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Coronavirus
(COVID-19)

Information Center

All Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: Nov 19, 2020 at 8:22 pm

Below is a cumulative list of all frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to COVID-19. For a list related to a specific audience, you can review those FAQs on the students and families page, the Lehigh faculty and staff page, or the campus visitors page.

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Spring Announcement

No. Spring Break, previously scheduled for March 15-19, will be canceled. We encourage students to stay on campus as much as possible once they arrive for the spring semester, as this will reduce the risk of infection and transmission of the coronavirus.

Applying what we have learned and what has proven successful this past fall, our goal for the spring is to:

  1. Modestly expand our on-campus residential capacity;
  2. Increase the number of courses that have and require in-person participation;
  3. and Further expand our COVID-19 testing protocols as we look to increase the number of students on campus

Our plan aligns with our focus on delivering an exceptional Lehigh experience and supporting the health and safety of the Lehigh and Bethlehem communities. Its execution assumes the spread of the virus in the spring will be similar to the levels seen throughout the early part of this fall and that the current surge we are seeing locally and across the country will subside before mid-January.

February 1 will be the first day of classes for the spring semester.

In the spring, we plan to allow students currently living in residence halls to remain in on-campus housing and intend to modestly increase our fall undergraduate housing capacity.

We are determining the final number of undergraduate students we can accommodate in on-campus housing. With the opening of the new Singleton-Hitch-Maida residence halls, we can house an additional 200 students on campus who do not currently have spring housing in Bethlehem. We are also re-evaluating the density of students living in all of our residence halls and the use of university housing for quarantine or isolation space to determine how many students we can house safely on campus.

Undergraduate students in the categories below may request to live in a residence hall for Spring 2021. Spots will be filled in the following order:

  • Newly matriculating students, including transfer students, who will be enrolling in their first semester at Lehigh
  • Students in special circumstances such as those whose living environments impede academic progress
  • Seniors currently living out of the Bethlehem area who have academic needs to be on campus for completing graduation requirements
  • International undergraduate students who were newly enrolled in the fall, but who were unable to arrive on campus for the Fall 2020 semester
  • Sophomores

It is possible that the capacity of our residence halls will not allow us to house as many sophomores as request rooms. If this occurs, we will implement a housing lottery to make assignments based on the spaces available.

Undergraduate students not wanting to access campus in any way may request to be designated as “fully remote” and receive a 10 percent reduction in tuition. This reduction does not apply to graduate programs. Those who request to be fully remote forgo access to in-person classes; spaces such as libraries, gyms, campus buildings, and outdoor facilities such as patios and tent space; and participation in any on-campus activities such as student organization-sponsored programs or events, possible spring semester athletic events, or any increased campus access that may occur as the semester progresses. Fully remote students will not be able to enter any campus buildings and will not have swipe-card access to campus facilities. All students, regardless of status, will maintain access to the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center.

As was the case in the fall, we cannot safely provide housing for all students who wish to live on campus. Our decision is guided by the best available information about what is safe given anticipated conditions. It also reflects our analysis of the lessons learned from the fall.

Yes. Our spring plans are subject to changes due to the spread of the virus and external factors. The execution of our plans depends on the assumption that the spread of the virus in the spring will be similar to the levels seen throughout the early part of this fall and that the current surge will subside before mid-January.

  • Rigorous health and safety protocols will continue to be put into place such as cleaning and disinfection, symptomatic testing, quarantining, isolation and contact tracing.  
  • Required surveillance testing will continue and be expanded for students, faculty and staff. 
  • Students who are not living on campus may again choose to request to be “fully remote” and forgo all access to campus spaces for a 10 percent reduction in tuition.
  • All students, staff and faculty accessing campus are required to complete training on safety procedures and rules. 
  • All students, staff and faculty accessing campus are required to complete a daily health assessment.
  • All students are required to comply with mandatory testing requirements and contact tracing efforts.
  • COVID-19 related violations are expedited and strictly enforced through our code of conduct process.
  • Travel will continue to be limited and a return to campus testing and quarantining protocol will be in place for those who must travel away from the Bethlehem area.
  • Building access, limits on gatherings, and campus activity will continue to operate under strict health and safety protocols and continue to be adjusted as conditions warrant, including potentially limited access.
  • Student organization participation, including Greek life, will continue remotely, with some in-person programming. Greek housing will not be used for residential purposes in the spring.
  • Continued or further restrictions on events such as Commencement and the size of gatherings will be dependent on conditions in the spring.
  • We will continue to underscore the importance of wearing face coverings and social distancing. 
  • Resources such as the Health and Wellness Center, 24/7 Supplemental Health Services from LVHN, and University Counseling and Psychological Services will remain available to students.

Applying what we have learned and what has proven successful this past fall, our goal for the spring is to:

  • Modestly expand our on-campus residential capacity - With the opening of the new Singleton-Hitch-Maida residence halls, we can house an additional 200 students on campus who do not currently have spring housing in Bethlehem. We are also re-evaluating the density of students living in all of our residence halls and the use of university housing for quarantine or isolation space to determine how many students we can house safely on campus. On-campus housing may be applied for by the process and priority outlined in the message to students and families.
     
  • Increase the number of courses that have and require in-person participation - Information about which courses will require students to participate in person will be made clearly available as part of the registration process. Additional details about the approach to teaching will be available on college websites in advance of the start of registration.
     
  • Further expand our COVID-19 testing protocols as we look to increase the number of students on campus - We currently plan to start with weekly random surveillance testing of approximately 50% of all students living in Bethlehem and adjust this fraction as conditions warrant. All enrolled students will be required to provide accurate information about where they will be located in the spring semester. As an important change, fully remote students living in Bethlehem will additionally be required to participate in surveillance testing. This is based on our experience in the fall that some fully remote students living in the Bethlehem area are likely to interact with students attending classes and accessing campus. All students living in the Bethlehem area, including fully remote students, must continue to report the results (positive or negative) of any COVID-19 test taken and must participate in surveillance testing and contact tracing efforts. 

In the spring, we plan to allow students currently living in residence halls to remain in on-campus housing and intend to modestly increase our fall undergraduate housing capacity.

Approximately 1,250 undergraduate students are currently living in on-campus housing. All students currently living in residence halls can retain the same room for the spring. They do not need to apply for housing and do not need to remove their belongings from their current room before Thanksgiving break unless they choose not to return to on-campus housing for the spring.

Undergraduate students in the categories below may request to live in a residence hall for Spring 2021. Spots will be filled in the following order: Newly matriculating students, including transfer students, who will be enrolling in their first semester at Lehigh; Students in special circumstances such as those whose living environments impede academic progress; Seniors currently living out of the Bethlehem area who have academic needs to be on campus for completing graduation requirements; International undergraduate students who were newly enrolled in the fall, but who were unable to arrive on campus for the Fall 2020 semester; Sophomores

Additional information regarding how to retain your on-campus assignment and how to submit a housing application will follow from Housing Services in the coming days. Also, we will inform you of the move-in dates.

Yes. Students living in residence halls during fall can retain their same room. They do not need to apply for housing, and do not need to move out prior to Thanksgiving break unless they choose not to return to on-campus housing for the spring.

We ask all students to avoid travel as much as possible outside of the Bethlehem area once they arrive for the spring semester, except for emergency circumstances, as this will reduce the risk of infection and transmission of the coronavirus. This includes trips home to visit family and friends, and especially to other college campuses or for related social activities. 

For students who travel outside of Bethlehem during the semester, their return to campus will require a COVID-19 testing protocol and may require a 14-day quarantine if they traveled from a state declared a “hotspot” by the state of Pennsylvania.

