Converse Hall in front of the Wasatch Mountains

College Updates

In this ever-changing world, college leadership is making adjustments for the health of our campus. Stay informed with campus updates.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

COVID-19 Protocols for Spring Semester

Before Spring Semester starts, Westminster is encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to get a COVID-19 test. Residential students are required to present a negative test prior to move-in. Testing resources, including state-wide free rapid tests, are listed below.

For the duration of Spring Semester, residential and student-athletes will continue with their regular testing protocols at Student Health Services. While the state does not include Westminster in surveillance testing requirements applicable to many other institutions of higher education in Utah, college personnel are working with the state to share resources in the hope of expanding COVID-19 testing capability on campus.

Employee COVID-19 Testing

COVID testing is now available on campus for all employees (staff, faculty, and adjunct faculty) for free. If you are symptom free, you can schedule a COVID test online. If you have symptoms, please call Student Health Services at 801.832.2241. Test results are available within 20 minutes. Visit the Student Health Services webpage for necessary forms and testing instructions.

Student COVID-19 Testing

Students can now schedule an appointment online for Student Health Services. Do not schedule online if you have symptoms. Please call Student Health Services at 801.832.2241. Visit the Student Health Services webpage for required forms and process prior to your appointment.

Community COVID-19 Testing

Utah is offering free rapid testing across the state. Anyone can get tested at these free testing clinics, even if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone who wants to be tested can register online. Visit the Utah Department of Health coronavirus website for all local testing options. Testing sites are also available across the country at community-based testing sites (many free of charge). You may also ask your primary care physician.

Westminster COVID-19 Hotline for Students

Hotline Number: 801.832.2298

For the first few weeks of the Spring Semester, there will be a Westminster COVID hotline available to students. This hotline will be staffed by recent graduates of the nursing program. The hotline will be staffed from 5–7:00 p.m., Monday–Friday. If you call outside of these hours please leave a message and staff will return your call. The purpose of the hotline is to educate students on policies and procedures related to COVID-19 and answer any questions you might have related to COVID-19.



Academics

Academic Calendar

The Fall Semester calendar was reorganized to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. Fall break is removed, instruction will be remote after Thanksgiving, and the semester will end earlier in December.

Course Instruction

Spring semester course instruction will engage students in a combination of face-to-face and technology-assisted instruction that emphasizes student learning, health and safety.

Being on Campus

The college’s ability to create a safe and healthy campus will be a community effort.  Do your part to keep fellow Griffins healthy and safe. Everyone, including contractors and visitors, must follow Westminster guidelines when on campus. Review the Policy on Complying with COVID-19 Guidance for more information.

Westminster’s grounds and buildings are closed to the general public during the pandemic.

The Office of Admissions continues to welcome prospective graduate and undergraduate students and families to campus by appointment only. Virtual appointments and tours are also available to prospective students and their families.

 
Check for Symptoms

Check for Symptoms

Before coming to campus or leaving your residence hall, everyone, including contractors and visitors, must check themselves for symptoms. Do not come to campus if you are sick.
Stay Home When Sick

Stay Home When Sick

Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.  Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing and sneezing. Understand when to report COVID-19 and when it's safe to leave isolation or quarantine.

Report Exposure or Diagnosis

Report Exposure or Diagnosis

Westminster employees and students are required to report COVID-19 exposure and diagnosis to Westminster College. If you are part of a testing schedule, you must also report a diagnosis you've recovered from and that was not previously reported.

Wash Your Hands

Wash Your Hands

Washing hands is often the number-one way to stop the spread of coronavirus (or germs) and to stay healthy. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer if water is not available.

Wear a Face Covering

Wear a Face Covering

Everyone is required to wear a face covering while on campus. Wearing a cloth face covering in areas and situations that are required, or when you can't reliably social distance, is an important part of preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Practice Social Distancing

Practice Social Distancing

Social distancing, also called physical distancing, means keeping at least 6 feet of space between yourself and others who live outside your home.

Avoid Touching Others’ Hands

Avoid Touching Others’ Hands

Keep your hands to yourself. Avoid touching others’ hands (e.g., high-fives, handshakes). Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Keep Our Campus Clean

Keep Our Campus Clean

Disinfect shared surfaces when you arrive and when you leave. Request office cleaning from campus cleaning staff.

Avoid Behaviors of Bias

Avoid Behaviors of Bias

Be aware that concern around this evolving issue can lead to stigma and bias.

Positive COVID-19 Cases on Campus

This is a count of new positive COVID-19 diagnoses in the Westminster community within the past week. Students, faculty, and staff are required to report a positive diagnosis or potential exposure to the college. If you think you may have COVID-19, you should also call Utah’s coronavirus hotline at 1.800.456.7707. And, the State of Utah wants residents to fill out an online survey if they think they need to be tested for COVID-19.

In the event of a positive on-campus test result, the college initiates contact tracing. Anyone with a known exposure is notified and appropriate quarantine arrangements are made. Relevant faculty and supervisors are notified of excused attendance. Westminster has sufficient capacity for on-campus isolation and quarantine in buildings dedicated to that purpose for residential students.

An infectious disease outbreak is tracked using contact tracing. The intent is to prevent further spread. When an individual is confirmed to have an illness, they isolate themselves to prevent further spread of that illness.

Contact tracers help those who have been infected recall where they have been and with whom they had close contact while they were infectious. Those contacts are contacted by contact tracers and asked to quarantine themselves to stop further spread of the illness.

Reporting your exposure to or diagnosis of COVID-19 is essential to keeping Westminster's case count accurate and for intiating contact tracing. All students and employees must report any instance of exposure or diagnosis to the college.

