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Residence Hall Health and Safety Policies

Effective: August 7, 2020

To facilitate students returning to campus, West Virginia University has established a number of health and safety policies for students living and visiting our Residence Halls. These policies should be reviewed along with our existing Residence Hall Policies and Guidelines and the general Student Directives. These health and safety policies, outlined below, are for the protection of the University community. Failure to follow them could result in a charge and sanctions under the West Virginia University Campus Student Conduct Code.

Masks and Face Coverings:

In the residence halls, face coverings are required prior to entering any common area, including those listed below.

  • Lobbies
  • Front Desks
  • Staff Offices
  • Hallways
  • Elevators
  • Stairwells
  • Lounges and Study Rooms
  • Bathrooms
    • Personal hygiene activities are exempt from this policy, while in the bathroom.
  • Dining areas
  • Laundry rooms
  • Mailrooms and other indoor common areas

Masks or approved face coverings are not required in personal spaces such as residence hall rooms and apartments. However, students are required to wear masks upon exiting their room, suite, or apartment. Students are required to wear a mask if you enter any other residents’ room. If students are in their room with the door open then masks are required to be worn. Residence Life staff will help facilitate roommate agreements to help roommates address the expectations of masks in their own room.

If a Residence Life staff member or University official needs to enter a student’s room due to a facilities matter, health and safety inspection, or other approved reason, then the students present are required to wear a mask. Any Residence Life staff member of University official who does enter a student's room must also wear a mask.

A mask must be worn properly at all times. Through its welcome back kit, the University will provide students with a cloth face mask or gaiter, disposable masks, hand sanitizer and a key touch tool. Masks should cover both the student’s mouth and nose and should be worn in a manner consistent with the instructions students received within their WVU welcome back kits.

Failure to do so may result in the following: written warning, meeting with the Office of Student Conduct, educational requirements, residence hall probation, deferred removal from residence halls, University probation, removal from course/s, campus ban in designated areas, removal from residence halls, deferred suspension, suspension and expulsion.

A student who does not comply with this health and safety policy can be charged with Failure to Wear a Mask or Face Covering in Designated Areas.

Testing:

Throughout the Fall semester, WVU may require certain students in residence halls to take subsequent COVID-19 tests as part of a surveillance effort regarding the spread of the virus within the community.

Failure to do so will result in the student being charged a $250 fee and a hold placed on the student’s account until completed. In addition to the fee, the University may deactivate the student’s identification card and/or student may face sanctions under the Code as necessary and appropriate, including additional educational requirements.

A student who does not complete this requirement can be charged with Failure to complete COVID-19 Testing.

Self-Quarantine Requirement:

Self-quarantine means separating yourself physically from others. Students must self-quarantine under the following circumstances:

  1. when waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test;
  2. experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19 and until the student is able to get a COVID-19 test result;
  3. if a student has traveled outside of the State of West Virginia, they must self-quarantine for a period of at least five (5) days; OR
  4. directed to self-quarantine by a University medical official or County Public Health official.

Residence hall students who are in self-quarantine should avoid congregating in all common spaces such as floor lounges, laundry rooms, and building lobbies until the self-quarantine is over. Students should plan to pick up a to-go meal from the dining hall to take back to their rooms.

Failure to do so may result in the following: Interim Suspension, educational requirements, removal from course/s, campus ban in designated areas, removal from residence halls, University probation, deferred suspension, suspension and expulsion.

A student who fails to follow this provision can be charged with Failure to Self-Quarantine/Isolate/Endangerment.

Isolation Requirement:

If a student tests positive, they must relocate to an isolation space within Housing and Residence Life to be housed during the isolation period and stay in the isolation space until such time that they test negative. While in isolation, students must remain in their room. Food delivery will be scheduled each day to provide meals directly to the resident’s room.

Failure to do so may result in the following: Interim Suspension, educational requirements, removal from course/s, campus ban in designated areas, removal from residence halls, University probation, deferred suspension, suspension and expulsion.

