All students, residential and commuter, are required to follow all health and safety policies.
We highly recommend that all students self-quarantine for 14 days prior to coming back to campus.
Prior to their return to campus, all students should take a COVID-19 test (PCR type) and upload their results to the Student Health Portal. Ideally, you would take the test within 72 hours of your arrival on campus; however, we are discovering that many testing centers take much longer than 72 hours to return results. Therefore, we recommend that you contact your local testing center to ask how long it will take to get your results and then schedule far enough in advance that you can a) receive your results AND b) upload them to the Student Health Portal before you return to campus. Students who are symptomatic or test positive should stay home and notify Residencelife@westminster.edu to make arrangements for an alternate move-in date and temporary virtual learning status.
Students are strongly encouraged to review their insurance plans prior to returning to campus. Many insurance plans offer after-hours telehealth which is covered under your plan. Be sure to know if your plan covers care in the state of Pennsylvania.
All students are also highly encouraged to receive the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine when available.
All re-entry COVID screening will be conducted in Old 77. The schedule for the spring 2021 semester is:
All students received an email from Vice President Gina Vance in December with a link to schedule their individual appointments.
If you received a negative PCR test result prior to your arrival on-campus and uploaded your result to the Student Health Portal, you will be screened for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test when you arrive on campus. If you did not provide a negative PCR test result prior to your arrival on campus, you will receive both PCR and rapid antigen tests upon your arrival to campus.
All students who test positive for COVID-19, either with a rapid antigen or PCR test, will be asked to isolate for 10 days and will begin the semester virtually. Residential students who live more than 6 hours from campus will isolate in Thompson House. Those who live within 6 hours from campus, are commuters, fraternity residents, or who live off campus will be asked to return home to isolate.
Additionally, the College is opening in a Re-entry Quiet Phase during which on-campus, in-person activity is limited to attending class, in-facility dining, student employment shifts, and studying in the library. Regular activity will resume on Friday, January 22.
Residential students should read the Residence Hall Move-In Information section below for more information.
Prior to participation in any campus activity, returning students receive a reminder of the addendum to the Student Code of Conduct, which you signed in August and which includes a self-screening checklist and an agreement to abide by COVID-related policies.
All new students, first-years and transfers, will be required to read and sign the addendum to the Student Code of Conduct prior to their participation in any campus activity. You will also be required to complete a series of online health and wellness training sessions the week of January 19.
Additionally, all new students who are living in campus housing are required to have completed all health forms and immunizations prior to check-in.
As in the fall, residence hall move-in will be highly controlled and phased in compliance with physical distancing guidelines. However this spring, instead of being assigned a move-in day and time, you received an email from Vice President Gina Vance in December with a link to schedule an appointment for your COVID-19 re-entry screening, which is also the day/time you will begin the move-in process.
On move-in day, students and their families are asked to:
Public Safety will direct traffic and manage parking lots. Please be aware that handcarts, dollies and volunteers will not be available.
Parents/families will be asked to leave at the end of their time slot so that the next group of students can begin their move-in process.
*Spring Early Arrivals (Men's and Women's Basketball, Swimming and Diving) - You will move in on Sunday, January 3 and will be tested for COVID-19 on Monday, January 4. You will be required to quarantine in your assigned room, leaving only for practice and meals, until test results are received.
Upon arrival on-campus, all students will be screened for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test. If you did not upload a negative PCR test result to the Student Health Portal prior to your arrival on campus, you will also receive a PCR test.
If your re-entry rapid antigen test is negative, you are cleared to move into your assigned room. The results of a rapid test are available in 25 minutes.
All students who test positive for COVID-19, either with a rapid antigen or a PCR test, must isolate for 10 days and will begin the semester virtually. Residential students who live more than 6 hours from campus will isolate in Thompson House. Those who live within 6 hours from campus, are commuters, fraternity residents, or who live off campus will be asked to return home to isolate.
The College is opening in a Re-entry Quiet Phase in which students may leave their residence hall rooms only to attend class, for in-facility dining, for on- or off-campus work, and to study in the library. Regular activity will resume on Friday, January 22.
