Plans to Reopen Allegheny College

Allegheny College plans to welcome our students, faculty, staff, and administrators back to campus for the Fall 2020 semester. It is our intention to fully reopen for on-campus living and learning accompanied by, and subject to, ongoing guidance from the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education, federal agencies, and public health, epidemiological, and medical experts.

As we return to campus, the College will:

  1. Prioritize the health and physical and emotional safety of our campus community, while also recognizing the risks associated with reopening
  2. Create meaningful partnerships to protect the health and safety of and ensure the resilience of our local community
  3. Maintain our commitment to equity and diversity and to equal access for all students to the academic, social, and wellness resources available at the College
  4. Prioritize community engagement, transparency, and open communications
  5. Maintain a strong community ethos

Changes to campus facilities and our day-to-day behaviors will help to reduce the spread of disease on our campus and within the Meadville community. Our understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is evolving, and recommendations related to disease mitigation are ever changing. Our policies and plans for reopening and keeping the campus community safe will be updated as new information becomes available.


Jump to Sections Below

Allegheny College Health Agency (ACHA)

Testing • Mitigation • Communication

Phased Reopening of Campus

Phases • Dates • Descriptions

Guidelines for Students and Employees

Screening • Distancing • Face Coverings • Handwashing • Cleaning • Dining • Travel • Community • Visitors

Resources for Delivering Courses Fall 2020

Complete Plan

The information on this page is an at-a-glance overview of our full Plans to Reopen Allegheny College.

Download Full Plan (PDF)

Allegheny College Health Agency (ACHA)

Allegheny College Health Agency

Circumstances and guidance surrounding COVID-19 remain fluid, and thus we continually need to adapt our expectations and procedures. To guide the College in this complex planning, we have formed the Allegheny College Health Agency (ACHA).

The ACHA, co-directed by Professor Becky Dawson and Dr. Gabrielle Morrow, will oversee a comprehensive healthcare system on campus that includes testing, contact tracing, and mitigation strategies for our community; the agency will communicate frequently with both the College and Meadville communities.

To create a sustainable culture of safety and health at Allegheny College in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACHA will be responsible for:

1. Testing the Entire Campus Community

We will be using antigen testing in three ways:

as a baseline

for screening

for diagnosis

2. Mitigating Disease Transmission on Campus

Mitigation strategies will be used across campus:

physical distancing

face coverings


reducing the amount of “shared air” between individuals and groups

reorganizing the campus environment

3. Providing Consistent and Clear Education and Communications

Our communication strategy will aim to address the concerns and needs of three specific audiences:

1. Students and parents

2. Campus employees

3. Broader community that is home to the College

Phased Reopening of Campus

Starting July 1, the College will begin a staggered employee return to campus. We will continue our phased reopening through student move-in in August.

Throughout the semester, ACHA will continue to monitor the health of our community. We are moving through five phases of reopening based on the health of both the campus and local community.

Allegheny Phase Dates Description
Red March 13-June 30 The College remains closed for non-essential personnel.
Orange July 1-August 14 The College will reopen to employees, who will return to work on a staggered schedule. Telework for employees will be allowed for those who can do so. Students will not be allowed on campus.
Yellow August 15-31 Welcome back students and classes begin on August 31. The entire campus community will be screened for COVID-19 before August 31. After move-in is complete and screening shows that there is no active spread of COVID-19 on campus, we will transition into the blue phase. During the yellow phase, we will be in a campus quarantine period, with restriction on College-sponsored travel and encouragement that students remain on campus.
Blue September 1-13 Campus quarantine period. We will restrict all College-sponsored travel and encourage students to remain on campus for a period of 14 days (September 1–14). During this 14-day period, we will be conducting COVID screening tests among 25% of the campus each week to ensure that there is no asymptomatic community spread of disease on our campus. Detailed plans about our screening procedures are forthcoming.
Green After the 14-day campus quarantine period is complete and we can demonstrate that there is no community spread on campus.
Goal: September 14
We will continue to screen campus community members for COVID-19. During this phase, College-sponsored travel will be permitted, given that other mitigation protocols are met. Students will be permitted to travel into Meadville for short trips, given that physical distancing and face covering requirements are met. We will be encouraging students to remain on campus as much as possible. Daily health screens will be conducted.