A student who fails to follow this provision can be charged with Failure to Self-Quarantine/Isolate/Endangerment.

Visitation Policy:

Per the visitation policy, no visitors are permitted on the residential floors in the residence halls for nonresidents of that particular building.

  • Visitation for WVU students is only permitted if residents live in the same residence hall.
  • Visitation of nonresidents is not permitted on the residential floors. Nonresidents are allowed to wait in the lobby area of the residence hall as long as it does not interfere with social distancing guidelines.
  • Further visitation guidelines can be found in the 2020 – 2021 Residence Hall Visitation Policy. Students should be advised that visitation is a privilege, not a right. Housing and Residence Life reserves the right to refuse, restrict, and/or revoke visitation privileges. All visitors must comply with all University and Residence Hall policies for the duration of the visit.

Failure to do so may result in the following: Interim Suspension, educational requirements, removal from course/s, campus ban in designated areas, removal from residence halls, University probation, deferred suspension, suspension and expulsion.

A student who fails to follow this provision can be charged with Failure to Abide by the Visitation Policy.

Additional Social Distancing and Mask Requirements within Residence Halls:

  • All Common Areas. Maximum occupancy signs will be posted around the residence hall establishing a limit for the number of individuals who are permitted to be in common spaces at the same time. Signs stating behavioral expectations related to limiting the spread of COVID-19 will also be posted. Students must follow all expectations communicated in posted signs related to these behavioral expectations.
  • Dining. Students are required to wear a mask as they enter the dining hall, move about the space to get their food, and when they leave the area. However, students will not be expected to wear a mask when they are sitting at tables eating while also practicing appropriate physical distancing. Where possible, seating will be arranged so that physical distance exists between tables.
  • Elevators and stairwells. While waiting for as well as utilizing an elevator, students are expected to wear masks and maintain social distancing. If possible, students should consider using stairs rather than sharing an elevator.
  • Laundry rooms. Please practice physical distancing while doing laundry in the laundry room, leaving six feet between you and others. Students are expected to wear masks in the laundry rooms.

Failure to do so may result in the following: Interim Suspension, educational requirements, removal from course/s, campus ban in designated areas, removal from residence halls, University probation, deferred suspension, suspension and expulsion.

A student who fails to follow this provision can be charged with Failure to Abide by the Residence Hall Social Distancing Requirements.

Building Evacuation Procedure:

In the unlikely event of a fire or building evacuation, please follow the evacuation procedures that you will learn during regular fire drill procedures. However, due to the current COVID-19 guidance, it may not be possible to gather together in the designated assembly area for your residence hall. It is most important that you move away from the building and remain at least 6 feet away from each other. Please observe the following updates to the building evacuation procedure:

  • Be sure to take and wear your mask as you evacuate the building when safely possible.
  • Maintain a safe distance from others while evacuating the building.
  • Do not take the elevator.
  • Direct yourselves to the designated assembly locations for your building (indoor or outdoor). If the space is too crowded, please move away and maintain at least 6 feet from other residents.
  • Do not stand in front of the building entrance. Firefighters require easy access to the building.
  • Do not stay in the building. If there is inclement weather, take shelter in nearby buildings wherever possible and maintain proper distance.
  • Once the Fire Department gives the ‘all clear’ to return to your room, ensure to keep 6 feet away from other residents.
  • In an effort to maintain physical distancing, avoid taking the elevator to return to your room if possible.

Other Residence Hall Policies:

  • General Health and Safety Requirements. WVU advises all community members to do your part in practicing good personal hygiene, sanitizing surfaces, wearing a mask, and self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Fitness Centers. All residence hall fitness centers will be closed.
  • Building Safety. Residents may enter the building only by swiping their WVU ID card. It is your responsibility to ensure that visitors do not follow you inside. Please be mindful that students behind you should be swiping their own WVU ID card to enter the facility. Students should also not prop open any main door.

Housing and Residence Life may change these policies throughout the academic year as we learn more about COVID-19, and further guidance is provided by the institution. Please check for updates of these guidelines on a regular basis.