Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley shares information about COVID-19 policies in place for the start of the academic year.
Dear students, faculty and staff,
Elon University will continue to monitor changing local and national COVID-19 conditions as well as the advice of health experts. As we have throughout the pandemic, we will adapt our policies and procedures utilizing a wide range of tools, including vaccines, masks, testing with the BinaxNow antigen test as well as PCR tests, communications, distancing, increased ventilation, advice from experts at Cone Health, and more.
Summary of updates in this message
- Status update on campus and in Alamance County
- New indoor mask requirement – August 16-29
- New expectations about carrying masks at all times on campus
- Testing requirements for students with COVID-19 vaccine exemptions
- New weekly testing requirements for employees who have not submitted proof of vaccination
- Travel recommendations
- As we begin the new academic year we are fortunate to have access to vaccines, which are the most effective measure for reducing serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
- As of today, 94 percent of undergraduates are vaccinated.
- Similarly, nearly 85 percent of full-time staff and faculty have submitted their vaccination documentation.
- Alamance and Guilford counties are experiencing increasing virus transmission due to the Delta variant and are now in the high community transmission category.
Fall 2021 Policies and Updates
Elon will enact several policy changes, effective Monday, August 16, to support a healthy start to the academic year and in accordance with guidelines from the CDC and state health officials. Although we have high confirmed rates of vaccination among our students, faculty and staff, the beginning of the academic year is a time when we welcome many families, guests, and visitors to campus. The updates are described below and will be revised as conditions and guidance change.
New FAQs will be added to the Healthy Elon website in the coming days to answer questions regarding these policies.
- Out of an abundance of caution and with consideration of the number of community members traveling to campus at the start of the semester, all students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear masks in indoor campus spaces beginning Monday, August 16, (except when alone in a private office, in a residence hall/apartment room, or while eating or drinking).
- The indoor mask requirement for everyone on campus will run from the first day of Planning Week (Monday, August 16) through the first 10 days of the semester (through Sunday, August 29). After that date, those who have not submitted vaccination documentation must continue to comply with the mask policy (see below).
- Due to the large number of visitors from around the world during move-in weekend, all those attending New Student Convocation must wear a mask.
- We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust policies as needed.
- Due to different program start dates and new mask guidelines in Guilford County, information about start dates for temporary mask requirements for the Elon Law campus in Greensboro and the Elon Center in Raleigh (RTP) will be shared through academic deans in the coming days.
Even after this two-week period, several campus mask requirements will continue:
- Everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status, should carry a mask with them at all times, and is encouraged to wear a mask any time they feel ill, are in crowded spaces, if they feel the need for extra protection, etc. See the CDC mask guidelines for more information.
- Everyone on campus should monitor the Healthy Elon website and local conditions in order to be able to meet masking expectations.
- Students, staff, and faculty who have not submitted vaccination documentation will continue to be required to wear masks indoors, except when alone in a private office, in a residence hall/apartment room, or while eating or drinking.
- Elon Dining employees will continue to wear masks at all times indoors, in line with current Harvest Table company policies.
- All unvaccinated visitors and contractors must continue to wear a mask in indoor campus spaces.
- Masks are not required outdoors.
Student Weekly Testing (undergraduates and graduate students)
- As previously announced, all undergraduate and graduate students who have been granted an exemption from the vaccination requirement must participate in weekly COVID testing on campus.
Changes to Staff and Faculty Vaccination and Weekly COVID-19 Testing
- All staff and faculty who have not already submitted vaccination documentation are asked to do so immediately.
- Staff and faculty who have not submitted vaccination documentation must complete weekly COVID testing on campus beginning August 16. Look for an upcoming email from Associate Vice President for Human Resources & Chief Human Resources Officer Kelli Shuman with more details.
- Students, faculty, and staff who must travel should monitor CDC guidelines, local regulations, travel requirements, and personal health needs.
We continue to closely monitor the spread of the virus nationally and in our local area, and ask everyone to be mindful of the threat of the Delta variant, particularly off-campus where vaccination levels are lower. In addition to this weekly Wednesday morning email update, the Healthy Elon website will be updated regularly and our public COVID dashboard, located on the Healthy Elon homepage, will be updated weekly.
Repeatedly in the past year, our community pivoted to make health, safety, and in-person learning possible. Again this year, each of us must remain focused on our personal health as well as the health of the entire community as COVID and local conditions continue to change.
The next email update will be sent by Wednesday, August 18 at 10:45 a.m., unless an additional message is warranted before that time. Additional information is always available on the Healthy Elon website at: www.elon.edu/healthyelon.
Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life