Wilkes University

It is clear that getting vaccinated and boosted is the best way to combat COVID-19. The existing vaccines are extremely safe and highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death. Though not required, we implore you to get vaccinated for your own health, for those you care about and for our ability to continue to offer a fulfilling campus experience. And when you are eligible, get your booster shot. Please do your part. We are all in this together.

COVID-19 Documentation upload

We encourage you to use our COVID-19 documentation database as a centralized system to document vaccines and boosters. Reporting your COVID-19 vaccination status is no longer required but a tool that you can use in the event our protocols change.

FAQ

This page was updated in July 2022 to reflect our protocols and guidance for the 2022-23 academic year. It was updated on Aug. 19, 2022 per revised CDC guidance. The pandemic continues to evolve. This page will continue to be updated and adjusted as warranted.

Vaccination and Boosters

Though not required, the COVID-19 vaccine is proven to be safe and effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalization. If you are eligible for the vaccine and subsequent booster doses, we urge you to receive it in the strongest of terms.

Vaccines are readily available at most drug stores or through regional departments of health. A list of vaccination providers near you can be found via vaccines.gov.

The CDC recommends taking a photo of both sides of the card in case you lose it. If you forgot to do so, here’s what the CDC says you can do:

  • Contact your vaccination provider directly to access your vaccination record.
  • If you can’t reach the vaccination provider, contact your state health department’s immunization information system. You can find state IIS info on cdc.gov.
  • If you enrolled in v-safe or VaxText, you can access your vaccination information through those tools.
  • If you have made every effort to receive a copy of your vaccination card and still need a second shot, talk to a vaccination provider.

It is clear that the effectiveness of vaccines begin to wane six months after receiving them. It is also clear that booster doses offer significant protection from emerging variants.

We strongly encourage you to receive booster doses as soon as you are eligible. As you receive your booster dose, please upload that information. This is the same link as noted at the top of this page.

Health Protocols and Testing

Return testing is not required for the fall 2022 semester however, we strongly recommend that students test at home before returning to campus residence halls and classes. If you are positive, students should contact Health and Wellness Services (570-408-4730) and employees should contact Human Resources (katherine.malcolm@wilkes.edu). 

Masks are generally not required on campus, though students, faculty, staff and visitors can wear a mask if they feel more comfortable doing so. Several important exemptions are listed below: 

  • Masks are required in medical facilities on campus including Health and Wellness Services and Campus Counseling.
  • Any individual who is experiencing COVID symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, etc.) and is awaiting a test or the results of a test must wear a mask.
  • Individuals who have tested positive for the virus within the past 10 days must wear a mask, per CDC guidance.
  • If you have been exposed to a positive case, you must wear a mask around others for 10 days, per CDC quarantine guidance.

In addition: 

  • Faculty members can require masks in their classrooms and labs. Faculty are responsible for clearly communicating these expectations to their students in advance. Students are expected to follow the classroom guidance set by their faculty members. 
  • Staff and faculty can determine if masks are required in their individual offices. They should communicate this to all office visitors. Signage is available from the print shop.
  • Students with special circumstances who wish to require masking in their classes may contact the office of Student Affairs (ext. 4100, 2nd floor Passan Hall) who will coordinate that process with the appropriate faculty.
  • Students must abide by the COVID-19 protocols set by the site of their internship, field hours, clinical experiences, etc. Student-athletes must follow athletic protocols on campus and when visiting other colleges and universities for competition.
  • Masks are recommended during any major events or large gatherings including lectures or commencement.

With flexibility and consideration at top of mind, bring a mask with you to campus and be prepared to use it as needed and as requested. Masking stations will continue to be located across campus.  

It is important to know that the University will reintroduce indoor masking if the health situation changes on campus or in the community. We must also understand that there are members of our community who are at high risk for severe illness or hospitalization. We will continue to show care and consideration for one another and respect individual choices and circumstances.

Assurance testing is not required and the assurance testing site in Marts has closed as of May 2022. Testing continues to be available to students who are sick or exhibiting symptoms. Please contact Health and Wellness Services (570-408-4730) in Passan Hall for more information. Faculty and staff should use at-home testing kits to confirm if they are infected.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate regardless of your vaccination status.

  • Stay home for five days.
  • If, on day six, you are fever-free without the use of medications, have no symptoms or your symptoms are improving, you may return to work or classes as long as you wear a mask for ten total days.
  • If you have a fever or related symptoms on day six, continue to stay home until your symptoms resolve.

If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine, as of CDC guidelines issued in Aug. 2022. You must do the following:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Monitor your symptoms.
  • Test on day six.

If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home. If you test positive, follow the guidance for isolation.

Staff employees unable to work due to COVID or any other illness must use sick time or other paid time off benefits (if sick time has been exhausted).  Faculty employees should make alternative arrangements for any instructional time missed due to their absence.  
Hand sanitizer and mask stations continue to be available in several buildings throughout campus.
  • Students should contact Health and Wellness Services at 570-408-4730 if they are experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or if they have been exposed to the virus. Students should remain off campus until further instruction is provided.
  • If testing is determined to be necessary, students can be tested at the Health and Wellness Services office.
  • Students who choose to be tested off-campus through a clinic or their family physician must immediately report to the Health and Wellness Services office that they are being tested.
  • Faculty or staff who are informed that a student is being tested should also notify the Health and Wellness Services office.
  • On evenings and weekends, students, faculty and staff can report this information to Public Safety by calling ext. 4377 (570-408-4377). Public Safety will notify the appropriate personnel.
  • Employees should immediately call the Human Resource office at campus ext. 4644 and their dean or direct supervisor if they are experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Employees should remain off campus and contact their primary care physician to determine if testing is necessary.
  • Supervisors or colleagues who are informed that an employee is being tested or has the virus should also immediately notify the Human Resource office at campus ext. 4644 (570-408-4644).

Campus Life and Events

Campus events are welcome. Students can seek guidance from Student Development while employees can contact Mildred Urban (mildred.urban@wilkes.edu) in University Events for assistance.

There are no restrictions specific to vehicle occupancy and masks are not required. When using third-party transportation services, like buses, Wilkes students, faculty and staff must abide by the protocols set forth by that company or organization.

There are no food restrictions during University events. It is important to note that transmission of COVID-19 is most notable when individuals gather indoors unmasked. During times when the virus is surging, please consider offering refreshments outdoors or in a grab-and-go format.

 

Classes and Experiential Learning

Please read the attendance policy in the bulletin.

We strongly recommend all members of the University community to be attentive to their health and safeguard others by following the CDC's guideline to "stay home when you are sick” and to seek appropriate medical evaluation.

Attendance at all scheduled classes is expected and required. Repeated absences are a sufficient cause for failure. Read more.

Accommodations will be made but faculty will determine the mode of accommodation. All efforts will be made to maintain academic continuity but depending on your program and external requirements, including internships and clinical hours, Wilkes cannot guarantee that progress toward degree requirements will be uninterrupted.
Efforts will be made for students to maintain academic progress but students need to comply with the COVID-19 requirements of off-campus sites. We cannot guarantee that unvaccinated students will be able to maintain academic progress in programs requiring clinicals and rotations and also requiring participants to be vaccinated.
Study abroad decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis factoring in the COVID-19 conditions in the country being considered. Please consult with Dr. Andreea Maierean (andreea.mairean@wilkes.edu) regarding study abroad opportunities and questions.
Internships will follow the normal approval process through the Office of Internships. There may be separate COVID-19 procedures and restrictions at individual internship sites based on the employer protocols. Please consult with Sharon Castano (sharon.castano@wilkes.edu) regarding the development and approval process for internships.