August 12 update from Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley

Throughout the fall semester, Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley is providing regular email update messages to keep students and parents informed about the efforts related to COVID-19.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As we get ready to welcome new and returning undergraduate students to campus in the coming days, we remain committed to a healthy and safe opening of school for all members of our community. This is the first university-wide email update of the fall semester. These weekly emails will be distributed at 10:45 a.m. every Wednesday this fall to keep you informed about university efforts related to COVID-19. Today’s update includes:

  1. Checklist of requirements for fall semester
  2. State of North Carolina – reopening phase two
  3. Notification, contact tracing, and quarantine
  4. Face covering policies and information
  5. Textbook and package pickup
  6. Data-driven alert model to guide fall decision-making
  7. Expansion of Elon’s COVID-19 dashboard
  8. Additional sources of information

Checklist of requirements for the fall semester

If you have not already completed the following important steps, please make sure you do so now. Several of these are required before you can attend classes. Read about the health requirements and resources here or via the links below.

  • Complete your pre-semester PCR COVID-19 test, either through the test available through the university or by uploading other PCR test results. (all students, faculty, and staff)
  • View the COVID-19 training modules and sign the Healthy Elon Commitment. (all students, faculty, and staff)
  • Complete the Health Check-In at Schar Center. (all students, faculty, and staff)
  • Upload your immunization record, health information form and tuberculosis screening questionnaire to your PhoenixHealth Portal – instructions here. (all new students)
  • Submit your Phoenix Card student identification photo at (all new students)
  • Complete the online training for AlcoholEdu, DiversityEdu, and Sexual Assault Prevention, using the customized links emailed earlier this summer. (all new undergraduate students)

Returning undergraduate students: pay careful attention to the requirements for the pre-semester COVID-19 test, training modules, and Health Check-In at the Schar Center – you will not be able to be on campus or attend classes in person until all required steps have been completed.

State of North Carolina – reopening phase two

Last week Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina would remain in phase two of the three-phase reopening plan through at least September 11. Frequently asked questions about the executive orders and phase two restrictions are on the state government website.

Among the impacts to campus operations, gyms and fitness centers remain closed across the state. At Elon, the Koury Athletic Center, PARC and South Campus Gym will follow the state guidance. Visit the Campus Recreation & Wellness website for information about facilities and programs this fall.

Although the mass gathering limits for social events do not apply to registered, approved and mission-driven events and university activities on-campus, students should pay careful attention to the limits for unregistered gatherings off-campus – 10 individuals for indoor gatherings and 25 for outdoor gatherings. These guidelines will be enforced by local and university police. Students who host gatherings in violation of the executive orders are accountable through the Elon Honor Code and face suspension from the university; students attending such gatherings will face probation at a minimum. Regardless of gathering size, students are expected to model healthy decision-making on-campus and in the community –  mask-wearing, physical-distancing, etc.

Notification, contact tracing, and quarantine

Details about how university officials will support students who test positive for COVID-19, as well as information about isolation and quarantine protocols, are available on the Ready and Resilient website here.

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the university will work closely with the local health department, which conducts contact tracing for close personal contacts, consistent with CDC guidelines. The university will also notify “extended contacts” of the individual. Details about the notification and tracing process are available on the Ready and Resilient website here. See a helpful infographic that explains the contact tracing process here.

Students who are concerned about potential COVID-19 symptoms should contact Student Health Services. Staff or faculty members with similar concerns should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty/Staff Wellness Clinic. Staff or faculty who test positive for COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and provide confidential notification to Human Resources (Stephanie Page at

Weekly random testing will begin Wednesday, August 19, in Alumni Gym. Look for a notification email from the Ready and Resilient Oversight Committee if you are selected. Students will be asked to sign up for testing appointments. Staff and faculty will use mail-in tests.

Face covering policies and information

Everyone is required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth indoors on campus. Face coverings are also required outdoors when six-foot physical distance cannot be maintained, or during a class or event that is held outdoors or in a tent. Information about the Face Covering Policy, exceptions, accountability and other considerations – including new guidance on eating and drinking during instructional time – can be found on the Ready and Resilient website here.

In an effort to support all members of the Elon community, free cloth face coverings will be available in the CREDE (2nd floor Moseley Center) and Truitt Center (Numen Lumen Pavilion). Additionally, washed face coverings can be donated by dropping them off in a plastic bag at the Truitt Center.

Textbook and package pickup

Textbook pickup for orders placed through the Barnes & Noble at Elon University Bookstore has been temporarily shifted to the College Street Taphouse at 131 W. College Ave. (around the corner from the bookstore) from Aug. 14 through Aug. 21. Please carefully follow the instructions on the Ready & Resilient website for what to bring when you pick up your textbook order.

Mail Services will have adjusted hours from Aug. 14-30, including extended hours Monday-Thursday evenings. New this fall – when picking up mail and packages bring your email confirmation, which includes a barcode to be used in lieu of your signature for a touchless process.

Data-driven alert model to guide fall decision-making

The university will use a four-level system to integrate multiple key indicators and measure the impact of the coronavirus on the campus community. The alert levels are based on data collected daily from state and regional health sources along with information from campus departments and services. For additional information on the model, indicators, alert-levels and corresponding operational guidance, review the information from the Today at Elon story here.

Expansion of Elon’s COVID-19 dashboard

The university’s COVID-19 dashboard has been updated to provide more information to the campus community. The dashboard now includes:

  • Current COVID-19 campus alert level
  • Number of on-campus cases in the past seven days
  • Cumulative number of on-campus cases
  • Number of students in isolation/quarantine locations
  • Results of pre-arrival COVID-19 tests (which will be replaced by results from on-going random screening once the semester is underway)
  • Institutional ability to maintain enhanced cleaning

The site also includes information about notification, isolation, quarantine, and contact tracing; the university COVID-19 alert system; and regional and state dashboards.

Elon’s current COVID-19 alert level is “Level 1 – New Normal.” Since May, there have been 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among individuals who were on campus during the period of contagion.

Additional sources of information

We recommend the following sources for those seeking more information about the COVID-19 pandemic and the university response:

The next weekly COVID-19 update will be sent to all students, faculty, and staff at 10:45 a.m. on the first day of the undergraduate semester, Wednesday, August 19, unless an earlier message is warranted.

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life