location will have additional “sanitation stations” to promote hand sanitation.
  • Additional cleaning for each venue will be provided.
  • Student workers have additional cleaning and monitoring duties.
Public Athletic Events


  • Athletic department and coaches will enforce all policies related to athletics.
  • Specific plans related to athletics will be communicated to student-athletes prior to their return to campus.

Visitors to Campus:

  • The athletic department will follow guidelines set by the NAIA and AAC regarding the number of fans allowed at games. 
  • Fans will be encouraged to follow these guidelines: 
    • 6 foot social distancing
    • Keep hands washed / sanitized
    • Masks are encouraged
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing will be provided after each event, including locker rooms used by visiting teams.

Fan Information

High-hygiene Environment

In student-athlete support areas and locker rooms, enhanced cleaning practices will be employed. This will include shared responsibility by those using the spaces (wiping down areas before and after use), cleaning by staff members at regular intervals and deep cleaning by Physical Plant staff. Hand sanitizers, personal towels and antiviral sprays will be utilized where necessary.

In student-athlete support areas and locker rooms, including weight rooms, training rooms and the academic support services offices, capacities will be reduced, and staggered schedules will be created to facilitate physical distancing.

CIU’s Athletics COVID-19 Committee will develop sport-specific mitigation strategies pertaining to acclimatization, practices, balls or playing apparatuses, equipment, sanitization, travel, distancing, sport-specific venues and activities. Guidance from the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine and other sport specific governing bodies will be used to develop these plans for the return and resocialization of sport.

Adjusted Attendance Maximums
Based on local and state guidelines, as well as campus practices, athletics events will be hosted in front of reduced capacity crowds. Strategies will be developed for varying percentages of capacity, with initial decisions made in July and August. Guidelines for indoor and outdoor facilities will differ based on best practices.

Physical Distancing in Venues

Lines will be queued with appropriate spacing outside of the venue. Seating strategies will be developed that allow for social distancing, including the broad use of general admission-style seating and the ability of guests to move freely about venues to less crowded areas as desired.

Event Flexibility

Stadium changes dictated by the NAIA, NCCAA or other relevant agencies will be employed, as well as efficient communication strategies in case changes must be made to events. Effective notification of students, staff, families and fans will be critical in the event of alteration or cancellation of competitions.

Virtual Strategies

CIU athletics will enhance coverage on social media, educate fans and broadcast games through low-cost/no-cost options when available.

Visiting Teams

Visiting teams and travel parties, including coaches and staff, will be required to complete screenings prior to participation on CIU’s campus. Visiting teams’ sports medicine staffs will be responsible for oversight of any medical screening and care pursuant to standards set by CIU’s Athletics COVID-19 Committee.

Fall Sport Guidelines


  • Local and state guidelines and executive orders will be used to determine capacity for Moore Fitness Center gymnasium.
  • Moore Fitness Center gymnasium will continue to be open seating. Volleyball will remain a non-ticketed event.
  • Athletics will encourage masks and social distancing of attendees through signage and advertising.
  • Seats behind the team benches and staff will be free of fans.
  • Sessions Field is not an enclosed athletics venue. As such, events will continue to be open seating.
  • Both men’s and women’s soccer will remain non-ticketed events.
  • Athletics will encourage masks and social distancing of attendees through signage and advertising.
Cross Country
  • CIU’s Cross Country Course is not an enclosed athletics venue. As such, events here will continue to be open seating.
  • Cross Country will remain a non-ticketed event.
  • Athletics will encourage masks and social distancing of attendees through signage and advertising.
  • Local and State guidelines and executive orders will determine capacity for basketball games in Moore Fitness Center. If significantly restricted, attendance will be limited to student-athlete guests, students, faculty and staff.
  • Hospitality practices will be modified to reflect reduced capacity, physical distancing and best practices in food service.
  • Athletics will encourage masks and social distancing of attendees through signage and advertising.
Visitors to Campus

CIU’s campus remains open to the public and guests are welcome.  Masks are encouraged unless they severely prohibit the purpose for the visit (chapel speakers, guest musicians, visiting faculty, etc.)  Guests and visitors will avoid gathering in large groups and must practice social distancing.

Rams Athletics

CIU’s athletics programs will be conducted consistent with the NAIA and NCCAA and Health Services best practices and guidelines. Attendance may be limited and venues may be configured to allow for appropriate social distancing.

Sports Venues (Inside and Outside)

At each location, signage will be posted and seen by the public stating:

  • 6 foot social distancing is recommended
  • Keep hands washed / sanitized
  • Masks are encouraged

Each location will have additional “sanitation stations” to promote hand sanitation.

