Immediate notification of COVID-19 status

Message sent on August 29, 2020

Bill Lafferty, Exec. Dir. of Public Safety, notified the community of 33 positive cases of COVID-19 as of August 29, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., based on testing conducted since August 24.

Dear Campus Community Member:

As a result of the College’s proactive mass testing protocol, 33 Gettysburg College students have tested positive for COVID-19. These results represent the total number of positive cases from this week’s testing as of 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 29, 2020 and include the 13 cases previously reported on August 28, 2020.

Those persons who may have come into “close contact” with these students are being directly notified, encouraged to self-quarantine and remain alert for COVID-19 symptoms—fever and cough, fever and shortness of breath, or a combination of all three.

According to the CDC, close contact is defined as: being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (about 15 minutes); close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case, or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g. being coughed on, sharing utensils, keyboard, writing instruments). Close contacts who are not symptomatic should self-monitor and contact their healthcare provider if symptoms arise. Close contacts who are symptomatic should self-isolate and practice physical distancing. To protect the privacy of employees and students, the names of individuals testing positive will not be released to the public.

According to CDC Risk Categories, the risk level is “low” for those in general contact with persons who test positive. According to the CDC, persons coming into general contact with a symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 test case does not meet the definition of “close contact” and is considered a low risk level.

We continue to ask that all members of our community take steps to ensure that we all stay as healthy as possible, including:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water, especially before eating or preparing food, after going to the bathroom and after you have been around someone who is sick. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, glasses and utensils.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw it away.

Please do not reply to this email or call the Department of Public Safety. If you have a question, please check the Frequently Asked Questions. If your question is not answered by the website, please email Additionally, the phone bank will be set temporarily to answer questions regarding this announcement. You can reach the phone bank at 717-337-8800 between the hours of 7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. this evening, Saturday, August 29.

Bill Lafferty, P’09
Assistant Vice President for College Life and Executive Director of Public Safety
NACCOP Certified Clery Compliance Officer (CCCO)