At Webster University, the safety of our students, staff and their families is our No. 1 priority. We continue to adapt as we learn more about ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe for in-person learning with minimal disruption. This guide provides policy updates, expectations when on campus and the latest information and guidelines.
Current Guidance From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- 95% of the U.S. population has some level of immunity against COVID-19.
- Students or employees who are exposed to COVID-19 (vaccinated or unvaccinated) do not need to quarantine. They should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days, and test on day 5.
- For those who test positive for COVID-19, CDC guidance remains the same:
- Isolate for at least five days.
- Isolation can end after day 5, as long as symptoms are improving and any fever is gone.
- Masking is recommended through day 10.
- Stay at home if sick.
- Masking remains optional.
Following this guidance is important to your health — and to the health of everyone in your community.
As of Aug. 1, COVID-19 vaccines are no longer mandatory, but are strongly recommended for all Webster students, faculty and staff. There is one exception: students in University-managed housing, such as residential halls or University-owned apartments, are still required to be vaccinated due to the density of the living environments in student housing. Students who live on campus can submit vaccination cards through webster.medicatconnect.com. Campuses in areas outside of St. Louis may have different government-issued health guidelines that could supersede Webster’s policies. For more information, please see the full message from Task Force on Transition and Adaptability.
Safety Guidance and Protocols
Vaccination Requirements and Protocols and Verification
In alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, COVID-19 vaccines are no longer mandatory, but are strongly recommended for all students, faculty and staff. There is one exception: Residents in University-managed housing, such as residence halls or University-owned/managed apartments, are still required to be vaccinated due to the density of the living environments in student housing.
On-campus residents can submit vaccination cards through webster.medicatconnect.com.
How to Upload COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation:
- Log into the Student Health Portal. Use your Connections username and password to log in. Note: Residents must be enrolled in order to access the Student Health Portal.
- Navigate to the upload section (listed in the top task bar).
- Follow the listed instructions for upload.
- Select COVID-19 Vaccination Card as the file being uploaded, and be sure to submit a photo file that includes the front and back of your card.
Residents should plan to be fully vaccinated before the start of their first semester/term of enrollment.
Residents wishing to apply for a Vaccination Exemption Request can request that form from the Housing Office or Student Health Services. Please be aware that individuals granted an exemption from this vaccine requirement may be subject to additional public health measures (e.g., masking, testing, re-location) above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals. Submitting an Exemption Request is not a guarantee of approval.
Handling Confirmed Positive Cases Among Employees and Students
Procedures When a Student Tests Positive for COVID-19:
Students are expected to follow the following protocol:
- Upon receiving results of a positive COVID test, students must immediately inform Student Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Students should remain in their residence and not attend any class or campus activity.
- Student Health Services staff contact students and will direct the student to isolate for five days from the day on which they tested positive.
- Upon either receiving a negative COVID test on day 5 of isolation or being symptom-free for the 24 hours leading up to the fifth day of isolation, students may return to campus activity while wearing a well-fitting mask for the next five days.
- If the student is a resident in campus housing, the Housing Office will be notified and follow up with the student regarding housing issues (e.g., temporary re-location, food delivery) will occur.
- If a student believes that others may have been a close contact, the student should inform each person of that possibility and encourage them to monitor themselves for symptoms. Close contacts may maintain their class and campus activity routines unless they begin to experience symptoms. NOTE: a “close contact” is defined as a person who was within 6 feet of a COVID-positive person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset.
Last updated August 2022: Webster reopened Study Abroad as of Fall 2021 and is running programs again at full capacity. The University will continue to monitor information about COVID-19, travel regulations and health and safety protocols in the locations where we offer programs. Students who study abroad are required to have the COVID-19 vaccine per the University’s Vaccine Requirement for International Mobility.
Handling Confirmed Positive Cases Among Employees
Employees are expected to follow the following protocol:
Employees who are experiencing symptoms common with COVID-19, such as fever, cough,
headache, loss of smell, etc. should remain away from campus.
Upon receiving results of a positive COVID test, immediately notify Human Resources.
- Employees should notify their private physician of their status.
- Employee should notify their immediate supervisor and indicate whether employee can work remotely. If remote work is not an option, employee will use available sick time for three days. Once an employee gets to the fourth day, supervisor will turn over employee absence to HR. Employees are required per policy to report absences over three days to Prudential (the University's absence management provider) at 877-367-7781.
- The employee will be asked to remain in an area away from others if not able to leave campus immediately.
- The employee is required to provide a positive test result to HR, complete the online reporting form, and stay at home until they have completed the required isolation or quarantine period. NOTE: The positive test result can be a picture of an at home test.
