Wellness Center

April 1 - Updates on COVID-19 Vaccinations and Testing

SUMMARY:

–The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has changed the timing of the various phases of vaccine eligibility.

–Ursinus, along with a number of other colleges and universities, received state approval to serve as a vaccine provider.

–Our testing this week is much more consistent with the low levels of infection that we experienced during late February and early March.

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Dear Campus Community,

On behalf of the task force, I wanted to provide a few late breaking updates on the COVID front for our region. We’ll continue to monitor these changes and provide additional clarity whenever we can.

First, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has changed the timing of the various phases of vaccine eligibility:

–Phase 1B: April 5

–Phase 1C: April 12

–Phase 2: April 19 (everyone over age 16)

Current descriptions of the phases list college faculty and staff as eligible for 1B. Previously, the commonwealth had designated college students as Phase 2, but there are indications that they may soon be eligible in Phase 1B as well. We encourage everyone to review the PA state phases and, if you fall into an eligible category, to check vaccine availability in your area. Both can be found at https://go.ursinus.edu/VaccineDistribution.

Also, within the last 48 hours, Ursinus, along with a number of other colleges and universities, received state approval to serve as a vaccine provider. We are still learning what, exactly, this entails. Our intention is hopefully be able to provide some vaccinations on campus this semester, though details remain unclear at this time. However, as the timeline and accessibility are still unknown, we recommend all faculty, staff, and students who wish to be vaccinated to use outside providers until further information can be provided.

The arrival of new variants of the novel coronavirus makes the vaccination of those of us on campus even more important. Those newer variants may have even played a role in the rapid increase in positive results that occurred from March 15-19, when we recorded 37 student cases. Testing on Thursday and Friday of last week showed that the brief and targeted mitigation measures we implemented had brought the situation under control. Testing this week is much more consistent with the low levels of infection that we experienced during late February and early March and are indicative of very little or no on-campus transmission over the past weekend–even with some campus visitors through athletic competitions and admission events.

You should anticipate more communications on vaccination opportunities early next week as details from state and county sources are provided to us. In the interim, please continue your vigilance with good health practices–your careful attention protects yourself, your friends, your family, and the Ursinus campus.

Best,

Mark Schneider
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College
Chair of the Virus Task Force