We hope that you found time to relax and recharge during the winter break and are enjoying the year’s first snowfall. As we begin a new calendar year and prepare for the return of students to campus in just over a week, the rapid spread of COVID-19, especially the Omicron variant, requires that we remain vigilant in our efforts to mitigate spread among the WKU Community. Throughout the past two years, we have demonstrated our ability to safely educate our students and provide the WKU Experience while living alongside the virus.
This morning, the WKU COVID-19 Task Force met to review and finalize plans for the spring semester. Below are some key points regarding operating procedures for the upcoming term:
- We will begin spring 2022 classes on time and in person; the academic calendar for the spring 2022 semester remains unchanged.
- Masks continue to be required at all times while using WKU transportation services and when in public areas or shared spaces within buildings, including hallways, classrooms, laboratories, elevators, etc. We encourage you to review the CDC’s recommendations concerning masks.
- Any member of the WKU Community who tests positive or has been identified as a close contact for COVID-19 must contact the WKU COVID Assistance Line within four hours of receiving the positive test result or being identified of exposure by calling 270-745-2019. Close contacts may not be required to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated and have received their booster (if eligible).
- Isolation and quarantine protocols have been updated to reflect new guidance from the CDC. Particularly of note, the revised protocols shorten the isolation period for positive cases to five days in most instances, followed by masking for an additional five days. Isolation can end after five full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved. Please refer to the CDC’s latest isolation and quarantine guidance or contact the WKU COVID Assistance Line.
- Vaccines and boosters are readily available in our area, including the Graves Gilbert Clinic on campus. The COVID vaccine remains our best defense against the virus. If you are not yet vaccinated or have not obtained a booster shot (if eligible), we strongly encourage you to take this important preventative measure.
- All members of the WKU Community are asked to report or update vaccination status online at app.wku.edu/vaccine. The form has recently been updated to allow individuals to submit booster shot information.
- Please continue to refer to wku.edu/healthyonthehill for the latest WKU operating procedures.
The strategies employed since our return to campus in the fall of 2020 have proven effective, but sustained diligence is required to best protect our Hilltopper Family. The ever-changing nature of the pandemic and the arrival of new variants require continued flexibility and adaptability. As we have done throughout the pandemic, the COVID-19 Task Force and the Department of Environmental Health & Safety will continue to monitor public health guidance and update operational procedures as necessary.
Thank you for your continued and collective efforts to protect yourself and all those around you.
Timothy C. Caboni
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs