Although the situation has changed significantly since the pandemic began in spring 2020, we know COVID-19 remains widespread in our region, across the country, and around the world, and we continue to closely monitor conditions. Based on current levels of transmission in St. Louis and in consultation with our team of medical advisors, we plan to take the following steps for fall.
At this time, we feel it is safe to begin pulling back some of our COVID mitigation efforts on campus, and are making the following changes to our masking policy.
While we remain hopeful that the situation will improve as the semester progresses, at this time we feel it’s necessary to take a somewhat cautious approach at first.
As always, our highest priority continues to be the health, safety and well-being of our campus community. With that in mind, we’re writing to share a number of changes that will impact our return to campus for the spring semester.
At this time, while we continue to keep a close eye on trends as they develop, we believe our current mitigation efforts remain effective measures to protect our university community against COVID-19. Looking ahead to spring, we plan to continue with our current requirements.
As we prepare to welcome our community back to campus next month, we wanted to reach out to share with you our plans for the fall semester at Washington University.
With the aim of protecting our community and the patients we serve, and returning to full in-person teaching, learning, research and campus life in the fall, we will require all Washington University faculty, staff and trainees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
At this time, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and our local health departments, as well as the insight of our COVID Monitoring Team, we are making a number of updates to our campus protocols.
We expect most staff will be on campus in the fall, though schools and units may be able to leverage some hybrid and remote working arrangements under limited circumstances.
You’re probably wondering how updated guidance might affect Washington University’s Commencement ceremonies, which are planned for this month for the Classes of 2020 and 2021. We are making the following updates to the protocols that we had originally put in place for these events.
All Washington University students on the Danforth and Medical Campuses will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Students must be fully vaccinated before they arrive on campus for the start of their fall academic term or August 30, whichever comes first.
We are planning to resume most of our on-campus activities in the fall. As always, the health and safety of our community will be our number one priority in all decisions.
We are working diligently to create plans that will allow for maximal in-person instruction, with flexibility to comply with any public health restrictions that may still be in place come August.
We have received a modest number of vaccines and will begin immediately to distribute these to members of the Washington University community and patients within the Washington University Clinics, in accordance with the rules set forth by the state and federal government.
We are so pleased to write to you today to let you know that, as long as conditions in the region remain favorable, we will be able to proceed with holding in-person ceremonies for both of your classes.
We know there are many questions about the vaccine: Who is eligible, how – and importantly when – they will receive it, and how our public health guidelines might be affected as individuals are getting vaccinated. Here is what we know now.
After careful consideration, we have decided to make the following changes to the academic calendar for the spring semester.
As we approach the final weeks of the fall semester, it is now time to turn our attention to spring, and what the next semester will look like at Washington University.
Because of the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission due to personal interactions around the holiday, undergraduate students who choose to travel more than 60 miles outside of the St. Louis region will not be allowed to return to campus for the remainder of the fall semester.
With many students set to begin returning to St. Louis this week, we are writing to share some important reminders and several updates related to our plans for COVID-19 testing.
Our team here has been hard at work since spring and we are now in the final stages of our preparations for the beginning of the fall semester for the rest of our students, for whom classes will resume on Monday, September 14. As that date draws near, we wanted to provide you with an update on our planning.
For the last several months, we have been squarely focused on planning for the fall semester and the steps we will take to bring our students, faculty, and staff back to the Danforth Campus as safely as possible for teaching, learning, research, and community. We are writing to you today to share our plan for fall.