Parents FAQs

Academics (view all)

Where can I learn more about the Credit/No Credit grading policy for undergraduate courses for Winter and Spring 2020?

Because of the dramatic shift in the academic environment for the Winter and Spring 2020 terms, the Undergraduate Faculty approved a new Credit / No Credit grading option. Courses graded with a "Credit" grade counted toward all degree requirements, including all undergraduate major, minor, and Foundation and Distribution requirements.
Students decided which of their Winter 2020 courses were to be graded by the usual letter grades (A, B, C, etc.) and which were to be graded using the Credit/No Credit option. All grades for the Undergraduate Spring Term 2020 were assigned only as Credit or No Credit, none of which had any effect on the cumulative grade-point average (GPA). A detailed set of frequently asked questions about the this policy is available on the University Registrar's website. If you have other questions on this topic, please contact the University Registrar directly.

Will varsity athletes receive PE credit for a winter or spring 2020 sport?

Yes, since the number of instructional hours for each has already been exceeded.

Will the Class of 2020 commencement ceremonies be held on campus?

Online degree conferral ceremonies were held for the law class of 2020 on Friday, May 8., and the undergraduate class of 2020 on Thursday, May 26th. Recordings of the events can be viewed online. The in-person, traditional Commencement exercises for W&L's law and undergraduate Classes of 2020 will take place on Saturday, April 3, 2021, and Sunday, May 23, 2021, respectively.

Has the academic calendar been updated?

Yes. See https://my.wlu.edu/university-registrar/calendars/ugr-academic-calendar-2020-2021 for revised undergraduate Fall Term start and end dates and other dates and deadlines.

Events (view all)

Has W&L canceled any events or restricted visitors to campus?

The university instituted several policies that took effect March 14, 2020, and remain in effect until further notice:

Starting in June, Washington and Lee is implementing a phased return to the workplace plan that applies to all faculty, staff and administrators. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our campus and surrounding community, and the plan has been designed to promote a gradual and safe return.

We will continue to monitor the spread of the virus and make changes to policies as necessary to protect the health and safety of our community. Decisions regarding future campus events will be communicated on W&L's Coronavirus Response website and via email.

Will the Class of 2020 commencement ceremonies be held on campus?

Online degree conferral ceremonies were held for the law class of 2020 on Friday, May 8., and the undergraduate class of 2020 on Thursday, May 26th. Recordings of the events can be viewed online. The in-person, traditional Commencement exercises for W&L's law and undergraduate Classes of 2020 will take place on Saturday, April 3, 2021, and Sunday, May 23, 2021, respectively.

Health and Wellness (view all)

What is the difference between “isolation” and “quarantine”?

"Isolation" is the separation of sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. For students diagnosed with COVID-19, isolation typically lasts a minimum of 10 days after symptom onset or a positive test. Since students in isolation have already been exposed to COVID-19, designated isolation spaces can be double-occupancy, as there is no risk of added exposure.

"Quarantine" is the separation of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. To keep everyone as separated as possible in case one or more people develops illness, most quarantine spaces are single occupancy. Quarantine for COVID-19 exposure lasts 14 full days after the potential exposure.

What spaces are available for students who are placed into isolation or quarantine?

W&L has designated multiple spaces specifically for isolation or quarantine, encompassing 93 dedicated beds. These include former and current dormitories (Baker Hall, Davis Hall, and an apartment in Gaines Hall); the university's guest houses (Morris House and Belfield); and a local hotel where we have rented a room block (the Econo Lodge). All spaces are equipped with refrigerators, microwaves, beds, desks, and wi-fi.

In addition to these 93 designated beds, depending on the circumstance, W&L may convert other housing areas on campus to temporary isolation or quarantine units. For example, if an entire Greek or theme house, an entire dormitory hall, or an entire upper division apartment is exposed to COVID-19, and all residents of that location need to quarantine or isolate on a similar timeline, it may be necessary (as well as more comfortable) for these students to isolate or quarantine "in place."

Am I able to choose which space I go to if I am placed in isolation or quarantine?

Unfortunately, no. Assigning students to I/Q spaces requires consideration of a complex set of factors.

Is the end-date on my quarantine firm, or could it change?

The end date for isolation will typically not fluctuate, as long as the student has recovered, with improved symptoms and no fever.

