Allegheny College welcomes our community back to campus for the fall 2020 semester. We are fully reopening for on-campus living and learning accompanied by, and subject to, ongoing guidance from the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education, federal agencies, pandemic and disaster management experts, and public health, epidemiological, scientific and medical experts.
As we return to campus, the College will:
- Prioritize the health and physical and emotional safety of our campus community, while also recognizing the risks associated with reopening
- Create meaningful partnerships to protect the health and safety of and ensure the resilience of our local community
- 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
- Prioritize community engagement, transparency and open communications
- 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 COVID-19 is evolving, and recommendations are ever changing. Our plans for keeping the campus community safe will be updated as new information becomes available.
This Page Updated: 09/05/20
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Allegheny College Health Agency (ACHA)
The ACHA provides guidance to the President on testing, contact tracing and mitigation strategies for our community. Membership in the ACHA has evolved as we have moved from planning to implementation; membership will continue to be fluid as our knowledge of the virus evolves and different priorities emerge in how the campus adapts.
To create a sustainable culture of safety and health at Allegheny College in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACHA will oversee:
1. Testing the Entire Campus Community
We will be using PCR and antigen testing in three ways throughout the semester:
as a move-in baseline
2. Mitigating Disease Transmission on Campus
Mitigation strategies will be used across campus:
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
Guidelines for Students and Employees
All members of the Allegheny community (students, faculty, staff and administrators) are REQUIRED to comply with the policies, protocols and guidelines detailed below.
1. Daily Health Screening
- coughing or shortness of breath
- fever or chills
- new, unexplained muscle or body aches
- new loss of smell or taste
- new, unexplained tiredness or fatigue
- sore throat
In the past 24 hours have you been in direct contact with an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
Have you traveled internationally or domestically to an area under stay-at-home orders in the past 14 days?
Data will be used solely for the purposes of ensuring community health. People who answer in the affirmative will be cued to discuss this with a healthcare professional (students, to the Winslow Health Center; employees, to your healthcare practitioner).
You do not need to report to your supervisor any specific health or personal information; you can simply confirm with your supervisor that you answered yes to one or more of the questions on the daily health check. Please then follow up with Jennifer Padlan, Director of Human Resources, for questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. Physical Distancing
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.
No events or gatherings can have more than 50 people in outdoor spaces.
All events need to be organized in such a way that physical distancing and face covering requirements are met.
As a community, we are committed to maintaining physical distance and creating a large “public zone” on campus. As humans, we are relational beings, and we need one another now more than ever. This pandemic does not require us to cut social ties or decrease social interactions. We seek to support social interactions with each other while maintaining the physical space that is required to decrease disease spread.View Detailed Event and Gathering Guidance
3. Face Coverings
Face coverings are only effective if we all participate: “My face covering protects you; your face covering protects me.”
A student will not be allowed to participate in a class without a proper face covering.
4. Frequent Handwashing
No special soap is needed to wash away the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
5. Frequent Cleaning and Maintaining a Healthy Campus Environment
Use of shared objects in classes and labs should be limited as much as possible or cleaned between uses.
Students and instructors will be asked to wipe down tables/desks before classes with disinfectant wipes provided by the College.
6. Dining Services
Disposable/compostable food service items (e.g., utensils and dishes) should be used where possible.
All of the self-service options at Brooks will be eliminated; plated meals will be served, and buffets will be discontinued.
Both dining halls will extend their hours of operation and rearrange seating to encourage physical distancing.
If students need to make trips off campus, they will be expected to adhere to the College’s guidance related to physical distancing and face coverings.
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.
ACHA Travel Policy
Students who leave campus overnight are required to quarantine in their room upon their return. If the student has a roommate, they will quarantine in a designated quarantine area such as Edwards Hall or Allegheny Hall.
The student will be asked to quarantine for four days upon return and then get a test on day five (or the next testing date after day five as testing is not available every day). Quarantine continues until a negative result is returned or 14 days have passed.
If the student has only gone home to their family and not attended any group events (funerals and weddings are examples of group events), AND the student attests that they were 100% safe and wore masks and physically distanced while at home, even within their household, then no quarantine is necessary.
Important exception: any student traveling to a state that is currently on the Pennsylvania quarantine list is required to quarantine on campus for 14 days with no option to end quarantine early with a test.
8. Community-based Research, Internship, Class Project and Volunteer Experiences
9. Visitors to Campus
Parents/family members who come to campus to visit or pick up their students will not be allowed to enter the residence halls.
Candidates interviewing for positions at the College will not be allowed to bring partners or children to the campus interview.
No overnight visitors will be allowed in College residence halls.
To limit potential exposure we are closing Allegheny facilities to the public.
All visitors to campus will be required to adhere to the health and safety protocols in place.
10. Isolation & Quarantine
a person who did not test positive but might have COVID-19, so are staying alone.
a person who tested positive for COVID-19 and, whether sick or not, are staying alone.
If we have a COVID-positive student who is asymptomatic, they can return to campus 10 days after their test date, pending a medical evaluation by the COVID medical team (to vet their asymptomatic status). If we have a COVID-positive student who is symptomatic, they can be around others 10 days since symptoms appeared AND 24 hours with no fever AND other COVID symptoms are improving, again to be vetted by us.
Unfortunately, per the CDC, close contacts of COVID-positive students need to quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with the person who has COVID, if they have had close contact.
a person who was within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, hugged or kissed, shared eating or drinking utensils, or if they sneezed, coughed, or otherwise got respiratory droplets on the student.
There is no option to shorten this by testing negative again.
The reason that it is longer for the close contact than the COVID-positive person is because of the course of infectiousness:
- Days 0–4: person is infected but does not always shed enough virus to make a test positive.
- Days 5–14: person sheds virus and will likely have a positive COVID test.
- Day 15+: person is done shedding virus and is no longer contagious.
The COVID-positive student is on days 5–15+ when they get tested, so they need to isolate only for 10 more days until they are no longer contagious.
Unfortunately, the close contact is on days 0–4, so these students have a full 14 days in quarantine.