In May, President Dr. Tim Collins announced that Walsh University will be open for classroom instruction and a residential student experience in the fall. The University’s Task Force is actively planning for a multitude of scenarios and will continue updating the campus community on a frequent basis. All decisions are driven by the need to promote the health and safety of the university community.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

Updated 8/04/20

What is the return to campus plan for fall?
We are eager to welcome you back to campus this fall. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we finalize our plans to reawaken campus this fall. As we prepare for a new academic year, we are prioritizing your health and safety while ensuring we can provide an engaging residential and commuter experience. A detailed plan has been emailed to all students and posted on our Return to Campus Information Page with information regarding the staggered move-in schedule for students returning to campus beginning the week of August 17. This page also contains move-in processes, athletic updates, international student information and plans for the Class of 2024 Welcome Weekend, August 22-23.  We ask that you please read through the information while keeping in mind that there may be additional modifications to our plan. 

What should we expect on campus this fall related to COVID precautions? 
Campus staff will work to provide a rich campus experience and programming that honors the Governor’s orders designed to reduce the spread while also meeting student needs. These may include a combination of small in-person interactions and virtual events. If in-person, all best practices for distancing and spread minimization as ordered by the Governor and recommended by the CDC will be in force. 

  • As students arrive in the residence halls, the University recommends students, if possible, remain on campus for the first two weeks to minimize chance of spread of the virus and risk to the community. Throughout the semester, students will receive regular campus updates to alert them to health advisories and reinforce best practices to minimize risk.
  • Classrooms and other spaces on campus are being reconfigured to promote physical distancing. 
  • Students, staff and faculty will be required to wear face coverings on campus when indoors. Face coverings will be required outdoors when physical distance cannot be maintained. 
  • Protective barriers are to be installed where appropriate (i.e., high traffic service areas). These barriers may come in the form of plexiglass shields or barriers that prevent people from getting closer than six (6) feet (i.e., stanchions or tables that keep people well back from a counter or service area).  
  • Signage throughout the campus will remind campus population to practice safety and educate on best practices.  
  • Our maintenance team has spent the summer disinfecting and preparing our spaces and will continue to do so throughout the year.

What is the plan for summer student orientation for incoming freshmen and transfer students 
Summer Orientation for incoming freshmen and transfer students was held virtually this year. We are currently preparing to welcome students back to campus beginning the week of August 17. Please visit the Welcome Weekend page for additional information. 

Is Walsh conducting student tours this summer? 
Yes. Daily tours are offered throughout the year. During the summer months, tours take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and in the fall at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily. Each family will be given their own individual campus tour. 

What is the plan for fall athletics? 
We are working diligently to provide as safe an environment as circumstances permit as we navigate the uncertainties of COVID-19. We recognize that there are increased risks during this time that need to be considered by each student-athlete as s/he makes the decision to participate in their particular sport. If you choose not to participate, your financial aid package will not be affected this coming year. We will have a form for each athlete to complete upon your arrival to campus to let us know your intentions. If you should change your mind at any time throughout the year, your decision will be honored.

When will the fall athletic season start? 
The Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) has made the decision to delay the start of fall seasons, with the first practice date being August 28, and the first playing date September 24.  This will provide ample time for student-athletes to get socialized on campus, and ensure that we are doing all we can to provide the safest of environments. The G-MAC is currently reworking schedules to ensure that our athletes have a quality athletic competition experience throughout the fall. Another benefit of the delayed start is that fall teams will not have to return earlier to campus than other students.  The housing staff will be contacting you with details about your specific arrival dates that will occur beginning the week of August 17. Individual coaching staffs will be reaching out to athletes in the near future to provide details specific to each team’s plans for the fall.

What happens if a member of the campus community tests positive for COVID-19? 
Students who become ill should contact the Student Affairs Office, Dean of Students, immediately.  Our COVID Response Team is ready to assist you to ensure you get the assistance you need.  We have protocols in place to ensure the health and well-being of our student body.

It is the responsibility of the employee to monitor his/her health. Employees who present symptoms will not be allowed on campus until cleared by a healthcare professional or free of all symptoms for one day or more. In those cases, the University will work with the employee to accommodate disruptions to their work schedules. The needs of vulnerable populations as defined by the CDC and other employees with significant special circumstances should be addressed and every reasonable effort made to accommodate them. 

