Updates for the Spring 2021 Semester

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

We hope that you had a restful and restorative winter break! As President Link mentioned in her communication, we continue to be on course to learn face to face during the upcoming semester. We are writing with updates for the Spring 2021 semester.

Out-of-state quarantine: During the return to campus for the fall semester, we quarantined students returning from states with high levels of COVID-19. We will not be doing this in the Spring semester. Our at-home PCR test satisfies the Pennsylvania requirement for a COVID-19 test before entering the commonwealth. Also, we will work to keep the surrounding community safe by participating in our campus quarantine through March 4, 2021.

Local vaccine distribution: Meadville Medical Center is distributing the Pfizer vaccine using the phased approach developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Initial recipients of the vaccine are healthcare workers, first responders, critical workers and K-12 educators. At-risk individuals are scheduled for the next phase. Allegheny College Vaccine Task Force members have been persistently advocating for vaccination of our community. We encourage you to stay optimistic: the vaccine is coming our way!

Recently tested positive for COVID-19: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instructs persons who have tested positive and completed isolation for COVID-19 NOT be retested for 90 days. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and already completed a 10-day isolation, you are welcome back to campus. You are exempt from Allegheny College testing requirements for 90 days from the date of your COVID-19 positive test. You MUST email ACHA (healthagency@allegheny.edu) with verification of test and completion of isolation prior to return to campus. If you have been ill with COVID-19, we hope you are feeling better!

Returning to campus from outside the U.S.: Students who will be returning to campus from outside the United States are not eligible to use the Inspire Diagnostics at-home PCR testing kit. Therefore, those students should independently take a PCR COVID-19 test in their home country within the five-day window prior to returning to campus; please email the result to healthagency@allegheny.edu. All students who plan to return to campus, both those living in campus residences and those living elsewhere but who may be present on campus for any reason, MUST provide proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test before arrival on campus. Individuals who do not provide the College with proof of a negative test will not be able to move into residences, attend in-person classes on campus, or visit any other campus offices or buildings.

Taking the at-home test: U.S.-based students moving into a residence on campus should plan to take the at-home test and ship it to the testing company, on the same day, five days prior to their anticipated move-in date. Remember to enter your health insurance information when you register for the test. If you do not have health insurance or your health insurance declines the claim, you will not be charged for the test. Once a student takes the test, it is imperative that all students quarantine with immediate household members only until their return to campus. If you take the test more than five days prior to arriving on campus, you will have to obtain another negative test result yourself within the five-day window and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to the College prior to returning to campus. Keep the test you receive in the mail secure until you know exactly when to take it.

What to do with the results: After you take the test and mail it to the provider, Inspire will provide results directly to students and to the College, via email. The College will maintain the information with other student records, respecting confidentiality. If you test positive, Inspire will provide instructions for next steps. Any student who tests positive should not return to campus until isolation is completed and they are cleared by ACHA.

ACHA and Inspire are partnering for the successful testing of the Allegheny community. Let us know any barriers to testing so that we can help. If you have questions, please contact ACHA at healthagency@allegheny.edu. More details about our plans for the spring semester are forthcoming. Thank you for your continued excellent work that advances the health and safety of our Allegheny community!