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SC News

South Carolina State Delays Fall Semester Because Of COVID

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South Carolina State University is delaying fall classes by several days to give students more time to get vaccinated as COVID cases spike across the state.

Classes scheduled to start Wednesday for the fall semester will be pushed to next Monday, the Orangeburg-based historically black college and university announced in a statement.

The school will use the extra time to encourage students to get vaccinated at on-campus clinics and educate them about the virus, SC State officials said. Faculty members will also be able to plan for a shift to virtual classes in case the spread of the delta variant worsens, according to the university.

"As the university steps up its response to this pandemic, we will do all we can to encourage students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated if they have not done so already," said acting university president Alexander Conyers in a statement. "I have authorized the implementation of campus-wide incentives designed to encourage members of our campus community to receive the vaccine."

Other colleges and universities in the state are also implementing vaccine incentives for students. The University of South Carolina has offered a prize giveaway that includes tuition discounts and Apple products, and Clemson University will enter vaccinated students and employees in a drawing for parking spaces, meal plans and other awards.

State lawmakers have banned public colleges and universities in South Carolina from making the vaccine a condition of enrollment.