During move-in, we will meet with you to:
The residence halls are living spaces that need to provide both a safe place to live and a respite from the maintenance of daily safety procedures. Residence Life aims to deliver the College’s mission while protecting the health and safety of our students and minimizing the potential spread of disease within our community. As a residential student, COVID-19 will impact your housing experience; however, our ability to give you an in-person education hinges on your ability to work within the confines of these policies.
The "family pod" model that Westminster College Residence Life adopted for the fall semester is no longer permitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. As such, students must wear masks in residence halls unless they are in their own rooms.
Physical distancing in the residence halls is a critical mitigation strategy. As such, the following adjustments to standard residence hall policy have been made.
Students are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their living space. Common bathrooms in Browne, Ferguson, Galbreath, Russell and Shaw will be disinfected twice daily by PPO custodial staff. Additionally, cleaning supplies will be provided in each bathroom and students are encouraged to disinfect areas before and after use. Each family pod will be encouraged to assign bathroom fixtures to residents on a given floor.
Residents are responsible for cleaning bathrooms in suite-style living which includes Eichenauer and Berlin Village. Students are provided a list of recommended cleaning and disinfecting products and supplies, along with instructions on how to properly clean bathrooms.
For health and safety reasons, access to residence halls is restricted. Only persons living in a residence hall will have access to that building. No visitors are permitted in the residence halls, and students are required to stay in their assigned residence halls. Visitors include off-campus guests, including family and friends; students living off-campus; and students assigned to other buildings.
Fraternity houses are not open to guests who are not members of the organization. Each chapter was required to work with the Assistant Director of Student Engagement to develop a Health & Safety Plan, which is on file in the Office of Student Affairs.
Involvement in campus activities and the resultant sense of community are important components of a college education and hallmarks of Westminster College student life. The Office of Student Affairs supports the work of student organizations and collaborates with students to provide creative outlets and alternatives for their standard operations.
We strongly recommend the use of virtual meetings and programming. When the weather permits, we also encourage the use of outdoor space for events. Anderson Amphitheater can be reserved through Reserve a Campus Location on My.Westminster.
Student organizations can hold in-person events by working with Student Affairs to ensure compliance with proper use of on-campus spaces and appropriate physical distancing safeguards. Gatherings may not exceed guidance from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, currently 15 percent of capacity for indoor facilities and 20% for outdoor facilities. Further, for all gatherings, we will comply with 6-foot distancing requirements. See the PA Department of Health FAQ for the Governor’s and Secretary of Health’s Mitigation, Enforcement and Immunity Orders section on Events and Gatherings for the most up-to-date information. Facial coverings are required at gatherings whether held indoors or outdoors. Food provided at events and activities must be individually packaged using disposable containers.
Tabling opportunities in McKelvey Campus Center (TUB Tables) have been adjusted to accommodate physical distance requirements. Students may also reserve the Information Desk for tabling purposes. Only one organization at a time will be permitted to table.
Approval for campus events hosted by academic and administrative departments will be granted by the area vice president.
Student Affairs strongly recommends the use of virtual meetings. If any organization would like to reserve space for an in-person meeting, the purpose of the meeting must be discussed with the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. Reasons for in-person meetings could include rituals or ceremonies, officer voting, planning for large events, and other business that would be difficult to conduct in a virtual format. Typical weekly meetings must be virtual.
Organization activities must follow the guidelines for Campus Events and must be approved by Student Affairs. Student organizations are asked to complete a health and safety plan for events as part of the approval process. Student Affairs provides the associated forms and is available to answer any questions student organization leaders have about the approval process.
Student organization-sponsored travel is suspended for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Student organizations are encouraged to use digital signage to promote events and meetings. TUB Banner paper and markers cannot be properly disinfected and will be temporarily unavailable. Submit your digital signage request through the Marketing Form.
All social activity must be held on campus and comply with guidelines for Campus Events. Virtual chapter meetings are encouraged. The Assistant Dean of Student Affairs will assist chapters will the development of a creative alternative to traditional recruitment events in compliance with National Panhellenic Council, National Interfraternity Council and each chapter’s headquarters. Fraternity chapter members are permitted to be outside on fraternity property. Brothers/sisters who do not live in the house are not permitted entrance into the house.
