A red maple tree on Hearn Plaza, on the campus of Wake Forest University, shown here on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, will be dedicated to the Kirby Family iin a ceremony later in the week.
A red maple tree on Hearn Plaza, on the campus of Wake Forest University, shown here on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, will be dedicated to the Kirby Family iin a ceremony later in the week.
©WFU/Ken Bennett

Campus Continues Limited Operations Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Spring has sprung in the Forest and while the campus is now filled with flowers, there are hardly any students to see them. The walkways, usually filled with students rushing to class, are empty. With the recent warm weather, students would be seen lounging on the quad, playing spikeball and hanging up hammocks. Now, however, this iconic green space is inhabited only by Wait Chapel.  

As the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus changes, the university continues to take precautions to protect community members. As such, the Office of Residence Life and Housing (RL&H) informed students planning to stay on-campus or in the Winston-Salem area that, while campus will remain open, there will be limited access to resources normally provided to students. 

This email was sent in response to the university’s decision to suspend in person classes and continue administering courses online following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Students were required to submit their living intentions to RL&H by March 13 and the university officially closed its residence halls to those not approved to stay on March 17 at noon. 

The university is continuously reevaluating and examining the current state of the coronavirus’ spread. 

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“In accordance with public health guidance and in order to slow the potential of transmission of the COVID-19 virus and protect vulnerable populations from exposure, Wake Forest University is limiting all campus functions to essential ones,” an email sent on March 16 said. 

Faculty and staff have been asked to work remotely if possible, and the university won’t allow individuals to enter campus without showing their WFU ID or authorized parking tag. As a result, many campus resources are either scarce or virtual. 

Study Space

Students who remain on campus or in the Winston-Salem area have very limited options in terms of study spaces. Many are encouraged to stay in their rooms and practice social distancing, however, if need be, there are some places still open. 

The Z. Smith Reynolds Library (ZSR) will be closed until further notice. Some functions can be accessed remotely. Students are still able to request materials through the library catalog and DVDs can be requested through their film collection. Additionally, 24/7 study spaces will remain open along with the Starbucks area with card access. 

Benson University Center also will be closed until further notice, however students may still enter the food court area from the second floor doors leading out to Lower Quad. They will not be able to enter past the food court and this will only be available between the hours of 7:30 a.m and 3 p.m.


Deacon Dining has adjusted their dining options. While some places will remain open, there are less options and the hours are reduced. In addition to this, all locations are temporarily moving to take-out meals only according to a note on the Deacon Dining website. 

The Pit will remain open every day during remote learning. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m to 10 a.m, with lunch being served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. At this time, students will only be able to use to-go boxes to get food.

Subway, ZSR Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A will also be open. Subway will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Starbucks will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Chick-Fil-A will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Other Resources

According to the university’s coronavirus website, shuttles will continue to be provided to faculty, staff and students who need them but will be on an adjusted schedule depending on demand from community members.  

Student Health will continue to see students, however students should call ahead if they’re suffering from any flu-like symptoms. Additionally, online appointment services have been temporarily disabled, to schedule an appointment, students should call ahead. 

As Benson will be closed, should students need to access their mail, they are able to arrange a time to pick up their items.

All information in this article is subject to change given the rapid growth of the virus and the concern surrounding it, and updates will be made accordingly.

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