Latest Updates

What a stellar community!

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Bravo, Gators! You have turned the recent uptick in cases into a bump in the road. Look at our numbers — rephrase — look at YOUR numbers:

  • 8 students tested positive today
  • 1 employee tested positive today
  • 82 students and 6 employees are currently isolating secondary to COVID-19. Most will be testing out in the next five days
  • 27 students tested out of isolation today
  • ZERO students have been hospitalized due to COVID-19.

Given the downslope in cases, the mask mandate will expire today at 5 p.m. Those who would like to keep masking are encouraged to do so. A big thank you to the nurses and volunteers who helped this week, including the many students at the Wise Center who just jumped in to open test kits, organize the line, and pack their friends’ personal items. What a stellar community. Nurses will be working all weekend to swab and visit those in isolation and Hooper will be driving students; feel free to thank them.

Nice work, Gators.

Dr. Morrow

COVID-19 response update

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

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

  • Today, 20 students and one employee tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Over the last three days, 62 students who were in isolation tested negative for COVID-19 and were able to return to campus.
  • We currently have 139 students in isolation, and we have 46 beds available for student isolation.

In other news, my goal to test those eligible for early exit from isolation between 8 and 10 a.m. was overly ambitious. It takes hours to swab all the eligible students, and our nursing staff is working diligently to complete the tests. If you are concerned that you have been missed, email ACHA and we will update you.

As a reminder, to be eligible for an “early exit” test, students must have improving symptoms or no symptoms. Those who test negative for COVID-19 and have resolving or no symptoms can rejoin the campus in all aspects, including attending class in person, participating in extracurricular activities, and traveling for campus-sponsored events.

Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

P.S. Here is a link to a few exercises that, if you’re feeling well enough, you can do to stay active — whether you’re in isolation housing or just need a quick study break.

COVID-19 response update

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

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

  • Today, 24 students tested positive, which brings us to a total of 165 students in isolation.
  • We have 27 spaces available for isolation.
  • We have 7 employees in isolation — no employees tested positive today.
  • Some students have reported coughing, runny noses, or malaise. No one has reported a temperature over 99, and all illness appears to be mild.

Students, if you test at home this weekend, please try to do it during the daytime. We are always available, but it is easier to help you during the day. We will be checking the ACHA account all weekend. If you feel ill or think you are positive for COVID-19, stay in your room, mask, and email us at healthagency@allegheny.edu.

For those in isolation:

  • Please email the health agency with any needs or if you feel worse. We can usually deliver toiletries and medications the same day. We can accommodate special diets.
  • If you need items from campus, have your friends pack them and we will deliver them to you.
  • Nurses will be visiting all students in campus-sponsored isolation housing this weekend.
  • Those who are ready for an “early exit” COVID test will be swabbed each day between 8 and 10 a.m. Answer that early morning knock! We will give you a ride back to campus.

Thank you for all that you are continuing to do to keep our community as healthy as possible. Spend the weekend studying and enjoying the company of small groups of friends, preferably outside. We look forward to a decrease in cases next week followed by a strong finish to the semester together on campus!

Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

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 infodesk@allegheny.edu 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.

Pandemic response update and COVID-19 policy changes

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

I am writing with an update on the COVID-19 response on our campus. Today, 29 students tested positive for COVID-19, which brings us to a total of 55 students in isolation. The spread continues to be between friend groups. With finals on the horizon, we recommend that our community mask in public spaces. N95 masks and paper masks are available at the Wise Center.

There has been some concern about the members of the public who attended the MEC concert on Saturday night. All non-Allegheny guests were vaccinated and tested negative at the Wise Center in the hours before the concert. In fact, we have not yet noted spread between concert guests.

Despite the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community this week, I am relieved to report that all students and employees in isolation are resting comfortably, with minimal symptoms. As we continue to learn more about the latest COVID-19 variants, I am writing to inform you of some COVID-19 policy changes on our campus.

Contact tracing:

  • Over the last two weeks, 17 students tested positive for COVID-19 who had been identified through contact tracing. That meant that they were masking and remaining physically distanced after being notified of the tracing. They also had shorter lists of contacts because they had refrained from socializing, eating with friends, and sitting near others in classrooms. Contact tracing allows us to protect our campus and therefore will remain in effect.
  • We have also noticed that those who have been contact traced and subsequently test positive for COVID-19 do so within five days of exposure. We have had no cases that were uncovered by day 7 testing. Therefore, those who have been identified through contact tracing need only mask and distance until a negative test result on day 5.