All undergraduate and graduate students living in the residence halls and/or accessing campus will be required to follow a “return to campus” testing and quarantining protocol. Testing will be coordinated with residence hall move-in dates.

We will increase the frequency and levels of surveillance testing, especially early in the semester when cold weather will keep people indoors more of the time. We currently plan to start with weekly random surveillance testing of approximately 50% of all students living in Bethlehem and adjust this fraction as conditions warrant. 

All students living in Bethlehem will be required to participate in our surveillance testing and contact tracing programs even if they declare that they are “fully remote” and are not requesting access to campus. This change reflects the fact that testing in the fall revealed a higher rate of transmission in students living off campus and the recognition that some students who indicated that they were fully remote routinely interact with students attending classes and otherwise engaging on campus.

We also will make surveillance testing available to faculty and staff who have frequent on-campus interactions.

Yes. All students living in Bethlehem will be required to participate in our surveillance testing and contact tracing programs even if they declare that they are “fully remote” and are not requesting access to campus. This change reflects the fact that testing in the fall revealed a higher rate of transmission in students living off campus and the recognition that some students who indicated that they were fully remote routinely interact with students attending classes and otherwise engaging on campus. 

All enrolled students will be required to provide accurate information about where they will be located in the spring semester.

Featured

Lehigh provided guidance to students, faculty and staff to limit travel. We do not encourage or recommend leaving campus, especially if quarantining or isolating, but recognize there may be extenuating circumstances in which returning to your home and family may be necessary. Students living on or access campus must follow the Return to Campus Protocol before returning to or regaining access to campus. In addition, students should also follow any restrictions directed by the Commonwealth around leaving and returning to PA.

Transportation to a LVHN Express Care Center will be made available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for students by calling 610-758-4295. If you are experiencing a true medical emergency and need to visit the hospital or emergency department, you should call 9-1-1.

Read more about Lehigh's LVHN partnership:
https://coronavirus.lehigh.edu/covid-19-student-health-guide

According to the CDC:

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

More about Quarantine-

Read more from the CDC about "When to Quarantine," including a chart with guidance about when to start and end quarantine under various scenarios:

Who needs to quarantine?

People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms. Read more.

More about Isolation-

Read more from the CDC about how to "Isolate If You Are Sick," including information about how long you should isolate. 

I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms

You can be with others after

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Symptoms have improved

Read more.

Lehigh strongly urges students to not travel after receiving a positive test result or being identified as a close contact. If you must, the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center's current recommendation is that students who test positive or are identified as a close contact may travel if they are able to do so by private vehicle, but they should not use public transportation, which includes plane, train, bus, or rideshare.

If you have any questions regarding your housing or dining needs during your isolation or quarantine, email inisohsg@lehigh.edu or call 610-758-3500.

If you have questions related to specific medical concerns or symptoms, call the Health and Wellness Center at 610-758-3870 or contact us through the HWC secure message portal.

For questions about surveillance testing, contact inopen@lehigh.edu.

Visit the isolation and quarantine section of the FAQ for additional answers to questions specific to isolation and quarantining. Consult our COVID-19 Contacts page for contact information not found here.

A close contact is defined by the CDC as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. The Health and Wellness Center is testing students who are close contacts and may refer you to the outdoor testing tent established for this purpose. The lab turnaround time for these tests is between 24 and 48 hours. Close contacts are placed on quarantine for 14 days from the date of last close contact. Demonstrating a negative COVID-19 test does not eliminate the need to quarantine.

Counselors from University Counseling and Psychological Services are available for support and welcome and invite students to call the center to help address their concerns and anxiety to support their coping. They can be reached at 610-758-3880, or if this number is busy, please call 610-758-5183, Mon. - Fri. 8am-5pm. Overnight on-call services are also available and students can be connected to a clinician calling this same number.

Yes. Supplemental to our Health and Wellness Center, we have partnered with the Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) to provide access to their 24/7 nurse triage line (1-888-402-LVHN). Speak with a nurse to assess COVID and other symptoms, to answer your questions, and discuss your testing options. A video visit is also an option. Additional information is available in the guide published here. For those who are tested at an alternate location, be aware that if you are not taking a rapid test, your results may take several days to be processed. If you are experiencing a true medical emergency and need to visit the hospital or emergency department, you should call 9-1-1. Transportation to a LVHN Express Care Center will be made available for students who are living on campus by calling 610-758-4295. If you receive a positive test from an outside source, be sure to let the Health and Wellness Center know and to upload your results on your health center portal.

Yes. We do not encourage or recommend leaving campus, especially if quarantining or isolating, but recognize there may be extenuating circumstances in which returning to your home and family may be preferable. You must notify your Gryphon before leaving your residence hall for an extended period of time. If you go home, also consider whether upon your return there will still be a quarantine in your residence hall. You must also follow the Return to Campus Protocol before returning to or access campus. 

 

Lehigh currently utilizes four modes of testing:

1) Diagnostic testing for symptomatic students seen at the Health and Wellness Center, also called “point of care testing” or rapid testing. Specimen collection is done at the Health and Wellness Center for students presenting COVID-19 related symptoms. The test is processed at the Health and Wellness Center and has a one hour turn-around time. Due to limitations on the availability of test kits, we prioritize these tests for symptomatic students.

2) Specimen collection outside the entrance of the Health and Wellness Center at the Health and Wellness Center tent. This is for asymptomatic close contacts of positive cases. These specimens are sent by courier to HNL Lab Medicine for processing. Turn around time has been 24 hours for the most part, though at times may be longer. This allows for a larger volume of students to be tested.

3) Surveillance testing for asymptomatic students. Students should NOT use this surveillance testing as a way to obtain a test if they are having symptoms or believe they have been a close contact of a positive case. Students are emailed if required to participate in surveillance testing. 

4) Outside testing. Students may be referred by the Health and Wellness Center or reach out on their own to the 24/7 Lehigh Valley Health Network Nurse Information Line that is working collaboratively with the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center for assessment of symptoms and referral for testing at three different LVHN locations off-campus.

All students, on and off-campus, fully remote or not, have access to each of these forms of testing.

Why are some forms of testing utilized over others depending on the situation?

Rapid or diagnostic tests are utilized primarily for students experiencing symptoms. It is important for symptomatic students and Health and Wellness Center staff to know test results quickly so they can make treatment recommendations appropriately and to isolate the student, if necessary, so the potential for spread of the virus to others can be reduced.

Asymptomatic close contacts of students are placed in quarantine for a 14-day period due to the two-to-14-day incubation period of the virus, and as such should have significantly limited close contact with others during this period. Given the limitations on the numbers of rapid tests that Health and Wellness Center can perform, and the need to do high volumes of testing of asymptomatic close contacts, the Health and Wellness Center has utilized HNL Lab Medicine for processing these tests. The same decision principles around testing apply for on-campus as for off-campus students.

No. Negative tests do not "test you out" of quarantine if you were identified as having come in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.  You need to complete the full 14 days of quarantine. If a person who is a close contact has a test during that time and tests positive, then they become a case and must be in isolation starting from the date of the test (or onset of symptoms) for 10 days. Isolation (required for at least 10 days) is for people suspected of having COVID-19 and who are either awaiting a test or confirmed to be a positive case. Read Lehigh’s isolation and quarantine protocol.

During the semester, the Lehigh COVID-19 Dashboard is updated daily during the week with the most current case information.

During the week, students who are experiencing symptoms can be tested at the Health and Wellness Center. Results are usually available within an hour. Our Health and Wellness Center has additional staff to support those who are reporting symptoms and need to be tested, but there may be cases where the Health and Wellness Center refers you to a partner clinic to be tested.

