Elon announces COVID-19 guidance for 2023-24 academic year

Vice President for Student Life, Jon Dooley, shared information on Monday, July 10 on Elon's community health updates.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As we prepare for the upcoming academic year, Elon’s Infectious Disease Response Team has worked with local and state health officials to provide updated guidance for university protocols related to COVID-19. As you know, the federal emergency declaration for COVID-19 expired in May and the World Health Organization declaration of emergency has also ended.

Elon’s Campus Health Status & Alerts webpage has been updated to reflect a number of shifts in the university response to COVID-19:

  • Positive diagnoses of COVID-19 are no longer reported to the university or local/state health departments by healthcare providers
  • Quarantine protocols have been discontinued, including the availability of isolation locations and the management of contact tracing and notification
  • Diagnostic testing for those with symptoms will continue to be available at Student Health Services and the Faculty/Staff Health & Wellness Clinic as part of regular appointments for those seeking treatment for illness. Students are encouraged to bring personal supplies of COVID-19 test kits when returning to campus in the fall. Test kits continue to be available from local pharmacies.
  • The university continues to encourage all students, faculty, and staff to follow CDC guidance for staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccination. Elon will host COVID-19 and annual flu vaccine clinics during fall semester.
  • Elon will continue to support the university community in slowing the spread of viruses on campus, and the Infectious Disease Response Team will continue to meet regularly to monitor campus conditions and offer recommendations for action, as needed.

Elon’s COVID-19 resource page will be maintained through fall semester, if not longer. Additional information and resources for the upcoming semester are available below:

What to do if you feel sick

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following updated guidance for COVID-19:

Absence Policies

  • Students should report absence due to illness directly to their faculty and student employment supervisors – as they would any illness. For extended absences (more than 5 consecutive days), emergency absences, or absences during final exams, consult the Student Care and Outreach website for additional guidance. All absences from classes are addressed by individual faculty members in their course syllabi, consistent with the attendance policy in the Academic Catalog and the student absences policies in the Faculty Handbook.
  • Staff and faculty should consult the Staff Manual and Faculty Handbook for guidance on reporting absences to supervisors. The Human Resources website has information about the Continuity of Work/Instruction Plan for employees who need to be temporarily away from campus due to any infectious disease requiring a quarantine period of 5 or more days.

Vaccine Recommendations

  • Elon strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to be fully updated with their COVID-19 vaccinations and annual flu shots, including booster doses when eligible. Vaccines are available at all local pharmacies and during clinics held on campus in the fall/winter.
  • Students are encouraged to email or send MyChart message notification of additional doses or boosters to garchinal@elon.edu to add to their medical file. Staff and faculty upload documentation of additional doses or boosters through eDocs.
  • Although the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine are not required, we know they effectively reduce symptom severity, mitigate the spread of viruses and preserve healthcare resources. Please see the Immunization Requirements & Compliance webpage for more information about state-required vaccines.

Testing Resources

  • Sick visits, including diagnostic testing for those with COVID-19 symptoms, are available for students by appointment at Student Health Services and for staff and faculty by appointment at the Faculty/Staff Health & Wellness Clinic. Students, faculty, and staff who are ill and schedule appointments will be seen and evaluated by a medical provider.
  • At-home COVID-19 test kits are widely available for purchase at local pharmacies. For information on local testing options, visit the NC Department of Health & Human Services COVID-19 test locator page.

Mask Information

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend masking as an important tool in preventing the transmission of COVID-19 and many other illnesses. Members of the community who are symptomatic for any respiratory illness are encouraged to wear a mask when indoors.
  • Masks remain available at the Moseley Information Desk for visitors or university community members who need one.

The health of the university community remains a top priority and we will continue to remain adaptive and responsive as conditions evolve. Let us know if you have any questions and continue to use the Campus Health Status and Alerts page as an important updated source of information.

Best wishes for the remainder of summer as we plan for the upcoming academic year.

Jon Dooley, Ph.D.

Vice President for Student Life