1.14.22: Spring 2022 COVID Arrival Testing

A message sent to students and Lehigh families

Dear Undergraduate and Graduate Students and Lehigh Families,

We hope you have had an enjoyable winter break and that you are looking forward to your upcoming return to campus. 

This spring, Lehigh is requiring students to complete rapid COVID testing upon arrival on campus, and students must have a negative test before participating in academic or social activities on campus. COVID testing is NOT required for students who have tested positive for COVID in the 90 days prior to their arrival date and have informed the Health and Wellness Center (HWC) of their positive test.

Upon their arrival, students being transported to campus by parents or family members should get a test result before their transportation leaves the area in case they test positive and want to return home for their isolation period. For those who have already arrived and completed the process described below (mainly applicable to students described under section one), you do not need to repeat this process. The summary below clarifies the timing of arrival testing for different groups of students. Most students will follow the directions noted under section two. 

Pre-arrival- In addition to the arrival testing requirement, all students should get a COVID test within two days BEFORE traveling back to campus in case you are positive but asymptomatic. This will allow you the opportunity to isolate at home and avoid traveling to Bethlehem only to find out you must now isolate. Positive results must be reported to the HWC. If your pre-arrival test is negative, you will still be required to complete arrival testing. 

1. Undergraduate Residential Students, Fraternity and Sorority Residents, International Students, Athletes and Early Arrivals 

  • As shared in instructions by Housing Services, all on-campus residential undergraduate students will be provided with an InteliSwab™ COVID-19 rapid antigen test kit to take in their residence halls upon their return.

  • Fraternity and sorority residents will be issued a test to take in their room upon their return to campus.

  • First-year women participating in Panhellenic recruitment should follow instructions provided by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs.

  • International students arriving on campus should follow the instructions provided by  the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).

  • Early arrivals approved to come to campus before Thursday, Jan. 20 will pick up a test at the Health and Wellness Center.

  • In-season NCAA athletes should follow the testing instructions provided by their team coaches. 

2. All Other Students

All other undergraduate students living off campus and graduate students living on or off campus who have not recently tested positive must pick up a test kit within 24 hours of arrival on campus at the LUPD station garage, which can be entered from VanBuren Street or the police parking lot. This includes those who have been in the Bethlehem area throughout winter break. You must show your Lehigh ID to receive your test kit. Only Lehigh students are eligible to pick up one test kit for the purpose of arrival testing (kits may not be shared or distributed to non-Lehigh individuals).

Return to your residence and take the test immediately. Instructions for self-administering the test and what to do after you receive the results will be included with the test. See below for more information. 

Test pickup dates and times are as follows: 

  • Thursday, Jan. 20, 9am-5pm
  • Friday, Jan. 21, 9am-5pm
  • Saturday, Jan. 22, 9am-5pm
  • Sunday, Jan. 23, 9am-5pm
  • Monday, Jan. 24, 9am-5pm
  • Tuesday, Jan. 25, 9am-5pm

Students arriving after Jan. 25 can pick up their test kits inside the LUPD, which is open 24/7. Please enter through the main doors. 

Unvaccinated and Unboosted Students: If you are unvaccinated and have an approved medical or religious exemption, or are eligible for a booster but have not yet received a booster, you will continue to test through Vault Health at Lehigh’s surveillance testing site in addition to taking a rapid antigen test. Please continue to follow instructions provided by the HWC.   

If You Test Positive:

All positive test results must be uploaded to the Patient Portal. Vaccinated students testing positive on arrival will immediately be directed to isolate, either in their residence or in isolation housing. COVID-positive and close contact residential unvaccinated students or students eligible for a booster who have not yet received a booster will be required to make arrangements to isolate (if they test positive) or quarantine (if they are a close contact) off campus and will not be permitted to remain in university housing. (During the vaccine exemption approval process, students were notified of this possibility.) For more information, follow the directions for isolating that were provided by the COVID Response Team. 

Types of Testing

Throughout the semester, Lehigh will continue to use a variety of types of COVID tests to support campus safety. In addition to arrival testing of asymptomatic students and weekly surveillance testing of unvaccinated students with approved medical or religious exemptions, we will continue to conduct diagnostic testing for symptomatic students in the HWC, as well as close contact testing for those who have been or suspect that they have been exposed to a positive COVID case. Beginning the week of Jan. 31 and continuing through the week of Feb. 21, we will be conducting mandatory surveillance testing of 100% of the undergraduate and graduate student population (including those who are fully vaccinated), with 50% of the student population being selected for testing each week. All undergraduate and graduate students accessing campus in the spring semester should expect to be selected twice for this mandatory testing during this four-week period. Students are required to make and keep all testing appointments when notified of their selection.      

Important Reminders

  • If you contract COVID prior to the start of the spring semester, be sure to submit your positive test result to the HWC via the Patient Portal if you have not already done so. This will exempt you from arrival testing at the start of the spring semester. If you have had COVID in the 90 days prior to arrival and you do not submit a positive test result, you may test positive on a surveillance test and will be required to isolate upon your return to campus.

  • Please do not travel to campus if you feel sick. Instead, delay your arrival to ensure you do not spread illness to others. 

  • Please contact the HWC directly at 610-758-3870 or through a secure message on the Patient Portal if you have specific medical concerns or symptoms. For all other questions, visit the COVID Information Center and Frequently Asked Questions page, which includes details about Lehigh’s COVID protocols and policies. 

Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our campus as healthy as possible. Please stay safe and be well. 

—COVID Response Team