Alexis Holder, ‘20, recalled a conversation she had with her parents upon learning of Lehigh’s decision to move to online learning for the rest of the spring semester.
She spoke of the uncertain nature the COVID-19 pandemic has created back home.
Coming from New York City, an area with a rapidly growing number of COVID-19 cases, Holder’s parents told her she would likely be unable to go outside due to the virus’ chaotic spread and decided it was best for her to remain at Lehigh during this time.
“It is safer to be here,” Holder said.
Holder is not alone. Despite Lehigh’s transition to remote learning, many students have remained at Lehigh amidst the pandemic.
Still in need of medical care and resources, Lehigh’s Health and Wellness Center will remain open to serve the student population unable to return home. It will continue to provide students remaining on or around campus, with necessary medical resources and advice amidst the outbreak.
“As essential staff to the campus community, the Health and Wellness Center continues to remain open in addressing the health needs of the campus community and the students who are remaining on campus,” said David Rubenstein, the executive director of the Health and Wellness Center.
To reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus, the Health and Wellness Center has altered some of their procedures to ensure the safety of students and staff.
All students wishing to schedule an appointment with the Health and Wellness Center must first call the office to explain their symptoms and the reason for their visit, allowing the center to provide the student with the proper resources and referrals needed.
Rubenstein said the Health and Wellness Center also plans to provide their regular medical services such as evaluating minor injuries, refilling medication and providing STI testing.
Adrian Suarez, ‘22, plans to remain at Lehigh until the summer as he originally planned to do. He is an international student from the Philippines and expressed concerns regarding his safety if he was to return home, due to the country’s close proximity to China.
Suarez said he believes the Health and Wellness Center is taking necessary precautions to mitigate the risk of spread of the virus on campus. He said the Health and Wellness Center is instituting effective policies and communicating them clearly with those remaining on campus.
“I have received necessary information from the Health Center,” Suarez said.
He has previously used resources available at the Health and Wellness Center, and said he plans to use the facility again if the need arises during this time.
As explained in emails sent to Lehigh students and their families, the Health and Wellness Center is supporting and encouraging the practices set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including social distancing measures and frequent handwashing, to prevent further spread of the virus.