Supplemental to the Health and Wellness Center, we have partnered with the Lehigh Valley Health Network to provide access to their 24/7 nurse triage line (1-888-402-LVHN). Speak with a nurse to assess COVID and other symptoms, answer your questions, and discuss your testing options. A video visit is also an option. For those who are tested at an alternate location, be aware that if you are not taking a rapid test, your results may take several days to be processed. If you receive a positive test from an outside source, be sure to let the Health and Wellness Center know and to upload your results on your health center portal.

All students, faculty, and staff are required to complete training, complete health requirements such as testing and quarantining before returning, and follow proper health protocols when on campus.

For all students, faculty, staff and visitors:

  • Students who left campus or the Bethlehem area overnight or longer must follow the travel and return to campus protocol.
  • A daily self-screening is required before coming to campus (download the Hawkwatch app to access the tool).
  • All are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and take proper health precautions, such as staying home when sick
  • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is requiring the use of cloth face coverings when in public. On the Lehigh campus, face coverings are required to be worn in any public area, and in any circumstance where interacting with others on campus. At Lehigh, we consider this to include all of our buildings as well as outdoor spaces such as campus walkways, where social distancing is not possible. Coverings may be removed when working in a private, single-occupancy office or when eating.
  • A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing. Everyone should still be striving to maintain a six-foot distance between each other at all times.

You can find information about Lehigh's Surveillance Testing program on our FAQ created specifically for testing.

If you experience or witness a situation in which members of our community, regardless of whether they are students, faculty, staff, or visitors are not adhering to these standards, you have the following options:

  1. If you can safely address the concern directly with the individual or group, you may do so by reminding them of University standards and our shared responsibility in promoting a healthy, safe and inclusive learning and working environment. Supervisors are expected to address these issues with their direct reports. 

  2. If addressing the concern directly is not an option, or if you are not satisfied with the response you receive or the behavior doesn’t stop, you may report the concern to the COVID Response Team (CRT) by completing this form at http://lehigh.edu/go/covidreporting.  While we encourage you to provide your name and contact information with this form so that the CRT may follow-up with you, if necessary, you may also submit this report anonymously.  

Academics

Classroom and lab space have been modified to comply with social distancing requirements. Cleaning schedules are adjusted based on the activity in campus buildings, with a focus on the ongoing cleaning and disinfection of all entrances, door handles, and high-traffic areas on campus in accordance with the latest CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) guidelines. Hand sanitizers are located at entrances to all buildings and dining and high-traffic areas. Ventilation systems were adjusted to reduce air recirculation and upgrade air filtration.  We provided a wellness/safety starter kit for all faculty, staff and students, which includes masks, hand sanitizer and other personal items.

 

Classrooms: In addition to daily cleaning, each classroom space is equipped with spray sanitizer and towels for students and faculty to use prior to or after each class. Facilities stock and maintain these classroom supplies. Instructors can request additional PPE and also request access to larger spaces, including some outdoor tented spaces. Plexiglass shields and dividers were installed in some classrooms. Instructors with ideas about how to make their classrooms or other educational spaces safer can make these suggestions to their department chairs and deans.

 

Offices: Individual cubicle and office cleaning will continue to be completed weekly. Additional focus is given to cleaning and sanitizing touchpoints. Before you leave any room in which you have been working or eating you should swab down all work or eating areas with EPA-registered disinfectant. This includes your private workspace or any shared-space location or equipment.

All undergraduate students must be enrolled in 12 credit hours in a semester to hold full-time status. Incoming first-year students must enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours of courses, or they will have their status changed to a nondegree student. Returning students may enroll in fewer than 12 credits and remain degree-seeking students, but they will be considered part-time students. There are a number of implications to this, and it is important to understand the ramifications of going part-time or (for first-year students) being a nondegree student.

First, students should consider time to degree. Students need to complete an average of 15 to 17 credit hours for eight semesters in order to complete their degrees in four years. (The exact number of credit hours required for a degree varies by college.) If students take a lower course load, they will need to take additional courses in other semesters.

There are also financial aid implications. Undergraduates must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits (full-time status) in order to receive institutional financial aid, and maintaining good academic progress for financial aid purposes requires a student to complete 24 credit hours in an academic year. There are also implications to the schedule for paying back loans, so it is important to speak with your financial aid advisor about these implications.

Finally, there are implications for your privileges as a Lehigh student. Certain students, such as athletes and ROTC students, must maintain full-time status. Students should also be aware that they are eligible to join a fraternity or sorority only after successfully completing a full-time Lehigh schedule of 12 credit hours or more and earning a 2.500 GPA or higher, so going part-time may affect your ability to rush, and there may be other implications for leadership positions in clubs and organizations. Students’ eligibility to enroll in Lehigh’s student health insurance plan varies by credit load.

Students should talk with their advisor, and must speak with Lehigh’s director of retention, Dr. Donna Mohr (inretain@lehigh.edu), about their plans. Students must complete the permanent withdrawal/non-return form in advance of the start of the semester.

For those choosing the “fully remote” option:

  • You must elect the “fully remote” option to receive the 10-percent reduction in undergraduate tuition for the Fall semester.
  • No student, even if already registered in all online classes, is automatically considered “fully remote.”
  • Students living in campus housing are not eligible for the “fully remote” option.
  • Student-athletes participating in the athletics program are not eligible for the "fully remote" option.
  • Those who elect the “fully remote” option, whether they live off campus in South Bethlehem or elsewhere, will forgo all access to campus classrooms and facilities, with the exception of the Health and Wellness Center. This means you will not be able to attend in-person classes.
  • A student registered for exclusively online courses living off-campus in South Bethlehem who wants access to the limited but available campus facilities, such as the library and the gym, should not elect the “fully remote” option and therefore would not be eligible for the tuition reduction.

No. Spring Break, previously scheduled for March 15-19, will be canceled. We encourage students to stay on campus as much as possible once they arrive for the spring semester, as this will reduce the risk of infection and transmission of the coronavirus.

Undergraduate students considering a leave of absence should discuss their plans with their academic advisor, and reach out to the Office of Academic Life and Student Transitions. This office oversees the process that a student must complete in order to take a leave of absence. Please note that the process to take a leave of absence should be completed before the start of the semester of the leave.

If unapproved leaves are taken, students are declared as non-returning and must request readmission through the Dean of Students if they wish to re-enroll in a future term. Courses taken at another college or university while on an unapproved leave will not be permitted to transfer toward a Lehigh University baccalaureate degree.

It is extremely important to seek approval for the transfer of courses before beginning coursework at another university. Lehigh’s course approval process involves both the Office of Registration and Academic Services (RAS) and academic departments; faculty evaluate courses for transfer based on their equivalency and rigor. Courses taken at rigorous four-year institutions are viewed more favorably by faculty.

The first day of classes of the Spring 2021 semester will be February 1. The university has delayed the spring term by one week to give additional time for staff and faculty to prepare the campus.

We learned a tremendous amount about remote learning from the spring semester, not just from our experiences, but also from others across the higher education community, and we will greatly enhance our online and remote capabilities in the fall. Since the Spring, more than 350 faculty have participated in workshops and other forms of training in online and technology-enhanced teaching and are well-prepared to meet the high academic standards of teaching our students and families rightly expect. We have invested in additional classroom technology for creating a better learning experience for students in the classroom and online. This also involves providing critical opportunities for faculty and students to build meaningful connections with one another, whether in person or online. Our faculty are prepared to fully engage with, challenge and teach students in a way that will retain the essence of a Lehigh education.

With the exception of cross-registering for courses at LVAIC institutions, Lehigh students may not be simultaneously enrolled at two institutions; that is, students may not take Lehigh courses and take courses at another institution at the same time. Generally speaking, students who wish to take courses at another university would need to take a leave of absence if they are continuing students or defer their admission.

No - Students must decide if they will pursue the "fully remote" option at the beginning of the semester so that our health and safety plans can adequately account for a certain number of people in campus facilities. 

First, students should focus on staying home when sick and supporting their personal health, safety and wellness. Students should keep in contact with their professors about any course conflicts and work directly with their professors on a plan to make up any missed coursework. Faculty will accommodate quarantining needs throughout the semester.

For extenuating circumstances, students who are unable to keep pace with studies in a given course should speak with the professor regarding how to complete the course. In some instances, it may be appropriate for a student to “take an incomplete,” meaning that the student would receive a temporary semester grade of N and complete some coursework after the end of the semester. For information on this process, and the circumstances under which it might be appropriate to take an incomplete, see the University Catalog’s information on the definition of grades (specifically the N grade).

There are a variety of situations that might lead a student to withdraw from an individual course. A student who has missed a very large proportion of the first half of a course might decide to withdraw before the withdrawal deadline. In a regular semester, a student may withdraw through the 11th week of the semester; see the Lehigh Catalog for additional information on course withdrawals.

In the event of a health situation that requires a student to withdraw from the university (that is, withdraw from all courses), the student may apply for a medical withdrawal. Supporting health documentation is required. In the event of a medical withdrawal from all courses in a semester, certified by the Dean of Students, tuition will be refunded in proportion to the semester remaining.

For those who do not select the “fully remote” option:

  • Even if all of your courses are remote, you are electing to access campus facilities and will not receive the 10-percent tuition reduction.
  • Students will have access to academic facilities as needed for their academic programs.
  • Undergraduate students engaged in on-campus research can do so with the permission of the faculty advisor and must complete required safety training.
  • University libraries, the University Center, and athletic facilities will operate under strict health and safety protocols; access may be limited for health and safety reasons.
  • You can participate in on-campus activities such as student organization-sponsored programs or events, possible spring semester athletic events, or any increased campus access that may occur as the semester progresses. 

Applying what we have learned and what has proven successful this past fall, our goal for the spring is to:

  1. Modestly expand our on-campus residential capacity;
  2. Increase the number of courses that have and require in-person participation;
  3. and Further expand our COVID-19 testing protocols as we look to increase the number of students on campus

Our plan aligns with our focus on delivering an exceptional Lehigh experience and supporting the health and safety of the Lehigh and Bethlehem communities. Its execution assumes the spread of the virus in the spring will be similar to the levels seen throughout the early part of this fall and that the current surge we are seeing locally and across the country will subside before mid-January.

February 1 will be the first day of classes for the spring semester.

Athletics

The Patriot League has not yet made a final determination regarding spring competition. All spring Lehigh athletics training, conditioning and practices will align with the university’s established health and safety and testing protocols. 

Events, Meetings and Gatherings

The 2019 Commencement Ceremony was postponed, and Lehigh held virtual celebrations to confer degrees and to honor the academic achievements of our graduates. We will keep the community informed of updates on the rescheduled in-person ceremony. The Lehigh University Commencement website will be updated with new information.

 

All on-campus and off-campus meetings and gatherings (indoors and outdoors) are limited to five people at most.

Acting in a way that compromises the safety of others or failure to abide by the Student Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action up to and including being asked to leave campus, suspension or expulsion.

All on-campus and off-campus meetings and gatherings (indoors and outdoors) are limited to five people at most. For any gathering up to five people, appropriate social distancing of at least six feet from others must be able to be observed and face coverings must be worn. Given no evidence of transmission in classroom and formal settings, in-person courses may exceed this five-person limit in accordance with the established course format when held. The restrictions on gatherings include occupancy; for example, five roommates living together are not permitted to host visitors. 

Health & Safety

No. You do not need to upload your negative test results. Remember that the results only indicate that the coronavirus was not detected on the day you took the test. You must continue to keep vigilant: wear a cloth face covering, maintain proper social distancing, wash your hands frequently, self-monitor symptoms (complete the self-screening tool if coming to campus) and absolutely stay-at-home if you don’t feel well or have other symptoms.

Lehigh provided guidance to students, faculty and staff to limit travel. We do not encourage or recommend leaving campus, especially if quarantining or isolating, but recognize there may be extenuating circumstances in which returning to your home and family may be necessary. Students living on or access campus must follow the Return to Campus Protocol before returning to or regaining access to campus. In addition, students should also follow any restrictions directed by the Commonwealth around leaving and returning to PA.

Yes. Anyone entering a University building must wear a cloth face covering to minimize risk to other building occupants and the Lehigh community. This policy is informed by guidance from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the CDC, and Pennsylvania Department of Health and tailored to the unique context of our residential and University community.

On the Lehigh campus:

  • Face coverings are required to be worn in any public area, and in any circumstance where interacting with others on campus. At Lehigh, we consider this to include all of our buildings as well as outdoor spaces where social distancing may not be possible at all times, such as on campus walkways and waiting areas.
  • Coverings may be removed when working in a private, single-occupancy office with the door closed or when eating, but should be worn in public spaces even when others are not present.
  • If you are sharing an office with another person, even if you are socially distanced, you should wear a mask at all times. 
  • A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing. Everyone should still be striving to maintain a six-foot distance between each other at all times.
  • Since we often do not know when situations will require them, cloth face coverings and appropriate PPE should be kept with you at all times on campus.
  • We provided a wellness/safety starter kit for all faculty, staff and students, which includes masks, hand sanitizer and other items.

More information:

At this time, Lehigh University is not requiring any COVID-19 antibody test documentation.  However, we recommend that you keep your COVID-19 testing documentation in case the Lehigh University requirements should change. When providing your information to the Health and Wellness Center, you may be asked additional questions about your diagnosis to help keep your records up-to-date and allow us to provide the most comprehensive care possible. If you are randomly selected for surveillance testing and believe your prior positive test result exempts you from the test, please upload your positive test result to the HWC portal and send a secure message to the HWC via the portal to request exemption. You may be exempt from testing for 12 weeks after a positive PCR test.

We have developed an information page about the tool, including step-by-step instructions, here.

For all undergraduate and graduate students:

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, including those living off-campus, the student must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Refer to our isolation and quarantining protocol for what to expect if you live on or off campus. Individuals who test positive are contacted by the local public health entity. In the case of Lehigh University, this is the Bethlehem Health Bureau. The Bethlehem Health Bureau will be managing contact tracing and notification and they will follow up with you, along with the HWC, until you recover.

If a student tests positive, faculty and instructional staff teaching in-person classes in which that student is enrolled will be contacted as part of the contact tracing efforts. As described in an e-mail, to facilitate contact tracing, faculty and instructional staff should take attendance in class and should either assign seats or take a picture of students’ seating locations at the beginning of every class. 

It is critical that students notify the Health and Wellness Center at 610-758-3870 about any positive test, even if the test was administered elsewhere.

For faculty and staff:

Any faculty or staff member who has been on campus or in close proximity to other Lehigh community members and receives a positive COVID-19 test result should self-isolate, follow a primary care physician’s advice, notify your supervisor or department chair of your absence, and notify Lehigh by following the instructions at this linkWhether or not they have been on campus, it is essential that they contact Lehigh’s Employee Health Nurse Case Manager, Teresa Latvis, at Lehigh Valley Health Network via email (Teresa.Latvis@lvhn.org) or phone (610-861-8080, ext. 21237). 

