The 2023-2024 fall and winter virus season, four years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, provided ongoing evidence of the changing face of respiratory diseases. 

COVID-19 remains an important public health threat, but it is no longer the emergency that it once was, and its health impacts increasingly resemble those of other respiratory viral illnesses, including influenza and RSV. This reality enables CDC to provide updated guidance proportionate to the current level of risk COVID-19 poses while balancing other critical health and societal needs. 

Updated Guidance from the CDC

Key drivers and indicators of the reduction in threat from COVID-19 include:

  • Due to the effectiveness of protective tools and high degree of population immunity, there are now fewer hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19.
  • Protective tools, like vaccines and treatments, that decrease risk of COVID-19 disease (particularly severe disease) are now widely available
  • There is a high degree of population immunity against COVID-19.
  • The situation with COVID continues to evolve as more people get vaccinated and/or test positive and recover, and as widely circulating variants of the virus seem generally to be more transmissible and resulting in less serious disease.

It is anticipated that this virus will continue to circulate in some form for the foreseeable future, and the CDC may recommend additional vaccination or booster shots depending on how the situation develops.

The Davidson College COVID team consults with infectious disease experts, watches state and local trends, uses CDC guidelines and considers previous campus experience at Davidson and elsewhere to make decisions about campus policy.

As in the past, all of these guidelines are subject to revision based on changes in the circumstances in our community and the state. We continue to move toward an environment similar to campus before the pandemic and appreciate your efforts and your support of our shared obligation to each other.

COVID Guidelines

Masks on Campus

We’re grateful to our community for respecting one another and our differing situations. COVID is now a disease that we manage, as we do others. Given this context, the Core COVID Response Team has decided that each student, staff or faculty member makes their own decision about whether to mask.

This approach is now consistent with our practice in other venues and gatherings on campus.

If you have a medical condition that requires extraordinary steps, please contact Human Resources about possible accommodations.


As of May 11, 2023, the college will no longer require COVID vaccines, but will continue to highly recommend them in accordance with CDC guidelines. COVID vaccinations help minimize complications and protect those who are unable to be vaccinated.

COVID Testing

We will continue to offer self-testing at the Health Center Monday-Friday from 8–11:30 a.m. and 1–4:30 p.m. during the academic year.

We have set up COVID testing picnic tables outside the Center for Student Health & Well-Being


When students are seen in the Center for Student Health & Well-Being, at an outside medical facility, or have tested positive with a self administered COVID test kit,  and/or have been diagnosed with an upper respiratory illness, including COVID 19, or influenza, the following guidance will be given:

  • Self isolate in residence hall room or apartment.  Do not go into classes, dining halls or engage in campus activities. 
  • Return to normal activities when:
    • There is no documented fever for at least 24 hours without taking medication to bring fever down (ie, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or combination medications with these ingredients) 
    • Symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours

When returning to normal activities, take added precautions over the next 5 days including physical distancing, and wearing a mask. 

If symptoms or fever returns after going back to normal activity, isolate again until symptoms improve and fever free for 24 hours without medication to bring it down.