It has been wonderful meeting with many of you over the past several months during my first semester at WashU as your Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Interacting with students each day reminds me of my “Why,” and meeting students is the highlight of my day. Whether it is seeing you at a campus event such as this week’s Moonlight Breakfast, or celebrating graduates during our December Recognition Ceremony, I am continuously inspired by the power of our community.
As we wrap up the fall semester, I’m writing to share an update on COVID-19, as well as important safety reminders. This week, we have seen a rise in COVID-19 cases among vaccinated students. In the majority of instances, these cases are a result of gathering together in groups, off campus, and unmasked. We know the requirements we have in place can feel restrictive, but we must continue to adhere to our COVID-19 public health guidelines. This is especially important as we gather more information about the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
My ask of each of you is to follow these safety reminders:
- If you are gathering in large groups, do so outdoors.
- If you are gathering socially indoors with others who you do not live with, wear a mask at all times.
- Complete your daily self-screen at screening.wustl.edu.
- Stay home and be tested if you are experiencing any symptoms, even if they are mild. (Call the COVID Call Center at 314-362-5056 for guidance and free testing.
- Be truthful and cooperate with our contact tracers to keep our community safe.
- Be mindful of your travel destinations should you be traveling during the upcoming break. In the event that you are unable to return to campus because of travel restrictions, be aware that we will not be able to guarantee remote learning options for every class.
- There are several great resources to refer to on the WashU Together page here.
In addition, please be aware that we’re asking faculty to check self-screenings when students enter classrooms for the remaining days of final exams. Please be sure to complete your screening each day and have the green check mark ready to show your instructor before you enter the room. Thanks for your help with this.
At this time, the University is not requiring COVID-19 booster shots; however, the booster is highly encouraged for eligible students. For members of our community interested in a booster vaccine, 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.
Anna “Dr. G” Gonzalez
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs