As COVID-19 vaccinations become increasingly available, Lehigh Health and Wellness staff is preparing for implications on the university community. (Anna Simoneau/ BW Staff)

BREAKING: Health and Wellness Center announces new protocols for fall semester


Lehigh will require face coverings, completion of an online COVID-19 health protocol training and daily symptom screenings for faculty, staff and students on campus in the fall semester, according to recent updates to the university’s COVID-19 FAQ page

Updated on June 24, the FAQ page explains that “face coverings are required to be worn in any public area, and in any circumstance where interacting with others on campus.” Masks may be removed “when working in a private, single-occupancy office, or when eating.” 

Faculty, staff and students will receive a “wellness/safety starter kit” upon return to campus, which will include “masks, hand sanitizer, and other items.” 

An email update from the Health and Wellness Center on June 26 said all on-campus faculty, staff and students in the fall will be required to complete a daily symptom screening that is “currently in development.” They will additionally be required to complete an online safety training prior to returning to campus. 

New incoming students will be required to submit an official immunization record signed by their primary care provider as well as undergo a physical examination through their primary care provider.

Social distancing measures will be enforced in public campus areas, including residence hall move-in, in-person campus events and dining halls. “Libraries, informal gathering spaces, recreational facilities and residence hall common areas will have restrictions to comply with social distancing,” according to the same COVID-19 FAQ page. 

Faculty and staff have been advised by LTS to develop their fall courseload with certain assumptions in mind. These include the assumption many students will be fully remote in the fall, some classes may be required to move from in-person classroom learning to fully remote and classrooms will not be able to accommodate full capacity due to social distancing requirements.

Lehigh faculty members have adopted a framework for fall instruction in two main parts: All courses will contain a “robust asynchronous online aspect” and “interactive synchronous class meetings” that will build on the asynchronous instruction. Students will not be required to submit a doctor’s note to be able to take classes fully remotely, yet some classes, including “lab and studio courses…may require some in person activity.”

There will be three types of courses offered during the fall semester. 

Intermittently in-person classes will be majority asynchronous online learning. Students who are able to meet in-person enrolled in these courses will “take turns meeting in-person” at their professor’s discretion. 

Significantly in-person classes will meet in-person for the “majority of the regularly scheduled synchronous class meeting times.” Equivalent options must be made available for remote students.

Fully remote classes will be exclusively online, “using a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning approaches.” Any class with more than 50 enrolled students will fall into this category of fully remote learning.

More information related to campus procedures in the fall semester are available on the Lehigh COVID-19 update page.

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