Latest Updates

Masking policy update

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

I am writing with an update on the COVID-19 pandemic response on campus and the recent campus-wide mask mandate. Thank you to our marvelous community members as we watch the number of new positive tests shrink every day. Your efforts are keeping COVID-19 limited on our campus.

Over the last two weeks, I have heard from concerned faculty, staff, students, and parents about the intensity of Module 1. ASG leadership has taken the time to explain the high stakes for students and faculty as a semester’s worth of work is compressed into a three-week period. Missing any days due to isolation for COVID-19 would be detrimental, and the threat of that loss is significantly felt by students working so very hard to complete the coursework and by the faculty striving to lead students through their studies.

Out of respect for these efforts, we will continue to require masks in all classrooms through the end of scheduled classes for Module 1, which is Monday, February 7. Masks are not required in any other areas of campus. Those who wish to continue wearing a mask outside of the classroom are encouraged to do so. N95 masks continue to be available at the Wise Testing Center.

Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

Today’s move-in test results and other important updates

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Day 2 of Module 1 move-in is now complete.

The COVID-19 test results from today’s move-in are as follows:

  • 519 students were tested today, with 12 students testing positive; 1 of the positive students is unvaccinated.
  • 12 employees were tested, with no persons testing positive.
  • Since yesterday, 2 more students have contacted ACHA to report a positive COVID-19 test at home.

Here is a summary of the Allegheny community members currently in isolation for testing positive for COVID-19 (including today’s results):

  • 71 students are currently in isolation; 11 are at the Quality Inn and 60 are at home.
  • 21 employees are currently in isolation at home.

Other ACHA reminders and updates:

  • We strongly discourage any travel or off-campus activityduring the next three weeks.
  • There is a mask mandate in place through next Friday, at which time we will re-evaluate.
  • Isolation for employeesis 10 days from the start of symptoms, though those who are improving or asymptomatic may be approved to return after 5 days.
  • Isolation for studentsis 10 days from the start of symptoms, unfortunately without exception because students live together in congregant housing.
  • Masking indoors at all home athletics events remains required. Effective immediately, only Allegheny students, faculty, staff, and invited guests of participants may attend athletics events hosted on campus.Spectator policies will remain in effect until further notice. Allegheny expects guests to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to coming to campus for events and activities.
  • Persons who are fully vaccinated are required to test weekly through ACHA. Invitations to sign up for testing will be sent on the prior weekend. Those who have not yet received the COVID-19 booster because they are not yet eligible are considered fully vaccinated until they hit the 5-month mark, at which time they are required to receive the booster.
  • Persons who are unvaccinated are required to test twice weekly through ACHA.You will not be invited to test; it is your responsibility to appear twice a week for testing on your assigned days. The second test is at the expense of the unvaccinated person. The weekly cost for the second test is $25. The cost will be administered in the following manner:
    • For students, the $450 cost for the semester will be billed to their student account at the beginning of the semester. Contacts of COVID-19 positive persons who are unvaccinated are required to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense (either at the Quality Inn or off campus).
    • For unvaccinated employees, a payroll deduction will be administered for the weekly cost each pay period.

Gator safe. Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

 

Update as move-in progresses for Module 1

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

I am writing with an update as move-in progresses for Module 1. The COVID-19 test results from today’s move-in are as follows:

  • 395 students were tested today, with 12 students testing positive; 1 of the positive persons is unvaccinated.
  • 33 employees were tested, with 1 vaccinated person testing positive.

Over the last week, 38 students have contacted ACHA to report a positive COVID-19 test at home. All are isolating at home with minimal symptoms and normal vital signs. Thank you on behalf of our community to those students who tested at home before returning to campus. Your commitment to your community keeps us all safe.

Here is a summary of the Allegheny community members currently in isolation for testing positive for COVID-19 (including today’s results):

  • 10 students are at the Quality Inn.
  • 51 students are at home — 38 who tested positive at home and 13 who tested positive on campus.
  • 23 employees are at home.