Gatherings and visitation, including recruiting events and parties, at fraternity houses are suspended until further notice. Additionally, all fraternity houses are required to submit a health and safety plan to the Office of Student Affairs.
The equipment in the Walker Center and the Field House Weight Room has been spaced to provide for appropriate physical distancing. Participants will be required to wear cloth face coverings as possible. Now more than ever, a thorough disinfecting of fitness equipment after use is critical.
During the academic year, workout times in the Walker Center are available by reservation.
Because vehicles cannot provide adequate space and airflow for physical distancing, the airport and campus shuttle program has been modified for the 2020-2021 year to minimize risk to the community. The shuttle will not operate at the beginning of each semester, but will operate at the end of each semester. Students will be provided with alternative transportation offered by Pittsburgh Airport ground transportation.
Vespers, Chapel & Mass services will be conducted virtually until weather permits gatherings in the Anderson Amphitheater. Participants must comply with physical distancing and face covering requirements.
The Wellness Center is an integrated health care facility that provides general health services for illnesses and accidents, short term mental health counseling services and wellness promotion for the students of Westminster. Clinical services are available for undergraduate students who pay the student activity fee.
Westminster College Wellness Center regularly monitors guidance from American College Health Association, Pennsylvania Department of Health, local department of health and the Centers for Disease Control.
In order to minimize exposure and control traffic flow, students are required to call ahead to schedule visits to the Wellness Center.
Westminster College is offering after-hours care via telehealth. Students who are sick should contact the Resident Assistant on duty, who will evaluate their needs and contact the nurse on call. The nurse on call, via telehealth, will assess symptoms, provide advice for symptom management and will schedule the student for a next day appointment at the Wellness Center, as needed. Area Coordinators will be instructed to contact an ambulance to transport urgent cases to a local health care facility.
College counselors have been temporarily relocated to McKelvey Campus Center, Rooms 353, 355 and 356. Counseling appointments will be primarily conducted via telehealth. Students attending in-person counseling appointments can check in in the Student Affairs office (McKelvey 341). Wellness coaching will continue to be offered by the counselors.
We recommendation that students bring the following injury and illness care items to campus:
Testing is determined, and will be updated, based on current federal, state and local public health department recommendations. For the spring semester, the College will conduct re-entry screening of students and employees, surveillance testing of a random selection of 10 percent of students and employees, surveillance testing of athletes according to NCAA and PAC recommendations, and testing of symptomatic students.
The Wellness Center staff tests symptomatic students who meet the current CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health criteria for testing. Any symptomatic testing done in the Wellness Center will be administered in an exam that meets the recommended levels of air exchange, and a UV light will be used for disinfection between patients. In the event the student does not have health insurance, the Wellness Center staff will work with the local public health department and the College Student Emergency Fund to access free testing.
For detailed information about testing, please see Westminster College COVID-19 Testing Protocols.
Isolation is a term used to separate students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or students who are probable positive for the virus.
Quarantine is a term used to separate students who are symptomatic and awaiting test results or who have been identified as close contacts and should be separated from others. Individuals in quarantine may or may not have or develop the virus.
The CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health recommend students remain on campus for isolation and quarantine. The College will provide appropriate housing, medical treatment and supportive measures.
Students requiring isolation will reside in Thompson House. Isolation rooms will be supplied with linens, digital thermometers, sanitizing wipes, soap, hand sanitizer, and toiletries. Area Coordinators will gather personal belongings from regularly assigned residence hall rooms and will deliver to students in isolation in a no-contact manner. 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. Students in isolation will remain so until symptom-free.
Students who are identified as close contacts to individuals with COVID-19 will quarantine for a 10 day period in Hillside Hall or in a single room with a private bathroom in another residence hall. Symptomatic students who have not yet received test results will reside in Hillside Hall or in a single room with a private bathroom in another residence hall.
Students are permitted to return home for isolation or quarantine, but will be expected to participate in daily health monitoring overseen by Wellness Center staff and to comply with quarantine/isolation guidelines. Additionally, they will be required to present a negative test result in order to be cleared to return to campus. If residential students choose to go home for isolation or quarantine, they are not eligible to receive refunds of housing or meal plans.
See Virus Mitigation & Containment for more information about the measure the College will take when any member of the College community tests positive for COVID-19.