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Wake Forest has no known cases of COVID-19 at this time.

To read President Hatch’s full message sent on March 11, visit here.

Key points

  1. We have decided to suspend all in-person classes, both in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.
  2. Classes are canceled from Monday, March 16, through Sunday, March 22, so that faculty and staff can plan for academic continuity and prepare for remote delivery of course instruction.
  3. Classes will resume remotely on Monday, March 23. Students should expect to hear directly from their respective professors and/or degree program leaders soon about how to prepare for class. It is unknown at this time when classes will return to an in-person format.
  4. Students should not return to campus if at all possible. All undergraduate residential students must register their plans with the Office of Residence Life and Housing at go.wfu.edu/housingportal by Friday, March 13. Housing will be made available for students with appropriate circumstances. UPDATE: We are aware of systems issues associated with our Housing Portal. We are working with our system provider to address these as quickly as possible.
  5. Campus will remain open. Deans will provide additional information and guidance to support remote course delivery and continuity of needed student services. Staff should consult with their supervisors about specific expectations and resources to complete job assignments if remote work is needed due to health concerns.

Local Cases of COVID-19

Update March 12, noon: There are now two presumptive cases in Forsyth County (where Wake Forest is located) and 12 in North Carolina.

As of today, there has not been a reported case of COVID-19 on campus or in the Winston-Salem and Charlotte communities, but the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has identified seven presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the state. Additionally, the forecast for expansion of cases nationally continues to indicate the inevitability of disruptions to our semester. The strong recommendation of health officials is that suspending classes and practicing social distancing are strategies that could help prevent any potential spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Class Schedule

To prepare for remote delivery of course material, all classes (undergraduate, graduate, business, law and divinity) are cancelled from Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 22, so that faculty and staff can plan for academic continuity. Wake Forest is committed to ensuring that students can fulfill their academic requirements as planned. Classes will resume REMOTELY on Monday, March 23. Students should expect to hear directly from their respective professors about how to prepare for class. It is our expectation that in-person classes will resume when possible, based on the guidance of public health officials.

Return to Campus and Access to Residence Halls

Students should not return to campus if at all possible. All undergraduate residential students must register their plans with the Office of Residence Life and Housing at go.wfu.edu/housingportal by Friday, March 13. While it is unknown when we will return to on-campus classes, we are NOT asking students to move out of their housing at this time.

  • Students needing to return to campus to retrieve essential items: Students may access their spaces for the purpose of retrieving essential items, such as textbooks, until Tuesday, March 17 at noon. Students are not permitted to remain in community overnight without approval as outlined below.
  • Students needing continued on-campus housing: Students needing to remain in campus housing beyond noon on Tuesday, March 17, must be approved by the Office of Residence Life and Housing. Students who do remain in campus housing or in the Winston-Salem area should be aware that access to many facilities and services – including dining, student health, recreation and libraries – will be limited. More information will follow.

Study Abroad, Wake Washington and Wake West Programs

Students in WFU study abroad programs received this message early on March 12th. Students in non-WFU abroad programs received this message on March 12. Additional details will be provided to students studying in Wake Forest programs that meet in other U.S. cities within the next 24 hours.

Varsity Athletics

Student-athletes with scheduled travel and competitions should expect to hear directly from Director of Athletics John Currie and their respective coaches.

Faculty and Staff Expectations

Campus will remain open. Deans will provide additional information and guidance to support remote course delivery and continuity of needed student services. Faculty and staff may be permitted to work remotely if possible and with the prior approval of department chairs and supervisors.

University Events

Effective immediately, we are postponing, cancelling or virtualizing any Wake Forest University-sponsored in-person event with an expected attendance of more than 50 people taking place on-campus or off-campus. We are monitoring health advisories as they relate to our situation and will communicate more information on or before April 15.

If you are planning an event with fewer than 50 people, we ask you to consider the following questions to determine whether your programs should also be cancelled or rescheduled:

  • Will a significant number of attendees be in high-risk categories, including individuals over the age of 60?
  • Will the program be in close quarters or require considerable personal interaction?
  • Are any events scheduled to be hosted in private homes?
  • Are participants coming from locations with high infection rates?

If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” then we strongly urge you to cancel, postpone or virtualize the program.

University Athletics will communicate information about their events and community events hosted at Athletics Facilities in a separate communication.

Plans for Commencement may be of particular concern for some families. We will communicate what to expect as soon as decisions have been made.

Travel Reporting Requirements and Guidance (for students, faculty and staff)

Students should not return to campus if at all possible. All students, faculty or staff returning from travel abroad or cities in the United States with widespread community transmission should complete a Travel Reporting Form so that the Student Health Service, and other University departments as appropriate, can be aware of where you have traveled.

In addition to completing the above form, all students, faculty or staff returning from countries with Level 2 and 3 travel health notices or from a cruise should follow CDC guidance and complete a 14-day self-isolation period without developing symptoms of COVID-19 before returning to campus. CDC instructions for self-isolation and symptom monitoring can be found here.

One of the challenges associated with COVID-19 is that things are changing very rapidly; please reconsider personal and professional non-essential travel, particularly travel abroad or to regions of the country with multiple reports of transmission within the community or on cruises. Travel advisories are subject to change; if you travel to a location that is increased to a Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice while you are there or if you have traveled on a cruise, you will be subject to a 14-day self-quarantine off campus.

Health Concerns

If you believe you have been exposed to a known or suspected case of COVID-19 at any point, please contact your local health department or your primary health care provider. You should self-isolate until otherwise advised by local public health officials. Seek medical attention if you experience fever, cough or difficulty breathing. It is recommended that those who think they may have been exposed call ahead before going to the Student Health Service, their primary care physician or an emergency room.

Further Communication

As we put the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students above all other concerns, we remain committed to providing information as quickly as decisions can be made. We ask for your continued patience while we navigate this evolving situation. The best source of updated information is the Wake Forest University COVID-19 website. You may also submit a question via our online form or contact our call center at 336-758-7500 on Wednesday, March 11 from 7 p.m to 9 p.m (Eastern) and Thursday and Friday, March 12 and 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call center staff will be trained to answer the most common questions.

Where can I find the latest information?

In Forsyth County: COVID-19 helpline 336.582.0800 and website

Video: Dr. Christopher Ohl, Wake Forest Baptist Health infectious disease specialist, reminds people to stay calm, practice social distancing. See the video »

What is COVID-19 and what are the symptoms?

This virus, which has caused an outbreak of respiratory disease, was first detected in China but has subsequently been detected in a growing number of countries worldwide. In the United States, most states have reported cases.

Current symptoms have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Individuals who have these symptoms and who have traveled to places with community spread of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to onset of their symptoms, or who have been exposed to an individual with known COVID-19 in the 14 days before developing symptoms should contact their health care provider prior to seeking care. Students may call the Student Health Service 24/7 at 336.758.5218. Faculty and staff should contact their personal primary care provider.

More information

For more answers from the CDC on a variety of COVID-19 topics:

What to do

If you have traveled to a place with community spread of COVID-19 (see CDC COVID-19 Travel Information) within the last 14 days or had direct contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Don’t travel while sick except to seek medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.