Due to a low rate of transmission of COVID-19 among students and faculty, larger formal gatherings are now permitted on campus, Lehigh’s COVID Response Team said in an email sent out Wednesday afternoon.
As of Oct. 6, Lehigh’s COVID-19 dashboard is reporting zero active cases among students and four cases among faculty and staff.
While active Lehigh cases remain low, there are still high transmission rates in Northampton County.
While outdoor gatherings are still encouraged, recognized student organizations can host formal meetings indoors, following capacity limits for campus spaces.
These gatherings will still require mask-wearing and no eating or drinking permitted. Special requests for food and drink must be approved by the CRT.
“As the weather starts to get cooler and more activity begins taking place indoors, we encourage all members of the community to continue being vigilant,” the email said.
The same surveillance testing practice of randomly-selecting 10 percent of fully vaccinated individuals will continue after Pacing Break, in addition to other previous routine testing.
The CRT urged all members of the Lehigh community to get their annual flu shot. Students can register for an on-campus flu clinic on Oct. 12. There will be an on-campus flu clinic for faculty and staff on Oct. 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the STEPS tent.
In an email to the Lehigh community, the Health and Wellness Center (HWC) in coordination with the Health Advancement and Prevention Strategies Office (HAPS) addressed possible questions and concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccinations with the flu shot.
They said it is safe for individuals to receive the flu shot if they are vaccinated for COVID-19 or receiving a COVID-19 booster—though the CDC has previously recommended two weeks between COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines.
“We strongly encourage all individuals to get the flu shot this year as an important preventative measure—especially as it is possible to become infected with flu viruses and the viruses that cause COVID-19 at the same time, which can cause significant health complications,” the HWC wrote in an email to students. “Health professionals anticipate that the impact of the flu may be more serious this year compared to last year as people are interacting with others more and attending more in-person activities and events.”
Students who wish to participate in this clinic must bring their Lehigh ID, insurance card and a mask.
David Rubenstein, executive director of HWC, said Lehigh individuals without insurance will have the cost of the vaccine covered by the university.
“We really do not want barriers to efforts at keeping the campus as healthy as possible,” Rubenstein wrote in an email to The Brown and White.
Vouchers for free coffee or tea from The Grind @ FML or Baker’s Junction will be provided by Lehigh Dining to those who participate.
Sign ups for an appointment can be made at go.lehigh.edu/flushot21.
To sign up for a free flu shot — with most insurance — at CVS Pharmacy, visit their website here.
To sign up for a flu shot — free with insurance deductible met — at RiteAid, visit their website here.