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Commencement COVID FAQs

Details for the May 22, 2021 Ceremony

Yes, even if you are fully vaccinated we are still requiring proof of a negative PCR COVID test. Even vaccinated individuals can get the virus and/or transmit it to others (although that risk is certainly less than for un-vaccinated people) and we want our ceremony to be as safe as possible!

We recommend you start looking around now for options that will most likely allow you to be tested and get a result back with 72 hours and prior to May 22nd. If you are not confident that any of the options will be able to provide results of your test quickly enough, we will allow you to take a COVID test as early as Monday, May 17 which should allow sufficient time for you to get your results back before you travel to Chestertown. There are several options, including rapid PCR tests at urgent care clinics or pharmacies, mail order tests like the Pixel Labcorp test, and other options that can get you results in that 72-hour window prior to May 22.

You can email the results of your negative test to Health_Services@washcoll.edu. They should be emailed no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 21.

Anyone with a positive COVID test or without proof of a negative test will not be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony. As a reminder, the ceremony will be livestreamed.

We strongly urge all graduates who plan to participate in in-person commencement to be on campus for the May 19 COVID test for graduates. We are providing on-campus housing for those students free of charge and there are several in-person events scheduled between May 19 and commencement on the 22nd that you will likely want to participate in. 

Guest seats will be set up in pairs and each pair of chairs will be at least 6 feet away from other pairs..

Yes! Everyone participating in the in-person commencement ceremony will be required to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth the entire time. We recommend you bring your favorite and most comfortable mask but if, for some reason, you forget or lose yours on the way to the ceremony, we will have a limited supply available at check in.

The following e-mail was sent to students via e-mail by Gina Rlaston on April 29, 2021:

Dear Class of 2021, 

I hope you’re well! This morning’s email is all about testing and attesting! The goal of this email is to provide clear and detailed information all in one place about the graduate COVID testing requirements for commencement and about the attestation/Emocha requirements for commencement week.  

This information and more is on the commencement website: https://www.washcoll.edu/campus-events/commencement/, and we’re updating it frequently with new information and details. Check back often! 

COVID Testing Requirements for Graduates: 

As you already know, all students participating in commencement in-person must have proof of a negative PCR COVID test completed 72 hours prior to commencement. Even if you are fully vaccinated, you must undergo COVID testing to participate in the commencement rehearsal (Friday, May 20 at 1:00 p.m.) and in the commencement ceremony (Saturday, May 22 at 10:30 a.m. – rain date: Sunday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m.) If you intend to participate in commencement in-person, you must attend the in-person rehearsal. 

Students already in the Washington College COVID testing program and those requesting housing on campus for commencement week will participate in the Wednesday, May 19 on-campus COVID surveillance testing protocol. 

For those students already enrolled in the Washington College testing program, Health Services will reach out to you to schedule your May 19 COVID testing time. 

Those students who are not currently enrolled in the Washington College testing program and who have requested housing on campus for a portion of commencement week should email Health_Services@washcoll.edu prior to May 14 and let them know that they will be arriving on Tuesday and need to enroll in the Wednesday testing. 

All students arriving on campus after the final testing appointment (4:30 p.m.) on May 19 must have proof of a negative PCR COVID test in the 72 hours prior to their arrival on campus and submit that proof to Health Services no later than May 21 at 4:00 p.m.  

If you have already filled out a housing request, and you would like to modify your arrival date in order to be on campus for the May 19 testing, please email Carol Landis – clandis2@washcoll.edu 

COVID Symptom Attestation for Graduates: 

Students who have been on campus this semester and are enrolled in the Emocha attestation app will be required to continue attesting on Emocha each day during commencement week. To participate in any commencement week events, including commencement rehearsal and the commencement ceremony, they must show three consecutive green badges in their app. 

Students who have not been accessing campus this semester but who will be living on campus for a portion of commencement week will be required to complete a paper symptom attestation form for each event they attend, including commencement rehearsal and the commencement ceremony. These paper forms will be provided at each event. 

That’s it! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for everything you are doing to mitigate risk and ensure that we will be able to conduct the College’s 238th Commencement Exercises in person. 

Thanks! 

Gina