Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Alvernia University health and safety officials continue monitoring Coronavirus (COVID-19). Alvernia has enacted measures to protect the health and well-being of the Alvernia community. These measures were made after careful review and consultation with local officials and experts in public health and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How do I use the tabs below?

Please see the Updates tabs for a running list of announcements. Information in previous updates may be outdated as time passes. Please use the FAQs for the most up-to-date information. 

Have questions?

Don't see the answer to your question in the FAQs below? Please voice additional questions or concerns by emailing Campus.Update@alvernia.edu. The messages will be sent to the Alvernia University Emergency Management Committee and will be answered in groups and added to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) posted on this page.

Important Links


Latest Updates

September 7, 2022 | Campus COVID-19 Update

Dear Alvernia University Community, 

We hope you have had a wonderful first two weeks of the fall semester! With a few positive cases of COVID-19 appearing on our campuses and as we enter flu season, we wanted to share a few reminders and updated guidance with you to keep you safe and healthy throughout the semester.

  • Hand Hygiene Is Important: To keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • COVID-19 Testing: If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or were recently exposed, please use a home self-test or get tested through the Health and Wellness Center.
  • Current Guidelines for COVID-19 Isolation: If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be required to isolate, ideally at home, for a minimum of five days from positive test date and wear a mask for a total of ten days. If you cannot isolate at home, you will be expected to isolate in place in your residence hall with the permission of your roommates. This is similar to how the university has handled students sick with the flu. Students who test positive are asked to advise all close contacts of their exposure. 
  • New Guidelines for COVID-19 Exposures: Individuals who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 are expected to mask for ten days from the last exposure and test on day five or if symptoms develop. Quarantine is no longer required for exposures. 
  • Masking Required in Health and Wellness Center: Individuals must adhere to masking in posted areas and carry their own masks (medical/surgical masks are preferred). This includes the Health and Wellness Center. Some other campus locations may require masking, and signs will be posted as needed. Masks are otherwise optional, including on campus shuttles. Students are expected to have their own supply of masks for these situations.
  • Flu and COVID-19 Booster Clinic: The Medicine Shoppe will be on the Reading campus Thursday, September 22, 2022, providing flu vaccinations to students, faculty, and staff from 3-5 pm in the President’s Box at the entrance to the football stadium. Appointments are first come, first serve, so schedule your timeslot today by clicking here. You must provide insurance information when you register. Any uncovered portion is your responsibility. If you do not have insurance or the flu shot is not covered by your insurance, the cost is $30.00. The Medicine Shoppe will accept cash or credit card for payment. COVID booster vaccines are also available by appointment at this clinic on September 22nd.

Have a healthy and safe week!

Stay safe, 

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost 

John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff 

August 6, 2022 | Fall 2022 Return to Campus

Dear Alvernia University Community, 

 

Welcome back, or welcome to Alvernia University! We look forward to kicking off another safe and healthy year in just a few weeks. With the COVID19 pandemic a part of our everyday life, it is vital to understand how to attend to your health care needs when you arrive on campus. Our plans for campus continue to be informed by expert guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, other experts, and input from state health officials and the local Berks County Public Health Department.

 

Our region is currently at a low community level and partnered with your high level of COVID-19 vaccinations; we are moving to an endemic model for our campus. You can feel comfortable knowing we closely monitor the evolving medical environment to make the most sound decisions for our community. 

 

  • COVID-19 Vaccine plus Booster Requirement: We require all members of our campus community to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or have an authorized exemption—just as we require vaccination for students against such illnesses and infections as tetanus, measles and chicken pox. All students must upload proof of COVID vaccines, including one booster, to the Student Health Portal. You can find a local provider for your vaccine and booster here
    • Exemptions: Those individuals who are not fully vaccinated (including those who seek exemption from the booster only) may request an exemption by sending a message through the Student Health Portal to the Health and Wellness Center. Students who had COVID vaccine exemptions last year must complete the exemption form annually. 
  • Responsive Campus Masking Policy: Masks are optional in most indoor locations on campus, including on-campus shuttles. Some campus locations and some classes may require masking, and signs will be posted as needed. Individuals are expected to adhere to masking in posted areas and to have masks (medical/surgical masks are preferred).
  • Residential Student Return to Campus: All residential students must bring 8 COVID home tests with them to campus for their own use in case of exposure or need of testing after regular business hours. The Health and Wellness Center will provide COVID testing to students for symptoms or exposure for a nominal lab fee. 
  • Updated Isolation and Quarantine Policy:
    • Isolation: If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be required to isolate, ideally at home, for a minimum of five days and wear a mask around others for an additional five days. If you are unable to isolate at home, you will be expected to isolate in place in your residence hall with the permission of your roommates. This is similar to how the university has handled students sick with the flu.
    • Quarantine: If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are NOT up to date on COVID vaccination, you will need to quarantine, ideally at home, for five days, test on day five after exposure, and continue to mask for five more days. If you are up to date on COVID vaccinations, OR you had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 90 days, you do not need to quarantine but should wear a mask for ten days and test, if possible, on day five. 

