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.
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:
Masks are generally recommended, but not required, indoors on William & Mary’s campus, with a few exceptions. Masks are required in the Student Health Center and on public transportation as mandated by the federal government.
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 are conducted in accordance with NCAA guidance for athletes, coaches, physical trainers and other Tier 1 individuals.
Know Your Number
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 needs and respond gracefully to the needs of others. 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.
William & Mary is conducting pre-arrival COVID-19 testing for students before the beginning of the spring 2022 semester. Students are contacted by email from Healthy Together in order to obtain their self-administered saliva tests and return them by mail.
William & Mary's prevalence testing program weekly selects a number of students to take COVID-19 tests so that the university can rapidly assess potential community spread. During the 2021-2022 school year, prevalence testing is concentrated on the segment of the community who is not yet vaccinated. 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 and return it.
Participating in required COVID-19 testing is a condition to which we have agreed in order to 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.
The Healthy Together module within the William & Mary Mobile App 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 Virginia’s anonymous COVID-19 exposure notification app, COVIDWISE; and additional health and safety information.
William & Mary notifies other community members who are qualified close contacts of a W&M 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 positive cases to VDH and help close contacts arrange for self-quarantine or isolation.
Full vaccination is in the best interests of the health of the W&M community. William & Mary strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to obtain COVID-19 vaccination and the appropriate boosters.
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 of close contact status, while respecting the individual’s privacy.
The first step is to complete the 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 930/931 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 in the university community, William & Mary does not provide quarantine and isolation housing for students this year. Students were advised to solidify emergency COVID-19 plans with family in advance of the 2021-2022 school year. Having emergency plans in place for quarantine and/or isolation is critical to protecting student health and that of the entire William & Mary community.
International students not able to develop an emergency plan at that 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 exempts fully vaccinated and boosted faculty, staff and students who are identified as close contacts from quarantine as long as they are asymptomatic.
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 five days and be symptom-free before they return in person. They should wear a mask for an additional five days. (Indoor masks are required at W&M, regardless.) W&M’s University Human Resources can advise employees about leave options.
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 during 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-19-related health and safety rules as articulated by university leadership generally, and the COVID-19 Response 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.