November 25 update from Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley

Throughout the fall semester, Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley has provided regular email update messages to keep students and parents informed about the efforts related to COVID-19. Regular weekly updates will resume January 6.

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

We made it! This is the last weekly COVID-19 email update for the semester.

During the month of December we are planning to send periodic email messages with important information about Ready & Resilient plans for Winter Term and Spring Semester. Residence Life will notify students returning to residence halls about their assigned schedules for move-in, which will be coordinated to account for the required pre-semester COVID testing for all students.

Current status

  • Elon’s current COVID-19 alert level is “Level 3 – High Alert.”
  • Last week we conducted a mass-testing clinic for pre-departure testing. More than 2,700 tests were administered in Alumni Gym. Forty-eight asymptomatic positive cases were identified in that process with an overall positivity rate of 1.8 percent. The positivity rate is currently 6.5% for the state of North Carolina and 9.7% for Alamance County.
  • Since the November 18 email update, 89 positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among students and employees.
  • As of yesterday afternoon, there were an estimated 70 active cases.
  • Yesterday we reported a total of 118 students in quarantine or isolation. Students who are currently in quarantine or isolation have been assigned a regular point of contact, and the university will continue to provide services, meals and support until all students’ period of quarantine or isolation has been lifted by the county health department.

About the pre-departure testing results

The increase in positive cases during pre-departure testing this past week underscore the continued transmission of the virus through social contacts, including those who have no symptoms but are infected with COVID-19. As you travel home and interact with your family and friends, it is important to remember that the Elon testing does not guarantee you are free of the virus. You may have been exposed after your testing or during your travels. The same healthy precautions you have been using on campus should be practiced at home in the days and weeks ahead. This is especially true at a time when the nation is setting new records for case counts and hospitalizations.

Campus services during Thanksgiving and Winter Break

Information about campus services available during Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks can be found online here.

Please note that university offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 26-27 for the Thanksgiving holiday. University offices will also be closed December 21-25 and December 28 – January 1 for an extended Winter Break.

Campus Safety and Police operates 24/7 throughout the year and is available at 336-278-5555. Student Life also has administrators and crisis counselors on-call at all times – they can also be reached through Campus Police at 336-278-5555.

Flu vaccination requirement for students

Students who did not receive their flu shot on campus this fall or who have not submitted a waiver request will be required to upload proof of their flu vaccination before classes resume in January. Instructions to upload the information to your PhoenixHealth portal can be found online here.

What to do if you feel ill

If you feel ill or experience COVID-19 symptoms while at home, avoid all contact with others and contact your healthcare provider.

If you are on campus over break, avoid all contact with others. Stay at home and in your room. Guidance can be found on the Ready and Resilient website.

Student Health Services will be closed today through Sunday, November 29. The Student Health Services website has recommendations for off-campus care during this time or at other times they will be closed in the coming weeks.

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, “A Year of Gratitude” can be found here on the Truitt Center blog.

Regular weekly COVID-19 updates will resume on Wednesday, January 6. Check your Elon email during the break for periodic updates from the Ready & Resilient oversight committee.

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, good luck finals, and a restful break!

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life