face mask with Maroons logo on it
By Roanoke College News

COVID-19 and Mask Policy updates

Dear Maroons,

Roanoke College has been monitoring the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape. It has been a long road for everyone.  

We are pleased to report improvements in the campus status, as the number of positive cases on campus is now declining. There are mixed improvements in the region with some areas seeing drops in the number of positive cases while other areas are seeing increases.   

Mask Policy Update 

Until March 28, masks continue to be required in all indoor common spaces. Once we successfully navigate a healthy return from Spring Break, the College will lift the mask mandate for most indoor settings effective March 28. This change is in line with the recent updates from CDC. The new guidelines call for flexible requirements based on the level of COVID in a community at a particular time.  

Please continue to carry a mask with you at all times, due to the exceptions noted here:   

  • Professors, other teaching staff and group fitness instructors may require masks in their class, lab or studio. Participants must be notified of this requirement.  
  • Faculty and staff who are meeting with students, faculty or staff, or other campus visitors, may require attendees to wear a mask but should notify participants in advance.  
  • The College may require masks in certain areas or workspaces. If not required in a certain area, students, faculty and staff may choose to wear a mask. 
  • Students, faculty, and staff must wear a mask in the Student Health Center and the Athletic Training room. 
  • Students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged, but not required to wear masks when being served in dining locations. 
  • The College encourages all students, faculty and staff to wear a mask when off campus in public indoor spaces and continue masking when using public transportation, in accordance with current federal requirements.  
  • Masks are required for anyone who is experiencing COVID symptoms, tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been exposed to COVID.  

We recognize that many in our community are ready to discontinue the use of masks, while others continue to use them to protect themselves and their family members. Please be respectful of differing opinions about mask use and be respectful when you are requested to wear a mask indoors. The College fully supports and encourages voluntary masking.  

You can mitigate the risk of COVID-19, and all variants, by wearing a mask and getting vaccinated and boosted as soon as you are eligible.  

We have made these decisions and policy changes with the health and best interests of our campus community at the forefront of our conversations.  

Return from Spring Break 

All students are asked to take a home COVID test before returning to campus. Anyone receiving a positive result should report the result by sending a picture of the test to healthservices@roanoke.edu and remain at home until further consultation with student health services. Home test kits are available for pick-up before Spring Break at the Residence Life Office during office hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  

Vaccine policy 

The College is currently reviewing and discussing possible changes to the COVID-19 vaccination requirements for next academic year. No decision has been made at this time, but an announcement will be forthcoming by the end of March.  

COVID-19 Protocols Remain in Place 

Roanoke College will continue to respond to the challenges of COVID-19. The College will continue protocols and interventions that have served the campus well, such as: 

  • COVID-19 Testing. Student Health Services will continue to offer COVID-19 testing for the campus community with tests available at no cost to students, staff and faculty. 
  • Response to Positive Tests. Roanoke College will continue to support those in our community who test positive for COVID-19. The College will continue contact tracing and maintain the isolation and quarantine spaces for students in Catawba Hall. COVID-19 leave for staff will be available at least through the end of the semester.  
  • Air Handling Systems. The air handling systems in campus buildings are set to increase outside air intake, and bipolar ionizers remain in use.  
  • Cleaning and Disinfection. Housekeeping will continue to use products designed to kill COVID-19. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols will continue. 

Roanoke College will continue to monitor COVID developments and respond with updated guidelines when appropriate. This could result in future guidance that is less restrictive or more restrictive. We are anticipating adjustments in CDC policies soon, and we will make updates if necessary.  

We look forward to an exciting remainder of the spring semester. Your efforts have helped us to address the challenges of COVID-19 head-on, and we appreciate your cooperation.  

Thank you,  

Tom Rambo  
Dean of Students