Isolation:

  • Because Allegheny students live in close proximity, it is imperative that they protect each other by remaining isolated while infectious with COVID-19. That said, research has shown that antigen tests can be a useful tool to guide recommendations for isolation after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, starting tomorrow, we will begin to test students in isolation at Quality Inn with the hope of returning them to campus earlier than 10 days. Here is a timeline of how this will work:
    • Day 0 is marked by the start of symptoms
    • Day 5: Are symptoms improving?
      • NO: continue to isolate and receive medical support from ACHA
      • YES: nasal antigen test administered by a trained professional
        • Positive — we will test you again each day until you test negative or 10 days have passed.
        • Negative — no longer contagious; student may return to campus.
  • Students who choose to isolate at home can submit a negative test administered by a licensed medical professional.
  • Allegheny employees are now permitted to return to campus after day 5 while masked. If an employee would like a repeat test on days 5-9 to confirm that they are not contagious, they can email ACHA for a testing appointment. To protect our community, if you know that you are positive for COVID-19, please do not walk into testing without an appointment.

Gator strong. Gator safe.

Dr. Morrow

Important update on the COVID-19 response on campus

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

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

Today we noted an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases on campus.

  • 508 Allegheny community members were tested today.
  • 17 students tested positive today, all vaccinated, for a total of 27 vaccinated students currently in isolation.
  • Four employees tested positive, all vaccinated.
  • Two students who are not fully vaccinated are in quarantine off campus.

Everyone who tested positive today has been contact traced. Contact tracing helps by allowing us to notify those who have been exposed. It also allows us to assess the pattern of COVID-19 infections on our campus. This is what we noticed with the uptick today:

  • None of the infections appear to be “random.” While the student may say “I have no idea where I got COVID-19,” when we review the contact trace reports as a whole, patterns become obvious.
  • Three students became infected from their roommates.
  • Six of the students with COVID-19 are contained within one friend group.
  • Three other students with COVID-19 are contained within a different friend group.

Of note, four of the students who tested positive continued to socialize while symptomatic, including eating meals with friends in the dining halls and playing video games in the residence halls. One student attended a social event while feeling ill, then took a home COVID-19 test when they arrived home from the event. A better choice is to stay home, mask, and take meals to go when you feel ill.

You may receive an email requesting that you test in the next few days. This is based on our assessment of patterns on campus. Please report for testing if invited, even if you are asymptomatic. 

While masks are not required for fully vaccinated persons on our campus, ACHA strongly recommends that you wear a mask this week. Also, keep up that Gator community spirit: if you feel ill, stay home, get tested, and email ACHA.

Finally, COVID-19 is poorly transmitted outside. Allegheny is lovely in the spring; consider taking some long walks with your friends and enjoy our beautiful campus.

Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

Updates on the pandemic response on our campus

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

I am writing with updates on the pandemic response on our campus.

Allegheny College campus COVID-19 testing update for the last week:

  • 2 students tested positive (vaccinated) and 2 are resting comfortably at the Quality Inn.
  • 2 employees tested positive (vaccinated) and are resting comfortably at home.
  • Our positivity rate is .08%.

Testing reminders:

  • Testing for vaccinated persons is required every other week. Testing for vaccine-exempt persons is required twice weekly. Please find our testing hours here. You can make an appointment here.
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, remember that you can walk in to the testing center during open hours or email ACHA at healthagency@allegheny.edu for advice.

Returning from travel:

Vaccinated employees and students are not required to quarantine or test when returning to campus after traveling.

Unvaccinated students and employees who must travel for personal reasons must follow CDC guidelines, which recommend a PCR test 3–5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel. Quarantine is not available for students on campus. Please submit your travel plans to ACHA here.

Plans for next year:

As we watch the rise and fall of variants around the world, ACHA is drafting pandemic plans for 2022–2023. We continue to strive to offer our community the most vibrant in-person experience while balancing safety. Plans will be announced this summer. We are impressed by how amazingly supportive and caring our community has been this year and look forward to a wonderful 2022–2023 academic year!

Gator strong. Gator safe.

Dr. MorrowUpdates on the pandemic response on our campus

Testing information for Spring Break

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

I am writing with updates on the pandemic response on our campus and information and testing around Spring Break.

Allegheny College campus COVID-19 testing update for last week:

  • 3 students tested positive (all vaccinated), all at Quality Inn, all resting comfortably.
  • 1 employee tested positive (vaccinated) and is resting comfortably at home.
  • Our positivity rate is 0.27%.

