I am writing in follow up to the message from President Byerly about the difficult decision to pivot to online teaching this fall. Consistent with our decision to lower the density of students, faculty, and staff on campus, we remain committed to the health and safety of those returning to Lafayette in the coming weeks.  

With this in mind, life on campus will be different this fall. Everyone will need to practice physical distancing, wear face coverings, and agree to testing and contact tracing. All students will be tested for COVID-19 when they arrive in August during a phased check-in period the week before the start of classes. The average turnaround time for the test results will be 24 hours. While awaiting results, students need to adhere to the instructions they receive at check-in.

I would like to share additional details regarding our testing strategy:

  • We encourage students to get tested at home 7-10 days before returning to campus. Those who test positive should remain at home and contact Bailey Health Center for clearance to return to campus. Students testing negative at home will be retested when they arrive at check-in.
  • Students who have been ill over the summer and have tested positive for COVID-19 must send documentation to the health center including a clearance letter from their provider and the test result. No further testing is required.
  • We will conduct surveillance testing throughout the semester. In addition, providers at the health center may order point-of-care testing for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. Turnaround time for point-of-care testing is less than one hour.
  • Students testing positive for COVID-19 will transition to off-campus College-owned housing. A team of contact tracers at Lafayette will collaborate with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to identify individuals at risk who may need to quarantine. 

Although I am disappointed that we cannot all be together on campus this fall, I continue to be inspired by the staff, faculty, students, and parents who have worked tirelessly to address the myriad of details involved in making this difficult decision.

Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein
Director of Health Services


  1. Rachel Hurley says:

    Good Morning,

    Do all of these rules apply in the same way for students living in off-campus college-owned housing?

    1. David Block says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Yes, the rules for students approved to spend the semester learning on campus apply to those living in off-campus College-owned housing.

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