5.25.22: Increased COVID Transmission/Masks Recommended

A message sent to the Lehigh community

Dear Members of the Lehigh Community,

Because of increasing COVID transmission levels, Northampton County’s COVID-19 community level continues to be “high.” For communities in this category, the CDC recommends wearing a mask while indoors.

Although we will not be requiring masks on campus at this time, we strongly recommend mask-wearing or distancing indoors, particularly at large indoor events of 25 or more participants. As a reminder, event organizers have the ability to require masking at events or in specific contexts; please comply with any mask requirements such as these that may be in place. In contexts where masks are not required, anyone with concerns is encouraged to wear one voluntarily, and members of the community are encouraged to be respectful of others’ preferences. Well-fitted and high-quality masks such as KN95s continue to offer the best protection.

While the COVID dashboard is paused over the summer when campus is de-densified, the COVID Response Team continues to monitor local and campus transmission rates and will keep the campus community informed of any significant changes in conditions as needed.

Remember: Symptoms of the Omicron variant can mimic those of seasonal allergies or the common cold, including a sore throat or runny nose. If you have any COVID-like symptoms, you should:

  • Stay home and test for COVID at least twice via an at-home antigen test or obtain a PCR test from a physician.
  • Notify those with whom you have had close contact to help control any potential spread.
  • Wear a mask if you must be around others.

Students who test positive via an antigen or PCR test must notify the Health and Wellness Center (HWC). Faculty and staff must notify the university’s Employee Health Nurse Case Manager from Lehigh Valley Health Network, Christine Wolfe, RN, at Christine.Wolfe@lvhn.org or 610-861-8080 ext. 23504. Please be sure to follow all guidance regarding isolation and next steps.

If you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID, please help protect our community by wearing a mask and limiting your exposure to others until you can confirm with a negative test that you do not have COVID. If you develop symptoms, please stay home and obtain a test, as described above.

As we enter the summer months, we look forward to an increase in outdoor events and gatherings, and hopefully a decline in the number of COVID cases locally and across the U.S. Thank you for your care and attention as we work to protect one another and limit the spread of COVID on our campus and in the surrounding community.

--COVID Response Team