Throughout the academic year, 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,
Today’s email marks the return of regular weekly messages to keep the Elon community updated with important information about our Healthy Elon efforts as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19. The updates will be sent every Wednesday by 10:45 a.m. through Wednesday, May 11. The messages are comprehensive – we encourage you to read them carefully to stay updated.
Summary of updates in this message
- Status updates from the CDC and State of North Carolina
- Reminder of important information announced Monday
- Communication plan in the coming weeks
- Upload your COVID-19 booster shot documentation now
- Who to notify about a positive COVID-19 diagnosis during the Winter Break
- Winter Term COVID-19 testing information
- Forthcoming changes anticipated for quarantine and isolation protocols
- Extension of temporary policies for employee absences due to COVID-19
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are actively updating their website with information about the emergence of the Omicron variant, which is quickly becoming the dominant COVID-19 variant across the country.
- Most North Carolina counties, including both Alamance County and Guilford County, are in the “high” community transmission category. The CDC and state health officials continue to recommend wearing masks in public indoor settings, including stores, restaurants, and other businesses.
Reminder of important information announced Monday
The Healthy Elon Committee communicated guidance for Winter Term and Spring Term in a message from Vice President Jeff Stein on Monday, December 27. Among the important announcements:
- All students are required to receive a booster vaccination and upload their documentation as soon as possible and no later than January 31.
- Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to get their booster and upload their documentation as soon as possible. Faculty and staff who have not received the vaccine must continue to test weekly and are required to test either December 27-30 or January 2.
Monday’s message from Dr. Stein follows the earlier guidance on Winter Term classes and illnesses provided by Provost Aswani Volety on December 2, which included links to more extensive updated FAQ information for faculty/staff and for students. Those Winter Term FAQs continue to be updated.
Communication plan in the coming weeks
As we prepare for the start of classes next week, we will follow this communication plan for the coming weeks:
- Return of weekly university updates from me, starting today, to be sent each Wednesday by 10:45 a.m.
- Occasional updates from the Healthy Elon Committee, as new information warrants
- Daily updates to all Winter Term study abroad participants, sent by the Global Education Center, along with a program status webpage.
Upload your COVID-19 booster shot documentation now
On Monday the university announced that COVID-19 booster shots will be required for all students eligible to receive them. Although the deadline is January 31, we strongly encourage students to get their booster shot as soon as possible – in the next week, if you can.
Consistent with CDC guidance, faculty and staff are also recommended to receive their booster shot as soon as possible.
Upload documentation here by selecting “booster shot” under the status drop-down menu. If you previously have a fully approved vaccination, there is no need to submit it again – simply select “booster” and upload evidence of a third dose (after initial Pfizer or Moderna vaccination) or a second dose (after initial Johnson & Johnson vaccination).
Who to notify about a positive COVID-19 diagnosis during Winter Break
- Any student who has tested positive while away from campus during Winter Break, should immediately submit their test result to email@example.com.
- Any employee who has tested positive during Winter Break should notify Human Resources by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 336-278-5560.
Winter Term COVID-19 testing information
The asymptomatic testing location in the Oaks McCoy Commons resumed operations this week and the symptomatic testing locations at the Ellington Center will resume Monday, January 3. Visit the testing page of the Healthy Elon website for complete information about on-campus testing options for Elon students, faculty, and staff, as well as local community testing resources.
Additional testing reminders as we move into Winter Term:
- Students with previously approved medical or religious COVID-19 vaccine exemptions are required to test before classes begin and must continue testing weekly.
- Employees who have not submitted documentation that they are fully vaccinated are required to test either this week or January 3-4 (depending upon when they return to work from the break) and must continue testing weekly.
- Those who tested positive during Winter Break should submit their test results now, as described above, to be exempt from testing for 90 days after the positive test result. Consult your health provider as you are most likely eligible to receive your booster vaccine now.
Forthcoming changes anticipated for quarantine and isolation protocols
On Monday, the CDC released revised guidance on quarantine and isolation periods. We are waiting to receive final guidance from state and local health officials to update our own protocols, but we expect to require close contacts who have not received a booster to quarantine going forward – yet another reason why getting a booster now is so important. We will share more details about changes to our existing protocols in the coming days.
Extension of temporary policies for employee absences due to COVID-19
The temporary continuity of work/instruction policies for employee COVID-19 absences that was originally in place for the fall 2021 semester has been extended through the end of May. Employees are encouraged to review the policy, which includes links to the continuity of work documents for staff and continuity of instruction plan for faculty.
Detailed information is always available on the Healthy Elon website, which provides important health and wellness information for students and employees, including what to do if you feel ill, test positive, or have close contact with a positive case. The site also offers responses to frequently asked questions about academics, vaccination, and employee information.
The next email update will be sent Wednesday, January 5, at 10:45 a.m., unless an additional message is warranted before then. Enjoy your final days of Winter Break and we are looking forward to the start of classes next week!
Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life