Dear Campus Community,

As we have transitioned to a new phase of community spread of COVID-19, I would like to share my recommendations and guidelines. There will be significant local activity of the virus in the coming weeks, and I encourage students, staff, and faculty who are sick with cough, fever, fatigue, and body aches to get tested. Remember, more than 80% of individuals with the illness will have very mild symptoms. Locally, the average turnaround time for test results is still several days. There is limited “fast testing” available in the Lehigh Valley, but these tests are being prioritized for hospitalized patients and healthcare workers.

If you are a student on campus:

Bailey Health Center is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. You must call ahead to be seen. We are sending specimens to commercial laboratories for COVID-19 testing. Students may be asked to self-isolate in their residence halls or transition to College-owned living space while the test is being performed. For students who test positive, we will recommend isolation in an off-campus house. The College will ensure that students who remain off campus during recovery receive ongoing medical care and regular food delivery.

We are fortunate to have outstanding health networks in our area that are taking extraordinary measures and using innovative ways to screen, access, and test for COVID-19.

For employees living in the valley and for students after hours, please access St. Luke’s University Health Network and Lehigh Valley Health Network. As always, discuss your care and clearance to resume normal activity with your provider.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the decision to discontinue home isolation/return to work will be made in the context of our local testing availability. There are two strategies for individuals to discontinue isolation:

  1. Test-based option — negative COVID-19 test from two consecutive specimens 24 hours apart.
  2. Non-test-based option — time since illness onset and time since recovery: At least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared and at least three days have passed since full recovery, defined as resolution of fever (without use of medication) and respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath).

This is a difficult time for everyone. We’re all adjusting our lives to safeguard the health of those whom we care about. Although social distancing is crucial to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s equally important not to socially isolate. Stay active and socially engaged during this period of high stress and anxiety. Exercise, get outside as much as possible, take a walk or run, look for ways to volunteer safely, check on friends and loved ones, stay connected, and be creative!

I am so proud and thankful to be a part of this community. Stay strong, stay safe, and stay in touch.


Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein
Director of Health Services