COVID-19 spring semester update

As reported by, seven out of 10 Presidents’ Athletic Conference schools currently do not require students or employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Waynesburg University ranks among those seven PAC schools that do not require the vaccine and plans to keep it that way.

Graphic courtesy of Rachel Pellegrino

“Waynesburg University does not mandate vaccines for students to attend Waynesburg, and the University does not plan to change this policy unless required to do so by an external agency, such as the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the United States Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, etc. Vaccinations are required for participation in some programs and activities,” said the Keep Waynesburg Well (KWW) Team in an email response. 

Even though Waynesburg does not mandate the COVID-19 vaccine, the university’s website outlines other health and safety measures that are required. Some of these measures include, masking indoors regardless of vaccination status and monitoring health on a daily basis. 

According to Waynesburg University’s website, since Dec. 27, 2021, the campus recorded 115 COVID-19 cases among students, faculty and staff. This number was last updated Jan. 21. 

This is an increase from the spring 2021 semester, which recorded a total of 83 cases, throughout the entire semester – Jan. 11 to May 11. 

The KWW Team responded, saying the trend is consistent with surrounding areas and attributes the increase to the Omicron variant. 

“As the highly contagious Omicron variant continues to spread in the region and across the country, the increase in cases was not unexpected or unlike what other colleges and universities are experiencing,” said the KWW Team in an email response. “We planned for it and were able to identify many positive cases prior to campus arrival due to our re-entry testing policy for the spring semester.

Graphic courtesy of Rachel Pellegrino

Similar to previous semesters, the KWW team will continue to utilize strategies consistent with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s guidelines as well as the guidelines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control.

To remain consistent with these guidelines, Waynesburg University, as indicated by the CDC Dec. 27, shortened isolation and quarantine periods for COVID-19 from 10 days to five.

Even though Waynesburg will be adhering to these guidelines, the KWW team emphasized, “not all isolation/quarantine situations will be resolved within the new five-day guidance; some isolation/quarantine periods will be longer, depending on clinical assessment.”

In addition to continuing isolation and quarantine periods, Waynesburg will continue weekly randomized surveillance testing of both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals throughout the first few weeks of the semester, according to President Douglas G. Lee’s student-wide email on Jan. 5. 

Even though the cases continue to increase, the KWW team said in an email response that the number of COVID-19 cases is “only one factor that is considered in determining whether Waynesburg will continue an in-person living, learning and working experience.” 

The KWW team continued saying, “Many people on campus – Student Health Services, Student Services, Facilities, Dining Services, Human Resources, and our tracing and tracking team – have been working very hard to create a safe environment on campus while balancing respect for individual choices.”  

As outlined on the university’s website, the KWW team asks “all persons accessing campus should report symptoms or known exposures, and positive tests, to their own healthcare provider and Waynesburg University, either through calling Student Health Services at 724.852.3332 or submitting the WU COVID-19 Screening Form.”