As we begin the Spring 2022 semester, Wake Forest has united in our collaborative efforts to have a fully operational campus. From listening to faculty, staff and students, we are aware of various concerns regarding the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. We have created a set of guidelines regarding public health expectations and our approach to the spring semester in response to the ongoing pandemic and concerns regarding the Omicron variant. The following protocols are implemented in support of the University COVID-19 Policy.
Protocols for the Spring 2022 Semester
Last Updated: March 1, 2022 (faculty, staff and students will be notified of changes by email)
- FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots have proven to be highly effective in protecting against severe illness and hospitalization caused by all known variants of COVID-19 and are the best way to resume a sense of normalcy.
- There is a vaccination and booster shot requirement for faculty, staff and students.
- Faculty, staff, and students who are not fully vaccinated, including those who received an exemption, will be required to quarantine per University policy if exposed to COVID-19.
- Beginning March 19, masks will continue to be required in healthcare facilities, on University transportation and under the circumstances outlined below. Masks will be optional in all other campus spaces, including classrooms. UPDATE (April 13): School of Law reinstates indoor mask requirement
- Faculty and staff may request that students and colleagues wear masks in their respective classrooms, conference rooms and individual offices through the end of the semester.
- Faculty, staff and students with underlying health conditions can submit a request for reasonable accommodations through the normal accommodation processes.
- Additional guidance:
- Individuals should wear a mask if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Individuals with underlying health conditions, medical or religious exemptions for COVID vaccinations or who are not yet up-to-date on COVID vaccinations are advised to continue wearing masks indoors as a personal precaution.
- Individuals may choose to wear masks for a variety of personal reasons. Please respect their privacy regarding these choices.
- Reporting Positive Tests
- All students (undergraduate and graduate) who receive a positive COVID-19 test result off campus are required to notify Wake Forest Best Health (firstname.lastname@example.org or 743-223-4217).
- Faculty and staff who receive a positive COVID-19 test result off campus must notify their supervisor and the Faculty and Staff Clinic (743-223-4217).
- Asymptomatic Testing (for individuals who are not fully vaccinated or who have received an exemption to a University vaccination requirement)
- UPDATE: As of Saturday, March 19, Wake Forest will no longer require asymptomatic testing of individuals with exemptions to the University’s vaccination policy.
- Asymptomatic weekly testing, managed by WF BestHealth, will be held in Room B274 of the Wellbeing Center.
- Faculty and staff failing to participate in asymptomatic testing may be subject to corrective action up to and including suspension or termination.
- Students failing to participate in asymptomatic testing may be subject to the appropriate student conduct process.
- Diagnostic Testing (for individuals exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19)
- Diagnostic testing for students is available at the Student Health Service.
- Diagnostic testing for faculty and staff is available through the Faculty and Staff Clinic.
- Post-Exposure Testing(for individuals who may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19)
- Students, faculty and staff must comply with University directives for COVID-19 testing after an exposure to COVID-19, as guided by public health recommendations.
Quarantine and Isolation
The most up-to-date information on Wake Forest’s quarantine and isolation policies will be on the Our Way Forward website.
- Students, faculty and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 are required to be evaluated for symptoms, submit to be tested for COVID-19 if indicated, and report positive results.
- Symptomatic students, faculty and staff who have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 or unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff who are awaiting the results of COVID-19 testing will be required to isolate pending test results.
- Unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff who are required to undergo weekly asymptomatic testing must follow CDC guidelines for isolation if their testing confirms COVID-19. These individuals will not need to isolate while waiting for weekly testing results.
- Students, faculty and staff who are required to isolate will not be allowed to access campus except to attend medical appointments in the Student Health Service (students) or to remain in their isolation housing if this is on campus.
- Release from isolation will be determined by a medical provider and/or public health officials based on the University’s criteria for discontinuation of isolation for non-hospitalized individuals (which, in some circumstances, may require a negative test result). Individuals who were hospitalized will also need to meet the criteria for release from isolation per CDC criteria for hospitalized patients.
- Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who reside in on-campus housing will be required to isolate until criteria for discontinuation of isolation has been satisfied. Students may isolate in housing provided by the University or another location of their choice while following CDC guidelines for isolation precautions.
- Students who reside in off-campus housing will be instructed to isolate themselves from others until criteria for discontinuation of isolation has been satisfied. For health and safety reasons and to minimize the risk of virus transmission, contact tracers may also review a student’s living environment and request that any student residing off-campus relocate to isolate or quarantine in a space provided by the University (depending on availability) or to another location. Students may receive occasional calls from the clinical staff at WF BestHealth for symptom monitoring, care, and other support.
- Employees who have been instructed to isolate due to a positive COVID-19 test result will be instructed to follow CDC guidelines for isolation precautions. Employees are required to report if they tested positive or have been tested and results are pending to the Faculty & Staff Clinic (FSC), who will provide additional instructions.
- All individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 by an antigen or PCR test or who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider are required to be isolated. The onset of isolation begins the day of onset of symptoms. If the individual does not develop symptoms, the onset of isolation begins the day of the positive test or diagnosis of COVID-19. The individual may be released from isolation after five (5) days regardless of their vaccination status if:
- They have no symptoms of COVID-19 or their symptoms have completely resolved.
- Their symptoms are improving and they have had a negative test (antigen) at day 5.
- They have had no fever for at least 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medications)
- They agree to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days after being released from isolation in all indoor settings (including residence hall rooms and spaces and all University buildings) and in every situation in which close contact is anticipated with other individuals (e.g., crowded outdoor events).
