WVU announces spring plans with omicron in mind

Monongalia

(WVU Today image)

(UPDATE: Jan. 4, 2022)

This story was originally published with the tentative guidelines released in early December. Updated guidelines for the spring 2022 semester were released on Jan. 4, 2022, and can be found here.

(ORIGINAL: Dec. 8, 2021)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University is re-evaluating plans for the spring semester as officials learn more about the omicron variant.

The WVU spring 2022 semester will begin Monday, Jan. 10, with many of the current COVID-19 campus health and safety protocols remaining in place, according to a Dec. 8 release. But as health officials monitor the emerging omicron variant, the university’s COVID-19 protocols will be re-evaluated as additional information becomes available.

As of now, these are the protocols that WVU plans to follow for the spring semester:

Mask protocols

  • Masks will continue to be required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in all classrooms, labs or any WVU System facility or building being used as a classroom.
  • Masks are expected, but not required, for those who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 in all indoor settings and outdoors where large groups are gathered.
  • Masks will be required, regardless of vaccination status, for passengers on the PRT and WVU buses through March 18, 2022, under updated federal guidelines from the Transportation Security Administration.
  • Masks may also be required in clinical and patient care areas of the Health Sciences Campus.

COVID-19 module for new students

New students starting at WVU this spring are required to take the COVID-19 education module by Jan. 9, 2022. Those required to take the module will receive an email with more information on how to complete the module.

Vaccines

  • WVU continues to strongly urge everyone to be fully vaccinated and to get a COVID-19 booster.
  • Employees and students, especially new students starting this spring, are asked to verify their vaccine status here.
  • Residents, fellows and students, on the Health Sciences Campus involved in patient care are required to follow separate WVU Health System or other clinical provider’s policies, including those related to COVID-19, such as masks, PPE and vaccinations.
  • Some faculty, staff and students working on or in connection with certain federal contracts may be required by executive order to be vaccinated.

Questions may be directed to this email.

WVU Medicine Student Health has the Pfizer vaccine available for WVU students at its clinic in the Health and Education Building. Walk-in appointments are offered during regular business hours (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

The Monongalia County Health Department is offering free vaccinations by appointment on most days at its facility at 453 Van Voorhis Rd. Anyone who wishes to be vaccinated can call the MCHD at 304-598-5119 to schedule an appointment.

Vaccines will continue to be offered on the Morgantown campus one day a week in partnership with the MCHD. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

Other vaccination opportunities can be found at vaccines.gov.

Testing and monitoring

Due to high vaccination verification rates, WVU will not conduct or require campus-wide COVID-19 testing at the start of the semester. Any sample/surveillance testing during the semester will be based upon situations as they arise.

Testing will be available in partnership with the MCHD which will continue to offer community testing opportunities for the WVU community. Click here for more information.

Students and employees should not ignore symptoms of COVID-19; those with any symptoms of COVID-19 should not report to campus for work or class.

All WVU community members are required to report if they test positive for COVID-19 or are quarantining due to suspected or known exposure to COVID-19. In Morgantown, students and employees should report their positive results to CareServices@mail.wvu.edu.

Testing and vaccination information other WVU campuses can be found below:

Isolation and quarantine procedures

The University continues to implement isolation and quarantine procedures on campus. Students living in the residence halls who have COVID-19 will be isolated in Gaskins House.

WVU’s public dashboard will be updated to report the vaccination verification rate on a biweekly basis for the MorgantownBeckley and Keyser campuses. WVU COVID-19 case counts and testing information will not be reported on the dashboard due to the change in testing strategy.

Academics

The spring 2022 semester will begin on Monday, Jan. 10, and will include a traditional Spring Recess from March 12 through 20.

Details about assigned seating and seating charts for contact tracing purposes will be shared with faculty and instructors in the coming weeks.

The University will use a traditional grading scale again this spring and will not offer a high pass/pass/fail option.

The University continues to monitor current travel guidelines and global infrastructures and will follow federal and state guidelines. Students and academic advisers with questions related to international study abroad opportunities should contact the Office of Global Affairs.

Housing, on-campus activities and support

Residence halls will reopen on Saturday, Jan. 8 at noon. Students may move in or return to their space at their convenience.

WVU will continue Refresh activities, and other student and on-campus activities will operate on a normal basis during the semester, including the Rec CenterAdventure WVCraft Center, club sports, student organizations and WVUp All Night.

Communications

Updates can be found on the Return to Campus website. COVID-19 and related questions can be submitted or sent via email to returntocampus@mail.wvu.edu.

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