COVID-19 vaccines now available to everyone over age 15 in Pennsylvania

Dear Allegheny College Community,

Great news! The COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone over age 15 in Pennsylvania as of RIGHT NOW. The date was changed from April 19 to April 13 by the Pennsylvania Department of Health with college students in mind: everyone wants to ensure that you get your second dose before the semester ends. You can sign up immediately on the Meadville Medical Center website for an appointment for the Pfizer vaccine. The vaccine is free for everyone. Students may check the CATA bus schedule for transportation options.

In order for us all to have a safe, fully in-person experience next fall, a large percentage of students need to be vaccinated. The vast majority of faculty and staff were vaccinated in early February, leading to a significantly lower number of COVID-19 positive employees this semester and many fewer people in quarantine.

Allegheny administrators and I have been brainstorming how the vaccine will improve Fall 2021. Here is what we came up with so far.

For vaccinated students:

  • Minimal “campus quarantine” upon returning to campus in Fall 2021 — only two days!
  • Go home to see your families as much as you like, without quarantine or testing to return
  • Travel without quarantine over fall break and spring break
  • There usually will be no need to quarantine if you are in contact with a person testing positive for COVID-19, including through athletic practices, social events, and meals together
  • Enjoy sit-down meals with friends in the dining halls
  • Enjoy social gatherings, club meetings, and athletic practices with far fewer restrictions

Those who are not vaccinated will be required to do the following — for their own safety and the safety of their fellow community members:

  • Extra PCR and rapid testing throughout the semester
  • Prolonged quarantine upon arrival on campus (8-9 days)
  • Limited travel over fall break and spring break with likely quarantine and PCR testing before returning to campus
  • Limited travel with athletic teams for competitions
  • Quarantine for 14 days if in contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19

We hope that students will have a greater sense of well-being on campus and feel safe participating in activities and connecting with friends, faculty, and staff. For those currently not on campus, we encourage you to receive the vaccine as soon as possible in your home community. Medical and religious exemptions are available as needed; please email ACHA with questions.

As I have mentioned, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines without issue.

Gator Strong.

Dr. Morrow