Update for Fall Term - Undergraduate Students

To: W&L Undergraduate Students
From: The COVID-19 Committee
Date: Thursday, October 15

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.

Check Out the Latest Programs Available for Students

Student Affairs, Student Activities, Campus Recreation and numerous student organizations continue to develop and deliver programming to help students connect in these challenging times. Among the many activities taking place in the days ahead, there will be a virtual Q&A with stand-up comedian Fortune Feimster, intramural croquet for first years, Outing Club sessions (bike rides, whitewater paddling, sunset hikes), a weekly 4-mile run and daily Open Rec Hours at the DARC. Other highlights include:

  • Thursday at 8 p.m. (weather permitting), there will be showing of the movie "Hocus Pocus" on Cannan Green. Register with Cecily Stern (sternc23@mail.wlu.edu).
  • On Friday from 5-6 p.m., FYs are encouraged to attend an in-person Affinity Group Meeting with other FYs who share a common interest with them. Join by completing the very brief interests survey you received from Dean Rodocker (jrodocker@wlu.edu).
  • On Saturday at 10 a.m., a vehicle caravan is heading to Season's Yield Farm in Raphine to enjoy the coffee bar and bakery. Contact Kelsey Goodwin (kgoodwin@wlu.edu) for details.
  • On Sunday afternoon, several groups of students will be driving through the nearby Safari Park. Tickets are sponsored by Student Activities; contact trip leader Julia Habiger (habigerj21@mail.wlu.edu) for departure times and details.
  • On Wednesday from 10am to 1pm come out to Cannan Green to meet Public Safety and Lexington Police Department representatives - stop by to grab a treat and say hello.

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.

Contact Tracing and Limiting Close Contacts

Recent contact tracing has uncovered larger than recommended numbers of close contacts among students. Individuals should only have a few close contacts. As a reminder, a close contact is defined as any individual who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes beginning two days (48 hours) before illness onset for those with symptoms, or a positive test for those with no symptoms. That means if an individual tests positive for COVID-19, all of that person's close contacts from the previous 48 hours will have to quarantine.

Caught You! (doing the right thing, that is!)

Public Safety and Residential Life will be kicking off a fun new way to "catch" students doing the right things - distancing, wearing face coverings - with a raffle beginning next week. Keep an eye out for public safety officers, CAs, and RAs on the lookout for COVID-safe behaviors. They'll be recognizing students on the spot, and handing out raffle tickets for great prizes!

More Mental Health Services Available Online and By Phone

The University Counseling website was recently updated with information about additional online and phone mental health support and therapy options. Our Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) with United Healthcare Student Resources (UHSR) offers telebehavioral health services to all students through HealthiestYou. More information is available on the W&L SHIP website, www.firststudent.com (select Washington and Lee from the dropdown menu to access our plan resources).

All students are welcomed and encouraged to reach out to W&L's resources, but it is understood some students may prefer to seek treatment outside the SHC and Counseling Center. Several of the online therapy services recently added to the University Counseling website are independent entities, and are not endorsed or provided by W&L. Please check with your health insurance provider first to confirm the services from these independent entities are available to you through your plan. The university cannot attest to the professional skills of the therapists employed, but list these options for students who prefer to seek treatment through resources outside of W&L Student Health and Counseling services.

Get Your Seasonal Flu Shot

If you did not get an opportunity to attend one of the flu shot clinics on campus, 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.

In addition, Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, Rockbridge County and the Cities of Lexington and Buena Vista, is offering a free drive-through flu shot clinic on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Registration is not required. Contact Holly Ostby (540-458-3595 or haostby@carilionclinic.org) at Carilion with questions.