As 2021 arrives later this week, we encourage you to appreciate the blessings in your lives. Indeed, 2020 was a trying year we would just as soon forget, but it is part of the fabric of us all and will only serve to strengthen us for the future. Best wishes and Happy New Year to you and your families!
The Spring 2021 semester is quickly approaching, which serves as a reminder of the importance of your continued efforts to be safe in our COVID-19 world. As students, your responsibilities to act responsibly are more critical than ever. The existence and eventual distribution of COVID-19 vaccines cannot translate into being any less diligent. The D&E campus operated as a model campus in West Virginia and across the nation during the Fall 2020 semester because you took these responsibilities seriously, and that has not changed. We continue to work hard in the development of COVID-19 protocols and procedures, which includes collaboration with local and state officials in areas such as testing supplies and requirements, vaccine distribution, and overall planning to ensure a safe and healthy campus environment.
Ongoing COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution
Testing supplies and requirements are being discussed at D&E for the entire student population, as well as testing for faculty and staff. As a Closed POD, which the CDC defines as a designated point of dispensing for vaccines and the like, D&E anticipates having access to vaccines for students early in the new year.
IMPORTANT: Get COVID tested before you return to campus
Before you return to campus in January, D&E students must be tested for COVID-19. Guidelines for being tested before your return include:
- students must be tested before returning to campus so that they can stay home to isolate if the test is positive;
- the result date of the test must be no more than 3 days/72 hours from the time of arrival on campus;
- the test must be a PCR test, which is considered the “gold standard” in COVID-19 testing since it has proven to be more accurate than the rapid test;
- PCR tests may be conducted at doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, or even in your car;
- COVID-19 test results must be uploaded to D&E prior to leaving home to return to campus, but if this is not possible, test results may be uploaded upon return to campus; and
- any student who has not uploaded a negative PCR test or have one in-hand at the time of his/her arrival on campus will be housed in the Byrd Conference Center and receive meal delivery, with housing and meals incurring appropriate charges to the student.
COVID-19 PCR testing is widely available and should not pose any problems. In the rare case that a student may have a lack of PCR testing in their hometown area, that should be communicated as soon as possible to D&E so that special testing arrangements can be made.
Students who tested positive in the fall should not test again before their return in January. Any test they take for approximately three months after the initial positive may continue to show positive, necessitating an unjustified isolation period. These students should return to campus with a copy of their initial positive test result and defer further testing.
Special January move-in procedures outlined to ensure COVID-19 safety
D&E has outlined special move-in procedures as students return to campus for the Spring 2021 semester. Those procedures are as follows:
- move-in hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.;
- only five (5) persons are allowed to move in their belongings during each one-hour time slot per residence hall; and
- PCR COVID-19 test results are required to have been uploaded to D&E prior to moving back into residence halls or, as a last resort, at the time of move-in.
For information about the COVID-19 PCR test required to return to campus, please see the above section titled “IMPORTANT: Get COVID tested before you return to campus.”
COVID-19 testing requirements in place for international students
International students at D&E can expect to undergo the same COVID-19 requirements for the Spring 2021 semester as they had prior to the start of the Fall 2020 semester. Those requirements include:
- international students will need to quarantine upon their arrival to campus in January and then receive a negative COVID-19 test (PCR type) result before attending classes in person;
- this applies to any students traveling to campus via public transportation of any kind (plane, train, bus); and
- any student testing positive will be housed in the Byrd Conference Center and receive meal delivery
Provost’s Office outlines course delivery
D&E will continue to offer courses in a variety of formats — in-person, online, and a hybrid combination — during the Spring 2021 semester. With the opening of the Myles Center and the renovations completed in the Harper-McNeeley Auditorium, additional space will be available for in-person classes.
Online courses will be offered in the following situations:
- Students who have COVID-19-related medical reasons to not be on-campus should contact Diana Burke-Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-637-1234 and supply medical documentation to support their absence from campus. These students will be allowed to take their courses online.
- Students who are granted permission to take all courses online for the semester are also not permitted to take part in any events that require the individual’s presence on campus. Therefore, a student who is approved to take all courses online for medical reasons is not permitted to take part in clinicals, student activities, campus employment, athletics, etc.
- Students who are not able to either leave their home country or are not allowed to enter the United States, due to the laws and regulations of either their home country or the United States, will be allowed to take courses online. International students who begin the semester online for reasons such as travel difficulties or quarantine restrictions must arrive in the United States on or before February 10, 2021. For additional information, please contact Lowe Del Aviles at email@example.com or 304-637-1311.
Holds to be placed on student accounts requiring attention
Holds on student accounts for the Spring 2021 semester have been placed on applicable student accounts. Please check your Self-Service Portal to see if there has been a hold placed on your account. Holds are now being assigned different levels:
- Level 3 is the most severe. Immediate action is required, or you will not be admitted to classes, dormitories, or the dining hall.
- Level 2 is less severe but must be taken care of as soon as possible or you will not be able to register for classes for the next semester.
- Level 1 is the least severe, but needs be taken care of before you will be able to register for classes for the next semester.
All offices will reopen January 4 to assist you with your holds and are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. If your account has a Level 3 hold, you will not be admitted to classes, dormitories, or the dining hall until that hold has been satisfied. Please make every effort to resolve your hold(s) prior to attempting to returning to campus. Continue to check the Self-Service portal daily to confirm you do not have a hold(s) on your account prior to returning to campus.
Students not returning next semester must notify Office of Student Life
Any student not returning next semester must follow appropriate procedures with Angie Scott. She can be reached by phone at 304-637-1983 (office) or 304-642-6217 (mobile); by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or in person on the third floor of Halliehurst.
Spring 2021 Academic Calendar
D&E has announced the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar. You may access the calendar by following this link.
Packages cannot be forwarded from D&E during holiday breaks
Packages delivered to the D&E campus cannot be forwarded to your home during the holiday break. Any packages received after Thanksgiving will be held at the D&E mail room until campus reopens on January 4. The mail room will be closed from December 23 through January 1.
Check this weekly student update, the D&E Mobile App, and your email regularly for updates. The Emergency Notification System (nixle) will also be used as appropriate.
Please wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and stay well.