Spring 2022 FAQ

Student testing FAQ

Hot Topics

What changes have been made to the plan for the spring semester?

As we have learned more about the omicron variant of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of various public health measures, we have determined that it’s in the best interest of the health, safety and well-being of our community to implement a number of changes. See the December 30 message to the Danforth Campus community and the updated Plan for 2021-2022 for details.

Also see Spring 2022 FAQs.

What testing will students complete at the start of the spring semester?

All Danforth Campus students will complete pre-arrival and entry self-testing before in-person instruction begins for the spring semester.  See the January 18 message to students and the student testing FAQ for more information.

What should employees do if they are exposed to COVID-19 or test positive?

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have any symptoms, you may need to be tested or to quarantine/isolate, or both. To learn about what you need to do, visit the Exposure & Illness Procedures page on the School of Medicine website.

Where can I go to get a COVID-19 test?

If you have even mild symptoms of COVID-19, call the COVID Call Center at 314-362-5056 for guidance and to arrange for a free test. The university is providing free diagnostic testing to all students, faculty and staff with symptoms.

Please note: The Call Center is currently experiencing a very high volume of calls and is prioritizing individuals who work in clinics and hospitals and cannot work remotely. Asymptomatic exposure testing is not currently available through the Call Center.

Non-clinical/hospital faculty and staff who are asymptomatic and need testing due to COVID-19 exposure should contact their personal physician, an urgent care center or a local pharmacy. Danforth Campus students should email habifpublichealth@wustl.edu.

Learn more about COVID-19 testing

Do I need to get a COVID-19 booster?

All students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged and expected to receive a COVID-19 booster shot if they are eligible to receive one. We are not requiring the booster at this time, but may do so in the future. After receiving a booster, students and employees should update their vaccination records on the Habif Health and Wellness Center website or the ReadySet portal, respectively. 

We are holding booster clinics on the Danforth Campus for students, faculty and staff in January and February. Make your booster shot appointment here.

Individuals who have already been approved for a COVID-19 vaccine exemption are not expected to receive a booster or request an additional exemption. Students who are participating in study abroad programs are required to receive boosters.

The CDC has recommended COVID-19 booster shots for everyone ages 16 and older. Booster appointments are readily available at most public clinics or retail pharmacies. To find a booster vaccine near you, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/search/ and type in your zip code.

Visit the COVID-19 vaccine FAQ page and the spring semester FAQ for additional information.

FAQs

Academic Calendar & Policies

What are the dates for the 2021-2022 academic?
The full 2021-22 academic calendar is available online.

How are classes being delivered?
Courses are being 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. 

Are masks or physical distancing required in classrooms?
In accordance with 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.

Is there guidance available for faculty and students about how to manage COVID in the classroom?
Yes. See the COVID Classroom FAQ page for guidance and policies.

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 have worked hard to plan the academic year 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.

Campus Access & Visitors

Are buildings open?
Yes. Danforth Campus buildings are open during normal business hours. Specific hours may vary by building. After hours and on weekends, students, faculty and staff can swipe into most campus buildings with a university ID card.

Is the Sumers Recreation Center open?
The Sumers Recreation Center is 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 and other Danforth Campus libraries are open to those with a valid WashU ID. See the individual library’s location pages for hours and related details.

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. See Events with Visitors Checklist for more information.

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?
Yes. Normal parking protocols are in place for the fall semester. More information is available on the Parking & Transportation website.

Events & Activities

What is the current event policy?
Through at least the end of January, social events will not be allowed on the Danforth Campus. In-person business meetings while wearing masks may continue, but food and drink should not be served. 

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. See Events with Visitors Checklist for more information.

Are spring sports taking place?
All Washington University varsity sports that are in season will continue as long as conditions permit. As a temporary safety measure, we are not allowing spectators at university athletic events until conditions improve. Decisions about club sports have not been made yet and will be communicated by January 7. 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 Medical Advisory Group.

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

What should employees do if they are exposed to COVID-19 or test positive?
If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have any symptoms, you may need to be tested or to quarantine/isolate, or both. To learn about what you need to do, visit the Exposure & Illness Procedures page on the School of Medicine website.

Are Danforth Campus faculty and staff returning to campus for fall as planned?
Faculty, staff and trainees will continue to return to campus according to previously submitted school and unit plans. Any adjustments to submitted plans will be handled at the school or unit level. All students, faculty, staff and trainees 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. Faculty, staff, and trainees with exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine must undergo weekly surveillance testing.

Were faculty and staff required to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. See 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

What testing will students complete at the start of the spring semester?
All Danforth Campus students will complete pre-arrival and entry self-testing before in-person instruction begins for the spring semester.  See the January 18 message to students and the student testing FAQ for more information.

Where can I go to get a COVID-19 test?
If you have even mild symptoms of COVID-19, call the COVID Call Center at 314-362-5056 for guidance and to arrange for a free test. The university is providing free diagnostic testing to all students, faculty and staff with symptoms.

