Anne Ehrlich, Chris Zappe, and Jen Lucas update the campus community about the Omicron variant, in-person classes and activities, and other COVID-19 related updates and reminders.
Dear Members of the Gettysburg College Community,
We are very pleased to have our students, faculty, and staff together on campus for the Spring 2022 semester. We appreciate your patience and flexibility this week as we work to position ourselves for a safe and successful term.
Patience and Flexibility
Our College is now entering its fifth semester navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. We commend our community’s resolve as we have adapted and readapted our plans over these past 22 months to protect one another, all the while supporting the academic and personal growth of our students. In the semester ahead, may we continue to do our part as Gettysburgians to lift each other up and to practice patience and flexibility. We are confident our community is up to the task.
The Omicron variant is highly transmissible. We should expect an increase in positive cases among our students and employees this spring. Still, our community is in an advantageous position. The vast majority of our campus is fully vaccinated and boosted—or will receive their booster once eligible. Our public health experts stress that the risk of serious illness among our College community is low—and the positive cases that do emerge will typically be asymptomatic or involve mild or moderate symptoms.
Our focus this spring will be advancing our students’ educational progress while taking reasonable steps to reduce the number of positive cases—to the extent possible, recognizing the realities of the variant. We will also continue to work with the most vulnerable members of our community. To help start the semester as well as possible, we have purposefully taken a more cautious approach to our opening. We want to deliver as normal of a Gettysburg experience for our students as possible, while continuing to be informed by public health guidance about how to respond to this newest chapter of COVID.
In-Person Classes and Activities to Resume January 24
Beginning Monday, January 24, the restriction period will end and the College will resume in-person classes and activities. All academic buildings will be reopened. Students who test positive should be in contact with their professors to make the appropriate arrangements so they may continue to access their coursework while in isolation.
Updates and Reminders
- Student Testing – As previously announced, all students—regardless of vaccination status—will test for the next three weeks. We will determine whether or not the continued testing of vaccinated students is necessary after Wednesday, February 9.
- Test Result Delays – Given the prevalence of testing and lab staffing shortages, individuals and organizations across the country are experiencing delays in receiving their COVID-19 test results. The College is likewise experiencing delays in comparison to previous semesters. Students and employees will be informed of their results as soon as the results are available, likely within four days. If a student has not received their COVID test result by Monday, January 24, they should not attend in-person classes. Please be in contact with your professors to make appropriate arrangements until you receive your negative test result.
- To-Go Dining Available for All Students – Beginning Monday, January 24, Bullet Express to-go meals will be available for all students. Students who remain in the restriction period (tested positive or awaiting results) should avoid in-person dining and order from Bullet Express. Students who are no longer in the restriction period may choose in-person dining (Servo, Bullet Hole, etc.) or to-go dining through Bullet Express. To order online, download the Touchnet Order Ahead app; create a profile and choose Gettysburg College as your order/pick up location; order your meal and pay using Bullet Bucks, Getty Gold, or use a meal “swipe”; and pick up your meal at the Bullet Express window at the Bullet Hole.
Bullet Express will be open Monday through Friday. Breakfast hours will be 7:30 - 10 a.m. Lunch hours will be 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Dinner hours will be 5 - 7:30 p.m.
- On-Campus Booster Clinic for Students – For students who were unable to receive their booster prior to returning to campus, Health Services will be offering an on-campus booster clinic on Thursday, January 27, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., and Friday, January 28, from noon - 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment for one of our on-campus clinics, please log into Medicat.
As a reminder, all students are required to receive a booster shot within two weeks of becoming eligible, absent a College-approved exemption.
- Indoor Masking – All individuals—regardless of vaccination status—are required to wear a mask over their mouth and nose while inside campus buildings, except when an employee is alone in their personal office or workspace; when an individual is actively eating or drinking; or when a student is in their assigned room or apartment. (Note: This is a change from the fall semester masking policy. All students must mask in residential common spaces. We will revisit this policy after the first four weeks of the term.)
- Fully Masked Study Space – Due to student feedback requesting a fully masked study space, food and drink will not be permitted in the CUB Ballroom for the remainder of the week.
- COVID Dashboard – In addition to sending email updates as needed, we will update our COVID dashboard every Monday. The dashboard will track the number of positive cases resulting from tests conducted on campus.
Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students
Executive Director of Human Resources