Moving COVID-19 Environment Level to Yellow-Middle

To: W&L Students, Faculty and Staff
From: The COVID-19 Committee
Date: Thursday, February 18

The COVID-19 Committee evaluates W&L's COVID-19 Environment Level several times each week by reviewing data related to 12 operational indicators. We are pleased to report that at this point in time our number of positive cases and overall test positivity rate remain low, the pressure on our Isolation/Quarantine and contact tracing capacities is manageable, and the recent strain on local and regional hospital capacity is subsiding. Therefore, we have recommended, and President Dudley has approved, a move of W&L's COVID-19 Environment Level from yellow-high to yellow-middle.

All current guidelines as outlined on the COVID-19 Resources website remain in place with no changes at this time, including the gathering size limit of 10 people both indoors and out, and the curfew/stay-at-home order, both of which are mandated by Virginia's current statewide Executive Order #72. The university will reconsider gathering size limits when the state mandate expires.

While we are happy to be at a point where we are able to move the indicator, we are still seeing some new - and unrelated - cases each week and remain concerned about the prevalence of more contagious COVID-19 variants and the potential for both reinfection and more serious symptoms for those who contract the virus. Our continued, collective vigilance in following the guidelines and safety measures will be critical in keeping cases down; as we've seen several times now, it only takes a few days for cases to spike in a way that requires the university to take additional action.

So thank you and please keep up the great work, being especially vigilant around masking and distancing, limiting close contacts, and keeping gatherings to no more than 10 people. We appreciate all that you have done and continue to do to make this semester a success!