COVID-19 Info: Keeping WCU Safe

Date: 08/17/2021

Fall 2021 Vaccination Records (updated 8/16/21) | Fall 2021 COVID-19 Info

Fall 2021 Mask Requirements (updated 08/17/21)

Date: August 17, 2021

To: West Chester University Faculty, Staff, and Students

From: Jeffery L. Osgood, Jr. PhD, Deputy Provost & Vice President for Academic Operations
William J. Helzlsouer, Associate Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer

RE: COVID-19 Safety Precautions ? Mask Wearing for Fall 2021 Academic Term

Since the beginning of the pandemic, West Chester University has closely monitored national, state, and local guidance on public health and safety precautions. We continue to do so, especially as COVID-19 transmission rates fluctuate.

As we prepare for the fall term, we will begin to see more faculty, staff, students, and visitors on campus and in our buildings. While vaccination is the most effective step we can take to minimize the spread of COVID-19, masking provides an extra level of protection and helps keep our community safe for our return to on-campus actives and in-person learning. Therefore, West Chester University is implementing the following orders regarding mask wearing:

  • All faculty, staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask which covers their nose and mouth when indoors.
    • All members of the University community may remove the mask to eat while in appropriate dining locations.
    • Face masks can be removed when individuals are in a private or semi-private office. Individuals at workstations in shared spaces may remove their masks while at their station if there are barriers installed such as plexiglass.
  • It is recommended that faculty, staff, and students carry two (2) masks with them at all times to account for the possibility a mask might be lost or spoiled.
  • Masks will be provided at various locations throughout campus to ensure the ability for compliance with this mandate.
  • Face masks may be worn when outdoors, but it is not an obligation of this policy notice.
  • Guidance specifically for classrooms:
    • Faculty may remove their mask within the classroom while teaching or lecturing, if they are able to maintain at least (3) feet of distance within the classroom, and if in the opinion of the faculty member the mask will unduly hamper classroom instruction.
    • In learning activities and environments in which face masks would inhibit a student's ability to demonstrate the learning outcome(s) of a course or program, face shields are an appropriate substitution for a face mask. The learning outcome(s) of the course/program should serve as the guiding principle for determining which equipment is most appropriate, as determined by the faculty member.
    • If a faculty member believes it is beneficial to utilize a face shield for an activity/course, a rationale will need to be articulated to the appropriate manager as to how this substitution is appropriate for meeting the learning outcomes of the course/program.
      • If you believe you instruct a course in which face shields are a necessary substitution for students to meet the learning outcomes of your course or program, please follow the following steps:
        • Connect with your chairperson to share your rationale
        • Chairperson connects with Dean
        • Dean informs Provost?s Office

Special note: Additional instructions may be issued for specific university functions or activities including, but not limited to, athletics and student housing.

We as a community of educators and learners should work together to create a culture that protects our most precious resource: each other. As such, it is the expectation of all members of the University community to continue to do their part to protect the health and safety of others.

If you have not done so, you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccines are widely available without an appointment. Information on how to acquire the vaccine from the Chester County Health Department can be found here:

https://www.chesco.org/4822/COVID19Vaccine