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Boosters Due Jan. 14

 

As a reminder, booster documentation for compliance with the university’s booster requirement is due this Friday, Jan. 14, for continuing students, faculty and staff. Please monitor CDC recommendations for eligibility and timeframes (the CDC recently updated its recommendations for those who received the Pfizer vaccine). We provided the instructions for students to submit their documentation, and faculty and staff will receive further instructions this week. Additionally, as a point of clarification, if your medical or religious circumstances have changed since receiving the original vaccination series and you intend to submit a new request, follow the instructions provided on the FAQ linked on our Vaccination Resources Center: "Can I submit a medical or religious exemption request for the COVID booster?" 

Our campus protocols and any changes continue to be noted on the Campus Status page, the COVID Information Center, and Frequently Asked Questions page. The university’s COVID Response Team continues to meet regularly to monitor case counts, hospitalization rates, and other factors, and to adjust campus protocols as needed in accordance with public health guidance. 

We are looking forward to welcoming students back to campus in a few short weeks, and to a successful and productive semester together this spring. 

 

12.15.21: Update from the COVID Response Team - spring boosters likely required

 

A message sent to members of the Lehigh community and Lehigh families.

This week as we near the completion of the fall term, case counts on campus are low, and we commend everyone’s efforts to support a healthy living, learning and working environment this semester. As next week will be the last weekly update from the COVID Response Team (CRT) before the new year, we also wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season. 

Traveling? 

 

  • For those traveling over the holidays, we encourage you to be aware of any travel restrictions/requirements and the case counts in the areas where you will be traveling. 

  • The actions we take to mitigate the spread of COVID, such as washing our hands and wearing a mask, also protect against other illnesses. Stay home if you feel sick, get tested, and remember to continue to report any positive results to the university through the appropriate channels (for students, faculty and staff) over the winter break, even if your exposure to COVID did not occur on campus.

  • Find more travel guidance on the COVID Information website

Boosters

 

  • We previously shared that the CRT was assessing the possibility of requiring a COVID booster shot for those who are eligible, and we are continuing to monitor CDC and other health guidance. 

  • Given the waning effectiveness of vaccines over time and mounting evidence that boosters are important to protect people against the Omicron variant, we anticipate requiring the booster for all students, faculty and staff at some point early in the spring semester. The timing of this requirement will be decided based on regional case counts and the spread of the Omicron variant in the region; therefore, we strongly encourage you to get your booster if you are eligible over the winter break. Details describing how to provide information about booster status and deadlines will be provided soon. Read more below for more eligibility information.

  • Studies have shown that vaccination is effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID, but vaccination protection against the virus and variants decreases over time. Unfortunately, many campuses across the country and especially in the northeast are currently seeing a significant rise in infections and have had to cancel gatherings, events, and even move final exams online. The Omicron variant is likely to be two to four times more infectious than the Delta variant. Boosters provide significantly enhanced protection over the standard vaccination regime. Widespread adoption of boosters will provide the best protection against COVID infection on our campus and support the safety of in-person instruction and activities as we begin a new semester together on campus in the spring. 

Booster Eligibility

 

  • Everyone 18 years and older and for whom it has been six months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or two months after their initial J&J vaccine are eligible for a COVID booster. 

  • Teens 16–17 years old also can get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster.

  • The CDC offers more guidance on boosters on the CDC website and Vaccines.gov provides location information for COVID vaccines and boosters.

Mental Health

 

  • The holidays can be a source of joy, connection, and community, but they can also be a challenging time for some. If you need additional support, we encourage you to reach out.

  • Vice President for Student Affairs Ric Hall sent message to students focused on mental health.  

  • Lehigh benefits for faculty and staff include behavioral (mental) health coverage. To access these services, call the number listed on the back of your Capital BlueCross card. More information regarding Lehigh employee benefits is available here.

COVID Testing Information

 

  • This week we continue mandatory testing of 100% of unvaccinated students, faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions. 

  • In place of testing 10% of vaccinated students, this week we offered one-time optional testing for students before the break, as well as faculty and staff. 

  • See the surveillance testing schedule linked here for over the winter break and the start of the spring semester. 

Dashboard Update Frequency and Communications Schedule 

 

  • The Lehigh COVID Dashboard will continue to be updated daily this week.

