Update for Fall Term - Law Students

To: W&L Law Students
From: Sidney Evans, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Date: Thursday, August 20

Below is an update on a variety of topics related to law students' return to campus. While Student Affairs staff will continue to provide regular updates by email, please also remember to check the COVID-19 Resources website, which includes the latest campus messages, recorded town hall sessions, a variety of resources, and FAQs that are being updated regularly, and to submit your questions to covid19@wlu.edu.

Reminder - Mandatory COVID-19 Student Arrival Testing due by August 22

COVID-19 arrival testing is required and the testing appointment scheduler closes on Friday, August 21. COVID-19 arrival testing takes place through Saturday, August 22. If you have not already done so, please schedule your COVID-19 test for an available appointment time in Evans Hall. If you are not able to arrive on campus by August 22, you must complete testing on your own within 5 days prior to arrival, and submit negative results to the Student Health Center for review. Otherwise, you must plan your arrival for a Sunday or Monday, and contact the Student Health Center for access to the website to schedule a Monday testing appointment. The weekly COVID-19 testing clinics on Mondays (starting August 24) will be held in Kamen Gallery, in the lobby of the Lenfest Center.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR or antigen test, not an antibody test) in the past three months should not be re-tested on arrival. Students will need to provide a copy of positive test results to the Student Health Center to be exempted. You may also be exempted from arrival testing if you present a copy of negative test results, collected within five days of arrival, to the W&L Student Health Center. You may fax results to the Student Health Center for review to 540-458-8404 or by e-mail to studenthealth@wlu.edu.

Reminder - Physical Distancing and Face Coverings

All students, faculty, and staff must wear face coverings both on campus and off campus, in all situations where required by the university or public health guidance. In outdoor settings, face coverings are required in any location where six feet of physical distancing cannot be met. Physical distancing should be maintained at greater than six feet at all times, unless in brief passing. Wearing a face covering outdoors does not allow you to safely spend time with others less than six feet apart. Everyone should maintain greater than six feet distancing at all times indoors or outdoors. If you are outdoors and greater than six feet apart, then face coverings are not mandatory. To be clear, this does not mean that when you are outdoors that physical distancing less than six feet apart while wearing face coverings is acceptable. Spending more than 15 minutes in such proximity would be considered a "close contact" in a public health investigation of a positive case, and you would be subject to 14 days of quarantine after such exposure.

Daily Health Attestation Update

Recent communications have raised questions about expectations for students in the Lexington/Rockbridge area in completing the daily health attestation (https://attest.wlu.edu). Once students return to the area, the daily attestation must be done each day. Faculty, coaches, and staff with student employees will have access to a daily report that indicates whether the students have completed the attestation. Students may not attend in-person activities on campus (e.g., going to class, a dining facility, the library) until this daily health check has been completed. All students residing in the Lexington/Rockbridge area are required to complete the symptom/exposure check daily as a part of their own regular health monitoring routine, even if they are not scheduled to come on to campus.

Everyone in the W&L community has a crucial role to play in helping us make a safe return to campus for the Fall Term. We are relying on every member of the campus community to actively participate in screening, testing, isolation and contact tracing to identify and contain any potential outbreaks. The daily health attestation is a critical part of the university's return to campus plan.

Clarification re: Statement of Community Expectations

As President Dudley stated in his message to the community on July 10, this Fall Term will be different than any we have previously experienced, and if we are to succeed in reducing the risk of illness - and in increasing the likelihood that we will complete the Fall Term on campus - each member of our community must contribute by agreeing to our Statement of Community Expectations.

The statement was developed based upon guidance provided by state and local health officials, to underscore our collective responsibility to keep one another safe. To do this effectively, we must all - students, staff and faculty alike - commit to practicing, modeling, and enforcing the behaviors outlined in the statement, both on and off campus, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among our campus and local community.

Consequences for Student Noncompliance with Community Expectations

By voluntarily choosing to return to Washington and Lee for the 2020-2021 academic year, students commit to following the university's protocols, procedures, and requirements described in this policy. Students should understand that failing to comply with these safety expectations, precautions, and limitations puts all students, faculty, and staff at risk and may be subject to disciplinary action. Information about the consequences for student noncompliance are available on the COVID-19 Resources site.

Face Covering Recommendations

Two-layer face coverings are more effective than single-layer face coverings at preventing the spread of COVID-19. We recommend all students, faculty and staff wear two-layer face coverings. If you prefer a neck gaiter style face covering, you should either fold it in half, or wear two of them together, to create a double layer. You should also avoid masks with exhaust valves. Remember to have a mask on your person at all times, in case you are unable to maintain the appropriate physical distance from others, even outdoors.

Restrictions on Use of Rooms and Meeting Space

The following restrictions are currently in place when reserving rooms through 25 Live.

  • Individual Students will not be allowed to reserve rooms through 25 Live
  • Student Organizations will not be allowed to reserve rooms through 25 Live
  • Student Organizations will not be allowed to "table" in any communal spaces
  • Faculty/Staff will be allowed to reserve rooms through 25 Live, if university business is being conducted, though they are encouraged to meet virtually as often as possible

Exemptions to above restrictions include the Executive Committee, Student Judicial Council, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and the Student Bar Association, which will be allowed to reserve rooms through 25 Live. These five organizations are handling university business and will be permitted to meet in person for investigations, hearings or meetings with administration. Current university protocols require that all students, faculty, and staff wear face coverings whenever they are in public building spaces. Six feet of physical distancing is required.

Athletic Facilities Update

The new Richard L. Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center will be open for the 2020 Fall Term.

  • Now through Aug. 23, only W&L Athletics staff members are permitted in the facility.
  • From Aug. 24 through Aug. 30, W&L students, faculty and staff who have an academic class in the Athletic and Recreation Center will also be allowed into the facility.
  • Starting Aug. 31, all current W&L faculty, staff and students will be permitted entrance during designated hours. No visitors or family members of employees will be allowed access to the facility per university guidelines.

Information regarding the facility's specific hours of operation and capacity limitations be will communicated in the near future. To help contribute to the health and safety of the community, all users of the facility are expected to adhere to university and public health and safety guidelines, including the use of personal protective equipment and physical distancing at all times. A University ID card is required for building access.

Town Hall Recordings

Recordings of previously held Law School Town Hall Zoom meetings can be found on the main COVID-19 Resources page under Videos in the right navigation bar.

For Your Reference