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Coronavirus / COVID-19 Response

The health and safety of Warren Wilson College students, faculty and staff is our top priority.

This dashboard shows data on the numbers of people in our community who are quarantined or isolating, awaiting COVID test results, the number of positives and negatives, as well as the number of students in quarantine at Blue Ridge Assembly.

Update for Spring 2022

Below is important information about the return to campus for Spring semester 2022.

As we continue to monitor the developments regarding the Omicron variant, we have decided to make adjustments to the start of the Spring 2022 semester to help us maintain a healthy and safe environment for our community.

Online classes until Monday, January 24th, 2022

Warren Wilson will begin the Spring 2022 semester with all classes online for two weeks until week three of the semester which begins Monday, January 24th. Students will have the option to return to campus on our previously established schedule (Sunday, January 9th, 2022) or they may elect to begin the semester off-campus, remotely. Students electing to begin remotely can return to campus on Sunday, January 23rd. If you have tested positive for COVID or been a direct contact over break, please contact the Health Center, healthcenter@warren-wilson.edu, before leaving for campus. In either case, all academic classes and most required school meetings and work program activities will be online during this period. Key spring semester academic calendar dates remain unchanged at this time.

Travel Suspended

All college-related travel will be suspended during this time. Any necessary adjustments will be made on a case by case basis. Information  regarding travel after this two week period will be communicated by January 19.

Student athletes who are in season may return to campus at their previously appointed time but may also elect to begin the semester remotely. Questions about athletics should be directed to Joni Williamson at jwilliamson@warren-wilson.edu.

Students Returning to Campus

All students returning to campus will be required to show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival on campus. Students who remained on campus during the winter break will need to submit a negative PCR test by the start of the semester on January 9th. If you live off campus, you are required to submit a negative PCR test by the date of the return to in-person classes, on January 24th.  If you have recently had COVID, please contact the Health Center before returning to campus.

  • If your only option is taking a test earlier than the 72 hours (3 days), then take the test.  But if test appointments are more than 4 days out, please email the health center to discuss what will be best.

  • Please upload your results here using the Return to Campus COVID-19 Test Result Submission Form or bring a paper copy with you at check-in. It is preferred that students electronically submit their results before arriving on campus. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, please upload a copy of the positive test result you first received.

  • We understand that finding available testing is challenging at the moment. If you are unable to get a PCR test prior to arrival, we ask that students do their best to take a rapid test before they travel to campus. Once you arrive on campus, you will be required to take a rapid test with the Health Center. Should you test positive for COVID-19 before you travel to campus, please email the health center, healthcenter@warren-wilson.edu to share your situation and the Health Center staff will advise you.

  • If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 please email healthcenter@warren-wilson.edu to share your situation and the Health Center staff will advise you. We know that for folks who have had COVID-19, their test results might be false positives for up to 90 days after the symptoms have left. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, please upload a copy of the positive test result you first received using the Return to Campus Test Result Submission form.

 

Dining Services

Dining services will have reduced hours and operations during the first two weeks of the semester. Cowpie will be closed during this two week period.  Gladfelter will be operating to-go only from 7:30-9:30am, 11am-1pm, and 5-7pm. Owl’s nest will be open all week from  8:00 – 11:30am and 12:30 – 3:00pm.

GENERAL PROTOCOLS

On campus regularly scheduled testing for students will start the week of January 17,2022 and more information will be forthcoming.  We hope to have a large enough supply of tests so students can get tested upon request but we will share more information about that in the coming weeks.

Masks need to be worn indoors at all times unless you are drinking or eating or working in your private space. Students should wear masks in common spaces like lounges, kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms when feasible. Please remember to physically distance.

Quarantine Space 

If you have already arranged your off campus quarantine space, you will be asked to  quarantine/isolate off campus at that location to ensure we have enough quarantine space for all who need it.

We have obtained limited off-campus quarantine and isolation space again at the nearby YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly. Students will continue to work with our Health Center staff to be screened, and if it’s determined that a student should quarantine or isolate, the student will be transported to Blue Ridge if they don’t have their own transportation.  We will continue to work with the students to provide meal delivery, health monitoring, and case management. If you were to have a medical emergency while at Blue Ridge, please call 911 immediately. Once students are medically cleared, they can return to campus.

We will also have very limited quarantine space on campus if it becomes needed.

Quarantine/Isolation Guidelines 

Our COVID protocols were developed using CDC guidance, NC State guidelines and very close collaboration with Buncombe County Health and Human Services. Because of these guidelines and collaboration with the County, our quarantine and isolation  times may be different from other guidelines and other colleges.  Our campus COVID guidelines continue to be praised by Buncombe County health officials.  We are doing more to protect you and our community.

While the CDC has recently changed quarantine and isolation guidelines for the general public, we must adhere to the previously established guidelines per Buncombe County health officials due to congregate living.

