Move-in, testing, and the first week of classes for residential students

Message sent on January 13, 2021

Jeff Foster, Interim Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students, updates the campus community about move-in dates, COVID-19 testing, adjustments to the start of classes, COVID-19 related rules and the rubric.

On this page:

Dear Students,

I hope this letter finds you healthy and well rested as we ready ourselves for the Spring 2021 semester. The College continues to plan for a February 1 start date, even as we continue to keep close watch on the pandemic both nationally and locally. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, we will continue to adapt our plans as appropriate to protect the health and safety of our students and the greater Gettysburg community.

This email includes important information on the following:

  • COVID-19 Pre-Arrival Testing
  • Move-in Dates
  • COVID-19 Testing on Arrival to Campus
  • Adjustment to the Start of Classes
  • Ongoing COVID-19 Testing for the Spring Semester
  • Information about COVID-19 and the Rules and Rubric

We know you have been eager to receive information about move in; we appreciate your patience as the College worked through the details. Please read the following information carefully and with any questions you may have.

COVID-19 pre-arrival testing:

Every student returning to campus must take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test. This test will be shipped to you at home.

As part of the College’s testing protocols, we will require students returning to campus to take a pre- arrival COVID-19 test. Students will receive a COVID-19 test kit in the mail this week. We ask that you follow the directions carefully, complete the test, and return the test to the testing lab using the included shipping instructions and materials as soon as possible. In order to have the test results prior to move-in day, it is imperative that you send the test back promptly. Upon completing your test, we ask you to self-quarantine at home as you prepare to return to campus in order to reduce your likelihood of exposure to COVID-19.

A small number of students including RAs and other student staff are scheduled to arrive early and, due to the timeframe, will not be able to receive pre-arrival test results before they are needed on campus. These students will go through double-negative testing with quarantine ahead of the arrival of the rest of the student population.

Students whose pre-arrival test is positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by Health Services, asked to delay their arrival to campus, and provided with information about next steps. Students will not be permitted to return to campus during move-in weekend until we have received a negative pre-arrival test result. The test kits are being mailed to the home address that the College has on file for you. If you are not currently residing at your home address, please email Sue Plank at with the address you would like your test kit to be sent by tomorrow, January 13, 2021.

Move-in dates:

Students will be scheduled to move in on January 29, 30, or 31.

Student arrival is being scheduled by the Office of Residential & First-Year Programs (RFYP). Early arrivals will move in on January 25. Similar to the fall arrival, students will move in on a staggered basis and on January 29, 30, or 31. Each student will receive an email by the end of the day Wednesday, January 13 from RFYP, with your exact date of arrival and additional move-in instructions. It is very important that you arrive only on your scheduled arrival date. You will receive a follow-up email from Mobile Health, the College’s contracted testing company, in order to select your testing time on the day you have been assigned for move in.

COVID-19 testing on arrival to campus

We have contracted with a testing company, Mobile Health, to conduct and manage COVID-19 testing for the spring semester. You will receive email correspondence from Mobile Health within the next two weeks. Emails will include your arrival testing schedule and what you will need to do to prepare for your test. Please monitor your email carefully for Mobile Health’s emails from sender “No Reply.”

All students will be tested upon arrival and you should report directly to Plank Gym for testing when you return to campus to move in for the spring semester. After your test, you will be provided with your room key and will be required to quarantine in your assigned residence hall room. You will receive your results from the arrival test and you will be required to remain in quarantine and test a second time after which you must also quarantine (two negative tests and in quarantine from move-in through second negative test). We are requiring two negative tests to account for the incubation period of the virus.

While in quarantine, you will be able to attend classes online, get grab-and-go food from our various dining outlets, do laundry, get mail, and exercise outside by yourself and on your own. After you receive your second negative test, you will be able to access the campus, observing all COVID-19 practices including masking, distancing, etc.

Information for Students Who Have Recently Tested Positive for COVID-19: Students who were confirmed positive for COVID-19 since departing for home during the fall semester and prior totheir arrival on campus for the spring semester are required to send a copy of their positive test to the Health Center via the Medicat patient portal. We will not test students who were COVID-19 positive within the last 90 days. Students who have tested positive within the last 90 days are still required to quarantine their first week on campus.

For students who, before coming to campus, have tested positive and are in isolation or in quarantine because they have identified as a close contact, they must complete their isolation and quarantine at home.

Adjustment to the start of classes:

Courses to be held virtually for the first week.

Given that students will be in quarantine due to testing from the assigned move-in day through receipt of two negative tests, all classes will be held virtually Monday, February 1 through Friday, February 5. Students who are approved for the residential cohort for spring will take courses remotely from their campus residence andattend classes online while in quarantine. After the first week of virtual instruction, most courses that will be taught in-person will begin meeting in that format for our residential students. As shared previously, some classes will remain online for some or all of the spring semester even for students in residence.

Ongoing COVID-19 testing for the spring semester

After pre-arrival and arrival testing is complete, and as we have indicated previously, you will be required to test twice per week for the spring semester (those testing positive in the past 90 days should consult Health Services). You will receive weekly emails from Mobile Health to schedule your testing time. Please know that a missed testing appointment will result in a violation of our COVID-19 Rules and Rubric and two missed appointments will result in students being assigned to remote study. If, at any point, you need to change your appointment due to an academic, work, or unexpected emergency, you will need to schedule a new testing time. If you are unable to do so and in order to avoid being sanctioned for a missed appointment you must contact Residence Life at 717-337-6901 or email Andy Hileman at Once you arrive on campus, the only test results we will accept are those tests completed on campus.

Testing Information for those Who Have Been Vaccinated for COVID-19: If you have received a COVID-19 vaccination, you are still required to take your pre-arrival test, and take a COVID-19 test upon arrival to campus and participate in twice-weekly testing throughout the academic year. Additionally, you are still required to follow all College COVID-19 policies and procedures including masking, distancing, travel, and hosting guests.

Information about COVID-19 and the rules and rubric

We are taking compliance with COVID-19 rules and policies very seriously. Egregious and/or repeated violations of COVID expectations will result in re-assignment to the remote cohort for the spring semester. College Life has developed an online presentation of the rules and rubric for the spring that all students will need to complete before the spring semester on EngageGettysburg. Additionally, open Zoom sessions are scheduled for any student who may have questions about the COVID-19 Rules and Rubric. The dates, times, and Zoom links for these sessions are below.

All students who are part of the residential cohort, will be required to complete COVID-19 education on EngageGettysburg. There are four total modules on EngageGettysburg that students will need to complete between January 18 and February 1.

Thank you for your cooperation on these important details. Please email with questions you may have. We look forward to seeing you on campus in the next few weeks.


Jeff Foster, D.Ed.

Interim Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students