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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.

COVID Protocols for Fall 2021

We follow the National Centers for Disease Control Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education and the CDC Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People as well as local and state health authorities and experts.

Students and their families with questions or concerns should contact Student Life (, and employees should contact Human Resources ( 


  • The current scientific consensus is that widespread vaccination is the best way to curb potential outbreaks of COVID-19. In accordance with guidelines from the CDC and the state of North Carolina, we continue to strongly encourage all community members to get vaccinated.
  • All students are required to get the vaccination before the start of school. Students who have received a vaccination waiver for health or religious reasons were required to provide proof of a negative COVID PCR test conducted at least 48 hours before arrival on campus.
  • All employees are required to be vaccinated before September 30. With FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine and pending approval of the Moderna vaccine, more businesses, including colleges, are requiring employees to be vaccinated. In the next two weeks, employees will receive more information from Human Resources about how to find a vaccine if you haven’t received one, how to provide proof of vaccination, and how to apply for a religious or medical exemption. This is consistent with what we are requiring for all students.


  • Warren Wilson College has implemented an indoor mask requirement for all persons on campus, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Physical distancing at a distance of three feet indoors is highly encouraged in all settings. This is consistent with the CDC guidelines for schools.
  • Limitations on large group gatherings: At least through Saturday, October 16 (the end of Fall Break), we are limiting all gatherings to fewer than 60 people, and they must be outdoors, masked, and only events that are central to our mission. Campus rentals will be curtailed with the exception of previously signed contracts. In rare circumstances, we may permit an outside group to gather on campus outdoors when no one from our community will be exposed to the group, and they must follow all protocols. In keeping with this change, Homecoming will be virtual except for small award ceremonies outdoors that will be recorded or live streamed for presentation during the virtual weekend. Family Weekend will be held during the week of September 20 virtually, with no large gatherings on campus. Individual visitors will be allowed on campus; however, we encourage visitor interaction to be limited to outdoor spaces through October 16.
  • We allow visitors on campus individually and in small groups. All visitors must adhere to our indoor mask mandate. Family members of employees may be on campus without restriction as allowed pre-pandemic but must also adhere to these guidelines.
  • NO off campus guests, after move-in, are allowed in the residence halls.
  • Masks must be worn by all persons on campus indoors regardless of vaccination status.


  • We will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students who have COVID-like symptoms.
  • We will conduct testing for non-vaccinated students who have had documented exposure to COVID-19 through contact tracing even if asymptomatic.
  • Symptomatic employees regardless of vaccination status should be tested and should quarantine at home. All test results should be reported to Human Resources for documentation purposes.
  • Vaccinated asymptomatic employees who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID needs to be tested within 3 -5 days of exposure and wear a mask at all times until receiving a negative test. You do not have to quarantine unless you receive a positive COVID test. All test results should be reported to Human Resources for documentation purposes.
  • All unvaccinated students who have been approved for an exemption will be required to undergo regular background (antigen) testing. If they test positive, they will be required to get a PCR test to confirm the positive antigen test. Additional information will be provided soon.

In accordance with CDC and Buncombe County guidelines, we adhere to the following protocols in response to a positive or presumptive positive case:

  • Close contacts with a known positive individual need to quarantine and be given a PCR test. Once a negative test result is in, the Health Center or Human Resources staff will advise.
  • People who were in close contact with a close contact (and NOT the COVID-19 positive individual) do NOT meet this definition and won’t be asked to quarantine.
  • Contact tracing is being conducted by employees who use the most recent CDC guidelines as a reference. If you are a close contact, a Health Center Nurse or a member of the Campus COVID-19 contact tracing team will be in contact with you.


  • We will maintain limited off-campus quarantine and isolation space for residential students who (1) are symptomatic and/or test positive for COVID-19; (2) are unvaccinated but have had documented exposure to COVID-19 through contact tracing. Again this year we are using YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly campus in Black Mountain. Students needing to utilize this facility will be given single, air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and WiFi. A support team will provide consistent health monitoring, case management, and meal deliveries. We will have transport available for the students as we did last year.
  • Students are given the choice to quarantine at an off campus location of their choice or in our quarantine and isolation facility at Blue Ridge Assembly.



  • In accordance with CDC guidelines, the College will continue to provide hand sanitizer stations on campus and use enhanced cleaning protocols in residence halls and classrooms/offices. This practice also helps prevent colds and regular flu.
  • REMEMBER, following the 3Ws [Waiting (six or more feet apart when possible), Washing (your hands and using hand sanitizer) and Wearing a proper face mask. Choose masks that have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric and contain a nose wire. The mask should fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps and completely cover your nose and mouth. Please review the CDC guide to masks.
  • Students need to strictly adhere to their COVID  “bubble,” especially now that more contagious strains of coronavirus have been identified.

These guidelines are subject to change if national or state guidance changes.

For other questions about Fall 2021 opening, check our Q&A page.


Past Updates

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


Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) (HEERFII) Funds for Students (Updated June 30,2021)

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.