Fall semester policies and protocols

Message sent on August 4, 2021

Anne Ehrlich, VP for College Life and Dean of Students, welcomes students to campus and provides preparation tips and updates on COVID-19 policies for the fall semester.

Dear Gettysburg College Students,

As the fall semester quickly approaches, I hope this letter finds you well and that you are looking forward to our 2021-22 academic year together. I am truly honored to serve as the community’s new Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students. I can’t wait to meet you in person and to cheer you on as you pursue your many passions!

The College continues to prepare for your return to campus. As you are well aware, COVID-19—and most recently, the Delta variant—has proven to be a significant challenge across the country and around the world, including here in Adams County. Please come to campus prepared and with the full understanding that the COVID-19 landscape continues to evolve, and these changes may necessitate the College to adapt its policies and protocols at a future date.

Below is an overview of the policies and protocols that we have established, in partnership with our medical experts at Keeling & Associates, to protect all members of our community. Please read the following information carefully.

For additional details on our fall semester plans, visit www.gettysburg.edu/coronavirus.


Gettysburg College students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 this academic year. Vaccination information must be uploaded to Medicat. If you are fully vaccinated and have not uploaded your vaccination card to Medicat, please do so as soon as possible. For assistance with uploading your vaccination card, please email Sue Plank, Assistant Director of College Life Technology.

A small group of students has been approved for a medical or religious exemption. Please know that you must either be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption to arrive on campus for the fall semester. Students will be withdrawn from their classes if they are not fully vaccinated or have a College-approved exemption.


The Office of Residential and First-Year Programs has been in contact with all students about their residence for the upcoming year and where to check in to receive their key. Vaccinated students will pick up their key as instructed and move into their assigned room. Students who received a medical or religious exemption will receive additional details about arrival and check in shortly after receiving this correspondence. International students will receive an additional communication, as well.

All students approved for an exemption will be required to obtain a negative PCR test within 72 hours of their arrival to campus. This group of students should also expect to be tested upon arrival.

Surveillance testing

Unvaccinated students are required to participate in surveillance testing every other week of the semester in the Health Center. Vaccinated students are not currently expected to participate in surveillance testing.

Given the limited number of students now participating in testing, the College will no longer distribute a weekly status update to the community or maintain a COVID-19 dashboard on the website. With that said, the College will immediately notify the entire community if any trends begin to emerge or a change in status warrants a shift in institutional approach.


Vaccinated students are not required to wear a mask on campus.

Unvaccinated students are required to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth in all indoor spaces, with the following exceptions:

  • While in their assigned residence hall room, apartment, or off-campus housing unit.
  • While in the restroom.
  • While actively eating or drinking.
  • While driving alone in a vehicle.

As noted previously, all students—regardless of their vaccination status—should bring a number of masks with them to campus. This will ensure you are prepared if the College is forced to adjust its policies and protocols in response to changing conditions.

We also highly encourage all students to wear a mask when in town. Currently, the vaccination rate within Adams County is 39%. This represents a stark difference in conditions to those we have established on our own campus. Please keep these conditions front of mind as you are in the town of Gettysburg.

Additonally, I want to reemphasize that there are many reasons why a student or employee may choose to wear a mask. Simply because an individual is masking does not mean that he or she is unvaccinated.


There are no restrictions on student travel to and from campus. We do ask all students to remain vigilant when traveling and to take proper mitigation steps.

Visitors to Campus

Gettysburg College students are permitted to have non-Gettysburg guests on campus. No overnight, non-Gettysburg visitors are permitted at this time.


Students and employees are expected to adhere to the College’s COVID-19 policies and procedures, including masking, quarantining, and surveillance testing. We are here to facilitate a positive experience for you, but the success of this endeavor is contingent upon everyone doing their part. With that in mind, please remember that any violation of these policies poses a threat to the health of our community, and will result in disciplinary action.

Students are encouraged to review the Fall 2021 COVID-19 Violation Rules and Rubric.

Anticipation for the year ahead

While I am still new to Gettysburg, I have had the opportunity this summer to engage with a number of students, as well as many colleagues from across the institution. With each interaction, my fondness for this special community only grows stronger. It is evident that this is a College defined by how its members support and care for one another—and I am certain this enduring value will help to keep our community safe and bind us even closer together throughout the year ahead.

I am excited for you to return to campus later this month. If you have any questions about our fall semester policies and protocols, please email covidupdates@gettysburg.edu.


Anne Ehrlich
Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students