UPDATE: MAY 16, 2022

Masks are recommended when gathering with others indoors on campus

Your safety and well being are important to us. Although the COVID-19 community transmission rate in Lancaster County remains low according to CDC metrics (transmission levels are based on hospitalizations per 100,000 persons and percentage of inpatient beds in use by patients confirmed with COVID-19 in the past 7 days), we recommend that you wear a well-fitted mask (N95s/KN95s preferred) when gathering indoors with others.
CDC recommendations for what to do when you have been exposed to COVID-19.
If you have COVID, diagnosed by any type of test, regardless of vaccination status:
  • Stay at home for 5 days
  • If you have symptoms, isolate yourself away from everyone for 5 full days from the start of your symptoms
  • If you have no symptoms or if your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave the house but mask around others. (Note: “Resolving” means improving and no fever. Some symptoms like a cough may stay with the person for a week or more. It’s not necessary to wait until the cough is totally gone)
  • If symptoms are not resolving after five days, you should continue to stay home until they do.
  • You MUST MAINTAIN STRICT MASKING around others for an additional 5 days. N95 masks are preferred.
  • Do not eat with others, do not get closer than 6 feet to anyone even when masked.
If you have been EXPOSED to someone with COVID but have not shown symptoms:
Reminder: The definition of “exposed” hasn’t changed. Exposed to COVID means you have been within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more unmasked.
IF YOU:
  • Have been boosted
  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months, OR
  • Had the primary J&J vaccine within the last 2 months
YOU SHOULD:
  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days (no isolation needed)
  • If symptoms develop, get tested immediately and isolate
  • Test on day 5 if possible (over the counter or rapid recommended)
IF YOU:
  • Are unvaccinated
  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted, OR
  • Had the primary J&J vaccine over 2 months and are not boosted
YOU SHOULD:
  • Stay at home for 5 days
  • Wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days
  • If you can’t quarantine, you must wear a mask for 10 days
  • If symptoms develop, get tested immediately
  • Test on day 5 if possible (over the counter or rapid recommended)

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UPDATE: MARCH 7, 2022

Masks “optional” as community transmission now rated “moderate”  

The community transmission rate of COVID-19 in Lancaster County has fallen from high to moderate since the last update in February. (Transmission levels are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in the past seven days.)

Therefore, LTS announces a MASK OPTIONAL policy inside our campus buildings. The CDC recommends that you talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions if you are at high risk for severe illness.

Associate Dean the Rev. Dr. Vanessa Lovelace advises our Seminary community to continue other virus-mitigating practices to keep infection rates low. With the vaccination rate in Lancaster County at just above 60 percent, there is room to do better. Visit vaccines.gov to find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster.

Dean Lovelace shares these additional COVID-19 recommendations:

  • If you are exposed to COVID-19 and are NOT up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations, quarantine for at least 5 days.
  • If you were exposed to COVID-19 and are up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations, you do not need to stay home unless you develop symptoms.
  • Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 days any time you are around others inside your home or in public.
  • Isolate if you are sick or test positive for COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms. Take precautions until day 10.

We thank our Seminary community for working together to maintain a healthy and safe environment for all.

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UPDATE: February 15, 2022

Campus reopens, in-person classes and worship resume

As a result of the decline in the transmission rate of the omicron variant of COVID-19 to pre-holiday levels, Lancaster Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that our campus has reopened and in-person classes resume today. Our twice-weekly worship services will be held in person in Santee Chapel and also available on Zoom, beginning Wednesday, February 16, 11:30am. Although the omicron variant has peaked, the community transmission rate of the delta variant in Lancaster County is still high. Therefore, there are no changes to our mitigation efforts that include wearing a mask in public indoor settings. Associate Dean the Rev. Dr. Vanessa Lovelace said, “Please continue to observe other virus mitigating practices to keep infection rates low. Visit vaccines.gov to find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster near you. We want to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.”

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UPDATE: December 21, 2021

Campus closed through Jan. 10, 2022, Shifts to remote learning Jan. 4-10

Lancaster Theological Seminary announced Dec. 21 that the campus will be closed to the public through Jan. 10, 2022, due to the increasing spread of COVID-19 and the omicron variant in Lancaster County. Following the scheduled winter break, when the school is closed from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3, the Seminary will shift to remote learning from Jan. 4-10.

Associate Dean the Rev. Dr. Vanessa Lovelace said, “We will continue to review recommendations from local and state health authorities and the CDC and update you once we have additional information before January 10.”

The Seminary library also will be closed to the public during this time with access granted only to current students, faculty, and staff. Contact-free checkout and pickup are available to all patrons.

Lancaster Seminary continues to follow the CDC guidelines for wearing a mask in public, indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. We also encourage you to be COVID safe by wearing a mask when you’re spending time indoors with others you do not live with, frequent hand washing, limiting large gatherings, getting vaccinated and boosted, and contacting your primary care physician if you’re feeling unwell.

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UPDATE: August 6, 2021

From the Rev. Dr. Vanessa Lovelace, Associate Dean

The campus is open and ready to welcome students for on-campus, in-person learning for the 2021-22 Fall Term. The Fall Term for weekend master’s programs begins August 20. The Fall Term for master’s day programs starts August 24. The Doctor of Ministry Fall Term opens with synchronous virtual courses October 5, followed by the on-campus, in-person intensive week November 1-5.

NEW MASK MANDATE IN EFFECT
The CDC has issued new masking guidelines that recommend everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in public settings in communities where there is a high rate of virus transmission. The level of community transmission in Lancaster County is now “substantial.” Therefore, we are mandating that masks be worn at all times indoors on campus.

COMPARING OUR POLICY WITH OTHER SCHOOLS
We strongly recommend getting vaccinated against COVID-19, but we do not require LTS students or employees to share vaccination status or proof. Given our unique campus population and current local transmission rates, we believe this is appropriate for LTS. Other institutions may establish requirements for their own campuses that differ from ours. We remain vigilant and flexible as circumstances evolve with the global pandemic.

KEEPING SOCIAL DISTANCE IN THE CLASSROOM
In assessing course enrollment and classroom sizes, we determined that there is enough space for students and faculty to keep apart to reduce the risk of infection. We ask that you to use your best judgment to maintain social distance and continue to take all recommended measures to help prevent the spread of the virus including wearing a mask indoors on campus and frequent hand washing.

NEW CAMPUS CLEANING PROTOCOLS IN PLACE
We have a contract with a cleaning service to provide electrostatic disinfection in our buildings on August 11 and 12, and continuing on a biweekly basis. We also had HVAC work done in the spring of 2020 that included the installation of new filters that passed city inspection.

We look forward to being together in person during this new academic year. We will continue to act according to CDC and state health guidelines in order to help keep our community protected from spreading the virus. We’re relying on everyone to follow the guidelines to be COVID-19 safe.

Be COVID Safe

  • We encourage the LTS community to get vaccinated but proof of COVID-19 vaccination will not be required.
  • Face masks are required inside LTS buildings for everyone, regardless of vaccination.
  • Practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing and use of the on-campus hand sanitizer stations are recommended.

Questions? Email the Office of the President, president@lancasterseminary.edu

COVID Mitigation

LTS continues to follow CDC and state health guidelines.

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/

Should there be further complications related to COVID-19, LTS once again will take all necessary steps to create a healthy campus. Updates will be posted on this page, on the website’s News page, and distributed via campus email.