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Dickinson College updates on Spring 2021

Week of March 8, 2021

Weekly Covid-19 Update

Sent: March 12, 2021

To the Dickinson community:

It's hard to believe that we have reached the halfway point of our spring semester. Thank you to all those on campus who have worked diligently to keep our community safe. By following our COVID guidelines, you have made it possible for students to safely live and learn on campus again.

The spring temperatures and news about expanding vaccines have given us great hope as we mark a year in this pandemic. As more students return to campus beginning next Friday, March 19, it is important for us all to realize that we must continue to wear masks, keep appropriate physical distance, wash hands regularly and follow all other guidelines for a bit longer. The end of this long struggle is in sight, and we must continue to work together so that we can finish strong.

New Students Arriving

Students who were on campus for only the first seven weeks of the semester will be moving out by 7 p.m. Saturday, March 13 to allow for thorough cleaning before new students return.

As explained previously, students arriving during the March 19-21 move-in dates (and students who have new members joining their pod) will be in a "stay at home" period through the morning of Monday, March 29. In addition, any students coming to campus outside of these dates will be asked to stay in temporary housing and restrict their movement for seven days before moving into their pods with students who have already been on campus.

We are taking this step to make sure those students who have been on campus are not potentially exposed to the virus by those coming to campus for the first time. In addition, by asking students arriving outside the move-in dates to stay in temporary housing, we do not need to ask students already living on campus to restrict their movement again because of the new members joining their pod. At the end of the seven-day period, students may join their pod mates if they are not exhibiting symptoms and have tested negative for COVID-19.

Those students who are staying for the entire semester must remain on campus and may not travel over the break. Also, COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff will continue as scheduled next week.


As we previously announced, the Centennial Conference has decided to move forward with spring athletics following rigorous health and safety protocols. Our teams are practicing, and our coaches are in the process of finalizing competition schedules.


We continue to work with the Carlisle Community Action Network (CAN) to prepare for an expected larger supply of vaccines in the coming weeks. You can find out about vaccine availability on the state Department of Health website. Also, the state has a Your Turn web tool to make it easier to find out when you are eligible to receive the vaccine.

CAN is also working to recruit volunteers who can help with the United Way's local 211 network, which allows local residents to call 211 to connect with a caring individual, to expand its volunteer base so that it can assist those in our community who need help setting up vaccinations. If you are interested in helping please sign up here.

As I reflect on this past year, I am so proud of the resilience and flexibility with which Dickinsonians have responded to this crisis. I am inspired by your commitment to our mission and especially to our students. The many challenges we have faced have made us stronger, and I am proud to be a part of this special community.


Margee M. Ensign