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Fall 2021 General FAQs

Last updated 09/30/2021 at 2:30 p.m.

What does it mean to be a close contact to someone who tests positive for or is diagnosed with COVID-19?

A closed contact is an individual who has been within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period of someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

What is the difference between modified quarantine and traditional quarantine?

Fully vaccinated individuals who are identified as close contacts to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 are placed in modified quarantine. Modified quarantine requires the individual to physically distance from others and mask at all times (even in outdoor settings or during physical activity). However, students in modified quarantine can still attend classes, LEAD events, and other campus activities as long as they are masked and able to physically distance.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are placed in traditional quarantine when they are identified as a close contact to someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19. We strongly encourage individuals in traditional quarantine to quarantine at home if at all possible. Students who are in traditional quarantine should not attend in-person campus activities or classes. If quarantining on campus, these students are asked to remain in the room most of the time and monitor for symptoms. Traditionally quarantined students will order meals for pick-up from Tucker Dining Hall. These students can also leave their room to take out trash or exercise outside but should remain masked and physically distanced from others at all times.

How does William Woods define fully vaccinated?

A person is fully vaccinated two weeks after the second shot for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine sequence and two weeks after the single shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

What if I am in modified quarantine and I can’t physically distance in one of my classes?

University Academics is working with faculty to change classroom locations to provide more physical distancing options, so please review your course schedule as your classroom meeting location may have changed. Students who are still not able to physically distance (e.g. stay six feet or more away from others) during class should reach out to their faculty to determine remote learning practices for the duration of the modified quarantine period.

How long is modified quarantine?

Modified quarantine lasts for a minimum of 5 days, but can go as long as 14 days. Modified quarantine starts the day after last close contact with the individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19. Individuals in modified quarantine who are not experiencing symptoms can obtain a rapid COVID test on day 5. If the day 5 test is negative for COVID and the individual is not experiencing symptoms, they are released from modified quarantine. However, the individual should continue to monitor for symptoms until day 14. If an individual chooses not to test on day 5, they will remain in modified quarantine until the end of day on day 14.

Why are the quarantine periods so long?

Research conducted prior to COVID-19 for another health initiative indicated that William Woods is a close knit community; often with all students socializing or connecting within 2-3 degrees of separation of one another. In addition, the Woods is a residential campus where nearly all traditional undergraduate students live on campus. Thus, we use recommendations specifically for shared and congregate housing environments to create our policies. Due to the physical and social proximity to one another, we use the maximum quarantine periods to decrease the likelihood of positive COVID cases.

What do I do about classes if I’m in traditional quarantine?

Students who are in traditional quarantine should notify their faculty of their quarantine status immediately and work with faculty members to determine the best way to work remotely in the class. Some faculty may prefer to have traditionally quarantined students join via Zoom, but others will prefer additional reading assignments or similar work. Students should not assume that they will join classes via Zoom during the quarantine period. This is why ongoing communication with faculty during the quarantine period is so important.

How long is traditional quarantine?

Traditional quarantine lasts for 14 days.

Can I be released early from traditional quarantine if I take a COVID test?

No. Symptoms due to close contact can appear up to 14 days after exposure.

What happens if I’m diagnosed with COVID-19?

When an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the COVID response team sets up a Zoom call with that individual. During the call, the team discusses isolation practices, plans to leave campus if applicable, and tracing for any close contacts during the highest contagious period for the individual. Contact tracing starts two days before the onset of symptoms, or if there are not symptoms, two days before the positive test. The individual is asked to share information for anyone they have been within 6 feet of for an accumulative time of 15 minutes or more during the contact period (two days before symptoms or positive test until the time of the Zoom call).

How long will I remain in isolation if I am diagnosed with COVID-19?

Individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 are asked to remain in isolation for at least 10 days. However, the time period could be longer if the individual continues to have a fever or other symptoms. The individual will need to be released from quarantine by a healthcare provider or a WWU representative.

When can I start or continue the vaccine sequence if I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or were quarantined due to close contact?

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before starting or continuing your COVID-19 vaccination sequence. However, if you did not receive these treatments, you can start or continue your vaccination sequence (two shots for the Pfizer and Moderna sequence and a single shot for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine) when you are released from isolation or quarantine.

If I find out I’m a close contact to someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, should I get a rapid COVID test right away?

Often, if the close contact period was only a day or even a few days prior, the COVID test will present a false negative. Although a person might have contracted the virus, the virus may not have replicated enough to cause symptoms or show on a COVID test. Instead of requesting a test right away, please practice all quarantine procedures (modified or traditional quarantine depending on your vaccination status), monitor for symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, congestion), and wait at least 5 days before requesting a COVID test.

What should I do if I’m falling behind in my classes due to modified quarantine or traditional quarantine?

Ongoing communication with faculty is key to your academic success. University policy states that faculty members have up to 24 hours during the work week and 48 hours during weekends and holidays to respond to your email. As a first step, please work directly with faculty members to develop a plan for your quarantine or isolation period. Additionally, the University offers SmarThinking virtual tutoring you can access through OwlNet. If you have additional questions or need additional resources, contact the Academic Success Center at Advising@WilliamWoods.edu.

Visitation Questions:

What does “Limited” visitation mean?

Limited visitation means that immediate family members and other WWU students are allowed in the residence halls. Visitors must follow all campus guidelines on distancing and face coverings while inside campus facilities. Refer to the policy to determine how many visitors can be in a room at a time. 

*Roommates should talk to each other before bringing over a guest. Use the roommate agreement as a starting point for the conversation.

Are people who are not WWU Students, Faculty, and Staff allowed on campus?

Campus is open to visitors for public and LEAD events (in non-residential spaces) as long as all campus policies are followed.

Are Commuter students approved guests under the guidelines?

Yes, WWU community members can be a guest in resident room/apartment or residence hall.