Since the March 11, 2020 email announcing Wheaton’s move to virtual classes, Wheaton students have watched their inboxes for President’s Office communications that have shaped campus life in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After a year of social distancing, room capacities, restricted off-campus movement, and semi-virtual learning, a June 21, 2021 email announced the end of most restrictions, though masking and weekly testing would continue for unvaccinated students, employees, and guests. The President’s Office tightened portions of the new policy in an August 9 email, requiring indoor masking for all in response to rising nationwide COVID-19 rates driven by the Delta variant.
Future restrictions will depend on Illinois mandates, DuPage County COVID-19 numbers and campus positivity rates, but for now, campus community members are free to gather in crowds, in class, and around tables. The Record documented moments of a reviving community in the first week of the ‘21-’22 school year.