  • Beginning Dec. 20 and continuing through Jan. 14 and the winter break, as in the past, the dashboard will be updated weekly on Mondays during the time that campus is de-densified. 

  • The dashboard will not be updated the week of Dec. 27; weekly dashboard updates will resume Jan. 3 in the new year. 

  • Daily dashboard updates will resume Jan. 17 for the spring semester. 

  • The COVID Response Team will continue to send weekly communication updates through the week of Dec. 20. 

  • There will NOT be a weekly communication the week of Dec. 27.

  • Through Jan. 17, communications will be sent as needed up until the start of the spring semester. 

Thank you, and again, wishing you and your families a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. 

-COVID Response Team

12.8.21: Altered Winter Break Hours

With the upcoming Winter Break, The Health and Wellness Center will be scaling back our hours of operation.

On Wednesday 12/15/2021 we will be open from 8:30am-12:30pm

On Friday 12/17/2021 we will be CLOSED for in-person visits. We will be available by phone from 1:00pm-4:30pm.

From (and including) 12/20/2021 - 01/14/2022 our hours of operation will be Monday - Friday 9:00am-3:00pm with the following exceptions;

12/23, 12/24, and 12/31 we will be CLOSED.

We sincerely hope you also take advantage of this time of year in between classes to rest and recharge for 2022!

12.1.21: Update from the COVID Response Team

 

 

A message sent to members of the Lehigh community and Lehigh families. 

We hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving break, with plenty of time for rest and relaxation with friends and family. Upon our return to campus activity this week, we have a total of 8 active COVID cases among students living on or off campus and 4 among faculty and staff, as reported on the dashboard

In Northampton County, the 7-day average is 137 cases per day and the community transmission rate as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still high. Local hospitals are seeing a spike in COVID-related hospitalizations; St. Luke’s reported its highest hospitalization rates since the peak last December, the majority being unvaccinated cases. 

There are no changes to our campus status at this time; however, please read more below for new information about:

  • The Omicron variant;

  • Booster information;

  • Flu cases on campus;

  • Reminders regarding masking at events; and 

  • Updated COVID testing information (sign up for today and tomorrow’s optional surveillance testing here

Omicron Variant

 

The emergence of the Omicron variant heightens concerns about the risk of increased COVID transmissibility. At this point, there is much unknown about the variant and we are not making  any specific campus status changes as a result of its emergence at this time. The same health and safety protocols that are known to be effective against spreading COVID will likely continue to help protect against illness from new variants. Current actions we encourage you to take include getting a COVID booster shot, continuing to wear a mask indoors, following the established campus protocols in place, and practicing healthy behaviors, such as handwashing, that protect against not just COVID but also general infections and illness. We are monitoring guidance from the CDC, and any impact on our campus, as research continues to develop on this new variant.

COVID Boosters

 

Across the U.S., communities are seeing increased COVID cases in individuals who have been vaccinated. Vaccination reduces your risk of getting COVID five-fold and reduces your risk of hospitalization 13-fold. This week, the CDC updated its guidance on vaccination as a result of the emergence of the Omicron variant. The CDC now advises that all people 18 years and over who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least 6 months ago, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago, should receive a COVID booster. If you have been waiting to get your booster shot and are eligible, we strongly encourage you to do so. For students, the upcoming winter break also provides an opportunity to get your booster shot. For anyone planning to travel, especially internationally, we encourage you to include in your travel preparations scheduling your booster shot as soon as practicable.  If you have not yet received any COVID vaccine, we strongly encourage you to get vaccinated. The CDC offers more guidance on boosters on the CDC website and Vaccines.gov provides location information for COVID vaccines and boosters.  

Influenza

 

The Health and Wellness Center has been seeing several ill students who have tested positive for influenza. Symptoms of the flu and COVID can be very similar, so it’s always best to be tested for both if you are feeling sick. Please consider a flu vaccine if you have not yet received one. Staying healthy is the best way to finish the semester strong. Please also continue to practice health and safety protocols, especially mask-wearing and proper hand-washing, which protect against all types of illness. Finally, please remember that if you test positive for COVID from an outside source, it’s extremely important to report your positive result to the Health and Wellness Center (HWC) through the Patient Portal.

