At Webster University, the safety of our students, staff and their families is our No. 1 priority. We continue to adapt as we learn more about ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe for in-person learning with minimal disruption. This guide provides policy updates, expectations when on campus and the latest information and guidelines.

 

Current Guidance From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • 95% of the U.S. population has some level of immunity against COVID-19.
  • Students or employees who are exposed to COVID-19 (vaccinated or unvaccinated) do not need to quarantine. They should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days, and test on day 5.
  • For those who test positive for COVID-19, CDC guidance remains the same:
    • Isolate for at least 5 days.
    • Isolation can end after day 5, as long as symptoms are improving and any fever is gone.
    • Masking is recommended through day 10.
    • Stay at home if sick
  • Masking remains optional

Following this guidance is important to your health -- and to the health of everyone in your community. 

COVID-19 Vaccination

As of Aug. 1, COVID-19 vaccines are no longer mandatory, but are strongly recommended for all Webster students, faculty and staff. There is one exception: students in University-managed housing, such as residential halls or University-owned apartments, are still required to be vaccinated due to the density of the living environments in student housing. Students who live on campus can submit vaccination cards through webster.medicatconnect.com. Campuses in areas outside of St. Louis may have different government-issued health guidelines that could supersede Webster’s policies. For more information, please see the full message from Task Force on Transition and Adaptability.

 

Safety Guidance and Protocols

Vaccination Requirements and Protocols and Verification

In alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, COVID-19 vaccines are no longer mandatory, but are strongly recommended for all students, faculty and staff. There is one exception: Residents in University-managed housing, such as residence halls or University-owned/managed apartments, are still required to be vaccinated due to the density of the living environments in student housing.

On-campus residents can submit vaccination cards through webster.medicatconnect.com.

How to Upload COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation:

  • Log into the Student Health Portal. Use your Connections username and password to log in. Note: Residents must be enrolled in order to access the Student Health Portal.
  • Navigate to the upload section (listed in the top task bar).
  • Follow the listed instructions for upload.
  • Select COVID-19 Vaccination Card as the file being uploaded, and be sure to submit a photo file that includes the front and back of your card.

Residents should plan to be fully vaccinated before the start of their first semester/term of enrollment.

Exemption Requests:

Residents wishing to apply for a Vaccination Exemption Request can request that form from the Housing Office or Student Health Services. Please be aware that individuals granted an exemption from this vaccine requirement may be subject to additional public health measures (e.g., masking, testing, re-location) above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals. Submitting an Exemption Request is not a guarantee of approval.

 

Handling Confirmed Positive Cases Among Employees and Students

Procedures When a Student Tests Positive for COVID-19:

Students are expected to follow the following protocol:

  • Upon receiving results of a positive COVID test, students must immediately inform Student Health Services at health@webster.edu.
  • Students should remain in their residence and not attend any class or campus activity.
  • Student Health Services staff contact students and will direct the student to isolate for 5 days from the day on which they tested positive.
  • Upon either receiving a negative COVID test on day 5 of isolation or being symptom-free for the 24-hours leading up to the 5th day of isolation, students may return to campus activity while wearing a well-fitting mask for the next 5 days.
  • If the student is a resident in campus housing, the Housing Office will be notified and follow up with the student regarding housing issues (e.g., temporary re-location, food delivery) will occur.
  • If a student believes that others may have been a close contact, the student should inform each person of that possibility and encourage them to monitor themselves for symptoms. Close contacts may maintain their class and campus activity routines unless they begin to experience symptoms. NOTE: a “close contact” is defined as a person who was within 6 feet of a COVID-positive person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset.

Study Abroad

Last updated August 2022: Webster reopened Study Abroad as of Fall 2021 and is running programs again at full capacity. The University will continue to monitor information about COVID-19, travel regulations, and health and safety protocols in the locations where we offer programs. Students who study abroad are required to have the COVID-19 vaccine per the University’s Vaccine Requirement for International Mobility.

For more information or specific questions, contact the Office of Study Abroad worldview@webster.edu or 314-968-6988), or visit the Study Abroad website.

Handling Confirmed Positive Cases Among Employees

Employees are expected to follow the following protocol:

Employees who are experiencing symptoms common with COVID-19, such as fever, cough, headache, loss of smell, etc. should remain away from campus. 
Upon receiving results of a positive COVID test, immediately notify Human Resources.