Some items to know:  

  • Isolation refers to separation of an ill person from others to minimize the spread of the illness.  Individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms will be asked to self-isolate either at home or in one of the isolation rooms being set aside on campus.  CDC guidelines require self-isolation in cases of COVID-19 for at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms and for the individual to be free of fever and other symptoms for 24 hours before returning to normal activities.
  • Quarantine is the separation of someone who has been exposed to the virus.  In those cases, individuals will be asked to self-quarantine either at home or in one of the quarantine rooms being set aside on campus for this purpose.  CDC guidelines require self-quarantine when exposed for 14 days after exposure to someone with COVID-19.
  • The University will refer suspected cases of COVID-19 to one of the local, authorized testing centers.  Individuals will be asked to self-quarantine until test results are received.  Positive results will require self-isolation (see above).  

What protocols are in place for the University Residence Halls? 
Prior to the start of the year, there will be a COVID-19 Prevention & Preparedness Training for all staff tailored to how they experience the students on campus. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed at all building entrances with signage expecting use upon entry, and students will receive regular training on best practice protocols and how to minimize the risk of spread. Currently, the University’s position is that residence hall rooms can be doubles or singles (but no triples). Student Affairs staff intends to stagger arrival of students on campus. Students from out-of-the-country, Resident Assistants, and other student leaders will be brought to campus two weeks early for a “quarantine period.”   

The remainder of students (returning students and incoming freshmen) will be brought to campus in a staggered format to minimize the number of people in small spaces at one time. Furniture inside dorm rooms will be configured for safety. Bunking will not be permitted, and all furniture will be set at six feet distance from the second set of furniture in the space.   

Special housing accommodations will be allowed where possible for those with pre-existing conditions. Two J-1 apartments will be taken off-line to serve as quarantine locations (one for males and one for females) in the event a student presents symptoms and cannot return home. Student Affairs staff will work to ensure meals are delivered to those students and support continued learning. 

Student living spaces will be modified to reduce risk of spread per Student Affairs/Residence Life protocols (i.e., arrangement of furniture in rooms, no bunking of beds, etc.). 

Will masks be required on campus? 
Governor DeWine has personally asked all Ohioans to do their part to minimize the impact of COVID-19. In addition to the many precautions and measures we are taking, the Governor has asked for the extra step of wearing a mask in public. Our priorities remain with a commitment to student success and the safety and well-being of Cav Nation – we shall leave the controversy surrounding this “mask” issue to be resolved elsewhere. Towards all of those ends, we are now requiring each of us to “mask up” if we are inside or outside -and- around people. There are likely exceptions to be made, and we will handle those locally with Vice President approval. Our “Seven to Remember” steps are in harmony with this additional measure. We should also request any visitor to campus to join with Governor DeWine and Cav Nation as we offer the advice of St Ambrose, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

What are the protocols for international students returning to campus? 
Per CDC guidelines, international students will be brought to campus two weeks early to isolate. If an international student cannot arrive two weeks early, they will be asked to self-isolate upon their arrival, regardless of when. Each case will be evaluated on a student-by-student basis to ensure their needs are being met.  

Will Holy Mass be celebrated in the Chapel? 
Yes, Holy Mass will be celebrated in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel. The lower level doors to the Chapel will remain locked, and all attendees will come to the main Chapel doors. Where necessary, stanchions will be used to create an area for people to line up while waiting to gain entry to the Chapel.

  • Hand sanitizer will be provided at all the doorways.
  • Seating will be in designated spots to comply with physical distancing guidelines.
  • Capacity will be capped at 150.
  • People will be asked to remain in their pews and ushers will release pews to receive Holy Communion.
  • People are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings, and all Diocesan guidelines will be followed for reception of Holy Communion.

Following Holy Mass, all attendees will be seated and released separately to leave the Chapel to avoid group gatherings. Holy Water Fonts will remain emptied. All Hymnals will be removed from the Chapel. Song sheets will be used for Sunday Holy Masses, recycled after each use. There will be four (4) collection baskets placed in the narthex for people to give donations if they would like. Physical touching during the Lord’s Prayer and Sign of Peace will be suspended. The Chapel will be sanitized following Holy Mass, and all Holy Vessels will be thoroughly washed and sanitized following each use. The Sacrament of Confession should be moved to room 108 in the lower level of the Chapel to provide adequate social distancing for the priest and the confessor. No more than three (3) people in a restroom at a time. Signs will be posted. 

