11.3.21: Visitors Policy and Updates 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, Lehigh’s case counts continue to remain low as reported on the dashboard. Thank you for your continued vigilance. As the weather grows cooler and more gatherings may begin taking place indoors, we remind all community members to continue following the protocols in place, such as mask-wearing and the limits on informal indoor gathering sizes.  

Northampton County continues to experience a high rate of transmission, with no substantial decrease in the case rate reported for our local area. As a result, Lehigh’s indoor mask requirement remains in place as described on the current campus status page

This message contains:

  • A clarification re: vaccinated surveillance testing;

  • Updates to the Lehigh visitors policy and required vaccination for conference attendees;

  • Booster reminders;

  • A new flu vaccination clinic for students; and 

  • Taylor Gym updates  

Surveillance Testing - Clarification for Vaccinated Students

For 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 mandatory testing of 10% of the vaccinated student population. All those required or selected to test must schedule and keep their testing appointments. 

As some students may make plans for travel before and after Thanksgiving break, we will offer optional surveillance testing for those who aren’t experiencing COVID-like symptoms. Check the dates and schedule at the bottom of this email and save/bookmark this link to sign up when appointments become available closer to the offered testing dates (beginning Nov. 15).

We are aware of some confusion about who is required to participate when randomly selected for the testing of 10% of the vaccinated student population. Undergraduate and graduate students who have any type of campus access must comply when selected. Graduate students who have registered for a course section with no on-campus component must complete the “Waive Campus Access” survey to be exempted from this testing. If you fall into this category and have been selected for testing, please email inlutest@lehigh.edu to receive the survey link. As communicated last week, we will be adjusting our testing schedule beginning the week of Nov. 22. 

Updates to Visitors Policy and Required Vaccination

The Campus Visitors page on the COVID Information website has been updated with our current policies, including vaccination requirements for some visitors. 

NEW: Individuals visiting campus for a conference or workshop lasting more than one day must be fully vaccinated. All conference or workshop attendees are required to submit to the conference organizer confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination prior to arrival to participate in on-campus events. The visitors policy and screening form has been updated to aid event organizers in confirming this information. Event organizers are responsible for ensuring that attendees are following all requirements and must retain this information/the completed screening forms in a confidential and secure file for one month to aid in any contact tracing. After one month, this information should be destroyed for privacy reasons. Widespread vaccination continues to be critical to our ability to gather together in person on campus in a variety of contexts, and other requirements for visitors may apply across the university (for example, the academic visitors policy has been in effect since July). Check the Campus Visitors page or department- and event-specific guidance for additional information. 

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. Boosters for Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer have all now been approved. We encourage all those who are eligible to receive a booster to do so. 

Additional Flu Clinic (Students Only)

Lehigh is offering another on-campus flu clinic for students on Wednesday, November 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Lamberton Hall. Register here: go.lehigh.edu/flushot2

Remember to bring your Lehigh ID and insurance card. The cost is free (covered by insurance). As a thank you for participating, Lehigh Dining will provide vouchers for a free hot or iced coffee or tea redeemable at The Grind @FML or Baker's Junction. 

Taylor Gym Updates

Taylor Gym is reviewing offering additional strength workout appointments in the coming weeks and any updates will continue to be shared on the recreation website. Additionally, students are invited to shoot baskets on the court beginning today, Wednesday November 3. Appointments are available Monday through Friday between 3 and 6 p.m. A Lehigh ID is required and up to 10 participants per hour are permitted (2 people per basket). Make a reservation for the fitness center, climbing wall, pool, racquet courts, or basketball courts. Please remember a mask is required over your mouth and nose at all times. 

-COVID Response Team

COVID-19 Testing Schedule of Changes-

Students: Save/bookmark this link to sign up for optional surveillance testing when appointments become available closer to the offered testing dates; remember symptomatic testing is separate, and you should contact the Health and Wellness Center if you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms

Nov. 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. 

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.

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 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.