Hot Topics

What is the plan for the fall semester?

The plan for fall is available on this website. Having a fully vaccinated community will allow us to ease many of the restrictions that were in place during the last academic year. In light of regional conditions, as we begin the semester we will require our community to follow some key public health requirements. As always, we will monitor the evolving conditions of the pandemic, and we are prepared to adapt our policies as the situation warrants, with the hope of removing restrictions when it is safe to do so. 

Read full fall plan

Are masks required on campus?

Yes, in all indoor spaces. We reinstated our indoor mask requirement in accordance with the city and county mandates that went into effect July 26. See the message to the university community for more information.

The COVID Monitoring Team continues to closely monitor regional conditions, as well as federal and local guidance, and will reevaluate its recommendations as needed.

Is the university requiring students and employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. To protect the health of our community, all Washington University students, faculty, staff and trainees on the Danforth and Medical Campuses will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. See the June 15 message to employees and the June 7 message to students and the COVID-19 vaccine FAQ page for more information.

How can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccination appointments are now available through the university for all Washington University students, faculty and staff and their family members ages 12 and older. Click here to preregister to receive the vaccine.

See the COVID-19 vaccine FAQ for more information.

FAQs

Academic Calendar & Policies

What are the dates for the fall 2021 semester?
The fall semester will begin on August 30. The full 2021-22 academic calendar is available online.

How will classes be delivered?
Fall 2021 courses will be held predominantly in person. Modalities for specific courses can be found at courses.wustl.edu. Students who have symptoms of COVID-19 must call the COVID Call Center or Habif Health and Wellness Center for testing and should not attend any in-person class. Missing in-person class sessions for this reason will be considered an excused absence. Students may be asked to provide appropriate documentation based on course policy. In the case of discussion, studio, lab or other format courses, students should check their syllabus and/or discuss with their instructor what they should do in the event that they must miss class. Lecture-based courses will be recorded for the benefit of students who are unable to attend class due to symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19. 

Will masks or physical distancing be required in classrooms?
In accordance with St. Louis County regulations and the guidance of our medical experts, students and faculty are required to wear masks at all times during indoor classes. Physical distancing is not required in classrooms where everyone is masked, but strongly recommended for those who are not fully vaccinated.

Admissions & Financial Aid

How has financial aid been affected by the pandemic? Will current aid awards be honored?
We are committed to meeting demonstrated financial need for all admitted students. Should the university need to limit access to campus and move to an online instructional environment in the future, all financial aid awards will be honored. The university will also continue to review and adjust aid to support students and families whose financial situations change during the course of their undergraduate enrollment at the university. Additional information regarding Student Financial Services can be found here.

Will any additional financial assistance be available to students who have different needs due to the pandemic?
For students and families whose financial situations have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Student Financial Services is available to discuss assistance that may be available.  In addition, the university will ensure that all students have access to a laptop computer.

In the event that the university needs to move to alternate operations again as a result of the pandemic and instruction is shifted to all remote, will tuition be reduced?
No. We are working hard to plan the spring academic semester in a manner that meets Washington University’s high academic standards while also taking the measures necessary to enhance the safety of all members of our community. The public health measures we must take mean that the semester will be different from anything we have seen before. What will not change, however, is the commitment of the Washington University faculty to provide students with a high-quality educational experience. Students will continue to receive academic instruction from Washington University faculty members, in person and/or online, and we will continue to provide academic support services and resources.  Students enrolled in the spring semester will continue to earn academic credit and make progress toward completion of a Washington University degree. The tuition assessed for the semester will be as previously announced.

If the public health situation changes such that we must suspend all in-person classes, instruction will be provided remotely or through other alternative means and there will be no tuition refunds based on that transition. If a student chooses to withdraw, entitlement to a partial refund will be determined in accordance with normal refund policies.

See additional Financial Aid FAQs

Campus Access & Visitors

Are buildings open?
Buildings are accessible only by card swipe with a valid university ID. Students, faculty and staff can swipe into most campus buildings every day from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. In addition, they can swipe into their designated building(s) at any time. These include assigned residence halls for students, and office- or school-specific buildings for faculty and staff. Limits on building capacity for some campus buildings are in effect. One-way entrances and exits have been designated in a few locations to avoid congestion. Access to buildings or labs for students, faculty and staff may be requested by a department representative or advisor by contacting Card Access.

Is the Sumers Recreation Center open?
The Sumers Recreation Center will remain open to students, faculty, staff. Masks are required in all areas of the recreation center including during the use of cardio equipment. Masks are not required in some areas within the recreation center where it would not be possible to wear one (e.g., swimming pool, while showering).

Are libraries open?
The John M. Olin Library is offering limited services to faculty, students and staff by appointment and as outlined on the libraries website.  Access to all Olin Library spaces and services will be via card swipe only. Visit the libraries website for additional information.

Are visitors allowed on campus?
As long as conditions permit, visitors are allowed on campus, but are required to complete a self-screening using the university’s visitor screening tool. All visitors must follow university requirements for masking and physically distancing while on campus. Visitors attending university events will be required to complete an attestation that they are fully vaccinated and/or that they will follow all university guidance while on campus. Event organizers will provide details about any such requirements.