 

We look forward to a healthy, safe, and thriving fall semester. We wish you all a great remainder of summer and are eager to see you on campus soon.   

 

Stay safe, 

 

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost 

John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff

 


FAQs

Will students be required to be vaccinated/boostered for the Fall 2022 semester?

We require all members of our campus community to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or have an authorized exemption—just as we require vaccination for students against such illnesses and infections as tetanus, measles and chicken pox. All students must upload proof of COVID vaccines, including one booster, to the Student Health Portal. You can find a local provider for your vaccine and booster here

  • Exemptions: Those individuals who are not fully vaccinated (including those who seek exemption from the booster only) may request an exemption by sending a message through the Student Health Portal to the Health and Wellness Center. Students who had COVID vaccine exemptions last year must complete the exemption form annually. 
What will the return to campus for resident students look like for the Fall 2022 semester?

All residential students must bring 8 COVID home tests with them to campus for their own use in case of exposure or need of testing after regular business hours. The Health and Wellness Center will provide COVID testing to students for symptoms or exposure for a nominal lab fee. 

How do students, faculty and staff submit proof of their booster?

  • Students’ Proof: Students enrolled at all campuses for the Fall 2022 Semester must provide documentation (medical records or vaccine certification card) of booster vaccination via an upload to the Student Health Portal.
  • Employees’ Proof: Employee instructions for providing proof of COVID-19 booster will come directly to employees via Human Resources. Any questions/concerns should be directed to Allyson.Mullin@alvernia.edu.
  • Exemptions: Those individuals who currently have COVID-19 vaccine exemptions do NOT need to reapply.
How do I sign up for a vaccine or booster?

Alvernia strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to make plans to receive the vaccination as soon as possible. Have questions about the Vaccine? Check out the latest FAQs from the CDC. You are encouraged to view the Vaccine Finder to find a local provider.

Can I request an exemption from the vaccine and booster requirement?

As with all required vaccinations, Alvernia allows requests for medical, religious, or philosophical exemptions. Students requesting an exemption should send a secure message ("health requirement question") through the Student Health Portal to request the exemption form. This form must be completed in the Student Health Portal. If the reason is medical, a medical form will be emailed to the student and must be completed by a health care provider. This form must then be uploaded to the Student Health Portal.

Those individuals who currently have COVID-19 vaccine exemptions do NOT need to reapply for the new booster requirement.

Are face masks required on campus?

Masks are optional in most indoor locations on campus, including on-campus shuttles. Some campus locations and some classes may require masking, and signs will be posted as needed. Individuals are expected to adhere to masking in posted areas and to have masks (medical/surgical masks are preferred).

Do I have to submit my COVID vaccine or meet the requirement if I am an online student who is never on campus?

Students who will not ever be attending classes on campus in person (or at an internship or clinical site) or using campus resources in person do not have to submit record of a COVID vaccination.

Is Alvernia still using the COVID-19 Dashboard for tracking COVID-19 cases in the campus community?

The university has discounted the regular COVID-19 Dashboard. Updates on campus operations will be shared with the campus community when warranted. 

What are the updated quarantine and isolation guidelines?

Isolation: If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be required to isolate, ideally at home, for a minimum of five days and wear a mask around others for an additional five days. If you are unable to isolate at home, you will be expected to isolate in place in your residence hall with the permission of your roommates. This is similar to how the university has handled students sick with the flu.

Quarantine: If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are NOT up to date on COVID vaccination, you will need to quarantine, ideally at home, for five days, test on day five after exposure, and continue to mask for five more days. If you are up to date on COVID vaccinations, OR you had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 90 days, you do not need to quarantine but should wear a mask for ten days and test, if possible, on day five. 

Are there penalties for students, faculty and staff who do not follow the health guidance related to working, leaving and being on campus?

