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COVID-19 Health & Safety Information

 

The “We” in Westminster has never been more important than it is right now.


The following COVID-19 health and safety measures are in effect as of Monday, August 16, 2021. Our policy responds to the increased transmission rates in the local community and around the country and may be adjusted again when those rates decline. We continue to emphasize the fluid and responsive nature of our policies will be updated as we adapt to new or updated federal and state guidelines. 

If you have questions and concerns about the information and requirements related to these health & safety measures, or if you need to report non-compliance, please email us at healthycampus@westminster.edu.

Vaccination


Vaccination is the leading prevention strategy to protect individuals from illness related to contracting the COVID-19 virus. Westminster strongly encourages students, employees and visitors to be fully vaccinated before the beginning of the fall semester. An individual is considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after your second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Students should upload their vaccination records to the Student Health Portal. Employees should report their vaccination status to Human Resources. Members of the campus community who do not report their vaccination status are assumed to be unvaccinated.
Additionally, the Wellness Center will seek to provide vaccine clinics in August and early fall semester to make COVID-19 vaccines easily accessible to any student or employee who remains unvaccinated. Vaccines are free to campus members, though our clinic providers will request insurance information.

Wearing Masks


In accordance with current CDC-recommended COVID health and safety guidelines, masks are required indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Masks must completely cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of the face without gaps. Exceptions to this requirement are students in their residence hall rooms, those working alone in enclosed spaces, such as private offices or labs, those actively eating or drinking, and those actively competing in varsity athletics.

Masks are not required outdoors.

Physical Distancing & Hygiene


Close contacts are defined as individuals who have been within 6 feet of someone infected with COVID-19 for 15 cumulative minutes over a 24-hour period, masked or unmasked. In order to minimize transmission faculty, staff, and students should practice physical distancing whenever possible. Distancing is particularly critical for unvaccinated individuals. 

Physical distancing and occupancy limits are contingent on the transmission of the virus on campus and in the local community. Restrictions may be reinstated in the event of an increase in transmission.

Additionally, faculty, staff, and students should practice good handwashing hygiene and respiratory etiquette as described by the CDC.

On-Campus Housing


The residence halls are living spaces that seek to provide both a safe place to live and a respite from the maintenance of daily safety procedures. Masks must be worn by residential students unless in the privacy of their own room. Visitation will be limited to students assigned to a specific building. Berlin Village residents will be permitted to register one regular visitor per occupant. Visitation in fraternity houses will be limited to organization members. 

Move-In Information


For the Fall 2021 move-in process, we will be asking the following of all of our students living on campus this upcoming year:

Early Arrival Groups


For our students that are coming to campus early for extracurricular activities or jobs on campus we ask that you please reach out to your Early Arrival Group Lead (ex: Coach, Staff, or Faculty member) for more information on what your move-in process will look like, though we will be having a centralized move-in location that will take place at the Baseball Field on campus. The best address to arrive to the Baseball Field will be 500 Westminster Drive, New Wilmington, PA, 16142.

First-Year and Transfer Students


Incoming First Year/Transfer students who are not participating in the Early Arrival process will move onto campus on Friday, August 27, 2021. Residence Life has scheduled move-in times for all of these students and your move-in time can be found on my.Westminster (login using your Westminster username and password).

When you arrive on campus, please locate your check-in tent to begin the move-in process:

  • Galbreath and Browne Halls - Check-in tent located on the Quad (between Browne and Ferguson).
  • Russell and Eichenauer Halls - Check-in tent located in the Russell Hall parking lot.
  • Shaw Hall - Check in tent located in the Shaw Hall parking lot. 

You will be greeted by Residence Life staff in the tent, who will give your Titan Card and some important forms/documents. If you purchased a residential parking pass, it will be ready for pick up in the campus mailroom in McKelvey Campus Center—mail room staff will give you a mailbox key and your parking pass should be in your mailbox.

Please note the Orientation lunch period will be from 11am to 12:45pm, so have a very tight window for students to move-in during this time.

Upper-Class Students


Returning upper-class students who are not participating in the Early Arrival process will move onto campus on Saturday, August 28 and Sunday August 29, 2021. Our upper-class students will need to schedule their own move-in time, using our online scheduler prior to August 13.

When you arrive on campus, please locate your check-in tent to begin the move-in process:

  • Berlin Village and Russell Hall - Check-in tent located in the Russell Hall parking lot.
  • Eichenauer Hall - Check-in tent located on the Eichenauer lawn.
  • Galbreath, Browne & Ferguson Halls - Check-in tent located on the Quad (between Browne and Ferguson).
  • Shaw Hall - Check in tent located in the Shaw Hall parking lot. 

You will be greeted by Residence Life staff in the tent, who will give your room key and any necessary paperwork. Your parking pass will be located in your campus mailbox.

