Indicators for Closure

Decision indicators for Discussion of Closure or Partial Closure of Allegheny College

ACHA has created guidance for the situations, conditions and events that may influence a discussion of closure or partial closure of the college. This guidance is informed by evidence-based science and expert opinion. The guidance will be revised and refined as our understanding of COVID-19 and external and internal situations change. The guidance is intended to decrease the risk of disease spread; it cannot eliminate all risk.

The following criteria will be included in the process of considering closure or partial closure.

External Criteria 

  • Significant government action, such as a mandate to close from Pennsylvania Governor Wolf
  • Meadville Medical Center’s decreasing capacity to support potentially ill students, such as a significant and sustained increase in hospital admissions
  • Trends among sister institutions of higher education (IHE)
  • An upward trajectory of influenza-like illness (ILI) –when compared to traditional rates –and COVID-19-like syndromic surveillance within a 14-day period 
  • An upward trajectory of documented cases or percentage of positive tests (with flat or increasing volume of tests) for 14 days
  • The degradation of robust testing capacity in the community including screening and contact tracing for symptomatic individuals

Campus Criteria

  • Significant increases in the percentage of positive symptomatic cases or positive surveillance tests
  • An upward trajectory of documented cases or percentage of positive tests
  • Increasing cases of community transmission (no known source) in the student population
  • Inability to do sufficient testing due to supply chain issues
  • Campus clusters that overwhelm our ability to test, contact trace and isolate
  • Employee absenteeism particularly in critical areas such as environmental services, which would hinder the ability to maintain a safe, hygienic campus
  • Shortages in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) impacting the ability to test and care for community members with COVID-19
  • Degradation of containment capabilities

Possible Actions

  • Advanced or heightened physical distancing, environmental cleaning
  • Suspension of in-person classes and change to remote learning on limited or campus-wide basis, building and facility closure to clean/disinfect/contact trace in consultation with local health officials
  • Reduce occupancy  of general campus facilities
  • Closure of residence halls
  • Travel restrictions: “Shelter in Place” may be considered if it is determined that it may be worse —riskier —to send people home if travel will be difficult