10.27.21: 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,

Lehigh’s COVID case counts remain low, and we appreciate the efforts of our community to prevent the transmission of the virus. We currently have 2 active student cases—one student living off campus (as reflected on the dashboard) and one student living locally at home—and 5 active cases among faculty and staff. Given Northampton County’s continued high transmission, with 510 new cases over the last 7 days reported as of October 27, we will not be updating the campus status at this time. Masks continue to be required indoors in public spaces at Lehigh for both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals. Please follow all health and safety protocols so we can maintain our low case counts and keep our entire campus community safe. 

Surveillance Testing 

Over the next several weeks, we will continue to conduct weekly mandatory surveillance testing of unvaccinated students, faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions, as well as testing of 10% of the vaccinated student population. All those required or selected to test must schedule and keep their testing appointments. 

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday and for the remainder of the semester, we will adjust our testing schedule as follows:

November 22-23: Mandatory testing of 100% of unvaccinated students, faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions continues. We will discontinue mandatory surveillance testing of 10% of vaccinated students and offer one-time optional testing for any student who would like to be tested prior to leaving for Thanksgiving break. 

November 29 - December 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.

December 6-9 and December 13-15: Mandatory testing of 100% of unvaccinated students, faculty and staff with approved medical and religious exemptions continues. We will 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. 

COVID Vaccine Boosters

Vaccination remains our best defense against COVID-19. As protection against the virus may decrease over time, the CDC recommends COVID vaccine boosters for certain populations. These shots are widely available, and we encourage all those who are eligible to receive a booster to do so. 

Flu Vaccines

If you have not yet received one, we urge you to get a flu vaccine. Faculty and staff can receive their shots on campus at a walk-in flu vaccine clinic on October 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the STEPS tent. Flu shots also are available at local pharmacies and at Lehigh Valley Health Network’s drive-thru clinics

Halloween Weekend 

We remind all members of our community to exercise caution and adhere to health and safety protocols during events and social gatherings throughout the semester, and during this weekend in particular. If you choose to participate in Halloween events and celebrations, please do so safely. Events that are indoors with large groups of people are particularly high risk. 

Our continued low COVID case counts depend on the vigilance of all members of our campus community, especially as more activities move indoors due to cooler weather. Please closely monitor your own health, stay home and away from others when you feel sick, get tested if you experience symptoms of COVID-19, and always follow health and safety protocols. 

Thank you for all you do in support of a safe and healthy campus environment. 

-COVID Response Team