Dear Warren Wilson Community,
I hope everyone is having a good Winter Break. This email contains important information about the return to campus for Spring semester 2022. More information will be forthcoming from the Emergency Response Team [ERT] and specific programs on campus.
As we continue to monitor the developments regarding the Omicron variant, we have decided to make adjustments to the start of the Spring 2022 semester to help us maintain a healthy and safe environment for our community. Given the holiday period, we are still working through many of the details regarding the spring semester re-start. We recognize that many of you will have additional questions. Please monitor your email for more announcements from the ERT and information that we plan to share after December 27th.
Online classes until Monday, January 24th, 2022
Warren Wilson will begin the Spring 2022 semester with all classes online for two weeks until week three of the semester which begins Monday, January 24th. Students will have the option to return to campus on our previously established schedule (Sunday, January 9th, 2022) or they may elect to begin the semester off-campus, remotely. Students electing to begin remotely can return to campus on Sunday, January 23rd. If you have tested positive for COVID or been a direct contact over break, please contact the Health Center, [email protected], before leaving for campus. In either case, all academic classes and most required school meetings and work program activities will be online during this period. Key spring semester academic calendar dates remain unchanged at this time.
All college-related travel including sports and community engagement will be suspended during this time. Any necessary adjustments will be made on a case by case basis in consultation with the relevant Cabinet member and the ERT.
Student athletes may return to campus at their previously appointed time but may also elect to begin the semester remotely. Athletics Director Joni Williamson will provide details on specific Athletics decisions via email as they become available.
Employees should work directly with their Cabinet member to determine the balance of on-campus and remote work necessary during this period.
We expect this to be a temporary measure that will give us time to re-establish our community bubble as we transition back from the semester break, the heavy travel period, and the increase in the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
For those who choose to be on campus during this transition period, we will have increased testing and heightened protocols to minimize exposure and spread to the extent practicable. As we have done throughout the pandemic, the Cabinet will carefully consider current conditions on our campus, in our region, and nationwide and take any necessary actions in close collaboration with our health partners and agencies.
Quarantine, Testing, and Contact Tracing
We are in the process of procuring off-campus quarantine space and will update you as soon as we have details. Rapid antigen COVID testing will be increased, and contact tracing will occur as has been practiced since the beginning of the pandemic. All students returning to campus will be required to show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival on campus. If you have recently had COVID or been exposed by a close contact, please contact the Health Center before returning to campus.
Vaccinations and Boosters Required
All students, faculty, and staff will be required to receive a booster vaccination once eligible and show proof of booster status within two weeks of their eligibility date, or no later than January 21st if currently eligible. Information regarding uploading proof of your booster will be forthcoming. Vaccinations continue to be required for all students and employees. All medical or religious exemptions for new students or new employees must be received prior to the return to campus. In addition, if you are faculty or staff and have an exemption, you must begin testing the week of January 3rd and additional information will be forthcoming.
As we continue to experience the pandemic and the impacts of COVID, it is important to re-emphasize that we must learn to live with it and learn to work through it, understanding that there will be phases and stages of the virus that are not always predictable or linear. Learning to live with it means learning to live with degrees of uncertainty and periods of time that require flexibility, adjustments, and heightened protocols and protective measures. We know this isn’t easy on any of us, but we also know that our community is strong, supportive of each other, and resilient.
In community and with best wishes for a safe holiday,
President Morton and the Emergency Response Team