Coronavirus FAQs

FAQs for Spring 2021 Semester

The current plan for spring 2021 is posted on our main Coronavirus page and includes information about a new comprehensive testing program. 

The pandemic is an evolving situation and a resurgence of the virus could still force the university to make changes. Widener will always comply with government requirements and make decisions with the health and safety of our community as the top priority.

Our spring testing plan includes the following:

  • Students who will living on campus or will be on campus one day or more per week are required to receive regular COVID-19 tests, provided by the university with no out-of-pocket costs.
  • The Aura – Sequential Testing and Certification app will allow you to schedule testing and will be used to monitor testing compliance via convenient reminders when testing is required. Only those who are in compliance and have negative test results will be permitted access to campus. 
    Download from Google Play 
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  • Student Health Services will contact anyone with positive test results to determine next steps.
  • Student athletes will follow NCAA testing guidelines and state masking guidelines for safely practicing and for competing if the MAC allows competition.
  • Faculty and staff who have a high degree of student contact will also be required to follow a regular testing protocol. More information is coming by email.  
  • Following current state guidelines, offices will be staffed remotely if at all possible.

Individuals required to be tested under Widener's plan must have a negative test result and be in compliance to have access to campus. Remote instruction is available for individuals who do not wish to be present on campus. 

The university strictly adheres to both HIPPA and FERPA, privacy laws protecting health and educational information.  Our testing protocols will maintain this same level of privacy and information security.

A robust contact tracing procedure will be in place, along with existing risk-mitigation measures that include masks, social distancing, symptom checking, and smart hygiene practices like frequent handwashing. This combination creates a layered approach to promote a safe campus environment. Additional details will be shared as they become available.

Safety procedures are mandatory and people who choose not to comply will face serious consequences. For students, that can lead to expulsion and for employees it can result in job termination.

No. Educational experiences involving destinations away from Widener, both nationally and abroad, are on hold. We will continue to focus on virtual experiences for students.

Yes. We will continue to emphasize virtual experiences for volunteers, and as partner organizations reopen we will seek ways to connect members of the Widener community with new opportunities, provided they meet health and safety guidelines.

The university will continue to meet student needs through virtual services during the spring semester. The office will open for spring on January 11. Staff are available by telephone (610-499-1261) and operate during regular business hours Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students may request an appointment with the CAPS online form.

Widener will offer a limited number of in-person activities in the spring, and they will follow strict safety procedures that include social distancing. The university will not permit student organization in-person events or meetings. 

The university will also continue successful virtual social programming that has been taking place since March. 

Covid Monitoring & Reporting (Spring 2021)

Widener will add a comprehensive testing program to our existing safety policies that include mask use, social distancing, hand hygiene and a commitment to stay home if you experience fever or other COVID-19 symptoms.

Testing will be conducted in collaboration with GENETWORx, a vendor with experience providing these services to other higher education institutions. Tests will be done at convenient locations around the Main Campus and work in concert with the Aura – Sequential Testing and Certification app. The app will allow students to schedule testing, monitor results and monitor their compliance.

If you feel sick, do not come to campus. If you are presenting any symptoms, contact your doctor to obtain a COVID-19 test. Self-isolate and contact Student Health Services at 610-499-1183 or Also, contact your supervisor if you are an employee.

We will notify the county health department, follow mandated quarantine requirements, use dedicated residence hall space for student isolation, and conduct contact tracing by notifying those who have been in close contact. We will also post information about the number of positive cases to our website so everyone is informed. 

Contact Student Health Services immediately at 610-499-1183 or

Contact Student Health Services immediately at 610-499-1183 or

Contact Student Health Services immediately at 610-499-1183 or

Academics/Classes (Spring 2021)

The academic calendar for the Chester campus has been modified as part of the plan for spring 2021. Classes will begin Tuesday, January 19 to allow for more time to elapse between New Year's Day and the return to campus.  Spring break has been eliminated to maintain the scheduled semester-end date, as well as the start dates of summer programs, and this modification should also help avoid potential virus transmission related to spring break travel.

The university is planning for a course schedule that includes in-person experiences, as well as labs and clinicals where that kind of instruction is prioritized.

Students are reminded to check their course schedule to confirm the status of in-person or hybrid courses, as some courses may change. 

Yes. Courses will be offered with remote instruction as needed, with the exception of some clinical experiences and lab classes where in-person instruction may be necessary.

Classroom capacity has been reviewed by an industrial hygienist and by our facilities and teaching technology staff. The number of students accommodated in a room with adequate personal distancing varies by its layout. Most will hold about half of their normal capacity. In practice, few classes with more than 25 students will be held in person, and it is likely that many with less will be offered only in a distance format.

