COVID Updates from UC
Check this page for communications & updates on the coronavirus pandemic.
August 2, 2022
Update from President Marty Roth
Dear UC Students, Faculty and Staff,
I trust your summers have been fun, productive, and safe. As we prepare for the Fall 2022 semester, I want to share updates on COVID-19 mitigation efforts and guidelines at UC.
As we have done throughout the pandemic, we are relying on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health and safety guidance and following county requirements in Charleston and Beckley. We encourage everyone to stay current with local conditions wherever you may be studying, working, or living. The CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels website is a helpful resource.
We all hope that the prevalence and threat of COVID-19 diminishes. However, we continue to see the virus evolve. With each new variant comes differences in transmissibility and immune response. We must all stay informed and make the best decisions for our own health and safety and that of our communities. For your own health and safety as well as for others, students and employees should not ignore symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not come to campus for work or class.
Below please find details on vaccines, face coverings, testing and reporting, positive case protocols, in-seat instruction, and campus activities. Please note that certain programs may have specific protocols that need to be followed (e.g., clinical site requirements, athletic conference policies). The UC Virtual Command Center (VCC) continues to monitor virus conditions in Charleston and Beckley and coordinate our pandemic work. The details below are of course, subject to change should prevailing conditions differ from those today. The VCC can be contacted at Covidfirstname.lastname@example.org.
We all look forward to a productive and successful Fall semester. Embracing the responsibility to keep ourselves and each other healthy and safe will help us achieve these goals. Hopefully current health and safety conditions will continue, and we will not need to modify our plans. If you have any questions or concerns, please share them with the VCC at Covidemail@example.com.
Best wishes for the remainder of your summers and I look forward to seeing many of you on campus soon!
Vaccines offer the best protection against severe disease. UC strongly recommends that everyone, in particular students and employees at our Charleston and Beckley campuses, stay 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 CDC provides recommendations on the number of doses an individual should receive based on their risk factors. West Virginians may use the WV COVID-19 Vaccination Due Date Calculator, a free online tool that helps anyone figure out when they may become due for a COVID-19 shot. Vaccines are widely available at health departments and pharmacies – see the CDC’s How to Find a COVID-19 Vaccine or Booster webpage.
Masks are not required on UC campuses but are always welcome. The University will have disposable masks available as well as hand sanitizer throughout our campuses. While individuals cannot require that other people wear masks, we encourage everyone to be sensitive to and respectful of others’ personal health risks and their choices about mask usage. Faculty and advisors may share that they prefer (not require) masks be worn in their classrooms and offices. For those not comfortable meeting without a mask, virtual options for non-class office meetings will be available. Students enrolled in health science programs are required to follow clinical experiential site policies related to COVID-19, such as masks, vaccination, or other health and safety protocols.
Testing and Reporting
UC will not require testing prior to attendance on campus. We encourage students and employees to seek medical assistance if they are experiencing virus symptoms, and to take advantage of self-antigen testing or community testing opportunities before coming to campus and throughout the semester. COVID-19 tests are available through local health departments, pharmacies, and can be ordered through the federal government. Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 should inform their supervisor and close contacts and submit their test results to Covidfirstname.lastname@example.org. Any student who tests positive should inform their instructors and close contacts and submit their test results to Covidemail@example.com. As appropriate, students should also inform coaches, preceptors, and other pertinent individuals if they test positive. If you are unsure who to notify, please inquire via the Covidfirstname.lastname@example.org email.
Positive Case Protocols
If someone tests positive for COVID-19 they should follow the CDC guidance on quarantine and isolation. The COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Calculator is very helpful. If a person contracts COVID-19, they must isolate for at least five (5) days, depending on their symptoms, and post-isolation wear a mask for an additional five (5) days while indoors or around other people. Residential students will be required to isolate in their own rooms or off campus at home.
The following classroom management policies will be in effect for the Fall 2022 semester:
- • We will return to normal (pre-COVID-19) seating arrangements for in-seat classes. Desks and tables will no longer be arranged to maintain any particular social distancing standard.
- • We will return to our normal attendance policy for in-seat classes as published in the 2022-2023 University catalog (pp. 65-66). As the policy notes, “Illness can serve as the basis for an excused absence [but] it is always the responsibility of the student to inform an instructor in advance if he or she is unable to attend or participate in instructional activities”. An instructor may request a student to submit medical documentation in support of this type of excused absence.
- • Per the Absence Policy Guidance in the UC Student Handbook, if a student will need to miss more than three (3) days of class, they may contact the Dean of Students to request assistance contacting their faculty. Students are still required to contact their faculty as well and provide documentation requested.
- • We have discontinued the process of approving students for remote learning for a full semester. In accordance with the normal attendance policy, students who are unable to attend class due to extenuating circumstances must work with their instructors individually.
- • Instructors are not required to record class sessions although instructors may opt to do so.
Currently there are no restrictions on co- and extra-curricular, athletic, or residence life activities. Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 is prohibited from campus activities while they are isolation (see the positive case protocols above) and should wear a mask for five (5) days post-isolation when participating in campus indoor activities.
All faculty, staff, and student questions or concerns can be directed to the UC Virtual Command Center at Covidemail@example.com.