Sept. 2 update from the Healthy Elon Committee

The Healthy Elon Committee on Thursday provided an update on vaccinations, cases on campus and testing.

Members of the Elon community,

With the start of the academic year and as several institutions that were remote last year return face to face, we are beginning to see news of positive COVID cases on college campuses as expected.

At Elon, student cases have been traced to unmasked indoor social gatherings. Currently, Elon has 32 active student, faculty, and staff cases. Most cases are not severe, and no one is hospitalized.

Key points

  • Vaccines and masks are the most powerful tools to mitigate against the virus. Vaccines are proving to be effective in protecting against severe illness or hospitalization. Wearing masks indoors adds important protection for each of us.
  • The Delta variant of COVID is highly contagious and now is the time for all of us to be especially careful in guarding against the virus.
  • Wearing masks indoors and whenever we are around others is especially important now. Wear your mask above your nose and mouth, wash your hands, avoid unmasked close contact with others and large groups of people, gather outdoors if possible, and don’t share drinks or food. Most importantly, wear a mask indoors and in all social situations.

Care for others in our community

Part of living in community means considering the needs of others. We must be vigilant to protect community members who are at elevated risk. The practices above are especially important to protect those with weak immune systems or who have family members who are unvaccinated or have medical vulnerabilities.

University preparedness and testing

  • The Healthy Elon Committee continues to work with health experts and monitor the level of COVID cases on campus and in the local community. Just as we did last year, we are prepared to recommend further mitigation steps on campus, should they be necessary.
  • We are increasing testing capacity and offerings:
    • Starting next week additional symptomatic student testing will be available for students. Check the Student Health Services website next week for the additional times. Students have already been attentive to getting a test when they have symptoms. The majority have been negative for COVID but received care for colds and other viruses common this time of year.
    • Asymptomatic staff and faculty are also now welcome to attend testing in the Oaks (no appointment needed).
  • If you feel ill or have a cold or flu-like symptoms, wear a mask, distance from others, and contact the following before returning to class or work:

While the large majority of the campus community is vaccinated and at small risk for serious illness, we must not forget that the vaccines do not guarantee complete immunity. The weeks ahead are manageable if we take simple steps to protect ourselves.

We ask everyone to do their part to keep the spread of the virus in check.

Jeff Stein, Healthy Elon Committee Chair

  • Dan Anderson, Special Assistant to the President
  • Ginette Archinal, Medical Director of Student Health and University Physician
  • MarQuita Barker, Assistant Dean of Campus Life and Director of Residence Life
  • John Barnhill, Associate Vice President for University Advancement
  • Tom Flood, Assistant Vice President of Physical Plant
  • Jason Husser, Associate Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies, and Director of the Elon Poll (Academic Council Representative)
  • Deandra Little, Assistant Provost, Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and Professor of English
  • Paul Miller, Associate Provost for Academic Excellence and Operations and Professor of Exercise Science
  • Kelly Reimer, Senior Director of Teaching and Learning Technologies (Staff Council Representative)
  • Carrie Ryan, Assistant Vice President for Auxiliary Services
  • Kelli Shuman, Associate Vice President for Human Resources & Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Gabie Smith, Dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychology
  • Mary Southern, Project Manager for Provost and Academic Affairs Operations (Project Manager)