Welcome back!

Returning to campus following a year of working remotely requires adjustment in personal and work routines. We’ve got you covered. From technology and public health guidelines to addressing child care and work-life balance, find support for a safe, effective return. 

WashU Guiding Principles for Returning to Campus

Our employees play an important role in fostering an enriching, welcoming campus experience for our students, patients, alumni and greater community. We established these guiding principles to help us focus forward together. 

Public Health Guidelines

View the public health guidelines, including the daily screening, masking, physical distancing and other important guidelines.


Do you have the technology set up for individuals, collaboration and the office? View key considerations  for ensuring you are set up for success.

Well-being Support

Returning to the office can bring on emotions and alter our routines. View these tips to help you feel comfortable and ready to return and visit the Employee well-being hub for more support.

Family care

Work-life balance is important, whether we are onsite or remote. Find child and family care support and guidance to help you balance needs.

Public Health Requirements and Guidelines

We appreciate your dedication to WashU and are grateful for everything you’re doing to ensure the safety of your colleagues and our community. Learn how to safely return, including daily practices and guidelines for working onsite.

    Health and Safety Guidelines

    Visit covid19.wustl.edu to read guidelines on masking, physical distancing and other health and safety guidelines.

    Online Screening

    All personnel must complete a daily screening through the WashU COVID-19 Screening tool prior to entering a Washington University building. Personnel should complete and pass this screening each day before coming to campus.

    Return to Campus Training

    To ensure understanding and compliance, employees must complete the Return to Campus Training. Review and complete the training before returning to campus and make your pledge to keep our community healthy and safe.

    Health and safety guidelines for working on campus

    Mask guidelines:

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    • Masks are required for everyone at all times in indoor public spaces including lobbies, open spaces, walkways and large classrooms/meeting spaces.
    • Masks are not required when you are alone in an individual closed office space or are outside and can maintain six feet of physical distance from others.
    • In non-clinical or semi-private environments (offices, private meeting spaces, break rooms, labs, classrooms/meeting spaces) with 30 or fewer people present, masks are optional for those who are fully vaccinated. For those who are not fully vaccinated, masks are still required. 
    • When wearing a mask , make sure it fully covers your mouth and nose at all times
    • If you do not have a mask, see the CDC’s guidance on creating one with or without sewing.
    • Wash your hands before placing and removing your mask.
    • Store your mask in a clean area when not in use.

    See mask requirements for the Danforth Campus and Medical Campus

    Physical distancing in the workplace

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    • Maintain at least six feet of separation from other people.
    • Try to avoid or minimize in-person meetings.
    • Talk to your manager about your area’s plan for staggering operations, meal times, etc.
    • Do not congregate in common areas (break rooms, conference rooms, common equipment rooms, etc.)
    • Wash your hands before and after entering a common area.

    Practice good hygiene

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    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • Alcohol-based disinfectant can be used if soap and water are not available. 
    • Review CDC guidance on hand-washing.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Clean and disinfect highly touched surfaces frequently. Facilities will be cleaning offices and common areas, but you should use cleaning supplies provided to keep your workspace clean.
    • Clean and disinfect common areas after use. Ask your manager or refer to specific guidelines for your office, lab or workspace. Cleaning supplies are provided to each department for individual use when necessary. Facilities will also be cleaning spaces.
    • Do not share headsets or other equipment that is near your face.

    Guidance for specific workplace scenarios


    • Take the stairs when feasible.
    • Limit occupancy to 1-3 people (depending on elevator size).
    • Do not use your hands to press elevator buttons (use elbows, no-touch devices, etc.).
    • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after exiting the elevator.
    • Remember to wear your mask in the elevator.
    • Do not wear disposable gloves.


    • Maintain at least six feet of distance from co-workers.
    • No more than one person should be in a shared workspace/room unless at least six feet of distancing can be consistently maintained.
    • Consider eliminating reception seating areas and remove or reconfigure seats, furniture and workstations as needed to maintain physical distancing requirements.
    • If possible, have at least one workstation separating you from another co-worker and reconfigure workstations so employees do not face each other.
    • Consider temporarily removing or replacing amenities that are handled with high contact frequency—such as shared coffee makers, bulk snacks and water coolers—with alternatives.
    • Take steps to minimize interactions with employees, such as:
      • Visual cues on the floor or signs to instruct staff where to stand
      • One-way directional signage for workspaces with multiple thru-ways
      • Designating specific stairways for up/down traffic if building space allows

    Breaks and Meals

    • Follow the instructions for each dining establishment regarding social distancing, carry-out, etc.
    • Meals should be taken alone or outside with a distance of at least six feet from others.

    • In break rooms:
      • Stagger break times to avoid congregating.
      • Wash your hands upon entering the room.
      • Maintain at least six feet of distance from other people.
      • Wear a mask when not eating.
      • Disinfect surfaces you have touched.
      • Wash your hands when leaving the room.


      • Consider posting occupied/unoccupied signage to limit the number of people and to allow appropriate social distancing.
      • Wash your hands upon entering the room.
      • Wear a mask.
      • Use every other facility (stall, sink, etc.).
      • Wash your hands after using the restroom.
      • Use a paper towel to open doors and to use sinks.


      • Avoid in-person meetings if possible. If in-person meetings are required:
        • Wash your hands upon entering the room.
        • Maintain six feet of distance from other people.
        • Wear a mask.
        • Disinfect surfaces you have touched.
        • Wash your hands when leaving the room.

      Public Transportation

      When using public transportation or the campus shuttle system:

      • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before boarding.
      • Wear a mask.
      • Avoid touching surfaces with your hands.
      • Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as possible and before removing your mask.

      Manager Guidance

      Find specific guidance for helping employees safely return to work, and resources for managing through this unique campus environment. View the Return to Campus Manager Guidance web page.

      Helpful numbers and links

      • Occupational Health line for COVID-19 exposure or illness: 314-362-5056
      • General questions/concerns about COVID-19 (Danforth Campus): 314-995-8300
      • Coping with COVID-19 hotline for emotional support: 314-286-1700
      • Employee Assistance Program for 24/7 work-life support: 844-365-4587
      • Occupational Health
      • Environmental Health and Safety
      • University COVID-19