Community Care Guidelines for Students

Community Care Guidelines 

As part of the Community Care Agreement, students agreed to “Abide by any additional expectations for campus life that the College will provide over time, based on evolving public health guidance.”

These shared responsibilities are required of the Wooster community and have been reinforced through subsequent campus health and safety updates. We ask that students abide by any additional expectations for campus life that the College will provide over time, based on evolving public health guidance. Areas marked by an asterisk are addressed in the agreement.

Based on our planning this summer, and in close collaboration with public health experts at the Wayne County Health Department and the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, we are making a set of temporary changes to campus operations.  These changes are to protect the health of all of our students, staff and faculty and to ensure we can quickly and completely address the cluster of cases we have.    

Campus Update and Changes

A note to students

Effective Thursday, Oct. 29th, students may do the following, while carefully masked and maintaining six foot distance. (Students leaving campus for permitted activities should return right away after completing them.)

  • Leave campus for medical needs or local grocery shopping
  • Go to work off-campus
  • Work on campus in-person if such work is needed (supervisors will be in contact)
  • Vote in person 
    • Election Shuttles are provided for students the following dates and times. Pickup location is Babcock Circle.
      • Friday, Oct. 30: 12-4pm (early voting)
      • Saturday, Oct. 31: 12-4pm (early voting)
      • Sunday, Nov. 1: 1-5pm (early voting)
      • Monday, Nov. 2: 10am-2pm (early voting)
      • Tuesday, Nov. 3: 8am-6pm (election day)
  • Use open classrooms in academic buildings for individual or small-group study (four or fewer people, masks required) during building hours.

With this added flexibility, it’s important that we have strong prevention measures in place. We will continue frequent testing of all students in residence. Students will be tested at least every other week, and in many cases more often. Testing is a critical component of our safety strategy, and is required in the Community Care Agreement. It is also very important that everyone continues to carefully follow masking and social distancing expectations.

Operations for the Remainder of Fall Semester:

  • Classes will be remote only.
  • There will be no athletic practices.
  • All gatherings and meetings must be held remotely only.   
  • Until further notice, no social gatherings of more than four people—whether indoors or outdoors—are permitted. No student may have more than one guest in their dorm room. Masks and social distancing of six feet should be in place whenever people are together (except for roommates or suite mates).  (These rules will last at least until the current campus clusters of COVID-19 are fully resolved.)
  • If a social event appears to violate the COVID-19 community of care agreement, the students who participated will be quarantined immediately, so that we can be certain they do not spread any illness they may have caught at the social event. The quarantine is not a punishment. It is there to protect the community immediately. (This rule will be in place for the remainder of the academic year.)
  • No visitors will be permitted on campus. This means there will be no admissions visitors or tours, and also that personal visitors cannot be invited to campus.
  • Students may not eat in their rooms with more than one other person. When eating anywhere – indoors or outdoors - be extra-careful to keep at least a six-foot distance, and to put masks back on when not actively eating. (This rule will be in place for the remainder of the academic year.)
  • The Scot Center will be opened by appointment beginning Monday, Nov. 2 with the exception of those scheduled for COVID-19 testing.
  • The Libraries will be available for remote access only. Seniors who need to collect items from their carrels may do so on Sunday, Oct. 11, between noon and 5pm. 
  • Students will need to stay on campus and not go out into the larger community except for medical care or other urgent needs identified above.  (Permission to go off campus for any reason should be requested from the Dean of Students’ Office at dos@wooster.edu.)
  • In residence halls, no more than two students may be in a common room or shared kitchen space.
  • We will no longer be giving warnings in the COVID-19 conduct process. Students who violate the COVID-19 agreement can expect the minimum sanction in the conduct process to be leaving campus to study remotely. (This rule will hold for the remainder of the academic year.)
  • It is more important than ever to follow critical public health practices. Always wear a mask except in your own room, always keep six feet from others, and practice good handwashing.  Staying six-feet apart is the hardest part for many of us in daily life, as we naturally drift together for conversation, to take photos, to express encouragement, and more.  Masks are very important, but they are not magical.  Distancing is also important, and we ask everyone to focus on keeping six feet apart. If you can reach out and touch your friend, roommate or teammate, you are definitely too close.  

Traveling Off-Campus 

Because students are living in a congregate setting, overnight travel, and travel to any event at which more than 20 people are expected are still not permitted unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you have an immediate and emergency need to leave campus overnight you may request to do so through the Dean of Students’ Office by completing the following form.

Per the travel advisory from the Ohio Department of Health, students coming from areas identified by the State of Ohio as hot spots (positivity rate of 15% or greater) will be required to quarantine until their tests are returned. 

Closing Dates

The Residence Halls and Houses will be closing for the fall term on Wednesday, November 25 at 10 a.m.

If you need to stay after this time you will need to apply to remain on campus. Students who fall under the following specific categories will be able to petition to stay on campus after Thanksgiving:

  • Independent students who do not have a family home to go to.
  • Students whose personal safety would be compromised if they went to their place of residence.
  • Health-related concerns/documented accommodations that make travel difficult (e.g., the student already is immunocompromised and unnecessary exposure via airline travel would be more dangerous).
  • International students who need to stay in the U.S. through the year

When a decision is made about Winter Sports, athletes who need to remain on campus for this timeframe will be given additional information.

Exit Plan

While we are putting precautions in place for a safe fall semester, there is a chance that we may need to ask students to leave campus at some point if health conditions worsen. We would encourage all students to think about a plan on how to leave campus with all of their belongings, if necessary.

Students will need to apply to stay on campus, using the criteria above, if we need to make such a decision.