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. 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

Our new COVID-19 documentation database offers a centralized system for students, faculty and staff to:

  • upload their vaccination card;
  • record booster doses;
  • apply for and check on the status of exemptions and waivers;
  • upload weekly assurance tests from off campus;
  • and confirm their own compliance with required documentation.

Please read on for more information about our protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated members of our campus community.

FAQ

This page was updated on March 18, 2022. The pandemic continues to evolve. This page will continue to be updated and adjusted as warranted.

Vaccination and Boosters

If you are eligible for the vaccine and booster shot, we urge you to receive it in the strongest of terms. At this time, the University requires that all students, faculty and staff to report their COVID-19 vaccination status. This policy applies to any students (undergraduate and graduate), faculty or staff members (part or full time) who will be on campus for any period of time.

Proof of vaccination must be uploaded to our COVID documentation system linked at the top of this page. Proof of vaccination must be in the form of the CDC vaccination card issued or a record of vaccination from the healthcare provider who administered the vaccine

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.

Proof of vaccination must be uploaded to our COVID documentation submission form. Proof of vaccination must be in the form of the CDC vaccination card issued or a record of vaccination from the healthcare provider who administered the vaccine.

The CDC recommends taking a photo of both sides of the card in case you lose it. But 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.

Wilkes continues to honor religious, medical or personal beliefs as reasons not to be vaccinated. Those electing to submit a formal exemption from the vaccine must complete the vaccine waiver request form. Weekly testing will continue to be required.

Students with approved exemptions due to legitimate medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs (supported with a thorough explanation) will not be charged the assurance testing fee for the spring semester. Employees with these approved religious and medical waivers will be eligible to receive the wellness incentive outlined in an email from President Cant in Nov. 2021. These waiver requests are reviewed by an appointed Wilkes panel. You can check on the status of your application once you submit all required documentation by logging into the COVID-19 documentation system linked above.

Important note: approved medical or religious waivers do not exempt you from assurance testing, quarantine or isolation, nor does it permit you to travel on extended University-sponsored trips. Read more in the “Travel and Study Abroad” section below.

  • Unvaccinated individuals will be required to present the results of a COVID-19 test taken before their return to campus for the spring semester. See more under "return testing" in the following section.
  • Unvaccinated members of the campus community will also be required to participate in weekly assurance testing.
    • Please note that unvaccinated student-athletes need much more frequent assurance testing, per NCAA guidance.
  • Unvaccinated individuals and those with an approved vaccination exemption are required to quarantine or isolate when infected or exposed. They are not exempt from assurance testing.

Fully vaccinated means two weeks have passed since your final dose of the vaccine: two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If you are partially vaccinated, you will be required to participate in assurance testing until you are fully vaccinated.

Once you are fully vaccinated, proof of vaccination should then be uploaded to our COVID documentation submission form. If you do not intend to be vaccinated, a vaccination waiver request form must be completed. 

The CDC recommends that you receive the vaccine regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible that you could be infected again, particularly as new variants emerge. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19.

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Please see the next question for additional information.

If you have had COVID within 90 days and remain unvaccinated, you are expected to follow the protocols for unvaccinated members of the campus community. Please take these steps and note the following:

  • Complete the waiver form, if you havent already.
  • Seek an antigen/rapid test for your reentry test.
  • You will be required to report to assurance testing on a weekly basis.
  • You will continue to be tested and will need to quarantine if exposed to the virus until two weeks after your final dose of the vaccine, should you opt to be vaccinated.
  • Once you have received all doses of the vaccine, you should upload a copy of your vaccination card. You will then be removed from our assurance testing program.

Vaccines are readily available and at no cost. A list of vaccination providers near you can be found via vaccines.gov.

Due to privacy requirements, members of the campus community do not know who is and is not vaccinated. The University maintains a private database of those who are not vaccinated and contacts them directly for assurance testing or in the event they must quarantine or isolate. A small group of University employees have access to this list and manage it accordingly.

As of March 17, 2022, Wilkes University is a mask-optional campus. Students, faculty, staff and visitors can wear a mask if they feel more comfortable doing so. Several important exemptions are listed below: 

  • Masks continue to be required in medical and COVID-19 testing facilities on campus as well as in 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, second 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 in shared University transportation.
  • 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. 

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 your booster dose as soon as you are eligible. Being eligible means six months have passed from your final dose of your initial Moderna series, five months have passed from your initial Pfizer series or two months have passed since receiving the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine.

As you receive your booster dose, please upload that information. This is the same link as noted at the top of this page.