For quarantine, end dates can be more complicated. Congregate living settings like college dormitories are particularly challenging, as shared bathrooms are considered a potential source of exposure. If a group of students are quarantining on the same hall with a shared bathroom, and one of those students develops COVID-19, it is possible that the remaining students will have to restart a new 14-day quarantine.

What if I test negative for COVID-19 in the middle of my quarantine? Can I return to my normal housing and resume in-person classes?

No. A negative COVID-19 test does not change the duration of your quarantine. Even if you test negative one day, you may develop symptoms or become positive a day or two later, and individuals can develop COVID-19 any time during the 14 days after exposure.

What are the expectations of students in isolation or quarantine?

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 (and placed into isolation) or potentially exposed to COVID-19 (and placed into quarantine), your strict compliance with I/Q protocols is essential to the health and safety of the campus community. W&L has outlined expectations for students in isolation or quarantine. Violating these expectations creates an unnecessary risk to yourself and to the community, so W&L takes these expectations very seriously. Incidents of students who fail to adhere to these standards are treated as student conduct violations.

How do meals work if I am in quarantine or isolation? What other resources are available to me?

If you are relocated to one of the university's designated I/Q areas, or if you live in a hall or area that has temporarily been designated as I/Q space, W&L Dining Services will deliver breakfast, lunch, and dinner to you on a daily basis. Upon initial check in, students fill out a meal preference sheet to indicate any food allergies or preferences. They are also given a care package with extra drinks and snacks. Due to the complexity of delivering food to a large volume of students across numerous campus spaces, we are not able to take specific orders for each meal period.

If you need items while in isolation or quarantine, we have assigned a team of staff members who are working to manage your needs and provide you with the resources you need to continue to succeed, manage your course work, and maintain social connection. If you receive packages, need library reserves, need supplies, or have other special requests, you can work through the COVID Care Team and we will do our best to accommodate you.

W&L recognizes that being in isolation or quarantine is not a fun experience, and the COVID Care Team was formed to help make it as manageable for you as possible.

If I am potentially exposed to COVID-19, can I leave campus and go home to isolate or quarantine?

Yes, that is an option that you may consider. Before choosing this option, you should be aware of and consider the following:

  1. Do you have a place to safely quarantine off campus? You need to be mindful of going to an environment where you can safely separate from family or friends so as not to risk exposing them. For instance, will you be able to safely obtain meals while maintaining your quarantine?
  2. Are you able to travel to and from campus via private vehicle? If you travel by plane, train, or bus, you will be required to complete a two-week quarantine once you return to campus, so leaving campus is probably not the best option for you.
  3. When students choose to quarantine away from campus in an environment that the university's health professionals are unable to evaluate and monitor, W&L requires re-arrival testing upon the students' return. The university will work with you to time your re-arrival with one of our on-campus testing dates (typically on Mondays and Wednesdays). Because of this, your time away from campus may end up being a bit longer than 14 days. Note that when you return to campus, we ask that you follow a modified quarantine-in-place while awaiting your test results - typically 48 hours following the test.

As a student, will I be required to wear a face covering on campus?

Current University Community Standards require that all students, faculty and staff wear face coverings whenever they are in public building spaces. In outdoor settings, face coverings are required in any location where six feet of physical distancing cannot be met. Employees working alone in a private office could do so without a face covering. As the public health outlook evolves throughout the year, campus guidelines will be updated as appropriate.

As a student, what PPE supplies does the University recommend I have?

While personal needs will vary, campus medical staff recommend the following list of supplies for all students, at minimum:

  • Five (5) washable face coverings (the CDC recommends laundering these after each use)
  • A small supply of disposable face coverings
  • Portable hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to carry with you in a handbag, briefcase, or backpack
  • A jug of hand sanitizer for your personal room
  • Thermometer for daily temperature monitoring
  • Paper lunch bags to hold individual face coverings when not in use
  • Tissues (larger size for room, portable size to carry)
  • A small supply of gloves to be worn if cleaning, disinfecting, or handling soiled items
  • Tote for bathroom supplies, as these should not be stored in shared bathrooms
  • A wipeable cover for your electronic devices
  • Hand soap (for those students living in on-campus apartments or off campus)

Will masks and PPE supplies be provided to all students?

All students returning to campus will receive a starter kit containing two (2) washable fabric face masks, one personal-size hand sanitizer, and one digital thermometer. Additionally, hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes will be provided in classrooms, most residence halls and other common spaces throughout campus.