Guidelines for Students and Employees

As repopulation of the campus begins on July 1, we ask that all members of the Allegheny community adhere to the following guidelines.

1. Daily Health Screening

As we work to implement a system to monitor employee/student daily health, we ask employees returning to campus to self-monitor by asking themselves the following questions:

In the past 24 hours have you experienced any of the symptoms of COVID-19? Symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • New GI symptoms

In the past 24 hours have you been in direct contact with an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
Direct contact means spending more than 15 minutes with a person who is closer than 6 feet away from you.

Have you traveled internationally or domestically to an area under stay-at-home orders in the past 14 days?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then please remain off campus and contact your direct supervisor.

2. Physical Distancing

As a community, we will strive to maintain physical distancing throughout campus. Our goal is to keep at least 6 feet of space between individuals whenever feasible.

Six feet of physical distance is needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If workspaces cannot accommodate this spacing, then alternative solutions will be sought (e.g., alternate work days on campus, alternative work locations).

Avoid congregating in or around common areas.

Only one individual should occupy an elevator at a time.

All campus events or gatherings with greater than 250 people should be canceled.

All events need to be organized in such a way that physical distancing and face covering requirements are met.

3. Face Coverings

All employees and students must wear face coverings when on campus in the presence of others and in public settings (on and off campus), especially when 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Appropriate use of face coverings is essential to decrease the spread of disease.

4. Frequent Handwashing

All members of the community should wash their hands frequently throughout the day.

Individuals should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

No special soap is needed to wash away the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

5. Frequent Cleaning

We will be undertaking frequent cleaning and disinfecting of often-touched surfaces, including door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, hand railings, bathroom stalls, and dining tables.

6. Dining Services

All meals will be served through takeaway service during the Allegheny College red, orange, yellow, and blue phases.

Not until we move to the campus “green phase” will students be able to eat-in at Brooks Dining Hall or McKinley’s.

7. Travel

Until we move into the “green phase,” there will be no College-sponsored travel allowed for students.

Athletic teams cannot travel to competition, and students will be strongly encouraged to remain on campus throughout the quarantine period.

During the campus quarantine period (blue phase), College employees will be asked to limit their travel to other communities in a “green phase” (i.e. not under stay-at-home orders).

Employees will be allowed to travel domestically as long as they do not travel to a destination with a stay-at-home order.

If employees travel internationally, they may be required to quarantine for 14 days before returning to work on campus; they should contact ACHA for guidance about returning to campus.

Employees who travel often as part of their job are encouraged to do so with precautions. Prior to traveling, employees should check travel warnings and follow recommendations from the CDC.

8. Community-based Research, Internship, Class Project, and Volunteer Experiences

In an effort to protect both the Allegheny and Meadville communities in the midst of the pandemic, all embedded opportunities — such as internships, research assistantships, class projects, and volunteer positions — sponsored by the College will have to be completed remotely until a safe vaccine is available widely.

9. Visitors to Campus

ACHA recommends that the number of visitors allowed on campus be limited to those who are necessary.

Prospective students visiting campus should be limited to at most two adults visiting the campus with the prospective student.

Candidates interviewing for positions at the College will not be allowed to bring partners or children to the campus interview.

As a campus community, our goal is to limit the number of visitors to campus to the lowest number possible.

Individuals who would normally come to campus for curricular activities, such as guest speakers, or co-curricular activities, such as recruiters associated with Career Education, should be encouraged to coordinate virtual speaking and recruiting activities.

All visitors to campus will be required to adhere to the health and safety protocols in place.