CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Coastal Carolina University says it’s COVID-19 cases are on the decline and safety measures are working.
The university reports fewer than 350 cases since June.
“We were very uncertain really on how this would go, because we understood that personal responsibility was either going to be the winner for us, or it was really going to show us some areas for improvement,” said Carissa Medieros, CCU Emergency Management Director.
On Wednesday less than .5% of staff, faculty, and students were in quarantine or isolation.
“We are happy about our numbers. We are absolutely proud of our students, facility, and staff because we see them,” said Medieros.
Masks are required when inside campus buildings and student groups are not allowed to meet face-to-face.
But containing excitement and celebration is hard when your team is making history.
“Coastal’s football is doing really good right now. We’re ranked for the first time. We beat our first ranked opponent, so definitely missing the tailgates and missing going to the games,” said third year student, Justin Best.
While most are following guidelines, officials say large gatherings put everyone at risk.
Last week Conway police broke up an off-campus party where nearly 100 people were in attendance.
Medieros says more than half of undergraduate students are from out of state.
She says students know full well of what is at stake should the campus have to close down again.
“Our students know that our current operating status in their hands,” said Medieros, “Knowing that almost half of our students would have to go home, I feel like that that really has a lot to do with where our numbers are.”
As cases continue to rise in Horry County, the university is preparing for an increase on campus.
Students say following the rules will be worth it in the long run.
“I’d rather keep the campus open and have people wear masks then having to close it down for good,” said Best.
The university will remain in phase one of its opening plan for the time being.