August 19 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,

Today is the first day of class for undergraduate students and several graduate programs and marks the return of in-person instruction for those programs since March 13, 2020. We wish everyone a healthy and safe semester for teaching and learning, and we are especially grateful for the work of faculty to prepare their courses for a very different fall semester, and the work of staff from Physical Plant, Information Technology, Dining Services and many other departments across the campus who have been working since last spring to make this return to campus possible. Staff and faculty from across the university also came together to implement the Health Check-In as we returned to campus over the past several weeks. Please express your appreciation as you encounter folks on campus in the coming days.

Today’s update includes:

  • Face covering guidelines
  • Ongoing random COVID-19 testing
  • State executive orders on mass gatherings
  • Student Organization Fair information
  • What to do if you feel ill
  • Current status on campus
  • Additional sources of information

Mask Up Elon!

Wearing a cloth face covering is one of the most simple and effective strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is required on campus this fall and is also mandatory across the state.

  • Everyone on campus is required to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when indoors. This includes classrooms, public restrooms, open office and common spaces, hallways, meeting rooms, libraries, theaters and other indoor spaces.
  • Face coverings are also required outdoors when six-foot physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes walking across campus with friends, attending a class or event that might be held outdoors or in a tent, or playing basketball or volleyball on the outdoor courts.
  • Although face coverings are not required when eating, you should maintain physical distance from others eating or drinking and mask up as soon as you are finished.

Faculty are encouraged to discuss university mask policies during initial class meetings this week.

Wearing your mask consistently and properly is a sign of respect. In addition to the requirements on campus, students, faculty, and staff should wear a mask out in the community as well, especially when visiting local businesses.

Ongoing random COVID-19 testing

Today the university begins the ongoing random testing process, which will take place weekly throughout the semester. Students, faculty or staff who are selected for the stratified random sample will receive instructions via email. If you are selected for testing, please follow all instructions and participate – this is an essential element to ensuring our community’s health and your participation is required by the Healthy Elon Commitment. Information about weekly testing can be found here on the university Ready & Resilient website.

State executive orders on mass gatherings

Mass gatherings are a source of spread of COVID-19 and such gatherings – more than 10 individuals for indoor gatherings and 25 for outdoor gatherings – are prohibited under executive orders of the North Carolina governor. Although the limits do not apply to classes or university events on campus (including registered student organization events), during which masks are required, they do apply to informal gatherings in student residences – both on campus and off.

University officials have already moved quickly to take action on four reports from the weekend. As we stated previously, students who host events that violate state executive orders for gathering limits will face suspension and those in attendance will face disciplinary probation. As necessary, the university will also take interim action to remove students from campus as their cases are referred to Student Conduct for adjudication through our standard processes.

Individuals with concerns about a gathering that violates the executive orders can contact Campus Safety and Police (on-campus) at 336-278-5555 or Town of Elon police (off-campus) at 911. Information can also be reported anonymously through the LiveSafe app or can be shared directly with Student Conduct via an online form found here.

Students, faculty, and staff are expected to consistently model healthy decision-making on-campus and in the community.

Student Organization Fair goes virtual this Friday

The Student Organization Fair will take place this Friday, August 21, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Visit the  PhoenixCONNECT website during that time. PhoenixCONNECT is always available as a platform for finding out about student organizations and their events/activities.

What to do if you feel ill

If you feel ill or experience COVID-19 symptoms, avoid all contact with others. Stay at home and in your room. Do not go to class, work, dining halls, etc.

  • Students: Contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. After hours, follow the guidance on the Health Services website.
  • Faculty and Staff: Contact your healthcare provider or Faculty/Staff Wellness if you do not have another health care provider. Please also provide confidential notification to Human Resources (Stephanie Page at or 336-278-5560) and your supervisor to discuss how to ensure your care and privacy, as well as ensure arrangements for your work.

Current status on campus

Elon’s current COVID-19 alert level is “Level 1 – New Normal.” Since May, there have been 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among individuals who were on campus during the period of contagion; one new case in the past week. Visit the university’s COVID-19 dashboard for additional information.

Additional sources of information

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

The university Ready and Resilient website:

The coronavirus website maintained jointly by several federal agencies:

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services with information about the state-level response to COVID-19:

The Today at Elon website with news and information from across the university, featuring important updates and stories about Elon students, faculty, staff and alumni:

The next weekly COVID-19 update will be sent to all students, faculty, and staff at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, August 26, unless an earlier message is warranted.

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life