Dear Lehigh Community,
Happy New Year to everyone! As we move into 2022, we hope you were able to spend some time relaxing with family and friends over the holiday season.
As you are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much with us. With cases in Northampton County and surrounding counties at their highest levels ever, it seems prudent to provide for increased workplace flexibility. Where practical, we encourage managers to allow remote work through the coming week. We want to protect and prepare ourselves for the return of the majority of students in a few weeks.
While we have seen little evidence for COVID spread on campus with these high levels in the community and with the increased transmissibility of the omicron variant, we also wanted to remind people of some important steps that we can take to minimize risk to our campus community.
Key steps for minimizing the spread of COVID-19:
If you have any symptoms of illness, don't come to work. Omicron symptoms are somewhat different from previous COVID-19 variants and include a scratchy throat and runny nose. Loss of taste and smell seem less likely with omicron.
While at work, wear a mask whenever you are around others. If possible, consider wearing a disposable surgical mask, a KN-95 or a KN-94 mask, rather than a cloth mask, as these masks may be more effective.
Avoid gathering in large groups. Exercise good judgment, follow the current campus protocols in place for gatherings and avoid holding large in-person meetings where the virus may spread to many people, especially during the post-holiday return to work.
If you have been at large events or parties over the holidays, work with your supervisor to explore the option of working from home for the next few days. This may give you a window to safely monitor for symptoms. You may also want to get tested, although currently testing is in limited supply and turnaround times are longer than average.
We look forward to a healthy start to an active new year,
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Vice President for Finance & Administration
Associate Vice President of Human Resources