WFU COVID-19 Response: Important Update for Graduate Students

Dear Students,

Over the last few days you have received multiple communications from the University concerning the recent spike in COVID-19 cases impacting the WFU community. We want to assure you that the University is doing everything possible to bring this situation under control and is working diligently with public health officials to apply additional measures to help flatten the curve. While many of these new measures are focused on the undergraduate population which has been the primary source of the current rise in cases, there are some new implementations, like important changes to access for some campus facilities, which will also directly affect graduate students.

But before we look at some of the actions being taken and what impact they may have on you, we would first like to take a moment to recognize and commend the efforts of the graduate student population during the course of this semester and last. Your hard work, mindfulness and diligence has kept the number of COVID-19 related incidents amongst graduate students to a small fraction of the overall number. We are grateful to you.

We would also like to remind our TAs and RAs who work directly with students in classrooms and labs that to date there has not been a single COVID-19 case of transmission traced back to either setting. The safety of these spaces is due in no small part to the efforts of instructors like yourselves and we thank you. The work you continue to do remains very important to the University and is very much appreciated.

New Measures Affecting Graduate Students

  • The ZSR Library will be closed until further notice, including the Johnson Graduate Student Lounge. Remote services will remain open. For more details visit: ZRS Library.
  • Reservable Wake Classroom Study Spaces will remain open until 10 p.m.
  • The Benson Center will also be closed but available for academic classes in Pugh Auditorium. Mail services, the food court and student support offices will remain open, as will the copy center by appointment.
  • The Wellbeing Center is closed for activities, but monitored study spaces and offices may be open.

Other Important Measures

  • Increased testing for COVID-19 has been initiated. All undergraduate students will be tested this week and next. Graduate students will not be tested, mainly because your responsible actions have led to an extremely low positivity rate returned during previous testing samples.
  • Visitors will not be allowed in undergraduate residence halls.
  • Dining options will be limited to Grab-and-Go only.
  • Student organization and other University sponsored activities will be held virtually. No in-person events or gatherings are permitted at this time

Reminders

  • Stay vigilant with the use of face coverings. Masking has proven to be one of the most effective mitigating measures available against transmission of the virus. See Drs. Clinch and Ohl discuss the importance of masking in this video: Masks and COVID-19
  • If you have symptoms begin self-quarantining immediately and update the SneezSafe daily survey.
  • If you have had a known exposure contact Student Health Service by emailing traceshs@wfu as soon as possible. This will help facilitate contact tracing.
  • Be mindful of the NC 10:00 pm curfew and avoid crowded public spaces, particularly bars and restaurants.

Thank you for your continuing support and perseverance during these challenging times.

Stay healthy, stay safe.
The Graduate School