The following message was sent on April 29 to parents and families of students who live in Deacon Place; it includes a message that was sent on April 29 to all students living in Deacon Place.

Dear parents and families of students living in Deacon Place,

I am reaching out to you today to share important information so that your students can make the best decisions possible for their health and safety and the safety of our community. We just sent the message below to your students and need your partnership in reinforcing the need to practice social distancing so we can limit the impact of COVID-19.

As you will see below, some seniors are planning to return to Winston-Salem to celebrate the end of their Wake Forest career in the same way they would have done at the beaches during post-exams. In the interest of public health, we need your help in discouraging your students from having guests stay with them in Deacon Place.

While we rejoice in the strong connections and bonds of friendship within the Class of 2020, nothing is worth jeopardizing our students’ continued health and safety. We are grateful for your partnership in helping them understand the public health and governmental mandates that we are all living under right now.

I wish continued safety for you and your families.

Penny Rue
Vice President for Campus Life

To students currently living in Deacon Place,

I hope this message finds you healthy and safe. I am reaching out to you today to share important information so that you can make the best decisions possible for your health and safety and the safety of our community.

This is the last week of classes, and normally it would be a time when seniors are thinking of post-exams and having one last group vacation with friends before Commencement. We are aware of rumors that seniors are preparing to return to Winston-Salem to be with their friends in the days and weeks leading up to the virtual conferring of degrees on May 18th.

As a resident of Deacon Place, you may be contacted by senior friends who wish to stay at your apartment. While I understand the urge for seniors to be with their friends and gather one last time as students, for the safety of our community and the safety of residents that live in the immediate area, we ask you not to allow friends to stay with you. Doing so is a violation of your on-campus living agreement and is subject to consequences, as outlined here.

Wake Forest — and Winston-Salem in general — have experienced relatively low rates of COVID-19 infection. Our community has remained safe because of our vigilance in social distancing practices, and it is important that we continue these successful efforts. We strongly discourage students from returning to Winston-Salem for social connection at this time.

North Carolina remains under a stay at home order through May 8; it is possible that the governor, the county, or the city may extend this order. It is also important to remember that campus — including Deacon Place — is still closed and is only accessible to students approved to live on campus and essential employees. Off-campus students cannot access campus or residence halls, including Deacon Place.

All of us are required to abide by the directives of the stay at home order, which specifies that people may congregate in groups no larger than 10 people and must maintain six feet of distance between each person. The order also allows people to leave their residences 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
  • 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

If neighbors or community members believe there are parties taking place and contact the police, you could be subject to Winston-Salem Police Department consequences, as well as student code of conduct violations, as outlined here.

We all have a moral obligation to do all we can to reduce the potential for COVID-19 to spread. Social distancing is a vital and necessary part of the equation, as it helps reduce risks to essential workers and healthcare workers serving our community and to individuals who are immunocompromised or especially vulnerable to this infection.

We are actively trying to do our part to slow the rate of spread of this virus and are asking the same of you. Please make the best possible decision for your health and safety — and the safety of campus and Winston-Salem — and do not allow other students to stay with you at Deacon Place.

Penny Rue
Vice President for Campus Life