Weekly COVID-19 Committee Update - Faculty and Staff

To: W&L Faculty and Staff
From: COVID-19 Committee
Date: Wednesday, September 2

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.


  • All personal travel is strongly discouraged at this time. Inform your supervisor or department head of all travel plans, regardless of destination. Given the current spread of COVID-19, you should expect a 14-day self-quarantine requirement upon your return

Final Results of Arrival Testing and Overview of Ongoing Testing

W&L contracted with an outside lab (Bode Technology) to provide screening testing for students and employees returning to campus for Fall Term. The arrival testing was completed on Aug. 24, and 100% of students, faculty and staff who were eligible and on-campus were tested between Aug. 10 and Aug. 24. One positive case was identified among students, for a 0.05% positivity rate, and one positive case was identified among employees, for a positivity rate of 0.10%.

Now that students and employees have returned to campus, testing for COVID-19 is occurring in a number of ways, on and off campus, to help maintain the safety of the W&L community and the surrounding Lexington/Rockbridge area. Ongoing testing includes:

  • Diagnostic/Symptomatic Testing: Employees with possible symptoms of COVID-19 are advised to stay home, contact their personal health care provider or local urgent care center for assessment/indicated testing, and to self-isolate while the test result is pending. Employees who receive a positive test result should report it immediately to Anne Remington in Human Resources.
  • Asymptomatic Contact Testing: Employees who are identified as close contacts and who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 may be tested on campus at weekly testing clinics, held each Monday, on referral from Human Resources. Testing of asymptomatic close contacts is intended to determine whether or not they are already infected with the virus, and should occur no sooner than five days after the last exposure/contact with the infected case. Employees should contact Anne Remington to discuss authorization for testing.
  • Surveillance Testing: W&L will conduct ongoing, weekly surveillance testing using several strategies. If there are clusters of cases in particular areas of campus, we will ask people who have spent time in these areas to be tested. We will also select students and employees to participate in surveillance testing, such as testing individuals in a designated higher-risk group or facility, and/or testing a random population sample. This testing, which will include approximately 200 tests each week, will be conducted at W&L's on-campus clinics, or in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health if needed for outbreak investigation. If you are selected for surveillance testing you will receive and email from covid19testing@wlu.edu with instructions for scheduling your test.

The university is also testing wastewater from various campus locations on a weekly basis as a sentinel early indicator for presence of the virus in certain locations. These results will help direct targeted surveillance testing.

Full results of arrival testing, results of ongoing testing, and the university's COVID-19 Testing Plan can be found on the W&L COVID-19 Dashboard. The Dashboard will be updated weekly when student and employee test results are received. All positive cases will be posted to the Dashboard within 24 hours of notification.

Building Access Update

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, overnight access to academic buildings will be adjusted for the Fall Term, as follows.

BuildingRestricted Swipe Access Mon-Fri.Restricted Swipe Access Sat-Sun
Ruscio Center for Global Learning 11pm – 4am 11pm – 7am
Chavis Hall 11pm – 4am 9pm – 7am
Huntley Hall 11pm – 4am 11pm – 7am
Holekamp Hall 11pm – 4am 11pm – 7am
Tucker Hall 11pm – 4am 9pm – 7am
Wilson Hall 12am – 4am 12am – 7am
Washington Hall 11pm – 4am 9pm – 7am
Payne Hall 11pm – 4am 9pm – 7am
Newcomb Hall 11pm – 4am 9pm – 7am
Reid Hall 1am – 4am 12am – 6am

Employees working in administrative offices/buildings are asked to conclude work in their on-campus office space by 6pm Mon.-Fri. and avoid weekend work in on-campus offices unless a specific arrangement has been made between the Department Head/Director and University Facilities. This does not include departments specifically tasked with evening/weekend work, including Mail Services and Dining Services. Questions can be directed to DoorAccess@wlu.edu.

Athletics Facilities Update

The Richard L. Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center is now open to current students, faculty and staff. The W&L Natatorium and the Duchossois Tennis Center are scheduled to open September 7. The Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center will have modified hours and rules due to COVID-19, and a swipe card is needed for entrance into the building. Information regarding hours, use guidelines, and specific regulations that must be followed for each area in the facility can be found on the Athletics website.

Student Communications (as information)

  • On Aug. 26, the weekly update to undergraduate students included information about the required daily health attestation, personal travel from campus, the no visitors requirement, on campus housing refund scenarios, and library operations.
  • On Aug. 27, the weekly update to law students included information about the required daily health attestation, personal travel guidance, and an athletics facilities update.