Campus COVID-19 Information

Kentucky Wesleyan College continues to closely monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This site is a resource for information about COVID-19 and communications to the Kentucky Wesleyan College community. The site will be regularly updated with new information and messages.  Information on the impact of the virus on our neighbors throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky is available.

All campus community members should:

The College is taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all campus community members. All campus offices and services are open and serving students.

Latest News and Updates

  • Update from President Mitzel – July 27

    • Dear Kentucky Wesleyan College Family,

      Students begin to arrive on campus this coming weekend (July 31-August 1)! Although the summer seems to have flown by in a maelstrom of visual shapes, it will be wonderful to have students gracing our campus once again! I cannot wait to hear their conversation and laughter filling the corridors of KWC.

      The campus has been busy during the summer months. Activity Hall continues to be upgraded and renovated for the students and wider community. The addition of educational, conference, lounge, student meeting, and ministry space will ensure that every student will be able to use this building in a myriad of positive ways. Addition of a C-store and outdoor seating will allow for a relaxing environment in which the campus community may catch its collective breath in between meetings, events, or courses.

      We are still dealing with COVID-19 and will act in a manner to keep our community as safe as possible. I encourage all students to get vaccinated!! The most sure way we have of returning to full normal is to stop this virus! Vaccines have shown to be the best and most efficacious manner in which to achieve this goal. For those students who have received the vaccine, please upload your card to prior to your arrival on campus and receive a $250 incentive.

      Owensboro Health will be hosting a vaccination clinic on Monday, August 23 for those who do not have a vaccine but wish to be protected from the virus in this manner. These students will also receive a $250 incentive. For students who remain unvaccinated, a negative COVID-19 test result must be submitted before returning to campus this fall. The test may not have occurred more than five days from arrival on campus. All unvaccinated community members will be required to wear a mask indoors or when gathering in groups outdoors.

      Certain courses and events will require masks to be worn by all participants. As such, all students and employees should carry a mask at all times to ensure entrance to these events and areas. If we can attain a vaccination rate of 90%+ through the student body, the above requirement may be able to expire.

      COVID-19 will be treated in the same manner as other potential illnesses that may infect a community. We will not be asking for daily health updates but will leave it to each individual to monitor personal health conditions. As part of the Wesleyan Way, it is inherent upon each of us to ensure the safety of ourselves and those around us. There will be no hybrid option for academics during the 2021-22 academic year. The beauty of Kentucky Wesleyan College is the ability to interact your professor and to learn in a face-to-face environment. This pedagogical methodology has served Panther nation well for over 150 years, and is what students expect and deserve. As with other illnesses, students will be asked to work with their professors to make up any work that is required due to absence from a class.

      We will be returning to as close to normal activities as we are able. All fall events and gatherings have been scheduled and are on track to be held. With your help, we will have a triumphant and wonderful fall 2021 semester at KWC!!!

      I hope you are enjoying your summer months and are finding time to enjoy the outdoors! We miss our students a great amount and cannot wait for their return!! Go Panthers!!


      Tom Mitzel, Ph.D.

  • Student Update from President Mitzel – July 30

    • Dear Kentucky Wesleyan College Students,

      We are nearing the start of the 2021 fall semester, and the campus is abuzz with excitement over your return! I know I cannot wait to have your energy and enthusiasm filling the hallways of the buildings once again. You are the heart, soul, and voice of Kentucky Wesleyan College and have been greatly missed during these summer months.

      I wish to update you on some changes on campus with respect to COVID-19.

      First, we are excited to offer a fully open campus with all events and activities that you deserve. Vaccines have opened a pathway back to normalcy for Kentucky Wesleyan College and we will be returning to our residential nature once again.

      Although vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective, the virus continues to spread quickly among the unvaccinated portion of our society. As such, we need to ensure that we have policies in place to keep our community as safe as possible while planning to eliminate interruptions of the academic year.

