We wanted to share early information about COVID-19 testing at the end of the spring semester so you have the opportunity to plan ahead. As we did at the end of the fall semester, we will offer voluntary exit testing for students who wish to complete a COVID-19 test before traveling and returning home at the end of the semester.
We will begin offering voluntary exit testing beginning May 10 and continuing until May 18. This testing is separate from ongoing surveillance testing and is not required; however, we will be continuing required surveillance testing through the final exam period and, if you are selected for required surveillance testing, you still must complete a test.
Required surveillance testing for the spring 2021 semester will conclude on May 18, 2021. At any time, and especially after the last day of classes, if you are no longer on campus or in the Bethlehem area, you should let us know by updating and providing your accurate address via Banner self-serve: https://go.lehigh.edu/updateaddress. This will remove you from the surveillance testing list.
Seniors: Seniors who are not randomly selected for mandatory surveillance testing at the end of the semester are encouraged to take advantage of this voluntary exit testing opportunity before Commencement ceremonies and seeing family and friends.
Recognizing that students have different exam schedules, may wish to be tested before returning home to their families, and may not be randomly selected for required surveillance testing before being scheduled to travel, we are offering exit testing as an on-demand scheduling opportunity.
Lehigh will offer accommodation to on-campus students who require isolation or quarantine due to a positive test result even if their quarantine or isolation period extends past move-out on May 19, 2021, and students will be able to return to their rooms to pack up their belongings after their isolation period.
The following students are eligible to sign up for an exit test: fully remote undergraduate students living in Bethlehem, undergraduate students living off campus in Bethlehem and accessing campus, undergraduate students living in residence halls, graduate students taking in-person classes, and graduate students living in Lehigh housing.
Unfortunately, we will not accommodate students who are not able to physically take the test at Zoellner--in other words, we will not send you a mail at-home kit.
How to Sign Up for an Exit Test:
Between May 10 and May 18, simply sign up for an available appointment (offered Mondays through Thursdays) at this link.
Be sure to adequately account for the turnaround time to receive your results before you are due to travel (test results are usually received within 48 hours, but the dashboard under Surveillance Testing reports the most current average turnaround time on any given week so you can plan accordingly. There is always a chance that there could be delays in the lab processing time).
Students should follow the regular instructions provided during the semester. You should not take a surveillance test if you are a close contact, feel sick, or tested positive within 90 days.
Read the instructions and reminders linked here and included below for what to expect if you test positive. Please be aware that seniors who test positive and their guests will not be permitted to attend Commencement ceremonies.
Travel Guidance/If You Test Positive
Lehigh strongly encourages that a student not travel after receiving a positive test result. If you must leave campus during the required isolation period, you should follow the directions and guidance provided by the HWC. Students who test positive may travel if they are able to do so by private vehicle, but they should not use public transportation, which includes plane, train, bus, or rideshare. If you have a vulnerable family member at home, you should complete your isolation period at Lehigh or at a location where you can isolate without risking exposure to others.
It’s important to remember that a negative test does not indicate that you are not infected or that you will not get infected in the coming days. It only indicates that you are not shedding detectable levels of the virus at the time that you took the test. Given the incubation time of the virus, tests will likely be negative for 2-3 days after the initial infection. This is guidance to keep in mind as you prepare your travel plans at the end of the semester.
Nathan Urban, Ph.D., Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
David Rubenstein, Psy.D., Executive Director, Health and Wellness Center