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Health & Safety

The health and safety of our community remain top priorities at William & Mary. The university has developed guidelines and resources to help mitigate COVID-19 on campus.

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Basic Safety Precautions

William & Mary is encouraging community members to follow health safety guidelines recommended by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on campus:

  • Monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Maintain good hygiene, including handwashing and use of hand sanitizer.
  • Wearing a mask over the nose and mouth in shared indoor spaces at William & Mary, including shared spaces in residence halls, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Disinfecting personal areas such as phones, keyboards, desks and offices frequently.
  • Not attending work, class or gatherings if you are symptomatic, including recording a fever 100.4°F or above. W&M has installed touchless thermometers on campus.
Face Coverings

Everyone, including visitors, are required to wear masks in indoor shared spaces. The policy applies to all classrooms, labs, shared offices, residence halls and indoor hallways in buildings on William & Mary properties. It also applies to dining halls, unless actively eating or drinking. The indoor mask requirement does not apply to single-occupant offices, nor to student rooms or bathrooms in residence halls.  

William & Mary will require masks indoors in public spaces through the end of the fall semester. The university will evaluate the need to continue wearing masks indoors based on community health data and guidance from public health officials. 

Vaccinated or not, if you feel a mask would afford you greater protection or help protect those around you, please do not hesitate to “mask up.” There are any number of reasons students, faculty or staff members may wear a mask over their nose and mouth some or all of the time on our campuses. 

Intercollegiate athletics training and competition will be conducted within NCAA guidance for athletes, coaches, physical trainers and other Tier 1 individuals.
Know Your Number

Know Your Number (pdf)Know Your Number (pdf) is a useful communication framework developed by Carrie Dolan, W&M Epidemiologist and Assistant Professor in Kinesiology & Health Sciences.

The framework allows people operating in the COVID-19 pandemic to gauge their comfort with risk and communicate that in a non-judgmental way. Used honestly and openly, it helps people communicate their own and respond to other’s needs. At William & Mary it is particularly crucial for roommates and housemates, colleagues working together in person and students sharing space on campus.

The number system categorizes risk from one to five, with one being the most conservative and five being the most lax. Dolan encourages W&M community members to think deeply about where they fall in that range and have honest conversations with each other about their risk number.

Tracking, Testing, Tracing

In partnership with peers in the commonwealth, William & Mary has developed solutions for symptom-tracking, testing and contact-tracing for COVID-19 among members of our community. These efforts, along with case management, help William & Mary identify and control outbreaks.

Testing

William & Mary's prevalence testing program weekly selects a number of students, faculty, staff and contractors to take COVID-19 tests so that the university can rapidly assess potential community spread. In the fall of 2021, prevalence testing is concentrated on the segment of the community who is not yet vaccinated. W&M tests roughly 2% its student population and 5% of its employees weekly. These tests are administered at no cost to the individuals.

If required to test for COVID-19, individuals are notified by email and provided instructions on where to obtain the test and how to administer it and return it. To prepare, all faculty, staff and students must be registered with Kallaco Health & Technology.View a gallery of the W&M community finding creative ways to stay healthy and flourish.

If a student must take an in-person COVID-19 test, they should try to schedule the testing appointment around class schedules. If a conflict cannot be avoided, they are excused from class. Employees should arrange an appropriate test time with their supervisors. 

Participating in required COVID-19 testing is a condition to which we have agreed in order to work and study in person at William & Mary. It is mandatory. We hope that all community members will participate willingly, but need to advise that failure to follow testing instructions may result in disciplinary action.

Tracking

The Healthy Together module within the William & Mary Mobile App allows students, faculty and staff to check whether they have developed symptoms of COVID-19 and to evaluate whether their daily behaviors reflect their commitment to the community’s health. The module also features real-time information about current occupancy of campus spaces, including Swem Library; a connection to Kallaco for COVID-19 test results or to upload a vaccination card; the ability to implement individual evacuation plans; a link to COVIDWISE, Virginia’s anonymous COVID-19 exposure notification app and additional health and safety information.

