Fall Semester 2021
August 14, 2021
To ALL Students – Commuter and Residential:
With classes beginning in about a week, we want to make sure you are fully prepared for your upcoming return to campus.
DO NOT wait until you are on campus to think about COVID-19 vaccinations and testing.
We cannot stress this enough.
If you arrive on campus without following all necessary pre-arrival steps, you will be asked to leave campus until you provide the appropriate documentation showing either full vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of your arrival.
Fully vaccinated? Great! Now one more thing…
Go online to register your vaccine immediately.
Once registered, you will not only be free from surveillance testing throughout the semester, you will breeze through check-in lines when moving into the residence halls, and you will not be required to quarantine if you come into contact with someone who is COVID positive!
Not fully vaccinated?* Add COVID-testing to your to-do list…
Get tested! You must register a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of your arrival. Register your test results online: Student COVID-19 PCR results
If your first day on campus is:
Your test should be completed on or after:
|Wednesday, August 18||Sunday, August 15|
|Thursday, August 19||Monday, August 16|
|Friday, August 20||Tuesday, August 17|
|Saturday, August 21||Wednesday, August 18|
|Sunday, August 22||Thursday, August 19|
|Monday, August 23||Friday, August 20|
|Tuesday, August 24||Saturday, August 21|
For testing services, www.hhs.gov lists resources by state — and gives options for health centers and pharmacies. That site also features links to your state’s health department website, which may provide additional information like pop-up testing and vaccination sites.
Remember: Until you are fully vaccinated, you will be subject to random surveillance testing to confirm that you remain negative for COVID-19. You will also be required to follow CDC quarantine guidelines if you are exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive.
* You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second shot of a two-shot vaccine or two weeks after a one-shot vaccine.
Ready to get vaccinated?
To find out where you can get vaccinated, enter your ZIP code at www.vaccines.gov. Vaccinations are free and do not require proof of health insurance. Remember, most vaccines require two doses, with two to three weeks between doses, before you are considered fully vaccinated.
Bringing friends and family to campus with you?
Masks are required in all University buildings, regardless of vaccination status.
Masks must fully cover your nose and mouth at all times, unless you are actively eating or drinking. Face shields can be worn, but only in combination with a mask. If you forget your mask, most Shepherd buildings have free, single-use masks available to you.
I’ve been vaccinated, what else should I do? You’re almost finished. You need to register your vaccine immediately.
Where do I show proof of my PCR test? Do I upload it somewhere? Student COVID-19 PCR results
Do I have to show proof of vaccination or negative PCR test to go to work or get into classes the first week of the semester? No, however, you are required to register your vaccination or register a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of your arrival to campus.
What happens if I do not register my vaccination or a PCR test result? Students who do not comply with Shepherd’s COVID-19 policies will be contacted by the Office of Student Conduct and be sanctioned according to the University’s policy for non-compliance. Updates to the University’s COVID-19 policy will be available on the University’s COVID-19 website.
I am a commuter. Does this apply to me, too? Yes, this applies to all students. Unless you are entirely remote and will not be coming to campus for any reason, you need to either register your vaccination or present evidence of a negative PCR test within 72 hours before returning to campus. The negative test result should be uploaded here: Student COVID-19 PCR results
Your cooperation with these policies ensures a safe and smooth return to campus for our entire Shepherd community.
August 12, 2021
Effective immediately: Shepherd University will Require all persons, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask while indoors
At this time, masks are not required outside.
The pandemic continues to evolve. The numbers in Jefferson County and surrounding areas are increasing. We continue to listen to our faculty, staff, and students, while also taking into consideration, with frustration, the mixed messages from the state capital. We will do what is needed to provide exactly what we have promised our students – a safe, face-to-face, in-person class experience. Equally as important, we will do what we need to do for you, our staff and faculty, to feel safe when you come to work each day.
- If you have been fully vaccinated, you will have the option of wearing a mask OR teaching behind a clear screen. Your vaccination allows you this choice.
- If you have already posted your syllabi, these new updates can be addressed during your first meeting with your students. Students will be notified separately and repeatedly about the mask mandate well ahead of the first day of classes.
- Names of students who do not comply with the mask requirement should be sent to Jake Mellow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Faculty can – and should – enforce the mask policy when meeting with students or other employees in their private offices.
- If your office provides customer service, you will need to keep your mask on, even if there is a protective screen in your area.
- Supervisors should hold staff accountable for following the mask mandate, using regular progressive discipline strategies. This is a matter of policy compliance and workplace safety. Compliance with this policy is important for the welfare of the University.
- Staff can and should enforce the mask policy when meeting with students or other employees in their private office.
The requirement to wear a mask while indoors is subject to the following criteria:
- Not required while working alone in a closed office assigned to that employee for work and occupied solely by that employee at the time;
- Not required while working in a laboratory or other setting in which alternative facial protective equipment, which covers the nose and mouth, is utilized;
- Not required for employees or students who are assigned to live on campus, while inside their individual living quarters;
- Not required while in a single-occupancy restroom;
- Not required while eating in a room designated for eating meals and while maintaining reasonable distances from other persons who are also actively eating.
- Not required while exercising outdoors. When exercising at The Wellness Center, please refer to posted signage with their policies for each area of the facility.
What about eating in our campus dining facilities?
Wear your mask at all times except while you are eating.
How will this requirement be enforced?
Students’ names will be sent to the Office of Student Conduct at which time, the coordinator will follow policy for non-compliance. Staff or faculty who are in non-compliance will be addressed by their immediate supervisor, which could lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Will students be required to wear masks in the residence halls?
Yes, except when in their private room.
Do I need to wear a mask while exercising at The Wellness Center?
The Wellness Center will provide masking requirements specific to their facility and the type of exercise being performed.
What policies are in place for those who are unvaccinated?
- Those who are not vaccinated will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test not older than 72 hours prior to the first day of class. Please watch for more information about how to register your test results.
- Participate in surveillance testing
- Quarantine if in contact with someone who is COVID positive. Please refer to the temporary HR policy as to how leave must be tracked in the event of required quarantine, isolation, or medical appointments.
As the pandemic continues to evolve, so shall we. Shepherd University will base our decisions on facts to provide a safe environment for you — and our entire campus community.
As Shepherd University prepares to open for fall semester, we are committed to providing straightforward guidance regarding COVID-19 protocols as we head back to in-person classes and activities.
With the Delta variant gaining momentum in the U.S. and West Virginia, especially among young adults and the unvaccinated, we urge you to regularly check your Shepherd email and this website for updates to these recommendations and for any updates to campus-wide policies.
Important facts to know:
- The COVID-19 Delta variant, which comprises over 90% of all COVID cases in West Virginia, is unique and very different from COVID-19 a year ago; it is transmissible at a much higher rate than the original strains.
- A year ago, many people contracted COVID-19 asymptomatically; with the Delta variant, people are rapidly developing symptoms and deteriorating faster.
- People between the ages of 20-30 are being hospitalized at a higher rate compared with a year ago.
- Virtually all people who are significantly ill/hospitalized from COVID did not receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is proven to be dramatically effective in narrowing the risk of contracting COVID and significantly minimizing the impact on the health for the very few breakthrough cases that have been reported.