Our guidelines for students and employees are as follows:

If you’re NOT vaccinated you must quarantine or isolate when:

  • You receive a confirmed, positive COVID-19 laboratory diagnosis when tested for your own symptoms or exposure.  You must be isolated for 10 days.

  • You exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, you must quarantine until you receive a negative PCR and are asymptomatic

  • You are designated a close contact, you must quarantine until you receive a negative PCR.

If you’re vaccinated but haven’t gotten your booster shot you must quarantine or isolate when:

  • You receive a confirmed, positive COVID-19 laboratory diagnosis when tested for your own symptoms or exposure. You must be isolated for 10 days.

  • You exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, you must quarantine until you receive a negative PCR and are asymptomatic.

  • You are designated a close contact, you must quarantine until you receive a negative PCR.

If you’re vaccinated including a booster shot you must quarantine or isolate when:

  • You receive a confirmed, positive COVID-19 laboratory diagnosis when tested for your own symptoms or exposure. You must be isolated for 10 days.
  • You exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, you must quarantine until you receive a negative PCR and are asymptomatic.

  • You DO NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless you have symptoms. However, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 10 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

CONTACT TRACING GENERALLY WORKS AS FOLLOWS:

  • Contact tracing will continue as has been practiced since the beginning of the pandemic.

  • If an individual develops symptoms and is awaiting a COVID-19 test, receives a positive COVID-19 test result, or is identified as a close contact by contact tracers, then the employee stays home or the student goes to quarantine at the College’s off-site location at Blue Ridge Assembly or other offsite location until released. They cannot remain on campus.

  • When a positive COVID-19 test result is identified, a contact tracer will be assigned immediately to the case. The contact tracer will interview the individual and identify all contacts. Close contacts are defined specifically as noted below. Close contacts are entered into a database and notified by phone and/or email. Information on how to proceed is communicated to everyone who is a close contact.

  • The contact tracer will relay information about any non-WWC close contacts to the Buncombe County Public Health Department.

  • Please note that during this process the name of the primary will be disclosed to possible contacts, but protected health information will not be disclosed.

  • Per both Warren Wilson College protocol and CDC guidance, a ‘close contact’ is defined as any individual who is within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic persons, 2 days prior to positive test collection) until the time the person is isolated.

  • As a close contact, do not call other friends or classmates. Once your test results have been confirmed, the contact tracer would inform any additional students needed.  Do not jump ahead thinking you are helping by telling your friends of your need to quarantine.

Vaccinations and Boosters Required

Vaccinations continue to be required for all students and employees. If you are faculty or staff and have an exemption, weekly testing is required and you should have received an email from Heather Schalk with the pertinent information.  Please contact her directly with any questions.

All students, faculty, and staff will be required to receive a booster vaccination once eligible and show proof of booster status within two weeks of their eligibility date, or no later than January 21st if currently eligible. Please refer to the email from Student Life and HR regarding this and for the links to upload proof of your booster. For any questions, students please contact the health center and employees contact HR.

Vaccinations with boosters remain the best protection against COVID, including the Omicron variant, to prevent severe illness.  To learn more about the booster shots please review CDC information.

State and County Testing Resources

StarMed Harrah’s Cherokee Center testing flyer:

BCHHS Testing Information: https://www.buncombecounty.org/countycenter/news-detail.aspx?id=18637

NC Find MY Testing Place: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/find-my-testing-place

Work Program Update

Sent 1/5/2022

All students regardless of whether they are on campus or not, will be paid for the first two weeks of hours.

  • Payment will reflect their current work contract (i.e. students on 120 hour contracts will be paid for 16 hours  students in leadership positions of 240 will be paid for 32 hours).
  • This means no student will be required to make up hours for the first 2 weeks of the semester.

No student is required to work during the first two weeks of the semester.

  • Students who are living on campus and wish to continue working with their crews may do so only with the expressed permission of their supervisors.
  • You will record these hours worked accordingly on a paper time card, provided by your supervisor. You should not exceed your regular work contract hours (8 or 16).
  • There will be no opportunities for Shadowing during these first two weeks.
  • All students are required to follow CDC guidelines while in shared work spaces.

Gladfelter Dining Hall is offering cash paid positions during the first two weeks of the semester.

Work will resume as normal on Monday, January 24th, 2022.

  • All students are required to return to normal duties on their assigned work crews starting Monday, January 24th. Your work crew supervisor will be in contact with you regarding your schedule.
  • myWWC timecards, and all rules surrounding them, will go into effect on this date.

Return to Campus – January 2022 FAQ’s

Student Life has compiled frequently asked questions related to returning, testing requirements, etc. Please see below for more information, and please contact studentlife@warren-wilson.edu with any other questions.

What is Quarantine?