Testing over Spring Break:

  • If you remain on campus over break and are due for testing, the Wise Testing Center will be open with reduced hours. Please find our testing hours here.
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, remember that you can walk in to the testing center during open hours or email ACHA at healthagency@allegheny.edufor advice.

Returning from Spring Break:

  • Returns from break are when we see our highest COVID-19 positivity rates on campus. Protect your friends and colleagues! If you travel over Spring Break, even for one night, you MUST test at the Wise Center before returning to your residence hall or office.
  • Fully vaccinated students who are already living on campus and are traveling for spring break, sign up for testing.
  • Employees can sign up for testing.
  • Vaccine-exempt students and employees who traveled must obtain a PCR test off campus within the three days before you return to campus.
  • For those staying in Meadville over break, the testing center will be open on select days, which will be posted on our website hereSign up for your test here.

Gator strong. Gator safe.

Dr. Morrow

Updated testing requirements for vaccinated community members

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

I am writing with updates on the pandemic response on our campus. I am thrilled to tell you that we have noted a significant decrease in the number of College community members testing positive for COVID-19 as well as a drop in the COVID-19 rates in the surrounding areas. Therefore, we will be relaxing our testing requirements for vaccinated community members.

Testing update:

  • Vaccinated community members are required to test every other week.
  • If you tested last week, you do not need to test this week. That said, around 400 vaccinated community members did not test last week and are therefore required to do so this week. You can sign up for a testing appointment here. See you this week at Wise!
  • Vaccine-exempt persons are still required to test twice weekly at the Wise Center. This will protect them from unknowingly contracting COVID and will protect our community as a whole.
  • If you feel ill, don’t hesitate to walk into the Wise Center for a rapid COVID-19 test or email healthagency@allegheny.edu. You can find Wise testing center hours here.

Allegheny College campus COVID-19 testing update for the last seven days:

  • Three students tested positive (all vaccinated), one is at home and two are at Quality Inn, all resting comfortably.
  • No employees tested positive.
  • Our positivity rate is 0.18%.

Masking update:

  • We continue to require masks for vaccine-exempt persons on campus at all times.
  • There is no mask mandate for vaccinated community members. Those who wish to mask are encouraged to do so.

Gator strong. Gator safe.

Dr. Morrow

Updates as we prepare to begin Module 2

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

I hope everyone is excited to begin Module 2. We are continuing to see a decline in cases of COVID-19 in Crawford County and all over the globe. While this is very promising, this is not the time to let our guard down. With that in mind, here are some updates on the COVID-19 response on campus.

Masking policy
Masks are not required on campus for fully vaccinated persons outdoors or indoors (including in classrooms). One exception: When you arrive back on campus, please wear a mask until you receive a negative test result at the Wise Center.

Those who are not fully boostered or who have received a vaccine or booster exemption are required to mask at all times on campus.

Shortening of the post-COVID-19 testing exemption period
The number of people reinfected with coronavirus has been rising since the Omicron variant was first detected, with a significant number of people testing positive for COVID-19 within two months of their prior infection. Therefore, those who test positive for COVID-19 will now be exempt from testing for 60 days from the date of their positive test.

Return to campus testing
Students and employees who have been off campus during the Module 1 break, or who did not participate in Module 1, must obtain a COVID-19 test at the Wise Center before moving into their residence hall or rejoining friends and colleagues on campus. Wise Center testing hours can be found below and on our website here.

Testing Center Dates and Hours
Friday, Feb. 18:  9 am–7 pm
Saturday, Feb. 19: 3–7 pm
Sunday, Feb. 20:  9 am–8 pm
Monday, Feb. 21:   7 am–5 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 22:   9 am–5 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 23:  9 am–5 pm
Thursday, Feb. 24:  9 am–5 pm
Friday, Feb. 25:  9 am–2 pm

Flu shots
Flu shots are still available at the Wise Center and will be dispensed around campus during the first two days of Module 2 classes as follows:

Monday, Feb. 21    
8:15–9 am:  Quigley lobby
9:15–10 am:  Carr lobby
10:15–11 am:  Doane-Steffee lobby
11:15–Noon:  Arter lobby
1:15–2 pm:  Carnegie lobby
2:15–3 pm:  Ruter conference room

Tuesday, Feb. 22    
9:15–10 am:  Odd Fellows lobby
10:15–11 am:  Vukovich lobby
11:15–Noon:  Alden lobby
1:15–4 pm:  Pelletier Library lobby