All students are expected to follow all guidelines and recommendations established by Alvernia University. Non-compliance will be considered a policy violation and referred to the Office of Community Standards for follow up.

All Alvernia University employees are expected to follow all guidelines and recommendations to support a safe and respectful workplace. Non-compliance will be subject to the employee progressive disciplinary processes as necessary. As a Franciscan community, the university's expectation is full cooperation from all faculty and staff members.

What if there is a virus flare on campus during the semester? Will Alvernia change campus operations?

The Alvernia Pandemic Response Team has created guidance, which has been informed by evidence-based science and/or expert opinions. This guidance covers most situations and will be revised as the understanding of COVID-19 and situational awareness changes. 

The university regularly monitors and determines the level of operations for classes, housing, research and other events and activities using an established framework. Levels of operations range from a closed campus to fully open. Levels within this range include various combinations of online and in-person classes, class size densities, on-campus housing availability, and expanded or reduced research activities.  

A combination of community and campus criteria might lead to further campus restrictions, partial closure or full closure. 

During the previous two academic years, Alvernia was able to successfully complete in-person experience thanks to the community's adherence of campus operation changes during times of increased COVID-19 cases on campus. The university is prepared to take these necessary steps again to ensure the health of the entire community.

Will there be a way for students to anonymously report non-compliance of health and safety guidelines?

All students are expected to follow all guidelines and recommendations established by Alvernia University. Non-compliance will be considered a policy violation and referred to the Office of Community Standards for follow up. Students can report non-compliant behaviors by their peers, through the already-existing notification system, Report It.

How will students, parents and community members learn about university updates regarding COVID-19?

All relevant information, including updates, FAQs and further resources, will remain available on this page. The university recommends bookmarking this pages and revisiting often.  

As with last year, the university plans to update reguarly.

The university will continue to provide updates via the university's email system. Parents are encouraged to sign up for Alvernia's new Parent communication platform, Campus ESP.

The university will share information via its social media outlets, including Facebook,Twitter and Instagram. 

The Provost holds Q&A meetings for faculty as needed. 

For any emergency communication, Alvernia will utilize the Omnilert email and text message system. The Alvernia community can register for that systemhere.

What is the best way to inquire for more information or clarification?

The university understands that many have questions about the return to campus and the university's plans. The best method to voice those questions is by sending an email to Campus.Update@Alvernia.edu.

Due to the ongoing large number of inquiries, most questions will be answered in the form of new and updated FAQs and updated letters that can be found on this page.

 

Previous Updates

February 18, 2022 | COVID-19 and Masking Policy Update

Dear Alvernia University Community,

After five full weeks together, we are happy to report that we have seen a significant decline in the number of active cases on our campuses. Your continued diligence in following the COVID-19 guidelines has helped us slow the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses and allow us to return to a more normal campus experience as we move past the cold winter days and into the spring.

Effective today, Friday, February 18, the university will return to the masking protocols enforced during the fall semester:

Up-To-Date Vaccinated Individuals: Face masks will not be required indoors or outdoors for those who are up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccine and booster (who have received all recommended vaccine doses, including a booster, if eligible, OR have received all recommended vaccine doses but are not yet eligible for a booster). There will be exceptions when/where face masks must be worn, including when entering the Health and Wellness Center, Athletic Training rooms, other healthcare settings, and university buses and shuttles. Faculty and event coordinators may also require wearing masks in their classes or events at their discretion. Those who are up to date on their vaccines but have symptoms of COVID-19 should wear a mask and consult their primary care provider and the Health and Wellness Center. The locations/situations requiring a mask to enter/attend will be clearly marked and/or communicated with the community. Everyone is expected to continue to carry masks in case they are required.

NOT Up-To-Date Vaccinated Individuals: Individuals who are not fully vaccinated or up to date on their vaccines (includes those eligible for a booster who have not received it or have not received any COVID-19 vaccinations) are required to wear a face mask indoors (may remove when in own personal living space). Consistent with state guidance, enforcement of vaccine compliance is a personal responsibility.

A few other reminders:

Noncompliance Registration Holds: Students who are not complaint with health and safety protocols (haven’tprovided documentation [medical records or vaccine certification card] of booster vaccination via an upload to the Student Health Portal and/or haven’t complied with weekly COVID-19 testing) will not be able to register for classes beyond the Spring 2022 semester. If you are noncompliant, contact the Health and Wellness Center immediately to complete these requirements.