You should quarantine when you might have been exposed to the virus by a close contact and may or may not have been infected.  Quarantine means staying in a specific designated location (i.e., your home or room in provided housing at Blue Ridge Assembly or your off campus designated space) away from others, for the purpose of observing and monitoring your health status for the potential development of symptoms.  When you are in quarantine you cannot attend school or work in person or leave quarantine to run errands or hang out with your friends. Quarantine is also critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others in our community.

What is Isolation?

You isolate yourself when you are sick or when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms. People who tested positive with COVID-19 must stay in isolation.  This means you must stay away from other people, including those in your home, to help prevent the spread. Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels and utensils.

What should I do if my test results do not come in before I am returning to campus?

What if the only available testing appointments are earlier than the 48-72 hour (2-3 days) window before my arrival back on campus?

  • The hope is to have a test taken as closely to returning to campus as possible.  If your only option is taking a test earlier than the 72 hours (3 days), then take the test.  But if test appointments are more than 4 days out, please email the health center to discuss what will be best.

How do I submit my results to the college?

  • Please upload your results here using the Return to Campus COVID-19 Test Result Submission Form or bring a paper copy with you at check-in. It is preferred that students electronically submit their results before arriving on campus. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, please upload a copy of the positive test result you first received.

What should I do if I am unable to make an appointment for a PCR test prior to returning?

  • We understand that finding available testing is challenging at the moment. If you are unable to get a PCR test prior to arrival, we ask that students do their best to take a rapid test before they travel to campus. Once you arrive on campus, you will be required to take a rapid test with the Health Center. Should you test positive for COVID-19 before you travel to campus, please email healthcenter@warren-wilson.edu to share your situation and the Health Center staff will advise you.

If I have been on campus throughout the winter break, do I still need to provide a negative PCR test?

  • Yes, all students, including those that have remained on campus during the winter break will need to submit a negative PCR test by the start of the semester on January 9th.

Where can I get a test?

  • Students are responsible for finding the testing site and option that will work best for them. Health departments, pharmacies, urgent cares, and some doctor/care provider offices may have them. Please see the bottom of this FAQ sheet for links for NC and Buncombe County testing information.

Will classes stay online beyond the first two weeks of the semester? Will there be a permanent hybrid option?

  • We do not anticipate staying on-line for longer than 2 weeks but, as always, we will continue to monitor our community health and listen to guidance and recommendations from our local, state, and national health authorities. As has been previously stated, there is no scenario where Warren Wilson will offer, simultaneously, permanent on-line and in-person options– what is often referred to as “hybrid” or “hyflex” learning. It is inconsistent with our mission and it produced less effective learning outcomes for our faculty and students last academic year. What we are currently doing, where we switch the entire school to on-line and then, when ready, back to in-person, is the approach we will take. This is consistent with what other colleges and universities are doing nationally and is best for the overall teaching and learning experience for our students and faculty.

  • More information regarding the First Day of Class will be sent out to students soon, please keep an eye out for this email.

I have recently tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do if I am not able to get a negative test result in time?

  • Please email healthcenter@warren-wilson.edu to share your situation and the Health Center staff will advise you. We know that for folks who have had COVID-19, their test results might be false positives for up to 90 days after the symptoms have left.  If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, please upload a copy of the positive test result you first received using the Return to Campus Test Result Submission form.

How do I submit proof that I received the COVID-19 vaccine booster?

What is the time frame for submitting proof of a booster?

  • All students who have already been eligible for a booster should submit their proof using the form link below by no later than January 21st. If you are not currently eligible to receive the booster vaccination, please contact healthcenter@warren-wilson.edu to provide your eligibility date for tracking purposes. We ask that students receive their booster and submit proof using the form linked below as soon as possible after they become eligible.
  • COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Shot Verification 

If I live off campus, am I required to submit a negative PCR test?

  • Yes, students living off campus are required to submit a negative PCR test by the date of the return to in-person classes, on January 24th.

If I choose to be remote for the first two weeks of the semester, how will this impact my part in the Work Program?

  • All students regardless of whether you are on campus or not, will be paid for the first two weeks of hours. No student is required to work during the first two weeks of the semester, but you can work with your supervisor. All students are required to return to normal duties on their assigned work crews starting Monday, January 24th. Your work crew supervisor will be in contact with you regarding your schedule.
  • Please see the information above regarding work and the start of the semester.

If I choose to return to campus on January 9th, what will the on-campus dining options be?

  • Dining services will have reduced hours and operations during the first two weeks of the semester. Owls Nest and Cowpie will be closed during this two week period, and Gladfelter will be operating to-go only from 7:30-9:30am, 11am-1pm, and 5-7pm.

Do I still need to submit a negative PCR test if I have my vaccine booster?

