This message was sent March 17.
To graduate students and undergraduate students who reside off-campus,
This long email contains a lot of important information about COVID-19.
We urge you to read the entire message.
We are sending this message to share some important information about Wake Forest University’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Because you are living off-campus, we recognize that you may have additional questions or specific needs that go beyond the general messaging that has gone out to all students, and we want to highlight some items that are of critical importance.
Roommates/Housemates/Family Members in your home
You may be in a living situation where you have a roommate, housemate or family members and will be sharing common areas such as bathrooms or kitchens. It will be especially important to keep your living spaces as clean as possible. Please see the CDC’s prevention recommendations. Note the “clean and disinfect” guidelines and regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your dwelling.
Students may at some point be exposed to COVID-19 through travel, through direct contact with an individual diagnosed or suspected to have COVID-19, or through community spread of the virus. If this occurs, the student should comply with all public health recommendations for controlling the spread to others such as isolation or quarantine. Students should contact the Student Health Service (336-758-5218) or your primary care physician for guidance if this has occurred.
Students may be tempted to allow displaced friends or family to live in their house or apartment. While this may sound reasonable and even supportive, this will likely increase the risk to you and those who are already in your household. Even frequent visitors may enhance your risk of exposure.
If You Become Ill
It is IMPERATIVE that students with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) call the Student Health Service (336-758-5281) or your primary care physician before going for an evaluation . If you believe your life is in danger, you are gravely ill, or another person near you is gravely ill, you should call 911 immediately.
During this time, the Wake Forest University Student Health Services clinic will be open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm M-F. There will not be a nurse on site after clinic hours; however, a nurse will be available by phone during this time. Online scheduling will not be available, so all students needing to be evaluated for illnesses or injuries should call for an appointment (336-758-5218). After hours, you may call the same number to consult with a nurse.
Prevention of COVID-19
All individuals should follow the guidance of the CDC in preventing COVID-19. Key recommendations include:
- 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.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Put distance between yourself and other people.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Resources Available to Off-Campus Students
Though course material will be delivered remotely, we recognize that you may be living in your permanent residence or find it necessary to continue living locally. Students who choose to remain in the Winston-Salem area should be aware that access to many Reynolda Campus facilities and services – including dining, student health, recreation and/or libraries – will be limited, and may continue to change as the situation progresses. Contact information and current operating status of the WFU Student Health Service is available on their website .
Students can directly contact the Wellbeing Center , University Counseling Center , ZSR Library , Learning Assistance Center , and other centralized campus resources and services for current access options. Students with ADA accessibility or technological resource questions can also contact their instructors and/or degree program leaders.
Please also read the University’s announcement regarding visitor and campus access guidelines .
Questions or concerns related to living arrangements or rental properties
Students should work with their respective landlords or rental/property companies regarding any questions related to their housing or fellow renters’ claims to space/property.
International Students on Wake Forest sponsored F-1 or J-1 visas
If you are a Wake Forest sponsored international student in F-1 or J-1 status, please be sure to refer to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) COVID-19 frequently asked questions that are available on the ISSS home page here.
Off-Campus student events
Student Engagement has shared the following information with the respective offices of all Greek organizations recognized at Wake Forest University and in the Winston-Salem community. All off-campus WFU student events or socials are to be canceled, postponed or virtualized, regardless of the number of expected event attendees.
This is a necessary precaution due to factors related to the spread of illness at such events, including close personal interaction that facilitates transmission of the virus, and guests attending the event with unknown travel or exposure histories during the academic break. Guidance can be found on the CDC recommendations about events and gatherings.
If you are still unsure if the event should occur, we have been advised to ask, “Is the event critical to the core mission of Wake Forest University as it relates to COVID-19?” Mitigating the spread of this illness is a matter of global concern, and the Wake Forest community must do its part in that effort.
What you need to know and do about COVID-19:
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe symptoms. Most individuals have cough, fever, and difficulty breathing. Individuals with underlying medical conditions as well as the elderly are at greater risk for severe symptoms and significant complications.
There are cases reported across the world with many locations reporting widespread community distribution of cases. Currently (as on March 16, 2020) this has not happened in North Carolina although the number of reported cases is growing rapidly, and it is likely that in the next few days that cases will become more widespread here. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Consequently, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all of us practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
Because many areas of the world including areas within the United States have significant numbers of cases, individuals with recent travel to those areas should elf-isolate for 14 days in off campus locations after returning from those areas to see if symptoms develop and to limit the possibility of spreading the virus to others.
Wake Forest has addressed these issues described above by:
- Suspending all on-campus classes
- Requiring faculty, staff, and students to report recent travel in order to identify individuals who are at risk of acquiring this virus.
- Directing individuals who have had direct contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19 or diagnosed with COVID-19 to remain isolated for 14 days.
- Requiring strict isolation of anyone associated with the University who develops COVID-19.
- Limiting faculty and staff from working on campus.
Your Travel Reporting Responsibilities
If you have not already done so and if you have traveled to any location away from Forsyth County or have been on a cruise in the last 14 days, complete the Travel Reporting Form so that the University can provide guidance regarding appropriate public health recommendations.
Even if you do not plan to return to campus, you should follow the recommendations described on the Travel Reporting Form to protect your family, friends, and colleagues from this virus.
Students should be aware that travel, even within the United States, may be restricted by government decisions. The University is requiring all students who travel and plan to return to the campus in the future complete the form again to document all travel.
Where to Find Information
One of the challenges associated with the coronavirus situation is that things are changing very rapidly; the recommendations in place currently might change as new information is gained. You are encouraged to stay alert to recommendations from the CDC . The best place to find information on Wake Forest’s response to coronavirus is at coronavirus.wfu.edu. The website is being updated as the situation changes and as new information is gained. You may also submit a question via our online form .
Thank you for your continued assistance in protecting the health and safety of the Wake Forest community.
For house related questions, please feel free to contact us at 336-758-5185 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anna V. Strejc
Coordinator of Assignments and Off Campus Housing