All Updates

Health and safety requirements

July 8, 2020

Dear Washington University community,

I hope this finds you well and that you were able to enjoy a bit of relaxation over the recent holiday weekend, or that you will be able to take a well-deserved break soon. I know this summer is an unusual one and probably busier than normal for many of you, as you work to manage your professional activities and personal lives amid the ongoing disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As you know, while some of our faculty, staff, and trainees have returned to their on-campus activities, research and scholarship, many others are still working remotely, and only a small number of undergraduate students are on campus this summer. We will share details on our plans for the fall semester soon. In the meantime, for those who are now on campus, whether for short periods of time or for full days, there are a number of important steps we all must take to help keep our community safe and healthy. Please read the information below carefully. 

Any individual who is physically present on any of our campuses must follow these requirements at all times:

  • Complete daily self-screening. All personnel and graduate students coming to campus are required to visit and complete the self-screening survey every day before arriving on campus. If you do not pass the daily self-screening, you are not permitted on campus and must immediately contact Occupational Health at 314-362-5056. If you do pass the self-screen, you should receive an email with a green checkmark. On the Danforth Campus, you must forward this email to your supervisor before coming to campus. On the Medical Campus, you must present your checkmark at a screening station or forward the email to your supervisor.

    The small number of undergraduate students who are approved to be living in residence halls on campus during the summer are reminded to monitor for symptoms and to contact Habif Health and Wellness Centerimmediately if you begin to experience any symptoms. A daily self-screening process for students will be in place for the start of the fall semester.
  • Wear a face covering. Universal masking is very important for slowing the spread of COVID-19. Your mask reduces the chance that you will expose others, as well as providing some protection for you. Masks are required at all times on the Danforth Campus, unless you are working alone in a closed, individual office. Information about the mask requirement on the Medical Campus is available here
  • Practice physical distancing. Maintain at least six feet of separation from other people and avoid or minimize in-person meetings. Follow all instructions specific to your work or study spaces, including common areas such as break rooms and conference rooms. This is especially important when eating and drinking. Do not take off your mask to eat or drink without physically distancing yourself at least six feet away from others.
  • Wash your hands and practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. Avoid touching your face and clean and disinfect highly touched surfaces frequently. 

We are taking these requirements very seriously. These four simple practices are vital to our collective health. It is incredibly important that every person on campus follows these instructions fully and consistently. This includes all WashU personnel, as well as all visitors (contractors, vendors, etc.), except those under 2 years of age. The health and safety of our entire community depends on each of us doing our part for the greater good. What we do now will have a significant impact on what we’re able to do this fall, and it is absolutely critical that we pull together to take the necessary precautions to protect each other and our future. 

We will share more information in the weeks ahead about our next steps toward returning more fully to campus. Please watch your email and visit the WashU Together website ( and the Medical Campus COVID-19 updates page ( for the latest information. 

It’s likely that there will be bumps in the road as we find our way through the challenges ahead. We continue to work in close collaboration with our world-class medical and public health experts to respond to the challenges ahead in order to provide a safe campus environment as we move forward. We’re extraordinarily grateful to every one of you for patience, as well as your commitment to the safety and well-being of our university community. Thank you for doing your part to help keep us safe and healthy and, eventually, to bring us back together. 


Andrew D. Martin