3.20.20: Lehigh Community and COVID-19

We have been informed that another Lehigh student has tested positive for COVID-19. 

**Updated 3.20.20 at 3:45 p.m.**

Correction: The student who tested positive was traveling abroad on spring break with other athletes for personal travel, not as part of an athletic or university-sponsored event.

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Dear Members of the Campus Community and Lehigh Families,

We have been informed that another Lehigh student has tested positive for COVID-19. The student was traveling abroad with their athletics team. The student did not return to campus and is currently isolating, under the medical care of their health provider, and recovering. The Health and Wellness Center (HWC) has reached out to all identified individuals who may have been in contact with the individual who tested positive.

Our Health and Wellness team continues to be in frequent communication with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) and the Bethlehem Health Bureau and is following the proper protocol for communicating directly with those who may have been exposed to individuals who tested positive for COVID-19.

While we deal with this serious public health issue, we also respect the privacy rights of our students, faculty, staff, and community members and will continue to balance our responsibilities under the privacy laws and the public health laws.

As positive cases for COVID-19 have now been confirmed for several Lehigh students, we continue to emphasize and stress the importance of being vigilant in practicing good health habits, social distancing and other preventative measures we know mitigate the risk of exposure to the virus.

Given the prevalence of the virus, we will continue to communicate about the emergence of new cases to our community if there is a compelling reason to do so. The HWC will continue working to identify contacts and communicate with individuals as appropriate in cases identified to the HWC.

The university has been taking exceptional measures to mitigate the risk of exposure to members of our community by implementing remote learning and work in keeping with social distancing best practices. Following Governor Wolf’s order on March 19 to close all “non-life-sustaining businesses,” we have also closed remaining offices and research facilities not essential to supporting our approximately 230 students who remain on campus.

We encourage our remaining students, and all community members regardless of location, to continue following public health recommendations, taking extra measures to sanitize surfaces, washing your hands frequently, and implementing social distancing. Read more steps you can take to protect yourself.

Additional resources: 

  • Read up-to-date criteria on the CDC website for symptoms of COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms you believe are in line with COVID-19, please consult with your physician immediately. If you are a student on campus, contact the Health and Wellness Center. To be seen at the Health & Wellness Center you must call 610-758-3870. Do not walk into the Health & Wellness Center without calling first. The HWC will be making additional consultation services available remotely.
  • Available COVID-19 testing centers in the community:
  • In these times of significant stress, counselors from University Counseling and Psychological Services are available for support and welcome and invite students to call the center to help address their concerns and anxiety to support their coping. They can be reached at 610-758-3880, Mon. - Fri. 8am-5pm. Overnight on-call services are also available and students can be connected to a clinician calling this same number. 

You may continue to check our central webpage dedicated to Lehigh COVID-19 updates: https://www2.lehigh.edu/news/updates-on-novel-coronavirus

As communicated previously, by taking proactive measures, we can work collectively to reduce the potential for community spread of COVID-19 on our campus and in our communities.

Sincerely, 

University Leadership and Crisis Management Team