Please note: The Call Center is currently experiencing a very high volume of calls and is prioritizing individuals who work in clinics and hospitals and cannot work remotely. Asymptomatic exposure testing is not currently available through the Call Center.

Non-clinical/hospital faculty and staff who are asymptomatic and need testing due to COVID-19 exposure should contact their personal physician, an urgent care center or a local pharmacy. Danforth Campus students should email habifpublichealth@wustl.edu.

Learn more about COVID-19 testing

Is it safe to travel and gather with family and friends for the holidays?
COVID-19 activity is still high and rising in the region and much of the country. Our medical experts have some guidance for how to safely travel and enjoy holiday gatherings with family and friends. See COVID-19 holiday guidance

Are students required to get the COVID-19 vaccine? What about students who are returning for the first time for the spring semester?
All students, faculty, staff and trainees were required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before the start of the fall semester. Students who are enrolling this spring semester for the first time or are returning this spring semester after a leave of absence are required to receive the vaccine or apply for a medical or religious exemption by January 10, 2022. Students who do not comply with the vaccination requirement will be administratively withdrawn from their courses by the start of the spring semester. Individuals who are approved for an exemption are required to adhere to surveillance testing requirements in order to remain enrolled in their classes, as further described in the testing section above.

Do I need to get a COVID-19 booster?
All students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged and expected to receive a COVID-19 booster shot if they are eligible to receive one. We are not requiring the booster at this time, but may do so in the future. After receiving a booster, students and employees should update their vaccination records on the Habif Health and Wellness Center website or the ReadySet portal, respectively. We will hold booster clinics on the Danforth Campus for students, faculty and staff in January and February. Details about these clinics will be provided soon. Individuals who have already been approved for a COVID-19 vaccine exemption are not expected to receive a booster or request an additional exemption. Students who are participating in study abroad programs are required to receive boosters.

The CDC has recommended COVID-19 booster shots for everyone ages 16 and older. Booster appointments are readily available at most public clinics or retail pharmacies. To find a booster vaccine near you, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/search/ and type in your zip code.

Visit the COVID-19 vaccine FAQ page and the spring semester FAQ for additional information.

Why isn’t the university requiring boosters?
We have set the expectation that all of our students, faculty and staff who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster will get one. At this time, we are relying on the members of our community to take personal responsibility for taking this step and do not feel that we need to have a mandate at this time. We are asking everyone to upload their booster documentation (students to the Habif Health and Wellness Center website and employees to ReadySet) and we will monitor progress and determine whether a requirement may be necessary in the future.

Can I get a COVID-19 booster through the university?
We strongly encourage you to get a booster through your personal physician or a local urgent care or pharmacy before returning to campus. To find a vaccine near you, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/search/ and type in your zip code. In the event that you are unable to do this, the university will hold booster clinics for Danforth Campus students, faculty and staff in January and February. Details about these clinics will be provided soon.

Do I need to provide documentation that I’ve received my booster?
Yes, students and employees who receive a booster should update their vaccination records on the Habif Health and Wellness Center website or ReadySet, respectively.

Are masks required on campus?
Yes, in all indoor spaces. See the Danforth Campus mask requirements page 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.

Were students and employees required 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 were required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. See 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.

What testing for COVID-19 is available?
All Danforth Campus students will complete pre-arrival and entry self-testing before in-person instruction begins for the spring semester. The university will mail a kit with two COVID-19 self-tests to each Danforth Campus student who has a U.S. address listed in official university records. Students must review and, if needed, update their address in WebSTAC by no later than Sunday, January 2. See instructions in the spring semester FAQ.

Students will be expected to complete pre-arrival testing and will be required to complete entry testing utilizing these tests. Through the test kit mobile app, students will be able to send their results directly to the university. 

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 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.

What changes the university made to its heating and cooling (HVAC) systems?
As part of a comprehensive approach to mitigate COVID-19 risk on campus, building air ventilation and filtration have been evaluated and optimized consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidelines.

There are a variety of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems used on campus requiring independent evaluation and optimization strategies. Danforth Maintenance Operations proactively monitors the performance of these systems, conducts preventative maintenance and ensures systems operate as designed.

In addition, Danforth Maintenance Operations in partnership with Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) and Infectious Disease, performed a review of HVAC systems serving campus buildings in 2021. In most cases, existing HVAC performance along with proactive operation and maintenance measures were determined to meet the CDC and ASHRAE performance guidelines. Additional measures were implemented in locations that did not meet performance expectations, including: upgraded filtration, extended run time of air systems, increased outdoor air supply, and deployment of portable air filtration units.

Danforth Maintenance Operations and/or EH&S staff also respond directly to any concerns reported by building occupants. Additional ventilation evaluations and improvements will be conducted as needs arise or new information is learned. To report any concerns, contact Danforth Facilities Customer Service at 314-935-5544.

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.

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