Supervisors and department chairs, staff and faculty are not required to divulge that the reason for their absence is due to a COVID-19 isolation or quarantine. However, if they choose to share this with you, treat this as confidential information and follow up with Terri Latvis or Human Resources to make sure the information and all services are being extended.

For more information on Lehigh’s COVID-19 related health services partnership with LVHN, follow this link.

In all cases where a student, faculty or staff member tests positive COVID-19 and was on campus, Facilities Services is notified to conduct the cleaning and sanitization process of any physical spaces, as needed.

Lehigh currently utilizes four modes of testing:

1) Diagnostic testing for symptomatic students seen at the Health and Wellness Center, also called “point of care testing” or rapid testing. Specimen collection is done at the Health and Wellness Center for students presenting COVID-19 related symptoms. The test is processed at the Health and Wellness Center and has a one hour turn-around time. Due to limitations on the availability of test kits, we prioritize these tests for symptomatic students.

2) Specimen collection outside the entrance of the Health and Wellness Center at the Health and Wellness Center tent. This is for asymptomatic close contacts of positive cases. These specimens are sent by courier to HNL Lab Medicine for processing. Turn around time has been 24 hours for the most part, though at times may be longer. This allows for a larger volume of students to be tested.

3) Surveillance testing for asymptomatic students. Students should NOT use this surveillance testing as a way to obtain a test if they are having symptoms or believe they have been a close contact of a positive case. Students are emailed if required to participate in surveillance testing. 

4) Outside testing. Students may be referred by the Health and Wellness Center or reach out on their own to the 24/7 Lehigh Valley Health Network Nurse Information Line that is working collaboratively with the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center for assessment of symptoms and referral for testing at three different LVHN locations off-campus.

All students, on and off-campus, fully remote or not, have access to each of these forms of testing.

Why are some forms of testing utilized over others depending on the situation?

Rapid or diagnostic tests are utilized primarily for students experiencing symptoms. It is important for symptomatic students and Health and Wellness Center staff to know test results quickly so they can make treatment recommendations appropriately and to isolate the student, if necessary, so the potential for spread of the virus to others can be reduced.

Asymptomatic close contacts of students are placed in quarantine for a 14-day period due to the two-to-14-day incubation period of the virus, and as such should have significantly limited close contact with others during this period. Given the limitations on the numbers of rapid tests that Health and Wellness Center can perform, and the need to do high volumes of testing of asymptomatic close contacts, the Health and Wellness Center has utilized HNL Lab Medicine for processing these tests. The same decision principles around testing apply for on-campus as for off-campus students.

  • The Health & Wellness Center remains open. To be seen at the Health & Wellness Center, call 610-758-3870 to schedule an appointment. Do not walk into the Health & Wellness Center without calling first. Visit the Health & Wellness Center website for additional information.
  • In these times of significant stress, counselors from University Counseling and Psychological Services are available for support and welcome and invite students to call the center to help address their concerns and anxiety to support their coping. They can be reached at 610-758-3880, or if this number is busy, please call 610-758-5183, Mon. - Fri. 8am-5pm. Overnight on-call services are also available and students can be connected to a clinician calling this same number.
  • Visit our "Coping with COVID-19" resource page for support services and wellness resources for the Lehigh community.

Currently, there is no different protocol for those who have had confirmed cases of COVID-19 and have presumably fully recovered than there will be for students who have not had the infection or do not know if they have had it. The medical community does not yet know if having had COVID-19 necessarily means you are immune from getting it again or from being an asymptomatic carrier. So wearing a mask at all times when in public places, practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene would still apply to those people who have already had COVID-19. These are standard, good practices that are recommended by the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health for your individual health and safety as well as the health and safety of those around you and the community at large.

After receiving notification and consulting with the Lehigh Health & Wellness Center, Environmental Health and Safety, Human Resources and additional University leadership, LU Facilities will determine the extent of a closure, if needed. LU Facilities will then direct the deep-cleaning and sanitization of the space based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pennsylvania Department of Health protocols prior to re-opening. Facilities may rely on a third-party industrial disinfection provider to sanitize areas for COVID-19 as needed.

Please email the Bursar’s office at Bursar@lehigh.edu . When making your insurance decision, please consider what is a better choice for you and your individual situation. If you have coverage at home but not when physically on campus and are identifying yourself as a remote student, during this time we are making an exception to allow enrollment for spring only.

Regardless of your housing status and/or mode of instruction selection, you must Waive or Confirm enrollment in the student health insurance plan at https://www.universityhealthplans.com/letters/letter.cgi?group_id=4 . The Student Health Insurance policy guidelines are available at: https://financeadmin.lehigh.edu/HealthInsurance.

According to the CDC:

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

More about Quarantine-

Read more from the CDC about "When to Quarantine," including a chart with guidance about when to start and end quarantine under various scenarios:

Who needs to quarantine?

People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms. Read more.

More about Isolation-

Read more from the CDC about how to "Isolate If You Are Sick," including information about how long you should isolate. 

I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms

You can be with others after

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Symptoms have improved

Read more.

Transportation to a LVHN Express Care Center will be made available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for students by calling 610-758-4295. If you are experiencing a true medical emergency and need to visit the hospital or emergency department, you should call 9-1-1.

Read more about Lehigh's LVHN partnership:
https://coronavirus.lehigh.edu/covid-19-student-health-guide

For students:

We have prepared guidance on what to do if you are feeling sick and suspect you have COVID-19. Read more about COVID-19 symptoms, treatment and on-campus testing for students on this page. > Students living on- or off-campus who believe they have symptoms in line with COVID-19 should call the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center (HWC) at 610-758-3870. If you are living on campus, the HWC will assist with determining if you need to be relocated to on-campus isolation housing and the provisions for how you will receive care and support during the time you are isolating. 

For students who are experiencing symptoms, we have partnered with the Lehigh Valley Health Network as a supplemental resource to provide access to their 24/7 nurse triage line (1-888-402-LVHN). Speak with a nurse to assess COVID and other symptoms, answer your questions, and discuss your testing options. A video visit is also an option. Additional information will be published on our website. For those who are tested at an alternate location, be aware that if you are not taking a rapid test, your results may take several days to be processed. Transportation to a LVHN Express Care Center will be made available from 8:00 to 5:00 Saturday and Sunday for students who are living on campus by calling 610-758-4295. If you are experiencing a true medical emergency and need to visit the hospital or emergency department, you should call 911. If you receive a positive test from an outside source, be sure to let the Health and Wellness Center know and to upload your results on your health center portal.

For faculty and staff:

Faculty or staff members with symptoms should stay home and notify your supervisor or department chair. If you arrive on campus and begin to feel symptoms consistent with COVID-19, immediately notify your supervisor or department chair and go home. You should contact your primary care physician first and follow their advice, including scheduling a COVID-19 test, if recommended. This testing can be done by your Primary Care Physician or can be coordinated through our occupational health services partnership with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). Any faculty or staff member who has been on campus or in close proximity to other Lehigh community members and receives a positive COVID-19 test result should self-isolate, follow a primary care physician’s advice, contact the university’s Employee Health Nurse Case Manager from Lehigh Valley Health Network, Terri Latvis RN, at 610-861-8080 ext. 21237 or Teresa.Latvis@lvhn.org, and notify Lehigh by following the instructions at this link

 

Any individual, even if asymptomatic, who wishes to get tested can do so for a fee through Vault Health (the company we have contracted with for student arrival testing) or through a number of other providers. 

Yes. Students should upload a copy of the report of their POSITIVE test results on the Health and Wellness Center patient portal. Faculty and staff should follow the process established through Lehigh's occupational health provider. 

