As shared in a previous communication, Lehigh will provide voluntary COVID-19 exit testing on November 17 and 18 to any student living in residence halls and off-campus students who are not fully remote. An exit test is a test for students who are asymptomatic and wish to be tested before leaving campus and returning home. These tests are not required, are voluntary, and require advance registration.
ACTION: If you choose to take an asymptomatic COVID-19 exit test before you return home to your family, you must register in advance. Please sign up here [link sent to eligible students via email]. **Registration will close at noon on Thursday, November 12.** If you miss this deadline, we regret we will not be able to accommodate you. Please note that these tests are not offered on a walk-in basis. Testing will take place in the tents on the STEPS Lawn and Tamerler Courtyard (near Zoellner Arts Center).
You will receive your test results from Vault Health within 24-72 hours of your test date. It’s important to remember that a negative test does not indicate that you are not infected or that you will not get infected in the coming days. It only indicates that you are not shedding detectable levels of the virus at the time that you took the test. Given the incubation time of the virus, tests will likely be negative for 2-3 days after the initial infection.
The CDC has guidance on travel and gathering around the Thanksgiving holiday. Students should limit close contacts as much as possible for the 10-14 days before beginning close contact with friends or family, especially those who are at high risk. This is especially important if traveling by air, via public transportation or by other means that result in close contact with large numbers of people. A test is only one of several safety measures students should also follow, such as continuing to wear face coverings, practicing social distancing, and carefully monitoring symptoms and staying home and away from others when feeling sick.
If You Receive a Positive Test Result
***If you receive a positive test result, you should immediately isolate in your residence and send a secure message through the Health and Wellness Center (HWC) portal to let them know you tested positive.***
The HWC is open during the below hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: 9:15 am - 4:00 pm
If you receive a positive result when the HWC is closed, you should call the main number (610-758-3870) to get in touch with the clinician-on-call. When you call this line after hours, you will get in touch with our answering service. Please provide them with your name and phone number and you will receive a call back from our clinician-on-call. This will put you in touch with a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician who works at the HWC.
Isolation information for Those Who Test Positive
Extending into the Thanksgiving break, Lehigh will offer accommodation to on-campus students who require isolation or quarantine due to a positive test result. Lehigh strongly encourages that a student not travel after receiving a positive test result. If you must leave campus during the required isolation period, you should follow the directions and guidance provided by the HWC. The HWC’s current recommendation is that students who test positive may travel if they are able to do so by private vehicle, but they should not use public transportation, which includes plane, train, bus, or rideshare. If you have a vulnerable family member at home, you should complete your isolation period at Lehigh or at a location where you can isolate without risking exposure of others.
Review our isolation and quarantine protocol for instructions about what to expect should you test positive as an on-campus or off-campus student.
Students living on campus are relocated to on-campus isolation housing and provided with meals for the duration of the isolation period. A recommended list of what to pack is included at the bottom of this page under “Additional Resources.” Students living off campus are required to self-isolate in their off-campus residence. In limited cases, the HWC may arrange for a student living off campus to isolate in on-campus housing. All students who test positive are contacted by the Bethlehem Health Bureau, who manages contact tracing and notification and follows up with the student, along with the HWC, through recovery.
Do Not Take an Exit Test:
If you tested positive in the last 12 weeks, are currently in isolation due to a positive test result, are in quarantine, and/or you were identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive.
If you are having symptoms or believe you have been a close contact of a positive case, please contact the HWC.
Important Information for All Students Being Tested
Lehigh staff and testing representatives from the organization Drug Free Sport will staff the testing tents on campus with proper social distancing and health protocols in place. Students should hold to their scheduled appointment time to help minimize the number of students accessing the testing site at the same time.
Students must complete the daily COVID-19 self-assessment before coming to the tent to complete the Vault Health test, just as is required before accessing any campus buildings. Stay home if you do not feel well.
Wear a face covering at all times, other than when you are taking your test.
Arrive at the assigned location at the scheduled appointment time with a smartphone or device. A smart device is required to log in or to register a new account. Please note: There will be a limited number of iPads available for those without mobile phones with internet access.
It is very important that you arrive at the tent at your scheduled date and time. The testing process should take approximately 15 minutes per person. You may be asked to stand in a socially distanced queue to wait for your appointment inside the tent. Please follow all directional instructions and maintain 6’ of distance from others at all times.
A Lehigh staff member will be on site to ensure social distancing and the flow of appointments. Please have your Lehigh ID available at all times.
Drink plenty of water so you are hydrated, which is key to producing enough saliva to successfully complete the test, but make sure to fast for 30 minutes before the test (NO food or drink, including water, and no smoking).
Using a smartphone or device, scan the provided QR code to visit Vault’s web-app for questions regarding COVID-19 exposure/symptoms. You should bring your login information for the Vault Health account you created for your earlier tests.
Enter the serial number on the Saliva Collection Device when prompted by the web-app.
Provide a saliva sample under test supervision.
Vault will return test results to all applicable parties electronically within 48-72 hours from the sample’s arrival at the lab.
After completing your test, you should immediately leave the area and avoid congregating in groups. Social distancing and the wearing of face coverings are required at all times.
As a reminder, one can test positive for COVID-19 without symptoms. If you do test positive, you will be instructed to isolate as per our isolation and quarantine protocol.
Further information for all students regarding testing and quarantining protocols for the return to campus will follow closer to the start of the spring semester.
Please remember that students who are approved to live in semester break housing will be required to follow the current Return to Campus Protocol if traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday.
We wish you all a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.
Nathan Urban, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
David Rubenstein, Psy.D.
Executive Director, Health and Wellness Center