Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Resources

MARCH 24, 2020
The ULS COVID-19 Task Force currently advises against any public gathering by students, faculty or staff outside of buildings on both campuses in a concentrated effort to enforce social distancing. Our top priority is the safety and well being of the ULS Community. We hope the time will come again soon when we can congregate in person with colleagues, fellow students and friends.


MARCH 20, 2020
The following is an update to yesterday’s email regarding close down of both campuses effective 5:00PM today.This means no one should be in any campus building after 5:00PM today, with the exception of mail and food pantry pickups. That information is as follows:  

Mail

Gettysburg campus:
Starting March 23, the outside mail room door in Valentine will be locked and accessible with your access card.  Mail can be picked up at any time, bu twill only be sorted and put in mail boxes Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday after 12:00noon. If you have a large package delivered that doesn’t fit in your mail box, Evan Christensen will email you to pick it up. 

Philadelphia campus:
Starting March 23, the main entrance to Brossman will be unlocked Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM only with access to mailboxes. The rest of the building will be closed off. Please only enter Brossman to pick up mail and then leave.  

Food pantries
Gettysburg: Starting March 23, enter Valentine only through the elevator entrance will which require your access card. The food pantry will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 noon to 2:00PM. Questions can be directed to Andrew Berdahl, aberdahl@uls.edu 

Philadelphia: The food pantry will operate as usual in Wiedemann. 

Also, I'd like to reiterate that faculty and staff were given a grace period to get what they need out of their offices by 5:00PM today then leave immediately after that.

Thank You for your cooperation. Please stay safe.
In Gratitude
Rev. Dr. Angela K. Zimmann
Interim President



March 19, 2020
7:30PM

From Rev. Dr. Angela Zimmann
Interim President


In accordance with Governor Tom Wolf’s directive today that all “non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania” must close “physical locations” in order to slow the spread of coronavirus, both the Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses will close at 5:00PM on Friday, March 20, 2020. Faculty and staff should not return to campus unless they absolutely have to get items from their offices. If this is the case, you must do so no later than 5:00PM on Friday, March 20, 2020. Administrative buildings on both campuses will not be accessible after 5:00PM on March 20, 2020. Maintenance and security will be accessible through their normal contacts.

Classes will continue online as previously planned.

We advise students on the Gettysburg campus to visit the food bank to stock up before 5:00PM on Friday, March 20, 2020. Information on accessibility to the food bank in Gettysburg will be forthcoming. The Philadelphia campus food bank will operate as usual for now.

The Seminary’s apartment buildings on both campuses will remain open. If students have questions, they should contact Dean Sebastian. Faculty and staff questions can be directed to Human Resources. More information will be forthcoming as the situation evolves.

Please stay safe, stay home and be blessed.
In gratitude,
Pastor Angela


March 18, 2020
From Rev. Dr. Angela Zimmann
Interim President

Dear ULS Community:

With the increasing concern regarding the spread of COVID-19, and in continued efforts to keep the Seminary community safe, we are putting temporary policies into effect in accordance with new CDC guidelines to promote social distancing and to cancel public gatherings of 50 people or more for at least  the next eight weeks. There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 on either campus. However, it is our highest priority to minimize the spread of the virus and ensure the well-being of the ULS community.

Therefore, as of today: 

1. There will be no physical commencement ceremony on May 15, 2020 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lancaster. The Commencement Committee is discussing alternative ways in which we can celebrate this special day and recognize the accomplishments of our graduates. We will continue to post updates on the ULS Commencement  web page. Students slated to graduate have been already been notified of this change and will continue to receive updates.

2. All ULS events on both campuses are cancelled until further notice. Please watch for updates.

2. Both ULS Library branches will be closed entirely starting March 19 through April 1. New policies and practices can be found on the  Library  home page and the ULS Library COVID-19 response page.This situation will be reassessed after April 1, with additional information posted on the Library web pages noted above. After-hours access to the Wentz Library has been discontinued.

3. Information regarding June intensives and any public events in June and July will be announced/posted soon.  We will continue to update the COVID-19 Information and Resource page on our website and monitor this situation.

Please share your prayers with those who have been directly impacted by this virus and reach out to those who may need help or are experiencing anxiety. The strength of our faith will help us get through this challenging and difficult time. 

With gratitude, 

Rev. Angela K. Zimmann, Ph.D.
Interim President

MARCH 17, 2020
We recommend you continue to reference the must reliable sources of information about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and what to do if you are sick - both from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

MARCH 15, 2020
Residential students on both the Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses received guidelines on how and where to report confirmed confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and ways the seminary will assist them.

