WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., July 12, 2021 — With recent decreases in COVID-19 cases across the country and the effectiveness and prevalence of vaccines, West Liberty University (WLU) plans to fully reopen its campus this fall, returning to an in-person academic and student experience.
WLU is counting on faculty, staff, and students to follow established guidelines in order to reopen safely. Full cooperation is needed in order to resume in seat classes, student activities, and attendance at athletic events.
COVID-19 numbers within the U.S. and West Virginia have significantly decreased as the number of vaccinations has increased. At this time, more than 58% of West Virginians above the age of 12 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (See https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx).
WLU is committed to the safety of its students, employees, and visitors. Pandemic safety rules, CDC mandates and information from the state of West Virginia will continue to influence the plan for fall semester and beyond. WLU guidelines will change as needed moving forward.
Student failure to comply with the University Guidelines is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.
Employee failure to comply with University Guidelines will result in corrective action up to and including termination.
International students will have additional requirements, and those requirements will be communicated to them directly by the Office of International Student Studies.
The best defense against COVID-19 is vaccination. Though it is not required at this time, WLU strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated. Those still wanting to be vaccinated, can find available vaccination appointments at http://vaccines.gov.
Many of our employees (faculty and staff) are already completely vaccinated.
All students, faculty and staff must verify their vaccination by Aug. 13, 2021. For students, please upload proof of your completed COVID vaccination series to the Student Health Portal at https://westliberty.studenthealthportal.com. If you have already uploaded your vaccination information to the Student Health Portal, you do not need to do so again.
Faculty and staff will be notified of the process for verifying vaccination from IT Services in the near future.
Those not fully vaccinated and those who do not verify their vaccine status by Aug. 13 must:
- comply with COVID-19 testing for the fall semester,
- wear a mask indoors, in WLU owned or leased vehicles, and when outdoors around others,
- quarantine per CDC guidelines following close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.
Students who seek special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), should contact [email protected]. Faculty and staff must contact Human Resources at 304.336.8029.
Individuals should continue to take personal responsibility in washing hands frequently and staying home when feeling ill.
Effective July 12, 2021, fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors on campus or in WLU owned or leased vehicles.
Those not fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask while inside all WLU facilities, WLU owned or leased vehicles, and outdoors when around other people.
Those who are fully vaccinated and want to continue wearing a mask are encouraged to do so.
Classrooms will be at 100% capacity this fall. The University will follow a regular academic calendar, grading scale and attendance policies. Seating charts and seat assignments will still be required to assist in contact tracing when necessary.
Vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask in the classroom but may choose to wear one. Those who are not vaccinated are required to wear a mask. Hand sanitizer and cleaning materials will be available in classrooms.
WLU will continue to evaluate study abroad opportunities on a case-by-case basis.
Dining in both the Marketplace and College Union restaurants are now open at 100% capacity with safety measures and enhanced cleaning procedures in place.
The Fitness Centers are open at 100% capacity as of July 12. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask inside the facility. However, there will be no guest passes issued at this time.
Student organizations can organize and gather without limitations. Additionally, club and intramural sports can resume practice and competition without restrictions. It is highly recommended that these gatherings take place outdoors. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask at these events.
Residence halls move-in will take place in a staggered fashion. Details will be emailed to residential students in mid-July. Residential students should check the website and social media for updates throughout the summer.
Students who are part of a program that requires early arrival (student leaders, athletes, and others) will receive information directly from the program with the date they should plan to arrive on campus.
There is a limit of four family members or others who may help move students into their residence hall rooms. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask.
Guests are permitted to visit residence halls throughout the semester but there is a limit of two guests per room at this time. Unvaccinated visitors must follow WLU guidelines and are required to wear masks. Additionally, all guests must complete a Guest Visitation Form.
Visitors on Campus
Departments and units will be responsible for sharing WLU policy and practices with visitors they invite to campus. All visitors, including vendors and contractors, will need to continue to follow WLU safety guidelines while on campus; unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask while on campus. Vendors and contractors must check in at the Myers Maintenance Building or call 304.336.8009.
Testing and Isolation
Unvaccinated individuals and individuals who have not verified their vaccination status by Aug. 13 will be required to participate in testing throughout the fall semester.
Opportunities for testing for students displaying symptoms or who were exposed to COVID-19 will be available through Student Health Services. Contact tracing will continue on campus, following CDC guidelines. Those who test positive and unvaccinated direct contacts will need to isolate/quarantine and may be required to do so at home.
Employees and students who test positive are required to complete the positive test form found online at westliberty.edu/coronavirus. Positive individuals will then be contacted by a member of the WLU Contact Tracing Team.
In-person events may resume on campus at 100% capacity effective July 12, 2021. The CIRT Committee does not need to approve events but does recommend organizers use best practices.
It is recommended events take place outdoors if possible, and plated or pre-packaged meals are preferred if food is served. Hand sanitizer should be made readily available at events. Masks are required for those who are not vaccinated.
In addition, concerts, plays and other performances may resume on campus at 100% capacity effective July 12. Masks are required for those who have yet to be vaccinated.
Athletics events will also be held at 100% capacity, and the Hilltopper Athletic Department will separately announce details relating to sporting events in the near future.
We appreciate your adherence to our safety rules and your willingness to be vaccinated. Please watch your emails for further information. West Liberty University is pleased to have everyone headed back to campus for fall 2021 and will review safety recommendations often, so please keep in mind that things may change according to CDC and West Virginia state guidelines.