Information Center

Phased Return to Campus

Last Updated: Aug. 12, 2020 at 9:27 am

The Fall 2020 semester will be very different from past semesters. The changes needed to protect the health of our community this semester will require flexibility, creativity and careful preparation.

Lehigh’s four Task Forces have been working in concert with senior leadership to develop guidelines, plans and procedures to ensure Lehigh delivers on our educational mission and student experience.

The Task Force to Safely Open the Lehigh Campus has developed a multi-phase plan for the opening of Lehigh, guided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania plan and informed by recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, American College Health Association and The Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education. While we are using the Commonwealth’s plan as a guide and continue to comply with requirements, Lehigh has the discretion and responsibility to manage the opening of campus at the pace we deem necessary to implement proper health and sanitization protocols and support the safety of the campus community.

Below is an outline of Lehigh’s phased opening approach. Note that the phases can be adjusted based on the course of the pandemic, and a phase can be returned to if warranted by health circumstances.

March 12Remote Only
June 15Open I
June 25Open II
July 6Open III
August 3Open IV
March 12

Remote Only

Stay Home Order - Essential Activities Only

  • Transition to remote instruction
  • Research converted to remote procedures
  • Essential personnel working on campus, remote work for most faculty and staff
  • Residence halls and most campus buildings closed; restricted housing on case-by-case basis
  • Spring athletics practices and competitions canceled
  • No travel, visitors or events

Full details: 3.12.20: Lehigh moves to remote learning for remainder of academic semester

June 15

Open I

Restricted On-Campus Activity

  • Research facilities reactivated in a phased manner
  • All classes continue online
  • Most faculty and staff continue working remotely
  • Authorized building access only
  • No gatherings or public events
  • Visitors by permission only, with restrictions

Full details: 6.10.20: The Opening of Lehigh, Fall Semester 2020

June 25

Open II

Limited On-Campus Activity

  • Limited faculty, staff and grad students on campus
  • Faculty and staff continuing with remote work
  • Faculty, staff and student training on health and safety protocols
  • Some additional campus buildings reopened
  • No gatherings or public events
  • Visitors by permission only, with restrictions

Full details: 6.22.20: Update from Task Force to Safely Open the Lehigh Campus

July 6

Open III

Phased Return

  • Broader return of non-essential faculty, graduate students and staff permitted
  • Remote work encouraged at office discretion
  • Continued faculty, staff and student training on health and safety protocols
  • Health & Safety protocols in place
  • Physical spaces, dining, transportation modified
  • No public events or visitors to campus

Full details: 7.10.20: Important Updates and Reminders for Phased Campus Re-Opening (Open III)

August 3

Open IV

Fall Semester

  • Fall academic semester begins Aug. 24 with hybrid in-person and online classes
  • Only first-year students, with limited exceptions, in on-campus housing
  • Broader return of faculty and staff
  • Remote work permitted and encouraged when possible
  • Structured research activity continues
  • Campus buildings locked, accessible with card access during regular hours
  • Public gatherings limited and subject to approval

Full details: 7.31.20: Lehigh Update on Fall Semester; Open IV Phase Guidance for Staff and Faculty