Plans to Reopen Allegheny College

Allegheny College looks forward to welcoming our community back to campus for the spring 2021 semester. We are planning 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, pandemic and disaster management experts, and public health, epidemiological, scientific and medical experts.

As we return to campus, the College will continue to:

  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 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: 01/25/21

Overview

Jump to Sections Below

Allegheny College Health Agency (ACHA)

Testing • Mitigation • Communication

Guidelines for Students and Employees

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

Resources for Delivering Courses

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)
Revised • Effective 01/18/21

Previous Versions:
V2: 09/05/20V1: 07/07/20

Allegheny College Health Agency (ACHA)



Circumstances and guidance surrounding COVID-19 remain fluid and complex. To guide the College through the complexities of higher education during a pandemic, we have formed the 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

for screening

for diagnosis

2. Mitigating Disease Transmission on Campus

Mitigation strategies will be used across campus:

physical distancing

face coverings

ventilation

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

4. Monitoring Allegheny’s COVID-19 Dashboard and Continuously Assessing the Indicators for Closure

Throughout the semester, ACHA will continue to monitor the health of our community, using such tools as the dashboard and the Indicators for Closure.

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

Every member of the campus community will be asked to answer the following questions every day.

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

  • 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
  • diarrhea

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 (jpadlan@allegheny.edu).


2. Physical Distancing

As a community, we will strive to maintain physical distancing throughout campus. Our goal is to keep at least six 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 person at a time should occupy an elevator.

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

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 six feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained.

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

Face coverings are only effective if we all participate: “My face covering protects you; your face covering protects me.”

Face coverings must be worn by students and faculty in all classes.

A student will not be allowed to participate in a class without a proper face covering.

4. Frequent Handwashing

All members of the community should wash their hands frequently throughout the day. Proper washing technique and the amount of time spent washing are most important.

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.

When soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) should be used. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout campus.

5. Frequent Cleaning and Maintaining a Healthy Campus Environment

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.

Cleaning will occur at least daily or more frequently, as needed.

Use of shared objects in classes and labs should be limited as much as possible or cleaned between uses.

The entire community will need to participate in cleaning and disinfecting shared spaces.

Students and instructors will be asked to wipe down tables/desks before classes with disinfectant wipes provided by the College.

6. Dining Services

In coordination with Parkhurst, dining services at Allegheny College have been reimagined and redesigned to decrease disease spread and to protect students and employees in our dining halls.

All meals are being served through takeaway service at least through the campus quarantine. Students will potentially be able to eat in at Brooks Dining Hall or McKinley’s with spaces reformatted to accommodate physical distancing.

Disposable/compostable food service items (e.g., utensils and dishes) should be used where possible.

Meals at McKinley’s will be available through a new online ordering system throughout the 2020–21 academic year.

All of the self-service options at Brooks will be eliminated; plated meals will be served, and buffets will be discontinued.

Both dining halls have extended their hours of operation and rearranged seating to encourage physical distancing.

7. Travel

Given the high rates of COVID- 19 transmission in Crawford County, it is essential for residential campus community members to remain on campus as much as possible during the Spring semester, for the safety of all. Once students return to campus (in either January or February), they are strongly discouraged from leaving campus to visit family and friends, both to protect themselves and to protect others.

Any student who leaves campus overnight (including to students’ primary residence), whether it is to visit family or to attend group events such as funerals and weddings, is required to quarantine in Edwards Hall upon return. The student will quarantine for four days and then get a test on day five (or the next possible testing date after day five, as testing is not available every day).

Quarantine will then continue until a negative result is returned or until 14 days have passed.


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 and our campus community is able to be vaccinated. No student completing College-sponsored work will be allowed to work physically off campus. This includes work-study positions off campus, Bonner and Davies opportunities, as well as departmental internships and research assistant positions. Students will not be allowed to work at either the Meadville Children’s Center or the Meadville Cooperative Preschool.

Outdoor Service Saturday projects will be allowed if both the College and Crawford County show a low case positivity rate, community partners are supportive of the work, physical distancing can be maintained, and face coverings are used by Allegheny students, faculty and staff as well as community partners.

9. Visitors to Campus

Given that COVID-19 is easily transmitted from person-to-person and that our goal for this academic year is to provide a safe, residential liberal arts educational experience for our students, the number of visitors to campus will be limited.

Approved visitors include prospective students and their families, as well as candidates for faculty or administrative positions. Prospective students visiting campus should be accompanied by no more than two adults. Candidates interviewing for positions at the College will not be allowed to bring partners or children to the campus interview. Individuals who would normally come to campus, such as guest speakers or 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.

Parents/family members who come to campus to visit or pick up their students will not be allowed to enter the residence halls.

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.