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Fall 2021 UpDate for Sept. 15

Information on health guidelines, building access, events protocols and more

Stay informed about recent decisions and guidelines by visiting www.udel.edu/coronavirus. This comprehensive site highlights the latest information about UD’s response, as well as frequently asked questions and a data dashboard on current campus statistics. Have a specific question? Check the FAQs, which are updated regularly as questions come in to coronavirus@udel.edu.

Wear your mask: In keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, masks are required in all University indoor facilities, with limited exceptions, whether individuals are vaccinated or not. To maximize health and safety, everyone should put on their masks before entering the building.

Protect the Flock: There has been a concerning increase in COVID cases within the UD community. In classrooms and indoor campus spaces, mask use and physical distancing continue to be highly effective at slowing the spread. However, large off-campus gatherings are fueling the rise in cases. Remember to help Protect the Flock and please act responsibly.

Building access assessment: The UD Police Department (UDPD) continues to assess and refine its pilot building access program that was initiated this fall to maximize the safety of the members of the UD community and the security of campus property. As part of the project, only select doors and ADA-approved entryways are being unlocked at most buildings on the campuses in Newark and Lewes. It should be noted that all doors—locked or unlocked--are still available for people to exit buildings at all times. UDPD is working closely with building managers to ensure that the most appropriate doors or sets of doors are open during standard weekday business hours. Every exterior door should have signage that indicates which entrances are open to a specific building. To report a concern or provide additional feedback, email both AcademicCustodial@udel.edu and buildingaccess-udpd@udel.edu.

Don’t forget to check in: All members of the UD community who are on campus must complete the daily health screening at covidcheck.udel.edu.

Testing positive or coming into contact with someone who has: Guidelines on what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you come into close contact with someone who has tested positive are detailed in the COVID-19 Testing section of the Frequently Asked Questions on UD’s Coronavirus website. Students are reminded to check the Student Health Services website for additional information.

Protocols for visitors attending UD events: As of Sept. 10, all external visitors to UD-sponsored events are required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR test for the virus. The new policy applies to attendees and participants who are ages 12 and older.

Attention faculty: The Fall 2021 Protocols for Instruction have been updated. Effective immediately, instructors may temporarily move classes online for up to two weeks if they determine that the number of students who are unable to be in class in-person (e.g., quarantined) negatively affects student learning. Before any change in course modality, instructors must inform the department chair and notify the Registrar’s Office by completing this form. Please see the updated protocols on provost’s webpage for additional changes (see General Health and Safety Protocols; Delivering Instruction section, items 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8; General Matters, item 1).

Account holds for out-of-compliance students began Sept. 14: All students are required to get a COVID-19 vaccination or request an exemption if there are medical or religious reasons that prevent vaccination. Students’ vaccination cards or exemption documentation were due to Student Health Services by Aug. 15. Any students still out of compliance with this requirement on Sept. 14 received a hold on their academic account and had a notation added to their student record. This prevents them from adjusting their schedules, registering for classes and engaging in other University opportunities. Students out of compliance are also being referred to the Office of Student Conduct and face disciplinary sanctions. Detailed instructions to submit vaccination documentation are at the top of udel.edu/studenthealth.

Vaccination guidelines for faculty and staff:All UD employees accessing University facilities are required either to provide proof that they have been fully immunized against COVID-19 or continue to comply with weekly testing protocols. Those who are vaccinated must submit documentation through the UD Human Resources online portal.

Testing opportunities: Members of the University community have multiple testing opportunities available to them on the Newark campus each week: two on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, three on Tuesdays and one on Fridays. For specifics on campus surveillance testing and community testing, see the two items below.

On-campus testing: For the fall semester, surveillance testing is offered at two campus locations, Mondays through Thursdays. Testing is available from 9 a.m.-12:45 p.m. at Harker ISE Lab (register here) and from 10 a.m.-1:45 p.m. at 115 Pencader Dining Hall (register here). Individuals must have an appointment; no walk-ups are permitted. All unvaccinated students, faculty and staff who are regularly accessing campus facilities must be tested weekly. Please note that this testing is available only to enrolled students and current faculty and staff. Per CDC guidelines, people who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days and recovered do not need to get tested following an exposure unless directed by a medical professional.

Community testing options: University faculty, staff and students may take advantage of the state of Delaware Curative testing options that are available both on-campus and in close proximity to campus. Free community-based testing is available through the state at two sites on the Newark campus: at Conover Apartments, parking lot #16, at 97 Amstel Ave., from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., every Tuesday, and at Lot #6 on the Laird Campus, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., every Friday. Individuals may register for testing at https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/.

In addition, the state offers free, take-home tests via mail. Individuals can request a free kit and obtain more information at the state’s COVID-19 response website.

Get vaccinated: UD will host a second-dose COVID-19 vaccination clinic for members of the campus community from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 17, in Clayton Hall on the Laird Campus. The vaccine being administered is the FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine. Although this is a second-dose event, those looking for the first dose of the vaccine are welcome to attend. Those interested in getting a second dose at this event can sign up at https://kordinator.mhealthcoach.net/vcl/clayton2. Those seeking a first dose can sign up at https://kordinator.mhealthcoach.net/vcl/clayton. All members of the UD community are welcome.The best way to help end the pandemic is to get vaccinated. To find other vaccination locations, visit the state of Delaware vaccination site.

Research town halls: Research operations remain in Phase 4. The next virtual research town hall will be held Monday, Sept. 20, from 1–2 p.m. Additional town halls will be held on Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 13. Please register to attend. Contact UDResearch@udel.edu with your research-related questions.

For those needing assistance: Wellbeing services and support are available for all students, operating out of the new ‘neighborhood of wellbeing’ on the South Green between Laurel Hall, which continues to house Student Health Services, and the new Wellbeing Center at Warner Hall, which has reopened as the new home for the Center for Counseling and Student Development and Student Wellness and Health Promotion. Services are available by appointment only, and many telehealth options remain available. Resources specifically for substance use and recovery assistance are also available, and individuals experiencing any concerns are encouraged to contact the UD Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC). Students also have access to 24/7 mental health and victim support on the UD Helpline at 302-831-1001, and to 24/7 medical advice on CareNet at 800-681-3957.

The Employee Assistance Program is now provided through ComPsych GuidanceResources. This is a free program available for State of Delaware Group Health Plan non-Medicare members and their dependents. As part of ComPsych’s commitment, EAP services are available through the end of the national COVID-19 public health emergency to all state of Delaware employees, including temporary, casual seasonal and benefit eligible employees who are not currently enrolled in a state of Delaware Highmark Delaware or Aetna health plan. In addition, Employee Health and Wellbeing has a variety of resources available to assist employees.

Questions? Send an email to coronavirus@udel.edu.

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