Tracing

William & Mary has partnered with the Virginia Department of Health on contact tracing, notifying people who are qualified close contacts of a community member who has tested positive for COVID-19. Even if vaccinated against COVID-19, William & Mary will provide testing for close contacts of a known positive case within the W&M community. The university's COVID-19 case managers report to VDH and help close contacts arrange for self-quarantine or isolation. The CDC defines close contacts as those who have been within 6 feet of an infected individual for at least 15 minutes cumulative over a period of 24 hours.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Full vaccination is in the best interests of the health of the W&M community. William & Mary is requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty and staff, unless an express medical or religious exemption applies. 

  • For Fall 2021, all students, faculty and staff were required to record the first vaccination dose in the Kallaco portal on or before Tuesday, August 10. The second or final dose was due on Friday, September 17. Students, faculty and staff who recorded their final doses will not need to resubmit the information for the spring term.
  • For Spring 2022, the deadline for recording both vaccination doses in the Kallaco portal or securing an approved exemption is Monday, December 20.
    • Continuing students, faculty and staff: Those who uploaded record of full vaccination in the fall do not need to take any action.
      • Those who have an approved religious or permanent disability exemption do not need to take any action.
      • Those who have a disability deferral or a temporary exemption (e.g., remote learning or accommodation) must secure a spring exemption by December 20.
    • Newly-admitted or readmitted students: Upload vaccination records in the Kallaco portal as soon as possible after deposit or securing readmission. Spring students who are admitted or readmitted after December 20 have until Tuesday, January 4, to upload proof of full vaccination or to secure an exemption.
    • Faculty and staff who are newly-hired or returning from leave: Upload vaccination records in the Kallaco portal by December 20 or within one week of employment activation for Spring 2022.
  • William & Mary observes appropriate disability and religious exemptions and deferrals. To file for an exemption, visit Exemptions and Deferrals for instructions.
  • We recognize that international students may not have access to vaccines in their home countries. W&M will help international students receive vaccination appointments upon arrival. International students should contact International Students, Scholars & Programs or email the [[covidresponse, COVID-19 Response Team]].
  • Routine testing of those who are in the process of vaccination or exempted will continue as a condition of their participation in in-person activities.
  • Accepted vaccines include those approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization under emergency approval programs.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations

Exemptions and Deferrals

William & Mary is observing appropriate disability and religious exemptions and deferrals to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Employees should visit the Exemptions and Deferrals for detailed instructions.

Students
  • Disability Exemptions: Students who believe they need an accommodation regarding the COVID-19 vaccination policy because of a disability are responsible for requesting an accommodation following the standard process coordinated through Student Accessibility Services (SAS); access the accommodation request form online. Returning SAS students should create a supplemental accommodation request. All requesting students must submit a note from a medical doctor explaining the medical condition and certify that the student cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Religious Exemptions: Students are required to submit a notarized copy of the COVID-19 Religious Exemption Certification Form to [[studentaffairs, Student Affairs]] or fax (757) 221-1240. 
  • Request for Deferrals: There are medical conditions that do not qualify as a disability under state or federal law and other circumstances that may justify an extension of the timeline for receiving an authorized vaccine. Such reasons are limited and may include pregnancy, breastfeeding, history of certain allergic reactions, active COVID infection, and legal restrictions on vaccine accessibility. To request a deferral, a written explanation of the conditions preventing vaccination and an estimate of the expected duration of those conditions is required. If an underlying medical condition is involved a note from a medical doctor explaining the medical condition and certifying that you are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination is required. Student Health Center staff will review the request to confirm a valid exception is being requested. Requests can be submitted by contacting the health center.
COVID-19 Case Management

William & Mary has established a network of case managers to help members of the community navigate living, study and work following a positive COVID-19 test result or notification that you're a close contact, while protecting the individual’s privacy.

The first step is to complete the positive case form at ReportCOVID.wm.edu.