- Upon either receiving a negative COVID test on day 5 of isolation or being symptom-free for the 24 hours leading up to the fifth day of isolation, employees may return to campus activity while wearing a well-fitting mask for the next five days.
- If an employee believes that others may have been a close contact, the employee should inform each person of that possibility and encourage them to monitor themselves for symptoms. Close contacts may maintain their work and campus activity routines unless they begin to experience symptoms. NOTE: A “close contact” is defined as a person who was within 6 feet of a COVID-positive person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period, starting from two days before onset of illness.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact, review these health protocols and follow these contact instructions:
- Commuter students should contact the Student Health Services Department by phone at 314-246-7422 or email email@example.com if they have been diagnosed with and/or identified as being a close contact to a person who has COVID-19.
- Residential students should notify firstname.lastname@example.org before notifying Housing and Residential Life staff if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Housing and Residential Life is prepared to execute isolation housing plans for these individuals if available — including the potential of relocation (based on where they reside), dining service delivery and other essential items.
- Fully online/remote students: Even if you have not been on a Webster campus, we request that you inform your local campus if you test positive for COVID. St. Louis-area students who are online or fully remote and have not been to campus should email email@example.com. Please include details about where you had your testing and when. Also, if you have not already done so, we encourage you to notify your instructor of your COVID status.
- Employees should contact Human Resources.
Note: Webster has created a firstname.lastname@example.org email address for general questions about operations that are not already addressed on this website. We encourage community members to first read these pages and the various links and sections to get the latest updates. However, this email is available to funnel specific questions to the subject matter experts within Webster’s operations for all other questions that cannot be addressed on the website.
Why We Ask Community Members to Report a Positive Test
Webster University wants to be respectful of your privacy, and at the same time, we want to be good stewards of the health and safety of our community. For this reason we ask that you let us know if you test positive for COVID-19 and have interacted with members of the Webster University community or have been on University premises within the 48-hour period preceding the onset of your symptoms or your positive test, so that we can assess the potential impact on our community. This information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. This request is made in a sincere, good-faith effort to inform — on an anonymous basis — individuals in our University community that they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. This is a request, not a demand. Please understand that you are not required to participate in the University’s efforts in this regard.
Overview of Safety Measures
The latest public health guidance indicates that preventing spread of the coronavirus includes the following approaches. Click the links on each topic to see detailed information on how we are implementing these approaches and what expectations we have for members of our community while on campus:
The University continues to monitor the conditions surrounding the pandemic and has closely followed the guidance of the CDC and local health authorities. Based on the substantial decrease in COVID-19 cases and on the guidance of health authorities, the University modified its mask guidelines:
- Masks are optional in all classrooms (as of March 28, 2022).
- Masks are recommended for unvaccinated individuals and those with health risks that make them susceptible to COVID-19.
- The University may require mask>s to be worn at some events or when specific circumstances arise.
The University will continue to monitor health conditions and guidance from the CDC and health authorities. Safety protocols will continue to be updated in alignment with our changing guidelines.
Employees and students at all U.S. and international locations must still 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.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face, including your eyes, nose and mouth. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Then throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Housekeeping teams will clean office, workspaces and classrooms based on CDC guidelines for disinfection. Facilities Management will also maintain hand sanitizer stations at major building entrances, elevator stops and high-traffic areas.
Students, staff and faculty will continue to access buildings with their ID cards. On the main campus, faculty and staff have building access from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days/week; student access is 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m., 7 days/week.
Visitors are required to visit Public Safety to gain access. However, the Host may meet the visitor and allow access.
For orientation, see the main campus map.
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.
Students must report their status through Student Affairs.
Webster will continue to monitor health conditions in our communities, adapt policies in accordance with local guidance and the COVID-19 Health Protocol Policies for students and employees, and take actions as appropriate. Factors we are tracking include community information, such as positive cases and hospitalization trends, and Webster-specific information, such as positive test trends and ability to obtain appropriate personal protective equipment, masks and other supplies.
If conditions warrant further action, additional steps by Webster could include: 1) advanced or heightened policies on social distancing, including further restrictions on gatherings; 2) temporary closures of buildings; 3) temporary move of some or all classes to remote learning; 4) a full transition to remote learning.
CDC Help and Resources
The CDC provides important information regarding transmission and prevention of COVID-19 and other viral diseases:
Managing Stress and Anxiety, Reducing Stigma
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be stressful. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
- Managing Stress and Anxiety (CDC resource)
- Reducing Stigma for people in different populations, and those emerging from quarantine (CDC resource)
For the latest and most detailed information on global response and prevention to the coronavirus outbreak, visit the CDC's COVID-19 page, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the WHO's coronavirus 2019 page, which are updated frequently.