COVID-19 Update: Lifting Some Campus Restrictions

This message is sent on behalf of President Nathan Hatch, Provost Rogan Kersh and Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue.

Bottom Line Up Front: 

– Temporary restrictions have allowed our community to overcome a significant surge. 

– We will continue to test every eligible undergraduate student weekly for at least the next five weeks, as well as a random sample of graduate students, and we have secured additional resources for quarantine and isolation and contact tracing. 

– The University will begin a return to less restrictive operations this weekend.

– Starting Monday, Feb. 22, on-campus students needing to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 will be asked to do so at the hotels. 

– We are grateful for the sacrifices the community has made, and we have learned valuable lessons that will help us prepare for the future.

Dear Wake Forest students,

Thanks to your cooperation and vigilance, our positive cases of COVID-19 and other public health indicators have stabilized. We plan to begin rolling back the added restrictions that were necessitated by the surge in cases, returning to our original Orange Operating Status guidelines, with details below. We are optimistic that conditions will continue to improve, and we continue to strive for a return to Yellow Operating Status soon.

The restrictions added early this month, complemented by increased testing, quickly moving students to isolation and quarantine, and mobilizing resources to conduct contact tracing, helped curb the spread of the virus and enabled us to sustain Wake Forest’s academic mission. And we recognize the burden students faced during these short-term measures; we appreciate your resilience over the last few weeks. 

As long as our situation remains stable, we expect the following improvements:

REOPENING CAMPUS FACILITIES

(specific dates and times will be updated here):

– Benson Center — will reopen on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 11 a.m. The addition of limited in-person dining availability in the Food Court beginning Monday at lunch.

– ZSR Library — will reopen Sunday, Feb. 21, at 4 p.m.; hours available here.

– Wellbeing Center — will reopen on Saturday, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m. Reservations will still be required for weight rooms, swimming pool, climbing wall and fitness classes. 

– The Pit and North Dining — will reopen for dine-in starting Monday, Feb. 22, at breakfast (limit remains two people per table).

– Outdoor Tennis Courts — will open on Saturday, Feb. 20.

– Poteat and Waterfall Fields — will reopen on Monday, Feb. 22.

RESUMING STUDENT ACTIVITIES

Please note, North Carolina’s statewide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. remains in place until at least February 28.

– Fireside on Manchester — will remain open. Events and programs will resume on Tuesday, Feb. 23, with Food Truck Tuesday and Student Union Trivia night. Check out the full schedule of programs.

– Student Organizations — meetings may resume on Monday, Feb. 22. (Return to operating in-person within current NC gathering limits — 10 indoors; 25 outdoors — and approved safety plans; see policy and guidelines here.)

– Club Sports — team practices may resume on Wednesday, Feb. 24. 

– Intramural Sports — Check the intramural sports website to find out when specific sports will resume play. 

RESUMING IN-PERSON AND BLENDED CLASSES

– A variety of factors, including high numbers of students prevented from attending in-person class due to quarantine and isolation, prompted some faculty members to move classes fully online. We expect that most classes that changed modalities in the last few weeks will be able to return to the originally planned method of delivery. 

– Individual faculty members will communicate directly with students in their class regarding the resumption of in-person activities. Students who may still be away from campus and who have in-person classes should communicate with their faculty members about the impact on their status of their absence and academic expectations. 

TESTING, QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION

– We will continue to test all undergraduate students weekly for at least the next five weeks (with some exceptions) and test a random sample of graduate students.

– Any students currently quarantining-in-place should complete quarantine in their present location. Please check the release date website to determine when your quarantine period ends.

– As of Feb. 22, on-campus students newly asked to isolate or quarantine will do so in the hotels. Should students wish to decline to complete their isolate or quarantine period at the hotel, they must follow the University declination process.

– As of Feb. 22, off-campus students who need to isolate or quarantine will not be required to complete their isolation and quarantine period in the hotels. We will return to practices in place during the fall semester.

LESSONS LEARNED

The last few weeks have challenged us, and we are grateful for how our community weathered the storm. We have learned several important lessons about how we communicate with students, the care for and partnership with our resident advisers, and the importance of attending to student mental health by providing the personal care and attention for which Wake Forest is known. As always, we appreciate your feedback and cooperation.

Again, thank you and hang in there as we together navigate the next few weeks. Our ability to mitigate the risk of transmission and to keep the number of positive cases low requires a total community effort. 

Please continue to wear a mask when in the presence of others, seek care immediately for any symptoms, report possible exposures, and comply with weekly testing. We look forward to enjoying a more vibrant spring together. 

With gratitude, 

Nathan O. Hatch
President

Rogan Kersh
Provost

Penny Rue
Vice President for Campus Life

Contact

To contact the Office of Family Engagement, please visit our contact page.

If Your Student Has a Problem

One of the best ways parents/families can help their students is to let them solve their own problems. Use the Stop, Drop, and Roll method when your student contacts you with a problem.  The flyer also lists contact information for serious concerns where family intervention might be appropriate.

Orientation 2020 slide shows

Parent and family Orientation sessions are available online.