At this point, boosters are not required; however, the science is still determining when an individual is no longer considered fully vaccinated due to not receiving booster doses. We are monitoring these developments and will adjust our policies and practices as needed.

Health Protocols and Testing

As noted previously, all students, faculty and staff are required to be tested before returning to campus regardless of their vaccination status. Many pharmacies, including Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS, as well as regional health departments and urgent care centers are offering asymptomatic testing. A PCR nasal test, saliva test or an antigen/rapid test are accepted. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, you should opt for a rapid/antigen test. As previously noted, home testing kits will not be accepted. Tests must be completed at an official testing site.

  • Residential students: Students moving into Wilkes residence halls will be tested upon their arrival, prior to moving in. If you test positive, you will be required to isolate at home. You can return to campus after being cleared by Health and Wellness Services. Residential students are encouraged to test at home before traveling to campus in order to avoid unnecessary travel but will also be tested upon arrival.
  • Commuting and off-campus students: Students who do not live in a campus residence hall must submit the results of a COVID-19 test taken within five days of Jan. 31 or the day they plan to return to campus if earlier than Jan. 31. This policy applies to all full- and part-time students, graduate or undergraduate, who will be attending any classes, activities or co-curricular experiences on campus during the spring semester.
  • Faculty and staff:As faculty and staff first return to campus following the holiday break, they should report to the Marts Center for testing prior to returning to their offices or classrooms. Hours will be posted on Today@Wilkes and the home page of the portal. If you choose to test off campus, please upload your test results online. Employees are required to test only once after Jan. 3. You do not have to test again on Jan. 31.

Fully online students who do not have regular activities on campus do not need to submit test results. Students who are traveling to campus from abroad should upload the results of the test taken before they board their international flight.

Yes. The CDC guidance on isolation and quarantine was updated recently, resulting in a change to our testing protocols and previous infections of COVID-19.

Given the increased contagious nature of the Omicron variant, combined with new medical guidance, students, faculty and staff are required to have an antigen/rapid test (or any nonPCR test) upon returning to Wilkes, regardless of previous infection. In addition, those who were previously infected and remain unvaccinated will be required to participate in weekly assurance testing.

As of March 17, Wilkes University is a mask-optional campus. Students, faculty, staff and visitors can wear a mask if they feel more comfortable doing so. Several important exemptions are listed below: 

  • Masks will continue to be required in medical and COVID-19 testing facilities on campus as well as in 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 in shared University transportation.
  • 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.

Students, faculty and staff who are not vaccinated for any reason are required to participate in weekly assurance testing. They can be tested on campus on the second floor of the Marts Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. The center is not open on weekends, University holidays or when the campus may be closed due to inclement weather, unless otherwise noted. Changes to assurance testing hours will always be announced via Today@Wilkes.

Unvaccinated students, faculty and staff may also be tested at a pharmacy, medical facility or urgent care center located off campus. At-home testing kits are not accepted at this time.

If you are tested off-campus, you must upload your test results for that week no later than 3 p.m. each Sunday. If you have not shared your test results or reported for assurance testing that week, students will not be permitted to attend classes on Monday and employees will face disciplinary action.

Those who have received the vaccine are also welcome to get tested at the walk-in assurance testing center, if they so choose. Testing continues to be available to those who are sick or exhibiting symptoms. Please contact Health and Wellness Services for more information at ext. 4730.

As of Dec. 27, 2021 and Jan. 4, 2022, the CDC has revised its isolation and quarantine guidance.

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

  • Stay home for five days.
  • Take a rapid test on day six.
  • If you test negative on day six, you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving, you can leave your house. Continue to wear a mask (indoors and outdoors) around others for five additional days.
  • If you test positive on day six, you must continue to isolate for the full 10 days.

If you have a fever or related symptoms, continue to stay home until your symptoms resolve.

If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, quarantine guidance varies based on your vaccination status.

If you:

Have been boosted
OR
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last six months
OR
Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last two months:

  • Wear a mask (indoors and outdoors) around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day six.

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

If you:

Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over six months ago and are not boosted
OR
Completed the primary series of J&J over two months ago and are not boosted
OR
Are unvaccinated:

  • Stay home for five days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.
  • Test on day six.

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

If you choose not to be vaccinated and must quarantine due to exposure, you may use your vacation time or opt to not be paid for the time you are out and unable to work. If you are isolating due to a positive test result, you may use your sick time.
Per guidance released by the NCAA, unvaccinated student-athletes have to undergo more frequent assurance testing. Due to the nature of our athletic programs, particularly those that require close contact with other student-athletes, we strongly urge you to get vaccinated.
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, if they have been exposed to the virus or if they have been instructed to quarantine by an agency outside of Wilkes. 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, if they have been exposed to the virus or if they have been instructed to quarantine by an agency outside of Wilkes. 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).
Masks that fit snugly over your face must be properly worn over your mouth and nose in all indoor places on campus. Learn more here.
Following CDC recommendations, people who are fully vaccinated do not need to undergo routine COVID-19 assurance testing due to the fact that recent studies show vaccinated people face little risk of serious disease. Assurance testing is required on a regular basis for those who have not been vaccinated because they have a higher risk of being infected.
 