We continue to monitor our students who are COVID positive with daily nurse check-ins, either by phone or in person. All vital signs are normal, and everyone is resting comfortably. Employees are cared for by their usual health provider; occasional ACHA nurse check-ins show good health among our employees who have tested positive recently.

As we strive for a successful in-person Module 1, we at ACHA strongly discourage any travel during the next three weeks. Students and employees should avoid off-campus socialization as much as possible. Programming calendars will be shared by Student Life in the coming weeks to encourage on-campus engagement. Travel on behalf of campus business is permitted, though many college and university events such as athletic contests have been canceled.

While we have had numerous positive test results today, our numbers are lower than those many other colleges and universities are facing. Our students and employees have been forthcoming with contact tracing and kind and thoughtful with medical staff, College staff, and each other. It continues to be an honor to serve the Allegheny College community during this difficult time.

Gator safe. Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

 

Important move-in reminders

Dear Gators,

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus in just a few days! Here are a few reminders as you get ready to return for Module 1 of the spring semester.

COVID-19 Testing and Move-In

Make sure that you have signed up for a testing and move-in appointment using housing self-service.

You must be registered for the spring semester prior to moving into the residence halls. If you are not registered for a Module 1 course but need to be on campus during Module 1, please complete the request form by January 11.

Like before, testing will take place at the Wise Sport & Fitness Center on Highland Avenue. Traffic on Highland Avenue will be one-way traveling north (up the hill) to access the Wise Sport & Fitness Center parking lot. View the move-in map here for routes to the Wise Center and to residence halls after testing.

Parents and families should wait for students to receive a negative test result before leaving the testing site. If you are feeling unwell at home, we encourage you to test before coming to campus. Please email healthagency@allegheny.edu if you have any questions about testing.

Effective January 13, masks will be mandatory for all persons on campus in all indoor spaces, including classrooms, the Wise Center, and residence halls. Masks may be removed in private rooms, while eating, and while bathing or swimming, as well as outdoors. This mask mandate will expire on Friday, January 21, at 5 p.m., at which time the College and ACHA will make a determination on ending it or extending it for an additional week.

If you need assistance from a family member to move an item into your residence hall room, the family member should limit the amount of time that they are inside the residence hall.

Commuters: please refer to the email you received from ACHA for testing instructions.

Housing

Please bring your key/ID card back to campus. If you have lost your key or your card over break, please email access@allegheny.edu by Wednesday, January 12.

Campus Dining

The meal plan begins on Thursday, January 13. Hours of operation and daily menus can be found here.
Airport Shuttle

Airport Shuttle information can be found hereThe deadline to register for the January shuttle from the PIT Airport is midnight on Monday, January 10. Students riding the shuttle should remain masked while on the bus.

Vaccine and Booster Requirements

Reminder: The COVID-19 vaccine and booster are mandatory for students as of January 17. Upload your vaccine card here. If you are not yet eligible for your booster, please wait until you are eligible to obtain it.

Visit the COVID-19 Plans & Resources website for more information or contact healthagency@allegheny.edu with any questions about vaccine, booster, and testing requirements.

Things to Do

January 14
Floor Meetings and programming in the residence halls

January 15
Crafts, Snacks, and Music: 1–3 p.m. in the Campus Center Lobby

Late Night Bingo (Sponsored by GAP):  9 p.m. in the Campus Center

January 16

Meet and Greets: 2–4 p.m. in the Campus Center

  • First Generation
  • Out of State
  • IDEAS Center and CILC

Campus Center Takeover: 7–9 p.m. in the Campus Center

January 17

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service: 9 a.m.

Trivia Night: 7 p.m. in the Campus Center Lobby

January 20

Student Involvement Fair: 5–7 p.m. in the Campus Center Lobby

 

Masking policy update and arrival reminders

Dear Allegheny College campus community,

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

Given the high rate of transmission of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, effective January 13, 2022, masks will be mandatory for all persons on campus in all indoor spaces, including classrooms, the Wise Center, and residence halls. Masks may be removed in private rooms, while eating, and while bathing or swimming, as well as outdoors.

