October 14 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 is at “Level 1 – New Normal.”
  • Since the October 7 email update, there have been 17 new positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed among students, faculty and staff.
  • As of yesterday afternoon, there were an estimated 18 active cases and 79 students in quarantine or isolation.

The good news is that the number of new cases and individuals in isolation/quarantine have returned to reduced levels. We continue to closely monitor Alamance County COVID-19 data. Reports from our data scientists and Cone Health Systems indicate that the reproduction rate of the virus in Alamance and Guilford counties has increased in the past several days – a leading indicator that the disease is spreading within the area. Remember – although there is a decrease in the campus alert level, our community cannot relax its focus on healthy practices: wearing of masks indoors and outside, physical distancing, etc. We have clear evidence that these practices are essential to maintaining a low level of the disease on campus.

Surveys about the fall experience

In the coming days surveys will be distributed to undergraduate students and to faculty/staff about the campus experience this fall. Thank you for taking the time to share information that will help university leaders understand your experience and to inform efforts for spring semester.

Travel and additional COVID-19 testing options

We continue to discourage non-essential travel away from campus, but have heard reports of students traveling in the past week. Students, faculty or staff who have traveled should consider limiting their personal contacts, seek testing, and avoid putting others at risk.

An additional testing opportunity will be offered by Cone Health on Friday, October 16, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in Alumni Gym. Click here to make an appointment. Participants must bring their insurance card to cover the cost of the test.

Flu vaccine clinics for students and faculty/staff

The next flu vaccination clinic for students will be held next Tuesday, October 20, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in Alumni Gym. To make an appointment, sign up online here. All students must receive a flu vaccine before returning to campus in January; details can be found online here.

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

Wellness and wellbeing resources

This has been a challenging semester on campus during a very difficult year nationally. Maintaining a heightened level of focus and concern can be draining physically and emotionally. Getting more sleep is one of the first pieces of advice offered to improve mental and physical wellness of college students. Eating well, exercising regularly, and practicing 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, “Clear Minds and Pure Hearts” 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. next Wednesday, October 21, unless an earlier message is warranted.

Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life