category: Advisory Community Update: Welcome Back to the Springs! By Gardner-Webb University On August 25, 2021 Welcome back to The Springs, Runnin’ Bulldogs! We are already a week into the fall semester, and there is a lot of excitement on campus…we are so very glad that you are all here! Just like last academic year, we will be updating you regularly on COVID status and procedures. We have to be on the same page, working together to keep our campus community safe, healthy, and together! Top Things to Know Gardner-Webb University does not presently require a COVID vaccine of its faculty, staff or students, but consistent with the recommendations from North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services we are encouraging them very strongly. GWU has already held multiple free vaccination clinics, and the next scheduled on-campus opportunity is September 17 at our Student Health Clinic (148 Memorial Drive). Students, faculty, and staff may register here. There are also several non-GWU locations nearby where you can get vaccinated. A useful list of those locations is right here. If you want to get a vaccination off campus and need transportation, contact the Dean of Students, Lesley Villarose at [email protected]. While face coverings/masks are likewise not presently mandated on campus, we are again following NCDHSS in recommending their use indoors especially in small or crowded locations. Students traveling together as part of University-sponsored activities, including student-athletes in buses, vans or other vehicles, will be required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. Gardner-Webb staff continue to exercise maximum vigilance by cleaning all of our facilities with approved disinfectants on a regular basis. Hand sanitizer is available for all University buildings and facilities. We retain plexiglass shields in classrooms for faculty use, and we encourage our instructors to space out chairs and desks in classrooms to increase personal distance where possible. When a member of our community tests positive for COVID or is symptomatic, University staff continue conducting contact tracing and appropriate follow up. To avoid any unnecessary quarantining, we ask everyone to have proper documentation of vaccination status or testing for antibodies. Remember that Charlotte and Mecklenburg County authorities do currently have an indoor mask mandate in place. Gardner-Webb’s Charlotte Center is currently in full compliance with that requirement, so all persons using our facility there must wear a mask while inside. Current Data As of today, August 25, Gardner-Webb is reporting eight positive COVID cases among our students (7) and staff (1). All are in isolation either on campus or at home. There are presently no positive cases among GWU’s faculty. It is very important to remember that if you have symptoms you must report them immediately. Do NOT come to campus or go to class or work with symptoms. As a reminder to faculty and staff, individuals with actual or potential exposure to COVID-19 should notify their supervisor immediately, and their supervisor will then notify David Wacaster (704.406.3235), Barry Lane (704.406.2266) and Human Resources—Eric Plemmons (704.406.4259). Faculty may also use [email protected] for any questions or concerns you may have regarding quarantine dates for your students. If you have any symptoms, remember to reach out immediately. If you are a residential student and develop any COVID symptoms, contact [email protected] or call (704.406.2081). If you are a commuter, graduate or doctoral student, faculty or staff and you develop COVID symptoms you can contact Barry Lane at [email protected] or (704.297.6988). If you believe you need to be tested, testing is free at the Atrium Student Health Clinic. You will need an appointment to be tested. The Atrium Student Health Clinic Hours are: Monday through Friday 8:00AM to 5:00PM and their phone number is (980.487.2390). Finally, we are testing hundreds of non-vaccinated student-athletes multiple times every week. They are required by the NCAA and the Big South Conference to be tested or vaccinated in order to compete. So, we know that among our large student-athlete population, the vaccination numbers are steadily improving. Some teams are already past 75% vaccinated. This is good news as Runnin’ Bulldog games and competition represent a shared, joyful experience for us all. We want to play. We want to compete. We want to win. So, take your best shot, Bulldogs!