      Our faculty and staff are vaccinated at a 90% level. We have been proud of their actions, and a vaccination rate at this level has allowed the campus to be fully open during the summer months. I realize that not all students will be vaccinated upon returning to campus. I urge each of you to receive a vaccination and we will host a vaccination clinic on August 23, 2021 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm in the Winchester Center for those of you who wish to obtain the vaccine upon arrival.

      To ensure that we are keeping the campus and surrounding community as safe as we are able, the college will be implementing the following policies:

    • 1) Anyone who is not vaccinated will be required to wear a mask when inside campus facilities, and outside when physical distancing is not possible. This virus has been noted to spread as quickly as chicken pox and the best method for curtailing spread in unvaccinated individuals is through the use of masks.

    • 2) Students who are not vaccinated will be required to participate in random surveillance testing. Students who fail to participate in testing when they are chosen will be asked to leave campus. We know that the vaccines do not stop the virus 100% from spreading, but they do lessen the symptoms tremendously if a breakthrough case occurs. In unvaccinated persons, the health risk is much greater. Testing will help us monitor any potential spread prior to the rates rising to dangerous levels.

    • 3) Students who are not vaccinated will not have the option to quarantine on campus if COVID-19 is contracted or the person is exposed. As part of reopening the “residential experience” for the full campus, we will not be setting aside a large number of rooms for the purpose of quarantining but will be utilizing those rooms for residential students in the coming year. As with other illnesses, unvaccinated students who contract COVID-19 will need to quarantine at their home.

    • 4) With respect to academics and coursework, COVID-19 will also be treated as other illnesses. Unvaccinated students will be responsible for making up missed classwork during the time they miss class and will be responsible for the covered material. With the campus back to full residential mode, there will not be a hybrid model available in the coming year. All classes will be presented in a face-to-face model. Students last year were adamant, and rightly so, that we return to a face-to-face pedagogical model. Our faculty are excited to have you back in the classroom and we are returning to the model that has served the College’s students so well for the past 150 years!!

      Remember that for students who are unvaccinated, a negative COVID-19 test is required when returning to campus.  The test should be conducted within five days of arrival and the results uploaded to the following site: For those students who have received the vaccine, please upload your card to prior to your arrival on campus and receive a $250 incentive.

      We are so excited to have you returning to campus this fall! The summer is much too quiet with your absence. The policies above will help to make sure we are able to have a productive and safe semester for all of our Panther family! Enjoy the rest of your summer, but hurry back!!!! Please stop by the President’s office to say hello. I look forward to catching up with each of you and learning about your summer endeavors!

    • Sincerely,
      Tom Mitzel, Ph.D.

Update from Dean McQueen-Ruark – July 7, 2021

Kentucky Wesleyan College is committed to being 100% in-person for Fall 2021. A highly vaccinated campus community minimizes potential disruption due to COVID-19.

All students who are fully vaccinated and submit their vaccine cards before Tuesday, 8/24, will receive a $250 cash incentive for helping keep Wesleyan healthy! Take your shot—get your vaccine today!


COVID Threat Indicators


Frequently Asked Questions – Fall 2021 Policies


  • Are students required to be vaccinated to attend Kentucky Wesleyan College?

    • No.  Students are not required to be vaccinated to attend Kentucky Wesleyan College for Fall 2021.  However, we encourage all campus community members to be vaccinated to minimize the potential for disruption to classes and activities due to COVID-19. 
    • Unvaccinated students will have additional expectations and responsibilities to the broader campus community, including but not limited to initial COVID-19 testing to begin the semester, periodic testing thereafter at the students expense as practiced during Spring 2021.
  • What about masks on campus?

    • Campus community members who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear face coverings in any setting, whether indoors or outdoors.
    • Some members of our community will continue to wear masks and their choice should be respected.
    • People who are not yet fully vaccinated must continue to wear face coverings indoors and may remove face coverings outdoors if able to physically distance, following CDC guidance.
  • How do I qualify for the incentive?

