Information Center

Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Last Updated: Feb. 16, 2021 at 2:59 pm

Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 is everyone's responsibility. 

One can test positive for COVID-19 without symptoms, so it's important to follow safety protocols even if you feel well or test negative for the virus. A negative test does not indicate that you are not infected or that you will not be infected in the coming days. It only indicates that you are not shedding detectable levels of the virus at the time that you took the test. Given the incubation time of the virus, tests will likely be negative for 2-3 days after the initial infection. And those who have come into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for the full 14 days, even if you test negative for the virus during that time.

It is possible that even those who have had the vaccine may be carriers and transmit the virus to others, and those who previously had the virus can become reinfected. 

In short, if you have had the vaccine, have previously had the virus, or even tested negative for the virus, wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and practicing positive health behaviors are still critical.


Mitigating the Spread of COVID-19

Coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19, is primarily spread through the airborne transmission of infected droplets from person to person. There is also some level of transmission likely from contaminated objects. Close contact with large numbers of people increases that risk further. This is why face coverings, hand washing and social distancing are key safety practices. All students accessing Lehigh’s campus will receive a Wellness Kit including two cloth face coverings, hand-sanitizer and a thermometer. Students, faculty and staff will be required to complete training before returning and to follow proper health protocols when on campus, including:

  • Completing a daily self-screening (download the Hawkwatch app to access)
  • Maintaining 6’ social distancing
  • Wearing a cloth face covering in any public space and in any circumstance where interacting with others on campus. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is requiring the use of cloth face coverings when in public. Coverings may be removed when working in a private, single-occupancy office or when eating.
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Viruses that cause respiratory infections can live on your hands and regular hand washing can help protect you from getting sick
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing

For more specific guidelines, please visit PA Department of Health’s resource, “Help Stop the Spread

HawkWatch app

Hawkwatch App – COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool

The COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool, available through Hawkwatch, helps you assess your symptoms, if applicable, and determine a recommended course of action based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to complete a self-assessment each day before coming to campus. View a step by step guide on how to use Hawkwatch's COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool >

Wellness Kit


Cleaning, Disinfection & Social Distancing

Our cleaning and disinfection protocols follow rigorous sanitization standards. Details such as turning off hand dryers and temporarily disabling some restroom faucets to maintain social distancing were implemented. Non-bottle fill water fountains were turned off. Classroom and lab space were modified to comply with social distancing requirements. Cleaning schedules were adjusted based on the activity in each building, with a focus on daily cleaning and sanitizing of all entrances, common spaces, food service areas, classrooms, restrooms and high-traffic buildings on campus. 


Student Health

The Lehigh Health and Wellness Center (LU HWC) continues to closely follow the guidance provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH), the Bethlehem Health Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College Health Association (ACHA) to remain current with evolving recommendations and to implement best practices. 

Visit the Health and Wellness Center website for additional information. 

Read about support services and wellness resources for the Lehigh community. 

Illustration of a petri dish

Surveillance Testing

As part of Lehigh’s health and safety plan, the university is requiring that individuals undergo COVID-19 testing. Learn more about surveillance COVID-19 testing >