Guidance about Masks at Events

 

We have received reports of increased noncompliance around masking, particularly at campus events and in the libraries. Mask-wearing is advised by the CDC given high community transmission rates. On our campus, it protects all members of our community and enables us to hold in-person activities safely. It's critical for all individuals to remain compliant with the university’s current policy on mask-wearing. Masks are required indoors in public spaces for unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals, including in libraries, classrooms, shared offices, laboratories, meeting spaces, and fitness areas. Masks may be removed while eating at an event at which food is served, but must be worn when attendees are finished eating and when they are moving around the room (i.e., to a buffet, to the restroom, to visit other tables). To ensure compliance, event organizers should announce that attendees must put their masks back on when they are finished eating or when the dining portion of the event has ended. 

We expect all students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear masks properly over the mouth and nose wherever masks are required. If a student refuses to wear a mask or fails to wear one properly during in-person classroom instruction, faculty and instructors are responsible for enforcing this critical policy. Faculty should ask students to leave class if they violate masking guidelines. Supervisors are also expected to enforce mask-wearing in workspaces. Any member of the campus community can and should report violations of the masking policy and other health and safety protocols. Please make every effort to keep our campus safe.

COVID Testing Information

 

This week, we continue mandatory surveillance testing of 100% of unvaccinated students, faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions, and resume testing of 10% of vaccinated students. For additional peace of mind after the holiday break, we encourage vaccinated students, faculty and staff who traveled and spent time with extended family to take advantage of this week’s opportunity to participate in optional surveillance testing

Additionally, see below for the surveillance testing schedule through December and the winter breakPre-arrival testing for students will NOT be required prior to arrival on campus for the spring semester; however, all students are encouraged to get a COVID test before traveling back to campus in January, especially if they have been in contact with others in large groups indoors or subject to potential exposure. We anticipate conducting mandatory surveillance testing for all undergraduate and graduate students (fully vaccinated and unvaccinated) at the start of the spring semester. Students participating in activities with registered clubs and organizations may be selected for coordinated surveillance testing in groups. More information will be shared closer to the start of the spring semester.

-COVID Response Team

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Surveillance Testing Schedule 

 

SAVE/BOOKMARK this link to sign up for SURVEILLANCE testing. Appointments are added as they become available closer to the offered testing dates. Remember: Symptomatic and close contact testing are separate from surveillance testing, and you should contact the Health and Wellness Center (students) or your personal healthcare provider (faculty and staff) if you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms. For other types of testing, including symptomatic and close contact testing, reminders for how to make an appointment can be found here.

NOV. 29-DEC. 2: Mandatory testing of 100% of unvaccinated students, faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions continues. We will resume testing of 10% of vaccinated students for this week and offer optional testing for students who have not been randomly selected and wish to be tested. This opportunity is open to all students, faculty and staff. 

DEC. 6-9 and DEC. 13-15: Mandatory testing of 100% of unvaccinated students, faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions continues. We will temporarily discontinue testing of 10% of vaccinated students and offer one-time optional testing for any student who would like to be tested prior to traveling home. This opportunity is open to all students, faculty and staff.

******************************NEW******************************

WEEK OF DEC. 20: Mandatory testing of 100% of unvaccinated students remaining on campus and faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions continues on Tuesday only. Testing of 10% of vaccinated students is temporarily discontinued.  

WEEK OF DEC. 27: Mandatory testing of 100% of unvaccinated students remaining on campus and faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions continues on Tuesday only. Testing of 10% of vaccinated students is temporarily discontinued. 

WEEK OF JAN. 3: Mandatory testing of 100% of unvaccinated students remaining on campus and faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions continues on Monday and Thursday only. Close contact testing also will be offered on these days only (subject to need). Testing of 10% of vaccinated students is temporarily discontinued.

WEEK OF JAN. 10: Mandatory testing of 100% of unvaccinated students remaining on campus and faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions continues on Monday and Thursday only. Close contact testing also will be offered on these days only (subject to need). Testing of 10% of vaccinated students is temporarily discontinued. 

WEEK OF JAN. 17: Mandatory testing of 100% of unvaccinated students remaining on campus and faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions continues on Monday and Thursday only. Close contact testing also will be offered on these days only (subject to need). Testing of 10% of vaccinated students is temporarily discontinued. 

