March 24 update from Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley

Throughout 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,

Last week’s short break was much needed for well-being, but also created the conditions for a setback in our efforts to hold down the number of COVID-19 cases on campus. Yesterday’s count of 13 positive cases was the largest number since March 2. Our actions in the days ahead will determine whether Elon experiences another surge in cases, which could impact plans for the remainder of Spring Semester.

Current status

  • Elon’s current alert level is “Level 1 – Moderate Alert” on the Elon COVID-19 Dashboard.
  • Since last week’s email update, Elon has received 21 new reports of PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students and employees.
  • As of yesterday afternoon, there were an estimated total of 21 active cases, with 101 students in quarantine or isolation, the largest number in the past two weeks.
  • University officials are evaluating yesterday’s announcement by Governor Cooper, easing some statewide restrictions starting this Friday, March 26; any impact on campus operations will be communicated by email later this week.

Large gatherings, travel, and extra testing this week

  • We are aware of at least one positive case in a student who attended an unregistered 100+ student off-campus gathering over the weekend. The gathering has been referred to the Office of Student Conduct, but we are also concerned about the possible transmission of the virus among attendees who are not able to be identified and contacted.
  • Students who attended large gatherings or traveled in the past week are strongly encouraged to continue to carefully monitor their health. If you experience any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, follow the instructions on the Ready & Resilient website and contact Student Health Services immediately.
  • Students who would like to sign up for an additional testing opportunity this Saturday, in addition to their regularly scheduled weekly test, can make an appointment online here.

Vaccination resources and information

  • All university employees working in-person (including student employees) as well as students with high-risk medical conditions (including asthma, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and obesity) are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • New information and resources continue to be updated on the special Ready & Resilient vaccination webpage, including links to online resources to make an appointment locally.
  • Students living in congregate housing (residence halls, Loy chapter houses, and apartment complexes) are expected to be eligible to receive the vaccine beginning Wednesday, April 7.
  • The university is beginning to receive a limited number of doses of the vaccine to administer at on-campus clinics in South Gym. As vaccine clinics become available on campus we will communicate with the university community via email about opportunities to sign up.

Testing and quarantine policies after vaccination

Students, faculty, and staff who have waited 14 days after being fully vaccinated (received both doses for vaccines that require two doses) for COVID-19 and submitted documentation, are eligible for a 90-day exemption from participating in required campus testing or requirements to quarantine as a close contact (as long as they do not have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19). Click here to read more on testing and quarantine requirements after being vaccinated or review the March 12 email from Dr. Jeff Stein, archived online here.

Complete the COVID-19 Testing Exception form and attach a copy or image of the vaccine documentation (vaccination record card) to be considered fully vaccinated for these exemptions.

Wellness moment and Chaplain’s reflection

The health benefits of having fun only increase with time. Building a habit of relaxing, engaging in activities you enjoy, and devoting time with people who make you happy will produce sustained and increasingly positive benefits of consistently lower stress, positive outlooks, better sleep, healthier coping abilities, and improved relationships. Here are some more health benefits of having fun.

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, “Meaning Enough” 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, March 31, unless an earlier message is warranted.

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life