Classrooms


As announced in spring 2021, Westminster will return to fully in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 academic year, with no plan for virtual or hybrid instruction. The academic year will proceed along the following guidelines, with adjustments made as necessary to comply with Commonwealth and CDC recommendations:

  • Masking is required in all indoor instructional spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Should this universal masking policy change, individual faculty will continue to have discretion about requiring masking of all students within their classrooms.
  • In-person attendance is expected for all classes, labs, seminars, and performances, unless they are designated as Online in the schedule of classes. Faculty members will not be required or expected to provide virtual or hybrid instruction via Zoom or similar technologies, though they may do so at their own discretion.
  • As always, reasonable accommodations will be offered for students who are working with the Office of Disability Resources, noting that COVID infections and related quarantine/isolation do not require academic accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Though Pennsylvania no longer requires physical distancing, enrollment capacities for academic spaces will be based on three feet of distance between students.
  • Students who are studying abroad or participating in College-sponsored travel (e.g., conferences supported by Drinko funds, travel courses, field trips) are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. Further, prior to making any travel plans, students should familiarize themselves with any COVID regulations or policies in place for the host site, as they will be subject to those policies.
  • Students participating in internships, field experiences, student teaching, and clinical rotations should consult their site supervisor about COVID regulations and policies that exist at the site.

You will be greeted by Residence Life staff in the tent, who will give your room key and any necessary paperwork. Your parking pass will be located in your campus mailbox.

Communal Spaces


Communal spaces include but are not limited to, dining halls, locker rooms, McGill Library, Wallace Memorial Chapel, lobbies, lounges, and fitness centers. These spaces will operate at normal occupancy, though physical distancing is recommended whenever possible. 

Campus Dining


The College has worked with Sodexo, our dining partner, to provide compliant food services. All Titan cards and credit cards will be swiped by the individual cardholder. Cashiers will be protected by acrylic shields. Food may be ordered at kiosks to reduce the number of guests in lines. An online ordering program is available so that students may order ahead for pickup. 

Events and Gatherings


Crowded settings still present a risk of transmission as they bring together people from different communities. Campus events and gatherings will adhere to any Commonwealth-mandated occupancy limits. Additionally, in-person instruction will be prioritized over other types of events, gatherings, and activities. 

Individuals hosting events should consider the following guidance when planning event details:

  • Be aware of the capacity for each room and do not exceed the maximum.
  • Encourage physical distancing whenever possible.
  • Hold events, gatherings, and activities outdoors when practicable.
  • Space out furniture in communal spaces.
  • Virtual events and gatherings should be considered when practicable.

Travel & Transportation


All College-sponsored travel requires universal masking. 

Students who are participating in College-sponsored travel (e.g., conferences supported by Drinko funds, travel courses, field trips) are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. Faculty may require vaccination for domestic travel, especially if this is a requirement of the host site. Study abroad and international travel are subject to destination policies and CDC guidance. Effective August 25, 2021, the CDC statement on travel instructs individuals not to travel internationally unless fully vaccinated. International travel that is initiated under the August 25, 2021 guidance will follow the guidance even when the CDC policies are updated.

Student organization-sponsored travel should follow the CDC travel guidelines.

The Campus Shuttle has resumed services and will be operational for all students.

Employees should follow the CDC travel guidelines related to travel for personal travel. Out of concern for our employees and those with whom they come in contact, employees must have proof of vaccination on file with Human Resources or have an approved exemption prior to beginning College-sponsored travel.

Titan Athletics


The development of Athletic policies for student-athletes and game day events will comply with the NCAA Sport Science Institute, the President’s Athletic Conference, and other College policies. NCAA Guidelines are expected to be short-term and will be updated regularly. Effective 8/4/2021, all of the following guidelines apply:

COVID-19 Testing


Vaccinated individuals are not required to participate in re-entry or screening testing. Student athletes who are vaccinated should isolate if symptomatic and should be evaluated by the Wellness Center for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) testing.

Student athletes who have previously tested positive are not required to participate in screening testing for 90 days from infection. If they are vaccinated, they will not be required to mask during that window. Unvaccinated student athletes will be required to wear masks per this policy even within the 90-day window.

Unvaccinated students are required to participate in re-entry and screening testing, which includes:

  • Reentry Testing - Two antigen tests within 3-5 days of arrival. No practice until negative test(s) confirmed.
  • Screening testing when there is no competition - Three times weekly.
  • Screening testing during competition - Three times weekly and must have a negative antigen test within one day of each contest. This will vary by sport.

Policy for Non-Compliance with Athletic Screening Testing


Any student athlete who does not schedule and keep a testing appointment will not be permitted to participate in practice or competition scheduled for that day. Consecutive missed appointments will result in suspension of student-athlete practice/competition until appropriate testing is completed to protect the student-athlete and the team.  Should said student-athlete continue to routinely miss testing, they will be subject to removal from all team activities and/or student council.

