Staff Information

The plan for the spring semester was based on projected COVID-19 caseloads, flu predictions for the coming months, and the possibility of safely accommodating more students on campus.

Spring 2021 Semester

For most Emory colleges and schools, the spring semester will begin on January 25, with medical school classes resuming on January 4 and law school classes on January 19. Classes will conclude by May 3, with most final exams held between May 4 and May 14.

Students will receive information from their respective dean with specific dates, further details, and any college or school-specific differences from the university’s calendar. To accommodate this compressed schedule and limit COVID-19 exposure, Emory will not have spring break this year. With this change, please know we have heard requests for additional mental health offerings and have added and will add additional resources and services for all members of our community.

We would have liked to bring more students back, but this decision was based on the importance of students living in single occupancy rooms, the rate of transmission in the Atlanta area, and the health of all of our students, staff, and faculty.

Campus Access and Testing

All faculty and staff who will be visiting university buildings or accessing in-person campus resources will be required to perform an onboarding process for the spring semester. Faculty and staff who have completed the onboarding process and are asymptomatic will have access to optional COVID-19 testing as capacity permits. 

COVID-19 Testing

Testing of residential students at frequent intervals has helped us maintain the health of our community this semester. The university plans to move to a saliva-based COVID-19 test this spring, which will allow the tests to be done more frequently and with much less discomfort. Additional information about the testing format, protocols, and frequency of required testing will be communicated once they are established for the coming semester.

Schedule Your COVID-19 Test

Staff who have completed the onboarding process have access to optional COVID-19 testing as capacity permits (non-symptomatic personnel only).

Schedule My Test Now

Please remember this optional testing is for non-symptomatic staff only. If you are experiencing symptoms or feel you have been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case, please call the Emory Healthcare COVID Information and Nurses Line at 404.71.COVID (404.712.6843) for consultation.

Onboarding Guidelines

Reducing population density is an essential condition to ensure community safety. You should continue to work remotely if your responsibilities do not require you to be on campus. Unit leaders will determine which responsibilities require being on campus and will notify those staff members directly. If you are instructed to come on campus, rest assured that Emory has instituted new health and safety guidelines for offices, classrooms, and common areas to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus and mitigate risk to our students, faculty, and staff. 

Mandatory Onboarding Process

Anyone who is asked to return to work on campus is required to complete several tasks before they will receive clearance to return.

Spring 2021 Onboarding

For those returning to campus, the Faculty and Staff Community Compact outlines expectations and guidelines you must adhere to for everyone’s safety and well-being.

Gathering and Visitor Guidelines

The university implemented a gathering policy and will soon share a visitor policy that outlines what events can occur on campus and who is allowed to visit campus. We anticipate those policies will remain in place this spring.


We intend to have events in mid-May to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2021 and the milestone of graduation from Emory University. Planning for a socially distanced, limited attendance event is underway, and we will keep you posted in the coming months once details are finalized.

Summer and Fall 2021

We are already looking ahead to the summer session and fall semester 2021. The summer will be an opportunity to further increase the number of students on campus, and we are committed to providing the hallmark programming vital to many of our academic experiences. If our increased campus presence is implemented successfully this spring and summer, our current plan is to have all students return to campus by fall 2021.

Key COVID-19 Information

Whether you are working on campus or working remotely, your workday undoubtedly looks a lot different than it did before the COVID-19 pandemic. It has never been more important to stay healthy, stay safe, and take care of ourselves.