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Coronavirus
(COVID-19)

Information Center

For Students

Last Updated: May 11, 2021 at 10:10 am

Student Support Discussion Videos

The university is taking measures to support the health and well-being of our campus community during these extraordinary times. This support also includes a number of live discussions for students and other members of the community whenever the need arises. View recent recordings shared with the Lehigh community >

For Graduate Students

Additional information for graduate students regarding changes to normal operations due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus is available on the Graduate Education website.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Fully Remote vs. Campus-Access Status

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

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.

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. 

Test Details

It depends on how long ago you tested positive for COVID-19. Current guidance from the CDC and PA Department of Health is that a person is presumed to have immunity for 90 days following a positive viral COVID test (antigen or PCR).  During that 90 day period of time, if someone has been a close contact with a person with COVID, they do not need to quarantine.  After that 90 days, they need to quarantine if they have had close contact with a case and resume participating in required surveillance testing. 

This guidance is independent of any antibody testing that may be done.  Although this will likely evolve, currently per CDC: "Serologic testing should not be used to determine immune status in individuals until the presence, durability, and duration of immunity are established."

In addition the CDC says the following, which is applicable to the university setting:

  • The presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies indicates a previous infection and possibly at least some degree of immunity or protection against future SARS-CoV-2 infection.  However, until the durability and duration of immunity are established, it cannot be assumed that individuals who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, including total antibody, IgM, IgG, or IgA, are protected from future infection.
  • Persons who have had a COVID-19 compatible or confirmed illness should follow previous guidance regarding when to resume normal activities, including work, regardless of the presence of antibodies.
  • Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about grouping persons residing in or being admitted to congregate settings, such as schools, dormitories, or correctional facilities.

Academics

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Events, Meetings and Gatherings

Health & Safety

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.

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.

  • Isolation (minimum 10 days) separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Read more from the CDC about how to "Isolate If You Are Sick," including information about how long you should isolate. 
  • Quarantine (14 days) separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Read more from the CDC about "When to Quarantine," including a chart with guidance about when to start and end quarantine under various scenarios.

Read Lehigh's isolation and quarantine policy, including information about the CDC's and PADOH's recently updated quarantining guidelines. 

For positive results, yesStudents 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.

For negative results, 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.

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.

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 over your mouth and nose 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. Individuals who are alone outdoors are not required to wear a mask; however, individuals should continue to wear face coverings when < 6 ft of another person and always carry a mask with them for this reason. 
  • 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.

Double-masking:

  • We strongly recommend double-masking whenever you are near others. This is now recommended by the CDC, and evidence shows that well-fitting double masks (such as a surgical mask worn under a cloth face covering) offer more protection against the virus than a single covering. 

More information:

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.

  • 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.

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.

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.

Refer to our COVID-19 Testing Options page for information about the tests available to on- and off-campus students. 

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. 

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 90 days after a positive PCR test.

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

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 all necessary training and 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.

International Students

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

Isolation and Quarantine

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.

It depends on how long ago you tested positive for COVID-19. Current guidance from the CDC and PA Department of Health is that a person is presumed to have immunity for 90 days following a positive viral COVID test (antigen or PCR).  During that 90 day period of time, if someone has been a close contact with a person with COVID, they do not need to quarantine.  After that 90 days, they need to quarantine if they have had close contact with a case and resume participating in required surveillance testing. 

This guidance is independent of any antibody testing that may be done.  Although this will likely evolve, currently per CDC: "Serologic testing should not be used to determine immune status in individuals until the presence, durability, and duration of immunity are established."

In addition the CDC says the following, which is applicable to the university setting:

  • The presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies indicates a previous infection and possibly at least some degree of immunity or protection against future SARS-CoV-2 infection.  However, until the durability and duration of immunity are established, it cannot be assumed that individuals who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, including total antibody, IgM, IgG, or IgA, are protected from future infection.
  • Persons who have had a COVID-19 compatible or confirmed illness should follow previous guidance regarding when to resume normal activities, including work, regardless of the presence of antibodies.
  • Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about grouping persons residing in or being admitted to congregate settings, such as schools, dormitories, or correctional facilities.

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.

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.

Refer to the available options here

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. 

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

  • Isolation (minimum 10 days) separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Read more from the CDC about how to "Isolate If You Are Sick," including information about how long you should isolate. 
  • Quarantine (14 days) separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Read more from the CDC about "When to Quarantine," including a chart with guidance about when to start and end quarantine under various scenarios.

Read Lehigh's isolation and quarantine policy, including information about the CDC's and PADOH's recently updated quarantining guidelines. 

Students who completed their isolation or quarantine at home must first be cleared by the Health and Wellness Center (HWC) contact tracing team to return. 

Upon return, students who completed quarantine at home (did not test positive) need to sign up for an on-campus surveillance test to be completed as soon as possible and will not be required to complete another quarantine period while awaiting a test result.

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

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.

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

Graduate students can find up-to-date information on the Frequently Asked Questions (updated 12/9/20) and also 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.

Residential Life & Campus Resources

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.

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.

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.

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.  
  • All faculty, staff, and graduate students are permitted access to the same buildings but 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 and surveillance testing locations, 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.

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 and Community Commitments 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. 

 

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. 

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.

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 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.  

Study Abroad

We are working with study abroad providers in a number of countries to determine what options are available based on local conditions. Many programs have eliminated their Fall 2021 programs, but are hoping to open up in the spring. ITAC will continue to monitor conditions that will affect study abroad programs directed by our partner providers.

Surveillance Testing - Test Details

It depends on how long ago you tested positive for COVID-19. Current guidance from the CDC and PA Department of Health is that a person is presumed to have immunity for 90 days following a positive viral COVID test (antigen or PCR).  During that 90 day period of time, if someone has been a close contact with a person with COVID, they do not need to quarantine.  After that 90 days, they need to quarantine if they have had close contact with a case and resume participating in required surveillance testing. 

This guidance is independent of any antibody testing that may be done.  Although this will likely evolve, currently per CDC: "Serologic testing should not be used to determine immune status in individuals until the presence, durability, and duration of immunity are established."

In addition the CDC says the following, which is applicable to the university setting:

  • The presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies indicates a previous infection and possibly at least some degree of immunity or protection against future SARS-CoV-2 infection.  However, until the durability and duration of immunity are established, it cannot be assumed that individuals who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, including total antibody, IgM, IgG, or IgA, are protected from future infection.
  • Persons who have had a COVID-19 compatible or confirmed illness should follow previous guidance regarding when to resume normal activities, including work, regardless of the presence of antibodies.
  • Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about grouping persons residing in or being admitted to congregate settings, such as schools, dormitories, or correctional facilities.

Travel & Transportation

We are working with study abroad providers in a number of countries to determine what options are available based on local conditions. Many programs have eliminated their Fall 2021 programs, but are hoping to open up in the spring. ITAC will continue to monitor conditions that will affect study abroad programs directed by our partner providers.

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

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.

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 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.