Last updated: May 29, 2020, at 3:33 pm
This update supersedes all previous communications.


We are sharing the following with the caveat that information impacting decision-making changes rapidly given the evolving situation involving COVID-19. For additional COVID-19 information, please reference the COVID-19 Intranet site

We know this is a stressful time for all, with much uncertainty and concern for others as well as personal well-being. The CARE team is fully functional and available for self-referral. Your faculty may seem busy, but be aware that they understand the disruption and anxiety, and students should feel free to reach out to them.


  • Licensing, Degree Verification, Transcripts and more
  • Summer classes will continue in distance delivery format. Please continue to monitor emails from your course director with instructions on how they will manage the delivery of content and exams. Report any problems with connectivity or access to your course director. If you need assistance, please contact Jennie McGuire
  • Dissertation/thesis defenses will be held, but in a modified form. Consult program directors for specific guidance on planning of thesis and dissertation defenses. 
  • Following the institution’s guidance on mandatory social distancing, the May Hooding and Awards program has been postponed until a tentative date of October 31.

Research Guidelines

  1. “Stay at Home” orders were altered by the City of Winston-Salem and the North Carolina Governor’s office to “Safer at Home” effective May 22. 
  2. Graduate students are permitted to resume limited, on site research activities starting June 1, 2020. Institutional guidance can be found in the School of Medicine and Graduate School “Wake Up Research” guides.
  3. Students should continue to comply with CDC and NCDHHS guidelines on personal safety:
  • Maintain safe social distances; the CDC recommends maintaining minimum six feet (two meters) of distance from others, even if you’re well.
  • Maintain CDC handwashing recommendations (20 seconds with hot water) or use hand sanitizer (containing at least 60 percent alcohol) when water isn’t available. 
  • Stay in contact with your mentor and lab mates to reassign duties as necessary. 
  • Those permitted to enter animal areas must adhere to posted requirements for PPE.
  • Take the extra step to disinfect shared research equipment before using.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  1. Advisors are encouraged to communicate with their students and address expectations and concerns about research progress and grades for the semester.
  2. Any student feeling unsafe because of ongoing obligations should report this first to your advisor, or alternatively to the program director and finally to the Graduate School. Students should confer with advisors regarding standard operating procedures while in research labs. The “Wake Up Research” guide provides additional guidance.
  3. Only registered, degree-seeking students are allowed in research labs at this time. Advisors and/or supervisors of other, non-degree, non-employee students are responsible for enforcing this policy, since the Graduate School may be unaware of their presence. 
  4. A cloth face covering will be required in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as grocery stores and pharmacies. A mask will be required traveling to and from laboratories, in common spaces, and may be required in some labs. 

Remember

  1. While research activity resumes June 1, do not come to work until obtaining permission of your advisor. Follow the “Wake Up Research” guide to protocols related to return to research. 
  2. Even if you have permission to enter the facilities, you should remain at home and notify your advisor if you are ill. The “Wake Up Research” Guide provides guidance on self-monitoring and what to do if you have symptoms. 
  3. Be alert to institutional emails and bookmark the student page for updates. Communications are coming rapidly, which may introduce revisions in guidance. If you have questions, please email the Graduate School and ask.