February 17 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.

Elon Ready & ResilientDear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Current status

  • Elon’s current alert level is “Level 2 – High Alert” on the Elon COVID-19 Dashboard.
  • Since last week’s email update, Elon has received 64 new reports of PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students and employees.
  • As of yesterday afternoon, there were an estimated total of 79 active cases, with 225 students in quarantine or isolation.
  • Since the February 11 Ready & Resilient update from Dr. Jeff Stein, three new clusters of positive cases have been reported to the state, among students from the women’s soccer team and off-campus apartments at Provence E and F.

Testing works

More than 800 students came to Alumni Gym on Saturday in response to our opportunity for extra testing for those who were concerned about a potential exposure to the virus. Those extra tests identified nine individuals who would have otherwise gone undetected, possibly spreading the virus further in our community before their next scheduled tests. Thank you to everyone who made the extra effort to participate in the supplemental testing.

Testing alone is not enough – monitor your health and make smart social decisions

The new system of weekly antigen testing for students is one tool in our efforts to limit the spread of the virus on campus and in the community. The regular testing helps us identify positive cases and quickly implement quarantine, isolation and tracing protocols to limit the spread of the virus.

Weekly testing is NOT a substitute for consulting with a health care provider if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If you are feeling ill or are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19, do not wait for or attend your weekly test appointment – you should immediately avoid all contact with others and follow the steps outlined for students, faculty, and staff on the Ready and Resilient website.

Weekly testing is also NOT a free pass to engage in higher-risk activities. As a snapshot in time, tests have limitations – especially if not combined with ongoing community-wide vigilance against virus spread. Until a vaccine is widely available, consistent mask wearing and physical distancing remain our most important defenses against the spread of the virus and new variant strains in North Carolina.

Vaccination information

Elon is prepared to support the Alamance County and North Carolina health departments in the vaccination drive. We will be sharing information about vaccination phases, locations and scheduling, and we are mobilizing campus resources and personnel so we can act quickly if the state grants our application to become a direct vaccination provider. Please visit a special webpage for details about Elon’s role in the vaccination campaign and other important information you should know about preparing for your shot.

Wellness moment and Chaplain’s reflection

Loving our bodies includes embracing ourselves inside and out and from head-to-toe. Love Your Body Week, the annual celebration of body positivity and holistic well-being, will take place February 22-26 and features a variety of in-person and virtual programs, including a virtual keynote by Mike Marjama, a professional baseball player who will share his story about overcoming disordered eating.  For more information, check out the Love Your Body Week website.

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, “Remember You Are Dust,” 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 10:45 a.m. next Wednesday, February 24, unless an earlier message is warranted.

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life