Win a Prize with Your COVID-19 Booster, Testing Updates, and Other Information – Undergraduate and Law Students

To: W&L Undergraduate and Law Students
From: COVID-19 Committee
Date: Wednesday, December 15

As the Fall Term/Semester draws to a close, we want to say thank you for your ongoing commitment to our entire community these past several months. The collective efforts of our students, faculty, and staff with vaccinations, masking and other safety measures have helped keep our COVID-19 cases low and allowed typical campus activities - classes, athletics, student programming - to operate smoothly.

With the winter break on the horizon, we wanted to share some key information with you.

Record Your COVID-19 Booster - You Could Win!

According to the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, everyone 16 years and older should get a COVID-19 booster dose. This step is the most effective way to reduce the chance of new surges or widespread community transmission of COVID-19, along with continuing to wear masks indoors and in crowds. We continue to believe our campus community's high vaccination rate is the most effective measure to slow the spread of the virus, and strongly encourage all eligible students, faculty, and staff to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster.

By reporting your COVID-19 booster into the Daily Attestation app and e-mailing a photo of your card to studenthealth@wlu.edu, you could win a 2021 Fancy Dress package or item of equivalent value from the University Store! W&L will do a daily drawing on weekdays from Jan. 3 to Jan. 31 from all students who have entered their booster in the Daily Attestation app. Enter the drawing by reporting your COVID-19 booster at go.wlu.edu/attest.

Some guidance for those who are scheduling their booster:

  • If you received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you should get your booster dose six months after completing your initial series.
  • If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you should get your booster dose if it has been two months since your initial vaccine dose.

Note: A booster dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) has been shown to be more effective than a second dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine at increasing the immune response. The Food and Drug Administration and CDC have authorized mixing and matching different vaccines from the initial series, and it is recommended you get an mRNA booster rather than repeating the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Vaccine boosters are available at Central Shenandoah Health District clinics, local pharmacies, and some medical providers' offices. Visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA for assistance in finding a clinic or scheduling boosters.

Pre-Departure COVID-19 Testing Available

Thursday, Dec. 16 is the last day for PCR screening testing on campus before the break. Testing is available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow. You can self-schedule a PCR test through the Aura app, and results should be available the next day.

COVID-19 Testing Requested Before Returning to Lexington

All students are requested to get a COVID-19 test 1-3 days before returning to campus in January, which can be accomplished with a self-performed home antigen test or a PCR test offered in your community. Home antigen test kits are relatively inexpensive, easy to perform and quite effective. If you test negative, proceed with your planned return to Lexington, using appropriate precautions during travel. You do not need to report negative test results to W&L.

If you develop possible COVID-19 symptoms over the winter break, please get tested as soon as possible through your doctor's office, an urgent care location or through the health department in your community. If you test positive for COVID-19 during the winter break:

  • Isolate for 10 days from symptom onset and notify any close contacts of exposure.
  • Stay home and do not return to campus during your isolation period.
  • Communicate your positive test result to COVID19Care@wlu.edu.

Winter Term/Spring Semester Arrival and Ongoing Testing

All students are required to have a COVID-19 test approximately 5-7 days after returning to campus in January. Students must self-schedule a PCR test through the Aura app on one of the dates listed below and will receive further information from COVID19testing@wlu.edu in January regarding specific dates to schedule.

If you develop possible COVID-19 symptoms after returning to Lexington, contact the Student Health Center for an antigen test or perform a home antigen test to ensure you have a negative result before you complete your post-arrival PCR test.

  • Thursday, Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Monday, Jan. 10 from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 11 from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 12 from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 13 from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. (regular COVID-19 testing schedule resumes)

During the Winter Term/Spring Semester, the university will continue to require unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff with exemptions to obtain an on-campus COVID-19 PCR test weekly. In addition, we will continue to offer optional on-campus PCR testing weekly for all fully vaccinated faculty and staff who would like to be tested and are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Omicron Variant

We continue to monitor spread and emerging data on the recently identified Omicron variant. At this time, we are not yet recommending any additional safety measures, but will continue to monitor the situation and act accordingly.

Annual Flu Vaccine Strongly Encouraged

Influenza is circulating early this year, especially in young adults, with several large campus outbreaks starting in November. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances of catching influenza, or if you do get sick, to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. Please get a flu vaccine before you leave for winter break, or at home/before you return to campus in January. Flu vaccine is available for all students at the Student Health Center while supplies last. It will take your body about two weeks to build immunity following your vaccination.

We hope you all have a safe, healthy and enjoyable winter break!