State and County Testing Resources:

Starmed Harrah’s Cherokee Center testing flyer:

https://www.buncombecounty.org/common/_RTE/file/SM_Covid19TestingFlyer_Buncombe_Harrahs_927_VF.pdf

BCHHS Testing Information: https://www.buncombecounty.org/countycenter/news-detail.aspx?id=18637

NC Find MY Testing Place: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/find-my-testing-place

CARES Act HEERF Updates

HEERF III (Institutional Portion) Report ending 12/31/2021  (Updated January 7, 2022)

 

Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) (HEERFII) Funds for Students (Updated October 10,2021)

American Rescue Plan (HEERF III) 9/30/21 Report Student Portion

heerf-quarterly -reporting 9/30/21 HEERF III Institutional portion

Update: the 9/30/21 narrative still reflects the current status of the student portion as of 12/31/21

 

Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) (HEERFII) Funds for Students

CRRSAA HERFF II for Students Announcement FAQ

HEERF II Report for Quarter Ending 3/31/21

HEERF II Report for Quarter Ending 6/30/21

 

Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) (HEERFII) Funds for Students

April 14, 2021

Click Here for a FAQ document about the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (CRRSAA HEERFII) funds for students.

UPDATE October 23, 2020:

Click here for a report depicting the utilization of the institutional portion of the CARES Act.

FINAL UPDATE July 2, 2020:

As of 5/28/2020, the college has disbursed, in its entirety, the $388,269 student portion of the CARES Act Higher Educational Relief Fund to 535 eligible students.

 

CARES Act Higher Education Relief Fund for Students – Public Announcement and FAQs, May 21

About CARES Act Funding

The recently enacted federal CARES Act HEERF has provided federal funding to educational institutions to distribute for emergency student grants.  The purpose of the student grants is to provide financial assistance to students for expenses that are a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Was Warren Wilson College included in this Funding Allocation Under the CARES Act?

Yes, in April, President Morton received notification and information about the CARES Act HEERF funding from the Secretary of Education.  Soon after, authorized personnel signed and returned the Certification and Agreement form to the Department of Education as required to receive the funding specifically for Warren Wilson College.  In that certification, the college agreed to appropriately spend the $388,269, representative of the 50% student allocation received under Section 18004 (a)(1) of the CARES Act, to provide emergency grants to our students.  In addition, the college must certify that they have continued to pay all eligible employees and contractors during the period of disruptions or closures to the greatest extent practicable.  We have also complied with this stipulation to the greatest extent practicable.

What Kinds of Expenses are these CARES Act HEERF Student Grants to cover?

Examples of expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the impact of the coronavirus are food, housing, course materials, technology needs, health care, or childcare.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for the CARES Act HEERF Student Grants?

Students who meet all criteria below are eligible for the CARES Act HEERF student grants:

  1. Working towards an undergraduate degree at Warren Wilson College
  2. Actively enrolled as of March 13, 2020, in the Spring 2020 semester, in at least one in-person course, even if that course moved to an online format due to the coronavirus pandemic
  3. Have a valid 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with Warren Wilson College Financial Aid Office

Per the US Department of Education, international students and undocumented students are not currently eligible to receive CARES Act HEERF student grants.

How Much Will I Receive?

Warren Wilson College elected to equitably serve those considered eligible to receive the funding stipulated above.  We have simply divided the total funds received by the total number of those eligible from above.  The total number of those eligible is 535 students.  Dividing our funding level of $388,269 by 535 computes to allow for $725.74  per eligible student.

Are there any actions required of those eligible?

Eligible students do not need to take any action to receive these grant funds.

When will I receive these funds if I am eligible?

Our goal is to process these grants by the end of May 2020.

How will I receive these funds if I am eligible?

All eligible students will receive a check mailed to their address on file.  If you recently completed the room and board refund form, then we will utilize those addresses.  Since this program is focused specifically on student emergency grants, the checks will be made payable to the student only and to the address on file. In order to keep the grant program processes flowing efficiently, we are unable to accommodate special requests at this time due to the heavy volume of inquiries we are experiencing in the financial services area.

What if I currently owe tuition or other expenses to Warren Wilson College?

The full amount of the CARES Act HEERF student grants will be given directly to eligible students and will not pay any outstanding balances due to the College.  Any outstanding balances due to Warren Wilson College remain the responsibility of the student.

If I am eligible for the CARES Act HEERF student grant, is it taxable? 

No.  Emergency student grants under the CARES Act HEERF are qualified disaster relief payments per the US Internal Revenue Code and are deemed not taxable.

If I am eligible, will I need to repay this CARES Act HEERF student grant?

No, this one-time grant received under the CARES Act HEERF funding does not need to be repaid.

Has the college distributed any CARES Act HEERF student grants as of 5/22/2020?

No.  As our process stipulates above, our goal is to distribute these funds by the end of May 2020.

This Question and Answer format serves to comply with Warren Wilson College’s Department of Educations required 30-day reporting requirement as of 5/22/20.