Update for Fall Term - Undergraduate Students

To: W&L Undergraduate Students
From: The COVID-19 Committee
Date: Wednesday, October 7

Below is this week's update on the university's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please remember to check the COVID-19 Resources website for the latest campus messages, resources, and FAQs that are being updated regularly, and to submit your questions to covid19@wlu.edu.

Update on Current COVID-19 Cases

In mid-September, our campus saw two spikes in COVID-19 cases among undergraduate students, all connected to several clusters of related cases. The Student Health Center conducted significant contact tracing, and the affected students and all identified close contacts were isolated or quarantined accordingly. Many of those students have now completed their isolation or quarantine periods and are returning to normal activities. Thanks to the affected students' compliance with both contact tracing and I/Q procedures, the clusters were identified and contained in a relatively short period of time.

This past week, we saw a small number of new cases, several of which appear to be a new cluster unrelated to the previously known clusters. In addition, a law student and a dining services employee both received positive test results; neither of these appears to be related to any of the known clusters. Fortunately, since these new cases were identified last Thursday, testing based on contact tracing and symptomatic testing in the SHC have only identified a few additional positive cases, all of which appear to be related to the new cluster. This is a positive trend we hope we're able to maintain as we move into the second half of the term. You can access current testing data on W&L's COVID-19 Testing Dashboard.

We'd like to thank our students, faculty and staff for their continued vigilance in following the current guidance and doing their daily attestation. While we know this has not been an easy term thus far, the steps we're taking together as a community to keep one another safe and slow the spread of COVID-19 on our campus have helped us to keep the virus at a level that has not overwhelmed our resources, and which we have been able to successfully manage thus far. We appreciate all that you're doing and continue to do to make this unusual semester a success!

Activities Brainstorming Forum with COVID-19 Committee Members - 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Members of the COVID-19 Committee are inviting all undergraduate students to join them in a virtual forum to brainstorm ideas for safe, fun activities on campus. The brainstorming forum will be held via Zoom on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Registration is required; please register in advance with your W&L email address, using the following link: https://wlu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUrce-hrjwjGt3RYAy6BptdzWLfib0ajWSJ. Once you register, you'll be able to submit your questions and ideas to the committee members in advance of the session. The Zoom forum can accommodate up to 1,000 participants, so encourage your friends and roommates to join you in participating!

Check Out Current Programs Available for Students

As we enter the second half of Fall Term, providing engaging, safe ways for students to socialize continues to be a major focus area. Student Affairs, Student Activities, Campus Recreation and numerous student organizations are working hard to provide programming to help students connect in these challenging times. For instance, over next few days, there will be numerous Outing Club sessions (bike rides, whitewater paddling, back campus walks), student organizations tabling on Cannan Green, a weekly 4-mile run, an intramural soccer shootout, daily Open Rec Hours at the Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center, Netflix Movie Parties, Mindbending Productions auditions and more.

There are a lot of lessons learned in providing this programming, and W&L is striving to build on the activities that are resonating with students. So, let us hear from you - your suggestions and ideas are appreciated, be that in Thursday's brainstorming forum or through other channels.

Get Your Seasonal Flu Shot

Receiving a flu vaccine this season is more important than ever. Protect yourself from the seasonal flu by taking advantage of one of these flu shot clinics on campus:

  • Thursday, Oct. 8 - 9-11:30 a.m. - Elrod Commons Living Room
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13 - 10 a.m.-1 p.m. - Leyburn Library (main floor)

Flu vaccinations are also available at the Student Health Center by appointment any time 24/7 (except 12-1 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. daily). Please call ahead for a nurse appointment as there no walk ins for flu shots at the SHC.