  • Employees should notify their private physician of their status.
  • Employee should notify their immediate supervisor and indicate whether employee can work remotely. If remote work is not an option, employee will use available sick time for three days. Once an employee gets to the 4th day, supervisor will turn over employee absence to HR. Employees are required per policy to report absences over 3 days to Prudential (the University's absence management provider) at 877-367-7781.
  • The employee will be asked to remain in an area away from others if not able to leave campus immediately.
  • The employee is required to provide a positive test result to HR, complete the online reporting form, and stay at home until they have completed the required isolation or quarantine period. NOTE: The positive test result can be a picture of an at home test. 
  • Upon either receiving a negative COVID test on day 5 of isolation or being symptom-free for the 24 hours leading up to the 5th day of isolation, employees may return to campus activity while wearing a well-fitting mask for the next 5 days.
  • If an employee believes that others may have been a close contact, the employee should inform each person of that possibility and encourage them to monitor themselves for symptoms. Close contacts may maintain their work and campus activity routines unless they begin to experience symptoms. NOTE: A “close contact” is defined as a person who was within 6 feet of a COVID-positive person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period, starting from 2 days before onset of illness.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact, review these health protocols and follow these contact instructions:

  • Commuter students should contact the Student Health Services Department by phone at 314-246-7422 or email health@webster.edu if they have been diagnosed with and/or identified as being a close contact to a person who has COVID-19;
  • Residential students should notify health@webster.edu before notifying Housing and Residential Life staff if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Housing and Residential Life is prepared to execute isolation housing plans for these individuals if available – including the potential of relocation (based on where they reside), dining service delivery and other essential items.
  • Fully online/remote students: Even if you have not been on a Webster campus, we request that you inform your local campus if you test positive for COVID. St. Louis-area students who are online or fully remote and have not been to campus should email health@webster.edu. Please include details about where you had your testing and when. Also, if you have not already done so, we encourage you to notify your instructor of your COVID status.  
  • Employees should contact Human Resources.

Note: Webster has created a covid19@webster.edu email address for general questions about operations that are not already addressed on this website. We encourage community members to first read these pages and the various links and sections to get the latest updates. However, this email is available to funnel specific questions to the subject matter experts within Webster’s operations for all other questions that cannot be addressed on the website.


Why We Ask Community Members to Report a Positive Test

Webster University wants to be respectful of your privacy, and at the same time, we want to be good stewards of the health and safety of our community. For this reason we ask that you let us know if you test positive for COVID-19 and have interacted with members of the Webster University community or have been on University premises within the 48-hour period preceding the onset of your symptoms or your positive test, so that we can assess the potential impact on our community. This information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. This request is made in a sincere, good-faith effort to inform - on an anonymous basis - individuals in our University community that they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. This is a request, not a demand. Please understand that you are not required to participate in the University’s efforts in this regard. 

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

Access control is instrumental in limiting the infiltration of COVID on campus. All portals to all buildings require ID cards for entry. Certain buildings or sections of building may be closed to control large gatherings. Any visitors to campus for business purposes must be pre-approved by the employee they are visiting. Visitors can gain entry by making application to Public Safety for a visitor badge.

For more information, please see the full message from Task Force on Transition and Adaptability.

Post-Visit Follow-Up
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 within 48 hours of your visit to campus, you must notify Webster University Health Services immediately by calling 314-246-4207 and emailing Campus Visits at campusvisit@webster.edu.

Tour Scheduling
All campus tours must be pre-arranged by visiting www.webster.edu/visit or contacting our Campus Visit office at 314-246-7800. No walk-in appointments will be allowed at this time. This provides ample time and scheduling opportunity to give you - the prospective student - the best experience possible.  

Schedule Your Appointment Now

Overview of Safety Measures

The latest public health guidance indicates that preventing spread of the coronavirus includes the following approaches. Click the links on each topic to see detailed information on how we are implementing these approaches and what expectations we have for members of our community while on campus:

 

Facial Coverings/Masks

The University continues to monitor the conditions surrounding the pandemic and has closely followed the guidance of the CDC and local health authorities. Based on the substantial decrease in COVID-19 cases and on the guidance of health authorities, the University modified its mask guidelines:

  • Masks are optional in all classrooms (as of March 28, 2022).
  • Masks are recommended for unvaccinated individuals and those with health risks that make them susceptible to COVID-19.
  • The University may require masks to be worn at some events or when specific circumstances arise.

The University will continue to monitor health conditions and guidance from the CDC and health authorities. Safety protocols will continue to be updated in alignment with our changing guidelines.

Employees and students at all U.S. and international locations must still follow guidelines set by their local public authorities. Please note that University guidance prevails in the event that local public guidance does not require face masks/coverings.

Personal Hygiene

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face, including your eyes, nose and mouth. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Then throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. 