Further, students in certain academic disciplines may be provided additional PPE as needed. Traditional classrooms will be laid out in ways that allow adequate distancing, and therefore make standard cloth face coverings sufficient. In lab settings or certain fine arts studios, where physical distancing is more challenging, added supplies will be provided to students as necessary.

Will gloves be provided to students?

In general, CDC guidance dictates that daily tasks should not require the use of gloves. Frequent hand washing provides better personal protection.

If I recently traveled and got sick, what should I do?

  • STAY HOME until you have received advice from a healthcare professional about what you should do during the 14 days after possible exposure to someone with COVID-19.
  • Please notify a university official (see below) and the Student Health Center BEFORE returning to campus if you may have been exposed to COVID-19 during your travels, so appropriate measures can be discussed to monitor for illness and reduce the risk of transmission in our community:
    • Faculty and staff should contact Mary Main, executive director of human resources.
    • Undergraduate students should contact Sidney Evans, vice president for student affairs and dean of students.
    • Law students should contact Trenya Mason, assistant dean for law student affairs.
  • Take your temperature twice a day and remain alert for fever, coughs, or difficulty breathing.
  • If you develop a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing:
    • Students: Contact the Student Health Center right away: 540-458-8401. Please call the center for advice about coming in for evaluation.
    • Faculty and Staff: Contact your primary care physician via telephone or email.
    • If employees have questions about leave, they may contact Human Resources at 540-458-8920 or humanresources@wlu.edu.
  • For further guidance, see the CDC's Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Travel-associated or Community Settings.

Other resources for questions related to COVID-19

What is being done to prepare the facilities for the return of employees and students?

Cleaning for health has always been the underlying approach to University Facilities custodial services, but additional preventive enhancements will be implemented to meet the health and safety challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide faculty, staff and students with a sanitary and clean environment.

Routine custodial services will be augmented with enhanced cleaning protocols in accordance with the CDC's Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces that includes the following daily activities:

  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect plexiglass dividers
  • Clean and disinfect desk tops, table tops and podium tops
  • Empty waste containers of used/discarded personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Electrostatic spraying of all touch surfaces with an EPA-approved one-step disinfectant
  • Electrostatic spraying of custodial equipment to avoid risk of cross contamination

Key enhancements to campus facilities include:

  1. Hand sanitizer dispenser stations will be installed at building entrances and other high-traffic areas. Although hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of the virus, practicing the CDC's proper hand-washing technique is considered to be more effective.
  2. Protective dividers/barriers have been installed at high personal interaction areas.
  3. Signage will be installed to help communicate important health and safety messages.
  4. Classroom and learning spaces occupancies and furniture have been adjusted to meet physical spacing requirements.
  5. Central HVAC systems will be operated using guidelines issued by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
  6. Provide hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes within facilities for use by faculty, staff and students to keep their classrooms, personal spaces and work surfaces clean. Faculty, staff and students should not bring their own cleaning and disinfecting products to campus as these may present additional safety concerns.

What will the university do if there is a possible case identified among students, faculty and staff on campus?

Should a case be positively identified, appropriate communications as guided by the Virginia Department of Health will occur. The Student Health Center has made plans for isolating sick students if needed. Protocols are in place for cleaning on-campus residences of affected students and workspaces of affected faculty and staff. Administrators will work with faculty, staff and students to make accommodations for extended absences.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Learn about COVID-19 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

How does coronavirus spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person interaction. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes. For more information, see the CDC page, How COVID-19 Spreads.

What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?

Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 symptoms on the CDC website.

What should I do if I think I’m sick with COVID-19?

If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately and follow this guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The CDC offers a Coronavirus Self-Checker that will walk a sick person through a series of questions related to symptoms, exposures and risk factors for COVID-19 and advise on next steps for home isolation and medical care.

In addition, the Virginia Department of Health offers a Feeling Sick? chart to help compare the symptoms of allergies, cold, strep throat, flu and COVID-19.

How can I protect myself and others?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

The CDC recommends this specific guidance to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home; stay at least 6 feet from other people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe at least daily.

In addition, the Virginia Department of Health offers these prevention tips.

Are there any cases in Lexington?

For the most up to date information regarding COVID-19 cases in our area, visit the Virginia Department of Health's COVID-19 Cases in Virginia Dashboard. Click on the Locality tab to view cases by county and city. Should a case on campus be positively identified, appropriate communications as guided by the Virginia Department of Health will occur.

