8.28.20: Weekly Update from the Health & Wellness Center

A welcome message sent to students by the Lehigh Health & Wellness Center during the first week of the Fall 2020 semester.

Dear Students, 

On behalf of everyone at the Lehigh University Health & Wellness Center, we wish to warmly welcome you back—whether you are here with us on campus or studying remotely—for the Fall 2020 semester. 

As we all know, this semester will be different than any we’ve had before. The COVID-19 pandemic remains with us, and as a result, we have instituted a number of important changes at the Health & Wellness Center that will support our efforts to keep all members of our campus community as healthy and safe as possible. 

We invite you to watch this video, which provides details about many of our revised procedures for this academic year, and we are sharing in this communication further information about these changes and how you can access our services in the months to come.

Two On-Campus Locations 

The most notable change for the Fall 2020 semester is the fact that the Health & Wellness Center now has two locations. Along with our traditional home at Johnson Hall, we have also opened a second facility, which is now housed in Trembley Park. This second clinic location was added over the summer months to help us better serve our students during this challenging semester.  We are able to see students that present with COVID-19-like symptoms in a separate location from those who are being seen for  other health concerns. 

This semester, to mitigate risk, students who present with COVID-19-like symptoms will be treated in HWC Johnson Hall. Students with other health-related issues will be seen at HWC Trembley Park. 

How to Connect With Us 

It’s important to understand that procedures for making an appointment and receiving treatment will be different this semester as well. 

If you are concerned you may have COVID-19, call us at 610-758-3870.  If you are concerned about any other health issues, we ask that you either call us at 610-758-3870 or log in to the Patient Portal on our website and schedule a non-urgent phone assessment with one of our nurses. 

Importantly, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or were tested off campus, it is essential that you communicate this information to the Health & Wellness Center as soon as possible. 

If You Experience COVID-19 Symptoms  

Those who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be directed to HWC Johnson Hall and given instructions on where to go for your appointment. You should bring a packed bag and any important personal items with you in case you test positive for COVID-19 or must await test results and are asked to immediately isolate.

Our staff will be taking every precaution to keep you safe during your time with us. All clinical staff  in Johnson Hall location will be wearing a procedure mask or N95 respirator, eye protection (goggles or face shield), gown and gloves for every patient they encounter, and to the extent possible, all testing and treatment will be done in the same exam room to prevent excess movement throughout the HWC. In terms of testing within the HWC, the samples we collect will either be analyzed in-house or will be sent to an outside lab for processing. 

What Happens Next 

While awaiting the results of the tests, you will be asked to write down all of your close contacts in the 48 hours prior to the onset of your symptoms until the time of the test. A close contact is broadly defined as an individual that you were within six feet of for a period of 15 minutes or longer. 

Additionally, you will be asked to self-isolate. This means that you must stay in your apartment or room and not go out for anything except urgent medical care. If you are living on campus, the HWC will assist with determining if you need to be relocated to on-campus isolation housing and will provide information regarding how you will receive care, support and meals during the time you are isolating. If you live off campus, you will be instructed to self-isolate in your off-campus housing.  

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. In addition, once you have tested positive, you will be contacted by the local public health entity. In the case of Lehigh University, this is the Bethlehem Health Bureau. The Bethlehem Health Bureau will be managing contact tracing and notification, and they will follow up with you, along with the HWC, until you recover. 

What If I Am Identified as a ‘Close Contact’ of a Suspected or Known Case of COVID-19?

In the event that you are identified as a close contact of an individual suspected or known to have COVID-19, you will be required to quarantine. For contacts of a suspected case, you will typically be released from quarantine when a negative test result comes back. For contacts for a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, quarantine will last for 14 days from your last contact with the confirmed case. 

Quarantine helps prevent a potential spread of COVID-19 that can occur before an individual knows they are sick or infected. 

During your quarantine period, you should stay home as much as possible, stay separate from others, monitor your health and follow any directives from local health officials or medical providers.  If you are living on campus, the HWC will coordinate with Housing and Student Affairs provisions for how you will receive care, meals and support during the time you are quarantining. 

Stay Informed and Stay Safe

The situation with this virus changes regularly, and depending on trends either upward or downward in terms of viral spread, the university and the Health & Wellness Center may need to change its operations as well. 

As always, you can find detailed information about Lehigh’s COVID-19 plans and procedures at the Coronavirus information center. This site is updated on a regular basis. Additionally, the university will be tracking testing trends and results at its newly launched COVID-19 dashboard. Please consult these resources, as well as the Health & Wellness Center site, to stay apprised of all the latest information regarding COVID-19 at Lehigh. 

This is a challenging time for all of us. All of us have the ability and the responsibility towards keeping ourselves and each other safe. Doing this, we can make this semester successful.


David Rubenstein, Psy.D., Executive Director 

Sarah L. Stevens, M.D., Medical Director