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COVID Quarantine Space Update

The following message went out to students on Monday, Nov. 22:


Dear Students,


Thank you for all that you’ve done to keep our campus safe this semester.  Operating a campus during COVID is not easy, and with our high vaccination rate and with your help we have been able to keep our cases at a minimum and ensure that Warren Wilson College continues to be a safe place to learn and live.  


Thinking ahead to Spring semester, we wanted to provide an important announcement for our community.  Following what other colleges in Western North Carolina, along with what many colleges across the country have already done, beginning next semester Warren Wilson College will no longer provide off-campus quarantine space at Blue Ridge Assembly or meal delivery.  Students with COVID-like symptoms will still be evaluated by our Health Center staff and instructed when to quarantine, timing of PCR tests (if applicable), and how long to quarantine.

How did we come to this decision?

  • The Pandemic Response Team spoke with local, federal, and state health authorities and other colleges in the region about their protocols. This plan was decided over several months.

  • We’ve had a low quarantine rate and have not needed a large quantity of spaces for students in quarantine at any time during the semester.

  • A large percentage (approximately 91%) of our student population is vaccinated and/or have a booster.  Unvaccinated students are participating in regular testing every 2 weeks.

  • This semester we have been fortunate to catch symptoms early through our protocols and COVID quarantining procedures.

  • Several students have complained that the off-campus location provided is not a place they want to stay.

  • Many students went home or to another location off-campus as students had that option this semester.

What does that mean for students?  

  • Students are now required to secure their own off-campus quarantining space by January 9th, 2022.  That date is the Sunday of move-in for our returning students.

  • By the time of moving back to campus, students will need to fill out this Off-campus Quarantine Location Form stating where they will go at any time when needing to quarantine.

  • Students will have 1 hour from the time of confirmation by the Health Center staff or Medical Professional that they need to quarantine to officially leave for their off-campus location (no laundry, no grabbing a meal in Glad, no hanging out with friends, etc.).  There are judicial consequences for not leaving campus quickly,  options could include probation status (examples are: no study abroad, not holding leadership positions, etc.), fines, etc.

  • Each student will need to have transportation to their off-campus location.

  • If the off-campus location does not allow animals, each student with an ESA must have suitable coverage for their animal.

  • Students must work with their families and caretakers during Winter Break to ensure they have a solid plan for quarantining off campus at their own expense.  The Health Center, in collaboration with the Health Department, are the only folks who will officially release a student from quarantine.

  • Students required to quarantine are 1) students who are symptomatic and/or test positive for COVID-19 or 2) are unvaccinated but have had documented exposure to a COVID-19 positive person through contract tracing.  These quarantine requirements could change based on CDC and Buncombe County guidance.

What this does NOT mean: 

  • That you hide in your room and not get checked out by Health Center staff when you are feeling ill.

  • That you try to quarantine on campus!  Students will have 1 hour to pack and officially leave for off-campus location.  There are judicial consequences for not leaving campus quickly.  Failing to comply could include probation status (examples are: no study abroad, not holding leadership positions, etc.), fines, etc. Buncombe County and the CDC guidelines still state that a person who is symptomatic, or a person who is a direct contact to a positive person, must quarantine in a space separate from others.  Our campus residential spaces have shared rooms and bathrooms and therefore are not allowed to be quarantining spaces.

Where am I to go?

  • Home

  • Family member’s residence

  • Roommate/Friend’s family residence

  • AirBNB/Rental location/Hotel 

What if I have questions?

Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions or concerns regarding this message or your own individual situation and quarantine plan.  We care about you and want to work with you to make sure we continue to keep our campus safe from COVID-19.

Thank you,

The Emergency Response Team and Student Life Team

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