Clemson, S.C. – The Clemson Cooperative University Extension Service announced that all 46 of its county offices will be closed to the public beginning March 18.

The unprecedented step was taken out of an abundance of caution for the health and wellbeing of clients, agents and staff and to slow the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. The decision was made after consultation with Extension administrators, University officials, partnering agencies and stakeholders.

“While Clemson Extension will continue to serve South Carolina citizens, only staff deemed essential will be permitted in our county offices for the time being, and we will modify operations in order to be consistent with recommendations from state and federal agencies for preventing the spread of the virus,” said Extension director Thomas Dobbins.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Extension agents have been instructed to visit clients only on an as-needed basis and with supervisor approval and will practice social distancing protocols recommended by public health officials.

Agents and staff will continue to be available by telephone and email.

All Clemson University events, including Clemson Extension events, have been suspended through April 5.

While Extension offices in all counties are closed to the public, Dobbins said the modified operations will be implemented on a county-by-county basis according to staff size, COVID-19 infection numbers and other factors.

“This is a very fluid situation and we will continue to make modifications to our operations based on the situation on the ground and recommendations of state and federal public health agencies,” Dobbins said.

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