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Dickinson College updates on Spring 2021

Week of January 25, 2021

Update on the start of the semester

January 29, 2021

To the Dickinson community: 

Our first week of classes comes to a close today, and it is wonderful to have some of our students back on campus. We look forward to more students joining us in the week ahead.

I want to applaud our returning students for adhering to the safety measures that have been in place. Please remember the restricted movement period will remain in effect until the morning of Monday, Feb. 1.

Throughout the weeks and months ahead, we all must make decisions for the common good of our community. By faithfully following health and safety requirements, we will all be able to enjoy a successful semester. Students have signed the Community Compact and the COVID-19 Addendum to our Community Standards. Faculty and staff should review the expectations set forth in the Community Compact for Employees.

We are following an aggressive, twice weekly testing protocol for students and a weekly protocol for faculty and staff who come in regular contact with others on campus. We share these results on our COVID-19 dashboard daily. The dashboard also shares information on the positivity rate in Cumberland County and Pennsylvania, both of which have been decreasing, While that is good news, this is no time to let our guard down. We are still battling this pandemic, with new variants of the virus emerging, and we must remain vigilant.

Dickinson is working with a task force of the Community Action Network to be sure our community is ready for vaccine rollout. While vaccines remain in short supply, we are working to locate sites for potential mass vaccination events and have created a marketing campaign to provide information and to encourage vaccinations when they become more widely available. Dickinson has also applied to be a vaccination site, but we have not received a decision yet.

As I mentioned last week, Sadler Health Center has reached out to us about staff and faculty who are eligible to receive the vaccine at this time. Those who are included in the current vaccine phase include any employees over 65 and anyone between 18-64 with a chronic health condition. So far, we have sent more than 90 employee names to Sadler, and they are reaching out to schedule vaccinations. If you fall into these categories and are interested in receiving the vaccine from Sadler, please complete this form as soon as possible.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health COVID Vaccine Provider Map lists by zip code health centers and hospitals that have, or are expected to receive, the vaccine. Sign-up information is provided for each location.

Other updates

  • We have placed more red Adirondack chairs out across campus so that students can gather safely outside.
  • Students wishing to make changes to their spring classes may do so online through Banner Self-Service until Sunday, Jan. 31, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Any changes requiring a form will need to be submitted no later than 4 p.m. EST today.
  • Please be sure to complete the symptoms tracker daily, whether or not you are on campus.
  • Please show up on time and as scheduled for your testing appointments.

You can find a wealth of information on our campus reopening pages, so please be sure to review them. We also have a collection of brief, informative videos with instructions on campus life during COVID. We remain committed to providing up-to-date and transparent information.

Please continue to be safe, and work together so that the spring semester is a successful one. It is truly a joy to be back together on campus.


Margee M. Ensign