10.19.20: Action required-Returning to campus tests and clearance process

A message sent to students who left campus and plan to return this semester 

Dear Student,

You are receiving this message because you indicated your intent to return to campus this semester after a temporary return to your family home or other location. Please read this message carefully and in its entirety.

Lehigh’s return to campus protocol outlines the steps you must take to regain campus access after leaving the Bethlehem area for an extended period of time (such as overnight). Prior to returning to campus, you must do the following: 

-If you are traveling from or through a hotspot state, you must quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to your residence hall. You must complete your quarantine in Pennsylvania or a state that is not listed as a hotspot state. The states being added or removed to this list may change frequently, so please check for updates.

-Demonstrate two negative PCR COVID-19 tests at your own cost at least five days apart and no more than seven days apart before returning to campus housing or accessing campus. As long as they are PCR tests, your tests may be saliva or nasal tests. Antigen tests are not acceptable to fulfill this requirement. 

-Upload documentation of your test results via the secure Health and Wellness Center health portal. Do not email your results to the Health and Wellness Center. In order to be properly processed by the HWC, the lab report must include your name, the date of your test (specimen collection), the type of test (noting that it was a PCR test), and the result. If you do not have your test results, you can call the facility at which you were tested and request written documentation of your results. 

-Your second test must be uploaded at least two business days prior to your planned arrival on campus to allow time for the process required to reactivate your campus access. Please note that this process may take longer given volume and/or if you have uploaded your test results in the evening or on a weekend.  

-After you have submitted documentation of your two negative test results, if there is a question regarding the reports you submitted, you will receive a secure message from the Health and Wellness Center via the health portal. 

-Once your two negative test results have been confirmed and you have received clearance, you will receive notification via email from Housing Services indicating that you are cleared to return to campus. When you have received this clearance from Housing Services, you may return to campus. Please do not come to campus until you have received this clearance. 

-If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 12 weeks and have completed your required isolation period, you do not need to take any additional tests and do not need to have a negative follow-up test result to return to campus. You do need to make sure your positive diagnosis and test report is uploaded to the Health and Wellness Center patient portal prior to your return (if not already completed). 

-If you were identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you are expected to complete one PCR COVID-19 test no sooner than at least 2-3 days after the last date of close contact with the known case and no later than 14 days after the last date of close contact (we recognize in these limited circumstances that it may be more than seven days between tests for those who competed quarantine and/or received your first test at the Health and Wellness Center as a close contact). You must also complete a second PCR test prior to returning to campus. You must complete your 14-day quarantine and be cleared by the Health and Wellness Center prior to returning to campus.

****For any questions about your health clearance and test requirements to return to campus, contact intravel@lehigh.edu and your inquiry will be responded to via email directly by the Health and Wellness Center support team to provide clearance. Please do not call or email the Health and Wellness Center regarding return to campus inquiries. These inquiries will be directly addressed from the intravel@lehigh.edu email or through secure messaging via the health portal.****

If you have questions about your housing, contact Housing Services at 610-758-3500 or inhouse@lehigh.edu

Thank you for your attention to these requirements, which will help ensure the health and safety of our entire community as we work together for a successful remainder of the semester on campus. 

-COVID-19 Response Team