For Spring Semester 2022, which begins Monday 1/24: Protocols to Stay Healthy & Safe

December 31, 2021

A message from President Fiorentino and the President’s Cabinet:

Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As we celebrate the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, we are writing to provide a quick update on our monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many of you may be reading about universities delaying their in-person return for the spring semester, we would like to point out that many of those universities are beginning their spring semesters Monday January 3rd, 2022. As you know, we previously made the decision to conduct the entire winter session remotely which begins Monday, January 3, 2022 and goes through Sunday, January 23rd, 2022. This means that our campus is already proactively implementing this active mitigation protocol.

As for the spring 2022 semester, we are continuing with our plans to hold instruction in-person and will continue to monitor the situation and respond appropriately should conditions demand. We would also urge you to review the below announcement regarding our protocols for the spring semester. In short, for the spring 2022 in-person semester, WCU will continue all of the policies, procedures, and protocols that have been effectively in place for fall 2021.

Please know that we are constantly monitoring the situation and will continue to respond as necessary to ensure the safety of our campus community.

From: WCU President ><
Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 1:36 PM
Subject: Spring Semester 2022: Protocols to Stay Healthy & Safe

A message from President Fiorentino and the President’s Cabinet:

Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As we near Thanksgiving break, prepare for final exams, and get ready to formally end the fall term, we would like to extend very special thanks to all of you for helping to navigate our in-person return to campus this semester. Your adherence to the University’s guidelines and safety practices has kept our active cases of COVID relatively low and allowed us to complete the fall term successfully. We know it has not been easy. While we are not yet back to “normal,” we remain together, in-person, and primarily healthy — this has been our University’s goal.

With the understanding that the COVID pandemic is an evolving global event, West Chester University continues to monitor impacts and respond with a focus on our most important resources — our students, faculty, and staff. The suggested preventative actions we currently use align with current recommendations made by the CDC, governor of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania’s Department of Health to mitigate the impact of the Delta variants and, hopefully, any new variants that might arise. The University will continue to review updated guidance provided by these entities.

We’ve learned a lot from the pandemic, including that mask wearing is an effective tool to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses. In addition, we are confident that vaccinations have positively restricted the spread of the COVID virus within our 17,000+ community. Vaccine doses, including booster shots, are readily available and can be secured through the Chester County Health Department, local pharmacies, and healthcare providers.

For the spring 2022 semester, please know that WCU will continue all of the policies, procedures, and protocols that have been effectively in place for fall 2021. The following will continue to be in place as we return to on-campus instruction, in-person events, and residential living in student housing for the spring 2022 term:

  • Masks covering the nose and mouth are required of all individuals within spaces where three (3) feet of social distancing is not possible regardless of vaccination status. This means masks are required in all indoor classrooms and/or instructional spaces as well as when traveling between classes and within common areas of a University building.
  • Mask wearing is not required in outdoor spaces throughout campus. All students, faculty, and staff who choose to wear masks outdoors, however, are welcome to do so.
  • All individuals entering a University facility will continue to be required to wear a mask where social distancing is not possible. This practice will stand regardless of one’s vaccination status.
  • For those who are fully vaccinated, mask wearing is no longer required in some indoor spaces, such as private offices and when (3) feet of social distancing is possible. Fully vaccinated means it has been two (2) weeks after receiving the second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two (2) weeks after a single dose of the J&J vaccine.
  • Faculty or staff wearing a mask during meetings with students in closed indoor spaces may request students to don a mask during office meetings or counseling sessions.
  • At any time, all faculty, staff, and students are welcome to wear a mask on campus regardless of vaccination status.
  • Weekly random COVID-19 screening protocols for students will continue as outlined in Dr. Davenport’s email dated August 30, 2021:

As always, employees are strongly encouraged to consider their health before coming to the workplace. Employees who are or feel ill (i.e. fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) should refrain from coming to campus and contact their supervisor to address necessary duties to be covered as well as leave usage.

Please know that we will be putting together a panel of subject matter experts, both faculty and staff, to assist in evaluating risks and mitigation protocols over the spring term. At the same time, we will remain flexible should public health needs shift in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

As all of us look forward to some restful days ahead, we wish you a happy and healthy break.

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