Union College response to COVID-19

[NEW]What if I'm sick?

It is very important to take symptoms seriously and not interact with others until you know whether or not you have COVID—this applies to both employees and students.

So if you have symptoms that could be COVID, you MUST do the following:

  • Don’t go to class or work.
  • Report your symptoms at ucollege.edu/health
  • Schedule a COVID test right away. At home tests are not permitted at this time.
  • Submit your test results at ucollege.edu/health
  • Stay quarantined in your room or at home until Campus Health releases you.

When you report your symptoms, someone will be in touch to make sure you are able to get tested and submit your test results.

Missing class because of being placed in quarantine or isolation will be counted as an excused absence, but you must contact your professors to let them know why you are missing class and arrange to make up coursework.

We believe this is important to the ability of our campus to function. Please takes these rules seriously.

See Union's full COVID policy.

COVID-19 Symptoms
(may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus)

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

How do I  get a COVID test?

On campus testing

The on-campus testing center in Rees Hall across from Campus Health and the Lincoln Police substation.

Testing hours
  • Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

If you fill out the pre-test form at ucollege.edu/health, you’ll be able to get in and out very quickly.

Nomi Health

Anyone, even those without symptoms, can get a free COVID test at the Nomi Health testing center at Gateway Mall. Appointments are now required, so be sure to preregister here.


The Lancaster County Health Department has partnered with TotalWellness to open a testing center at 1918 O Street. Schedule an appointment.

Nearby pharmacies

Walgreens and CVS are just a few blocks north of Union on 48th Street. They both offer testing at no cost if you have symptoms. Click the link to learn more from CVS or Walgreens.

Need a mask consideration?

While a mask mandate is in effect, if you need special consideration for medical reasons, please fill out the form at ucollege.edu/health and include documentation from a physician.

When a mask mandate is not in effect, if a student or professor has a compromised immune system, they may request that everyone in their classes wear masks. .

Request considerations at ucollege.edu/health

What if I test postive for COVID?

If you test positive for COVID-19 (everyone, regardless of vaccination status)
  • Enter Union’s quarantine protocol for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after five days, you may be cleared by Campus Health to return to work/classes.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.I
    If you have a fever, you will be required to stay in quarantine until your fever resolves.
What if was exposed to someone with COVID?

If you have been boosted OR completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last six months OR completed the primary series of J&J vaccines within the last two months OR have tested positive (viral test) in the past 90 days for COVID-19:
  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day five, if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms, follow Union’s rules for “What to do if I’m sick."

If you completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over sixmonths ago and are not boosted OR completed the primary series of J&J over two months ago and are not boosted OR are unvaccinated:
  • Quarantine for five days.
  • Test on day five, if possible
  • After that continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.
  • If you develop symptoms, follow Union’s rules for “What to do if I’m sick."

COVID cases at Union

This dashboard will be updated by 8:00 a.m. every weekday. (Note: the dashboard may not be updated during school breaks.)

As of Friday, January 14

Isolation = 16
Isolation released = 8
Quarantine = 15
Quarantine released = 4

These numbers represent those currently in isolation (confirmed case of COVID-19) or quarantine (close contact or symptoms that have not yet been confirmed as COVID).

Updates to Union’s COVID policy for Spring 2022

Union College is looking forward to the start of a new semester and the return of students to campus. Over the break, a new COVID variant has swept the nation and prompted Union to make some adjustments to some COVID policies.

“We all need to be a lot more vigilant about watching for symptoms and getting tested so that we don’t allow Omicron to gain a foothold and spread quickly, forcing us to go online for any period of time,” explained President Vinita Sauder.

Policy change highlights

Union’s new policy states that any employee or student who exhibits symptoms associated with COVID 19 must immediately quarantine and take a COVID test before returning to regular activities. See the full requirements under "What if I'm sick?"

Union will impose a mask mandate through January 24, 2022, while everyone returns to campus in order to make sure the college can handle any Omicron spread brought back from break. The COVID team will evaluate the situation at that time and determine if a mask mandate is still needed.

Anyone traveling together on a college-sponsored trip for more than 1.5 hours one way in a vehicle will be required to take a COVID test within 24 hours of departure. If the trip requires an overnight stay, anyone on the trip must take a COVID test within 24 hours of returning to campus.

“Busses and vans are great places for COVID to spread, so this will help us keep COVID from spreading on these trips in the first place,” Sauder said.

Union does not plan to alter activities—either academic, social, worship or athletic. College leadership believes the current precautions will allow Union to be able to do everything else as normal. But a COVID outbreak on campus could lead to additional measures.

“Union College will continue to work with our local health department and follow CDC guidelines to make sure we keep our campus and community safe,” said Sauder. “Throughout the pandemic, we have quickly adjusted to meet the challenges brought on by COVID-19. We will continue to be ready to make changes as needed to protect the Union College family and ensure our ability to deliver an in-person experience.”

Union also adjusted quarantine and isolation policy to follow CDC guidelines (see below).

If you have questions about Union's COVID policy, please email covid@ucollege.edu

See all messages from President Sauder about COVID-19.

Get vaccinated!

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and ensure Union has a great school year. We're not requiring students to get vaccinated—but we strongly encourage everyone to get the COVID vaccine and ask you to report if you've been vaccinated. When we know how many have been vaccinated, we can make better decisions about what is needed to protect our campus.

Register your vaccination on our voluntary registry at ucollege.edu/health

Need to get vaccinated?

You can find a vaccination site near you and even make an appointment at vaccines.gov

COVID-19 resources

If you’d like to learn more about COVID-19, please explore these resources from the Lancaster County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control:

Union's COVID policy

Union has updated the COVID policy for Spring 2022.

CARES Act disclosure

Click here to see the full disclosure on how Union distributed HEERF I, II and III CARES Act funds.