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Housekeeping teams will clean office and workspaces based on CDC guidelines for disinfection. Facilities Management will also maintain hand sanitizer stations at major building entrances, elevator stops and high-traffic areas. 

Building Access

Students, staff and faculty will continue to access buildings with their ID cards. On the main campus, faculty and staff have building access from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days/week; student access is 8 a.m.–10 p.m., Monday–Friday. 

Visitors are required to visit Public Safety to gain access. However, the Host may meet the visitor and allow access.

For orientation, see the main campus map.

Reporting Illness

Anyone who contracts COVID-19 must report their status and those who are unvaccinated and who are in close contact with someone with COVID-19 must also report their status.

Employees must report their status in these cases to Human Resources. 

Students must report their status through Student Affairs. 

Monitoring Community Conditions

Webster will continue to monitor health conditions in our communities, adapt policies in accordance with local guidance and the COVID-19 Health Protocol Policies for students and employees, and take actions as appropriate. Factors we are tracking include community information, such as positive cases and hospitalization trends, and Webster-specific information, such as positive test trends and ability to obtain appropriate personal protective equipment, masks and other supplies. 

If conditions warrant further action, additional steps by Webster could include: 1) advanced or heightened policies on social distancing, including further restrictions on gatherings; 2) temporary closures of buildings; 3) temporary move of some or all classes to remote learning; 4) a full transition to remote learning.   

 

CDC Help and Resources

The CDC provides important information regarding transmission and prevention of COVID-19 and other viral diseases:

Managing Stress and Anxiety, Reducing Stigma

CDC tips:

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be stressful. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Missouri has established the Show Me Hope Line for those experiencing stress and anxiety related to COVID-19. The phone number is 800-985-5990; you can also text ''TalkWithUs” to 66746.

For the latest and most detailed information on global response and prevention to the coronavirus outbreak, visit the CDC's COVID-19 page, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the WHO's coronavirus 2019 pagewhich are updated frequently.

ARP, CRRSAA and HEERF (CARES Act) Reporting

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ARP funds are in addition to funds authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260 and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136. Emergency funds available to institutions and their students under all emergency funds total $76.2 billion.

Learn more about the ARP Act.

  1. Webster University signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on May 20, 2021. The University intended to use no less than the $5,285,852 received under Section 2003 of the ARP to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. The University received $5,285,852 on May 20, 2021, from the Department pursuant to filing the annual report required for HEERF III.
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP as of March 31, 2022, was $5,285,852.
  4. About 14,436 students were eligible to receive funds under Section 2003(a)(1) pursuant to the University’s Supplemental Grant Funds for Students under ARP Act/HEERF III.
  5. As of March 31, 2022, 2,288 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP.
  6. The University made every effort to contact all students regarding available funding and added a website devoted to the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. Students must apply via an application found through the student portal ("Connections"). Student eligibility was informed, in part, by those who had submitted a 2021-22 FAFSA (for international students, FAFSA guidance did not apply).

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ARP funds are in addition to funds authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260 and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136. Emergency funds available to institutions and their students under all emergency funds total $76.2 billion.

Learn more about the ARP Act.

  1. Webster University signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on May 20, 2021. The University intended to use no less than the $5,285,852 received under Section 2003 of the ARP to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. The University received $5,285,852 on May 20, 2021, from the Department pursuant to filing the annual report required for HEERF III.
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP as of December 31, 2021, was $4,477,019.94.
  4. About 14,436 students were eligible to receive funds under Section 2003(a)(1) pursuant to the University’s Supplemental Grant Funds for Students under ARP Act/HEERF III.
  5. As of December 31, 2021, 2,288 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP.
  6. The University made every effort to contact all students regarding available funding and added a website devoted to the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. Students must apply via an application found through the student portal ("Connections") and eligible students are awarded based on their Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated on their 2021-2022 FAFSA.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ARP funds are in addition to funds authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260 and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136. Emergency funds available to institutions and their students under all emergency funds total $76.2 billion.

Learn more about the ARP Act.

  1. Webster University signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on May 20, 2021. The University intended to use no less than the $5,285,852 received under Section 2003 of the ARP to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. The University received $5,285,852 on May 20, 2021, from the Department pursuant to filing the annual report required for HEERF III.
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP as of September 30, 2021, was $0. Applications were still under review by the University.
  4. About 14,436 students were eligible to receive funds under Section 2003(a)(1) pursuant to the University’s Supplemental Grant Funds for Students under ARP Act/HEERF III.
  5. As of September 30, 2021, no students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP. Applications were still under review by the University.
  6. The University made every effort to contact all students regarding available funding and added a website devoted to the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. Students must apply via an application found through the student portal ("Connections") and eligible students are awarded based on their Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated on their 2021-2022 FAFSA.
  7. Guidance provided to students concerning HEERF emergency grants was posted at https://www.webster.edu/covid19/students.php.

