Latest Updates

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 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

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

Let’s finish the semester strong!

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Thank you, students and employees, for your continued hard work and diligence in keeping our campus safe. As of right now, 17 vaccinated students and one unvaccinated employee are recovering from COVID-19. Most students are isolated at the Quality Inn; some are at home. What makes this year different from last year: last year, multiple students who tested positive were hospitalized, two in the ICU; this year, all vital signs for all who have tested positive are normal. Some students have cold symptoms, but all our recovering community members are safe. Thank you, COVID-19 vaccine.

Testing positive this week: We recommend safe choices to prevent transmission of COVID-19, including staying on campus and avoiding large gatherings. Remember that if you become positive for COVID-19 this week, you will miss Thanksgiving festivities at home. If you become positive for COVID-19 after the Thanksgiving break, you may miss finals, your comp defense, or the winter holidays. Those who test positive will need to isolate either at the Quality Inn or at home. Isolating safely at home is possible, but requires the following: stay in your room; use a separate bathroom or wipe down the bathroom after every use; ask family to drop off prepared meals at your door. ACHA will support isolated students at the Quality Inn over Thanksgiving break and the winter break, but it will be limited to food drop-offs and video visits (unless there is an emergency). Everyone is tired and needs downtime, including our nursing, medical, and student life staff.

Masking on campus: We carefully monitor the spread of COVID-19 to our campus and across our campus. Through extensive contact tracing, we see that our cases are coming from off campus and spread on campus is limited to roommates, the closest of friends spending extensive periods of time in close contact, and sexual partners. No spread has been traced to classrooms or campus meetings. Therefore, we continue to encourage our community members to make their own decisions about masking and mask when they choose, but there is no mask mandate at this time. N95 masks are available at the Wise testing center upon request for anyone who wants one. We are constantly tracking cases and contacts and will alert our community if we begin to see uncontrolled spread in classrooms, which is one of our campus triggers.

Booster clinic for Tuesday, November 16: 

  • Address and hours of testing site: 984 Water Street, Meadville, PA 16335, 9 am – 4 pm.
  • We are running the CATA shuttle regularly, and Hooper Higham will be driving a van down to the site and back up to campus in a continuous loop from 8:45 am – 4 pm. Meet either ride at the Lord Gate at the top of Brooks Walk on Main Street. Our goal is for the entire booster experience to be less than 30 minutes door to door.
  • Lost your COVID-19 vaccine card? You don’t need it to get the booster. Go without it.
  • Didn’t make an appointment? Doesn’t matter. Go anyway.
  • Worried about body aches and a sore arm? COVID-19 is worse. Isolation is terrible. Infecting your loved ones is a nightmare. Go get your booster; Tylenol and Motrin will ease the aches and you will be protected.

Flu Shots:
Flu shots continue to be available at the Wise Center. Please sign up here.


  • Thanksgiving is a time of gathering of families and friends, often indoors. Make safe choices over the holiday so that you do not contract COVID-19.
  • The rumors about “going remote” after Thanksgiving are not true. That said, I do expect some students to test positive when we return from the Thanksgiving break. To mitigate spread of COVID-19 after Thanksgiving:
    • Please plan to get tested at the Wise Center before you return to your residence hall or rejoin your friends on campus and have your ride wait for you in case you test positive. We have some rooms reserved at the Quality Inn, but if we use all the rooms available to us, students will have to isolate at home.
    • Testing will be available on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday after Thanksgiving, hours TBD. All students and employees — even those who did not travel — must test between Friday and Monday before they interact on campus. The entire campus will be tested again 3-5 days later, on Wednesday and Thursday, December 1 and 2.
    • You may not attend class on Monday if you have not tested.

Make safe choices!

High Likelihood of Transmitting COVID-19 Low Likelihood of Transmitting COVID-19
Enjoying a big dinner with unvaccinated friends and family Ensuring that everyone attending a big meal has been vaccinated and makes safe choices
Going to a bar Attending an outdoor holiday fair or market
Playing board games with children who are not yet fully vaccinated  Tossing a ball outside or going to a park with children who are not yet fully vaccinated 

A few words about stress: The challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are overwhelming. Stress and anxiety from sickness, lost loved ones, and remote learning have had a devastating cumulative effect. Kelly Clarkson is wrong: what doesn’t kill you doesn’t always make you stronger. But the last 18 months don’t define the future. Allegheny students still have a world of possibilities in front of them, here on campus and on the horizon. And our employees continue to be part of a community that, while fatigued, cares deeply about each other. So hang in there. Things will get better and this will pass.

Let’s finish the semester strong. Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

Important updates: vaccine booster location change, student and employee flu shots, and COVID-19 on campus

Dear Allegheny College community,

Please note the following important updates:

There are still appointments available for the vaccine booster. Sign up for a time today.

Location change for COVID-19 vaccine boosters: Due to infrastructure issues, Meadville Medical Center has to administer the COVID-19 vaccine boosters to our community at the Meadville City Building at 984 Water Street. This vaccine clinic will still take place on Tuesday, November 16, from 9 am to 4 pm. and will service Allegheny community members only. We will arrange transportation, likely the CATA bus, with details to follow. All Allegheny College community members are welcome to sign up for the booster here.