Additional cleaning for each venue will be provided.

Student workers have additional cleaning and monitoring duties.

Offices and Operations

Open Office Spaces & Lobbies

Employees, faculty, students and guests are encouraged to wear masks in any open office space or lobby. Desks, fixtures, furniture, reception counters and work areas will be reconfigured to allow for appropriate social distancing. Prominent signs will communicate space usage policies, proper distancing for those standing in lines and one-way traffic patterns where necessary.

Hand sanitizing stations will be provided along with disinfectant wipes and sprays for all departmental common areas.


Security will have limited quantities of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available for distribution to members of the campus community.

  • There will not be prescribed penalties for violation of social distancing enforced by Security personnel.
  • Security personnel will employ social distancing in their day-to-day operations.
  • Security personnel will employ all available hazard mitigation equipment.
  • The Security Office will leverage technology to facilitate hazard mitigation to the extent possible in its operations and customer service areas.
  • Security personnel will have access to PPE at the beginning of their shifts as well as a means of discarding it at the end of their shifts.
  • Security vehicles will be stocked with disinfectant wipes.
Physical Plant
  • Sanitizers will be available across campus, including classroom buildings and residence halls.
  • Physical Plant will provide instruction for the use and proper cleaning of shop equipment.
  • Physical Plant will minimize the use of shared equipment and include disinfectant wipes for wipe down when sharing is necessary.
  • Physical Plant workers’ hours will be staggered to reduce density in shops.
  • Physical Plant will limit maintenance crews to one person per truck, when at all possible.
  • Physical Plant vehicles will be stocked with disinfectant wipes.
  • Physical Plant will regularly wipe down or spray door handles.
  • Physical Plant will provide supervisors with training on proper protocols and make sure they brief/remind employees at least daily.
CIU Guestrooms

CIU will ensure that all guests experience a healthy environment and services in keeping with the university’s policies and protocols.

  • Stringent cleaning and sanitizing protocols have been established throughout the facility to include deep cleaning procedures before guest arrivals with extra attention paid to the high contact points. No turndown service or housekeeping will be offered during visits until determined to be safe.

Complete Guestroom policy on file.

Admissions & Campus Tours
  • Prospective students and their families are welcome on the CIU campus and may register for their personal visit on Campus guests will begin their visit at the Administration building and will be instructed about campus policies, physical distancing and encouraged to wear a mask which will be provided.
  • Personal visits and campus tours will limit the size of groups to comply with physical distancing requirements.
  • Admissions events will be modified and additional options for virtual experiences and forums have been added throughout the year.
Library and Academic Success Center

See Guidelines under Academics and Classrooms

  • Tables and workstations will be setup for physical distancing and all workshops will be held virtually using Canvas.
  • Study rooms will be open as available with adjusted capacity and time limits.
Mail Service
  • The Mail department has a drop-box for mail that will reduce personal interaction.
  • The Mail department has established a pick-up schedule for mail at a centralized location to reduce personal interaction.
  • Mail department vehicles will typically contain one person.
  • The Mail department will ensure that all mailroom employees have face mask/covering and latex gloves. All vehicles and each workstation will be supplied with hand sanitizer dispensers and antibacterial wipes.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at the Mail room window.
  • Mail delivery personnel are provided with PPE for their delivery rounds.
  • All deliveries, with the exception of Pine View packages, will be delivered to the university at a centralized location in the CIU Mailroom.  
  • Appropriate signage will direct delivery companies (e.g. Fed-Ex) to the centralized CIU Mailroom location where packages may be left for receipt by university personnel.
  • Packages and mail will continue to be delivered to CIU Offices and to student mailboxes.
  • The CIU Post Office will continue with normal hours of operation or as posted outside the mailroom window.
  • Medical-grade cleaning has been implemented.
  • Sufficient quantities of sanitizing supplies have been sourced.
  • Hand sanitizing stations are available at each entrance of administrative and academic buildings.
  • Physical Plant personnel will ensure that high-touch surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, crash bars, faucets) are cleaned at least twice daily, if not more, during days when class is in session.
  • Physical Plant personnel have been trained to sanitize rooms and areas that a student, staff or faculty member being tested for COVID-19 previously occupied, using cleaning products certified to kill Coronavirus germs.
  • Physical Plant personnel have appropriate training in disinfectant product best practices, including dwell times and familiarity with various types of areas and surfaces.
  • Physical Plant personnel will continue cleaning of common spaces in the residence halls.
  • Classrooms, the cafeteria, common lounges and the library will receive daily sanitizing.
  • Physical Plant is considering the use of atomizers to disburse non-toxic disinfectants.
  • Disinfectant wipes will be available for users to wipe down computers, desks, etc. before use.
  • Physical Plant has provided Pandemic Cleaning Protocols in chart form for its personnel.
  • Physical Plant will provide training for employees on how to clean and disinfect their work spaces.
  • Physical Plant is evaluating and planning to obtain special cleaning equipment.
  • A regular schedule has been established for frequent sanitization of instructional spaces and it will be a shared responsibility among Physical Plant personnel, faculty, staff and students.


