West Virginia University is providing additional guidance to students, faculty and staff as campuses prepare to fully reopen for the fall 2021 semester.
COVID-19 cases within the U.S. and West Virginia have increased in recent weeks. The delta variant has gained momentum, especially among young adults and the unvaccinated. As of Monday (Aug. 2), there were 2,480 active COVID-19 cases in West Virginia and the daily cumulative percent positivity is 4.93%. At this time, nearly 28% of Potomac State College faculty and staff and 26% of students have verified they are fully vaccinated.
West Virginia University’s highest priority across all campuses is to offer a fully in-person, on-campus academic and student experience this fall. As always, the safety of students, faculty, staff and guests will continue to be an important guiding factor.
WVU strongly encourages everyone to be vaccinated and to verify their vaccine status at http://myhousing.wvu.edu. A COVID-19 vaccination is the single most important and successful tool to protecting yourself from the virus and its many variants. Increased vaccination rates, coupled with proven preventative measures such as masks, physical distancing, self-symptom monitoring, COVID-19 testing and good personal hygiene (e.g. handwashing and hand sanitizer), are the proven tools we can use to fight COVID-19 and the spread of the disease to others.
The University still has a goal to attain a vaccination rate for its employees and students of at least 80%. Given the increasing prevalence of the delta variant, if the University community does not reach 80% fully vaccinated by Sept. 1, the University will develop additional enforcement and safety protocols for those who are unvaccinated, including increased testing frequency and penalties for failure to comply with COVID-19 related requirements.
Please note the following details for the fall semester may be adjusted based on infection and hospitalization rates and input from health experts. The University has re-instituted its COVID-19 incident command center and will be monitoring local and campus trends throughout the 2021-2022 academic year.
All employees and students will be required to take the new COVID-19 educational module prior to Aug. 17.
At this time, vaccinations are not required for WVU students and employees but are strongly encouraged. The University will reevaluate vaccination requirements upon FDA approval.
Students, faculty and staff who have verified to WVU that they have been vaccinated will not be required to undergo COVID-19 testing at the beginning of the semester.
Further, those who have verified their vaccination status will be exempted from random sample testing throughout the semester.
Those who have yet to be vaccinated, but would like to be, can find available vaccination appointments at http://vaccines.gov. Vaccines continue to be readily available across the country.
All students, faculty and staff must verify their vaccine status at http://myhousing.wvu.edu.This video explains the steps and information needed to complete verification. Students, faculty and staff can still verify their vaccines throughout the fall semester if they choose to be vaccinated at a later date.
Those who received the vaccine from a WVU or WVU Medicine vaccine clinic are still responsible for verifying their vaccine status.
Students, faculty or staff who believe they are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons may apply for an exemption and accommodation. Employees can fill out a modification request or email email@example.com. Students should contact Accessibility Services at 304-293-6700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All students who will be on campus this fall who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and/or did not verify their vaccinations with the University by Aug. 1, are required to submit a valid negative COVID-19 test result prior to attending class.
All faculty, staff and students will need to receive their tests prior to coming to campus. Potomac State College will not offer testing.
Additionally, faculty, staff and students who have not verified that they are vaccinated must:
- Comply with random sample testing until they become fully vaccinated.
- Quarantine for at least 14 days following close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Obtain testing if symptoms develop.
- Quarantine for five days following out-of-state travel.
- Wear a mask indoors and when outdoors and around others.
Individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, who are close contacts of someone who has tested positive, will need to be tested, according to new CDC guidelines. Those guidelines also require that vaccinated individuals who are exposed to the virus wear a mask until a negative test at 3-5 days, or 14 days if untested. If vaccinated individuals test positive, they must follow the 10-day isolation guidelines.
Note: Students, faculty and staff who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days will not need to provide a test result to Potomac State College. However, these individuals must contact WVU Shared Services at 304-293-6006 and provide proof of their positive result to be exempted from testing.
Potomac State College will only accept live-virus reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results dated after Aug. 1. Rapid antigen tests results will not be accepted.
Results should be obtained prior to campus move-in. Anyone with a positive test result immediately should begin isolation and notify WVU Shared Services at 304-293-6006. Please identify yourself as a Potomac State College student or employee. Additional guidance for what to do if you test positive or are exposed to someone who tests positive is available on the Return to Campus website.