Students should contact the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center at 610-758-3870 for additional guidance about isolation and next steps to be cleared for arrival. It is likely that individuals will also hear from their local public health entity.

During the week, students who are experiencing symptoms can be tested at the Health and Wellness Center. Results are usually available within an hour. Our Health and Wellness Center has additional staff to support those who are reporting symptoms and need to be tested, but there may be cases where the Health and Wellness Center refers you to a partner clinic to be tested.

Supplemental to the Health and Wellness Center, we have partnered with the Lehigh Valley Health Network to provide access to their 24/7 nurse triage line (1-888-402-LVHN). Speak with a nurse to assess COVID and other symptoms, answer your questions, and discuss your testing options. A video visit is also an option. For those who are tested at an alternate location, be aware that if you are not taking a rapid test, your results may take several days to be processed. If you receive a positive test from an outside source, be sure to let the Health and Wellness Center know and to upload your results on your health center portal.

All students, faculty, and staff are required to complete training, complete health requirements such as testing and quarantining before returning, and follow proper health protocols when on campus.

For all students, faculty, staff and visitors:

  • Students who left campus or the Bethlehem area overnight or longer must follow the travel and return to campus protocol.
  • A daily self-screening is required before coming to campus (download the Hawkwatch app to access the tool).
  • All are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and take proper health precautions, such as staying home when sick
  • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is requiring the use of cloth face coverings when in public. On the Lehigh campus, face coverings are required to be worn in any public area, and in any circumstance where interacting with others on campus. At Lehigh, we consider this to include all of our buildings as well as outdoor spaces such as campus walkways, where social distancing is not possible. Coverings may be removed when working in a private, single-occupancy office or when eating.
  • A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing. Everyone should still be striving to maintain a six-foot distance between each other at all times.

International Students

The Office of International Students and Scholars has developed a page that answers questions specific to international students.

Isolation and Quarantine

No. Negative tests do not "test you out" of quarantine if you were identified as having come in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.  You need to complete the full 14 days of quarantine. If a person who is a close contact has a test during that time and tests positive, then they become a case and must be in isolation starting from the date of the test (or onset of symptoms) for 10 days. Isolation (required for at least 10 days) is for people suspected of having COVID-19 and who are either awaiting a test or confirmed to be a positive case. Read Lehigh’s isolation and quarantine protocol.

If a student is in quarantine, the mail center will hold the package for the student to pick up after quarantine is over. If it’s a time-sensitive matter, then the student can delegate someone to pick up the package. They can send an email to mailcenter@lehigh.edu stating the name of the person picking up the package so they know they have been provided permission.

Yes. Students quarantining who have not tested positive may utilize the socially distanced take out process to pick up meals. This process is designed to minimize contact with others and follows all appropriate health and safety protocols, including limiting the number of students gathering and incorporating socially distancing queuing as necessary. Students place their takeout containers through a small opening on a tray, which dining staff then uses to place the food on; the server then puts the tray (never touching the takeout container) through the opening for the student to take. Both students and staff are wearing masks and staff are behind glass. Students are in and out of the dining halls within 10-15 minutes and stand socially distanced while in the dining hall. 

According to the CDC:

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

More about Quarantine-

Read more from the CDC about "When to Quarantine," including a chart with guidance about when to start and end quarantine under various scenarios:

Who needs to quarantine?

People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms. Read more.

More about Isolation-

Read more from the CDC about how to "Isolate If You Are Sick," including information about how long you should isolate. 

I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms

You can be with others after

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Symptoms have improved

Read more.

Yes. We do not encourage or recommend leaving campus, especially if quarantining or isolating, but recognize there may be extenuating circumstances in which returning to your home and family may be preferable. You must notify your Gryphon before leaving your residence hall for an extended period of time. If you go home, also consider whether upon your return there will still be a quarantine in your residence hall. You must also follow the Return to Campus Protocol before returning to or access campus. 

 

Refer to the available options here

Lehigh strongly urges students to not travel after receiving a positive test result or being identified as a close contact. If you must, the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center's current recommendation is that students who test positive or are identified as a close contact may travel if they are able to do so by private vehicle, but they should not use public transportation, which includes plane, train, bus, or rideshare.

No. Space on campus is very limited given the health and safety protocols in place, such as low-density occupancy. Students living off campus will be required to self-isolate in their off-campus residence. We urge students and families to consider this when making decisions about living in the Bethlehem area in off-campus housing instead of remaining home.  All students will have access to services from the Health and Wellness Center and access to treatment, including through telemedicine.

Refer to our isolation and quarantining protocol for what to expect if you live on or off campus. 

A close contact is defined by the CDC as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. The Health and Wellness Center is testing students who are close contacts and may refer you to the outdoor testing tent established for this purpose. The lab turnaround time for these tests is between 24 and 48 hours. Close contacts are placed on quarantine for 14 days from the date of last close contact. Demonstrating a negative COVID-19 test does not eliminate the need to quarantine.

Travel, both domestic and international, can present risks associated with exposure to COVID-19. Although travel by the university has been limited, those coming from international and out-of-state locations should follow the current Pennsylvania guidelines for quarantining and testing requirements.

Students who are living in on-campus housing, who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, will be able to self-quarantine in the residence halls either on their current residence hall floor (if the contact was another student on that floor) or in separate quarantine housing as determined by the LU HWC, the university and Bethlehem Health Bureau. Students who are living in off-campus housing will not be provided with on-campus quarantine housing if they have had close contact with someone with COVID-19. Read more

If you have 14 days worth of clean laundry and it is possible to wait, please do so. For students who are quarantining--who do not have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and are monitoring symptoms--it is permissible for you to load your clothes into the washer and dryer, return to your room, or pick up your laundry and return to your room, as long as you are wearing a face covering, wipe down the machines with a sanitizing cloth, and maintain a distance of six feet from others. Follow all procedures in place that support minimal gathering in the laundry room at any given time. Use Laundry Alert (sign in code: lu1473) to see which machines are in use and how many are available. The goal is to avoid interactions with others to minimize exposure, and the risk is low if you take these precautions. Those who are isolating as a result of testing positive for COVID-19 are not permitted to leave isolation housing.

Research & Graduate Studies

Graduate students can find up-to-date information on the Graduate Education page. Please visit this page for details about graduate student funding and the work of teaching assistants, research assistants and graduate assistants, as well as information about financial need, health and wellness, and other available support.

No. There will be no change in tuition for graduate students, even if you are taking all courses remotely.

Lehigh is currently following a phased approach to reopening on campus research activities. Visit the Office of Research and Graduate Studies page for more specific information. Email with additional questions.

Graduate students who have secured Lehigh-owned housing will not be affected by the university’s de-densifying plans. If you live in or plan to live in Lehigh graduate housing, nothing will change. If the university pivots mid-semester to fully remote learning, you will be able to stay in your housing.

Residential Life & Campus Resources

 

Building access will be limited to Lehigh faculty, staff, and students as follows:

  • Access to all buildings requires completion of the relevant COVID-19 training and acknowledgment.
  • All buildings will be locked and only accessible via card-swipe.
  • Academic buildings will be accessible via card-swipe during regular campus opening hours. Final campus and building opening hours are to be determined. 
  • All faculty, staff, and graduate students will be permitted access to the same buildings but will require a Lehigh ID to gain entry.
  • Undergraduate residence hall or house access is restricted to students who live in the building.
  • Undergraduate students residing on campus (first-year students and those given permission for on-campus residency) will have access to their assigned residence halls and open campus facilities. 
  • Undergraduate students residing off campus, who do not choose the “fully remote” option will have access to open campus facilities.
  • Off-campus students who choose the “fully remote” option and the 10 percent undergraduate tuition reduction will only have access to the Health and Wellness Center, which will remain open to all students regardless of registration status.
  • Everyone on campus is required to have their Lehigh ID with them at all times, and to display their ID card when in public spaces.
  • If your Lehigh ID is missing, email inIDEAL@lehigh.edu as soon as possible for a replacement. Your email must include your name and LIN for a new card to be issued. The $30.00 card replacement fee will be waived for requests submitted before August 15.

