4.23.21: A Message From the COVID-19 Response Team

A message sent to members of the Lehigh community and Lehigh families.

Dear Members of the Lehigh Community and Lehigh Families, 

Student surveillance testing so far this week indicates a positivity rate of 0.5%. The Lehigh COVID Dashboard as of this morning has 33 total active cases for students on and off campus and 1 active case for faculty/staff. Activities are continuing and we encourage outdoor over indoor gatherings as temperatures warm. View the Current Campus Status for the full guidelines and status by category. Any changes will continue to be updated.

Change to Surveillance Testing Requirements for Fully Vaccinated Students

As shared in Wednesday’s message about required COVID vaccinations for students, beginning next week, fully vaccinated students will no longer be required to participate in mandatory surveillance testing. However, students who are fully vaccinated may still sign up for voluntary exit testing before traveling home at the end of the semester if they wish to do so. 

An individual is considered fully vaccinated by the CDC two weeks after the second vaccine dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

Students, faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine after coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID, unless they develop symptoms, in which case they must be tested.

As more members of our community are vaccinated, we will continue looking at the COVID protocols we have in place to determine what other mitigation measures may no longer be necessary. For example, wearing face coverings continues to be recommended by the CDC for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status; however, as guidance evolves and if we reach high vaccination levels, we will revisit this requirement. 

Reaching herd immunity as a country and a community will likely take time and vaccination is an important step to help us get there. At this stage, we strongly encourage all members of the community to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Student Vaccination Exemption Request Form Now Available

  • Submit verification- The COVID vaccine has been added to our list of required immunizations for students and students are required to submit verification of vaccination. We encourage you to do so now and to not wait until the fall. Upload a copy of your COVID vaccination card on the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center (HWC) health portal, including documentation of your full name, name of vaccine received, and the administration date for both doses.

  • **NEW** Students now have access to the COVID vaccine exemption request form on the HWC website. Follow the directions for submitting your medical or religious exemption request to the Health and Wellness Center. 

  • **NEW** The PA Department of Health has created a resource page dedicated to the vaccination of college students. It contains answers to frequently asked questions, including how students can ensure they receive their second vaccine dose once they leave campus.

Travel

The US State Department has recently announced that it is changing travel restrictions by implementing more than 150 highest-level travel advisories. We are monitoring these developments and will provide information to affected individuals. 

Resources:

-COVID Response Team