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Masks optional in WVU classrooms and labs, required in patient care areas

RETURN TO CAMPUS WVU

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West Virginia University will lift mask requirements for individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in classrooms and labs across the WVU System beginning Tuesday, March 8.

The decision comes after the University made mask wearing optional in other indoor settings on Feb. 16 amid a decline in COVID-19 cases on campus, surrounding communities and across the state.

Increased levels of vaccination and boosters among WVU students, faculty and staff have helped cases continue a downward trend. There are currently no residents in Gaskins House which serves as an isolation option for students who have tested positive for COVID-19 on the Morgantown campus.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has moved Monongalia County from high to medium risk and, per CDC guidance, the county is no longer under a recommendation to wear masks indoors.

Masks will continue to be required on the PRT and WVU buses through March 18 under federal guidelines from the Transportation Security Administration.

Masks will continue to be required for employees, patients and visitors in designated areas of the Health Sciences Center where patient care services are provided. Additionally, WVU employees and students 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.

Masks will also continue to be required for those conducting and participating in face-to-face human subject research activities.

Those with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

And anyone who would prefer to continue wearing a mask indoors is welcomed and encouraged to do so.

The University will continue to monitor multiple data points and should any of those cause concern in the future, it will consider and implement necessary measures to protect the community.

WVU Facilities will work as swiftly as possible to update signage regarding mask requirements throughout campus buildings.

Spring break

In preparation for spring break (March 14-18), students and employees on the Morgantown campus may pick up a free antigen self-test kit at the any of the following locations this week (March 7-11):

Morgantown Campus

  • Mountainlair, Main Lobby - 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. (Wednesday, Friday)
  • Student Rec Center, near Adventure WV - 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Tuesday, Thursday)
  • Health Sciences, Pylons – noon- 2 p.m. (Wednesday, Friday)

Beckley Campus

  • Kits will be available for WVU Tech students and employees in the Student Life house during normal business hours.

Keyser Campus

  • Kits will be available for WVU Potomac State College students and employees at the College Health Center, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Students and employees must present their Mountaineer Card or employee ID to pick up the complimentary self-test.

Travelers should still follow the CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely including wearing a mask when required and practicing physical distancing. After traveling, students and employees are encouraged to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop.

Additional travel information is available at the Return to Campus website.

For personal safety and the safety of others, students and employees should not ignore symptoms of COVID-19. Those with any COVID-19 symptoms should not report to campus for work or class.

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

COVID-19 vaccination opportunities

WVU 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.

The University will host pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics in the Mountainlair’s Mountaineer Room from 1-3 p.m. on Wednesdays, March 9 and 16, in partnership with the Monongalia County Health Department.

The clinics will offer both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

WVU and MCHD will also continue to host weekly COVID-19 vaccine clinics at the WVU Student Recreation Center each Wednesday throughout March.

The clinics will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. on Wednesdays March 9, 16, 23 and 30. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be offered. 

All upcoming vaccine clinics will be posted at book.novelhealth.ai/MCHDC. Students, faculty and staff should monitor the site for the latest information and follow these instructions to schedule an appointment. Free parking is available in Area 49 and lot ST-4. 

WVU Medicine Student Health has the Pfizer vaccine available for WVU students at its clinic in the Health and Education Building. Walk-in appointments are offered during regular business hours (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Vaccine verification

As a reminder, students, faculty and staff should take one of the following actions (if they haven’t done so yet) to verify their vaccine status with the University:

  • 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 by following these instructions.

Stay informed

The University’s public dashboard updates testing and isolation data every Wednesday by 2 p.m. Vaccination verification rate updates are also available biweekly Wednesdays at 2 p.m. for the MorgantownBeckley and Keyser campuses.

Visit the Return to Campus website for the latest COVID-19 updates. New information also will continue to be shared in MOUNTAINEER E-News for employees and Unews for students.

Additional resources and guidance is also available for faculty.

Questions related to COVID-19 and WVU’s health and safety protocols can be sent via email to returntocampus@mail.wvu.edu.

-WVU-

ak/3/7/22

MEDIA CONTACT: April Kaull
Executive Director of Communications
University Relations
304-293-3990; akaull@mail.wvu.edu

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