No. Fraternity and Sorority chapter facilities will not be open for residential living and both OFSA and Housing Services will work with residential chapters to ensure a strong opening once Lehigh determines it is safe to open campus more fully. Our offices continue to be dedicated and devoted to the success of the fraternities and sororities at Lehigh University.

Visitors are not permitted in the Packer/230 West Packer residences. Saucon Village residents living in graduate and non-traditional housing are currently permitted to have visitors in accordance with their lease terms. Visitors during this time are only permitted access to your personal living area and are not permitted to access other campus spaces or facilities. Current campus restrictions should always be followed. Students who are hosting visitors in their apartment are responsible for knowing the current university protocols and communicating them with their visitor(s). A visitor is required to complete a self-screening.

The opening of campus buildings and the numbers of people allowed in these buildings will be adjusted over the course of the semester as pandemic conditions change. When buildings like the library, fitness facilities are open, students in residence halls will have access to these campus facilities. The semester will start off with limited access to facilities, such as the library, as we resume the semester, determining what is safe, and adjusting throughout the semester as needed given changing conditions.

Those who live off-campus but are not fully remote will have similar access but not be allowed to live in on-campus housing. If there is a significant increase of COVID-19 cases in the surrounding area, this access may become more restricted.

Those students who choose the fully remote option and the associated tuition discount will only have in-person access to the Health and Wellness Center.

Please email the Bursar’s office at Bursar@lehigh.edu . When making your insurance decision, please consider what is a better choice for you and your individual situation. If you have coverage at home but not when physically on campus and are identifying yourself as a remote student, during this time we are making an exception to allow enrollment for spring only.

Regardless of your housing status and/or mode of instruction selection, you must Waive or Confirm enrollment in the student health insurance plan at https://www.universityhealthplans.com/letters/letter.cgi?group_id=4 . The Student Health Insurance policy guidelines are available at: https://financeadmin.lehigh.edu/HealthInsurance.

Refer to the latest information update on the Transportation & Travel page. 

Yes. Students quarantining who have not tested positive may utilize the socially distanced take out process to pick up meals. This process is designed to minimize contact with others and follows all appropriate health and safety protocols, including limiting the number of students gathering and incorporating socially distancing queuing as necessary. Students place their takeout containers through a small opening on a tray, which dining staff then uses to place the food on; the server then puts the tray (never touching the takeout container) through the opening for the student to take. Both students and staff are wearing masks and staff are behind glass. Students are in and out of the dining halls within 10-15 minutes and stand socially distanced while in the dining hall. 

All on-campus and off-campus meetings and gatherings (indoors and outdoors) are limited to five people at most. For any gathering up to five people, appropriate social distancing of at least six feet from others must be able to be observed and face coverings must be worn. Given no evidence of transmission in classroom and formal settings, in-person courses may exceed this five-person limit in accordance with the established course format when held. The restrictions on gatherings include occupancy; for example, five roommates living together are not permitted to host visitors. 

Undergraduate students are not permitted to host visitors from off campus in any Lehigh residence hall, building or facility. 

As always, students are expected to comply with the guidelines in the Code of Conduct whether they are on or off campus. Now more than ever, it is imperative that off-campus students consider their impact on the South Bethlehem community. Students are expected to comply with local guidelines related to social distancing or other health measures, as well as the rest of the Code of Conduct. The sanctions related to violations could range from a warning to suspension/dissolution from the university depending on the severity of the case and the individual or organizations prior conduct record. 

 

All on-campus and off-campus meetings and gatherings (indoors and outdoors) are limited to five people at most.

Acting in a way that compromises the safety of others or failure to abide by the Student Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action up to and including being asked to leave campus, suspension or expulsion.

Counselors from University Counseling and Psychological Services are available for support and welcome and invite students to call the center to help address their concerns and anxiety to support their coping. They can be reached at 610-758-3880, or if this number is busy, please call 610-758-5183, Mon. - Fri. 8am-5pm. Overnight on-call services are also available and students can be connected to a clinician calling this same number.

For those on campus, the semester will look and feel different from a regular fall semester. To further reduce the risk posed by COVID-19, we will limit access to campus facilities, including residence halls, and students will have access to academic facilities only as needed for their academic programs. University libraries, the University Center and athletic facilities will operate under strict health and safety protocols, including potentially limited access. Access to these facilities may be further restricted later in the semester if conditions warrant. Off-campus students who choose the “fully remote” option and the 10 percent undergraduate tuition reduction will only have access to the Health and Wellness Center.

Yes. The Mail Center is accepting packages (effective immediately) for the fall semester and it is open to all students—on-campus and off, fully remote or not. Masks will be required, there are new hours and occupancy restrictions so plan accordingly. Visit mailcenter.lehigh.edu for more information.

Study Abroad

Students who have applied for fall study abroad are working directly with program providers, who are continuing to adjust their schedules based on local conditions. ITAC will continue to monitor conditions that will affect study abroad programs directed by our partner providers.

Travel & Transportation

Lehigh strongly urges students to not travel after receiving a positive test result or being identified as a close contact. If you must, the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center's current recommendation is that students who test positive or are identified as a close contact may travel if they are able to do so by private vehicle, but they should not use public transportation, which includes plane, train, bus, or rideshare.

Students who have applied for fall study abroad are working directly with program providers, who are continuing to adjust their schedules based on local conditions. ITAC will continue to monitor conditions that will affect study abroad programs directed by our partner providers.

Travel, both domestic and international, can present risks associated with exposure to COVID-19. Although travel by the university has been limited, those coming from international and out-of-state locations should follow the current Pennsylvania guidelines for quarantining and testing requirements.

Tuition & Financial Aid

No, tuition will not be discounted during the semester as a result of temporarily limiting campus access or restricting the use of facilities. At the beginning of the semester, we advised students and families that campus access and activity may change throughout the semester given evolving conditions and to take this into account when making decisions about choosing "fully remote” status (which provides a 10 percent reduction in tuition) or “not fully remote” status (which allows access to campus facilities and does not provide a tuition reduction). We understand this is a decision families have to make individually when deciding whether to be fully remote or not. Any restrictions to campus activity or university facilities are implemented for the health and safety of the community and are continually revisited with the goal of reopening/resuming activity as soon as practicable (balancing health and safety as a priority).

No. There will be no change in tuition for graduate students, even if you are taking all courses remotely.

No - Students must decide if they will pursue the "fully remote" option at the beginning of the semester so that our health and safety plans can adequately account for a certain number of people in campus facilities. 

If a student decides to leave there is no refund for housing or tuition, except as stated in the refund policy: a tuition refund is issued on a prorated basis if the withdrawal is before 60% of the semester has been completed. Housing refunds are not allowed unless we are able to find someone else to fill the accommodation.

Yes. There will be a 10-percent reduction in undergraduate tuition for the fall and spring semesters for those students who choose to take classes fully remotely. These students, whether they live in South Bethlehem or elsewhere, will not have in-person access to campus facilities, with the exception of the Health and Wellness Center. Please note: No one will automatically be considered fully remote. Students must have designated their fully remote status at the beginning of the semester in order to qualify. 

