Dear Wake Forest Families,

Next week brings classes on campus to a close, and most of our students will return home for Thanksgiving. By following public health guidance, our students made it possible to reach this significant milestone in the academic calendar and keep rates of COVID-19 infection among our University community relatively low. For that, I am extremely grateful.

Many students will return home tired from a semester of rigorous coursework and compliance with COVID-related policies and protocols. They deserve a much-needed break. Students will need your support and encouragement to complete final exams and projects. They will also need you to reinforce the importance of practicing preventive behaviors both before and after returning home. Wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands regularly helped mitigate the spread of the virus during the semester, and the same behaviors can help protect them, and the rest of your family, while students are home.

As infectious disease experts have warned, the colder temperatures and subsequent indoor gatherings have contributed to a resurgence of COVID-19 across the country. We chose our academic schedule for the express purpose of giving students the ability to limit contact with others outside of their household before returning to campus. To minimize the spread of COVID-19 between communities, please discourage your students from returning to Winston-Salem before the start of official semester activities at the end of January.

The following guidance has been provided to students and applies to the period from Nov. 24, 2020, through Jan. 23, 2021:

Campus Access and Operations
Wake Forest has made housing arrangements for students in need of accommodation after Thanksgiving. Campus operations and services will be limited after November 24. As of December 13, only students who have made prior arrangements with Residence Life and Housing or an academic or administrative department will be able to access campus and campus facilities. All students who have met pre-arrival requirements (see preliminary information below) will be granted access to campus on January 23, 2021.

SneezSafe Compliance
If you access campus at any time, you are required to submit your daily wellness screening through SneezSafe and comply with all University policies and protocols. If you are not accessing campus after November 24, you may discontinue use of SneezSafe until returning to campus for the spring semester (the system will be monitored should students choose to use it).

Student Health Service
From December 12 through January 10, the Student Health Service on campus is closed for clinical services. A nurse is available 24/7 during that time by phone to assist students with medical concerns (illnesses, injuries, or other acute medical problems). If you are in Winston-Salem during winter break and experience health concerns, the nurse may direct you to off-campus providers for medical care.

Return to Campus for Spring Semester
Students returning to campus in January are required to submit their influenza vaccination documentation to the Student Health Service before Dec. 15, 2020, in accordance with the University’s Influenza Policy. Details can be found here.

Students will be required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test before returning to campus for the start of the spring semester. Before the end of December, we will communicate instructions for completing this and other requirements.

I am grateful for your partnership in helping to create a healthy and meaningful Wake Forest experience. I wish you and your students well during the last few weeks of the semester, and I look forward to seeing your students return in January.


Penny Rue
Vice President for Campus Life