The Philadelphia campus Open House scheduled for April 18 has been cancelled. Please watch for further updates on the rescheduling of this event. If you're interested in any ULS degree program, you can request more information here.

MARCH 10, 2020


From Rev. Dr. Angela Zimmann
Interim President


Dear ULS Community:

Students, faculty and staff were notified that during intensives week (March 13-21), all classes were moving online, and that public events and chapel services were cancelled. Since then, our COVID-19 Task Force has continued to diligently monitor the actions of area colleges, universities, our sister seminaries and government health organizations while preparing plans of action that put the health and well-being of our faculty, staff and students at the forefront. At this stage, the most proactive approach is to prevent the spread of the virus by limiting the number and size of gatherings on our campuses and the number of people coming to campus, and through “social distancing” measures.  
                                                 
There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 on either the Gettysburg or Philadelphia campus. However, the number of confirmed cases in Pennsylvania continues to rise.  

Therefore, ULS is implementing the following protocols:

1. Effective March 23, 2020: All classes will be conducted online. We will continue to evaluate the situation. However, it is highly likely that classes will remain online until the end of the semester with no in-person instruction. Students and faculty should not report to classrooms. A decision on commencement will be made in April. A decision on June intensives will be made at a later date.  

2. Effective March 16, 2020: Residential students on both campuses have the option to remain in the dorms/apartments to take courses online or leave campus and take courses online. There will be no food service on either campus. Food pantries will stay open, but we encourage students to stock up on a weekly basis. If residential students decide to move out of student housing, prorated housing fees will be credited directly to your account. Commuter students should not come to campus for class. All students should monitor their CANVAS course sites for additional information from instructors. 

3. Effective March 16, 2020: ULS libraries will be open for individual students, faculty and staff only, but closed to the public and group meetings. Reduced hours maybe implemented so please watch for additional information. We encourage students to utilize online library resources as much as possible. If a resource is not available online, please contact library staff at library@uls.edu.  

4. Effective March 16, 2020: All public events on both campuses, including student-planned events, are cancelled until further notice.  

5. Effective March 16, 2020, Chapel services on both campuses are cancelled, until further notice. 

6. Effective immediately: Students who work on campus should contact their supervisors regarding arrangements.

7. Effective immediately: ULS is not accepting new requests from outside organizations to host events on either campus or is not taking requests for guest housing on either campus.

We understand some of these decisions will disrupt our daily lives and some members of the community will be satisfied, and others will not. However, please keep in mind this is an unprecedented situation that affects individuals and communities well beyond ULS.

Our goal is to act in a proactive manner that will help reduce the spread of the virus within and beyond our community. We can face this challenge by working together as one, united institution, and having compassion for those impacted by COVID-19 and preparing for this situation to get worse, before it gets better. We will continue to update you on this ever-changing situation.

In gratitude,

Rev. Angela K. Zimmann, Ph.D.
Interim President



COVID-19 Update from Seminary Ridge Museum

Read the Press Release

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ's

What is coronavirus and what are the symptoms?

Coronavirus is a type of virus that can cause a wide range of illnesses, from the common cold to severe pneumonia. The novel, or Wuhan coronavirus, has been named COVID-19 and is a new strain of coronavirus.

How is the virus spread?

It is spread through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets,similar to a cold or the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), person-to-person spread of coronavirus is most likely to occur with close contact, or contact within six feet, with an infected person who coughs or sneezes.

Have there been any cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in Pennsylvania?

Yes. Please check the Department of Health website
Philadelphia Department of Public Health: 215-685-6717
Adams County Department of Public Health: 717-334-2112

How can I prevent contracting coronavirus?

Wash your hands with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds, frequently and efficiently. Avoid touching your face with your hands. When unable to wash with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Avoid sharing food and drinks or participating in other activities that may result in exposure to saliva or secretions. Avoid sharing devices like smartphones. Those who are showing symptoms are encouraged to cover their mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and seek medical care. Do not use your hand to cover a cough, but rather your sleeve instead. If you are sick with the flu or another illness, you should stay home and avoid contact with others for as long as you have symptoms. In this case, ULS employees should contact their supervisors and students their instructors.

Is there a treatment for coronavirus?

There is currently no medication to treat or prevent coronavirus. Like many viruses, steps may be taken to manage symptoms caused by coronavirus.

Will wearing a surgical mask help protect me from the novel coronavirus?

Surgical masks may help reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses when worn by people who are sick. According to the CDC, if you are not sick, a mask will not be useful. You should follow your doctor’s instructions on this matter.

CDC "What to do if you are sick with coronavirus" poster