We are doing all we can to reduce the risk of further spread within our community. With most students and employees living and working away from campus, we are continuing to take all necessary precautions to keep our community safe.

Requirements for being on campus

Wear face coverings

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  • Wear a mask that fully covers your mouth and nose at all times while on campus, unless you are alone in an individual closed office space or are outside and can maintain six feet of physical distance from others.
  • If you do not have a mask, see the CDC’s guidance on creating one with or without sewing.
  • Wash your hands before placing and removing your mask.
  • Store your mask in a clean area when not in use.

Physical distancing

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  • Maintain at least six feet of separation from other people.
  • Avoid or minimize in-person meetings.
  • Talk to your manager about your area’s plan for staggering operations, meal times, etc.
  • Do not congregate in common areas (break rooms, conference rooms, common equipment rooms, etc.)
  • Wash your hands before and after entering a common area.

Practice good hygiene

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  • 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.
  • Alcohol-based disinfectant can be used if soap and water are not available. 
  • Review CDC guidance on hand-washing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Clean and disinfect highly touched surfaces frequently. Facilities will be cleaning offices and common areas, but you should use cleaning supplies provided to keep your workspace clean.
  • Clean and disinfect common areas after use. Ask your manager or refer to specific guidelines for your office, lab or workspace. Cleaning supplies are provided to each department for individual use when necessary. Facilities will also be cleaning spaces.
  • Do not share headsets or other equipment that is near your face.

Complete self-screening

Faculty, staff & graduate students

All personnel must complete and pass a daily health self-screening prior coming onto campus each day. If an individual does not pass the daily self-screening, they are not permitted on campus and must immediately contact Occupational Health at 314-362-5056.

Undergraduate students

Students on campus during the summer are reminded to monitor for symptoms and to reach out to Habif Health and Wellness Center with any concerns.

A self-screening process for students will be in place for fall semester 2020-21.


Contractors are required to have written safety protocols in place to address the safety of their employees and the campus community while working on campus. We expect our contractors to actively monitor their operations on a regular basis to ensure they are complying with these protocols and applicable orders and guidance from local jurisdictions and public health officials.

All outside contractors have provided written documentation of plans to mitigate transmission of COVID-19. At a minimum, these plans must meet the university’s protocols, although they may be stricter.

Learn more on the Human Resources website

COVID-19 Exposure or Diagnosis

If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have tested positive, Washington University students, faculty and staff are not permitted to come onto campus or, if living on campus, to leave their residence hall room, and must take the additional steps described below.

  1. Contact your health care provider.
  2. Employees also must contact Occupational Health at 314-362-5056 to notify them of possible exposure or diagnosis, and for clearance to return to campus.
  3. Students also must contact Habif Health and Wellness Center at 314-935-6666 to notify them of possible exposure or diagnosis, and for clearance to leave their residence hall room or return to campus.


If you have been told you must self-quarantine due to exposure to a COVID-19 positive person, you need to stay home for 14 days, wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

Take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.
  2. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds frequently.
  3. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not share meals, drinks or utensils. Use your own bathroom if possible.
  4. Do not go to work or school for this minimum 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  5. If you are an employee or student at the School of Medicine, contact Occupational Health at 314-362-5056.
  6. If you are a student on the Danforth Campus, contact Habif Health and Wellness Center at 314-935-6666.


Health Resources

COVID-19 is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes.

Ask the WashU Doctors

WashU’s response and vaccine research

A vaccine is not available yet to prevent infection, but scientists around the world – including here at the School of Medicine – are involved in research on coronavirus that could lead to a vaccine. Any vaccine in development likely will not be available in the near future.