W&J’s COVID-19 Response

Updates and resources concerning the COVID-19 pandemic

Rock the lawn 2020

Your Safety Is Our Priority

Throughout this challenging and unprecedented time, the safety of our community has remained top-of-mind. We’ve implemented a number of new protocols designed to keep our campus safe, and our faculty, staff and students healthy. Please check this page regularly for updates about our safety plans and protocols, including information about visiting campus, our cleaning procedures, and health monitoring.

Update for Fall 2022 Semester

August 15, 2022

Over the summer, the COVID Response Team met to confirm our plans for the upcoming year. We continue to monitor health in the local community/region as well as recommendations from the CDC. We are pleased that at this time, we are able to begin the academic year with few restrictions in place. We continue…

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Additional Information

Campus Health & Safety

The College is following the guidelines of the federal CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, and local healthcare partners to implement the appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of the disease as we reopen campus. We are continually monitoring the situation as it develops and will continue to update our procedures to continue to follow guidelines.

No institution can eliminate all risk while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. In addition to the measures the College is instituting, the students, faculty and staff are expected to take the necessary precautions, and to be mindful and respectful of each other to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

Mask Policy
Commitment to Community
Health Monitoring
Visiting Campus

Frequently Asked Questions

Are W&J College students and employees required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 the 2021/2022 Academic Year?

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccination requirement has been added to our immunization requirements outlined on page 35 in the W&J Student Handbook. The inclusion of the COVID-19 vaccination was recommended by both the COVID-19 Response team as well as the W&J Clinical Advisory Council.  The current W&J health policy states that “All incoming freshmen and transfer students are required to provide a medical history, a physical examination, and proof of required immunizations. A physical exam is performed for students planning to participate in intercollegiate athletics during the team physicals as scheduled by the Athletic Department. The team physical examination does not replace the required college entrance physical.”

All current employees are required to be vaccinated, and all new hires are required to show proof of vaccination upon hire. Vaccination against Covid-19 is a condition of employment at W&J.

What if I need an exemption from the vaccination requirement?

Consistent with federal and state laws, as well as W&J policy, students may request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement and other immunization requirements listed in the student handbook. The exemption form can be found here: Exemption to Immunization Form and submitted to the Office of Student Life. This exemption form can also be found at MyW&J on the Student Life page under the Student Life File Finder sidebar. First year students should email the completed form to gateway@washjeff.edu, and upperclass students should email the completed form to studentlife@washjeff.edu.

Unvaccinated students who have approved medical or religious exemptions will be required to take an antigen test (two times a week), with the goal of mitigating potential spread of COVID on campus. This aligns with the NCAA requirements for testing unvaccinated student-athletes.

Faculty and staff may request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement by utilizing the Employee Exemption to Immunization Form and submitting to Human Resources via the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Submission and Exemption page on My W&J. Any individuals who are not vaccinated will be required to take an antigen test.


What is the masking policy for Jay Term and Spring 2022?

Effective at the end of the day on Friday, April 15, the College will move to a mask optional policy for all public indoor spaces including classrooms, the Clark Family Library and other academic spaces. If a physician has advised you to avoid mask optional spaces, please contact Academic Affairs (academicaffairs@washjeff.edu).

We also support and respect any individual who wishes to continue to wear a mask in public settings for their personal health and safety. Please continue to carry a mask with you and be respectful of any individual who requests that masks be worn in their presence. In some instances, you may be asked to wear a mask when in individual meetings or in larger group settings.

We are continuing to monitor both the CDC guidelines and the safety conditions in the City of Washington and Washington County. These guidelines may need to change quickly depending on information from these outlets.

What is the testing protocol for Jay Term and Spring 2022?

The College required regular testing of unvaccinated individuals who have approved medical or religious exemptions for the Fall 2021 semester, Intersession, and much of the Spring 2022 semester. Vigilant surveillance testing helped the College mitigate and respond quickly to any positive COVID-19 cases.

As of April 12, 2022, students and employees who have an approved vaccination exemption are no longer required to participate in weekly surveillance testing. However, symptomatic students who live on campus can request a Covid-19 test from Student Health & Counseling. Symptomatic individuals who do not live on campus, including employees, should stay home and contact their health care provider for testing.

What is the spectator policy for athletic events?

The Washington & Jefferson College Department of Athletics has announced that all spectators, including external fans, are welcome at home athletic events.

Helpful Links

Health Care Tips from the Centers for Disease Control

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, and make sure you wash your thumbs, wrists, and in-between your fingers. This is the best defense against the spread of all viruses.
  2. Stay home when you are ill. This will help you to recover more quickly and decrease the spread of illness when on campus.
  3. Use a tissue or the crook of your arm when you cough or sneeze. Promptly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  4. Get plenty of rest/sleep.
  5. If you have not had the flu vaccine, please consider getting one. While this will not protect against the coronavirus, the vaccine may prevent against the flu.