This mask mandate will expire on Friday, January 21, 2022, at 5 p.m., at which time the College and ACHA will make a determination on ending it or extending it for an additional week. Our decision will be based on the disease burden on campus and will be communicated to the campus by email midday on Friday, January 21, 2022.

N95 masks are available at the Wise testing center upon request for anyone who wants one.

Booster update: evidence has shown that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is effective against the Omicron variant. Therefore, Allegheny College will accept this as an appropriate booster.

Campus arrival: If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and obtain a COVID-19 test before returning to campus. Please have your ride to campus await your COVID-19 test results. While isolation housing continues to be available at Quality Inn, it is limited, and students may have to room together. You may prefer to isolate at home, and ACHA can provide information on how to do so safely.

Gator safe. Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

Updates as we prepare to keep everyone safe while the Omicron variant spreads

Dear Allegheny College campus community,

I hope you are doing well and had a restful break. We are writing with several updates as we prepare to keep everyone safe while the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread.

The COVID-19 vaccine and booster continue to be the best way to prevent spread and serious illness from coronavirus.

  • The COVID-19 vaccine and booster are mandatory for students as of January 17, 2022. Upload your vaccine card here.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine and booster are mandatory for employees as of January 10, 2022. Upload your vaccine card here.
  • Vaccine and booster exemption requests will be considered by ACHA for students and by Human Resources for employees.
  • Those who receive a COVID-19 booster exemption will follow the requirements for those who are unvaccinated. The requirements for unvaccinated persons have changed.
  • Only mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) will be accepted.

Testing will be increased.

  • Vaccinated students and employees will be tested weekly.
  • Unvaccinated students and employees will be tested twice weekly.
  • Testing hours vary weekly based on demand and staffing. Please sign up here for an appointment or check our website for the week’s hours.

Isolation & quarantine policies have been updated.

  • Students who receive a positive COVID-19 test will continue to isolate for 10 days from symptom onset.
  • Employees may shorten their isolation to five days if formally approved by ACHA.

The difference in policy serves to protect students who live in close quarters, whereas employees live off campus in private residences.

Prevention of disease spread on campus:

  • Employees and students are required to notify ACHA within two hours of testing positive for contact tracing purposes. Prioritizing notification to ACHA will allow us to protect your friends and colleagues with swift contact tracing.
  • Failure to notify ACHA swiftly will result in disciplinary action by Student Life or Human Resources.

Stay on campus:
Please stay on campus as much as possible as we wait for the latest COVID-19 surge to pass. Avoid local bars and off-campus gatherings. Your friends on campus are tested regularly and share your commitment to good health. Remain among Gators.

Masking:
Masking is not mandatory for fully vaccinated students and employees who have submitted proof of vaccination and booster to ACHA. However, masks are an excellent way to stop the spread of disease, and anyone who wishes to mask is welcome to do so, particularly during this period of surge due to Omicron. No Gator can ask or require another Gator to wear a mask; by now it is clear that all Gators put the health and well-being of the community as highest priority.

Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

 

Important Update: COVID-19 vaccine booster requirement for Allegheny students

Dear Allegheny Students,

We are writing with an important update on the Allegheny College COVID-19 pandemic safety plan on campus.

We are requiring all students who are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to do so by January 17, 2022. As you may know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently strengthened its recommendation regarding booster doses, and the emergence of the Omicron variant has further emphasized the importance of getting the booster.

After you receive your booster, please report it here.

Most pharmacies offer the COVID-19 vaccine and booster, as do many local physician offices and urgent care centers. If you need help finding a location, please email ACHA.

Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

Updates and reminders on testing, boosters, and more

Dear Allegheny College campus community,

I am writing to update you on the COVID-19 pandemic response on our campus.

Post-Thanksgiving Results:

  • 2,816 tests have been performed at the Wise Center since November 26
  • 9 students tested positive for COVID-19; all are vaccinated
  • 9 employees tested positive for COVID-19; 5 are vaccinated, 3 are unvaccinated

 COVID-19 vaccine boosters are strongly recommended.

