In an email Thursday to new and returning undergraduate and graduate students, Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley shared information about the policies and protocols in place for the fall semester to mitigate the spread of COVID and to support those who become ill.
As many Elon undergraduate and graduate students preparing to begin the fall semester at Elon in August, the university has put in place policies and protocols to help ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.
In an email to students, faculty and staff on Thursday, Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley detailed the various measures that will be in place with the start of classes to help prevent the spread of COVID, to support those who become ill and to share important information with the broader university community.
The full text of the email is below
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As we prepare for the start of fall semester, we are closely monitoring issues related to COVID-19, especially the cautions raised by the CDC and health officials about the contagious nature of the current virus variants. The health and well-being of our campus community will always be our top priority and this message is meant to share important information about Elon’s ongoing response to the pandemic.
While our community is almost fully vaccinated and protected from the most serious impacts of COVID, we have developed a set of policies and protocols that will:
- Mitigate the spread of the virus on campus
- Support those who become ill
- Keep our community informed
As always, we will remain adaptive and responsive as conditions evolve. Elon’s Infectious Disease Response Team is meeting regularly, working closely with local and state health officials, and leading efforts to support the university community.
The information below can also be found on the university’s COVID Protocols page, which is linked in the footer section of pages on the university’s website.
Elon requires all students, and strongly encourages employees, to be fully up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations with an approved vaccine, including a booster dose when they are eligible. International members of the community may use vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization.
- All students were required to upload documentation of their booster shots to their Phoenix Health Portal by July 1. New requests for medical or religious exemptions were also due by July 1. (Students who were previously granted a medical or religious exemption did not need to re-file their request.)
- The Office of the Dean of Students will follow up with students who do not have booster documentation or exemptions on file; these students will not be eligible to attend classes, participate in campus activities, or live in campus housing until their documents have been submitted.
- Students who will need additional doses and/or boosters for compliance after August arrival should upload the documentation of their additional doses or boosters to the Phoenix Health Portal. Information about additional fall COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be announced throughout the fall.
In addition to their COVID vaccinations, all students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to receive the annual flu vaccine when it becomes available this fall. Although the flu vaccine is not required, we know it is effective in preventing the spread of the virus, maintaining in-person learning, and preserving health care resources. A number of flu vaccine clinics will be scheduled on campus throughout the fall and winter.
Elon will maintain its indoor mask optional policy for all campus spaces. Please keep a well-fitting N95 or KN95 mask with you for situations where extra protection is needed or if you are not feeling well. Always be respectful of those who choose to wear masks to protect themselves or others.
Masks are still required for:
- Everyone in Student Health Services, the asymptomatic testing center at McCoy Commons, the Faculty/Staff Health & Wellness Clinic, and the School of Health Sciences medical outreach programs
- Anyone experiencing COVID-like symptoms or any other respiratory illness
- Five days after completion of a five-day isolation period after a positive test.
The university reserves the right to modify this mask policy based on campus, local, and state conditions. Students should bring N95 or KN95 masks with them to campus and have them available, if needed.
We recommend that students and families use a home antigen test shortly before returning to campus. Students who test positive should not come to campus and should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
Although regular testing is not required, asymptomatic testing will be available on campus throughout fall semester for students, faculty, and staff. The fall weekday schedule will be announced at the beginning of the semester. Other testing options include at-home test kits from the federal government, purchasing home tests, or utilizing local testing sites.
Currently, summer asymptomatic testing is available in the McCoy Commons (Oaks Neighborhood), room 207 during the following times:
- Monday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Tuesday: noon – 4 p.m.
- Wednesday: 1 – 4 p.m.
- Thursday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Check your test results at: www.elon.edu/myreadiness.
Sick visits, including diagnostic testing for those with COVID-19 symptoms, will remain available by appointment at Student Health Services (limited summer hours from June 1 – Aug. 19) and the Faculty-Staff Health & Wellness Clinic. Students may also access TimelyCare resources throughout the summer and academic year from anywhere in the United States at no charge.
Quarantine and Isolation
- Students, faculty and staff who test positive are required to follow CDC guidelines by isolating for a minimum of five days before returning to work or class and continuing to wear a mask for another five days.
- Students, faculty, and staff who are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine series and who have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days are required to follow CDC guidelines by quarantining for a minimum of five days before returning to work or class and continuing to wear a mask for another five days.
- Students who test positive with an at-home test or through an off-campus provider should contact email@example.com for assistance. Students who test positive through the on-campus resources at asymptomatic testing in the Oaks or symptomatic diagnostic testing at Student Health Services will automatically be contacted by Quarantine Support.
- Students required to quarantine/isolate will do so in place in their residence hall room, apartment, or house while wearing a well-fitted mask until the date indicated by Quarantine Support. Students with a meal plan can arrange to pick up meals-to-go through Elon Dining.
- Roommates who have been exposed will need to test and wear a mask to reduce further exposure or infection. Quarantine Support will help relocate medically high-risk on-campus students who are roommates of positive cases, if necessary.
- Quarantine Support will notify faculty members via email and OnTrack roster of any student positive test results and periods of required isolation. Students should work directly with their faculty regarding missed classes and work. All absences are handled on a case-by-case basis between faculty members and students, following guidelines set in course syllabi. University policies related to absences and attendance are described in the Academic Catalog and determined by academic departments. Individual faculty members may work with students to ensure course learning outcomes can be met, but without any expectation of hybrid instruction.
Faculty and Staff:
- Staff and faculty who test positive at on-campus testing will be contacted by Human Resources for follow-up. Those who test positive with an at-home test or through an off-campus provider need to contact Human Resources at 336-278-5560 or HREmployeeCovid@elon.edu for assistance and next steps.
- Staff and faculty who are identified as a close contact with a positive case in their home or workplace should follow the CDC quarantine guidance, if necessary. Contact Human Resources at 336-278-5560 for further guidance or if you have questions.
- Elon’s Temporary Continuity of Work Policy for faculty and staff will remain for as long as quarantine and isolation protocols are in place.
University communication practices for the upcoming semester include:
- On Wednesday, August 17, we will resume weekly email communications from the Vice President for Student Life with COVID-related information and occasional updates from the Infectious Disease Response Team, as warranted.
- A new university website focused on the university’s integrated health and wellness effort, HealthEU, which is under development and slated to go live at the beginning of the semester. The site will include information about COVID policies and protocols. The site will also be a regular source of timely information about illnesses currently being diagnosed on campus (for example, allergies, influenza, viruses, etc.)
- University leaders will continue to engage representative leadership bodies at the university (Academic Council, Staff Advisory Council, Student Government Association, Student Bar Association, etc.) in discussion about health-related policies and protocols.
Enjoy the remainder of your summer as we prepare for the start of the new academic year!
Jon Dooley, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Life