A printed copy of a negative test result must be delivered to a WVU Potomac State College health care professional within 48 hours of when the individual arrives on campus at the following drop-off location:
Student Health Center
Saturday, Aug. 14 through Friday, Aug. 20
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Please note: Individuals who have been on campus throughout the summer are also required to deliver a printed copy of a negative test result to the Student Health Center within the timeframe listed above.
You will be asked to provide your student and/or employee ID or identification number, so be sure to have them readily available when you arrive at the Student Health Center. This is how you can access your number if you do not know it: WVUID Lookup.
Test results from an individual’s local testing provider — from both within and outside of West Virginia — will be accepted as long as they meet the above criteria. The local Mineral County Health Department is offering the community free COVID-19 testing as follows:
Mondays and Fridays
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Mineral County Health Department
541 Harley O Staggers Dr
Keyser WV 26726
Community testing through the Mineral County Health Department is open to WVU Potomac State College students, employees and residents of Mineral County. Individuals who wish to be tested must bring identification (a driver's license or proof of address) to the testing site. Face masks and physical distancing are required.
Students and employees who fail to comply with COVID-19 testing requirements may be subject to discipline in accordance with the University’s policies and procedures.
WVU will resume weekly COVID-19 updates through a dashboard on the Return to Campus website, which will feature testing information as well as vaccination rates.
Those not fully vaccinated are expected to wear a mask while inside all University facilities and outdoors when around other people.
Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors on campus.
However, the University is following CDC guidelines which do outline additional protection measures in light of the delta variant, its rate of transmission and the uptick in cases.
The CDC has recommended that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. Although not a requirement, the University is recommending that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals wear a mask in public indoor settings, particularly in crowded areas.
Vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.
The rate of breakthrough cases from the delta variant in the vaccinated community in the U.S. is less than 1%. However, vaccinated individuals who would like extra protection can wear masks indoors to be protected from the delta variant and are encouraged to do so.
Those who are unvaccinated are the most at-risk for developing serious symptoms from COVID-19, being hospitalized and dying. There is also a risk to carry the delta variant back to family members, especially those who may have suppressed immune systems such as the elderly or children under the age of 12 who are not allowed to be vaccinated yet.
Classrooms will be at 100% capacity this fall. The University will follow a regular academic calendar, grading scale and attendance policies. Seating charts and seat assignments will still be required to assist in contact tracing when necessary.
Everyone in the classroom – including fully vaccinated individuals – are recommended to wear a mask. However, vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask. Unvaccinated individuals are expected to wear a mask in the classroom.
Plexiglass is still in the classrooms and can be available for offices for those who wish to use it. In addition, hand sanitizer and cleaning materials will be available in the classroom or nearby hallway.
The University will continue to evaluate study abroad opportunities on a case-by-case basis.
The dining hall, The Commons, will open at 100% capacity with safety measures and enhanced cleaning procedures in place. Plexiglass dividers will be available in dining facilities for those who would like to use them. The Rapids, a grab-n-go concept for fast access to food when individuals don’t have time to sit down for a full meal will be 100% operational.
The Student Rec Center has resumed operations at 100% capacity. Unvaccinated individuals are expected to wear a mask inside the facility.
Student organizations can organize and gather but should consider the impact of the delta variant on their membership. Due to the delta variant, student organizations are asked to consider hybrid meetings, if at all possible, during the fall semester.
Additionally, intramural sports can resume practice and competition without restrictions. It is recommended that general meetings be held virtually. Any practice or conditioning should be held outdoors whenever possible. Individuals who are unvaccinated and travel outside the state (for competition or other purposes) are subject to a 5-day quarantine/self-monitoring period upon return. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, other unvaccinated teammates also may be required to quarantine upon completion of contact tracing. This will reduce team size until the quarantine period ends.
Unvaccinated individuals are expected to wear a mask at these events.
New students at WVU Potomac State College will move in on Saturday, Aug. 14. Returning students will move in on Sunday, Aug. 15. Additional information is available on the Student Experience Fall 2021 Move-in webpage.
There is no limit to the number of family members who can help move students into their residence hall rooms. Unvaccinated individuals are expected to wear a mask.
Guests are welcome to visit residence halls following standard visitation policies. Unvaccinated visitors must follow University guidelines and are expected to wear masks.
