All returning students, faculty and staff will be required to complete a COVID-19 test on campus upon return for Winter Term, according to an email from Chair of the Ready & Resilient Committee Jeff Stein. All testing will be by appointment and students who do not get tested will not be allowed to attend classes and will be asked to leave student housing if they live on campus.
All students except freshmen will use PCR tests and will be required to quarantine whether they’re on or off campus while awaiting results. These tests typically return results in 24-48 hours, according to the email. While in quarantine, students will only be allowed to leave their rooms to pick up meals from dining halls, while wearing masks.
Freshmen, however, will take rapid antigen tests that return results within an hour, and will not have to quarantine. This will allow the university to host events for freshmen from Sunday, Jan. 10 to Tuesday, Jan. 12, while older students are in quarantine. The ‘connections-related programming’ is intended to help freshmen make connections with one another. This programming will be similar to orientation, with Elon 101 group gatherings and evening events.
The email also said that unlike in the fall, students will be required to complete PCR testing every other week and rapid antigen testing weekly, once supplies are available, in the winter and spring semesters. This is a part of a new strategy the university is implementing in order to slow the spread by identifying positive cases earlier on.
There have been 917 positive cases of COVID-19 among Elon students, faculty and staff since Aug. 14.
Anyone who has tested positive by PCR testing for COVID-19 within 90 days of returning to campus must notify the university. This can be done through the Phoenix Health Portal for students, or through Human Resources for faculty and staff.
Students are also required to get a flu shot by Dec. 31, in order to return to campus for Winter Term.