As mentioned above, pre-arrival testing for students will NOT be required prior to arrival on campus for the spring semester; however, all students are encouraged to get a COVID test before traveling back to campus in January. We anticipate conducting mandatory surveillance testing at the start of the spring semester.

 

10.20.21: Symptomatic Testing - Increased Turnaround Times

Due to changes in the allocation of rapid test supplies to local healthcare entities and the subsequent reduced availability of the rapid Cepheid tests the Health and Wellness Center uses for symptomatic COVID testing, symptomatic students who are tested at the HWC may experience longer turnaround times. Students awaiting test results should self-isolate until they have received their results, which for some tests may take 24-48 hours. We are continuing to monitor testing turnaround times, and all students with symptoms should continue to contact the Health and Wellness Center to arrange for testing. As a reminder, students are required to report any positive tests received outside of the Health and Wellness Center through the Patient Portal.  

10.13.21: An Update From the COVID Response Team

A message sent to members of the Lehigh community and Lehigh families:

Dear Members of the Lehigh Community and Lehigh Families, 

This week, case counts continue to remain low, with 0 active cases for students living on and off campus and 2 active cases for faculty and staff. There are no new updates to the campus status; however, we wanted to share some reminders regarding mask-wearing on campus. 

CDC Mask Guidance Still In Effect:

 

  • The CDC recommends mask-wearing for locations where community transmission is substantial or high. Northampton County is still noted as an area with high transmission, reporting 681 new cases over the last 7 days as of the most recent October 11 report. 

  • The current transmission level in the County is more than 4.4 times the moderate transmission level (defined as between 10-49.99 new cases per 100,000 people over 7 days). 

  • Given this guidance, masks continue to be required indoors in public spaces at Lehigh for both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals, including in classrooms, shared offices, laboratories, meeting spaces and fitness areas, as well as on buses. 

Outdoor Gatherings Over Founder’s Day Weekend:

  • As we approach Founder’s Day Weekend featuring the Presidential Inauguration, there will be more visitors and events on campus. 

  • We encourage all members of the community to wear masks, even outdoors when gathering in large groups. 

  • As always, please follow any specific mask and health/safety instructions provided by event organizers.  

  • Classrooms:

  • In classrooms, mask-wearing continues to be an important component of fostering a safe and healthy learning environment for all students, faculty and instructors. Wearing masks continues to be mandatory in all indoor spaces and one of the best elements of protection against infection. 

  • Faculty and instructors should continue to enforce the mask requirement at all times, and food and drink continue to be prohibited in the classroom. Faculty should ask students to leave class if they violate masking guidelines. Faculty or students may report violations of the masking policy. 

  • Faculty and instructors have the latitude to shift seating as allowable by their assigned room configuration and space. For example, faculty and instructors may ask students to not sit in all or some of the front row of a classroom if there is room and they wish to spread out seating. 

  • If students exhibit symptoms of COVID in the classroom, the instructor may ask them to leave the classroom.

COVID Symptoms (Source: CDC): 

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • The CDC says this list does not include all possible symptoms. Read more

As we approach the colder months, mask-wearing, staying home when sick, washing your hands and following other good hygiene practices remain the best way to prevent spreading COVID as well as other illnesses. Allergies and the flu are increasingly prevalent at this time of the year. When in doubt about whether or not your symptoms are COVID-related, it is always a good idea to get tested or to consult with a medical professional for guidance. 

-COVID Response Team

8.30.21: Information on COVID Testing and Campus Protocols

 

A message sent to undergraduate and graduate students from the COVID Response Team.

Dear Students, 

We are writing to follow up on the message shared by Provost Urban and Dr. Hall with specific information about how to schedule COVID testing, updates to the university’s contact tracing policy, and further details. 

There are currently 49 total active COVID cases among students living on or off campus reported on the dashboard, which we are monitoring. While vaccination provides substantial protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID, the most important thing that you can do to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID, even if you are vaccinated, is to pay attention to symptoms that you may have and, if you feel sick, avoid contact with other people and get tested. 

Testing, Isolation and Quarantine:

 

  • All undergraduate and graduate students experiencing COVID-like symptoms, regardless of their vaccination status, should stay in their residence, avoid contact with others, and call the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center (HWC) at 610-758-3870 to arrange for testing. 

