Lehigh University’s quarantine protocols changed to prioritize university isolation housing for situations involving students who are immunocompromised or at high-risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms.
The COVID Response Team sent an email to students and families announcing the new isolation and quarantine protocols for students living on campus.
The email said most vaccinated residential students who test positive and do not have a roommate in a high-risk situation will stay in their on-campus residence for the COVID-19 isolation period. Unvaccinated students or those who are eligible but have not received the booster will have to make their own arrangements to isolate or quarantine off-campus if they test positive or are identified as a close contact.
The email said isolation housing will be used for students who test positive with a roommate who is immunocompromised or has other factors putting them at risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms.
The email said students who test positive may also complete their isolation period off campus if they are able to travel by private vehicle.
If the Health and Wellness Center determines a student to be highly symptomatic, the positive student may be required to isolate from their residence hall, and the isolation period may be extended to more than five days.
Vaccinated roommates of someone with COVID-19 will not be required to quarantine if they test negative.
Contract tracing methods have also changed. Students will be instructed how to notify their close contacts if they test positive.
“We are preparing for the likelihood that because of the highly contagious Omicron variant, and given our extensive testing of students as they arrive on campus, record numbers of students will test positive,” the CRT said in the email.
The email said the majority of the COVID-19 cases among students are expected to be mild or moderate since students are required to be vaccinated and have a booster shot.