Are there any requirements for contractors working on campus?
Contractor employees working on a university campus in proximity to others are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Are parking permits still required on campus?
From June 1-August 15, the Danforth Campus will have an open-park policy. This means parking in yellow permit or visitor-designated spaces will be allowed without the use of a permit and/or payment. Faculty and staff will not receive payroll deductions for 2020-21 Danforth Campus parking permits during the months of June and July. Additionally, students will receive refunds to student accounts, which should be reflected toward the end of June. Parking restrictions will still be enforced in red-permitted spaces, reserved spaces, accessible spaces and fire lanes throughout the Danforth Campus. More information is available on the Parking & Transportation website.

Events & Activities

What is the current event policy?
Internal events that only include members of the Washington University community are allowed with no maximum number of people, as long as masking guidelines are followed. Outdoor events are strongly encouraged and indoor events should be planned to allow sufficient space to avoid crowding. 

As long as conditions permit, events may be held that are open to the public or that include invited guests who are not Washington University students, faculty or staff. For these events, members of the public and invited guests must complete an attestation that they are fully vaccinated and/or that they will follow all university guidance while on campus. The attestation will be available on the visitor screening tool.

Food and drink are allowed at events and meetings, as long as they are held outdoors, in dining venues or in spaces that allow sufficient space for physical distancing as needed. Event guidelines may change depending on conditions in the region.

Are fall sports taking place?
At this time, we plan for fall sports teams to compete as scheduled. Competition, practices, team travel and any public health measures required during those activities will be approved by the Athletics Department in consultation with the COVID Monitoring Team. 

Are weddings being held on campus?
Because of our ongoing safety concerns, the university has determined that we will not accept new applications for wedding ceremonies in Graham Chapel for the remainder of 2021. We anticipate that the wedding ceremony application process will reopen on January 1, 2022. At that time, wedding parties may apply for all dates in 2022. Additionally at that time, the standard process for applying for weddings 14 months out for affiliates, and 12 months out for non-affiliates, will resume for the year 2023. Visit the Event Management website for more information. Additional questions may be directed to Campus Life at 314-935-3443.

Faculty & Staff

Are Danforth Campus faculty and staff returning to campus for fall as planned?
Yes. Faculty, staff and trainees will return to campus for the fall semester according to previously submitted school and unit plans. Any adjustments to submitted plans will be handled at the school or unit level. Faculty, staff and trainees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by no later than August 30, and must complete a self-screening before coming to campus each day. Anyone with even mild symptoms of COVID-19 should call the COVID Call Center at 314-362-5056 for guidance and to arrange for a free test.

Are faculty and staff required to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. See the June 15 message to employees and the COVID-19 vaccine FAQ page for more information.

What are the policies for working remotely?
Human Resources policies have been adjusted to encourage telecommuting and flexible work hours. See Flexible Work Arrangement Policy on the Human Resources website.

Where can instructors go for information about online teaching?
Instructors at all levels (including faculty, lecturers, assistants in instruction and teaching assistants) should go to Teaching & Learning Continuity for information about online teaching. Also see Frequently Asked Questions on that site.

Where can faculty and staff find technical support?
Learn about WashU IT Services on the WashU IT website.

What counseling and support resources are available for faculty and staff?
Faculty and staff may contact the university’s employee assistance program, Work-Life Solutions. Support for individuals affected by bias is also available, and any member of the community can report a bias incident or related concerns.

What resources and support are available for employees who need child care?
WashU employees, have access to child care and elder care benefits, as well as an array of family tips, tools and WashU expert-led courses and articles aimed at helping employees take care of their families. Visit HR’s new Child and Family Care Hub.

Health & Safety

Are masks required on campus?
Yes, in all indoor spaces. We reinstated our indoor mask requirement in accordance with the city and county mandates that went into effect July 26. See the July 26 message to the university community for more information.

The COVID Monitoring Team continues to closely monitor regional conditions, as well as federal and local guidance, and will reevaluate its recommendations as needed.

Is the university requiring students and employees to get the vaccine?
Yes. To protect the health of our community, all Washington University students, faculty, staff and trainees on the Danforth and Medical Campuses will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. See the June 15 message to employees and the June 7 message to students and the COVID-19 vaccine FAQ page for more information.

How do I provide my vaccine documentation?

FACULTY AND STAFF

  • Take a picture or scan your COVID-19 proof of vaccination
    • Please save the file in one of the extension formats: pdf, png, jpg, jpeg, txt, doc, docx, tif, tiff
  • Log in to your ReadySet account and go to the “My Health” tab
    • For a better experience, using Google Chrome is recommended
  • Choose “Documents” from the side navigation and then click “Upload Document”
  • Click “Select a File”’ to upload the document
  • Name the file in the “Document Name”’ field
  • Select “Document Type” and “COVID-19 Vaccination”

Note: Faculty and staff who receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the university do not need to upload documentation. Your information will be updated in the system for you.

STUDENTS

Upload an image of your COVID-19 vaccination record card in your student health portal by visiting the Habif Health and Wellness Center website and clicking on the link for “Log in to the student portal.” Danforth Campus students, if you are already fully vaccinated, please complete this no later than July 15.