Flu shots: Starting November 15, employees can sign up for the flu shot vaccine clinic at the Wise testing center. To schedule your appointment time, please go to our flu shot appointment calendar. You can also walk in during regular testing hours or request the flu shot when you come for your COVID-19 test. Students can also get their flu shots at the Wise Center. If you have any questions, please email ACHA at

COVID-19 on campus: 12 students have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week (four new cases yesterday). Two of the cases yesterday are linked; we tested everyone else in these persons’ social circle with no further positives. The other cases are all traced to off-campus social interactions with no close contacts testing positive. Thanksgiving and family visits are right around the corner — consider limiting your social interactions and avoiding large gatherings, even on campus — to stay safe and protect your loved ones over the holidays. Masking is an option to further protect yourself.

ACHA Testing Schedule for November 15–19

  • Monday, November 15: 8 am – 4 pm
  • Tuesday, November 16: 8 am – 4 pm
  • Wednesday, November 17: 8 am – 4 pm
  • Thursday, November 18: 7:30 am – 4 pm
  • Friday, November 19: closed

*Please remember that if you test positive for COVID-19 next week, you will be isolated through the Thanksgiving holiday.

Be well,

Dr. Morrow

COVID-19 update, flu shots, and Thanksgiving Break travel

Dear Allegheny College community,

COVID-19 update:

  • During the last three weeks, eleven College employees tested positive for COVID-19.
    • Six are vaccinated, five are unvaccinated.
    • Thirty-two vaccinated contacts were identified, including eleven unvaccinated contacts.
    • Three of the employees who tested positive for COVID-19 are connected outside of their employment at the College; I believe their transmission happened off campus. Other than that, the employees are spread across campus with no definitive cluster identified.
    • All contacts are tested post-exposure; the timing and type of testing varies by vaccination status.
  • Parkhurst management has decided to resume masking temporarily. We will defer to them to resume allowing vaccinated employees to work without a mask if they choose.
  • One student has tested positive for COVID-19 since September 10, 2021.

Flu shots:

Our partners at Meadville Medical Center have helped us purchase 1,000 doses of the influenza vaccine. Keep yourself and your family safe from influenza during the holiday season.

  • Flu shots will be available at no cost for students at the COVID-19 testing center in Wise from November 1 to 12.
  • Sign up HERE for an appointment.
  • Walk-ins are welcome during regular COVID-19 testing hours. If you come in to get tested, ask for your influenza vaccination and get it on the spot!
  • After November 12, if we have leftover doses of the flu vaccine, we will offer those to employees.

Thanksgiving Break:

Vaccinated persons are welcome to travel over Thanksgiving break with a few requirements.

  • Please register your travel HERE. If you travel, you will need two COVID-19 tests.
    • You are required to obtain a COVID-19 test at the Wise Center as soon as possible when you return to campus.
    • You are required to obtain a second COVID-19 test at the Wise Center three to five days after your travels.

Testing Hours
November 26: 3–7 pm
November 27: Noon–6 pm
November 28: 9 am–7 pm
November 29: 7:30 am–5 pm
November 30: 8 am–7 pm
December 1: 9 am–4 pm
December 2: 9 am–6 pm
December 3: 9 am–1 pm

  • Sign up for both appointments HERE. As always, walk-ins are welcome.
  • We have extended hours and extra nurses on site that week to make testing easy and fast.
  • If you need a PCR test for your travel destination, we can help. Email Cindy Huya or walk in at least 36 hours before your travels. Our lab does not perform PCR tests on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.

Gator Strong.

Dr. Morrow

Update on testing platform, boosters, flu vaccines, and more

Dear Allegheny College campus community,

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

  • Testing platform change: A few weeks ago, I emailed you that Abbott was unable to deliver rapid COVID-19 tests and we were switching to Inspire rapid antigen tests for future rapid tests. Abbott then surprised us by sending 18,000 tests. Therefore, on October 11, we will be switching back to the Abbott antigen test for the remainder of the semester. I apologize for the frustration…this continues to be a global situation in flux. Cindy, our nurse, is exemplifying patience on this matter; feel free to give her a thumbs up next time you test.
  • Boostersfor those who qualify, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster will be available to our campus community on October 16 from 6 am to 3 pm. Allegheny will offer a free round-trip shuttle service from campus. Pick-up will be at the Lord Gate on Brooks Walk, North Main Street and drop-off at 984 Water Street. Employees and students: check your Allegheny email for links to the booster sign-up and shuttle sign-up forms.
  • Flu vaccines: As we continue to work to protect our campus during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to announce that we are purchasing 1,000 doses of the influenza vaccine from Meadville Medical Center. We are so grateful to MMC for our ongoing partnership. We will offer these influenza vaccine doses to our students at no charge at the Wise testing center. Dates and details will be provided in the next few weeks. The influenza vaccine is not mandatory but is strongly recommended because it will protect you from influenza (whose symptoms mimic COVID-19).
  • Meadville Children’s Center: President Biden recently recommended that all unvaccinated employees test weekly. In order to keep our campus community safe, and as a service to the Allegheny parents who depend on MCC for childcare, we will be providing weekly COVID-19 testing to the unvaccinated childcare workers at the Wise Center.
  • Unmasked dining and cleaning employees: On August 6, I advised that the dining staff and cleaning staff are contract employees with high turnover, which made their vaccination rate and testing compliance hard to track. Therefore, we had asked these employees to continue to wear masks at all times while on campus, regardless of vaccination status. In the months since, we have noted excellent compliance with record keeping, mask wearing and testing compliance. Therefore, and with a promise from their management to continue strong compliance, dining and cleaning staff who are fully vaccinated may now elect to work without a mask.
  • COVID-19 rates on campus: Three employees tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Two are vaccinated, and one is unvaccinated. All are recovering at home. Twelve employee contacts and one student contact were identified. Nine are vaccinated, and three are unvaccinated. None are showing symptoms at this time.

Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow