The Supreme Court of South Carolina
RE: COVID-19 Mitigation Measures for the July 2022 South Carolina Bar Examination
The July 2022 South Carolina Bar Examination is scheduled to be conducted on July 26 and 27, 2022. The July 2022 Bar Examination will be conducted as a live, in-person examination. The purpose of this Order is to discuss the COVID-19 mitigation measures for the July 2022 Bar Examination, including requirements for applicants both before and during the Examination.
While staff of the Supreme Court will take all necessary and appropriate measures to minimize the risk posed by COVID-19 during this Examination, the success of these measures is largely dependent on the actions of the applicants. Therefore, this order sets forth the mitigation measures which are applicable to applicants both before and during the Examination.
(1) Vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to indicate that "vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging." 1 Therefore, applicants taking the July 2022 Bar Examination are strongly encouraged to be up to date on all COVID-19 vaccinations, including any recommended booster shots, prior to the Examination.
(2) Minimizing Contacts Prior to the Examination. Applicants must minimize their exposure to other persons for seven (7) days prior to the Examination, and until the Examination is completed. To the maximum extent possible, applicants should limit their exposure to members of their immediate households, including roommates. Further, if in public or in other situations where exposure to non-household members is possible, applicants must wear a mask or respirator, and maintain social distancing of at least six (6) feet from these persons.
(3) Wearing of Mask or Respirator in the Testing Building. All applicants must wear a mask or respirator that covers the nose and mouth at all times while in the Testing Building, except while taking the Examination. While masks will be made available to the applicants at the testing locations, applicants are strongly encouraged to find a mask or respirator that is well-fitted and to bring that mask or respirator to the Examination.2
(4) Maintaining Social Distancing. To the maximum extent possible, applicants must maintain six (6) feet of distance from other persons, including while waiting in line for medical screening or registration. This requirement applies inside the Testing Building, and to the parking lot, driveways, sidewalks and other common areas surrounding the Testing Building.
(5) Medical Screening and Applicants Exhibiting Symptoms of COVID-19.
(a) Temperature Screening. Prior to each session of the Examination, the temperature of each applicant will be taken. Any applicant who has a temperature of 100.4 Degrees Fahrenheit (38 Degrees Celsius) or higher will not be allowed to take the Examination. If at any point during the Examination, it is discovered that an applicant has a temperature of 100.4 Degrees Fahrenheit (38 Degrees Celsius) or higher, or an applicant otherwise exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 infection, the applicant's participation in the Examination will end.
(b) Screening for COVID-19 Symptoms. Prior to each session of the Examination, applicants will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19. Based on symptoms exhibited during this screening, applicants may, on a case-by-case basis, be prohibited from entering the Testing Building to take the Examination.
(c) Reporting Symptoms. If an applicant experiences symptoms of COVID-19 (including fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and/or new loss of sense of taste or smell) during the Examination, the applicant must immediately notify the staff administering the Examination. Based on symptoms exhibited during this screening, applicants may, on a case-by-case basis, be prohibited from continuing with the Examination.
(6) Survey. To assist with the medical screening discussed above, applicants will be required to complete a survey a few days before the Examination. This survey will also contain questions relating to the applicant's adherence to the requirements of this order. This survey will be conducted using Survey Monkey. An applicant who fails to timely complete the survey may be excluded from the Examination.
(7) Applicants Must Promptly Leave After Testing is Completed for the Day. At the conclusion of the testing for each day, applicants must promptly leave the Testing Building and its associated parking lots and common areas.
(8) Applicants Precluded from Taking or Continuing with the Examination. An applicant who is not permitted to take or continue to take the Examination under Section (5)(a) - (c) above will be allowed to take the February2023 Examination without any additional fee. This will not apply to an applicant who is not allowed to take the examination based on a failure to complete the survey referenced in Section (6) above.
If it is determined that an applicant taking the July 2022 Examination has violated the requirements set forth above, the Supreme Court may take such action as it deems appropriate. This may include, but is not limited to, finding the applicant unfit for admission, prohibiting the applicant from using the results of the Examination for admission, and/or preventing the applicant from reapplying for admission for up to five (5) years. Further, if the applicant has already been admitted, the Supreme Court may vacate the admission or discipline the lawyer.
By proceeding to take the Examination, each applicant acknowledges and voluntarily assumes all risk of exposure to or infection with COVID-19 by attending the Examination, including the possibility that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, or death. Further, by appearing for this Examination, the applicant is certifying his or her full compliance with the requirements of this Order.
Any applicant who is unwilling to fully comply with the requirements contained in this Order should withdraw his or her application to sit for the July 2022 Bar Examination.
Due to the ever-changing COVID-19 levels in South Carolina, this Order may be modified as necessary. Any modified Order will be posted to the South Carolina Judicial Branch Website. Further, during the administration of the Examination, the Clerk of the Supreme Court, and such staff members as she may designate, may permit deviations from this Order as may be necessary.
s/Donald W. Beatty
Donald W. Beatty
Chief Justice of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
June 29, 2022
1 The CDC discussion on this issue is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html.
2 The CDC has provided guidance on selecting an appropriate mask or respirator. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/types-of-masks.html.