Fall Term/Semester COVID-19 Guidance – Faculty, Staff and Students

To: W&L Faculty, Staff and Students
From: COVID-19 Committee
Date: Thursday, September 8

We write today to welcome you all back to campus, and to remind our campus community of the COVID-19 guidelines currently in place.

Masking and Distancing Remain Optional

Wearing masks and distancing from others continue to be optional in all spaces on campus except in the Student Health Center (SHC), where masks are required. 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.

Screening Testing

The university is no longer offering on-campus PCR screening testing for all employees and students. Students who are experiencing symptoms that could be attributed to COVID-19 can still receive a rapid antigen test at the Student Health Center. Faculty and staff who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should take an at-home COVID test or obtain a test from their local healthcare provider.

What to Do If You Are Sick

If you have symptoms that could be attributed to COVID-19, you should mask and stay home until you take and receive the results of a COVID test. Rapid/home tests are meant to be taken as a series of two tests, taken 24-36 hours apart. If both tests are negative, you may return to campus. More information about testing can be found on the CDC's COVID-19 Testing: What You Need to Know webpage.

What to Do If You Test Positive for COVID

  1. Students who test positive using an at-home COVID test should contact the SHC to report a positive test result and review appropriate isolation location and duration. Limited isolation housing for students is available on campus if you cannot safely isolate in place.
  2. You should stay home for at least five days following a positive test and isolate from others in your home as you are likely most infectious during these first five days. Refer to the CDC's current Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19 webpage to determine isolation time. Per current CDC guidance:
    • If you had no COVID-19 symptoms, you may end isolation after day five.
    • If you experienced COVID-19 symptoms, you may end isolation after day five if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and symptoms are improving.
    • If you still have a fever or symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve.
    • After you have ended isolation, continue to wear a mask through day 10 or until you have had two sequential negative antigen tests 48 hours apart.
  3. Students should notify their faculty, coaches and work supervisors of their isolation period as needed. The SHC can assist with short-term academic adjustments for class absences during the isolation period. Faculty and staff should notify their Supervisor/Department Head of their isolation period and use CTO/SLR during their time off (or take the time as unpaid if they do not have any CTO/SLR time).
  4. Notify all of your close contacts: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/tell-your-contacts.html.
  5. Watch for worsening symptoms, and if you have an emergency warning sign such as trouble breathing or persistent chest pain or pressure, seek emergency medical care immediately. Treatment options may be available if you are at risk of severe disease: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/treatments-for-severe-illness.html.

What to Do If You Were Exposed to COVID-19

  1. Begin taking precautions immediately after being exposed to COVID-19.
  2. Continue precautions for 10 full days. Start counting from Day 1. Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19; Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure. You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.
  3. Watch for symptoms, such as fever (100.4°F or greater), cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms.
  4. If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately, get tested, and stay home until you know the result. If your test result is positive, follow the isolation recommendations.

Resources

Continue to refer to the university's COVID-19 Resources website for current information. Undergraduate and law students should contact the Student Health Center or their class dean/law student affairs dean with individual COVID-related questions. Employees should direct any return to workplace, department staffing, and employment-related COVID-19 questions to Jodi Williams, Executive Director of Human Resources, at jwilliams@wlu.edu. All other general COVID-related questions can be directed to covid19@wlu.edu.

We encourage you to continue to monitor local and regional community levels on the CDC's COVID-19 by County page. We appreciate your continued efforts to help slow the spread of COVID-19 on our campus.