This message is sent on behalf of President Nathan Hatch, Provost Rogan Kersh and Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue.
Bottom Line, Up Front
- As of today, the Reynolda Campus is returning to Yellow Operating Status.
- We are reducing the quarantine period to 10 days. Students currently in quarantine will be released 10 days after they were asked to start quarantining.
- Parents and families may visit campus but are not permitted in buildings, including residence halls.
- Masks must be worn in all indoor spaces, outside at distances less than 6 feet, and during events and group athletic and student organization activities.
- North Carolina is likely to make vaccines available to college students in early April. It is our intent to be able to administer those vaccines to students on campus.
Dear Wake Forest students,
As of today, our campus is now in Yellow Operating Status. We made this change in line with health and safety advice that the surge and its aftereffects are stabilized. Thanks to you each for your efforts in helping our residential campus return to a safer state.
Now that we are in Yellow, we are excited to expand the ways in which students can engage and feel more connected. We will continue to Show Humanitate to one another by staying six feet apart, limiting gathering sizes, and wearing masks in all indoor spaces, outside at distances less than six feet, and during events and group athletic and student organization activities.
Many details of Yellow Operating Status are described in our March 5 message. We are also implementing the following improvements as of today.
Given the stability of cases and with the guidance of our infectious disease experts, we will now institute a 10-day quarantine period. For students currently in quarantine, their release date will occur 10 days after they began quarantining. These students will receive messaging from the Office of Residence Life and Housing and Student Health Service.
STUDENT ACCESS TO CAMPUS
When we moved to Orange Operating Status, off-campus, graduate and professional school students were asked to limit their time on campus to academic purposes only. In Yellow Operating Status, students are now fully able to access campus.
Please pay attention to gathering size guidelines in various spaces on campus. The indoor gathering size limit on campus will increase to 25 people — if space allows for 6 feet of distancing — in non-residential spaces, such as auditoriums and large classrooms and meeting spaces. See the message from Feb. 25 for residence hall guidelines.
Campus visitation has now been opened to parents and families of current students. Students who want their families to visit campus may request a Family Campus Access gate pass. Students will complete a form and then receive an email to forward to their family, who must display it at the gatehouse. Masks are required, social distancing must be maintained, and families are not permitted in any buildings on campus, including residence halls.
The University encourages families to follow the guidance of the CDC and limit travel unless it is deemed essential. Travel poses a risk of exposure to COVID-19 and may result in exposing our students and campus community to the virus. We also recommend that families consider following guidance from the CDC related to testing for COVID-19 before and after travel.
In addition to moving to Yellow Operating Status, we have another reason to hope that a more typical Wake Forest experience is on the horizon. The COVID-19 vaccine continues to be administered to members of our community, and just last week, the governor of North Carolina announced that some faculty and staff who work in higher education are now eligible to receive the vaccination.
This week, faculty and staff (including contract staff and student workers), designated as being part of Group 3, started receiving vaccinations. In North Carolina, the majority of college students are eligible to receive the vaccination as part of Group 4. Beginning March 17, faculty, staff, and students who have high-risk health conditions will be eligible. Group 4 is likely to expand at the beginning of April to include students living on campus and all faculty and staff who have not yet been vaccinated. We will continue to keep you posted as we learn more about the state’s process. It is our intent to administer the vaccine to students on our campus.
Additionally, the CDC released new guidance for individuals who are considered fully vaccinated (e.g., they have reached two weeks after receiving the last dose of the vaccine series). While this guidance provides hope for the future, students, faculty and staff should still follow the current University policies and public health measures. The University will continue to work with our infectious disease and public health experts to evaluate guidance from the CDC and NCDHHS as more members of our community become fully vaccinated.
We know that this year has been exhausting. All of us across campus have faced challenges, including juggling the academic workload with the mental health pressures exacerbated by the pandemic and the guidelines that have accompanied it. We hope that with the easing of public health restrictions, you will be able to enjoy a more robust Wake Forest experience in the coming days and weeks.
Thank you again for your extraordinary patience and goodwill this semester. We are grateful for your resilience and perseverance. Please continue to stay healthy and safe.
Nathan O. Hatch
Vice President for Campus Life