Changes to Environment Level and Masking Expectations – Faculty, Staff and Students

To: W&L Faculty, Staff and Students
From: COVID-19 Committee
Date: Friday, March 4

Much has changed on the COVID-19 landscape in recent weeks, on our campus and beyond, and we are grateful for all of the efforts you have made as a community to help us reach this point. There are encouraging signs that the global Omicron wave is subsiding. The number of active cases - as well as the severity of cases - has declined significantly on campus and in the surrounding community. Local hospital capacity is improving, and the vast majority of our campus community is now both fully vaccinated and boosted. In addition, CDC guidance regarding indoor masking has been updated.

For those reasons, the COVID-19 Committee has recommended, and President Dudley has approved, a change in W&L's COVID-19 Environment Level from Yellow-Middle to Yellow-Low, effective immediately.

Masking is now optional and no longer expected in indoor spaces on campus with two important exceptions:

  • Masks continue to be required in the Student Health Center.
  • Faculty and staff may choose to require masks in their classrooms and individual offices for the remainder of the current term/semester.

Please be mindful that some members of our community will feel more comfortable wearing masks and distancing. We should all continue to be kind and respectful of others' decisions to mask or not.

Although we are making this change today, we also need to remember that COVID-19 is not gone and there are ways we can continue to protect ourselves and others from the virus, such as wearing a mask voluntarily, and testing and staying home when experiencing symptoms. It is possible we will experience another variant or spike in cases. We will therefore continue to monitor the situation and act accordingly.