The form asks basic questions about whether you are a student, faculty, staff member or contractor and whether you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. It also asks the dates of your COVID-19 test and when you received results; or when you were informed you are a close contact of an infected individual. In addition, the form asks for basic information about any areas of campus you frequent, in order to rapidly deploy cleaning and disinfecting crews.

Shortly after you complete the Report COVID-19 form, a case manager will contact you. For students, case managers serve as the main point of contact throughout the isolation period, helping with the transition to isolation or quarantine housing as needed, and arranging for cleaning and disinfecting of campus spaces, among other assistance.

For employees, case managers help transition to remote work or leave, coordinate notification to departments and arrange cleaning and disinfecting, among other help.

The COVID-19 management form generates a case number (unrelated to student/employee 930 numbers) used as an identifier internally to protect the privacy of the COVID-19-positive community member. William & Mary will not identify the names of people who have contracted COVID-19 publicly or to the greater campus community.

Quarantine and Isolation

With a strong vaccination rate within the university community, William & Mary is not planning to provide quarantine and isolation housing for students this school year. Students were advised to solidify emergency COVID-19 plans with family in advance of returning to campus this fall. Having emergency plans in place for quarantine and/or isolation is critical to protecting student health and that of the entire William & Mary community, especially for those not yet vaccinated.

International students not able to develop an emergency plan at this time were directed to the Office of International Students, Scholars and Programs for help in identifying solutions. Domestic students were directed to the Dean of Students Office for guidance. As always, students in emergency situations will be assisted.

Exemptions: Consistent with the CDC’s guidelines for fully vaccinated people, William & Mary is exempting fully vaccinated faculty, staff and students who are identified as close contacts from quarantine as long as they are asymptomatic. Visit the W&M COVID-19 vaccination page for more information.

Symptomatic students are tested and treated through the Student Health Center; visit the resource page if you feel ill and suspect COVID-19. Active cases within the student population are monitored through the Student Health Center under guidance from the medical director.

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 are expected to isolate at home for 10 days and be symptom-free before they return in person. W&M’s Office of Human Resources can advise employees about leave options, including public health leave, sick leave or annual leave.

Healthy Together: A Community Commitment

One of William & Mary’s greatest strengths is our sense of community. As we face the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic and plan ahead to mitigate risks in order to begin the 2021-22 academic year in-person and on campus, a commitment to community-wide actions is absolutely essential. Our ability to advance our mission during this pandemic will require each member of the community, without exception — faculty, staff and students — to comply with all COVID-related health and safety rules as articulated by university leadership generally, and the COVID-19 Planning Team in particular.

By signing onto this Healthy Together Community Commitment, you affirm that you understand what is required in order to be physically present in our community this year and that you will fully comply. You also acknowledge that an inability or failure to comply with our Healthy Together Community Commitment may impact your ability to remain on campus and/or participate as a member of the William & Mary community. Accordingly, there will be consequences for non-compliance, for both employees and students. 

Having affirmed Flourishing as a core institutional value, “we create conditions that ensure William & Mary will thrive for all time coming, and we empower those who live, learn, and work here to make choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.” This value takes on even more meaning as we consider what it means for W&M and its people to flourish in the midst of a pandemic. May we each commit to doing our part to mitigate risk, to actively demonstrate our care for the physical and emotional well-being of others, and to complete a successful year — together. 

The Healthy Together Community Commitment

As a member of the W&M community I affirm that I will comply with all stated expectations for living, learning, gathering and working on campus and in the Williamsburg community.  

  • By my actions, I will mitigate risk of transmitting COVID-19, including by following W&M’s most current expectations for vaccinations, hand washing, mask wearing, participation in testing protocols, social distancing, and staying home when I am sick.
  • Through these actions, I will demonstrate care and concern for the physical and psychological well-being of others and create a supportive environment for hallmates, classmates, colleagues, teachers, students, staff members, neighbors and members of the wider Williamsburg community.
  • In committing to these actions, I will support W&M’s mission by making it possible for us to “convene great minds and hearts to meet the most pressing needs of our time."