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Fall 2021 UpDate for Sept. 1

Information on faculty protocols, building access, testing 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.

Attention faculty: The Fall 2021 Protocols for Instruction are available on the Academic Continuity page of the provost’s websitePlease note: Delivering Instruction section, items 4 and 10, were updated on Tuesday, Aug. 31. Questions? Please contact UD-Provost@udel.edu.

Don’t forget to check in: Each day on campus, all members of the UD community must complete the daily health screening at covidcheck.udel.edu.

Building access: Over the past year, the UD Police Department (UDPD) has been assessing access to campus buildings to maximize the safety and security of the UD community. As part of a campus operations pilot project, only select doors and ADA-approved entryways are now being unlocked for most buildings on the campuses in Newark and Lewes. Most buildings have multiple entry points. UDPD has worked closely with building managers to identify the appropriate doors or sets of doors that are open for standard business hours during the week. Every exterior door should have signage clearly indicating the doors that are open to that building. Individuals are still able to exit buildings through any door. To report a concern, email both AcademicCustodial@udel.edu and buildingaccess-udpd@udel.edu.

Mask requirement: In keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, masks are now required in all University indoor facilities, with limited exceptions, whether individuals are vaccinated or not.

Account holds for out-of-compliance students begin 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 was due to Student Health Services by Aug. 15. Any students still out of compliance with this requirement on Sept. 14 will receive a hold on their academic account and have a notation added to their student record. This will prevent 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 will 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.

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 at https://udel.edu/book/harker-ise-lab) and from 10 a.m.-1:45 p.m. at 115 Pencader Dining Hall (register at https://udel.edu/book/universityofdelaware600). 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.

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 now offers free, take-home rapid test kits in most public library locations in Delaware. Go to your nearest public library to obtain a free kit; a library card is not needed to receive a kit. 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: The best way to help end the pandemic is to get vaccinated, and there are many opportunities locally. To find vaccination locations, visit the state of Delaware vaccination site. Editor's note: Sept. 3, 2021. The vaccination and testing event originally announced for Saturday, Sept. 4, at the Conover Apartments has been canceled.  

Shuttle buses operating at full capacity: Fall semester bus routes are now in full operation. Please note that face coverings are required at all times, and anyone who has been sick or recently in close contact with someone with COVID-19 should not be using the buses. Passengers on all two-door buses should enter via the front door and exit via the rear door.

Research operations: Only international research travel requests now require Research Office approval using this application form. Domestic research travel continues to be permissible — Research Office approval is no longer required. However, given the increased incidence of COVID-19, UD employees and students are strongly encouraged to participate virtually in research activities/conferences, whether domestic or international, and postpone research travel whenever possible.

Virtual research town halls will be held once a month through fall semester—from 1–2 p.m. on Mondays, on these dates: Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 13. Please register to attend. The town halls are being recorded and are archived on this webpage. 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. All services are available by appointment, 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.

Ready for return: For the past several months, UD Facilities staff members have been working diligently to ensure that all campus buildings are safe and prepared. Water systems in buildings have been flushed and tested and are now ready for occupancy. HVAC systems have been inspected to ensure that they meet or exceed recommended CDC guidelines. Airflow in HVAC systems is optimized based on the age of the systems in the respective buildings. The Preventive Maintenance Program also has been optimized to conduct routine filter changes. For more details, check the Coronavirus FAQs about Health and Safety and Working at UD.

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

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