    • To qualify for the $250 student incentive, as announced on July 7, students must be enrolled for classes in Fall 2021, be fully vaccinated with the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson vaccines and have submitted a copy of their CDC vaccine card via the form available on before Tuesday, August 24, which is the first day of classes.
    • The planned distribution of vaccine incentive payments is in September – to verify enrollment and vaccine status of all submissions.
  • I’m not getting vaccinated, can I get the incentive?

    • Unfortunately not.  The funds used to provide the vaccine incentive at Kentucky Wesleyan College are provided as part of federal COVID-19 relief to decrease potential for transmission of COVID-19. Vaccination is the best way to limit spread, thus which is the focus of the incentive.  However, if you are fully vaccinated by Tuesday, August 24, you can receive the incentive.

  • Am I required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result to begin the semester like Spring 2021?

    • If you are fully vaccinated and have submitted your COVID-19 vaccine card by the campus submission form, you are exempt from “gateway” testing.
    • If you are not yet fully vaccinated, you must submit a negative test taken within 5 days of your scheduled arrival to campus.

  • Does a masked classmate, faculty or staff member mean that person is unvaccinated?

    • No.  Some people are more comfortable and assured of their health and safety by wearing a mask, independent of their vaccine status.  At Kentucky Wesleyan College, we support all campus community members making decisions in the best interest of their health and safety for themselves, this includes wearing a mask.

      We do expect, following federal and state guidelines, those who are unvaccinated to wear a mask inside campus facilities and when you cannot physically distance from others on campus as a safety measure for themselves and others who are unvaccinated.

  • I am not going to be vaccinated.  How will that impact my experience at Kentucky Wesleyan College?

    • First, it is our sincere hope that everyone eligible to be vaccinated will be vaccinated.  Research has proven the available vaccines in the United States are overwhelmingly safe and provide protection against serious disease connected to COVID-19.  Kentucky Wesleyan College believes in the efficacy of available data to the degree that any student who is vaccinated and submits proof of their vaccination status by August 24th will receive a $250 cash incentive.
    • However, those campus community members who choose to remain unvaccinated will be expected to mask while in campus facilities, traveling on behalf of the College, and observe physical distancing while on campus. This is a protective measure for all unvaccinated individuals.
    • To ensure the limit of community spread and potential impact on academic schedules and athletic seasons, students not submitting complete vaccine cards will be required to participate in on-campus, random surveillance testing for COVID-19.  Students who choose not to participate will be asked to leave campus.
    • The College will not provide quarantine space for unvaccinated students who are symptomatic, test positive for COVID-19, or are a close contact to a positive student. Students will be required to quarantine or isolate at home, returning to the pre-pandemic practice of students with an illness.
    • All students are afforded certain academic accommodations for health in normal circumstances.  However, extraordinary accommodations permitted in 2020-2021 made possible by permission of the federal government and regional accrediting bodies are no longer available (i.e. hybrid classes, academic programs entirely online/hybrid, etc.). Unvaccinated students will be responsible for making up missed classwork during the time they miss class and will be responsible for the covered material.

Frequently Asked Questions – Vaccines


  • Are the vaccines safe?

    • The first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine was administered in December 2020.  Since then, more than 3.2 billion doses of vaccines have been administered worldwide, with over 300,000,000 in the United States alone.  The FDA, the federal authority that evaluates the safety of pharmaceutical products among other things, authorized use of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines in early 2021 in the United States.  The CDC continues to monitor feedback from millions of vaccinated Americans over 8 months to determine the efficacy and safety of the vaccines, and has recommended their broad use.
    • To learn more about the safety precautions and studies underway to ensure public health and safety, visit the CDC website.
  • How much does the vaccine cost?

    • The federal government is covering the costs of the vaccine.  Providers may ask for a copy of your insurance card in order to bill your insurance for administration of the vaccine, but it is provided to the American public at no direct cost.  If you do not have insurance, please contact your local Health Department to identify a location that will best serve you.

  • Where can I find a vaccine location?

    • There are thousands of locations nationwide administering the vaccine.  Check out this resource to find one near you.