West Virginia University will keep in place most campus requirements related to COVID-19 in the spring semester as health officials keep an eye on the omicron variant.
Masks will continue to be required in classrooms for all individuals regardless of vaccination status.
WVU said it will reevaluate COVID-19 protocols throughout the spring semester as more information about the omicron variant becomes available and campus conditions change.
“It is important, even though we may be weary of the pandemic, that we do not let down our guard,” said Dr. Jeffrey Coben, dean of the School of Public Health and associate vice president for Health Affairs, in a press release. “We have had success to this point in mitigating the impact of the virus on our campuses because our faculty, staff and students have taken this threat seriously, and I urge that we continue to take care of ourselves and each other. Please consider getting fully vaccinated, including a booster dose if applicable.”
Masks will also be required on the PRT and WVU buses through mid-March in accordance with federal guidance.
The largest changes at WVU will be in testing policy.
People who are not vaccinated will not be required to undergo COVID-19 testing at the start of the semester, as had been the case this fall.
The University said that any sample or surveillance testing will be based upon situations as they arise. Unvaccinated individuals had previously been subject to random surveillance testing during the fall semester.
WVU had been releasing weekly COVID-19 testing data and case counts. These updates will not longer be shared due to the change in testing strategy.
Weekly updates on vaccine verification rates will move to biweekly.
82% of students and 92% of faculty have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
WVU will not require students, employees or faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this spring and continues to "strongly urge" people to get fully vaccinated and get a booster shot.
As previously reported, some faculty, staff and students who work on certain federal contracts will be required to be vaccinated under executive order from President Joe Biden.
New students will be required to complete a COVID-19 training module and will receive an email in the coming days. They are also asked to verify their vaccination status with the University if vaccinated.
Weekly vaccination clinics will continue and more details will be released in coming days.
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.).
The Monongalia County Health Department is offering free vaccinations by appointment on most days at its facility at 453 Van Voorhis Rd. Anyone who wishes to be vaccinated can call the MCHD at 304-598-5119 to schedule an appointment.