Updated 1-13-2022

On December 30, the University announced a number of changes that will impact our return to campus for the spring semester for the start of the spring semester, in response to the omicron variant and the significant increase in positive COVID-19 across the United States. Please see the Updates to the Danforth Campus spring plan and corresponding Spring 2022 Frequent Asked Questions page for the most recent information.

Below is an overview of our current public health and safety protocols, as well as University resources to support physical and mental health. In addition to heightened attention to masking, physical distancing, and personal hygiene, please note updates regarding pre-arrival and entry self-testing for students, as well as recommendations related to booster shots. We ask that you regularly check your WashU email for updates, along with the content featured here.

*Note: These policies may be updated as disease activity changes and CDC guidelines and science advance. This includes a potential return to more restricted guidance, based on local conditions.


Per University policy, all WashU personnel and visitors are required to wear a mask while on campus as follows:

  • This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, trainees, contractors, vendors and other visitors.
  • Masks are required:
    • In all public indoor spaces (lobbies, open spaces, walkways, etc.).
    • At indoor gatherings for everyone, regardless of vaccination status or the size of a meeting or gathering.
    • In open office settings such as cubicles.
  • Masks are not required:
    • When an individual is inside a private office or room or while eating or drinking in an approved space, allowing for personal space as much as possible.
    • Outdoors, but they are encouraged, particularly at large events or in crowded settings.
  • Additional information, including details about approved masks and guidelines for wearing them, can be found on the University’s Danforth Campus Mask Requirements page.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing is not required in most settings but strongly encouraged for individuals who are not fully vaccinated and any time individuals are unmasked.

Practice Personal Hygiene

Frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is recommended. When hand washing is not an option, hand sanitizer can be used.

Hygienic practices for good respiratory etiquette include covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and not touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.

COVID-19 Testing

All Danforth Campus students will complete pre-arrival and entry self-testing for the spring 2022 semester.

  • The University will mail a kit with two COVID-19 self-tests to each Danforth Campus student who has a U.S. address listed in official University records. Students were asked to review and, if needed, update their address in WebSTAC by no later than Sunday, January 2. See instructions in the University’s spring semester FAQ.
  • Students will be expected to complete pre-arrival testing and will be required to complete entry testing utilizing these tests. Through the test kit mobile app, students will be able to send their results directly to the university.
  • More information regarding use of the test kits, access to tests for those unable to receive kits by mail, and dates for uploading test results will be shared the week of January 3.

Throughout the semester, students who are not fully vaccinated because they have an approved exemption from the university will be required to complete re-entry testing and weekly surveillance testing as a condition of their enrollment. Faculty, staff and trainees who are not fully vaccinated are also required to complete regular testing.

The University will continue to provide free COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty, and staff who develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time. Individuals with even mild symptoms—including those who have been fully vaccinated—should be tested for COVID-19. Members of the University community should call the COVID Call Center at 314-362-5056 to report symptoms or exposure and to arrange for a free test.

Daily Self-Screening

All students, faculty, staff, trainees, and visitors are required to complete a daily self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus or leaving their on-campus residence. Individuals may be asked to show their screening result before entering a classroom, dining facility, recreation facility or other shared space, and at university events. The screening tool is available at screening.wustl.edu.

Note: In addition to the symptoms listed in the screening tool, everyone also should pay attention to milder symptoms such as a new headache or a stuffy nose. These can also be signs of COVID-19. Call the COVID Call Center at 314-362-5056 to report even mild symptoms.

COVID-19 Vaccine

To protect the health of our community, all Washington University students, faculty, staff, and trainees on the Danforth and Medical Campuses were required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Students were required to be fully vaccinated before they arrived on campus for the start of their fall academic term or August 30, whichever came first. Faculty, staff, and trainees were required to be fully vaccinated by August 30.

Students who are enrolling for the first time, or are returning after an absence, for spring 2022 are required to do so or apply for medical or religious exemption by January 10, 2022. Students who do not comply will be notified by their school that they have not met entry/re-entry requirements and will be administratively withdrawn before classes begin on January 18, 2022.

