September 2 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,

In this third week of the semester we need to avoid the temptation to let our guard down. The weekly Wednesday updates contain important information – please take the time to read the entire message and follow the links for more details.

Today’s update includes:

  1. Current status
  2. Stay committed to stopping the virus
  3. Campus Recreation and Wellness indoor facilities to open Monday
  4. Changes in Winter Term date and possible May Term
  5. Testing, contact tracing, and quarantine
  6. Communication about required random surveillance testing
  7. What to do if you feel ill
  8. Additional sources of information
  9. Chaplain’s reflection

Current status

  • The university’s COVID-19 dashboard is updated daily at 4:00 p.m.
  • Elon’s current COVID-19 alert level is currently at “Level 1 – New Normal.”
  • Since last week’s August 26 email update, there have been 13 new positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed among students, faculty and staff. Notably, there have been 7 cases since Monday, underscoring the importance of taking all steps to minimize the spread of the virus.
  • As of yesterday afternoon, there are 81 students in quarantine or isolation, including those with confirmed positive cases as well as those who were in close contact with a case or awaiting test results.

Stay committed to stopping the virus

We can maintain our vigilance as a community by continuing healthy habits and staying focused on proactive measures:

  • Wear a mask in public – always.  Remember that face coverings are required on campus,  indoors and outdoors.
  • Maintain physical distancing. Classrooms and dining halls are set up for physical distancing – maintain good physical distance in other settings as well.
  • Keep your circle of close contacts small. While your roommate or housemate may be a close personal contact, you should keep that number of individuals small. When someone is diagnosed positive, all close personal contacts of that individual are required to quarantine.
  • Encourage your friends and colleagues. Keeping our community healthy requires all of us to support each other in making good choices and communicating our expectations.

Campus Recreation and Wellness indoor facilities to open Monday

Yesterday, September 1, Governor Roy Cooper announced that gyms and fitness facilities can re-open with a reduced capacity and additional health and safety procedures in place. Campus Recreation and Wellness is finalizing plans to open indoor recreation facilities on campus beginning next Monday, September 7. Details on the re-opening and new procedures can be found online here.

Change in Winter Term date, and possible May Term

Last week Provost Aswani Volety announced that Winter Term will start and end one day later than originally scheduled in order to shorten the break between Winter Term and Spring Term and discourage student travel during that time. The message also described the university’s plans to explore a possible May Term for study abroad, if conditions allow. Dr. Volety’s email to the community is archived here.

Testing, contact tracing, and quarantine

Visit the following links on the Ready and Resilient website for resources and information about these important topics:

  • COVID-19 testing on- and off-campus
  • Contact tracing and notification (including the distinction between “close personal contacts” and “expanded contacts”)
  • Process and protocols for isolation and quarantine, when required by the health department.

Communication about required random surveillance testing

Starting last week, we began using to send emails to those selected for surveillance testing. If you receive the “URGENT: You’re selected for random testing this week” email, please promptly follow the directions for arranging your test. When you have been selected, participation in the random surveillance testing program is required.

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.

Additional sources of information

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

Chaplain’s reflection

Each week University Chaplain Jan Fuller will offer a reflection to help our university community in our search for meaning during this challenging time.  This week’s reflection, “Filling In the Blanks” can be found here on the Truitt Center blog.

The next weekly COVID-19 update will be sent to all students, faculty, and staff at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, September 9, unless an earlier message is warranted.

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life