  • Those who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can get the booster six months after your second Pfizer shot.
  • Those who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine can get the booster six months after your second Moderna shot.
  • Those who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine can get the booster two months after your Johnson & Johnson shot.
  • Please enter your booster data here.

Testing Schedule for the last two weeks of the semester – sign up HERE:

  • Monday, December 6: 8am – 4pm
  • Tuesday, December 7: 8am – 4pm
  • Wednesday, December 8: 8am – 4pm
  • Thursday, December 9: 8am – 4pm
  • Friday, December 10: closed
  • Monday, December 13: 9am – 1pm
  • Tuesday, December 14: 9am – 1pm
  • Wednesday, December 15: 9am – 1pm
  • Thursday, December 16: 9am – 1pm
  • Friday, December 17: closed

PCR tests for travel: Allegheny students and employees who need a PCR test in order to travel for winter break will need to plan accordingly.  PCR travel tests will be offered December 6-9 and December 13-16 at the ACHA testing site. If you need a travel PCR, please contact healthagency@allegheny.edu.

Flu vaccine: Remember to get your flu vaccine before winter break!  The flu vaccine is still available for all students and employees, free of charge at the ACHA testing site in the Wise Center. You don’t need an appointment. Stop by the site during testing hours to receive your vaccination.

Let’s finish the semester Gator strong!

Dr. Morrow

COVID-19 Vaccine Policy — Spring 2022 Semester

Dear Students,

In light of the continuing devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Allegheny College will continue to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for students.

For the Spring 2022 academic semester, Allegheny College will allow two types of exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine, if approved by the review committee:

  • Medical exemption
  • Non-medical exemption

Students who requested and were granted an exemption for fall semester 2021 MUST resubmit a request by the deadline in order to be considered for the exemption for spring 2022. Exemptions granted for fall semester 2021 will not carry over automatically to spring 2022.

Please submit all exemption requests to ACHA via email by 5 p.m. on December 13, 2021. Late requests will not be considered.

Exemption requests will be reviewed by a committee of Allegheny employees with experience in student accommodations and Gabrielle Morrow, M.D., from the Allegheny College Health Agency.

Medical exemptions will be considered only for documented medical contraindications to the vaccine that are verified by a currently licensed medical professional.

Non-medical exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Updates on post-Thanksgiving testing and more

Dear Allegheny College community,

I am writing with a brief update.

Close contacts:

  • If you were identified as a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week, you were advised to get a COVID-19 test at the Wise Center on day 5 and day 7 after your date of contact.
  • If the Wise Center testing site was closed on your day 5 or day 7, you should obtain an off-campus COVID-19 test as close to those dates as possible.
  • Please send the results to ACHA before you return to campus.

COVID-19 positive community members:

  • Four vaccinated students who tested positive for COVID-19 are at the Quality Inn.
  • Three vaccinated students who tested positive for COVID-19 are isolating at home.
  • Three unvaccinated employees who tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering at home.

Off-campus COVID-19 testing:

  • If you test positive for COVID-19 in an off-campus test, you are required to email ACHA right away so that we can expedite contact tracing and notify affected community members.

Post-Thanksgiving testing:

  • Make sure you sign up for two COVID-19 tests at the Wise Center after Thanksgiving. These tests are required for all students and employees — even if you did not travel.
    • The first test should be as soon as you return, before you go back to your residence hall, to your first class, or to work;
    • The second test should be 3-5 days later.
  • Given the high number of people being tested, walk-ins are discouraged. Of course, if your travel plans change, you are welcome to walk in as soon as you arrive. Bring your earbuds and some work to do in case you have a brief wait.

Coping skills:
When stress rises, we problem-solve. Sometimes that means making lists, pulling an all-nighter, or asking for help. Those are called problem-solving coping skills. A weeklong break is a great time for emotion-based coping skills: laughing with friends, meditating, or exercising. Take care of yourself and reach out to friends, family, ACHA, or the counseling center if you need more support. Everyone is feeling it.

I wish you a restful time away from classes, work, and other obligations. Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow