Dear Danforth Campus students, faculty and staff,
It’s hard to believe the start of the 2021-22 academic year is just weeks away. We hope this message finds you all having a peaceful and enjoyable summer. As we prepare to welcome our community back to campus next month, we wanted to reach out to share with you our plans for the fall semester at Washington University.
These plans are based on what we know now. It’s important to keep in mind that some details may continue to evolve as conditions change regionally and nationally. We will keep you informed of any significant updates.
Our COVID Monitoring Team continues to keep a close eye on conditions in the St. Louis region, and with their guidance, we have determined that we will be able to resume most of our regular, in-person activities this semester. This is not to say it will be an entirely “normal” start to the academic year. As expected, due to such factors as the delta variant of COVID-19 and regional vaccination rates, we will need to continue to implement, at least in part, some of our public health requirements such as masking and self-screening in order to protect our community. We will adjust our policies as necessary and appropriate in the weeks and months ahead with the hope of removing restrictions when it is safe to do so.
Click here to see the full plan for fall on the WashU Together website. Here are some of the highlights:
Masking and physical distancing
Masks are required at indoor gatherings for everyone, regardless of vaccination status or the size of a meeting or gathering. Masks are not required when an individual is inside a private office or room or while eating or drinking, allowing for personal space as much as possible. Masks are required in open office settings such as cubicles. Masks are encouraged but not required for outdoor activities, particularly at large events or in crowded settings. Physical distancing is not required in most settings, but strongly encouraged for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
All students, faculty, staff and trainees are required to complete a daily self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus or leaving their on-campus residence. Individuals may be asked to show their screening result before entering a classroom, dining facility, recreation facility or other shared space, and at some university events. The screening tool is available at screening.wustl.edu.
Students who are not fully vaccinated at the start of the fall semester because they have an exemption or because they did not have access to approved vaccines before arriving on campus will be required to complete entry testing. We will continue to provide free COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff who develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time. Individuals with even mild symptoms – including those who have been fully vaccinated – should be tested for COVID-19.
All students, faculty, staff and trainees are required to upload proof that they have received the COVID-19 vaccine (or been granted an exemption) by August 30. More information is available on the COVID-19 vaccine FAQ page.
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 in Residential Life housing will be assigned to single or double rooms. A limited number of housing spaces for COVID-19 isolation and quarantine will be reserved in Millbrook Apartment Buildings 1 and 4.
Events and meetings
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.
Employees and students may participate in university-sponsored domestic travel with no prior approval required other than those that are regularly in place at the school or unit level. University-sponsored and supported international travel still requires approval in certain instances, according to the process outlined by the International Travel Oversight Committee.
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 may be required to complete an attestation that they are fully vaccinated and/or that they will follow all university guidance while on campus.
As we have since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to monitor developments closely and make any adjustments to our plans as the circumstances require, with the health and safety of our community as our highest priority. We will communicate directly with you when there are significant developments, and you can also always check the website for the latest updates.
We’re optimistic that we will be able to resume many of our cherished traditions this fall, and most importantly, that we can return to being the close, supportive and collaborative community that we always have been. We thank you for your ongoing support and, above all, for your commitment to one another. Because of you, we truly are “WashU Together.”
Andrew D. Martin
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs