This message was sent to faculty and staff.

Dear Colleagues,

As many of us take a well-deserved break this holiday season, your health and wellbeing continue to be our top priority and concern. Cases of COVID-19 are increasing significantly in our area and across the country. You can reduce the likelihood of your exposure to COVID-19 by following the CDC’s guidance on the 3 Ws, limit the number of individuals with whom you spend time, always wear a face-covering when with others who do not live in your home, and avoid gatherings where meals are served. The CDC has also provided guidance on holiday gatherings, various types of travel, and new recommendations for testing and quarantine related to international travel.

Winter break guidance for students was distributed in this message from Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life. Included below is some pertinent winter break information for faculty and staff.

Winter Break Holiday
The university will be closed Dec. 24, 2020, through Jan. 1, 2021, for winter break. Departments may offer administrative leave for early dismissal on December 23 at 3 p.m. or two hours before the end of the regularly scheduled shift. Classes for undergraduate students will resume January 27.

Campus Access and Operations
Faculty and staff will retain Deacon OneCard access to Reynolda Campus throughout winter break. The winter break temperature setback program, which reduces building temperatures of unoccupied spaces to no less than 55 °F, will occur December 23 through January 4. Faculty or staff who intend to work on campus during this time are advised to wear appropriate clothing for cooler indoor temperatures.

We understand that many faculty and staff enjoy taking advantage of the quiet campus during winter break, but this year we are asking colleagues to opt to remain off campus, if possible. Departments may inquire about being exempt from the temperature setback program by contacting Tim Mitchell (, Building Services Specialist. Information regarding holiday hours for various campus services can be found on the Campus Life website.

SneezSafe Daily Wellness Screening
Faculty and staff who anticipate needing to access campus at any time are required to complete the daily wellness screening through SneezSafe and comply with all university policies and protocols (including those that require use of face coverings and social distancing). Colleagues who do not anticipate needing access to campus should still continue to monitor wellness using SneezSafe during this intermittent break. Those who previously requested an exemption from completing SneezSafe and who intend to return to campus this spring will need to have their supervisor complete the Restore Campus Access Form and begin completing the SneezSafe daily wellness screening at least two weeks prior to return. The Faculty and Staff Clinic will continue to be available throughout the winter break, with the exception of December 24-25 and January 1 during which colleagues should visit the nearest clinic. Wake Forest will continue to waive all medical plan member cost-sharing for treatments related to COVID-19, if a member is diagnosed with the virus, through March 31, 2021.

Mandatory Influenza Vaccine
In accordance with the university’s Mandatory Influenza Vaccine Policy, all faculty and staff are required to submit either documentation of receiving a flu shot or a request for a medical, religious, or off-site exemption by Dec. 15, 2020. Visit for instructions on submitting documentation or requesting an exemption.

Total Rewards

  • Benefits: Faculty and staff may now view their 2021 benefit elections in Workday by visiting the Benefits worklet in Workday, clicking the “Benefits Elections as of Date” in the View section, and selecting Jan. 1, 2021, for the “View as of Date.”
  • Compensation: The last 2020 pay date for non-exempt staff will be December 23 for work performed through December 25. All time cards must be approved by 3 p.m. Friday, December 18. Also, the December 23 paycheck will not have benefit premiums deducted due to having an additional 27th pay cycle this calendar year. Any NC 529 College Savings Plan or 403(b) Retirement Plan employee contributions will still be deducted as planned.
  • Paid Time Off (PTO): All accrued but unused PTO will carry over into calendar year 2021. As leaders encourage teams to recharge this holiday season and beyond, we invite you to use this Winter Break Toolkit for successfully supporting colleagues while they take time away during winter break or when appropriate for each unit.

This year has been exceptionally challenging, both professionally and personally, for many. The holiday season reminds us of what we have to be grateful for – our Wake Forest community. It was the individual commitment of each one of you that helped keep campus open and our positive case count minimal this semester. Thank you for your enduring dedication to our students and to each other.

If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources at or (336) 758-4700.

Wake Forest University Human Resources