Eligible Webster University students experiencing a short-term financial need caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) are now able to log into their Connections Account and complete an application for consideration of an emergency student grant from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief III Fund. These emergency funds can pay for expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare.

Applications for these funds must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CST, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act 2021 (CRRSAA) authorized the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) on Dec. 27, 2020.

Webster University received an award letter notifying them of funds available through the CRRSAA on January 17, 2021.

The University intended to use no less than the $1,758,529 received under Section 314(c)(3) of the CRRSAA to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The University received $1,758,529 on February 2, 2021, from the Department pursuant to filing the annual report required for HEERF.

The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 314(c)(3) of the CRRSAA as of April 30, 2021, was $1,758,529.

3,852 students enrolled in the 2020-2021 Spring semester filed a FAFSA and were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under 314(c)(3) of the CRRSAA.

As of April 30, 2021, 1,888 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 314(c)(3) of the CRRSAA.

The University made every effort to contact all students regarding available funding and added a website devoted to the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. Students must apply via an application found through the student portal ("Connections") and eligible students are awarded based on their Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated on their 2020-2021 FAFSA.

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act 2021 (CRRSAA) authorized the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) on Dec. 27, 2020.

Webster University received an award letter notifying them of funds available through the CRRSAA on January 17, 2021.

The University intends to use no less than the $1,758,529 received under Section 314(c)(3) of the CRRSAA to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The University received $1,758,529 on February 2, 2021, from the Department pursuant to filing the annual report required for HEERF.

The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 314(c)(3) of the CRRSAA as of March 31, 2021, is $752,500.

3,852 students enrolled in the 2020-2021 Spring semester filed a FAFSA and were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under 314(c)(3) of the CRRSAA.

As of March 31, 2021, 982 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 314(c)(3) of the CRRSAA.

The University made every effort to contact all students regarding available funding and added a website devoted to the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. Students must apply via an application found through the student portal ("Connections") and eligible students are awarded based on their Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated on their 2020-2021 FAFSA.

The Federal CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), passed into law in March 2020, provided funds to colleges and universities to distribute for emergency student grants due to the pandemic. Webster University provided an application process for eligible students to receive assistance through a one-time emergency grant in 2020.

Required reporting on Webster's disbursement of CARES Act funds and an archive of key communications about this program can be found here (DOCX).

Required reports on the Institutional Portion for HEERF I, II, and III can be found here:

July 2, 2021: Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting for HEERF I, II, and III (a)(1) Institutional Portion, (a)(2), and (a)(3) (PDF)

Sept. 30, 2020 quarterly report (PDF)

CARES Act '30-Day Fund Report' — May 20, 2020

Each institution applying for HEERF funds was directed to comply with Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act and submit an initial report (the “30-day Fund Report”) to the Secretary thirty (30) days from the date of the institution’s Certification and Agreement to the Department. The '30-Day Fund Report' information that was posted on May 20, 2020, follows:

Webster University signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on April 9, 2020. The University intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The University received $1,758,529 on April 21, 2020, from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 20, 2020, is $928,000.

4,548 students enrolled in the 2019-2020 Spring semester filed a FAFSA and were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of May 20, 2020, 1,266 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The University made every effort to contact all students regarding available funding and added a website devoted to the Emergency Financial Aid Grants at https://www.legacy.webster.edu/covid19/cares-act.html. Students must apply via an application found through the student portal ("Connections") and eligible students are awarded based on their Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated on their 2019-2020 FAFSA.

Note: The following information is retained for recording purposes. The HEERF II application period ended on April 15, 2021.

The federal government in early 2021 enacted the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), which authorized the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II). HEERF II provides money that colleges and universities can distribute as emergency grants to students for specific expenses that are a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Webster University was awarded $5.9 million in relief assistance under the HEERF II, of which $1,758,529 is required to be disbursed to eligible Webster University students, ensuring learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic for those eligible students.

Webster University degree-seeking students who are currently enrolled in Spring 2021 are eligible to apply. Students must have previously filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with Webster University’s Office of Financial Aid by March 1, 2021. Students should log into Connections to see more information and to access the application. Note: The original HEERF II application deadline of March 31 was extended to April 15, 2021.