The university will continue to work with our off-campus partners to make as many off-campus experiences available as possible, including through remote options. These opportunities will be offered to students based on the ability of our partner organizations to provide them, and we hope they will grow in availability. 

Computer labs are available for students in Kapelski 322A and Quick Center 104. Printing spaces include the University Center Atrium, Bruce Hall 8, and the Quick Center lounge. Additional student work spaces include Kapelski 136A, Kirkbride 232 and 236, and Academic Center North 251.

Facilities & University Operations (Spring 2021)

We developed the plan with input from our Health Advisory Group comprised of public health experts and our Crisis Management Team, Provost's Council, President's Leadership Team, Education and Enforcement Group, and multiple task forces that include faculty and staff, an industrial hygienist, and students, in accordance with public health information and local, state, and federal guidelines.

We will continue to communicate accurate and timely information via our webpage; campus email and newsletters; Widener Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts; and virtual town halls

Yes. Wolfgram Memorial Library will continue to operate in spring using safety and distancing procedures that have been in place for fall. We are examining ways to increase services while safely accommodating the expanded number of students who will be on campus for spring.

See Changes to Library Operations Due to COVID-19 for more information

No. Parking permits will not be required for the Spring semester.

Resident student mail delivery continues to student mailboxes located at the Widener Post Office on the ground floor of University Center. Typically, mail is in student mailboxes by noon.

Campus department mail delivery has been paused. The Post Office is open regular hours for mail pick up unless alternative arrangements have been made. Packages for departments will continue to be delivered.

The Widener Post Office is sanitized daily. Staff are taking the proper precautions and following university policies. Mail itself is not quarantined.

No, few offices will be staffed in person. Most offices will be working entirely remotely and the focus will continue to be on achieving work outcomes, not physical presence. If you need to reach a specific office, please call or email the office rather than going to their physical location. 

Yes. The bookstore will be open beginning January 11. For hours, visit their website

We plan to reopen the Pride Recreation Center on February 1. Additional details on operating hours will be shared via

Campus Activities & Events (Spring 2021)

We will hold all meetings virtually with the exception of approved classes, labs, clinical experiences, and activities.

Widener intends to have team workouts provided it is safe to do so. We are monitoring decisions by the Mid-Atlantic Conference regarding winter and spring athletic competition.

We are continuing to monitor all guidelines around in-person gatherings.

As soon as we have celebration specifics ready to share, we will post them on the university's commencement website.

The university will foster student engagement with a combination of virtual programming and "al fresco" events, including meet and greets; performances, speakers, documentaries, and movies; and playing games; as well as virtual resident assistant check-ins and group meetings. 

Safety & Personal Protection (Spring 2021)

We have a detailed plan. Highlights includea robust testing program, requiring everyone to wear masks, and to practice social distancing. We are also enhancing cleaning and disinfecting of campus spaces and making hand sanitizers available across campus. We are using a comprehensive education and signage campaign so everyone understands expectations and is ready to comply.

The PA required plan is available on our main Coronavirus Information page

The university has been working diligently to prepare campus for the spring semester. Classrooms and other spaces have been adjusted to accommodate social distancing. Hand sanitizers are available throughout campus along with deep cleaning of buildings. The HVAC system has been updated to increase efficiency and fresh air, and efforts have been made to reduce touchpoints where possible. 

The University expects everyone who will be on campus more than one time per week to participate in our testing program. In addition, everyone on campus must properly wear a mask, adhere to social distancing, promote proper hygiene and hand washing, and follow all other directives. Everyone should wash their hands immediately after being in a public place, touching frequently used items or surfaces, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Additionally, employees are asked to wash their hands hourly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

Yes. Masks covering the nose and mouth will be required in all indoor and outdoor spaces at all times. Appropriate use of face masks is criticain minimizing risk to others even if you do not feel sick. Failing to comply with this or any other safety requirement will result in disciplinary action, up to and including suspension. See our Face Covering Policy.

Students should contact Student Accessibility Services and employees should contact Human Resources if you need to request an accommodation specific to the use of a mask. See our Face Covering Policy.

Students should bring their own masks as they return to campus. Any student who does not have their own mask, or has forgotten one, will be provided one.

No, it is not okay. A face mask must cover your nose and mouth to be effective. Otherwise droplets can be spread through coughing, sneezing, talking, and other actions.

Residence Life (Spring 2021)

We plan to expand the number of students living in single rooms in our residence halls this spring.  We will have space for all first-year undergraduates who wish to live on campus, as well as rooms available for returning sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Widener has reserved Metropolitan Hall – which is home to the Student Health Services office – for quarantine or isolation space, if needed. This hall offers housing with private bathrooms, which is essential for students in isolation or quarantine.

