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
- Positive cases of COVID-19 on campus, in our region and across the state continue to trend downward.
- Wake Forest anticipates a return to Yellow Operating Status on March 12, creating more opportunities for campus engagement.
- Keep wearing masks and social distancing.
Dear Wake Forest students,
Thank you for your cooperation and continued efforts to help keep our community healthy. Because of your efforts, we expect to be able to move to Yellow Operating Status on March 12.
We can make this change because the number of cases of COVID-19 and the percentage of positive cases in both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing has remained low over the past 14 days. The trajectory of these cases has remained stable during this time frame. Additionally, the prevalence of COVID-19 in the surrounding Forsyth County community and statewide continues to decline.
Should the spread of the virus remain low and relatively stable, moving to Yellow Operating Status on March 12 would include the following:
In-person, indoor dining in the Pit and North Dining will continue to be limited to two people per table. At the outdoor picnic tables, the seating will increase from two to four people per table. Please continue to heed signage providing guidance at the tables.
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 guidelines for residence halls below.
The outdoor gathering size will be increased to 50 people. This will allow increased capacity for a variety of outdoor activities, such as outdoor fitness classes and Fireside on Manchester programming. Capacity under tents will remain at current levels because of social distancing guidelines.
While gathering limits have increased, informal off-campus gatherings (indoors and outdoors) must maintain social distancing of 6 feet. Additionally, alcohol is not permitted at formal or informal student organization events.
Gathering sizes and visitation
- Because of the size of most of our residence hall rooms and the need to maintain 6 feet between people, we will maintain the limit of one guest per resident in a living unit (e.g., apartment, house, suite, semi-suite, bedroom), not to exceed 10 people in total, and fewer if social distancing is not possible. A guest must also reside in University-sponsored housing. More information can be found in this Feb. 25 message.
Kitchens and residence hall common areas
- The University is exploring the feasibility of opening larger community spaces and some kitchens. Teams are creating safety plans to be reviewed by public health officials to determine if these changes can be implemented while meeting CDC safety guidelines for colleges and universities.
CAMPUS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION
Club sports and intramurals
- The University will continue to allow more intramural and club sports to begin play pending approval of safety plans completed by student organizers. Reviews will be done by our public health experts and teams will be notified of a decision. A new transportation policy will allow club sports teams to use off-campus practice facilities within a 60-mile radius with approved sport-specific safety plans.
- The basketball courts in the Palmer-Piccolo area and the sand volleyball courts will be opened. Safety guidelines will be posted and must be followed.
- The Outdoor Pursuits program will return with some limitations. A new transportation policy will allow trips within a 60-mile radius of campus with appropriate safety measures.
- Student organizations are allowed to meet and hold in-person events within the revised gathering limitations of 25 people in non-residential indoor spaces and 50 people outdoors. Student organizations must still go through the event planning process with the Office of Student Engagement.
- A new transportation policy will potentially enable more off-campus opportunities that align with the core mission of the organization and have an approved health-and-safety plan. Student organizations will complete the transportation review process through the event-planning feature on their specific Link event planning portal. An outdoor event safety plan can be found on the Office of Student Engagement website.
Wake Forest shuttles will increase from 25 to 50 percent capacity.
Our anticipated change to Yellow Operating Status on March 12 will be accompanied by additional information about campus operations, including testing frequency, procedures for campus visitation, usage of the Wellbeing Center and activities on Hearn Plaza.
We share your ardent wishes to return to as normal a campus as is feasible during this pandemic. Our ability to maintain this new phase of operations starting March 12, and to consider further relaxation of restrictions, relies on all of us sustaining the public health measures we know are effective. Steps to follow include:
- Committing to wearing a mask when in the presence of others with whom you do not live
- Maintaining 6 feet of distance between you and others
- Frequently washing your hands or using hand sanitizer
- Avoiding crowded venues, particularly those where individuals are not wearing a mask or maintaining 6 feet of distance
- Reporting and seeking evaluation of symptoms of COVID-19 immediately
- Reporting any exposure to COVID-19
- Fully cooperating with contact tracing
These strategies are critical in our efforts to move forward. Here’s to a successful, engaging, and safe remainder of the spring term.
Nathan O. Hatch
Vice President for Campus Life