Masking Related to Varsity Athletic Activity 

  • Training/Competition - No mask requirement.
  • Team Travel - Universal masking required.
  • Team Meetings - Universal masking required for indoor meetings.
  • Training Room - Universal masking required. 

Daily Health Checks


Regardless of their vaccination status, all members of the campus community should monitor their health daily, using the free COVID Alert PA app (available through the App Store or Google Play) or using CDC’s Symptoms of COVID-19.

The COVID Alert PA app is available through the Google Play Store of Apple App Store. In the app, you can opt-in to receive alerts if you have had a potential exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. More information about the app is available on the COVID Alert PA page.

Any person with new or unexplained symptoms of COVID-19 must isolate and be evaluated for COVID-19 testing, regardless of vaccination status.

COVID-19 Testing


Reentry Testing


All unvaccinated students will require reentry testing prior to moving into the residence halls. Students will receive a direct communication from the Wellness Center and Residence Life staff will details. Fully vaccinated students will not require testing, but may opt in by contacting the Wellness Center at (724) 946-7297.

Screening Testing


All unvaccinated students will participate in random screening testing throughout the academic year. Screening testing will be conducted by the Wellness Center and scheduled by appointment. 

Varsity Athletics Testing


In compliance with NCAA guidelines, all unvaccinated student-athletes are required to participate in screening testing in order to participate in athletics. Westminster College will administer athletic screening testing via rapid antigen tests three times a week. Testing will be administered by the Wellness Center staff with assistance from Athletic Department staff.

Diagnostic Testing


Employees and students who have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should receive diagnostic testing. The Wellness Center will conduct diagnostic testing for students who are symptomatic. Appointments are required for testing. Students should contact the Wellness Center immediately if they become symptomatic. Employees should contact their primary care physician or other COVID testing site for diagnostic testing.  

Contact Tracing


The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) has estimated that given the magnitude of COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth, it will need to partner with communities for contact tracing during the phases of reopening. The number of individuals needed to perform contact tracing will vary depending on multiple factors, including the daily number of cases and burden of outbreaks, the number of contacts identified, how quickly individuals are isolated and contacts notified and quarantined, and the willingness and acceptance of the community to adhere to recommended public health measures. Members of the campus community are required to cooperate with the contact tracing protocols.

Isolation and Quarantine


Isolation is the term used to separate individuals who are ill with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, have tested positive, or are presumed positive and awaiting test results.

Quarantine is a term used to separate individuals who have been identified as close contacts of an individual who has tested positive to see if they become sick.

Exposure to COVID-19 (Close Contact)


Fully vaccinated individuals who have had a close contact with someone who had COVID-19 should be tested 5-7 days after first exposure. If living with the COVID-positive individual, fully vaccinated household contacts should also be tested 5-7 days after last exposure which is defined as the end of isolation for the person with COVID-19. They are not required to quarantine but should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days following exposure or until they receive a negative test.

Unvaccinated individuals who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 must quarantine.  If tested 5-7 days after exposure, they can return to campus after day 7 with a negative test result. If not tested, they must quarantine for 10 days.

Additional Information for Students


Unvaccinated students will be asked to quarantine at home, if possible. In the event that a student cannot return home for quarantine, they will be moved to a designated quarantine room on campus. Students who are quarantining at home can be tested at any off-campus testing facility and must upload their negative test to the Student Health Portal to be cleared to return to campus after day 7. Students are not eligible for refunds of housing or meal plans as a result of quarantine or isolation.

Fully vaccinated students must have proof of vaccination on record with the Wellness Center.

Additional Information for Employees


Unvaccinated employees who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and should not report to campus. If remote work is not possible, employees may use Temporary COVID-19 Pandemic Leave and should contact Human Resources for more information. Employees should be tested off-campus. 

Positive for COVID-19


Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or who are probable for COVID-19 must isolate for at least 10 days and until their symptoms improve.

Additional Information for Students


Students who have COVID-19 will be asked to remain on-campus to avoid exposing their family members at home. During isolation, they will reside in designated residence hall rooms with private bathrooms. Signage with telehealth and dining instructions, important campus contact information, and check out instructions will be provided in each room. Campus custodial staff will disinfect and sanitize each room after use.

Additional Information for Employees


Employees who test positive should notify Human Resources so that case investigation and contact tracing can be conducted. They should inform their supervisor. If remote work is not possible, employees may use Temporary COVID-19 Pandemic Leave and should contact Human Resources for more information.  

Cleaning & Disinfecting


Physical Plant will continue to provide daily cleaning of classrooms, bathrooms, and public spaces. Physical Plant will disinfect areas when high transmission of COVID-19 occurs or when a space has been occupied by a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Where sanitation stations have been provided, a shared responsibility for cleaning and disinfecting spaces between uses is encouraged.