8.11.20: Updated Information: COVID-19 Testing Protocol for Students with Campus Access

A message sent to all undergraduate and graduate students from the Health and Wellness Center.

Dear Students, 

We are writing to provide an update on our testing protocols for students who are returning to campus and to clarify who is required to complete an at-home COVID-19 test. Lehigh has contracted with Vault Health to handle our pre-arrival and arrival testing program. 

As part of our health and safety plan for returning to campus, we will be requiring COVID-19 testing for the following:

  1. All undergraduate students who did not elect to be “fully remote” 

  2. Graduate and professional students who are taking in-person classes

  3. All students who are living on campus 

  4. All student-athletes participating in athletic activities 

Below is information pertaining to your specific requirements. Please note that for all students, at-home and on-campus testing does not eliminate quarantine requirements for those coming from countries listed by the CDC as level 2 and 3 and the states designated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as “hot spots.” If you are traveling from or through one of these areas, you must still complete the 14-day quarantine before being allowed on campus, even if you have tested negative.

Students will be required to do two separate tests. For students who will be living on campus and all athletes - the first test will be done prior to arrival on campus, followed by a second test that will be done on campus after arrival. For all other students, both tests will be done shortly after arrival on campus. The goal of testing all students attending in-person classes or accessing campus facilities prior to or soon after arrival on campus is to reduce the likelihood of a student arriving on campus who could transmit COVID-19 to members of the Lehigh campus and surrounding Bethlehem community. We are also exploring options for additional surveillance testing later in the semester. 

In addition to these initial rounds of testing, the Health and Wellness Center will provide testing for students with symptoms that may be consistent with COVID-19All students on or off campus with symptoms, even those requesting to be fully remote, should reach out to the Health and Wellness Center immediately for recommendations for evaluation and testing. 




-Undergraduate students who are not living on campus but who are accessing campus will be required to complete two separate COVID-19 tests. 

-Graduate students taking in-person classes will be required to complete two separate COVID-19 tests. 

-Graduate students teaching, researching, or otherwise working in an office on campus, master's students registered for thesis credits, and doctoral students registered for maintenance of candidacy are NOT required to complete a COVID-19 test before coming to campus.

-Given the varying arrival times for these students, in lieu of mailing at-home COVID-19 tests, these two rounds of testing will be administered on campus. Additional details will be provided. On-site testing will be by appointment before and/or soon after the start of classes. 

-You will not be asked to complete a test by mail, as previously communicated. 

-We are requiring that you complete the Vault Health test; a test completed from another source will not be sufficient. 

-COVID-19 testing through Vault Health is covered by Lehigh University at no cost to students.  


-If you are an undergraduate student living on campus or a student-athlete, you should have received information from the Health and Wellness Center about how to sign up to receive an at-home test mailed to your residence from Vault Health. If you have not done so already, you should complete this process immediately so that you will receive your results before moving into your residence hall. 

-If you are living on campus and did not receive an email with information about how to have your first test mailed to you, contact helpdesk@lehigh.edu. You can also chat, call 610-758-4357, or text 610-616-5910. 

-If you have any questions about receiving or sending back the mail kit, the status of your results, or about your virtual appointment, please reach out to Vault Health at covid@vaulthealth.com.

-Undergraduate students who are living in on-campus housing must demonstrate proof of one negative COVID-19 test on your move-in date. 

-We are requiring that you complete the Vault Health test; a test completed from another source will not be sufficient.

-If you receive a positive test result, you should not travel and will not be able to immediately come to campus. Please contact the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center for additional guidance about isolation and next steps you will need to take to be cleared for arrival. It is likely that you will also hear from your local public health entity. We also recommend that you discuss your results with your primary care provider.

-Following your first test, you will be asked to sign up for a second test to be taken on campus. More details regarding the dates and times of on-campus testing will be provided in a follow-up email. 

-COVID-19 testing through Vault Health is covered by Lehigh University at no cost to students. 

Important Reminders:

-Please remember that all Lehigh students, faculty, staff and contract workers are required to wear face coverings on campus, maintain 6’ of distance, and avoid large gatherings on and off campus. 

-Undergraduate and graduate students must complete their required training before returning, including acknowledgment of the Fall 2020 Student Social Contract. 

-Students must download the HawkWatch App and complete the daily self-assessment every day to have access to campus.

We will be providing a FAQ with additional information about the testing process in our next communication.