Active COVID-19 cases
As indicated on the College’s COVID-19 dashboard, there was a large increase in active positive cases over the weekend and into Monday. The majority of these cases are related to student social events, with some spread among students living closely together. Our population is vaccinated at an incredibly high rate, but we still must take good care of ourselves and our community. Almost all of the COVID-19 cases this fall are occurring among vaccinated students. This is not an indication that vaccines do not work. Vaccines continue to protect us well from the most serious outcomes (hospitalization and death), but we can still catch and spread COVID-19 if fully vaccinated.
The College is not moving to remote classes. As a residential college, the learning that takes place while we are together is a critical part of how we deliver exceptional educational experiences. Classrooms are equipped to allow students in isolation or quarantine to observe classes remotely, and if the instructor does not believe that approach works for a particular class, they will work with each student in isolation to ensure they can stay on top of the material.
Technology has been deployed and optimized throughout the campus to allow for this experience; removing equipment from classrooms is neither permitted nor a viable solution.
As we have mentioned, our capacity to isolate or quarantine students is reasonable but not unlimited. For students who reside in privately or college-owned apartments that have a self-contained bathroom (within the unit), it is possible to isolate in place with consent of roommates. Students who live within 300 miles of campus must plan to return home for their 10-day isolation period. We are securing housing for students who live more than 300 miles from campus and cannot get home.
Mobile ordering for student isolation meals
Students in isolation housing can order meals through the Transact app. Be sure to order within the Isolation Meal tab.
Ordering time slots are limited to ensure efficient operations: breakfast, 8-8:30; lunch, 11-11:30 a.m., dinner, 4-4:30 p.m.
The Trolley Stop will manage breakfast orders. Lower Farinon will manage lunch and dinner orders.
Orders will be served once all are received. Distribution and delivery will occur at one time.
A Transact notification will let students know their order has been delivered outside their isolation location.
To provide this operation for isolation students with full support, Simon’s Café is closed until further notice.
Students who have a dietary restriction or allergy and are unable to find an acceptable meal option should email Chris Brown.
Accommodations are available for those concerned about possible COVID-19 exposure. Marquis and Upper cashiers will distribute one to-go box, one plastic beverage cup, and one cutlery kit for dining elsewhere.
Other safety-conscious options are grab-and-go items and mobile ordering at ECO Café, Lower, and Gilbert’s. See mobile ordering times.
Outdoor events will continue as scheduled. Masks should be worn by everyone, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, in both indoor and outdoor group settings. Masks must be worn indoors at all times in public areas.
Lafayette’s testing strategy was developed in partnership with local health resources and is focused on providing the amount and types of testing feasible within the Lehigh Valley. Our population is vaccinated at an incredibly high rate, and the CDC does not recommend routine monitoring testing for asymptomatic, vaccinated individuals. The College has focused resources on weekly testing for the small number of unvaccinated students, testing of symptomatic students, and the required 3-5-day test for close contacts.
We have added resources to the testing area and have been keeping excellent pace with the tests today. We recognize that was not the case yesterday and apologize for any anxiety that created.
Close contacts are defined by the CDC as persons who have spent 15 minutes over a 24-hour period within six feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 if that time occurred within two days prior to the positive COVID-19 test or onset of symptoms. Students in a class or who live on a residence hall floor together are not necessarily close contacts if one of them tests positive for COVID-19. Close contacts are identified during the tracing process. The trained medical personnel at Lehigh Valley Health Network are conducting our contact tracing and notifying Bailey Health Center of the names of all close contacts. Lehigh Valley Health Network has added staff to the tracing process to expedite the process.
Students may elect to get a COVID-19 test locally if the health center is not open. If you are asymptomatic, vaccinated, and elect to be tested off campus, you should restrict your movements as much as possible until the test results return. You may still attend class and pick up meals but must remain masked at all times. If the test is positive, email a copy of the result to firstname.lastname@example.org. You also should make a plan to leave campus if your home address is within 300 miles, as our isolation space is limited, and we must preserve the remaining spaces for those outside that radius. If you are symptomatic, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, you should isolate until the test results return, which you can do from home if you reside within 300 miles.
Faculty and staff identified as close contacts through the tracing process will be sent instructions on how to test. If you receive a positive test result you must notify HR and your department head and not report to work.
Find a test locally:
Isolation and quarantine
The trained medical personnel at Lehigh Valley Health Network are conducting our contact tracing and notifying Bailey Health Center of the names of all close contacts. Consistent with CDC guidance, asymptomatic, vaccinated individuals who have come in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual do not need to quarantine, but we will administer a screening test three to five days after exposure. They should restrict activity as much as possible and strive to spend as little time as possible around others, while using the options available through Dining Services and (if appropriate) attending class. Students experiencing any symptoms for which they would seek medical care (e.g., fever above 100.3, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing) should not attend class.
Students identified as close contacts will be tested at Bailey Health Center. Given the high percentage of our population who are vaccinated, we will not be doing the same level of testing, tracing, and isolation we did last year.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be isolated for a period of 10 days.
Masking remains an effective method of reducing the transmission of COVID-19, which is airborne. We have committed to retaining indoor masking until the county transmission rate drops and our campus COVID-19 cases have moderated. Expect to continue to mask indoors for the foreseeable future. Mask outdoors as much as possible.
Practice good hand hygiene and keep your hands off your face. Washing hands frequently with soap and water is ideal. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.