Policies As of March 2024


Masks are not required unless you are recovering from COVID 19, or other respiratory illness, or visiting Health and Wellness Services or other health or medical spaces on campus. Continue to respect others' wishes. If asked to mask up before entering a space, please do so. Masks are available at Health and Wellness Services. If there is a significant increase in the number of positive cases on campus at any point in the semester additional masking stations will be identified.

Vaccinations and Other Precautions

It is clear that getting vaccinated and boosted is the best way to combat COVID-19. The CDC has specific vaccination recommendations external website based on individual risk categories. The University will not be tracking individual vaccination data.

Practicing good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes, washing or sanitizing hands often, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces is recommended.

Taking steps for cleaner air, such as bringing in more fresh outside air, purifying indoor air, or gathering outdoors is encouraged.

Testing positive

The updated CDC Respiratory Virus Guidance recommends that people stay home and away from others until at least 24 hours after both their symptoms are getting better overall, and they have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication). Note that depending on the length of symptoms, this period could be shorter, the same, or longer than the previous guidance for COVID-19.

It is important to note that the guidance doesn’t end with staying home and away from others when sick. The guidance encourages added precaution over the next five days after time at home, away from others, is over. Since some people remain contagious beyond the “stay-at-home” period, a period of added precaution using prevention strategies, such as taking more steps for cleaner air, enhancing hygiene practices, wearing a well-fitting mask, keeping a distance from others, and/or getting tested for respiratory viruses can lower the chance of spreading respiratory viruses to others.

Protocol for Class Attendance

Students who test positive for COVID 19, or other serious respiratory illness, should not attend class. Students will not be penalized for absences, missed exams, labs, or other critical academic activities, unless they fail to notify their instructors of their absences. Students must take responsibility for their absences and keep up with their coursework if they cannot attend class. They must:

  • Inform their instructors/professors and the Office of Student Life and Success of their inability to attend class prior to class meetings.
  • Refrain from coming to the classroom or visiting the instructor/professor.
  • Maintain open communication by notifying instructors and student health services (anita.burns@wilkes.edu, 570-408-4730) as soon as they become aware of the situation.
  • Keep up with classwork, unless they are unable to do so.
  • When available, attend class remotely and submit assignments digitally, unless they are unable to do so.
  • Work with their instructors to reschedule exams, labs, and other critical academic activities as soon as possible.

International travel recommendations

When traveling on a university sponsored trip it is recommended that you have the most current vaccination and carry a testing kit in the event you develop symptoms while abroad.


The University’s Health Service will monitor active cases on campus and in the community on a regular basis and will consult with the Wilkes-Barre Department of Health and University leadership if there is a spike in the number of positive cases and take additional steps to mitigate the spread of illness.