Travel (view all)

If I recently traveled and got sick, what should I do?

  • STAY HOME until you have received advice from a healthcare professional about what you should do during the 14 days after possible exposure to someone with COVID-19.
  • Please notify a university official (see below) and the Student Health Center BEFORE returning to campus if you may have been exposed to COVID-19 during your travels, so appropriate measures can be discussed to monitor for illness and reduce the risk of transmission in our community:
    • Faculty and staff should contact Mary Main, executive director of human resources.
    • Undergraduate students should contact Sidney Evans, vice president for student affairs and dean of students.
    • Law students should contact Trenya Mason, assistant dean for law student affairs.
  • Take your temperature twice a day and remain alert for fever, coughs, or difficulty breathing.
  • If you develop a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing:
    • Students: Contact the Student Health Center right away: 540-458-8401. Please call the center for advice about coming in for evaluation.
    • Faculty and Staff: Contact your primary care physician via telephone or email.
    • If employees have questions about leave, they may contact Human Resources at 540-458-8920 or humanresources@wlu.edu.
  • For further guidance, see the CDC's Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Travel-associated or Community Settings.

I plan to travel outside the U.S. What should I do?

University-affiliated travel decisions are based on U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories and CDC Travel Health Notices. The university prohibits university-sponsored travel to any country with a State Department Level 4 Travel Advisory or a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice. Travel to countries with a State Department Level 3 Travel Advisory is strongly discouraged.

Travel abroad carries potential risks. Be aware that even a country not currently experiencing an outbreak could suddenly be declared a high-risk area, posing risks of exposure, difficulty with travel, or immigration barriers upon return to the U.S.

  • Visit your primary care physician in advance for current travel health and vaccination recommendations.
  • All travelers must register University-related travel through the Center for International Education travel registry system in order to be enrolled in our global health and emergency assistance insurance.
  • As part of registration, be sure you download and activate the Alert Traveler app. This will provide up to date information on coronavirus outbreaks and any other risks.
  • Enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ("STEP"), to receive current U.S. embassy alerts and messages for your destinations.

University Operations/Facilities (view all)

Has W&L canceled any events or restricted visitors to campus?

The university instituted several policies that took effect March 14, 2020, and remain in effect until further notice:

Starting in June, Washington and Lee is implementing a phased return to the workplace plan that applies to all faculty, staff and administrators. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our campus and surrounding community, and the plan has been designed to promote a gradual and safe return.

We will continue to monitor the spread of the virus and make changes to policies as necessary to protect the health and safety of our community. Decisions regarding future campus events will be communicated on W&L's Coronavirus Response website and via email.

What is being done to prepare the facilities for the return of employees and students?

Cleaning for health has always been the underlying approach to University Facilities custodial services, but additional preventive enhancements will be implemented to meet the health and safety challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide faculty, staff and students with a sanitary and clean environment.

Routine custodial services will be augmented with enhanced cleaning protocols in accordance with the CDC's Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces that includes the following daily activities:

  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect plexiglass dividers
  • Clean and disinfect desk tops, table tops and podium tops
  • Empty waste containers of used/discarded personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Electrostatic spraying of all touch surfaces with an EPA-approved one-step disinfectant
  • Electrostatic spraying of custodial equipment to avoid risk of cross contamination

Key enhancements to campus facilities include:

  1. Hand sanitizer dispenser stations will be installed at building entrances and other high-traffic areas. Although hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of the virus, practicing the CDC's proper hand-washing technique is considered to be more effective.
  2. Protective dividers/barriers have been installed at high personal interaction areas.
  3. Signage will be installed to help communicate important health and safety messages.
  4. Classroom and learning spaces occupancies and furniture have been adjusted to meet physical spacing requirements.
  5. Central HVAC systems will be operated using guidelines issued by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
  6. Provide hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes within facilities for use by faculty, staff and students to keep their classrooms, personal spaces and work surfaces clean. Faculty, staff and students should not bring their own cleaning and disinfecting products to campus as these may present additional safety concerns.

What will the university do if there is a possible case identified among students, faculty and staff on campus?

Should a case be positively identified, appropriate communications as guided by the Virginia Department of Health will occur. The Student Health Center has made plans for isolating sick students if needed. Protocols are in place for cleaning on-campus residences of affected students and workspaces of affected faculty and staff. Administrators will work with faculty, staff and students to make accommodations for extended absences.