Lafayette College is preparing to have most of the student body living on or near campus in a combination of residence halls and College-owned and privately owned apartments.
Faculty members may elect to teach virtually or in-person and may mentor individual research students on campus. While staff in student support services, dining, facilities, the health center, and public safety are anticipated to be on campus, many appointments and interactions will continue to be held virtually. Our safety plan, outlined below, contains elements similar to those we put in place for fall.
A strategy on how the institution will coordinate with government guidelines and local health providers
The College physician maintains frequent communication with state and local public health officials as well as with both local hospital networks regarding infiltration of the disease in the community and medical advice. If a positive COVID-19 case is discovered within the campus community, the College physician will coordinate with local and state health officials.
A strategy to safely resume a limited on-campus presence
The majority of classes will continue to be remote, but we anticipate having a good many courses with a significant in-person component this spring.
The strategy to safely return our population to campus includes mandatory use of PPE, testing, contact tracing, symptom checking, and a public health campaign promoting physical distancing and related health strategies. Adequate isolation spaces (both on- and off-campus) have been allocated for use to mitigate the spread of disease. Quarantined students will receive instructions on how to safely quarantine in their assigned rooms.
A strategy to monitor health conditions on its campus community
All students will be tested for active COVID-19 infection before and upon their return to campus; faculty and staff are expected to participate in the College’s testing programs. Any members of the community who come to campus are required to participate in daily symptom checks. A random testing program for students will be deployed to identify clusters of disease and to rapidly isolate and quarantine impacted individuals to slow the spread of illness.
A strategy to mitigate and contain the spread of the virus on campus, and to inform the Pennsylvania Department of Health in the event that transmission occurs at the institution
The mitigation strategies include daily symptom checking; deploying various testing mechanisms as appropriate, including testing for active disease at both the population level and for monitoring; rapid on-site testing for all symptomatic individuals; antibody testing where warranted; training and supporting contact tracers to rapidly identify any members of the community who may have been exposed; and isolating those who test positive and quarantining close contacts of those who test positive. The Department of Health will be kept apprised of all active cases and the impact of the individuals or contacts in the community. Detailed instructions regarding worker safety protocols with a confirmed case of COVID-19 can be found here.
A strategy to communicate accurate and timely information to students, faculty, staff, and the communities it serves
Weekly updates in Lafayette Today will keep members of the community informed of general disease rates on campus. The COVID-19 dashboard will be updated daily.
Reinforce practices related to hygiene, sanitation, and face coverings on campus
A public health promotional campaign emphasizing wearing masks, hand-washing, and keeping spaces sanitized will continue. The campaign features posters, brief articles, videos, and social media messages. Staff and students will be provided training on the proper use and care of masks, and all members of the community who return to campus will be provided with two cloth masks.
Implement social distancing interventions and make modifications to facilities that may create an environment conducive to healthy, safe, and inclusive learning
Signs that indicate masks are required and outline other physical distancing measures have been installed in all campus buildings. Density in dining halls and other facilities students will use has been reduced. An inspection and modifications to building ventilation systems have occurred.
Review and adjust attendance requirements, absentee policies, and nonessential travel for students, individuals at high risk of COVID-19, and personnel
Modify course modalities, schedules, and academic calendars to adapt to changing transmission levels and community spread of the virus
Most courses for the spring semester will be delivered remotely. Some in-person classes will be offered.