January 27 update from Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley

Throughout Winter Term and Spring 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,

As we prepare for the transition between Winter Term and Spring Semester for undergraduate students, please carefully review the email message from Dr. Jeff Stein on Tuesday, January 26 (archived here) for important information about signing up for required COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff next week, February 1-7.

Current status

  • Elon’s current COVID-19 alert level is “Level 1 – Moderate Alert.” The Elon COVID-19 Dashboard is updated daily at 4:00 p.m with case counts on campus and in the county, as well as weekly testing results.
  • Since last week’s email update, Elon has received new reports of 47 PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students and employees.
  • As of yesterday afternoon, there were an estimated total of 48 active cases, with 179 students in quarantine or isolation.

Looking ahead to the conclusion of Winter Term

A reminder that the undergraduate Winter Term concludes with exams on Wednesday, Feb. 3, and Spring Semester classes begin the following Monday, Feb. 8. This year’s calendar was developed to shorten the “Fake Break” period between the two terms and discourage travel off-campus. Residence halls, dining halls and other campus services will remain fully open during the four days between terms. There will also be a schedule of activities arranged by student organizations and Student Life staff. We ask that all students remain on campus and minimize the risk that comes from being exposed to others outside the Elon community.

Lessons learned about how COVID spreads on college campuses

A December article from the Chronicle of Higher Education summarizes insights from the fall semester about how COVID-19 is spread on college campuses. In particular, the article notes that “with precautions in place, classrooms and other formal on-campus spaces aren’t important vectors of viral spread” and “off-campus social gatherings are the top drivers of coronavirus at colleges.”

Elon continues to support in-person learning and sponsored activities, while also encouraging students to make smart, thoughtful decisions about how, where, and with whom to socialize.

Wellness moment and Chaplain’s reflection

Did you know that laughter can improve your health? Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner. A brief article with more information is available here.  Take time this week to do something that makes you laugh.

University Chaplain Jan Fuller’s weekly reflection is offered to help us in our search for meaning during this challenging time – this week’s reflection, “God in the Interruptions,” can be found here on the Truitt Center blog.

Information is updated regularly on the Elon Ready & Resilient website. The next weekly COVID-19 update will be sent to all students, faculty and staff at 12:15 p.m. next Wednesday, February 3, unless an earlier message is warranted.

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life