BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – West Virginia University has released new COVID-19 guidelines for the spring semester.
In response to surging cases of the Omicron variant, the university is planning several changes to take effect before classes begin next week on Monday, Jan. 10.
These changes will apply to all campuses, including the WVU Tech Campus in Beckley.
According to WVU, five key areas to be aware of changes include:
- The definition of “fully vaccinated.”
- Mask requirements.
- Isolation procedures.
- Quarantine procedures.
- Free antigen self-test kits.
To be considered fully vaccinated at WVU, an individual now must have both:
- Received their primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine (two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine).
- Received a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after receiving their primary series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or at least two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine.
The University added they will continue to strongly encourage, but not require, vaccinations.
Masks will be temporarily required for everyone indoors in all WVU System buildings and facilities through at least Feb. 1. The University says they are proactively making this move to assist in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and the omicron variant.
The new protocols also say anyone who is exposed to COVID-19 — regardless of vaccination status — should be tested five days after exposure.
If symptoms occur at any point during the 10 days following exposure, the individual should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms the symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.
Dr. Jeffrey Coben, Dean of the School of Public Health, said the new changes are meant to limit the spread as much as possible, and is encouraging unvaccinated students to get the vaccine.
“Given the prevalence of the omicron variant and evidence that it likely is more transmissible than previous strains, including the delta variant, we are taking several measures to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 as students, faculty and staff return to campus,” said Coben. “Now more than ever, we are asking our unvaccinated students, faculty and staff to get a COVID-19 vaccine and for those who are vaccinated to get a booster if they are eligible.”
You can view the full COVID-19 policy update here.