Warren Wilson College finished the fall semester with no positive on-campus cases of COVID-19, thereby achieving a goal that has eluded most of the other colleges and universities around the country. In fact, Warren Wilson was the only college in Western North Carolina to have no positive cases this semester.
“The fact that we were able to have zero cases is mind-blowing,” said Justin Gildner, director of safety and risk management at Warren Wilson, and head of the school’s Pandemic Response Team. The college’s health and safety measures included daily temperature checks and a modified academic schedule that ended classes by Thanksgiving and moved finals online. Most classes were partially taught online during the semester, and many of the in-person classes were able to meet outdoors on the school’s 1,150-acre campus. Additionally, Warren Wilson was the only WNC college that canceled all competitive athletics at the beginning of the fall semester.
“I am grateful for our community, for the ways we have demonstrated courage and resilience during this challenging semester,” said Warren Wilson President Lynn Morton. “In the end, we were able to ensure the health and safety of our campus because of the students, faculty and staff who took the virus seriously and followed our health and safety protocols. We believe that our rural location in the North Carolina mountains, combined with our small population, low student-to-faculty ratio, and large 1,150-acre campus, will continue to enable us to minimize risks while providing a safe place to live and learn,” Morton said.