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Important Fall 2021 Updates

Posted June 21, 2021 by Wheaton College Parent Engagement
Tags: Parent Announcements

The message below was sent to undergraduate students enrolled for the Fall 2021 semester. It was sent on June 21. 

Dear Undergraduate Students,

We write with an important update about plans for Fall Semester. As announced last spring, the College strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated. We will hold classes and co-curricular activities in person and at full room capacity. Our goal is to return to an open campus, provide a mask-free environment, and allow freedom of movement off campus. For individual students, a mask-free semester is only possible through full vaccination. 

In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and State of Illinois guidance, vaccinated students, employees, and guests do not need to wear masks on or off campus, except where required by a local business or other organization. Unvaccinated students, employees, and guests are required to wear masks over their nose and mouth and to maintain social distance from other persons wearing masks when indoors. Please review the College’s Face Covering policy. In addition to following state and national guidance for public health, the primary reason we require unvaccinated faculty, staff, and students to mask is to protect those who are immune-compromised or otherwise unable to be vaccinated. 

By August 1, all students need to attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status and upload proof of vaccination if applicable using this form. In addition, unvaccinated undergraduates must provide proof of being COVID-free upon arrival on campus (negative test result within the previous 72 hours; proof of positive test dated between the previous 10 and 90 days; or testing upon arrival and quarantining for 24 hours). Unvaccinated undergraduate students will be tested once per week at the College’s expense. 

Unvaccinated participants in high-transmission risk academic and varsity athletic activities—such as music (singing or playing a wind instrument), Arena Theater, ROTC, or varsity athletic programs—will be tested twice per week paid for by the College. Students who complete the twice-per-week testing requirement will not need to mask during these high-transmission risk activities (such as rehearsals, practices, performances, competitions, or training exercises). However, unvaccinated students being tested twice per week must still wear a mask as required outside of those activities. These protocols will be in effect until further notice, based on guidance from the State of Illinois and the Center for Disease Control.    

Unvaccinated students who do not comply with masking and/or testing requirements will be required to leave campus and withdraw from classes. Remote learning will not be an option for students who are non-compliant for masking and/or testing. 

Students who are in 14-day quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 exposure or infection will follow pre-pandemic attendance and make-up work policies. As we emphasize a return to full, in-person class experiences, remote learning will no longer be available for students in quarantine or isolation unless an exception applies related to a disability or international travel.

We are grateful to resume an open campus with as many pre-pandemic practices as possible. If you have further questions, please visit our COVID-19 FAQ. If your questions are not answered in the FAQ, you can send them to covid19@wheaton.edu.

Grace and peace, 

COVID-19 Leadership Team