Coronavirus cases among students have been on the rise at the University of Delaware.
UD is making a few operational changes, including grab-and-go meals only at campus dining halls and food courts. For now, classes, labs and research facilities are not being changed but if positive cases continue to rise changes may be necessary.
The university is concerned that with the resumption of the spring semester more students – understandably – want to socialize and connect with other students and friends at campus dining halls and off-campus gathering spots.
Students who live on-campus have been required to get tested each week.
A full statement issued by the University of Delaware Wednesday night follows:
In recent days, there has been a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases among students in the University of Delaware community. With the start of the spring semester, many students understandably want to socialize and connect with friends, especially in the campus dining halls and off-campus gathering places. Unfortunately, such increased levels of social activity and contact promote transmission of the coronavirus, and we now must act swiftly to slow the spread in our community. Please note the following changes to campus operations:
Campus dining — Beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday, February 25, and continuing until further notice, all campus dining hall meals and food court items will be provided only on a grab-and-go basis. In the Trabant and Perkins student centers, please use mobile ordering; occupancy of the centers will be reduced to 25% of capacity. Students may not congregate to share meals in an indoor space on campus, including residence hall common spaces. If physically distanced, students are welcome to congregate to eat outdoors.
Academics — Currently, the University is not making changes to classes, labs or research facilities, though this may be necessary in the future if the number of positive cases on campus continues to rise.
Residence halls — No guests are permitted in all UD residence halls, and students must adhere to capacity guidelines posted in residence hall public spaces and lounges.
Off-campus student living — Off-campus students are encouraged to undergo testing weekly (see below for more details). We encourage all off-campus students to not mingle outside of their “household” units and to use takeout when dining at local restaurants.
Campus events — All campus events should be held virtually; those that continue in person will be capped at 10 people.
Carpenter Sports Building (Little Bob) — Occupancy will be reduced to 25% of building capacity. Please note that appointments continue to be required to use the facility. In addition, recreation programming will be adjusted accordingly.
Athletics — UD continues to operate in accordance with guidance from the state of Delaware and protocols established by the NCAA and Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). At this time, fans of all UD sports are not permitted to attend competitions.
Employee work arrangements — Faculty and staff should continue their current working situation, whether that is on campus or remotely. Any questions should be directed to your supervisor.
COVID testing on campus — Students living on campus are required to participate in UD’s COVID testing program every week. On-campus students receive a weekly email from “RLH COVID Testing,” where they can access a link to make reservations at the UD testing sites in Harker ISE Lab or Clayton Hall. Testing is by appointment only. No walk-ups will be permitted.
Also, Student Health Services is randomly selecting and requiring off-campus students to test at UD testing centers (Harker ISE Lab or Clayton Hall). Students will be notified by email about how to schedule their test. Off-campus students who are not feeling well should contact Student Health Services to speak to a nurse regarding their plan of care.
COVID testing off campus — Off-campus students are encouraged to be tested weekly. For students living off campus or for faculty and staff, there are many convenient options available from the state of Delaware and New Castle County, with results available quickly:
- Walk-up testing on Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Laird Campus (North Campus), Parking Lot #6. Registration is encouraged at this link.
- Drive-up testing on Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the STAR Campus. Registration is encouraged at this link.
- Testing is offered 8:30 a.m. to noon weekdays at the Hudson State Service Center, 501 Ogletown Road, Newark, which is within walking distance of campus.
- Information about other testing sites is available at coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing.
- Faculty, staff and off-campus students also are eligible for free Home Test Kits from the state of Delaware.
If you have test results available, please submit them to the University to help adequately monitor the health of our community. Students should submit results to Student Health Services and select “Medical Clearances,” then the Update button next to COVID-19. Faculty and staff should submit results to UD Human Resources.
Additionally, on a random basis, the Human Resources Office is selecting staff who are working on campus to test at the UD testing Centers, and they also are notified by email. Anyone selected for on-campus testing must schedule an appointment as no walk-ups are permitted.
HELP SLOW THE SPREAD
All UD students, faculty and staff are reminded to continue practicing safe behaviors, including wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance from others. Minimize gatherings with people outside your household; remember that the City of Newark limits gatherings at private residences to 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors. We strongly encourage all members of the UD community to install and enable the COVID Alert DE smartphone app, which aids in contact tracing.
When health and safety conditions improve, we will lift the latest restrictions and return to the campus safety guidelines that have been in place since the start of the semester.
If the number of cases continues to rise, however, the University will unfortunately need to implement additional restrictions to ensure the health and safety of our community.These may include temporarily moving all classes online, requiring all on-campus students to remain in residence halls for all but essential activities, prohibiting all off-campus students from coming on campus and suspending athletic activities. It is essential that all members of the UD community work together to protect the flock by adhering to all noted COVID-19 health and safety protocols; any violation of such will be handled by the UD Office of Student Conduct immediately.
Thank you for your cooperation and commitment to ensuring a safe and healthy experience for all members of the UD community.