Anne Ehrlich, Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students, outlines COVID mitigation strategies and short-term restrictions put in place for the beginning of the spring semester.
I am writing today as a follow up to last week’s email that outlined the steps we are taking to ensure a robust, engaged, in-person semester while promoting the health of our campus community.
We are in a different situation than we were during previous COVID surges. The great majority of our campus community is vaccinated, and as previously communicated, we are now requiring students to get boosted by as soon as they are eligible. Omicron causes less serious disease than previous variants, especially among those who are fully vaccinated.
At the same time, not everyone is eligible to be fully vaccinated yet. This latest variant is highly contagious, and the number of cases is high and continues to rise. We must look out for the well-being of our immunocompromised and other at-risk students, faculty, staff, and family members. Modeling and experiences in other countries suggest that this current surge will peak in the several weeks ahead. As a result, we must make certain short-term adjustments to help fulfill our commitment to health and safety.
Please find additional information about testing and first-week restrictions below.
As a reminder, all students—regardless of vaccination status—must test (antigen or PCR; may use an at-home kit) 72 hours before returning to campus and upload proof of a negative test to Medicat at https://gettysburg.medicatconnect.com.
- If you receive a positive test result, or if you have any COVID-related symptoms, please do not return to campus for five days per CDC guidance. Instead, isolate in your current location and notify your instructors if you will miss classes.
- If you do not have access to a test prior to arrival, please test at the Mobile Health testing site on Monday, January 17. (Note: Mobile Health will be located at Plank Gym beginning January 17 until further notice.)
Arrival and Ongoing Testing
All students must test at Mobile Health after arriving on campus. On Wednesday, you will receive an email from Andy Hileman indicating your assigned testing day. That day of the week will be your testing day for the first four weeks of the term (through February 9). For example, if your arrival testing date is Tuesday, January 18, you will also test on Tuesday, January 25; February 1; and February 8. We will determine whether continued testing of vaccinated students is necessary after February 9 as we monitor campus positivity rates and other data points. If you do not receive a testing assignment email or if you have any questions about the testing process, please contact Andy at email@example.com.
If you have already tested positive for COVID-19 and completed required isolation, you are exempt from testing for 90 days after your positive result. Please upload proof of your positive result to Medicat prior to arriving on campus.
There will be some restrictions on in-person activities from January 15 – 23. The purpose of this restriction is to minimize the spread of the virus by those who have not yet been fully tested and may not know they are positive. This is not a quarantine. Students are permitted to move freely about campus, though academic buildings will be closed to students. Academic buildings include Breidenbaugh, Brua, Glatfelter, Masters, McCreary, McKnight, Musselman Library, Schmucker, Schmucker Art Gallery, Science Center, and Weidensall Hall.
The Ballroom and the Attic will be set up with tables and chairs for those who are looking for additional study space.
The Jaeger Center will be open with reduced hours January 17 – 23. Stay tuned for additional information.
During the restriction period, food will be available on a grab-and-go basis only. Students can pick up food at the following locations/times:
Saturday, January 15 | 7 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 16 | 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Monday, January 17 – Saturday, January 22 | 7 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 23 | 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 16 | 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Monday, January 17 – Thursday, January 20 | 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday. January 21 | 7:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday, January 22 – Sunday, January 23 | Noon – 10 p.m.
Monday, January 17 – Thursday, January 20 | 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday, January 21 | 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, January 22 | 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Student organizations are asked to refrain from meeting in person and no programs/social events are permitted. Students are encouraged to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people, especially indoors, until they have received an on-campus negative test result.
During the first week while entry testing is completed, classes will be conducted remotely. Students who need technology help should contact G-Tech at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 337-6935. G-Tech is not able to offer drop-in hours or visit students’ rooms. If a loaner laptop is needed, please contact G-Tech to make the appropriate arrangements.
Students should delay in-person work until they have received a negative arrival test result.
Some students will arrive to campus early for athletics, trainings, or other reasons. Those students have already completed required arrival testing, so those activities will proceed normally.
Please refer to the January 10 email for information about the booster requirement. We have received questions about timing of the booster for those who have tested positive. Per the CDC’s guidance, individuals who have had COVID should be boosted once they have recovered from their illness, have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation, and have met the booster eligibility criteria.
Masking is required in all indoor spaces, including residence hall common areas, until further notice and as we evaluate what is occurring on campus and beyond. KN95 masks are currently recommended as the most effective way to stem virus transmission. If you do not have a KN95 mask, please consider double masking in classes and other group settings.
Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students