Campus and Student Events

Events are permitted to be held on campus. Students can also seek guidance from Melissa Howells (melissa.howells@wilkes.edu) in Student Development while employees can contact Mildred Urban (mildred.urban@wilkes.edu) in University Events for assistance.

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.

Note that eating may not be permitted in classrooms where masks are required. Please consult with faculty members.

Masks are optional on campus. Those who are more comfortable wearing masks are welcome to do so. Masks are recommended during large gatherings.

It is inappropriate to ask someone if they are vaccinated. Currently, the University is following recommended guidelines relative to vaccination status and attendance at events. No one, based on vaccination status, should be excluded from attending.

ARAMARK, the University’s contracted food service provider, follows all safety procedures developed by the company and based on industry required and recommended practices. ARAMARK has been, and will continue to be, mindful of the latest protocols related to minimizing any risk associated with COVID-19.

Yes. Please visit gowilkesu.com to view the schedules and stats for each respective sport.

Club sports are available during the semester.

Intramural activities are available during the semester. 

Travel and Study Abroad

Study abroad decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis factoring in the COVID-19 conditions in the country being considered. Note that international travelers must be fully vaccinated. Please consult with Dr. Andreea Maierean (andreea.mairean@wilkes.edu) regarding study abroad opportunities and questions.

Masks are recommended when traveling with others in University cars or transportation services, like the shuttle. At this time, there are no restrictions specific to vehicle occupancy. 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.

Updated Feb. 25, 2022:

Policy:  Both vaccinated and unvaccinated students, faculty and staff are permitted to travel on extended trips; however, unvaccinated participants must provide proof of a negative COVID test taken no later than 48 hours prior to the trip’s departure. In addition, unvaccinated trip participants must test at least once per week while travelling. 

Process: Responsibility for determining vaccination status rests with the trip coordinator. The coordinator should see the vaccination card, or an image of one, for each vaccinated trip participant. The trip coordinator is also responsible for securing a copy of a negative test from each unvaccinated participant. Failure to provide a card, or image, will be reason for not being able to participate on the trip. Should a participant contract COVID-19 while traveling it will be the responsibility of the trip coordinator to manage the situation in consultation with University officials by contacting 570-408-4999.

The sharing of hotel rooms while attending conferences should follow established procedures by the Office of Student Development. There are no specific COVID-19 related restrictions.

Residence Life

Vaccination status is not a consideration when roommates are matched. The science behind vaccinations indicates that those vaccinated will have protection from COVID-19 when coming into contact with anyone carrying the virus.
The University does its best to accommodate health-related circumstances. Requests should be made as soon as possible to the Office of Residence Life.
There are no housing arrangements based on vaccination status.
Resident assistants, along with other campus community members, are required to provide proof of vaccination or complete the exemption waiver. They are not required to disclose their vaccination status.
If you have been fully vaccinated, you will not be required to quarantine but you should be tested five days after they test positive. You should continue to monitor your health and contact Health and Wellness Services if you develop symptoms. They will advise you on the appropriate next steps.
If you are not vaccinated, you will be asked to quarantine for the recommended time period established by Health and Wellness Services.
Common areas and residence hall kitchens will be available to students in those facilities. Masks must be worn.
International students are expected to upload proof of vaccination or complete the exemption waiver. All unvaccinated international students need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within five days of their arrival on campus and be subject to regular assurance testing. They may submit the same test they take before boarding their international flight.

Classes and Experiential Learning

Face-to-face classes will begin on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.

Wilkes University will begin the spring 2022 semester in an online format. All classes slated to begin on Tuesday, Jan. 18 will do so remotely. This includes labs and any biology or environmental science courses with field components. Faculty members will contact students with specific information on how each individual class will be conducted. Wilkes will transition to face-to-face classes on Monday, Jan. 31. Students in off-campus internships, clinicals and experiential learning should consult with their department leaders for more information on those experiences.

You can review the full academic calendar (.pdf) online.

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.
It is not likely that all classes in a particular academic program are available online. If you are interested in enrolling fully online, it would be best to consult with your academic advisor.
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.
There are no changes. Wilkes will follow the standard 4.0 grading policy.
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.