BUCKHANNON — Shortly after announcing the implementation of a hefty $750 fee for unvaccinated students, West Virginia Wesleyan College updated their arrival to campus plan to no longer impose the significant COVID-related fee.
The fee was originally put in place to cover expenses that come with testing and other resources to keep students safe, according to college administrators. However, WVWC revised that plan on August 19 stating, “The College will conduct surveillance testing of the remainder of the students who have not submitted proof of vaccination by testing 10% of those students each week.” The cost of the random testing will be $5 each time a student is selected, which will replace the $750 fee previously planned.
The implementation of the original policy was reportedly changed prior to the deadline initially established that required students to submit proof of vaccination by September 7; therefore, no fees had actually been charged to students or paid yet.
According to the revised policy, unvaccinated students will also be subject to judicial action if they do not adhere to the college’s arrival on campus policies regarding masks, COVID testing, social distancing, etc. These students are required to wear masks indoors at all times, except when they’re alone in a room or office. However, per Wesleyan’s universal mask policy, the entire campus community is required to wear masks indoors when case counts are considered high (red or orange), based on the WV Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 County Alert System Map.
Vaccinated members of WVWC will not be required to wear masks indoors when case counts are considered low (green, yellow or gold). These policies apply to guests and visitors of the college as well.
WVWC has kept the $250 fine in place for students who remain on campus following a positive test result. Succeeding a positive test result, students will have a 48-hour window to find housing outside of campus to continue their quarantine. If the student is unable to return home or make other arrangements and has to remain quarantined on campus, they will be charged the $250 fee.
College officials confirmed that student-athletes who have not submitted proof of vaccination, will be required to submit to an antigen test 24 hours prior to each competition during their athletic season, in adherence with all NCAA and Mountain East Conference guidelines. They will also be required to pay $5 for each test conducted.
WVWC administrators expressed, “West Virginia Wesleyan College strongly encourages students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and continues to work closely with the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department to coordinate vaccination opportunities.”