All students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 booster shot if they are eligible to receive one. The University is not requiring the booster at this time, but may do so in the future. After receiving a booster, students and employees should update their vaccination records on the Habif Health and Wellness Center website or the ReadySet portal, respectively. Individuals who have already been approved for a COVID-19 vaccine exemption are not expected to receive a booster or request an additional exemption.

WashU will offer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster clinics for faculty and staff beginning Monday, January 10, at the Athletic Complex lobby on the Danforth Campus. The clinics will be open to all University faculty and staff by appointment only. There is no cost for University employees. View appointment times, parking information and items to bring on the university’s COVID vaccine scheduling website.

Instructions to Upload Vaccine Documentation

Faculty and staff

  • Take a picture or scan your COVID-19 proof of vaccination
    • Please save the file in one of the extension formats: pdf, png, jpg, jpeg, txt, doc, docx, tif, tiff
  • Log in to your ReadySet account and go to the “My Health” tab
    • For a better experience, using Google Chrome is recommended
  • Choose “Documents” from the side navigation and then click “Upload Document”
    • Click “Select a File”’ to upload the document
    • Name the file in the “Document Name”’ field
    • Select “Document Type” and “COVID-19 Vaccination”

Note: Faculty and staff who received the COVID-19 vaccine through the university do not need to upload documentation.

Contact Tracing

In collaboration with Google, the university has launched a smartphone tool that allows students, faculty, staff, and trainees to participate in a COVID-19 exposure notification system. All members of the university community are encouraged to use the MO/Notify system, which alerts users when they have had close contact with another user who has tested positive for COVID-19. Learn more about MO/Notify. Occupational Health will also continue with its regular contact tracing process.

COVID-19 Dashboard

The university maintains a dashboard containing information on positive cases and positivity rates for all positive tests performed at WashU and our BJC Health partners on Danforth Campus students, faculty and staff. For regional data, visit the St. Louis County COVID-19 dashboard.

Faculty & Staff

Employees will continue with their current work arrangements, which may be reevaluated on an individual/departmental basis as needed. All employees must continue to complete a self-screening before coming to campus each day. Anyone with even mild symptoms of COVID-19 should call the COVID Call Center at 314-362-5056 for guidance and to arrange for a free test.

Resources for Physical & Mental Health

Students can continue to access the Habif Health & Wellness Center for medical and mental health appointments unrelated to COVID-19. Please visit their website for details about modified operations during COVID-19.

It is normal to feel fear and anxiety during a time of uncertainty and disruption like this. As hard as it can be, make sure you are getting adequate sleep, eating well, getting some exercise, and communicating with friends and family. People who already are managing existing mental health conditions should particularly prioritize self-care and contact their clinicians if they have questions or concerns. You may want to consult this WashU site on managing anxiety during this time. The CDC offers some additional tips.

In addition, the University offers students Therapy Assistance Online (TAO), a seven-to-nine-week, interactive, web-based program that provides well-researched and highly effective strategies to help overcome anxiety, depression and other common concerns.

You can reach out to Associate Dean Georgia Binnington if you need a referral for resources.

COVID-19 Policy Concerns Portal

Members of the university community may report concerns about university policies and protocols related to COVID-19 or their enforcement through portals for students, faculty and staff. Learn more about the COVID Policy Concerns Portals.


Student Conduct Incident Report Form

Faculty and Staff

University Compliance Online Reporting Form

Please note that these are confidential resources. Privacy will be maintained for the contact information of anyone submitting a concern. Concerns will only receive a follow-up response if more detail is required to take action on the report.

Anonymous concerns may also be submitted through the university’s Anonymous Compliance Hotline, 314-362-4998 or to the Offices of the Ombuds.

Members of the St. Louis Community and campus visitors who wish to submit a concern may contact the university’s Office of Government and Community Relations.