Keeping Our Community Safe

Throughout the pandemic, Webster University has followed the coronavirus guidelines recommended by local and state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our community responded expertly and diligently to these guidelines and produced exceptional safety results. We applaud everyone’s diligence and thank you for helping keep our students, faculty and staff safe.

Effective June 1, 2021, there were several changes to Webster’s COVID-19 guidelines that mirror changes to CDC, state and local health recommendations. Community members may find the below resources helpful, but are encouraged to review the full Transition & Adaptability Policy revised, effective June 1, 2021.

With health departments around the world facing the rapid increase in cases of the Delta variant, Webster University is requiring that students and employees begin the vaccination process by the start of the fall semester.

Task Forces Guiding Webster's Pandemic Response

Webster University convenes a COVID-19 Task Force to coordinate operational preparation and response during the pandemic:

  • Rick Meyer, Chief Financial Officer
  • John Buck, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
  • Cheryl Fritz, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Nancy Hellerud, Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Jamie Loftus, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management

When Webster moved to remote operations in spring 2020, the Task Force for Transition & Adaptability was formed to coordinate policy and guidance for a safe, phased return to on-campus operations in the fall and continued adaptation during the pandemic.

This Task Force included three working groups of faculty and staff representing different areas of the University, which collect input from students, faculty and staff and monitor regional data and public health directives to inform and guide safe on-campus operations during the pandemic.

Policies and Guidance for Employees (Updated Sept. 28, 2021)

Every U.S. employee should review the Transition & Adaptability Policy (revision effective June 1, 2021) for safe activity on campus. 

Given the global environment and response to the Delta variant, Webster University announced the requirement that all students, faculty and staff begin the vaccination process by the start of the fall 2021 semester. The goal of this policy update is to make sure we can safely resume in-person education worldwide.

See the July 22 announcement for details.

Employees should look for communication from Human Resources about requirements and vaccine verfication or visit HR's Vaccine Mandate Info page on Connections.

Students, staff and faculty will continue to access buildings at the Webster Groves campus with their ID cards. Faculty and staff have building access from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days/week; student access is 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday – Friday. Housing & Residential Life will be in contact directly with on-campus residents about COVID-related expectations for resident students in the near future.

All visitors must have an appointment and either meet their host at a building entrance or report to Public Safety to receive an ID card for building access.

We ask that all guests please wear a mask except when eating and drinking at all University Events. We strongly encourage all visitors to be fully vaccinated.  (Please note that current university Covid protocols require that faculty, staff and students not only wear masks but provide proof of vaccination status.)  These measures are designed to maintain a safe environment for the Webster University community.

All members of the Webster University community and guests to campus are required to wear face masks and/or face coverings over their nose and mouth when inside campus buildings or Webster-operated facilities. Face masks/coverings may be removed when inside University facilities while participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking in an on-campus dining facility. (Note: Eating and drinking is not allowed in classrooms.)

Employees and students at all U.S. and international locations still must follow guidelines set by their local public authorities. Please note that university guidance prevails, in the event that local public guidance does not require face masks/coverings.

Participants at gatherings and events must wear masks, and unvaccinated visitors must also maintain social distance.

When unvaccinated, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we can implement to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Staff who are not vaccinated or others who are instructed for self-protection and are at work on-site must follow these social distancing practices:

  • Always stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Do not gather in groups of 10 or more.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

Housekeeping teams will clean office and workspaces based on CDC guidelines for disinfection. Facilities Management will also maintain hand-sanitizer stations at major building entrances, elevator stops and high-traffic areas. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, ventilation and monitoring systems will be assessed and readied prior to reopening of buildings.

Employees should wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers). The use of personal or disposable utensils is recommended for meals.

For Students
If a vaccinated student becomes a Close Contact, that student shall immediately enter a 4-day quarantine period.  At the end of the quarantine period, the student must produce a negative test for COVID-19 before ending quarantine.
 
For Employees
If a vaccinated employee becomes a Close Contact, no quarantine is required and the employee shall report to work as normal.  Employee shall adhere to the face covering guidelines and practice social distancing.

Anyone who contracts COVID-19 must report their status, and those who are unvaccinated and who are in close contact with someone with COVID-19 must also report their status. Employees must report their status in these cases to Human Resources. See the COVID-19 Health Protocols for Employees [PDF] (updated Aug. 5, 2021).

Employees who test positive or are identified as a close contact (CC):

Students must report their status through Student Affairs.

Due to the continued influence of COVID-19 at our international locations, international travel remains restricted. Essential international travel requires an approved Travel Authorization form.

Effective with the Travel Policy revised on May 21, 2021, restrictions on domestic travel have been lifted; however, such travel continues to require an approved  Travel Authorization Form to ensure budgetary compliance.

Travel Authorization:

  • Faculty travel should be approved by the respective Dean.
  • Staff travel should be approved by the respective supervisor.
  • The completed Travel Authorization form should be retained by the approver and a copy sent to the Procurement Manager. A Travel Authorization form is required to be completed and approved prior to booking your travel as well as for documentation of any expenses related to your travel.

Additional Information: Travelers must follow state and local travel restrictions. For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state or local health department at the departure location, along the travel route, and at the planned destination. While a person is traveling, it is possible a state or local government may put into place travel restrictions, such as stay-at-home or shelter-inplace orders, mandated quarantines upon arrival, or even state border closures. Travelers should regularly check for updates as they travel.