Pandemic response update

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

I am writing with an update on the COVID-19 response on our campus.

Today, 48 students tested positive for COVID-19, which brings us to a total of 109 students in isolation. Students who do not choose to go home for isolation are being housed at local hotels and Ravine Hall. As of right now, we have 33 spaces available for isolation and expect more to open up tomorrow. We are not short on isolation housing.

One employee tested positive today, which brings us to five total positive employees. All are resting comfortably at home.

Contact tracing shows that the spread continues to be between friend groups. There has been no spread noted in classroom settings.

Given the high number of new cases on our campus, we are implementing a mask mandate for indoor spaces on campus effective immediately. Please see guidelines below for classes from the Provost’s Office. The current mask mandate will expire on Wednesday, May 4, at 5 p.m., but may be extended if we do not see a significant decline in our case count next week. A well-fitting mask that covers the nose and mouth is acceptable. There are N95 masks available at the Wise testing center.

There are several campus-sponsored events this weekend, including the Playshop’s She Kills Monsters and the Zingale Big Idea Competition. These events will be masked except for those actively on stage. If you have a social gathering planned, we recommend that you postpone it. Graduation is right around the corner, and we would like to make that as normal as possible; help us protect our campus and our seniors by masking and avoiding close social gatherings.

While you are off campus, please consider wearing a mask to help protect the Meadville community. Spend your time studying and with small groups of friends. Like the snow today, this will pass and spring will come.

Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

Guidelines for Classes

Under the mask requirement, all students and faculty are required to wear masks in all teaching spaces. Faculty are expected to follow this policy as employees of the College. Faculty may ask students without a mask to put one on and may ask non-compliant students to leave a teaching space. The Provost’s Office should be contacted with any issues.

Faculty should continue to provide flexibility for students in isolation or quarantine, accommodating continuity of learning as best as possible. Faculty know best what works for them and their classes; options include synchronous hybrid classrooms with students joining remotely from quarantine or isolation and asynchronous options (providing recorded lectures; written course materials) coupled with video conferencing with students (it is important to engage these students with synchronous contact as one-on-one meetings or discussion groups). Students in isolation or quarantine who may need IT support (a device or connectivity) should contact or call 814-332-3768.

Students who are not in isolation or quarantine who are otherwise healthy should attend class in person. Students may not otherwise request to take classes remotely and faculty should not move their courses to remote learning unless there is a College directive to do so.

Note that the RSEs are to be administered next week (May 2–6). Faculty should continue to plan time during scheduled class meetings to administer the RSEs using the new instrument through Canvas.