WKU announced the COVID-19 guidelines for the upcoming semester


In fall 2020, signs had been placed around campus remind students how to be safe and stay healthy while on campus by wearing masks and social distancing from other students. The upcoming fall semester, students will not be told to wear masks or social distance.

Debra Murray, Digital News Editor

As the fall semester nears, WKU has announced the COVID-19 guidelines for the semester. 

Since the mask mandate, and capacity limits have been lifted in Kentucky, the university will follow suit. Masks may still be required in healthcare facilities, and after testing positive for COVID-19 or being in close contact with someone with COVID-19. 

The university’s protective measures have been modified in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Infection, Kentucky Department of Health, and the Barren River District Health Department. The university’s guidelines will continue to be modified as new guidance is released.

“I think the significance is them [the university] removing the social distancing and the masking requirements,” David Oliver, Environmental Health & Safety/ Emergency Manager, and Director of Environmental Health and Safety. 

The guidelines suggest that students get vaccinated because it eliminates the need to quarantine if a student comes into contact with a person with COVID-19, and the more students who are vaccinated the more difficult it is for COVID-19 to spread.

If a student wants to be considered fully vaccinated by the start of move-in, which is Aug. 2, they must be vaccinated by July 19. Anyone is fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or after their only dose of Johnson & Johnson.

“It’s our hope,” Oliver said. “It’s widely available, folks can get it just about anywhere they are, and I highly encourage students to get that.”

For anyone who tests positive, isolation will take 10 days from the onset of symptoms or the date of the positive test, whichever is earliest.

For anyone who is a close contact to COVID-19, The person must quarantine for 10 days and may be released from quarantine after the 10th day without being tested as long as they are asymptomatic, or the person can be released after the 7th day after receiving a negative test result as long as the test occurs on the 5th day or later.

“We’re going to be very aggressive with our case management, and our support networks for folks,” Oliver said. “Hopefully we will have few cases, but there’s no way to really tell.”

A vaccinated person will need to present documentation of their vaccination to avoid quarantine. 

“None of those things are changing,” Oliver said. “We aligned our quarantine requirements with the CDC. This iteration is really just adapting to the governor’s latest guidance.”

To be eligible to quarantine on campus, must currently live in an on campus residential hall, have a permanent address three or more hours away from WKU’s Bowling Green campus, or are too ill to travel. International and independent students also qualify for on campus isolation housing. 

A student can request that Housing & Residence Life for on campus residents or the Dean of Students or Advising & Career Development Center for off campus residents notify their professors that they are in isolation. This is seen as the official notification and faculty cannot request medical documentation.

WKU policy states that individuals on campus will not be challenged for wearing or not wearing a mask nor will anyone be required to show proof of vaccination in order to attend in-person classes or events.

“I think it’s an evolution as we see more people get vaccinated,” Oliver said. “I think the need for folks to get back to normalcy is very important.”

Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy