Author: Megan Scott

Update from LPPT | January 19, 2022

Dear Lawrentians,  

Today, we write to share a few updates regarding our transition back to in-person curricular and co-curricular activities. 

Positivity Rate on Campus 
This week’s COVID-19 Dashboard shares results from last week’s testing, which shows total active cases at 81 (61 new student cases and 20 new employee cases). The numbers reflect both on-campus testing results and off-campus test results submitted by community members. We recognize that this is the highest number of active cases we have seen to date. As we have shared, we are not surprised to see an increase in the positivity rate among members of our campus community due to the Omicron variant’s high rate of transmission. One thing that is important to note is that we administered 1,000 more tests last week than the previous week. While our active case numbers did increase week over week, the actual percentage of positive cases decreased from 5.84% to 3.0%, which shows that our current mitigation efforts are working. 

We encourage us all to remember that Lawrence is a highly vaccinated community—94% of our students and 93% of our employees are vaccinated. As we have learned, breakthrough cases of the Omicron variant are inevitable. We also know that vaccinated individuals, particularly those who have received a booster, are less likely to experience severe infections. This is why we require all vaccinated individuals to get a COVID-19 booster shot if eligible and submit proof of having received the booster as soon as possible. Students should send their proof to Wellness Services; employees should send their proof to Human Resources. 

Testing 
Over the winter break, we transitioned to a new testing firm. We used this firm for surveillance testing for community members participating in D-Term and did not experience delays or disruptions to our testing process. With our full community’s return to campus and the increase in testing numbers—both on campus and around the nation—we are seeing concerning delays in our testing results. Our colleagues in Wellness Services are in touch with our testing provider daily to address and resolve these delays.

In the meantime, we ask for everyone’s patience as we work to resolve these issues and continue to conduct our weekly surveillance testing. Please check your email regularly for any updates and information about individual and campus-wide surveillance testing.

Return to In-Person Classes 
While most community members were able to return to in-person classes yesterday, there are individuals who are not in compliance with the university’s testing policy: Faculty, students, and staff must take two on-campus or local COVID-19 tests, 3-5 days apart, as part of our safe return-to-campus process. These individuals have been contacted, are not currently attending classes, and will need to be compliant with our testing expectations before returning to classes. 

Due to the recent testing result delays, there is a small number of students, faculty, and staff who received a negative result on their first test and would have been in compliance with our policy if their second negative test result was received in a timely manner. For those individuals, LPPT decided after robust discussion to allow them to return to in-person classes, following all current safety protocols. Wellness Services identified those individuals and contacted them on Tuesday morning so that they could attend classes.

We believe this was the best decision for our community at this time. Our goal is to ensure that as many individuals can participate in our academic program, being mindful of the health and welfare of our community and the fact that we are a highly vaccinated campus with strong mitigation strategies in place.

If faculty or students have concerns about the decision or practices within their classroom, please email coronainfo@lawrence.edu. We will be in touch as soon as possible to address your concerns.

Masking 
Masking is required in all indoor public facilities, regardless of vaccination status. We recommend a KN95 mask or double masking, pairing a cloth mask with a disposable surgical-style mask, as these provide the best protection against the virus. Learn more about the proper way to wear your mask here.

Our first order of KN95 masks for the community has arrived on campus. These have been placed in residence halls for students and are also available in Wellness Services. Additional masks have been ordered and will be distributed accordingly once they arrive.

Again, we thank you for your continuing patience and diligence as we navigate the pandemic. We will continue to update our campus community as soon as possible when additional information or a shift if operational status is needed. 

Be well and stay well, 
LPPT 

Update on In-Person Activities | January 14, 2022

Dear Lawrentians, 

We write today to update the campus on our operational status as we move into week three of the term.  

The current results of this week’s testing have revealed a promising trend. As of 5:30 p.m. last night, 3.8% of the surveillance tests administered on Monday and Tuesday were positive. While we are still waiting for additional test results, our campus positivity rate is trending down from 5.84% last week. Please note that this week’s final test results will be reflected on the COVID-19 dashboard on Monday, January 17. 

We are grateful to our students and faculty for adjusting to remote learning for the past two weeks, as well as our staff for quickly adjusting their work arrangements. This time has allowed us to test each community member twice, identifying individuals who were COVID positive and their close contacts and placing them in isolation or quarantine. We are pleased to say that Lawrentians have done a fantastic job honoring the Pledge, resulting in a low number of close contacts.  

These mitigation strategies, as well as our community’s high vaccination rate of more than 90%, mandatory boosters for all eligible community members, a masking mandate, and a robust surveillance testing protocol, have contributed to our decision to resume in-person curricular and co-curricular activities starting next week. Please note the following: 

  • In-person activities, including curricular and co-curricular activities, will resume on Tuesday, January 18, adhering to all current health and safety protocols (see below). Students and faculty must have two negative COVID tests prior to returning to the classroom. 
  • In-person dining spaces will be adjusted to accommodate enhanced physical distancing starting Tuesday, January 18. Capacity in the Brengel Dining Room will be reduced, and Somerset will be opened as an alternative dining space. Capacities will be monitored, and students may be asked to move to another space to ensure physical distancing. Meals will remain grab-and-go through Monday, January 17. 
  • Guests in individual residence hall rooms will return to occupancy +3 on Tuesday, January 18. More information is available on the Residential Education web page.  
  • All employees may return to campus for work on Monday, January 17, after taking two required COVID tests. If an employee participated in off-campus testing, proof of negative results must be sent to Human Resources
  • We ask that in-person meetings be limited and adhere to all health and safety protocols (see below); remote meetings are encouraged. 
  • All campus buildings will remain closed to the public and will be accessible only by keycard.    
  • Campus is open to organized guest activity only; access to campus will be granted only via a host or through advanced registration or ticketing. See the guest policy for more information.  

Recognizing that students will remain in quarantine and isolation as we return to in-person learning, we want to emphasize that the Center for Academic Success and individual faculty members will work to help students keep up with their course work. Read more about quarantine and isolation protocols

Orange Status & Health & Safety Protocols 

With the high transmission rates of the Omicron variant and the level of community spread in Appleton and the Fox Cities, we have opted to remain in Orange Light status even as we return to an in-person experience. It is more important than ever that our community Honor the Pledge and adhere to current health and safety protocols:  

  • Get a COVID-19 booster shot if you are eligible and submit proof of your booster as soon as possible. Students should send their proof to Wellness Services; employees should send their proof to Human Resources.  
  • Wear a KN95 mask or double mask in all indoor public spaces. Given the transmissibility of the Omicron variant, these actions provide the best protection. KN95 masks are currently on-order and will be distributed to the campus community, starting with students, as soon as they are available. We will share more information upon their arrival.  
  • Continue to physical distance where possible, conduct a daily symptoms check, and wash your hands frequently. 

The university will take appropriate corrective action to address noncompliant behaviors, including not allowing community members to attend classes and disinviting individuals from the community.  

Testing 

We will continue our practice of weekly surveillance testing using PCR tests on Mondays in the Wellness Center. Please note that Lawrence community members may self-select to participate in weekly surveillance testing if they are asymptomatic.  

Students who experience symptoms may contact Wellness Services to arrange for testing. Employees who experience symptoms should seek testing off-campus. More information regarding our testing protocols can be found on the Wellness Services website

With the status of the virus and guidance shifting regularly, sometimes daily, LPPT will continue to closely monitor our campus and surrounding community, shifting our operational status as needed based upon the information we have available at the time. We thank you for your continued diligence and patience as we’ve worked to mitigate the spread of the virus, especially upon our return to campus during this challenging new phase of the pandemic.  

Please submit questions to coronainfo@lawrence.edu, stay tuned to your email for updates, and continue to Honor the Pledge.   

Be well, and stay well, 
Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team  

COVID-19 Update from LPPT | January 11, 2022

Dear Lawrentians,

As is reflected in this week’s update of the COVID-19 dashboard, we have seen a significant increase in the number of positive cases as our community returns to campus. Based on regional and national trends, we are not surprised to see this level of increase due to the Omicron variant’s high rate of transmission. We continue to follow appropriate guidance to mitigate the virus and reduce its impact within our campus community and write today to share more information regarding our response to the current situation on campus.

A total of 30 students and 16 employees were identified as new cases last week. Our total active cases on campus, which includes on- and off-campus test results, stand at 62 (38 students, 24 employees). Those community members who have tested positive for the virus or have been contact traced are currently in isolation or quarantine on campus, at an approved off-campus location, or at home. 

In anticipation of the increase in positivity rates, the Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team secured additional quarantine and isolation (Q &I) space for our students, supplementing our on-campus Q & I space with rooms through Airbnb and local hotels as needed. These spaces were secured so that we can mitigate the effects of virus and reduce the spread of infection on campus.

Students who test positive or are contact traced will be notified by Wellness Services of the details regarding their temporary Q&I housing assignment. Members of the Dean of Student’s office, Spiritual and Religious Life, and Wellness Services offices then provide support to students, regardless of their location.

While any increase in positivity rates is a concern, we encourage us all to remember that Lawrence is a highly vaccinated community—94% of our students and 93% of our employees are vaccinated. As we have learned—and have seen around the world—breakthrough cases of the Omicron variant are inevitable. We also know that vaccinated individuals, particularly those who have received a booster, are less likely to experience severe infections. 

The goal of our surveillance testing and health and safety protocols is to mitigate the spread of the virus on campus and to keep the Lawrence community as safe as possible. This is especially true as we face a variant that spreads quickly regardless of vaccination status. To help us ensure that all Lawrentians remain as healthy as possible, we would like to remind all community members to do the following: 

  • Get a COVID-19 booster shot if you are eligible and submit proof of your booster as soon as possible. Students should send their proof to Wellness Services; employees should send their proof to Human Resources
  • Double mask or wear a KN95 mask in all indoor public spaces. Given the transmissibility of the Omicron variant, these actions provide the best protection. Masks are available in all campus buildings, and KN95 masks for the community have been ordered and should be available prior to the start of in person classes. We will share more information upon their arrival. 
  • Continue to practice health and safety protocols like physical distancing where possible and washing your hands. 

Over the last week, we received questions regarding the availability of COVID-19 tests on-campus outside of our surveillance testing.Please note that Lawrence community members may self-select to participate in weekly surveillance testing if they are asymptomatic. Students who experience symptoms may contact Wellness Services to arrange for testing at other times. Employees who experience symptoms should seek testing off-campus. More information regarding our testing protocols can be found on the Wellness Services website

All current policies and procedures, including the guest policy, will continue to be reviewed and adjusted by LPPT as needed to ensure that we are responding to the current situation on campus. We will also continue to review the results of this week’s testing closely and will be in touch as soon as possible regarding results and/or any adjustments to our plan to return to in-person learning next week on Tuesday, January 18.  

Recognizing that more students may be in quarantine and isolation than in the past, we want to remind students that the Center for Academic Success and individual faculty members will work to help students keep up with their coursework if they are in quarantine or isolation when we return to in-person classes. 

Please continue to send questions to coronainfo@lawrence.edu. We greatly appreciate your patience as we work to answer questions as quickly as we can and thank you for your continued commitment to Honor the Pledge. 

Be well, and stay well, 
Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team 

Return to Work & Testing Update | January 7, 2022

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We would like to thank you for your efforts to Honor the Pledge as we begin winter term. We write today to provide an update on the plans for returning to work and testing next week, January 10-14.

The university currently plans to resume in-person instruction starting on Tuesday, January 18. All community members living, learning, and working on campus must abide by testing protocols: faculty, students, and staff must take two on-campus COVID-19 tests, 3-5 days apart, as part of our safe return-to-campus process. Two rounds of testing help us to best track the presence of the virus on campus and mitigate its spread, allowing us to return to the in-person campus experience more quickly.

Those employees who have not yet returned to campus should continue to work remotely during the week of January 10-14, but must report for COVID testing on Monday, January 10, or Tuesday, January 11 and, again, on Thursday, January 13, for a second test. Testing is offered in the Wellness Center between 8:00–10:45 a.m. and 12:00-4:45 p.m. Employees may return to work on campus after receiving two negative test results.

Employees who are unable to attend on-campus testing may submit proof of two negative COVID tests (taken 3 days apart) to Human Resources at humanresources@lawrence.edu. We will accept both PCR and antigen tests (see the FAQ or more information on antigen tests); it is important that both tests are administered locally.

Student employees will be permitted to resume working at this time. They may work remotely during the week of January 10-14 if their position allows. If this is not possible due to the nature of their position, student workers may work in campus offices and spaces after receiving two negative COVID tests.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience. We will continue to monitor the situation both on campus and in our surrounding community. If an adjustment to our plan or operational status is needed, we will be in communication with the campus community.

Please continue to send questions to coronainfo@lawrence.edu, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Be well and stay well, 
Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team 

Returning to Campus & In-Person Learning | January 7, 2022

Dear Lawrentians, 

We write today to share more details about your return to campus and our planned return to in-person learning.

At this time, the university plans to resume in-person instruction starting on Tuesday, January 18. Students need to be on campus before January 18 and be prepared to attend classes in-person by that time, abiding by test protocols (i.e. obtaining one test upon arrival to campus and a second test 3-5 days after arrival). This means that you should return on January 9 or 10, so that you can be fully tested before the start of in-person classes. 

Once we return to in-person instruction, remote learning options will not be available.  If a student is unable to return to campus prior to January 18 and complete the testing requirements, they should contact the Dean of Academic Success (cas@lawrence.edu) to discuss the options available to them. These options will be limited to exceptional cases and students who remain at home should not expect to be able to Zoom in to in-person courses. It will not be possible for you to remain at home and take courses remotely for the entire term. 

Students who fall ill with COVID or another illness during the term should follow the university catalog policy on “illness or injury” from the section on Academic Expectations for instructions on how to work with faculty to complete coursework. Faculty will work with you to make sure you keep up with the material, as they would in any circumstance in which illness or injury prevents you from attending class. 

The goal of two weeks of remote instruction is to implement health and safety protocols, such as testing upon your return to campus, so that we can mitigate the spread of the virus and successfully return to the in-person experience. Lawrence’s residential, liberal arts experience is valued by all of us—students, faculty, and staff alike—and we greatly appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work to ensure that this experience continues. 

If you have any questions regarding your coursework, please consult with your advisor or the Dean of Academic Success. Questions regarding other COVID-19 protocols can be sent to coronainfo@lawrence.edu

Be well and stay well, 
Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team 

Important Winter Term 2022 Update | December 23, 2021

We have updated the message below to reflect the following: “Please note that students who arrive on campus on or after January 9, 2022, will be entitled to a refund of the room and board charges for the first week of winter term.” The original date listed for arrival in the email message was January 8. We apologize for the confusion. — LPPT, 12/23/21

Dear Lawrentians, 

Today we write with an important update for the Lawrence community regarding our plans for winter term 2022 and the university’s operational status.  

Since the close of the fall term, the pandemic has continued to evolve. The introduction of the Omicron variant has resulted in rapid community spread across the country and world, with a surge expected to hit the Fox Cities region in January. As a highly vaccinated community with standing practices and protocols in place, including weekly surveillance testing and contact tracing, we have managed to live, learn, and work with the pandemic over the last 18 months. While the risk of severe illness from Omicron appears to be low at this time for those who are fully vaccinated and boosted, the risk of contracting this highly transmissible variant, even among vaccinated community members, is high.  

This risk has led us to change the university’s operating status to Orange Light: Open, Substantial Risk, and to adjust our return to campus in the new year. 

Changes to Winter Term  
Winter term will officially begin as planned on Monday, January 3, 2022, beginning with all curricular and co-curricular activities taking place remotely. The following changes will take place: 

  • Remote curricular and co-curricular activities will be extended through the second week of classes, January 10-14. We will evaluate the status of campus during the second week of classes with the intention of resuming in-person classes on Tuesday, January 18, after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. 
  • Student move-in will be moved back one week to Sunday, January 9. We understand that this shift may be difficult for some students, as travel plans may not be able to be adjusted. Special accommodation for those who need to return to campus on the original move-in date, January 2, may be arranged.  
  • We ask that all returning students fill out this survey by Tuesday December 28, to let us know when you plan to return to campus. 
  • All meals will be grab-and-go through Monday, January 17.  
  • Personnel who provide direct support to the student experience, including Student Life, Facilities, Campus Services, and Bon Appetit, are expected to report to work as scheduled following the winter break, unless otherwise informed by your supervisor. 
  • All other personnel should work remotely, if possible, during the first week of January. Please contact your supervisor if you have any questions. More information regarding ongoing work arrangements through January will be shared by January 7. 
  • We are currently awaiting guidance from our athletics conferences to determine the next steps for our winter sports. 
  • All official university travel except athletics competitions is suspended until further notice.  

Please note that students who arrive on campus on or after January 9, 2022, will be entitled to a refund of the room and board charges for the first week of winter term. This will appear as a credit on their student accounts. 

Return to Campus & Testing 
Students and employees living, learning, and working on campus are expected to adhere to their commitment to Honor the Pledge, which includes adhering to the following:  

  • All community members will take a pre-test before returning to campus. More information on recommended tests and what to do if you cannot access a test can be found on the Covid-19 FAQ. Only return to campus if your test is negative. Students who test positive should contact the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@lawrence.edu to make necessary arrangements. Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources at humanresources@lawrence.edu and their supervisor.  
  • All students and employees will be tested upon their return to campus. Students and employees on campus during the first week of January (January 3-7) will be tested on January 3 and, again, later in the week. Students and employees returning during the week of January 10-15 will also be tested twice. Please stay tuned to your email for additional information regarding testing. You can also visit the Wellness Services website as we update information. 
  • All vaccinated community members must get a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as they are eligible. Information on booster eligibility is available here. While breakthrough cases of the Omicron variant are inevitable, it is proven that a booster shot significantly lessons the severity of infection. You can use this link to schedule your booster shot: https://www.vaccines.gov/.  
  • Vaccinated community members need to submit proof of a booster as soon as possible. Students send proof to Wellness Services at wellnessservices@lawrence.edu; employees send proof to Human Resources at humanresources@lawrence.edu. Information regarding individual booster deadlines will follow shortly from Human Resources and Wellness Services. 
  • Students and employees on campus will participate in regular surveillance testing. Weekly surveillance testing will resume starting the week of January 17. Unvaccinated individuals will be tested each week; vaccinated individuals will be randomly selected for ongoing weekly surveillance testing. More information on testing can be found on the Wellness Services website

All community members are also encouraged to take extra precautions, including limiting in-person meetings and gatherings whenever possible and double masking for all indoor activities, regardless of vaccination status. It is also important that we continue to practice other health protocols like physical distancing and hand washing.  

Moving Forward 
We recognize that this change in operational status, particularly during the winter break and holiday season, is a challenging one for us all. All changes allow us to provide greater flexibility for our campus community to obtain boosters, confirm negative test results, and address potential health concerns related to holiday gatherings and travel. We greatly appreciate our community’s continuing flexibility, patience, and dedication to one another as we continue to adjust and adapt to the challenges the pandemic brings.  

new set of FAQs have been added to the COVID-19 website, which addresses questions regarding testing and other important information regarding winter term. Please also continue to submit questions to coronainfo@lawrence.edu. As the university remains closed until January 2, we will respond to you as quickly as we can, and we greatly appreciate your patience as you await a response.  

We will continue to monitor the viral situation on-campus and in our surrounding community, following CDC guidance and working with our local health agencies. If adjustments to our plans or operational status are needed, we will be in immediate communication with our campus community.  

As we have said many times before, we are confident that together we will overcome this challenging moment for our community. We wish you a safe holiday season. 

Be well and stay well,   
Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team  

Prepping for Winter Term | December 13, 2021

Dear Lawrentians,  

Student Life has been working hard to plan for the start of Winter Term and the arrival of students on campus after the winter break. With our continuing focus on the health and safety of our community, particularly as we enter the winter months, it is critically important that all Lawrentians arrive for Winter Term on time and complete surveillance testing. Below is important information to keep in mind prior to your return to campus. 

Vaccine Booster Shots 
CDC’s booster recommendation was updated on November 29, 2021, in response to the emerging Omicron variant. Those 18 and older should receive a booster dose of one of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) six months after the primary series or at least two months after the initial single dose of the J&J vaccine. All eligible Lawrence students, faculty, and staff should make every effort to receive their vaccine booster shot prior to the start of winter term. Please use this link to schedule your booster shot: https://www.vaccines.gov/.  

Preparing to Join Campus 
We ask all students who will live and learn on the Lawrence campus this winter to be vigilant about your safety and avoid potential COVID-19 exposure for 14 days prior to your arrival on campus. I understand limiting your contacts runs counter to the normal impulse to see friends and family before leaving, but your actions will help ensure the health and safety of our entire community. Avoiding exposure involves not only following standard safety protocols, such as wearing a mask, physical distancing, and washing your hands, but also minimizing contacts to protect yourself and others during travel. Additionally, we encourage anyone who has not already gotten a flu vaccine to do so over winter break.   

We also encourage everyone to get tested 1-3 days prior to your return to campus.  If you have a positive test or if you experience illness of any kind before traveling to campus, please stay home and contact the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@lawrence.edu to arrange for your arrival on campus. 

Joining Campus 
As was shared in the November 1, 2021, communication from the Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team, move-in for students is January 2, 2022

All students living on campus or who will be commuting to campus, as well as faculty and staff, will be tested on the following days: 

January 3, 8:00 – 10:45 a.m. & 12:00 – 4:45 p.m. 
January 4, 8:00 – 10:45 a.m. & 12:00 – 4:45 p.m. 

Randomized testing of our on-campus population will occur weekly for the rest of the term. Since there are no pre-assigned testing appointment times, you are free to come at a time that suits your schedule. If you arrive early and there is a significant wait, feel free to come back later.  

All on-campus COVID-19 tests will be conducted by our new testing partner, Primary Health. This change will require that you complete a few important steps listed below before being tested. Please take about 5 minutes to create your account using this linkhttps://my.primary.health/l/lawrence-university-testing

As you know, participation in our campus testing regimen is a crucial aspect of our commitment to Honor the Pledge and is a required precondition for living, learning, or working on campus, in any capacity. 

First Week of Classes 
As was noted in the November 1 communication, the first week of winter term classes will be held remotely. In addition: 

  • All student meals will be grab-and-go;
  • All student activities will be held virtually; and
  • Personal residence hall rooms will be limited to room capacity +1.  

We ask that all employees conduct meetings and other gatherings virtually during the first week of the term as well.  

Our goal is to have the opportunity to test the entire Lawrence community for Covid-19 upon arrival on campus and to isolate positive cases before returning to fully in-person classes. When the testing results from the majority of students are known, we will be able to assess our status and, hopefully, resume increased in-person activities. 

Ensuring the health and safety of the Lawrence community and beyond only works when we all do our part, together. I’m confident that we will prioritize the health and safety of our community again this winter. 

Be well, and stay well, 
Rich 

Richard Jazdzewski Psy.D., LP 
Dean of Wellness Services 

P.S. A quick reminder that the university is closed from December 18, 2021, through January 2, 2022. If you do have any questions, please send them to coronainfo@lawrence.edu. We will check the inbox periodically over the break, so please be patient as you await a response from us. Please also continue to utilize the COVID-19 Website as a reference. Thank you! 

Operational Status Update to Yellow | December 3, 2021

Dear Lawrentians,  

We write with good news to share with the community.  

The results of the 231 COVID-19 tests administered on campus this past Monday, November 29, revealed only one positive test result. This follows a week in which we saw a decrease in positive cases from our fall 2021 high of 29 active cases on campus to 20 last week and 5 active cases this week as of today. (Please note that this week’s test results will be reflected on the COVID-19 dashboard on Monday, December 6).  

