September 30 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,

Current status

  • Elon’s current COVID-19 alert level remains at “Level 3 – High Alert.”
  • Since the September 23 email update, there have been 69 new positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed among students, faculty and staff. This compares with 95 new cases the previous week.
  • As of yesterday afternoon, there were 255 students in quarantine or isolation. This is down from Saturday, September 26, when there were 341 in quarantine or isolation.

Social hiatus remains in effect

We are in our sixth day of the “social hiatus” – our efforts to reduce interpersonal contacts and change behaviors to slow the spread of the virus. We greatly appreciate everyone’s cooperation and sacrifices for the good of our community. Because of your efforts, along with our aggressive quarantine, isolation and testing strategies, we are beginning to see positive results, with a reduced number of cases reported the past few days.

After consultation with infectious disease experts at Cone Health Systems, Elon’s data team recommends that the “social hiatus” continue for the 14-day period commonly associated with quarantine periods. The number of cases we experienced last week indicates that another surge in infections is still possible if we do not remain vigilant in our personal behaviors. In keeping with that strategy, the restrictions outlined in the “social hiatus” will be in place through the end of day on Thursday, October 8. By that time, we should have a better measure of the impact of our efforts to reduce the number of positive cases in our community.

Please continue to limit your close contacts to roommates/housemates only, and to maintain regular daily practices, including wearing your mask whenever you are outside your room or office.

Information about the social hiatus measures can be found online here. Guests are not permitted in residence hall rooms or university apartments; dining will remain to-go only; intramural, club sport, and athletic activities continue to be on pause; and non-essential travel is discouraged.

Flu vaccine clinics for students and faculty/staff

All students must receive a flu vaccine before returning to campus in January; details can be found online here. Additional flu clinics have been added for students, including a walk-in clinic today at the Elon Law School, and a full-day clinic next Wednesday, October 8, in the Phoenix Activities and Recreation Center (PARC) in the Danieley Center Neighborhood. The list of student flu clinic dates/locations and links to make an appointment are online here.

Information about the faculty and staff flu clinics can be found on the Faculty Staff Wellness Clinic website.

Community town halls

The second in a series of Town Halls with senior administrators will take place this Friday, October 2, at 1:30 pm at and will focus on student questions and concerns. Questions can be submitted online here in advance of the event or during the live program. See a recording of the first Town Hall here.

The Student Government Association is also hosting a Fireside Chat with President Book today, September 30, at 7:30 p.m. The event will take place in the Global Commons Great Hall and will be streamed live online. Additional information and the link for students to join the Webex are available on Phoenix Connect here.

Continue to focus on wellness

This has been a challenging semester on campus in a very difficult year nationally. Maintaining a heightened state of alert can be draining physically and emotionally. Getting more sleep is the number one piece of advice offered to improve mental and physical wellness. Eating well, exercise and mindfulness are all additional recommendations.

Information about new and expanded services from Counseling Services are described online here.  Additional wellness resources for students are available on the websites for Campus Recreation and Wellness and the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.

Tips for faculty to support student mental wellness are available online here from the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. Additional resources for faculty and staff to support their own wellness and well-being are available from the Faculty/Staff Wellness Clinic.

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. Guidance for students, faculty, and staff on what to do if you feel ill is on the Ready and Resilient website.

Sources of information

For more information about COVID-19 and the university response, visit the Elon Ready and Resilient website; the COVID-19 dashboard, which includes links to federal, state, and regional data sources; and the Today at Elon news and information website.

Chaplain’s reflection

University Chaplain Jan Fuller offers a weekly reflection to help us in our search for meaning during this challenging time.  This week’s reflection, “In Awe of Awful Days” 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, October 7, unless an earlier message is warranted.

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life