Update to the 2021–2022 Allegheny College Pandemic Plan

Dear Allegheny College campus community,

We are writing with an update to our 2021–2022 Allegheny College Pandemic Plan in response to the CDC’s new COVID-19 guidance and recommendations. In summary, the CDC recommends that vaccinated persons wear masks indoors in public spaces in locations where COVID-19 infection rates are increasing. This updated guidance is a result of the highly contagious Delta variant that is currently circulating. Crawford County shows high rates of infection, which you can see here.

Breakthrough infections (infections in fully vaccinated persons) happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, and they are more likely with the Delta variant. Preliminary evidence shows that vaccinated persons who are infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others. When these infections occur in fully vaccinated persons, they tend to be mild or asymptomatic. It is rare that breakthrough infections result in hospitalization or death.

The Allegheny College community has worked hard to become highly vaccinated. When students return to campus for Fall 2021, the projected vaccination rates will be:

  • Students: 99%
  • Faculty: 94%
  • Administrators and staff excluding dining and cleaning staff: 88%*

These vaccination rates will significantly lower the risk of infection. Our arrival testing plan also ensures that we begin the semester with all community members tested. And, our pandemic plan restricts the interaction of students and employees with unvaccinated visitors.

Given the hard work of the Allegheny College community to keep our campus healthy, we will not be requiring masks for vaccinated students and employees at this time. We agree with the CDC’s recommendation for masking in public spaces, and we believe, given the vaccination rate and the campus community’s demonstrated commitment to health protocols, a mask mandate is not necessary. We will, however, ask students and employees to join us in taking the following steps to protect our community from the increasing spread of COVID-19 in our surrounding community.

  • All employees, students, and guests are required to be masked during move-in, regardless of vaccination status.
  • We recommend that students remain on campus, and if they need to go into Meadville, where COVID-19 transmission is high and vaccination rates are low, use caution and mask at all times.
  • We strongly recommend that employees and students who live in the surrounding community mask in all public indoor spaces while off campus.
  • If you go off campus, choose activities that are outside whenever possible, such as dining at an outdoor restaurant or spending an afternoon at Woodcock dam or Presque Isle. Use curbside pickup when shopping or getting takeout food.
  • Testing protocols have been increased. Students and employees can be expected to be tested 2–4 times this semester.
  • Travel is permitted and unrestricted for vaccinated persons, but given the highly contagious nature of the Delta strain, we will test all travelers 3–5 days after overnight travel. Please register your overnight travelhere so that we can invite you to test. This is mandatory for students and highly recommended for employees. This includes personal travel and College-sponsored travel.
  • Visitors are allowed on campus for day visits. At this time, no overnight visitors are allowed in student residences.
  • All visitors to campus must wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccine status.
  • The event and spectator policy remains unaltered, which means outdoor events may have unmasked observers and indoor events require masking of all observers.

We are closely monitoring COVID-19 risk on campus and in the surrounding community and will continue to assess the need to mask on campus. Masks have been proven to protect the wearer and others; those who are more comfortable wearing a mask on campus are welcome to do so.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.


*The dining staff and cleaning staff are contract employees with high turnover, which makes their vaccination rate hard to track. Therefore, you will see them continue to wear masks at all times while on campus.