How Contact Tracing Works

Contact tracing focuses on close contacts while a COVID-19-positive individual was infectious. The infectious period begins 48 hours before the individual’s symptoms began. If the person with COVID-19 never developed symptoms, the infectious period begins the 48 hours before the positive test was collected.

If you are thought to be a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual while that person was infectious, a contact tracer will call you.

The Westminster College contact tracing team focuses solely on contacts within the campus community.

Who Is Considered a Contact

A person is considered a close contact if they have been within 6 feet of the patient for at least 15 minutes.

When Contact Tracing Calls Are Made

Contact tracers reach out to COVID-19 individuals shortly after a positive test result is confirmed in order to learn about the individual’s close contacts within the campus community. The contact tracer then calls each of the close contacts to inform them about their exposure to COVID-19 and give them instructions about how to quarantine.

The goal is to reach the close contacts within 1–2 days after the positive test result is received or a diagnosis report is submitted. Sometimes it takes longer.

What To Do if You Don't Hear from a Contact Tracer

You might not hear from a contact tracer if the exposure you had was not enough to put you at increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. If your exposure wasn’t within 6 feet, didn’t last 15 minutes or more, or occurred before the infectious period, you would not be considered a close contact and will not receive a phone call from a contact tracer.

If you think you may be a close contact but have not heard from a contact tracer, submit an exposure report and a contact tracer will reach out to you.

 

Week of Jan. 8–14, 2021


Diagnoses Reported Within the Past Week
17 New
Currently Isolated with COVID-19
13 Active
Cases to Date Since July 2020
159 Total

2,815 people in the campus community

This week’s numbers include cases not initially reported to the college. These delayed reports are included in new and total case counts. They are not added to the active case count because they have already cleared the isolation period.

Campus Life

Campus Services and Events

Many campus visits and in-person events are canceled until further notice. Campus services are available, but may be limited or altered for public health.

ASW Town Halls

ASW, Westminster’s student government, hosts town hall meetings for students to voice their thoughts and concerns about academics, housing, and student life during the coronavirus pandemic. Check your email for login information. You can watch recordings of previous town halls through Google Drive.

Watch Town Halls

Residence Life

The Office of Residence Life has reduced the density of the residential halls and increased cleaning of all common spaces. Traditional style double-occupancy rooms are being converted to single-occupancy rooms. There will be a strict no-guest policy enforced during the 2020–21 academic year.

All residential students must complete a COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), Antigen FIA test, or PCR test 120 hours prior to moving into the residence halls. You must upload your test results to the COVID-19 Test Form found at westminstercollege.erezlife.com. You will not be able to move in or receive keys without completing the form and submitting your results. If you want to be tested for COVID-19 on campus, call Student Health Services at 801.832.2239 to schedule an appointment. You can fill out appointment forms before arriving.

All courses will be completed remotely after the Thanksgiving break, but students in residence halls can remain on campus during and beyond Thanksgiving, until the end of the term, with the expectation that they stay in Utah while on break.

screenshot of zoom meeting for COVID-19 brown bag discussion with public health Prof. Han Kim

"We think of it as a medical-health-related issue. It’s not. It touches on social and economic issues. It touches on history, philosophy, biology, and sociology. Westminster folks with this broad liberal arts education are especially well-suited to really understand and analyze the deeper issues that COVID brings up."

Han Kim, Westminster Public Health and Honors professor

Read the story

Resources

Online Learning Resources

The Office of Student Success and Retention created a collection of tips for online learning that you may find useful as you transition to online courses. Information Services has also compiled a list of useful technology for online learning.

Emergency Financial Aid

Currently enrolled students who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can apply for emergency financial aid. Updates about funding are provided on a regular basis.

Other Financial Resources

Other financial resources are available to you, including information about assistance for internet access, food, and utility bills.

Westminster College will not approve college-sponsored travel to international destinations during Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semesters. The college is cautiously proceeding with plans for 2021 May Term Study Experiences (MTSE). MTSE cancellation decisions will be made by Jan. 8, 2021 and the deposit will be refunded at that time if the college cancels an MTSE due to insufficient enrollment or to COVID-19.

Essential travel to domestic destinations will be approved by the appropriate cabinet member on a case-by-case basis. Potential travelers with essential travel needs will need to complete a Travel Policy and Assessment Tool and submit it to their cabinet member prior to departure.

The CDC has issued updated COVID-19 Risk Assessment Levels for international destinations and has current COVID-19 activity data available for domestic destinations. This information may have bearing on whether essential travel is approved, and is referenced in the assessment tool.

For travel within the U.S., check recommendations from local health departments at your destination. There may be local travel advisories or health orders in effect requiring travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days before travel.

After you travel, the CDC recommends that you take the following actions to protect others from getting sick when you return:

  • When around others, stay 6 feet from people outside your household, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth covered when you are outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer when hand-washing facilities are not available.
  • Watch your health and monitor yourself for symptoms. Stay home if you feel sick.

Westminster College makes institutional decisions in consultation with federal, state, and local advisories. You’re encouraged to stay informed and follow guidance from these public health agencies, in addition to the Westminster College guidance for being on campus.

Federal Guidance and Resources

State Guidance and Resources

Local Guidance and Resources

 

Public Health Advisory Posters

The Westminster College community is welcome to print and post the posters below in their campus offices and buildings.

Support Westminster During the Coronavirus Crisis

Westminster is prioritizing ways to support students during the coronavirus crisis. There are 3 ways you can directly support Westminster's efforts in this time of need for students and the campus community: the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the Student Support Fund, and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences Fund.

Give Now