West Virginia University reminds students, faculty and staff that it is extremely important to follow current public health guidance for individual, as well as campus community safety, in light of the continued rise in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant. Health experts predict the surge in positive cases may peak in West Virginia over the next two weeks.
The University strongly encourages, but does not require, everyone to stay optimally protected against COVID-19 by getting their primary vaccine series and staying up to date with a booster dose if they are eligible to receive one. Vaccines continue to be readily available.
Those on the Health Sciences Campus involved in patient care, including residents, fellows and students, are required to follow separate WVU Health System or other clinical provider’s policies, including those related to COVID-19 such as masks, PPE and vaccinations.
Verify vaccine status
All students, faculty and staff who are on campus should take one of the following actions to verify their vaccine status with the University prior to Friday, Jan. 28:
- Students, faculty and staff who already have verified their vaccination status for their primary vaccine series and have received a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should visit the Vaccine Verification System and enter details on their booster via StarRez (WVU’s housing portal) at myhousing.wvu.edu. Follow these instructions to complete the process.
- Students, faculty and staff who have not yet verified their vaccination status with the University for any COVID-19 vaccine are asked to do so by visiting myhousing.wvu.edu and following these instructions. A video tutorial also is available.
Isolation and quarantine procedures
The CDC has updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine procedures. WVU has incorporated these recommendations and adjusted the protocol for quarantine and isolation. Review the updated guidance on WVU’s Return to Campus website.
- Those who test positive should isolate:
- for at least 5 days, AND
- until symptoms are improved, AND
- until fever free with no fever-reducing medications for 24 hours.
- Individuals who test positive do not need to test again, and should notify close contacts as defined by the CDC.
- Individuals who have resulted positive may or may not get a call from the Contact Tracing Team due to the volume of cases at this time.
- After receiving positive test results, use the information on the WVU Return to Campus website. The Care Services Team will send an email within the next few days with similar information.
- Those who are exposed to COVID-19 should:
- Self-monitor for any symptoms and get tested on days 5-7 if their vaccine status is up-to-date or they have recently had COVID-19 and recovered.
- Quarantine for 5 days and get tested on day 5 if they are unvaccinated or their vaccine status is not up-to-date.
- Wear a well-fitted mask for at least 10 days whenever in the presence of others.
Follow public health guidance
To achieve the best protection during the surge of the omicron variant:
- Get vaccinated and keep your vaccine status up to date.
- Wear a mask that fits well and has multiple layers.
- Masks are temporarily required for everyone — regardless of vaccination status — indoors in all WVU System buildings and facilities and at WVU-sanctioned events (excluding Athletics) through at least Feb. 1 when public health conditions will be reevaluated.
- While strongly encouraged, masks are not required of individuals in private office spaces behind closed doors. With the mutual consent of the participants, masks may be removed in private meetings.
- WVU recommends wearing a well-fitting KN95 mask and is providing them free of charge to all on-site and hybrid students, staff and faculty.
- Avoid unnecessary large events or meetings. If you are participating in person, wear a well-fitting mask such as a KN95.
- If you feel ill or have COVID-19 symptoms, STAY HOME, regardless of test results. With the omicron variant, results may initially be negative and then turn positive.
- WVU is providing on-site and hybrid students, faculty and staff with a free antigen self-test kit through Friday, Jan. 14 to be used if exposed or COVID-19 symptoms develop.
- COVID-19 testing will be available throughout the semester in partnership with the Monongalia County Health Department, which will continue to offer community testing opportunities for the WVU community. Visit https://www.monchd.org/ for more information.
- All WVU community members are required to report if they test positive for COVID-19 or are quarantining due to suspected or known exposure to COVID-19. In Morgantown, students and employees should report their positive results to CareServices@mail.wvu.edu.
- Testing and vaccination information for WVU Tech students and employees is available on the Beckley Return to Campus website.
- Similarly, testing information for students and employees at WVU Potomac State College can be found on the WVU Keyser Return to Campus site.
- Get your flu vaccine – there are other flu and respiratory illnesses circulating.
Questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine verification process should be directed to WVU Shared Services at 304-293-6006 or SharedServices@mail.wvu.edu. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any general questions.
MEDIA CONTACT: April Kaull
Executive Director of Communications
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