- Students, faculty and staff who have been exposed to COVID-19 through close contact with an infected individual will be required to quarantine based on University guidelines (see next question for details). Healthcare workers are required to quarantine until they meet the CDC recommendations for healthcare workers and OSHA ETS Return to Work criteria.
- Students, faculty and staff will be notified by the Contact Tracing Team of their recent exposure to someone with COVID-19. Faculty, staff, and students who have experienced an exposure to COVID-19 outside of the workplace or away from campus are required to notify the Faculty & Staff Clinic to evaluate the need for quarantine and/or testing for COVID-19.
- Students should email email@example.com.
- Faculty and staff should contact the clinic by phone at (743) 223-4217.
- Students who must quarantine and who reside in on-campus housing may quarantine in housing provided by the University or another location of their choice while following CDC guidelines for quarantine precautions.
- Students who must quarantine and who reside in off campus housing will be instructed to separate themselves from others based on CDC guidelines for quarantine precautions. For health and safety reasons and to minimize the risk of virus transmission, University officials may also review a student’s living environment and request that any student residing off-campus relocate to quarantine in a space provided by the University (depending on availability) or to another location, subject to University approval. Students may receive occasional calls from the clinical staff at WF BestHealth for symptom monitoring, care, and other support.
- Employees who must quarantine will be instructed to separate themselves from others based on CDC guidelines for quarantine precautions. Employees are required to report an exposure to the Faculty & Staff Clinic (FSC), who will provide additional instructions.
- Fully vaccinated individuals (as defined below) who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 will not require quarantine. They will need to wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after being exposed to someone with COVID-19 in all indoor settings (including residence hall rooms and spaces and in all University buildings) and in every situation in which close contact is anticipated with other individuals (e.g., crowded outdoor events).
- Fully vaccinated individuals should monitor symptoms of COVID-19 during the 10 days following exposure and should be tested as soon as possible if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
- Fully vaccinated individuals should be tested for COVID-19 between days 3-5 following exposure (antigen or PCR test). A negative test does not change the masking requirements.
- Individuals who are not fully vaccinated will require quarantine as described below:
- Quarantine will be for five (5) days after the exposure as long as:
- The individual does not develop symptoms during the five (5) days of quarantine. If symptoms develop, the individual should be tested as soon as possible.
- The individual tests negative at day 3-5 (antigen or PCR test)
- They agree to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days after being released from quarantine in all indoor settings (including residence hall rooms and spaces and all University buildings) and in every situation in which close contact is anticipated with other individuals (e.g., crowded outdoor events).
- Fully vaccinated individuals are those who are at least two (2) weeks past the primary vaccine dose(s) (one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines) and who have received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine if it has been more than six (6) months after the second of their Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or 2 months after their Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
- All undergraduate (99%) and most professional school classes will be taught in person.
- Classrooms will not be set up or assigned to accommodate any more social distancing than exists in a space.
- For guidance about or assistance with acoustics and speech reinforcement in classrooms, please call 336-758-4357 (HELP) or send an email to the Help Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consultation.
- There are no COVID-19 related requirements for gathering size limits, social distancing or additional masking requirements other than those addressed in the masking section for events, performances and organizational meetings.
- Consistent with prevailing public health protocols, most University facilities — including classrooms, teaching and research laboratories, libraries, common spaces and administrative spaces — will operate at full capacity.
- Campus housing will operate at normal occupancy.
- Dining halls and campus retail dining outlets will operate at reduced capacities while taking advantage of increased outdoor seating areas.
Events and Large Gatherings
- Event venues may be utilized, using the usual EMS reservations system, subject to public health protocols in effect at the time of the event.
- Event venues can be used at full capacity.
- Spectators will be permitted to attend athletic competitions on campus.
- Protocols for events described above apply to indoor Athletic competitions.
Flexible Work Arrangements
- Faculty and staff who wish to request medical accommodation should follow the Accommodation Process.
- Visitors are welcome on campus, subject to any public health protocols in effect at the time of their visit (e.g., indoor masking at present).
- University academic and residential buildings will be accessible by key card access only.
- University administrative buildings, including Reynolda Hall, ZSR Library, Benson Center, Wellbeing Center, Wait Chapel and Davis Chapel and certain athletics buildings are accessible to visitors, subject to the current visitor mask policy and restrictions specific to particular buildings.
- University-sponsored domestic travel has resumed, subject to normal departmental budgetary approval.
- All Wake Forest-sponsored/funded international travel for faculty, staff and students requires pre-authorization from the University’s Travel Authorization Team. Prior to undertaking or committing to any Wake Forest-sponsored international travel, all individuals/groups are required to complete the Wake Forest-Sponsored International Travel Pre-Authorization Form.
- Study abroad programs have been confirmed for the spring semester. Protocols are in place to align with Wake Forest expectations and any local overseas requirements. By requiring vaccines and booster shots for our Wake Forest programs, student entry into their host countries is easier and less restrictive.
- Students on Wake Forest study abroad programs are discouraged from traveling outside their host country. The Personal/Independent Travel Policy for Wake Forest Study Abroad Programs outlines limitations on university support and additional requirements for those who engage in cross-border travel.
- The Wake Washington study away program will operate at full capacity, adhering to Wake Forest and local requirements/protocols.
COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation
If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or tested positive, these decision-tree diagrams will help you understand what to do next.