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Requirements for on-campus spring return

WVU Today

To help students, faculty and staff prepare for a safe return to campus in January, West Virginia University is providing details on the residence hall return process and COVID-19 testing for the spring semester, which begins Jan. 19.

Residence Hall return process

In early December, students will receive an email from with directions on how to register for a time slot to return to the residence halls ahead of the spring semester.

The  process will be  Jan. 11-Jan. 16. There will be time slots for each residence hall on each of these days. 

Time slots are 60 minutes long and residents will be expected to complete their return during this time frame.

These time slots are available daily: 8-9 a.m., 9:30-10:30 a.m., 11 a.m. to noon, 12:30-1:30 p.m., 2-3 p.m., 3:30-4:30 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. There is a 30-minute break between each move-in time slot to allow for carts to be returned and cleaned and to ensure guests have left the building.

The schedule was developed to provide flexibility for students’ and their families’ schedules in conjunction with the process for scheduling COVID-19 testing and space management.

All students staying in a residence hall must schedule a time for  return.  No exceptions can be made for those who show up without a scheduled time.

Residents may have only two helpers and everyone must wear a mask/face covering and practice physical distancing from others.

Resident assistants may return as early as Jan. 8, and must have completed their return process no later than Jan. 11.

If any student living in the residence halls has extenuating circumstances related to move-in,  email Exceptions will be granted based on the circumstances and the availability of time slots.

COVID-19 testing

WVU will provide free COVID-19 testing to all students, faculty and staff  returning to the Morgantown campus for the spring semester.

The university will require COVID-19 testing for all students who will be taking in-person courses and/or using on-campus resources (e.g., libraries, dining facilities, transportation, etc.) during the spring semester. Testing must be completed by Jan. 16.

Students must receive a negative test result before classes start  Jan. 19. Students who do not receive a negative test by that date will not be allowed into the classroom for instruction.

Students, faculty and staff who are required to be tested will receive an email in early to mid-December from with instructions to register for testing. Participants will sign up for their preferred testing date/time at

Student testing will begin Jan. 11. Testing for students will be available at the WVU Student Recreation Center and the Mountainlair.  Resident assistants on campus are encouraged to test  Jan. 10.

Students taking classes exclusively online will not be required to undergo testing. However, WVU strongly recommends any student returning to Morgantown  be tested to assist in preventing community and campus spread of COVID-19.

Testing also will be required for employees working on campus this spring. WVU Extension agents in the field will not be required to test, but they are welcome to travel to a campus testing site if they choose.

Faculty and staff will have access to preliminary COVID-19 testing Jan. 8-9 at the WVU Student Recreation Center and the Mountainlair. Faculty and staff also will be able to test through  Jan. 16 at both locations. 

Most students, faculty and staff will receive a nasal live-virus, anterior swab reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction  test, which is less invasive and takes less than five minutes to complete. Test results should be available within three to five days.

Students, faculty and staff should continue to follow the university’s safety protocols while awaiting their results. Students may leave their residence hall room but should wear a mask/face covering as mandated and stay physically distant as much as possible. Similarly, students living off campus should minimize leaving their apartments or houses, wear a mask/face covering and maintain physical distancing pending the return of their test results. Faculty and staff also should wear a mask/face covering and practice physical distancing.

Because they will be tested frequently throughout the semester as part of sample testing, resident assistants, residence hall coordinators and students living in residence halls may receive a rapid antigen diagnostic test instead of the standard RT-PCR test. Antigen tests typically provide same-day results. As such, antigen tests also may be used with individuals who are symptomatic.

In addition to the on-campus testing options for faculty and staff only, WVU will accept certain COVID-19 test results from other West Virginia State-supported community testing sites, but they have to  be  live-virus RT-PCR test results dated after Jan. 4. Results from out-of-state testing centers will not be accepted.

For students, failure to take a COVID-19 test by Jan. 16, will result in a $250 fee being added to the student’s account. The student also will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for follow-up.

Employees who fail to take a COVID-19 test by Jan. 16, will be subject to employee disciplinary actions until they take the test. 

WVU plans to continue sample testing throughout the spring semester. Those who may be asked to take part in sample testing include:

  • Students with in-person classes
  • Members of fraternities or sororities
  • Those living in residence halls and university apartments
  • WVU athletes
  • Those in the performing arts
  • Specific faculty and staff populations
  • Random samples of students and employees

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