September 15 Healthy Elon update from Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley

Throughout Fall Semester, Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley is providing regular email update messages to keep students and parents informed about the efforts for a healthy semester.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Summary of updates in this message

  • Status update on campus and in Alamance County
  • Testing options – on-campus and off-campus
  • Family Weekend information and guidance

Status Update

  • 67 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed among Elon students and employees from September 6 through September 12. The dashboard on the Healthy Elon website is updated weekly on Monday mornings.
  • As was the case last year, transmission appears to be occurring through social contact and we are not seeing evidence of transmission in classroom or workplace settings.
  • Walk-up symptomatic testing for students was launched last week at Student Health Services.  Approximately 400 students who were experiencing upper respiratory symptoms (congestion or runny nose, cough, sore throat) visited the location, and the vast majority (91.4 percent) tested negative for COVID-19. This highlights both the availability of rapid symptomatic COVID-19 testing for students, as well as an important reminder that students are experiencing colds, viruses and allergies that are common at this time of year, in addition to some who are testing positive for COVID-19.
  • All North Carolina counties remain in the high community transmission category. The CDC and state health officials strongly recommend wearing masks in public indoor settings, including stores, restaurants, and other businesses.

COVID-19 Testing Options – On-Campus and Off-Campus

The Testing page of the Healthy Elon website has complete information about testing options available to students, faculty, and staff, both on-campus and off-campus. Important information includes:

  • Screening for unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff is conducted weekly at the McCoy Commons, room 207, located in the Oaks Neighborhood – individuals make an appointment for their weekly testing time.
  • The McCoy Commons testing location also offers walk-up asymptomatic testing for students, faculty, and staff. The testing is based on availability and handled as first-come, first-served, so wait times are possible. The McCoy Commons testing hours are listed here.
  • Student Health Services has established walk-up symptomatic testing for students at the R.N. Ellington Center. The testing is based on availability and is first-come, first-served. The Student Health Services walk-up testing hours are listed here.
  • The Faculty/Staff Wellness Clinic offers symptomatic testing for faculty and staff by appointment only.  Call 336-278-5569 for an appointment at the acute care clinic.

In addition to these on-campus options, students, faculty, and staff can also take advantage of off-campus testing resources, including:

  • Visit the Alamance County Health Department website for information and registration about OPTUMServe testing, drive-up testing clinics at various locations in the county, including Thursdays at Schar Center. The next available dates are Sept. 16 and 30.
  • Students, faculty, staff, or visitors can go to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Test Site Finder tool to find off-campus test sites. (Note: use the university zip code – 27244)
  • NCDHHS is partnering with LabCorp to provide no-cost, at-home COVID-19 testing kits to North Carolina residents. If you are over the age of 2, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or believe that you may have been exposed, you may order a testing kit directly from this page.

Family Weekend Information and Guidance

Preparations are underway for Family Weekend, September 24-26. Full details, including the schedule of activities and registration information are available on the Family Weekend website. In order to foster a safe and healthy environment for the weekend, several guidelines and recommendations will be in place:

  • The university’s indoor mask requirement will continue to be in effect. All students, employees, and visitors must wear masks in indoor campus spaces (except when alone in a private office, in a residence hall/apartment room, or while eating or drinking).  Masks will be required for Fall Convocation and all indoor events.
  • Throughout the weekend, all students, families, and employees are also encouraged to have a mask handy for outdoor events with large crowds, and where social distancing is not possible.
  • Individual faculty may choose to move their Saturday morning meeting with families to an outdoor location. We ask that faculty post notices on their assigned indoor meeting location with directions to their outdoor location.

Health and wellness information for students or employees – including what to do if you feel ill, test positive or have close contact with a positive case – can be found here. The Healthy Elon website also offers responses to frequently asked questions about academics, vaccination, and employee information. Details on the student flu vaccine requirement and the schedule, information, and registration for upcoming flu vaccine clinics can be found here.

The next email update will be sent by Wednesday, September 22, at 10:45 a.m., unless an additional message is warranted before then. Additional information is always available on the Healthy Elon website at:

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life