Dear Wake Forest community,

This afternoon, Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines announced a “stay at home” order that will go into place starting Friday, March 27, at 5 p.m.

“All individuals currently living within the city of Winston-Salem area are restricted to stay at their places of residence,” the order states. “All persons may leave their residences only for essential activities, essential governmental functions, to operate essential business or as otherwise defined.”

We have been reviewing the content of the order and need to share how it will immediately impact the Wake Forest community. Effective immediately, the following additional restrictions will be made to Wake Forest operations:

Students Living On Campus and Remaining in Off-Campus Apartments and Housing
Students still living in off-campus housing in Winston-Salem need to make a decision based on their personal circumstances; however, we encourage all students to consider returning to their permanent home before 5 p.m. on Friday, March 27.

The “stay at home” directive means students who remain in Winston-Salem are required to stay in residence halls, off-campus apartments or houses and adhere to the directives of the order. Within these spaces, students may congregate in groups no larger than 10 people, maintaining six feet of distance between each person. Wake Forest has already implemented a no-visitor requirement in residence halls, and students residing off-campus are not permitted to visit the residence halls.

Reducing movement within the community can slow the spread of the virus and help conserve critical medical resources. Maintain proper social distancing and follow essential health and safety guidelines at all times. According to the stay-at-home order, students are permitted to leave their residence only for the following reasons:

  • Seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication, or visiting a health care professional for medical services that cannot be provided virtually (please reschedule all routine, non-essential appointments)
  • Picking up to-go meals (see on-campus dining hours)
  • Going to local stores for supplies and services, including groceries and food, household consumer products and supplies to do work from home
  • Performing work that provides essential services
  • Outdoor activity, keeping six feet away from others

While there are very specific behaviors we can implement to stop the spread of COVID-19, we also must find ways to keep ourselves and each other healthy and well during this time. We suggest trying the following:

  • Take a walk and exercise in the fresh air (while practicing responsible social distancing).
  • Connect regularly with your fellow Wake Foresters, friends and loved ones, near and far, via remote methods.
  • Continue to engage with faculty members and classmates during this period of remote learning.
  • Make use of the virtual resources of various on-campus offices, centers and departments.
  • For immediate mental health crisis assistance, call 336-758-5273 any time, including evenings and weekends, to speak with someone.
  • Contact the Employee Assistance Program for a remote consultation at 336-716-5493.
  • Contact the Office of Student Engagement for help in setting up virtual meet-ups with student group members.

If there is an emergency and you need immediate assistance on campus, call the Wake Forest University Police Department at 336-758-5911.

Faculty and Staff
Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 27, all employees who are not designated to provide essential services should remain at home, even if their work cannot be performed remotely.

Those who have been deemed as “essential personnel” for operations during COVID-19 have been or will be contacted by their supervisors, Environmental Health and Safety, or Human Resources with instructions. Essential personnel will need to enter campus at the University Parkway or Reynolda Road entrances and show their WFU ID. You will also need your ID to access your academic building or lab.

Environmental Health and Safety has been in touch with department chairs and lab directors to identify and create a list of the faculty, staff and graduate students designated as essential personnel for the purposes of maintenance of equipment and care of cell lines and research. If there is a change to the essential personnel list that needs to be made, please contact Keith Bonin or Anthony Marsh. Those on the college essential personnel list will be contacted in a separate communication about the protocol for accessing buildings and laboratory areas.

For additional questions, please see the latest information on the Faculty & Staff Information page.

Thank you for your attention and adherence to these changes.
We have a moral obligation to reduce the burden on and risks for our essential workers serving our community during this time, and healthcare workers who may need to handle a sudden spike in new cases of COVID-19.

We are actively trying to do our part to slow the rate of spread of this virus and are asking the same of you. We appreciate your resilience under rapidly evolving circumstances. The best place to find information on Wake Forest’s response to coronavirus is at

Please continue to virtually check in on one another and take care of yourselves and your families during this time.

— Office of Communications and External Relations