Need-based financial aid is based on the total cost of attendance; therefore, students receiving need-based aid will see their financial aid decreased to reflect the 10 percent reduction in tuition for those who choose the fully remote option. Students will be notified via email when their financial aid award has been updated and they can view their updated awards on the portal. If you are having trouble accessing your information on the portal, please follow these instructions.

If you have questions or concerns about your financial aid award, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@lehigh.edu, or by calling 610-758-3181. 

This guidance may be helpful to reference:

On Campus - Access to on-campus facilities, no tuition reduction, housing is charged and financial aid is not adjusted

Off Campus and remote - No access to on-campus facilities, with the exception of the Health and Wellness Center, 10% tuition reduction, housing is not charged and financial aid is not adjusted

Off Campus and NOT remote - Access to on-campus facilities, no tuition reduction, housing is not charged and financial aid is not adjusted

At home/with family and remote - No access to on-campus facilities, with the exception of the Health and Wellness Center, 10% tuition reduction, housing is not charged and financial aid is adjusted based on the commuter allowance

At home/with family and NOT remote - Access to on-campus facilities, no tuition reduction, housing is not charged and financial aid is adjusted based on the commuter allowance

Working at Lehigh

To better support the health and safety of Lehigh faculty and staff as we return to campus, the University has partnered with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) for occupational health services and for medical consultation for planning purposes. The partnership includes an LVHN Employee Health Nurse Case Manager who will serve as the key point of contact for Lehigh employees with any health concerns related to COVID-19. The nurse case manager will facilitate care through recovery and return to work for any employees who suspect exposure or test positive for COVID-19, working closely with Lehigh Human Resources throughout the process. 
Download the guide here. For more information, visit the Human Resources website.

At this time all staff, faculty and graduate students who need to come to campus should do so only with their Supervisor, Department Chair or PI’s approval and in accordance with their office’s safety plan.

 

Training: Your card access will be reactivated within 48 hours of successful completion of all steps of the Return to Work Safety Training. No other action will be necessary on your part. Access will be restored to the same locations you had access to prior to March 20, 2020.

 

Self-screening: Everyone coming to campus is expected to conduct a self-screening via the Hawk Watch app before leaving home. Please be sure to download the app so you can complete this mandatory screening, which appears as a main bar at the top of the screen. An alternate format will be provided for those who do not have the technology to download the app.

 

Health: Remember to stay home if you are feeling ill or have a fever and consult your healthcare provider. You will be required to comply with all on-campus safety and hygiene requirements, including wearing face coverings (masks), social distancing, and hand washing.

Each unit or department is expected to submit a safety management plan as part of the return to campus process. (This is a separate process from research laboratory safety planning.) The safety plan template is available for managers to use at this link. LU Facilities and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) staff will continue to consult with managers needing assistance in developing their plans. Please contact them using the inreopen@lehigh.edu email address.

 

Classrooms and teaching laboratories will be re-configured to provide for social distancing and the set-up should not be modified without consulting LU Facilities first.

All on-campus and off-campus meetings and gatherings (indoors and outdoors) are limited to five people at most. For any gathering up to five people, appropriate social distancing of at least six feet from others must be able to be observed and face coverings must be worn. Given no evidence of transmission in classroom and formal settings, in-person courses may exceed this five-person limit in accordance with the established course format when held. The restrictions on gatherings include occupancy; for example, five roommates living together are not permitted to host visitors. 

Where possible, HVAC systems that introduce fresh air into the buildings will have the percentage of outdoor air settings adjusted to maximize the amount of fresh air movement through the building. The percent of fresh air will be adjusted to as high as possible based on outdoor temperatures, humidity, and the capacity of the unit to heat/cool the desired percent of fresh air. All HVAC systems have received, and will continue to receive, regularly scheduled preventive maintenance. Filter changes will continue to follow ASHRAE guidelines.

All staff and faculty will be provided with a care kit that will include two cloth face coverings. You will be responsible for keeping them clean and replacing them if they are lost or destroyed. You may use your own personal face coverings if you prefer. Visitors must provide their own cloth face coverings.

 

More specialized PPE, if required to perform your work, will be provided by the University. This would include employees in the Health & Wellness Center, Sports Medicine, LUPD, Facilities, and other units that are at higher risk for exposure to an infected person or contaminated space. PPE can be acquired from Purchasing at the University labstore via this link where order forms for non-research related PPEs will be available by July 15.

 

PPE that is required for specific research activities independent of COVID-19 requirements are to be provided by the researcher, as per standard-operating procedure.

 

Individual departments and units will be responsible for acquiring supplemental cleaning and sanitizing supplies for their spaces. Departments may either order supplies directly or work with the University purchasing department, which is currently building an inventory of supplies. The University will fund all COVID-related cleaning products. All cleaning and sanitization products should meet CDC requirements.

Signs are downloadable for individual printing on the Resources page of this website.

Deliveries to buildings will be coordinated via Campus Mail Services, including FedEx, UPS, and USPS. For more information contact Glenn Strause at ghs2@lehigh.edu. Specialized direct deliveries may be coordinated between departments and vendors as needed.

We understand that even after the university has taken health and safety precautions, some staff members may still feel uncomfortable coming to campus due to concerns about their own health or that of vulnerable loved ones. If you fall into the CDC-defined category of people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 due to a serious underlying medical condition, you may submit a confidential request for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, by submitting these COVID-19/Pandemic Specific forms through email at incovada@lehigh.edu:

COVID-19 Request for Reasonable Accommodation

COVID-19 Medical Information Request and Verification Form

If you are 65 years of age or older (another higher risk category defined by the CDC) or do not have an underlying medical condition but are generally concerned about returning to campus, please talk with your department chair or supervisor about modifications (such as remote work, flexible work schedules or workspace modifications) that may allow you to perform your position accountabilities effectively and productively. You may also consult with Human Resources at inhro@lehigh.edu to determine whether your circumstances may be addressed under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Faculty and other instructors will not be required to teach in person, and decisions about alternative approaches and duties will be made at the department or college level. For more information, consult Provost Urban's email of July 16, 2020.

 

 

 

Refer to the email sent on June 1 regarding university actions in response to COVID-19, including information regarding temporary furloughs, senior leadership salary reductions, reducing expenses and the suspension of retirement contributions. An update was sent on September 15 about ongoing cost-saving reminders. 

 

Lehigh will be extending the additional sick leave provision (which had been set to expire on July 1) to Dec. 31, 2020. Staff will be allotted an additional 10 days of sick leave if they exhaust their available sick leave bank. Staff may use their sick leave bank as well as the 10 additional days to care for a sick family member who lives in the employee’s home. Refer to the COVID-19 Guidance for Staff email you received for further information.

We recognize this is a difficult time for faculty, staff and families. Lehigh medical benefits include behavioral health coverage. To access these services under Lehigh’s medical plan call the phone number listed on the back of your Capital Blue Cross Card. In addition, Lehigh's Employee Assistance Program (Integrated Behavioral Health) can be helpful for you and your dependents even if you don't participate in the Lehigh medical plan.

If you experience or witness a situation in which members of our community, regardless of whether they are students, faculty, staff, or visitors are not adhering to these standards, you have the following options:

  1. If you can safely address the concern directly with the individual or group, you may do so by reminding them of University standards and our shared responsibility in promoting a healthy, safe and inclusive learning and working environment. Supervisors are expected to address these issues with their direct reports. 

  2. If addressing the concern directly is not an option, or if you are not satisfied with the response you receive or the behavior doesn’t stop, you may report the concern to the COVID Response Team (CRT) by completing this form at http://lehigh.edu/go/covidreporting.  While we encourage you to provide your name and contact information with this form so that the CRT may follow-up with you, if necessary, you may also submit this report anonymously.