4.30.21: Summer Vaccination, CRT Updates

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

Dear Members of the Lehigh Community and Lehigh Families, 

Student surveillance testing this week indicates a positivity rate of 0.31%. The Lehigh COVID Dashboard as of today has 18 total active cases for students on and off campus and 1 active case for faculty/staff. View the Current Campus Status

Student Vaccination Required for Summer Courses

We communicated that vaccination will be required for students participating in some optional summer programs as well as those living in Lehigh housing over the summer.

As planning for the summer and fall continues, in addition to those living in Lehigh housing and participating in optional programs, we will require students taking on-campus summer courses to be vaccinated as per the schedule below. Students can request exemption from this requirement for religious or medical reasons. 

Our goal is to encourage widespread vaccination as soon as possible for the health and safety of our community. The sooner this occurs, the sooner we will be able to more fully resume campus operations and activities as planned. We have seen an increase in the availability of the vaccine locally and nationally that should allow students to be able to meet this earlier timeline. We encourage all community members to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Refer to the PA DOH vaccination provider map for local providers. For students receiving their second dose after leaving campus, the PA DOH recently released guidance.   

Students may request an extension to the summer timelines below if they are actively pursuing vaccination but have extenuating circumstances: 

  • If taking in-person summer courses beginning May 25, students should receive their first dose (if getting a vaccine with a two-dose schedule) and have scheduled to receive their second dose by the first day of classes. 

  • Students taking in-person courses beginning July 6 should be prepared to submit verification of full vaccination prior to the start of classes.  

  • The other requirements for undergraduate and graduate students living in Lehigh housing or participating in optional summer activities also still apply

  • International students will continue to receive specific guidance from the Office of International Students and Scholars. 

How to request an exemption or extension- If you are requesting a medical or religious exemption from the student COVID vaccine requirement, follow the directions on the HWC website. If you have extenuating circumstances that may prevent you from meeting the summer timeline for vaccination and would like to request an extension, contact the Health and Wellness Center by emailing inluhc@lehigh.edu to document an approved alternative timeline. 

Students: Submit Verification of Vaccination 

So far, nearly 700 students have submitted verification of vaccination. If you have been vaccinated, 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. We encourage you to upload this information now and to not wait until the summer or fall.  

Student Transportation to Vaccine Clinic

We encourage all students to receive a vaccine as soon as possible. For those looking to get vaccinated in Bethlehem, Lehigh Student Senate is administering a survey for students to indicate interest in taking university transportation to the Wind Creek Vaccination Clinic. If you are interested, fill out the survey here. The information will be shared with Transportation Services to determine need.

New Guidance From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC recently updated its guidelines for vaccinated individuals, lessening some restrictions such as requiring mask-wearing outdoors in certain settings. The COVID Response Team is discussing the alignment of the university’s policies with this new guidance and will provide an update in the near future.  

Further Reading/Actions: