January 21, 2022

Since we launched our latest Covid plan on Jan. 6, the CDC has updated definitions and revised some guidelines. The Susquehanna pandemic implementation group continues to meet and adjust our protocols accordingly, keeping the health and safety of our community top of mind.

As other colleges already have started their semesters in person, it is apparent, in light of the most recent dominant variant of the pandemic, that our campus community will likely see hundreds of positive cases this semester. The difference is, we are now in a phase of the pandemic in which more than 95% of our campus is fully vaccinated, with many up-to-date boosters underway, and most people who contact Covid experience moderate to no symptoms, similar to other viruses.

After careful consideration of health experts and taking into account community feedback, we made adjustments to the Spring Plan. Here are some key highlights:

New CDC Vaccinated Definitions

Susquehanna has updated its vaccinated terms following the latest CDC guidelines:

  • Up to date means a person has received all recommended Covid-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible.
  • Fully vaccinated means a person has received their primary series of Covid-19 vaccines.

Booster Clinic on Campus

Susquehanna is happy to announce, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, we will have booster shots available for students, faculty, staff and their families on campus Friday, Feb. 4 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Advanced registration is required. Bring your Covid vaccination card to your appointment in Degenstein Campus Center Rooms 3-5, so we can update your information. Register today.

Booster requirements remain in place for students. In response to some of you who have asked: Students who have tested positive for Covid and are eligible to receive a booster have 90 days from the date of that positive diagnosis to receive their booster.

Pre-Testing Prior to Campus Arrival

Susquehanna knows testing can be difficult to access so we have removed the requirement for those who are up to date with vaccines, in concurrence with CDC guidelines. All students and employees who are not up to date with vaccines, those with symptoms or those in close contact with a Covid-positive person are required to test within five days prior to arrival to campus. Student-athletes are required to test prior to arrival. Susquehanna still strongly encourages others to test yourself in advance of coming to campus so that you can isolate at home if you test positive. Students should upload results to bit.ly/prearrival-test-result.

Close Contacts Can Soft Quarantine on Campus

For students, the revised Plan now allows all close contact students, regardless of vaccination status, to soft quarantine on campus with some restrictions. A soft quarantine allows a student to leave their room to pick up to-go food and for class while wearing a KN95 mask. All high-risk activities will be paused while a student is in soft quarantine. The student is required to follow strict masking protocols during this time. Please refer the Plan for details.

Medical-grade Masking

For the spring semester, everyone on campus must wear a medical-grade mask indoors. KN95, N95 or layered disposable ones are appropriate. KN95 masks are encouraged for the first two weeks of the semester and Susquehanna is making them available. See more

Dashboard Shift to County Data

While the SU Covid dashboard was of importance and utility in the early stages of the pandemic, the pandemic implementation group has concluded that the numbers we are posting are not as useful as they once might have been due to self-testing and underreporting. Because of this, it is not always a timely snapshot of the disease activity on campus. We also do not want campus community members to use raw data as a factor in deciding one’s adherence to safety protocols. Strict safety protocols should always be followed regardless of dashboard numbers. Therefore, we decided going forward to solely share local Department of Health dashboards and will continue to provide a link to county data. These numbers include data collected from the Susquehanna community members who report cases on campus or test off campus. We will continue to provide regular updates, such as this one, as needed.

Our emphasis remains on keeping our community focused and up to date on vaccinations and adherence to medical-grade masking protocols, as they are factors that contribute most significant to our semester success.

We will continue to assess and adjust and communicate updates. We welcome your feedback and questions, which can be sent to covidtesting@susqu.edu or by calling the Covid-19 Hotline at 570-372-3333.


The SU Pandemic Implementation Group