Dear Members of the Campus Community,
Welcome back to campus for our students—we hope you had an enjoyable winter break.
As students, faculty and staff begin a new semester together, the COVID Response team continues to monitor conditions. On average, COVID numbers and illnesses are far less severe this winter than last season, although there has been an emergence of more contagious COVID variants and a resurgence in other seasonal sicknesses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), colds, and the flu.
Coming together as a full Lehigh community, continuing simple things like frequently washing hands, voluntarily wearing a mask (available at the Health and Wellness Center), and staying away from others when sick will help to support a healthy environment for everyone. Getting a flu shot and getting a COVID booster can provide an additional level of protection against illness.
For the start of the spring semester, regular operations will be in place. The COVID dashboard will be discontinued this semester unless there is a significant rise in cases or changes to operations that warrant updates.
Additional Items of Note:
For students- Consider completing pre-arrival COVID testing, especially if you have any symptoms or were recently exposed to someone with COVID. The Health and Wellness Center (HWC) has rapid tests available to pick up at students’ convenience, or students can call to schedule an appointment if they would like to be seen by a provider. If students test positive, they should upload a copy of the positive COVID test to the student health portal and follow the isolation guidelines.
For faculty- Faculty should continue to work with students who need to miss class because of illness so they can continue their studies and keep up with their coursework. Faculty who are sick and testing positive may choose to shift classes to remote instruction while isolating or (as in the past) they may choose to reschedule class or find a replacement instructor.
For faculty and staff- Faculty and staff testing positive should contact Christine Wolfe at Christine.Wolfe@lvhn.org; Christine serves as a resource for Lehigh faculty and staff and can provide additional COVID-related guidance. Supervisors should work with employees who need to either take sick time or work remotely so as not to encourage people to come into the office while sick.
We hope these reminders are helpful and wish everyone a successful start to the new semester.
-COVID Response Team