Will Walsh University still host community events?  
Outdoor activities may take place with no limit on attendees; however, physical distance is encouraged as well as other best practices.   

Indoor activities are limited to no more than 10 people except for:  

  • Chapel services – (promoting physical distance)  
  • Wedding receptions – (with specific state guidelines followed) 

This is an evolving situation and is reliant on state guidelines and orders with regard to gatherings and room capacity.

Will campus buildings be cleaned more frequently? 
Since April, the Facilities staff has been working with each department head/manager to identify problem areas and implement solutions. The emphasis has been on creating distance and increasing ability to disinfect. Plexiglass barriers have been or are currently being installed in high traffic areas, other types of barriers are being installed to encourage individuals to stand well-back away from counters, hand sanitizing stations will be installed in greater number on campus, disinfectant is being ordered, workspaces are being re-configured, etc. In addition, the University is working with Aultman/Aultcare who will provide guidance for best practices to minimize spread. 

What is the status of University-sponsored travel? 

  • Business Travel Domestic travel is prohibited through 31 August and International travel is prohibited through 31 December
  • Personal Travel: With the recent travel advisory announced by Governor DeWine, please let your supervisor know if you have plans to travel outside of the state of Ohio so we can adjust for a potentially extended absence 
• The following states are included in this travel advisory:
- Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina (see https://coronavirus.ohio.gov)
• With the risks associated, for any employee traveling to these states, the University requires a 14-day quarantine from campus in alignment with Ohio’s recommendation
- During this 14-day quarantine, employees will have the opportunity to utilize vacation time or unpaid time
- Supervisor coordination is required due to the extended absence from the workplace to ensure mission impact is not jeopardized

What will service-learning look like for the fall? 
Staff has been working with faculty and partner sites to determine which ones can safely accept students. In cases where on-site service learning cannot take place, virtual and/or project-based opportunities have been developed.  

Will dining halls be open? 
In all dining areasSodexo plans to reinforce existing rules of food safety, personal hygiene and infection control which, like always, will minimize any risk of any virus spreading. This is critical to ensuring all employees are following proper procedures to minimize any risks to the Walsh Community. Sodexo will put in place measures and keep adding additional measures according to what local health departments are advising and include the Governor’s recommendations. 

  • Enhanced training for current employees and new hires on personal hygiene, food handling, proper uniform including facial coverings, and cleaning/disinfecting areas.
  • Enhanced signage to provide guidance on what is acceptable with regard to physical distancing and new measures being taken.
  • Enhanced menus and “grab and go” areas to provide a pleasing customer experience and provide different options that are suitable for each area.
  • Floor decals to help space out the line for registers and food ordering.
  • Increased sanitation efforts.
  • Adjusted mealtimes in all areas to accommodate deep cleaning without interruptions.
  • Staggering employee shifts to accommodate physical distancing. 

What can I do to help prevent the spread of germs? According to the guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Health, the most important thing our community can be doing at this time is to practice simple strategies to prevent the spread of germs:  
  • Follow Walsh's Seven to Remember
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Clean surfaces such as door knobs, remote controls, cell phones frequently. 
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with your bare hands. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away. 
  • Stay away from people who are sick.     
  • If you are ill or become ill, stay at home.   

I’m a member of the Walsh community and I feel unwell.  What should I do? 
Contact a medical professional for advice. Please do not come to work or class while ill and avoid close contact with others. 

I am a member of the Walsh community and am feeling overwhelmed by the news and information regarding COVID-19.  What Should I do?  
Students should contact Walsh University Counseling Services (David Campus Center) at 330-490-7348.  If you are feeling ill, please contact Health Services (Cecchini Center) at 330-490-7030.      

What is the University’s Plan should the COVID-19 spread impact campus?  
In the event that classes must be canceled for a significant amount of time, we will proactively communicate plans related to alternative methods of continuing class work, including the online delivery of classes, and other issues that require attention.   

How will information be shared with the campus community? 
The University will send out update notices to the campus as necessary.  For detailed information on the Coronavirus and the University response, visit: https://www.walsh.edu/coronavirus.html