Students seeking on-campus housing for the spring 2021 semester must reach out to the Office of Residence Life at

Students will live in single rooms. There are suites or apartments with two students butevery student will have their own bedroom and bathroom.


No. The university's housing policy has been suspended for 2020-2021.

Fraternity and Sorority housing will operate at 50% occupancy.  A minimum threshold of sorority or fraternity residents will be required to re-open each house. For more information contact Mr. Phillip Gatling.   

Yes. Students who applied to participate in Living Learning Communities (LLCs) will still be able to do so in the spring semester.  

Community-style bathrooms in traditional buildings will be cleaned and disinfected twice daily. Students are responsible to clean their own rooms.


Please contact the Office of Residence Life at or 610-499-4390.

Campus Dining (Spring 2021)

Yes. Commuter students and off-campus students can purchase any meal plan we offer.

Pride Café in University Center will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays, and brunch and dinner on weekends. 

MacMorland Commons will feature the Pride Grill, offering a variety of options including sandwiches, burgers, fries, and chicken patties. The Pride Grill will accept meal exchange, Dining Dollars, Pride Bucks and credit cards. The POD convenience store will also be open with grab-and-go meal items.

Our brand new Starbucks store will be open in University Center and will accept Dining Dollars, Pride Bucks and credit cards.

Good Uncle, an app-based mobile delivery service, will bring food to designated drop-off spots on campus with no delivery fees. It will be available for dinner and late night on weekdays, and brunch through late night on weekends, and accept Dining Dollars, Pride Bucks and credit cards.

Pizzeria Uno will be accepting meal exchange for lunch and dinner.

Yes, with our new Dining Sidekick app. Pick a location and pick up time that works best for you and your food will be ready and waiting. This is our preferred method of ordering to maximize social distancing. The app is available to download from Google Play or from the App store.

We are offering fruit and vegetable boxes as an option for fresh produce on the Dining Sidekick app. You can also purchase pantry items that will allow you to cook and eat on your own schedule. DIY Meal Kits offer another alternative by offering ingredients and meal prep cards where you can use a microwave or stovetop to cook on your own. 

Yes! Good Uncle, an app-based mobile delivery service, will bring food to designated drop-off spots on campus with no delivery fees. It will be available for dinner and late night on weekdays, and brunch through late night on weekends, and accept Dining Dollars, Pride Bucks, and credit cards.

Yes. Masks are required at all times on campus except when eating or drinking.

Operations will close between meal periods for deep cleaning and sanitizing. High-touch and seating areas will be sanitized frequently. All Widener Dining team members are being specially trained for procedures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

There are lots of options for staying safe while dining on campus

Order your food ahead through the new Dining Sidekick app. Pick a location and pick up time that works best for you and your food will be ready and waiting. This is our preferred method of ordering to maximize social distancing. The app is available to download from Google Play or from the App store.

All dining locations will have new traffic-flow patterns with directional signs that promote social distancing. Sanitizers will be available in all dining locations. Diners will also swipe their own IDs to reduce contact. Widener Dining will still swipe credit cards, Pride Bucks and Dining Dollars.

No. All locations will use single-use disposable service ware to allow diners to take their meals to whatever location they feel safest eating.

Seating in our dining areas follows state guidelines for distancing and will be at 50 percent capacity. One person will be permitted to sit at each table.

No. We’ve made temporary changes to promote safety, so orders will be placed through the Dining Sidekick app and ready for you to pick up at the cashier stand. Guests will select a station to order from and choose a complete meal, including an entrée, side, dessert, and beverage within the app. Stations will change between meals. Everything will be packaged in takeout containers and one meal swipe will cover that whole purchase.

Widener Dining is committed to serving students who may find themselves moved to the quarantine space for health or precautionary reasons. Students living on campus who are quarantined or isolated on campus will have three meals per day delivered to their quarantine/isolation space.

Dining Sidekick will allow you to ask for extra helpings of the entrée you selected. Don't feel bashful if you are hungry.

Please reach out to Widener Dining as soon as possible at so we can set-up a plan that keeps you safe and fits your schedule.

Dining Sidekick will show you all of the options available at each meal period. Menus and nutritional information will also be posted online at

Yes. The meal exchange is available there for inside seating, patio, and take out.

The restaurant has rearranged tables and is operating at 25 percent capacity inside. They have expanded the patio area for outdoor dining and will use outdoor heaters in cooler months.

Faculty & Staff

Faculty & staff should refer to My Widener for frequently asked questions related to them. 

This page was last updated on January 5, 2021 at 3:05 p.m.