The good news in Columbia is that South Carolina is still planning on welcoming students back to campus this fall.

The bad news? There won’t be any fall break observed as the school is attempting to look ahead to any potential return of the coronavirus during flu season.

South Carolina released its official fall schedule on Monday with the following note from school President Bob Caslen:

I write to announce the Fall 2020 academic calendar as recommended on Friday, May 15 by the Future Planning Group (FPG) and with the full support of the Office of the Provost and our public health experts. Two major changes will stand out as you review the following schedule: first, there will be no Fall Break and second, we will conclude face-to-face instruction at Thanksgiving Break. The new schedule meets requirements for federal financial aid and for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Please note the schedule details for the Columbia campus

Here is the schedule released by the school:

  • Aug. 20: Classes begin
  • Sept. 7: Labor Day will be a Remote Class Day; classes will be held online and asynchronous for all classes
  • Oct. 15-16: Fall Break is canceled; classes will be held on these days
  • Nov. 3: General Election Day will be a Remote Class Day; classes will be held online and asynchronous for all classes
  • Nov. 24: Face-to-face instruction will end
  • Nov. 25-29: Thanksgiving Break
  • Nov. 30: Remote Class Day
  • Dec. 1: Remote Class Day
  • Dec. 2-4: Reading Days
  • Dec. 7-14: Final Exam period

According to South Carolina, the reason for canceling fall break is directly related to fears that the coronavirus could make a return during flu season. Once students leave campus for Thanksgiving, the school does not wish to see students return to Columbia following their travels. Following Thanksgiving, South Carolina will be moving to online-only classes.

To frame this news in terms of college football, Thanksgiving break (Nov. 25-29) comes during the final week of South Carolina’s 2020 schedule as the Gamecocks are set to play at Clemson on Nov. 28.