Arts & Sciences COVID-19 FAQ

Answers to frequently asked questions for the Arts & Sciences community

Washington University Policies & Response

The university is taking significant measures to protect the campus community from COVID-19 and has released its Plan for Fall 2020. The WashU COVID-19 information hotline is available Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Call 314-935-8300 or 888-234-2863 and choose from the available menu options. You also can email questions to

As additional information becomes available, Arts & Sciences will add to the list of frequently asked questions and answers below. Last updated: July 31, 2020

College of A&S Fall 2020 FAQ for students

WashU COVID-19 Response and Recovery Website

COVID-19 screening tool for campus access

Interim policies on travel, events, and visitors

Online Instruction FAQ for A&S 



All faculty are encouraged to consult the University's Teaching & Learning Continuity website as well as this guide to Teaching Through Disruptions. Specific preparations in Arts & Sciences are being led by an Instructional Planning Task Force. For undergraduate students and their advisors, Arts & Sciences has also posted a page detailing College of A&S Fall 2020 FAQs for students.

Where can I find information about the plans for fall instruction?

Planning for fall is underway. In Arts & Sciences, this work is being done by the Instructional Planning Task Force. Contact Andrew Butler for more information or with any questions.

Where can I find more tools for online instruction?

Information and resources for remote instruction are available on the Online Teaching Tools page.

I'm trying to interpret the information about my course in course listings. Is there any guide to help me?

Yes, please see the following in-house instructor guide for course listings

What if I'd like to hold my class outside?

Instructors may move their classes to an approved non-traditional classroom setting if the location meets the guidelines for health and safety, accessibility, and remote student participation outlined on this page:  Instructors can request approval from the A&S Dean's Office by following the instructions on this page. Space reservation can be made from the university's Reserve-a-space system by selecting "Non-traditional space". 

What if I would like to organize a field trip?

Any plans for field trips need to be submitted to the Dean's office for approval. Please use the event request webform and contact Kasey Driscoll with any questions.  Field trips need to follow all of the university's public health policies for both on- and off-campus activities. This includes, but is not limited to, masking, physical distancing, good personal hygiene, symptom monitoring, and group size limitations. For the 20-21 academic year, all field trips must be optional and cannot be required of students. If a student is not able to attend or does not feel comfortable attending, they should be given the opportunity to participate remotely or achieve the field trip’s learning objectives through some other instructional means.

Research Continuity

At this point in time we are ramping up our on-campus laboratory research, using a phased approach. The Danforth Campus is currently in the Yellow Level 2 phase of ramping up research. The goal is to ramp up research in a thoughtful and deliberate manner that protects our researchers and our community, allows our important research mission to move forward, and enables us to monitor our situation, and make necessary adjustments.

Where should departments and labs get safety equipment?

It is recommended that normal purchasing channels and vendors is to be used for ordering supplies. Resource Management and Emergency Management have collaborated to provide some PPE products as well. You can order these products on this Resource Request Coronavirus Supplies webform

All the PPE supplies have been approved by EH&S.

As research ramps up, where can I find the latest information?

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) is overseeing the restarting of research on campus. Please note that the guidance is constantly changing. Therefore, you should continue to check the OVCR's Guidance for Researchers on COVID-19 website for updates. If you have any questions not answered through the website, please email OVCRINFO@WUSTL.EDU.

Work and Employment

On June 1 we began the first phase of our return to campus, with a limited number of employees resuming their work on campus, in addition to those who have been on campus throughout this time to perform essential work that requires a physical presence on campus. All other employees are continuing to work remotely. Please see the university's page on Telecommuting Resources for additional information.

What are the current screening guidelines for working on campus?

All WashU faculty, staff, and students must now complete the daily COVID-19 screening no earlier than 2 hours prior to arrival on campus by visiting: This screening tool was developed due to the WashU Occupational health mandate based on CDC guidance, in addition to local health departments and OSHA requirements. To complete the daily COVID-19 screening, you will login to the tool using your WUSTL key​ 

Where can I find information about screening and social distancing policies once I return to campus?

The Health & Safety page on WashU's COVID-19 Response and Recovery website outlines university guidelines for screening, masks, and social distancing.


While a return to international travel is critical to the university’s mission, particularly our research mission, doing so must be executed thoughtfully and responsibly, given the uncertainty of the new COVID-impacted travel landscape.

It is key that the university provides a higher level of support than usual to keep travelers healthy and safe. These measures include limiting the volume of travel throughout the semester, stricter adherence to itinerary registration policies, closer tracking of traveler itineraries, a consistent review process with the support of university leadership, and enhanced pre-departure resources for travelers. We must also recognize the needs and capabilities of our different travel populations.

Where can I find information about the university's revised travel plan?

For information about university-sponsored and supported international travel policies and processes that will be in place starting July 31, 2020 through until at least December 31, 2020, please visit the WashU Together website's travel information page. These policies and processes may be extended if conditions do not sufficiently improve.

Where can I find the university's travel exemption petition form?

Visit the WashU Together website for more information about the university--sponsored international travel petition for exception process.

Events and meetings

In-person events and meetings, whether indoor or outdoor and regardless of size, should only be held when the purpose of the event/meeting cannot be achieved virtually. All attendees must follow the university’s public health and safety measures and protocols, including but not limited to masking, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and self-screening. Indoor events/meetings are generally discouraged and in some cases will not be allowed. External groups will not be permitted to rent or use university space until further notice.

How can I request approval for an in-person event or meeting?

In-person events and meetings should only be held when the purpose of the event or meeting cannot be achieved virtually. A&S faculty and staff can request approval to hold an in-person event by submitting a request on this page:

for more information 

If you have specific questions or concerns, contact Arts & Sciences.

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