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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Group Gatherings

As the campus continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we must balance the university's commitment to maintain the health and safety of our community with the need to satisfy aspects of our university mission through group activities and events. Here's what you need to know about planning group gatherings both on- and off-campus. We'll continue to update this information as changes occur.

Planning a Group Gathering

All activities must follow guidance from the sponsoring unit as well as be in compliance with university policies and procedures, university risk mitigation guidance and those procedures established for the activity or required by any other governmental law or code. There will be a risk at any event, so event organizers should be mindful of the risk and consider all factors before planning an event. At minimum, the sponsoring unit is expected to comply with campus and local-level risk mitigation procedures, including, but not limited to, screening prior to or at  arrival, physical distancing, use of face coverings, hand hygiene and general sanitation standards.  If there is substantial risk, planners should conduct the event virtually or in a hybrid of in-person and virtual means. 


Guidance for Group Gatherings

Deans of academic units and vice presidents of other university divisions have the authority to approve any group gathering hosted within their unit and to establish any internal approval process deemed necessary.  Student organizations should follow guidance distributed by Student Life within the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support.  Vendors and contractors, activities of Gamecock Athletics and activities of the Board of Trustees events (such as commencement) are exempt from these internal approval processes.

For consultation about logistics of any group gathering or appropriate risk mitigation procedures, please contact Lee Pearson ( or Cheryl Addy (

  • In all event publicity, share mitigation strategies and any contingencies for event.
  • Use event publicity as an opportunity to encourage vaccination. For larger events, planners might consider hosting a pop-up vaccination clinic.
  • For events involving campus visitors, sponsors are encouraged to include language about self-monitoring for symptoms in the event protocol and publicity.
  • Sponsors are encouraged to be flexible in planning event logistics in order to be responsive to changing conditions including recommended mitigation procedures.
  • The sponsoring unit is responsible for any costs related to enhanced cleaning/disinfection of the space at the end of the event.
  • If applicable, the event should follow any applicable internal (e.g. UofSC Catering Guidelines [pdf]) or external standards (e.g., CDCSC DHEC).
  • Plan the venue and number of participants to avoid situations in which crowding is likely.
  • Provide information about potential changes, e.g., in event of inclement weather.
  • If crowding is likely, encourage use of face coverings. In particular, the event planners should consider potential crowding associated with movement of participants (e.g., at food service area, from one location to another, entrance/exit patterns).
  • Event hosts are encouraged to provide hand sanitizer and disposable face coverings.
  • Plan the venue and number of participants to maximize and encourage physical distancing. The number of participants for any event should be considered in the context of the venue and the logistics of the event.
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times inside all campus buildings, unless you are in your own residence hall room, private office or you are eating inside campus dining facilities. 
  • Provide hand sanitizer and disposable face coverings.
  • Aramark (Horseshoe Catering) is following appropriate local, state and national standards and will follow any stricter campus standards if applied consistently to all events.
  • For events with any kind of food or beverage service, the sponsoring unit must be especially attentive to protocols for physical distancing since face coverings will be removed for active eating and drinking. 
  • Within the normal guidelines for when Horseshoe Catering must be used, you may work with outside food vendors for campus events.
  • Face coverings are required for any mode of public transportation including all campus buses.


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