Official Notice: COVID-19 Update from President Harring and Executive Director of Health & Counseling Services

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Dear Muhlenberg Community,

We have received a second report of a student who became symptomatic with COVID-19 symptoms after leaving campus. They were tested in their home state. The student reported to the college this morning that their test was positive for COVID-19. At this time, in consultation with the Allentown Health Bureau, we believe there are no exposures known on our campus related to this situation. The college thanks this student for revealing this sensitive information to us out of care and concern for our community.

We know that two reported positives within a 24-hour period can be disconcerting. As we shared last night, if you need to speak with anyone to help you cope with the stress and anxiety that this may cause, we encourage you to reach out. Students should contact the Counseling Center (484-664-3178) and faculty and staff should consult the Employee Assistance Program or contact Human Resources (484-664-3166) for additional guidance.

We understand that you want to know who the people are who have contracted the virus and that for some of you, this is the cause of your unease. We have tried to be as transparent as possible, but we are required to be in alignment with the Family Right to Privacy Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The administration and our medical professionals are bound by the same rules around privacy as your personal doctor. Please consider the importance of respecting each individual’s privacy and avoid speculation and rumor.  

Remember, if you develop symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or come in contact with a person known to have COVID-19, please make sure to stay home and call your doctor immediately. If you are a student, please also contact Health Services (healthservices@muhlenberg.edu, 484-664-3199) and if you are a staff or faculty member, contact Human Resources (hr@muhlenberg.edu, 484-664-3166). It is important for the College to understand the health status of our students, faculty and staff, as that will have an impact on future decisions.

Sincerely,
Kathleen E. Harring, Interim President
Brynnmarie Dorsey, Executive Director, Health & Counseling Services