Hospital, University Team up to Keep Campus Community Healthy
Aiken, SC (07/17/2020) — Aiken Regional Medical Centers have teamed up with the University of South Carolina Aiken to provide COVID-19 testing to faculty, staff and students throughout the academic year.
"UofSC Aiken and the Aiken Regional Medical Centers both agree that helping students and the constituents of the UofSC campus to remain safe and healthy is a priority," according to a memorandum of understanding signed by both Dr. Sandra Jordan, chancellor of the university, and Jim O'Loughlin, CEO of ARMC.
This effort aids UofSC Aiken in mitigating the coronavirus on the university campus as the hospital will provide periodic testing and analysis.
"This partnership demonstrates the spirit of community service at the heart of Aiken Regional Medical Centers' mission as well as the humanitarianism and medical expertise provided during the COVID-19 pandemic," according to the MOU.
Nursing majors at the university helped hospital professionals conduct courtesy drive-thru tests for faculty and staff as soon as the agreement was finalized. Tests for students, faculty and staff will be provided in August also. Additionally, student-athletes will be tested by ARMC, according to NCAA guidelines.
During the school year, the UofSC Aiken Student Health Center will provide drive-thru testing for those students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. ARMC will supply the tests and will process them through its lab.
Partnering with the hospital and establishing a testing regimen is just one way the university is preparing for students to return to campus as planned in August. Throughout the spring and summer, additional measures have been implemented, including enhanced cleaning protocols, robust educational programs, mandatory face coverings, and steps to ensure physical distancing in common areas and classrooms. While UofSC Aiken has traditionally boasted a small student-to-faculty ratio, all over campus, there will be fewer students per classroom per the university's newly established policies due to the coronavirus. In addition, UofSC Aiken is providing more online options, giving students greater flexibility. The university also offers several mental health resources to assist students in positively managing the pressures they may face as they transition back to campus in a COVID-19-related environment.
For more on the university's response to COVID-19, go to https://www.usca.edu/pacer-ready .