  • Supplemental to the HWC, the Lehigh Valley Health Network offers access to their 24/7 nurse triage line (1-888-402-LVHN). Speak with a nurse to assess COVID and other symptoms, answer your questions, and discuss your testing options. 

  • Remember that if you receive a positive test result from testing conducted outside of the HWC, you must report your result by uploading it to the Patient Portal. This applies if you live on or off campus.

  • Students who have been notified that they are a close contact of someone who tested positive will receive a communication from the HWC as part of the contact tracing process with instructions for obtaining close contact testing. Students who have not received a communication that they have been identified as a close contact, but who believe they are a close contact of someone who tested positive for the virus and are not experiencing significant symptoms, may sign up for close contact testing through the HWC here

  • For students who are not close contacts of a person with COVID and who aren’t experiencing symptoms but are concerned and want to be tested, there are a number of testing options available in the communityStudents must upload any positive test results through the Patient Portal.  If you do a home COVID test, upload a picture of your completed home test to the health portal.

  • All students who test positive for COVID, vaccinated and unvaccinated, are required to isolate, and unvaccinated students who are close contacts are required to quarantine.

  • The university continues to provide isolation housing for on-campus students who test positive for the virus and follow the established isolation and quarantine protocols for all students who require isolation and quarantine. 

Updates to Contact Tracing and Classroom Information:

 

  • Our community has emphasized the importance of vaccination, and more than 95% of students are fully or partially vaccinated. 

  • Because of this high vaccination rate, we are prioritizing contact tracing on and off campus for higher-risk contacts, which includes unvaccinated students living in residence halls and all unvaccinated and vaccinated roommates in traditional residence halls, suitemates in apartment-style living, and intimate partners. 

  • Residential students received communication on this last week from residential staff in their hall. 

  • For classrooms, the Provost’s Office will provide information to instructors and students when a student in their class tests positive. The name of the student case will not be shared with the instructors or other students.

  • In these instances, everyone in the class will be directed to self-monitor for COVID symptoms. If a student becomes symptomatic, they must contact the HWC at 610-758-3870 to get tested as soon as possible. They should not come to class or engage in group activities until receiving a confirmed negative test result. 

  • Vaccinated or unvaccinated students who have been identified as a close contact or who believe they have been in close contact with a person with COVID in the classroom setting and are not experiencing symptoms or experiencing only mild symptoms may receive a COVID test, if desired, and schedule one at this link

  • Unvaccinated students who have been identified as a close contact or who believe that they have been in close contact with a person with COVID in the classroom need to quarantine for 14 days from the date of their last known or presumed close contact.

  • Students who are unvaccinated are required to participate in weekly surveillance testing, with the exception of the time that they are on quarantine. Further information for unvaccinated students is included below.

  • Classes will continue in person unless the instructor becomes symptomatic or receives a positive COVID test result. In this case, the class must shift to remote instruction until the instructor receives a confirmed negative test result or, in the case of a positive test, is cleared to return to work. Alternatively, if the instructor is too sick to teach, the class can be rescheduled or an alternative instructor can be found.

  • If the percentage of students in isolation for COVID in a class (section) is greater than 30%, the instructor can move to remote instruction until students return from isolation. Isolation typically lasts 10 days after a positive test result.

  • Students required to quarantine or isolate or who feel sick and miss class should communicate with their professors in a timely manner to determine the best way to keep up with their coursework. All faculty understand that students should miss class if there is a concern about a potential COVID infection, and they will work with you to make up any missed material. Faculty and instructional staff will also actively encourage students who appear to be unwell to leave class and seek care from the Health and Wellness Center.

Masks:

 

  • The indoor mask requirement in public spaces and on buses remains in effect for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Please continue to keep a mask on you at all times and wear it as required in classrooms, shared offices, laboratories, meeting spaces, fitness areas and dining spaces. Masks are not required outdoors. 

  • In addition to the mask requirements on campus, we recommend that you wear masks when indoors off campus, especially when in large groups. Many students who have tested positive have described attending events—mostly off campus, but some in the residence halls—where many people gathered unmasked. These kinds of events pose the greatest risk for spreading COVID.

