Updated Sept. 17, 2021


Updated Sept. 23, 2021

Lafayette required the COVID-19 vaccine for all students, faculty, and staff. COVID-19 will not disappear, so we need to focus as individuals on managing our risk. Vaccinations have been identified as safe and effective means to thwart the continued spread of COVID-19 and are an important piece of returning our communities to a more normal state of operations. Living, learning, and engaging in social and extra-curricular activities together is a hallmark of a residential campus. Having almost our entire community vaccinated allows us to engage in the broadest range of activities. 

Booster shots

Updated Aug. 18, 2021

The best sources of information on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are the provider of your initial vaccinations and your primary care provider. For those vaccinated at Lafayette during the spring semester, St. Luke’s University Health Network was the provider of the vaccine. The only people the CDC currently recommends to receive a third shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine are those with a specific range of underlying conditions.


Updated Sept. 14, 2021

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.

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 covid-19@lafayette.edu. 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:

Close contacts

Updated Sept. 16, 2021

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.

Quarantining and isolation

Updated Sept. 17, 2021

Consistent with CDC guidance, asymptomatic, vaccinated students 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.

For unvaccinated students, being identified as a close contact means you must immediately enter quarantine for 10 days and get tested at day 7 and day 10. Assuming test results are negative, you will be cleared from quarantine. Students will need to go home if they live within 300 miles. Health center staff will instruct you on how to submit test results prior to your return to campus.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be isolated for a period of 10 days. 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.


Updated Sept. 17, 2021

The CDC has amended its guidance for masking among vaccinated individuals. In line with this new guidance and in light of the COVID-19 transmission rate within Northampton County, masks are expected to be worn indoors except in dining spaces while eating. In addition, the College expects everyone on campus — including visitors — to wear masks outdoors when in group settings including classes. It is anticipated that the masking requirement will remain in place until two weeks after Northampton County drops below substantial transmission.

Non-compliance with masking requirements will result in being asked to leave the facility. Repeated violations will result in being barred from the facility. If there is continued resistance, assistance should be requested from Public Safety.

Faculty members can require masking for their classes for the entire semester as they know their classroom environment the best. Faculty and staff cannot require students to remove a mask if they indicate they are more comfortable wearing one in class even when we revert to not requiring masks in classrooms.

Face shields were provided for a number of faculty and staff members last year. If you still require one for work, send a request to provostoffice@lafayette.edu.

Please be respectful of others and remember that risk tolerance varies across our community. We should all continue to carry a mask and be respectful if asked to put it on, even in settings where it is not required. There’s no way to know if someone is immunocompromised, caring for a loved one who is at risk, or has other reasons that make them feel more comfortable when others are wearing a mask.

Visitors to campus

Updated Sept. 23, 2021

Visitors are allowed on campus, and we strongly encourage members of our community to only welcome vaccinated guests. This includes faculty and staff colleagues visiting to give lectures and collaborate on projects. Visitors should be limited. 

In general, visitors should be discouraged from spending time in any building, particularly residence halls.

Much like other organizations nationwide, Lafayette is requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative test from visitors to campus for admission to on-campus events (excluding classroom activities) effective Sept. 20.

  • Visitors to campus must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent (within 72 hours) negative test to attend events and gatherings (20 or more) on campus. This includes all athletic competitions and Williams Center performances. Children ineligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are permitted to attend events and are expected to be masked at all times. FAQ: Proof of Vaccination for Ticketed & Major Events
  • All visitors are expected to follow campus health and safety guidelines, including the masking requirement (expected indoors at all times and outdoors when in group settings including classes).
  • Prospective students and their families are welcome on campus. To protect the health of our campus community, prospective students are not currently permitted to attend classes
  • Academic work in the community and class trips, performances, athletic events, and other activities will continue as long as they meet COVID-19 safety guidelines. 
  • Programs such as those offered by Gateway Career Center, International and Off-Campus Education, and others may be in partnership with organizations or locations that require vaccination. Please check any program requirements carefully, especially for events off site at locations not directly controlled by Lafayette as it is possible that vaccination will be required. For example, some countries require proof of vaccination to cross their borders and some employers are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their workspaces.

Prospective students

Updated Sept. 17, 2021

Prospective students and their families are welcome on campus. All visitors are expected to follow campus health and safety guidelines, including the masking requirement (expected indoors at all times and outdoors when in group settings including classes)

To protect the health of our campus community, prospective students are not currently permitted to attend classes.

Classroom air exchanges

Updated Aug. 11, 2021

Last year the College upgraded all available central HVAC systems with the highest possible filtration capacity by deploying high-efficiency MERV-13 filters in those units. We also had an outside consultant with expertise in airflow evaluate the air exchanges in our classrooms. The Facilities Operations and Environmental Health & Safety teams are deploying more than 60 portable HEPA filters to classrooms not serviced by central HVAC systems with high-efficiency filtration (MERV-13 or higher) and to those rooms with high filtration but lower air flow.

In-person vs. virtual meetings

Updated Aug. 11, 2021

As it is central to our mission, in-person classes are a priority. Other activities, including individual and group meetings with students, advising sessions, office hours, department meetings, and committee meetings can be evaluated for their suitability to be held virtually. The mode(s) for all meetings should be made clear to all involved.

Class absences

Updated Sept. 17, 2021

The Office of Advising will notify faculty when students are not cleared to attend classes. The notification also will serve as a dean’s excuse for students not well enough to do work while in isolation. We ask faculty to continue to be lenient in terms of class attendance, participation, and assignments throughout the student’s isolation period. Faculty will be notified when students are cleared to return to class.

Students who are symptomatic have consistently been advised to stay out of class, but they have expressed varying degrees of anxiety about missing work. It is in everyone’s best interest for you to make it easy for students to access your class and stay on top of their work if they are symptomatic or for those who are close contacts, while they are awaiting a COVID-19 test. Faculty might suggest even those asymptomatic students stay away from class for three days as they await their follow-up test. A significant challenge here is that students who feel sick should be supported in staying home from class, which protects you and other students. We do not have the human resources to issue dean’s excuses for every student who feels they might be sick, and your flexibility with them is much appreciated.