Potomac State College is thrilled to offer opportunities for both new and returning students to connect and engage with campus and the local community. All the events we have planned are designed to better connect students with the resources and support they need to be successful and make Potomac State their home. We just ask that students make the effort to participate in all the activities and meet as many people as possible during their first week on campus. This will enable students to get off to a great start!
Visit Potomac State College’s Welcome Week webpage for a complete schedule.
Student photos needed immediately to process Catamount Student IDs
Students must submit their photo online in order to receive your student ID. Specific details can be found here. https://studentexperience.potomacstatecollege.edu/student-life/student-id
- Residence Hall Students: Pick up Student IDs during the check-in process.
- Commuter Students: Pick up Student IDs in the Administration Building, Room 104, beginning Monday, August 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.
- All Students: Required to present a driver’s license or other photo ID to verify identity.
“Voices for Change” training required
All first-time and transfer students are required to complete our online wellness course, “Voices for Change”. You should have received an email in your mix account on or around Tuesday, July 27thwith more details. You can also visit https://well.wvu.edu/alcoholeducation, for more information.
The parking permit application for PSC faculty and staff has been streamlined.
Employees can apply for and pay for their parking permit ($50) at the following site:https://epay.wvsto.com/WVU/WVUPSCParkingPermits/
A few things to note:
- Your WVU ID number is required on the application so be sure to have it available.
- Paper applications and payments for PSC faculty and staff parking permits will no longer be accepted in person.
- This site only accepts card payments; however, you will not be assessed any card processing fees.
- Parking permits for employees will be placed in their campus mailboxes.
- University Police will begin issuing parking permit citations on Aug. 30.
- This site is to be used only by PSC faculty and staff. STUDENTS WILL NOT USE THIS SITE. Students will continue to apply for student parking permits athttps://studentexperience.potomacstatecollege.edu/university-police/parking-vehicle-registration.
If you have any questions, please contact Shannon White at 304-788-6831 or email@example.com. Questions can also be directed to Thomas Burdock at 304-788-6931 or at Thomas.Burdock@mail.wvu.edu.
We hope you find the new process to be user-friendly and convenient. We also welcome any suggestions you may have.
Students who plan to park a vehicle on campus during the fall semester must display a valid PSC parking permit. Students can register for a parking permit by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.
Parking permits cost $50 and are valid for the entire academic year. The cost will be charged to your student account when your registration for the permit is submitted.
Students can pick up their parking permits at the University Police Department, located behind Davis Hall, Saturday, Aug. 14, Sunday, Aug. 15 and Monday, Aug. 16 through Friday, Aug. 20, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Students should come to the front door of the building and use the intercom to contact the officer on duty.
In order to receive your permit, students must show an official form of identification, such as driver’s license, student ID with photo or passport.
Fully vaccinated individuals may resume non-business travel activities. However, they should note travel restrictions and safety guidance in the intended travel areas.
University-related business travel will remain limited and require prior approval from a unit vice president or dean. Travel related to externally funded projects does not require vice president or dean approval. A justification for travel will be required if a virtual attendance option exists.
In-person events have resumed on campus at 100% capacity. The Health and Safety Committee does not need to approve events, but does recommend organizers use best practices. It is recommended events take place outdoors if possible, and plated or pre-packaged meals are preferred if food is served. Hand sanitizer should be made readily available at the event. Masks are expected for those who have yet to be vaccinated.
In addition, concerts, plays and shows have resumed on campus at 100% capacity. Masks are expected for those who have yet to be vaccinated.
Visitors on Campus
Departments and units will be responsible for sharing University policy and practices with visitors they invite to campus. All visitors, including vendors and contractors, will need to continue to follow University safety guidelines while on campus; unvaccinated visitors are expected to wear a mask while on campus.
Departments and units should continue to use good judgment when determining when to bring visitors to campus (e.g. interview job candidates via Zoom before bringing final candidates to campus).
The campus community is invited to join a PSC Return to Campus Conversation Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. to hear from administrators and ask them questions.
Further details will be provided at a later date as to how to join the Conversation and submit questions.
Stay tuned to PSC-Enews and MiX email for additional updates about the fall semester.
In the meantime, visit the Return to Campus website for the latest information.