In light of this positive trend, as well as the fact that fewer community members are living and working on campus during the month of December, we are changing the university’s operating status to Yellow Light: Moderate Risk. The following safety measures will take place immediately:  

  • Masking is required in all public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status.   
  • All campus buildings will remain closed to the public and will be accessible only by keycard.   
  • In-person co-curricular activities may resume; all participants must be masked. 
  • In-person dining spaces will remain adjusted to accommodate enhanced physical distancing.  
  • Campus is open to organized guest activity only; access to campus will be granted only via a host or through advanced registration or ticketing. Guests will be allowed to eat on campus in a designated area. 
  • Surveillance testing will continue on Monday, December 6, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. in the Wellness Center. Students living and learning on campus are required to attend testing; employees may self-select to participate. 

While the campus community’s risk has decreased, our surrounding community is still experiencing serious community spread. We encourage everyone to remain diligent in their efforts to protect themselves and others in all of their daily activities. We encourage all students, faculty, and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster at your earliest convenience.   Please use this link to schedule your booster shot: https://www.vaccines.gov/. 

As always, please submit questions to coronainfo@lawrence.edu, stay tuned to your email for updates, and continue to Honor the Pledge.  

Be well and stay well,    
Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team   

Immediate Operational Status Change to Orange Light | November 18, 2021

Dear Lawrentians, 

Last Thursday, we wrote to alert the community to an increase in viral spread on our campus. This week’s surveillance testing has revealed that the trend continues. As of this morning at 11:00 a.m., nine students and two employees have tested positive for COVID-19, for a total of 11 new cases so far this week. Based upon the positive cases on campus and the number of community members we are closely monitoring through contact tracing, it is clear that there is community spread on our campus. 

Due to this fact, as well as a significant increase in COVID-19 cases within the larger Appleton community, we are immediately changing the university’s operating status to Orange Light: Open, Substantial Risk.  

The following safety measures will take place immediately: 

  • All campus buildings will remain closed to the public and will be accessible only by keycard.  
  • All community members are encouraged to take extra precautions, including limiting in-person meetings and gatherings whenever possible and double masking for all indoor activities, regardless of vaccination status. Surgical masks will be available in all campus buildings. 
  • In-person dining spaces will be adjusted to accommodate enhanced physical distancing. Capacity in the Bringel Dining Room will be reduced, and Somerset will be opened as an alternative dining space. Capacities will be monitored, and students may be asked to move to another space to ensure physical distancing. 
  • Outside guest activities will be limited, and guests must remain masked at all times.  

Final exams will proceed during the scheduled exam period, but location and modality may be adjusted. Faculty, please stay tuned for a message from Provost Catherine Kodat addressing potential adjustments. Students, please stay tuned for communications regarding potential changes to your exam locations or modalities. 

We recognize that the end of fall term is a challenging time during which to make an adjustment to our operational status, and we appreciate the additional stress that our students, faculty, and staff may experience. This is why we have opted to adjust our dining spaces to allow our students to safely gather with their community during meals and are working to accommodate any necessary changes to complete the term as safely as possible. 

If adjustments to our plans or operational status are needed, we will be in immediate communication with our campus community. We will also share updated information with those students and faculty who be on campus over winter break as soon as it is available. 

Our commitment to Honor the Pledge, our dedication to one another, and our collective resilience is more important than ever. Together, we have limited the spread of virus on campus, and together we will overcome this challenging moment for our community.  

As always, please submit questions to coronainfo@lawrence.edu and stay tuned to your email for updates. 

Be well and stay well,   
Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team  

Important COVID-19 Update | November 11, 2021

Dear Lawrentians, 

While we update our COVID-19 dashboard every Monday, reflecting the previous week’s testing results, we write today to update you on the current status of the virus on campus. 

This week’s testing results and individual reporting have revealed an increase in viral activity. Eleven students have tested positive for Covid-19 this week, bringing our total number of student cases since November 7 to 13. All students who tested positive are currently in isolation, and none were in violation of the Lawrence Campus Community Pledge. 

With this uptick in cases, as well as our transition to colder weather, it is more important than ever that we continue to Honor the Pledge. Our collective efforts have reduced the spread of the virus on campus this fall. Let’s continue to work together to protect our community and finish the term as safely as possible.   

Additional information on this week’s testing results will be available on the Covid-19 dashboard next Monday, November 15. As always, questions can be sent to coronainfo@lawrence.edu.

Be well and stay well, 
Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team