The College will continue to prioritize health and safety on campus to provide a safe environment for living, learning, and personal growth, though there is an inherent risk when living on campus.

When on campus, it will be critical for all students, faculty, and staff to abide by an extensive set of safety and behavioral protocols established to protect themselves and others. We have done our best to anticipate the most likely scenarios.

Community Compliance

For the protection of the entire community, especially for those where exposure to COVID-19 poses a higher risk of severe symptoms or death, the College has issued the mandate for all students to be fully vaccinated and boosted or have completed the waiver with Health Services.

Due to the nature of a residential community as an independent living environment that is largely self-directed, everyone is expected to comply with all directives provided by the College related to COVID-19 or otherwise. The College will make every reasonable effort to address violations or other deviations from these policies, though cannot reasonably account for the behavior and actions of members of the community at all times.

Health Requirements

All students must submit up-to-date health forms prior to arrival. This includes routine immunization information, and COVID vaccination and booster documentation. Students will be required to be tested for COVID-19 when they arrive and before they are permitted to live on campus and periodically during the academic term.

As students will be vaccinated and boosted to meet the requirement, we recommend that students follow CDC travel guidance monitor for symptoms and moderate their activity to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 prior to arrival. Any student exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19, who has recently been exposed to COVID-19, or who has been recently diagnosed with COVID-19 without a subsequent negative test will not be permitted into the residence halls.

Testing our community for COVID-19 has been and will continue to be a critical component of mitigation strategy and reopening plan. It is important to detect infections before there has been an opportunity for transmission since a large percentage of transmission occurs from people who do not know they are infected. The College’s testing plan includes:

  • Onboard testing – upon return to campus, all students, faculty, and staff are tested
  • Symptomatic testing – community members with COVID-19 symptoms are tested and isolated, and contact tracing is conducted
  • Weekly testing – community members are tested on a regular basis to identify infected but non-symptomatic individuals

Health experts consistently state that testing is a key part of any strategy to control the spread of the virus. We are continuing our partnership with the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT.

Quarantine/Isolation Policy

Once admitted into the Residential Community, any student who tests positive for COVID-19, or who is potentially exposed to an individual who has COVID-19 will be required to adhere to the College’s quarantine and isolation protocol. The College will designate specific residential spaces for use by students who have been directed to isolate or quarantine. Students may also return to another off-campus location for this duration of their isolation or quarantine. The College has developed a comprehensive protocol for isolation and quarantine housing that includes staffing to support students in the transition to and while in isolation and quarantine, including meal delivery and cleaning procedures.

Required quarantine or isolation of a student does not qualify the student for a discount or refund of any Wheaton College tuition, room and board, or other fees.

Infectious Disease Mitigation

The College expects students, faculty, and staff to adhere to COVID-19 mitigation strategies including but not limited to practicing good personal hygiene, self-isolating when exhibiting symptoms, using face-coverings when current guidance dictates, and employing proper cleaning and disinfection.

All residents are expected to practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, coughing into a tissue or shirt sleeve, proper disposal of used tissues, etc. All residents are advised to clean and disinfect high touch areas before and after use. This includes, door knobs, railings, cell phones, computers, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.

All residents will be required to monitor symptoms daily that, based on current guidance, are known to be associated with COVID-19. Residents may be asked to self-report their symptoms to the College.

Mitigation strategies are subject to change based on developing circumstances and guidance. Failure to comply with this guidance will be handled through the Student Conduct process and may result in the loss of housing privileges.

Additional Cleaning Measures

Residential house structures will be supplied with cleaning supplies, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer as it pertains to disinfectant guidelines. Suites (Gebbie and Keefe) will only be supplied with disinfectant (hand sanitizer is already installed at the main entrances). Residence halls will have disinfectant supplied to kitchens and laundry rooms.

Guest Limitations

Students are responsible for their guests’ behavior at all times, including ensuring that guests comply with all Wheaton College policies, and assume the consequences for violations and/or damages incurred by their guests. Students may be subject to disciplinary action by the College due to the behavior of their guests. All students share responsibility for maintaining a sense of community in their residence hall. This includes greeting and inquiring about anyone unfamiliar to them.

Arrangements for having visitors should be negotiated and mutually agreed upon by roommates.  However, overnight guests may remain for a maximum of three days per week and only with the prior approval of the roommate. Students may not have so many visitors as to exceed the capacity of a residence hall room at any given time. A residence hall room is considered at capacity when each resident has two visitors. Any person not officially assigned to live in the residence hall room in question is considered a visitor.

To register an overnight guest, you must complete the online registration form prior to the guest’s arrival. The form can be found on the Campus Life section of InsideWheaton under Housing Services. Your guest can also retrieve a parking pass at Campus Safety.

The intent of guest privileges is to allow for reasonable visitation by a resident’s friends, not long-term or live-in visitors. The College reserves the right to terminate an individual’s guest privileges. The Residential Life staff may be called upon to help resolve problems regarding guests.

Non-Essential Travel

It is expected that all residents abide by current college policy regarding off-campus or out of state travel and subsequent requirements for self-isolation. It is not the College’s responsibility to provide residence for students needing to self-isolate due to personal travel.

Possible Closure of Residence Halls

The COVID-19 pandemic is a dynamic situation with multiple variables and unknowns related to future projections. As such, residential students must realize that Wheaton College may at any time during the academic term determine that it is in the College and community’s best interest to close the residence halls. Residents will be required at that point to vacate their residence hall rooms and, as such, are expected to have an evacuation plan in place prior to their arrival on campus.

Updates to Policies and Guidance

Please be aware that due to the evolving nature of these circumstances, policy and guidance may change at any time. Changes will be communicated to the community. It is the responsibility of the individual to stay informed and comply with any changing requirements.

Violations of the measures in place to protect the community and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, will be addressed through the Student Conduct process and may result in the loss of residential privileges. Students removed from housing as a part of the Student Conduct process will not be refunded for any portion of their tuition, room and board or other fees.