All travel must be approved by the President’s Cabinet member over the department making the request.

Travel is not prohibited but will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Current CDC guidance on the area to be traveled to will be consulted in making the decision to approve or not approve travel.


Employees are required to stay home if they show any symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell.

  • Employees should alert CIU to their symptoms at and contact their health provider.
  • Employees should stay home until symptom free and have received the go ahead to return from Health Services.
  • Employees should maintain social distancing at work. If space is shared, schedules may be staggered and personnel should wear face coverings. Workstations may be rearranged but we are trying not to move offices.
  • Employees are encouraged to wear masks in situations where social distancing is not practical.
  • Employees with special situations should work with their supervisor on appropriate arrangements. Special situations include:
    • Childcare issues
    • Over 65
    • Having underlying medical conditions or living with or caring for someone who has them.

Employee Center for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines

  • Faculty and staff should limit close personal contact and maintain 6 foot social distancing.
  • Faculty and staff in individual offices should consider working with office doors shut.
  • Faculty and staff should engage in frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizer and sanitizing of surfaces regularly:
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as feasible.
    • Use hand sanitizer after interactions with people or objects if soap and water are not readily available.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes into the sleeve or elbow, not hands.
    • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces (buttons, door handles, counters, workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, etc.) regularly. Physical Plant will provide disinfecting wipes or sprays for computer labs, classrooms and public spaces for individuals to clean surfaces regularly.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Refrain from shaking hands.
  • Faculty and staff should avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices or other work tools and equipment when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
  • Faculty and staff should remain mindful of physical distancing in small spaces including elevators, hallways, stairwells and restrooms.
  • Faculty and staff should eat in a location that allows for appropriate physical distancing (e.g. outdoors, in an enclosed or private space, in an office with the door closed, etc.).

Note: All visitors to campus, including contractors, vendors, guest speakers, etc., will be expected to follow these guidelines.


Communication of Expectations to Students Prior to Campus Arrival

The Pandemic Response Task Force has developed a communication flow that informs the entire CIU population.

For Student Life, student communication liaisons are:

  • Student App/Student E-mail – Tyler Tong (Student Services)
  • Residence Halls (via RAs, hall meetings) – Brion Burns (Dir. of Residence Life)

Communication Flow To Students, Parents and Employees

Content for the communications will be sent on behalf of CIU’s Provost from the approved fall 2020 Practices & Procedures. All communications will include a link to


Communications via Website:  Website will contain an outline of the approved Fall 2020 Practices and Procedures

Communication via Signage

University Communications will provide an online CIU branded tool box of all campus signs for multiple uses; each building has a coordinator who posts signage. Request CIU Covid-19 Signage.


President’s Planning Guidance (May 6, 2020)

Close Contact and/or Service Industry Employers Reopening Guidelines, accelerateSC (May 2020).

Considerations for Reopening Institutions of Higher Education in the COVID-19 Era, American College Health Association (May 7, 2020).

Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education, CDC (May 2020).

Reconnect Columbia: Playbook for Reopening Business in the COVID-19 Era, Columbia Chamber of Commerce (April 29, 2020).

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control guidance for institutions of higher education.

Informational Videos

Part of CIU’s response to the Coronavirus 19 outbreak is to provide information to the CIU community that will help reduce the spread of viruses. Please take time to view the two videos below from the Centers for Disease Control. Then please closely follow the advice they provide. Total viewing time for the videos is about 3 ½ minutes.

  1. Do your part to stop the spread of flu at colleges and universities
  2. Clean hands help prevent the flu

Additional videos from the CDC can be viewed at CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Videos. Topics found there are:

  1. What is Coronavirus Disease 2019?
  2. What’s my risk?
  3. How to protect myself?
  4. COVID-19 Stop the spread of germs

More updates and information will follow as needed.