A total of 112 student doctors entered the WesternU Veterinary Medicine program in August–the largest in the program’s history. The class is also the first to enter the program during a worldwide pandemic.

Vet Med students began the academic year virtually, due to the COVID-19 quarantine. Students went through orientation in the first week of August, as usual. But this year’s sessions on research, institutional technology, student life, and problem-based learning all took place over Zoom.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption on campuses nationwide, as institutions transitioned to online learning for students and remote work for employees. WesternU moved quickly to online classes and clinical rotations in the Spring and anticipated that the campus would not be quick to reopen this fall when 1,200 new students enrolled in Western University of Health Sciences Programs in California and Oregon..

Many off campus clinical rotations for third- and fourth-year students have returned to in-person status, and some limited activities are taking place on campus. But most classes and PBL sessions remain virtual.

All members of the WesternU community have been required to adhere to strict rules when on campus:

  • All students, faculty, employees, and visitors must complete the WesternU COVID-19 Self-Screening survey on the day of their on-campus visit, prior to arrival.
  • Everyone over the age of 2 years is required to wear a face covering.
  • Temperatures may be checked as students or staff enter buildings. In addition, all members of the campus community are required to disclose if they, or anyone they had been in close contact with, had any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If someone has a fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, that person would not be allowed on campus and would be advised to go home and speak to their health care provider.
  • Everyone must wash hands often and use hand sanitizer.
  • All members of the campus community must practice social distancing.