New WashU Med Campus Protocols

WashU Med-specific updated activity guidance, effective May 19, 2021

Note that this activity guidance is completely consistent with the current all-Washington University announcement but includes some more detail for those who are planning activities within departments and programs.

Background & principles

  • Fully vaccinated individuals are at low risk of contracting and reduced risk of spreading COVID-19.
  • Individuals are considered fully vaccinated ≥ two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (e.g. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine), or ≥ two weeks after they have received the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.
  • Over 80% of WUSM faculty, staff and trainees are fully vaccinated.
  • The vaccination rate in St Louis is well below “herd immunity.”
  • There are many in our patient population and work environment who are immune- compromised and cannot achieve a fully protective immune response to the vaccines or who are otherwise at risk of severe COVID-19 infection.
  • The following principles reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission when at least two of three are used:
    • Maintaining ≥ 6 feet distance
    • Wearing a mask
    • Being outside
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), St. Louis City and St. Louis County have recently updated their guidance for masking and social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated in non-clinical spaces.

Updated guidelines

Screening

All individuals should continue to screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to coming to campus.

Spacing

Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to maintain 6-foot physical distancing requirements in WashU Med non-clinical spaces. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to maintain 6-foot physical distancing.

Masking

  • All hospitals and clinical spaces: Individuals must continue to mask regardless of vaccination status. This includes any spaces where there are patient or research participant interactions.
  • Public indoor spaces (lobbies, open spaces, walkways, classrooms/events/meetings > 30 people): You must continue to mask regardless of vaccination status.
  • Non-clinical private or semi-private environments (offices, private meeting spaces, break rooms, labs, classrooms/events/meetings ≤ 30 people):
    • If fully vaccinated, masking is optional.
    • If not fully vaccinated, masking is required.
    • People may choose to remain masked and distanced regardless of vaccination status for any number of reasons. Masking should not be interpreted as being unvaccinated.

Events & meetings

  • We strongly recommend utilizing large spaces or meeting outside when possible.
  • For outdoor events, masking is optional for fully vaccinated individuals.
  • For indoor events with fewer than 30 people, masking is optional for fully vaccinated individuals and required for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
  • For indoor events with more than 30 people, masking is required regardless of vaccination status.
  • People may choose to remain masked and distanced for regardless of vaccination status for any number of reasons. Masking should not be interpreted as being unvaccinated.
  • All participants should screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to the event. WashU Med personnel should use the daily symptom screening that is required for entering campus. Visitors should use the visitor screening tool. Evidence of a successfully passed screening should be given to the activity organizer on site. Active temperature monitoring is not necessary.

Food & drink

  • Food and drink may be consumed in indoor private / semi-private environments and outdoor events.
  • Food and drink may be consumed in some indoor public environments (e.g. cafés such as Kaldi’s) where seats have been pre-positioned for appropriate physical distancing. Fully vaccinated people may eat together, but must maintain at least 6-foot distancing to other tables or groups.
  • Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated should continue to maintain 6-foot distancing from all others when eating or drinking regardless of setting.

Travel

  • Work-related domestic travel can resume.
  • Work-related international travel still requires approval and should consider conditions in the country and essentiality of the travel. Approval should occur at the department or unit level after consultation with and approval of the International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) as appropriate.

Visitors

  • Visitors may return to campus in non-clinical spaces.
  • Visitors may not return to clinical spaces unless they are part of a formal program or there is a pre-existing relationship with a Memorandum of Understanding / Program-Level Agreement.

Approval

  • Approval for events and meetings is not required as long as requests fall within these guidelines.
  • Advice regarding events / visitors, etc. may be sent to Eva Aagaard at aagaarde@wustl.edu.
  • Failure to adhere to guidelines will likely result in changes to guidelines and process. These guidelines rely on the understanding and honor of our community.

Note: These rules may change as disease activity changes and CDC guidelines and science advance, including potential return to more restricted guidance based on local conditions.