Based on updated safety information from emergency responders and city officials and after in-depth discussions among the University’s leadership, the Reynolda campus, Wake Downtown and Brookstown will resume in-person classes on Thursday, Feb. 3. Normal operations also will resume for staff.
Students displaced by the voluntary evacuation are receiving support as needed, and campus operations have stabilized. Students with urgent housing needs should contact the Student Support Center at 336-758-3473 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
We understand that accommodations and flexibility related to resuming classes for displaced students may be needed. As a result, we ask that faculty work with students based on these unique circumstances. Please note that ZSR Library has public computing stations and Chromebooks that can be checked out by students, as well as lockers to store personal belongings.
The voluntary evacuation request remains in effect for the one-mile radius from 4440 N. Cherry Street and the evacuation is likely to extend longer than the 48-hour period originally anticipated. If you have evacuated from housing within the one-mile radius, you should not return to your residence until the evacuation request is lifted. Normal parking restrictions will not be enforced on campus until the evacuation has been lifted.
The Environmental Protection Agency has established air-quality monitoring on the Reynolda campus and in the surrounding area. Monitoring stations are moved periodically to gather data from different locations in response to shifting weather and wind patterns. As of Wednesday morning, the EPA reports that air-quality readings on and near campus indicate that the air poses no threat to individual health and is safe to breathe. We are receiving real-time information and will provide updates and direction should conditions change. In addition, the Winston-Salem Fire Department, Forsyth County Environmental Assistance and Protection, and the Wake Forest Environmental Health and Safety office are also conducting air sampling to confirm results.
Although the air is safe to breathe, the smoke could cause irritation, especially for people with respiratory issues, therefore public health officials are advising people to avoid being outside for prolonged periods when smoke is present. As the fire continues to burn, wind and weather conditions will affect the amount of smoke visible on campus.
Wake Forest will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional information and direction as it becomes available.