  • NEW: In the interest of further reducing the potential for transmission, we have updated our masking policy to prohibit the removal of masks in the classroom. Masks must be worn in classes at all times, with no exception for eating or drinking.

  • Masks must be worn in all indoor common and public spaces on campus. 

Unvaccinated Students:

 

  • Students with approved medical and religious exemptions from the COVID vaccination requirement must continue to participate in mandatory surveillance testing. As mentioned above, unvaccinated students who have been identified as a close contact or who believe that they are a close contact of a person with COVID should schedule close contact testing at this link if they are having no symptoms or mild symptoms.   

  • As a reminder, per CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine if they are close contacts, whereas unvaccinated students do. The university is preserving available housing space for vaccinated and unvaccinated students who test positive and require isolation. As shared earlier, unvaccinated students who came into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID will be required to quarantine off campus and should make appropriate preparations ahead of time in the event this occurs.

  • Unvaccinated students who received exemptions are fully compliant with the university requirement to be vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption; however, regardless of the reason, they are not fully vaccinated. In requesting a medical or religious exemption, they agreed to additional health and safety protocols, including leaving campus at any time if case rates increase to mitigate the risk of their exposure. 

The COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) constitutes a command center for the purposes of assessing and addressing day-to-day university operations and the evolving health issues impacting our community. The CRT meets frequently during each week to monitor conditions and assess mitigation protocols to support the health and safety of campus and the greater South Bethlehem community. 

We will continue to maintain or adjust policies based on the most current health guidance, taking into account our context as a residential university and prioritizing health and safety for all students, faculty and staff. The COVID Dashboard, the Campus Status page, and the COVID Information Center continue to be updated daily to inform the campus community of current case information and the campus’ status. 

-COVID Response Team

 

8.30.21: RE The Most Important Things You Can Do to Ensure a Successful Semester

A message sent to undergraduate and graduate students by Provost Nathan Urban and Vice President for Student Affairs Ric Hall.

We have heard many students and faculty express their excitement about the first week of the semester and the relative normalcy of in-person classes and activities. It has truly felt like we are getting back to the Lehigh we love. This is all possible because of our high vaccination rates and the work of many people to provide a more in-person and engaged experience for students this semester. 

However, we are concerned about the number of COVID cases that we are seeing among students. Most of these cases are breakthrough cases, and none have led to a student being hospitalized. Both of these are to be expected given our high vaccination rate (>95% at least partial vaccination). If we had a 100% vaccination rate, then by definition 100% of the cases would be breakthrough cases. Vaccines are highly effective against serious illness, but vaccines are not perfect, especially against the Delta variant. If our number of cases continues to increase, we will need to adjust our campus status, focusing on reducing indoor group activities. 

Based on what we are hearing from and about students who test positive, the most important things that everyone can do to prevent further spread are:

  • avoid contact with other people when you feel sick;

  • get tested at the first sign of a COVID symptom; and 

  • avoid large indoor gatherings with unmasked people

More detailed information on testing and protocols will be coming from the COVID Response Team (CRT) later today, but if we all do these three simple, common-sense things, it will help dramatically in our efforts to have a normal semester. 

Some students getting tested at the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center (HWC) are reporting that they felt sick for two or three days before getting tested, and in the meantime they continued attending events, hanging out with friends, going to parties and going to class. Doing these things—even if vaccinated—puts others, especially those who may be immunocompromised or unvaccinated, at risk. If you feel sick, call the HWC at (610) 758-3870 and get tested ASAP. In addition, many students who have tested positive have described attending events—mostly off campus, but some in the residence halls—where many people gathered unmasked. These kinds of events pose the greatest risk for spreading COVID. 

Masks must be worn in all indoor common and public spaces on campus. We recommend that you wear masks when indoors off campus, especially when in large groups. 

Please remember that all students are required to report positive results obtained via any COVID test to the HWC. This is critical for the health and safety of our entire community. All faculty understand that students should miss class if there is a concern about a potential COVID infection, and they will work with you to make up any missed material. 

We want this semester to be as normal as possible, and this will take all of us working together and doing the right things. Unfortunately, COVID is still with us. We need to take precautions to ensure that we can continue to have an opportunity to make the most of this semester. 

Sincerely, 

 

Nathan Urban

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


Ric Hall

Vice President for Student Affairs