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Coronavirus Updates

COVID-19 Vaccine Finder

If you missed registering to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccine is now widely available through local pharmacies. Catawba County Public Health also has thousands of available appointments. Most people can get same day appointments, if desired (Monday-Thursday), by calling 828.282.2002 during normal business hours. Find a vaccine location near you.

Fall 2021 COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Announced on June 25, 2021, all students, faculty and staff are required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the fall semester. In order to return to campus for the 2021-2022 academic year, students, faculty and staff are required to complete the vaccination process on or before August 16, 2021. Read the full communication about the vaccine requirement.

Student Vaccination & Exemption Reporting

Students who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 may upload a copy of your vaccination card (front and back). COVID-19 vaccination exemptions forms may be downloaded and uploaded using a similar process. Read the frequently asked questions for additional information. The deadline for submitting exemptions has passed. 

Faculty & Staff Vaccination & Exemption Reporting

Faculty and staff can upload your vaccine card in Paycom, the university’s system for HR and payroll. If you received a shot that required two doses, you should upload your card only after you have received both doses. The deadline for submitting exemptions has passed. Read the frequently asked questions for additional information. 

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Read the frequently asked questions for additional information about the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Fall 2021

Following extensive discussions and deliberations with the COVID-19 taskforce, the leadership team, cabinet, the executive committee of the board of trustees, and local and regional public health experts, we have decided to require the COVID-19 vaccine for all Lenoir-Rhyne students, faculty and staff at all campus locations starting with the return to campus this fall. LR joins a group of more than 500 colleges and universities nationwide that are requiring vaccination to facilitate their return to normal operations for the fall semester.  

The decision was based on ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our campus and broader community and is consistent with one of our LR values -- being a caring community.  In addition, we believe requiring the vaccine is essential to provide the full LR experience for our students, faculty and staff—without masks, social distancing, quarantining and mandatory testing.  

In order to return to campus for the 2021-2022 academic year, students, faculty and staff are required to complete the vaccination process on or before August 16, 2021. A completed vaccine process means that two weeks must have passed from the second vaccine shot (Pfizer or Moderna) or from the one-time Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That means you must receive your second shot (or the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine) by August 1, 2021. 

Students who are approved for early arrival to campus for the fall semester prior to August 16 will need to complete their vaccination process before arrival to campus. 

Students are required to submit a copy of their completed vaccine card online, while faculty and staff are to submit their proof of vaccination using Paycom. Approximately 1,000 LR faculty, staff and students have already fully completed the vaccination process; they simply need to upload their vaccine documentation ASAP and not later than July 18, 2021. 

Individuals may be exempt from the vaccine requirement only if they show documented medical reasons or adherence to sincerely held bona fide religious beliefs as noted of the exemption forms. To request an exemption, you should submit the appropriate exemption form ASAP and no later than July 18, 2021. A committee will review the request and notify you of its decision. Exemption forms and FAQs will be made available on the university website the week of June 28. Students enrolled in online classes only who will not be on campus for the semester may be exempt from the vaccine requirement.

COVID vaccines are readily available from drugstores and public health departments. In addition, LR will work with Catawba County Public Health to offer an on-campus vaccine clinic during July. Information on finding a COVID vaccination site near you is available online.  

If you have additional questions, please contact the following: 

Getting a vaccine will help ensure the health and safety of not only the LR community, but of the Greater Hickory area. The LR community has shown considerable strength and resilience during the pandemic, and I appreciate your commitment to one another and to the broader community.

COVID-19 Dashboard

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides data on the number of COVID-19 tests administered and positive tests for students, faculty and staff. Updates to this data were provided through the end of the spring 2021 semester. 

COVID-19 Surveillance Testing

For the 2021 spring semester, our surveillance testing identified 28 positive cases from 11,218 COVID tests administered from January 1- May 9, 2021. This reflected a positivity rate of only .25% (<1%).

University Coronavirus Communications Archive

This page includes the latest information on Lenoir-Rhyne University Coronavirus (COVID-19) communications.

LR is committed to supporting our students, faculty and staff during these times of uncertainty and will continue to work through questions that arise as we adapt to this new reality. Be sure to familiarize yourself with CDC guidelines on COVID-19: How to Protect Yourself and Others to limit the spread of Coronavirus.

An archive of all University Coronavirus Updates sent to students, faculty and staff is provided at the bottom of this page.

What You Can Do

Check emails daily for university updates and communications. As always, you can take the following precautions to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Get vaccinatedFind a vaccine location near you.

If you are unvaccinated:

  • Wear a mask
  • Practice social distancing and staying about six feet away from others in social settings.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow (not your hands).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean devices such as phones and keyboards frequently.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Call your doctor’s office if you feel sick and ask about virtual appointment options or if in South Carolina, visit SCDHEC Free Virtual/Telehealth Visit. This will help prevent the spread of illness.
  • Get a flu shot.

How to Protect Yourself & Others