Update for Fall Term - Law Students

To: W&L Law Students
From: Sidney Evans, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Date: Friday, September 4

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.

Reminder - Personal Travel

All personal travel outside of the Lexington/Rockbridge area is strongly discouraged at this time, and should be avoided unless "essential." Any travel away from the Lexington/Rockbridge area needs careful consideration. While prior approval is not required, all travel should be logged in the Daily Attestation application. Students should self-quarantine for 14 days after returning.

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: Students with possible symptoms of COVID-19 are advised to stay home, contact Student Health at 540-458-8401 for assessment/indicated testing, and to self-isolate while the test result is pending. The Student Health Center can test students on-site for the Coronavirus antigen with a rapid test that gives results in 15 minutes. This test is recommended for individuals with symptoms, within the first five days of illness.
  • Asymptomatic Contact Testing: Students 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 the Student Health Center. 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. Students should call the Student Health at 540-458-8401 or e-mail studenthealth@wlu.edu 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 an 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.

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 has modified hours and rules due to COVID-19, and a swipe card is needed for entrance into the building. Information regarding hours, use guidelines, how to reserve a time slot at the fitness center, and specific regulations that must be followed for each area in the facility can be found on the Athletics website.

Reminder - Restrictions on Use of Rooms and Meeting Space

The following restrictions are currently in place when reserving rooms through 25 Live.

  • Individual Students will not be allowed to reserve rooms through 25 Live
  • Student Organizations will not be allowed to reserve rooms through 25 Live
  • Student Organizations will not be allowed to "table" in any communal spaces
  • Faculty/Staff will be allowed to reserve rooms through 25 Live, if university business is being conducted, though they are encouraged to meet virtually as often as possible

Exemptions to above restrictions include the Executive Committee, Student Judicial Council, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, the Student Bar Association, Resident Advisers and Community Assistants, who are allowed to reserve rooms through 25 Live. These five organizations are handling university business and will be permitted to meet in person for investigations, hearings or meetings with administration. Current university protocols require that all students, faculty, and staff wear face coverings whenever they are in public building spaces. Six feet of physical distancing is required.

For Your Reference