What if I lost my vaccine card?
If you lost your vaccine card or other proof of vaccination, you should contact the organization where you received the vaccination to obtain proof of vaccination. If you cannot obtain proof, please contact Occupational Health at covidvaccine@wustl.edu.

Who can I contact with a question about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Consult your personal physician for medical advice. You can email covidquestions@wustl.edu with questions about the university vaccine requirement, and you can email covidvaccine@wustl.edu  with questions about your vaccination appointment.

How can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccination appointments are now available through the university for all Washington University students, faculty and staff and their family members ages 12 and older. Click here to preregister to receive the vaccine.

See the COVID-19 vaccine FAQ for more information.

What testing for COVID-19 is available?

We continue to provide testing for all Washington University students, faculty and staff who develop COVID-19-related symptoms at any time upon referral from Habif Health and Wellness Center or Occupational Health. 

In addition, the 1234 Kingshighway site is available to all WashU employees, students and family members for asymptomatic testing for a cost of $50 per test (which covers the operational costs of the test). Members of the university community may schedule this testing here.

How do I complete my daily self-screening?
All students, faculty and staff must complete a daily self-screening to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to campus. Individuals living in residential housing who are not fully vaccinated must complete a daily self-screening before leaving their residence hall room. Anyone showing symptoms or otherwise not passing the daily screen (i.e., not receiving a green checkmark) will be required to stay home and contact university health services (Habif Health and Wellness Center for students and Occupational Health for employees) for further instructions. Visit screening.wustl.edu and log in with your WUSTL key to complete the screening.

If someone in the university community tests positive, will they have to isolate or quarantine? How will this be handled?
The university will provide isolation housing for students who test positive unless they are able to isolate in an off-campus location and quarantine housing for students who have been directed to quarantine due to exposure, pending test results or other circumstances. The university will conduct follow-up procedures for all students, faculty and staff to determine that they are cleared to return to campus following a positive test. It also will provide meals and other essential services to meet needs of students who need to be quarantined or isolated in the university-provided quarantine and isolation locations. The amount of time students must remain in quarantine or isolation will be determined by current CDC guidelines.

What if someone I know tests positive or is presumed positive? Should I notify someone?
When a member of the university community tests positive, is presumed positive or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (see CDC guidelines on exposure), that individual must report this information to Habif Health and Wellness Center (students) or Occupational Health (employees).

Members of the university community should respect the privacy of their fellow colleagues and peers and avoid sharing another person’s confidential health information with others. The university has obligations under HIPAA, FERPA, ADA and other federal and state laws, and, depending upon the circumstances, such disclosures may constitute a violation of these laws and University policy. Learn more about reporting and response to COVID-positive cases or exposure on the Danforth Campus.

Is a flu vaccination required in order to be on campus?
Yes. All students, faculty and staff who are physically present on campus were required to receive an influenza vaccine by November 20, 2020. See flu vaccine information for students and faculty and staff. Flu vaccines are provided free of charge.

Has the university made any changes to its heating and cooling (HVAC) systems?
Yes. University Facilities has implemented a variety of indoor air quality strategies to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 transmission. These include increasing fresh air supply and implementing MERV-13 filtration. Each building is being reviewed, and the appropriate strategies are being deployed based upon the system design. 

This has been so hard for everyone. How can I get through this? How can I help others? 
The past year has been an incredible challenge for everyone, requiring sacrifices, patience, perseverance, resilience and optimism. For many of us, it can seem challenging to keep going, especially since we have been dealing with multiple crises for such a long time. You and your friends may be struggling to maintain the energy to do the things you need to do to manage your workload and your personal life. But there are things you can do that may help you feel better.  Find tips and resources for coping.

Student Resources & Information

What counseling and support resources are available for students?

Travel & Study Abroad

What is the current university travel policy?
Work-related domestic travel can resume and no longer requires pre-approval by the chancellor or the provost, a dean, executive vice chancellor or vice chancellor. Schools, departments and units may have other pre-approval processes unrelated to the pandemic.  Work-related domestic travel approval has returned to pre-pandemic policy.

Starting August 1, 2021, faculty, staff, and graduate/professional students (on an individual basis) may resume university-sponsored and supported international travel in accordance with the university’s standard international travel policy. Details can be found here

Undergraduate student and group graduate/professional student university-sponsored and supported international travel is suspended through the fall 2021 semester.

What changes has the university made to its study abroad and international academic study programs in light of the COVID-19 outbreak?
Given the continued uncertainty surrounding international travel conditions, the university has suspended all undergraduate student and group graduate/professional student university-sponsored and supported international travel, including study abroad through the fall 2021 semester. 

These decisions are based on the health and safety concerns associated with international travel, ongoing spread of COVID-19 variants, restrictive entry requirements and potential disruption due to ongoing revisions to academic and program calendars. 

Which applications used by WashU are blocked by certain countries?
Visit the Overseas Technology Access webpage for a breakdown of which applications are blocked by which country and what options are available.

Don’t see your question listed? Email us at covidquestions@wustl.edu and we’ll try to help.

For More Information