Schedule Your Vaccine/Booster: Alvernia will continue to offer at least one vaccine/booster clinic a month. You are eligible to receive your booster five months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series for those with the Pfizer, Moderna, or two months after completing a Johnson and Johnson vaccination shot. The next on-campus clinic will be a walk-in clinic held on Feb. 24, 10 am-12pm in the Shander Room inside the PEC. Pre-registration is not required. You can also find a local provider for your vaccine booster here.

Submit to COVID-19 Testing: If you are identified by the Health and Wellness Center or Human Resources as needing to submit to weekly testing, please be sure to check your email for instructions on the Aura app if you have not previously tested weekly.

We will answer questions about the spring semester by posting announcements and updating FAQs on our Health Alerts page. If you have any questions, be sure to send them to Campus.Update@alvernia.edu.

Thank you for continuing to do your part and help us all #StayWithThePack.

Stay safe,

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost

John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff

January 28, 2022 | COVID-19 Update

Dear Alvernia University Community,

As we end the second week of the spring semester, we want to thank our students, faculty and staff for their adherence to our operations guidelines as we work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. Our dedicated team continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation on campus and we are happy to announce the following updates to our campus operations:

  • Effectively immediately, spectators are allowed to attend home athletic events with the following guidelines in place:
    • To ensure the continued safety of our campus community, capacity will be limited to 50%. These capacity restrictions include all participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, and support staff, so please visit the schedule page of the respective sport for any additional restrictions on spectators.
    • All spectators will be required to wear a well-fitting surgical, N95 or KN95 mask at indoor events at all times. Failure to comply with masking and/or any other policies will result in spectators being asked to leave and/or the suspension of the competition.
    • Spectators will not be permitted at Alvernia Indoor Track and Field Events at the Tom and Helen Flynn Complex due to the large number of participating student-athletes, the lack of space designated for spectators, and the proximity of spectators to student-athletes, coaches, officials.
    • There are currently no spectator restrictions for any of Alvernia's outdoor facilities.
  • Effective Monday, January 31, the dining hall located in the Student Center will be open for in-seat dining with the following guidelines:
    • Face masks are to be worn at all times other than when actively eating or drinking. This includes when in line, accessing the drink stations, and sitting at tables without food or beverages. 
    • Please follow the signage to remain properly socially distanced.
    • Tables and chairs must remain in their allotted locations. Moving of tables or chairs is prohibited. 
    • Resident students should do their best to dine within their “Wolf Family” cohorts (roommates, teammates, students living in their residence hall wings).

We will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses, in our region and nationally and make the necessary campus operation adjustments to keep our community healthy and safe. So please do your part by following these five simple steps so that we can continue our path towards a normal campus experience:

  1. Schedule Your Vaccine/Booster: Alvernia will offer at least one vaccine/booster clinic a month. The next on-campus clinic will be a walk-in clinic held on Feb. 24, 10 am - 12 pm, in the Shander Room inside the PEC. Pre-registration is not required. You can also find a local provider for your vaccine booster here.
  2. Wear Your Mask: Please follow the current masking policy, which requires everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face mask indoors at all times while on campus outside of individual residence hall rooms or individual offices. The CDC and ACHA recommend wearing three-ply surgical or N95 or KN95 masks. Disposable three-ply surgical masks are available across all three campuses.
  3. Submit to COVID-19 Testing: If you are identified by the Health and Wellness Center or Human Resources as needing to submit to weekly testing, please be sure to check your email for instructions on the Aura app if you have not previously tested weekly.
  4. Monitor Your Symptoms: Regardless of vaccination status, everyone should monitor their symptoms daily. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, nausea or vomiting, muscle or body aches. Click here to see a complete list of COVID-19 symptoms and a self-checker.
  5. Update Your Records with Health and Wellness and Human Resources: The submission of your vaccination/booster records and any positive tests are essential in providing us with the actionable data we need to keep our community safe. Students provide documentation (medical records or vaccine certification card) of booster vaccination via an upload to the Student Health Portal. Employees should refer to the instructions provided via email by human resources to update your vaccine/booster status and should contact Allyson Mullin (Allyson.Mullin@alvernia.edu) with any questions or concerns.


We will answer questions about the spring semester by posting announcements and updating FAQs on our Health Alerts page. If you have any questions, be sure to send them to Campus.Update@alvernia.edu.


Thank you for continuing to do your part and help us all #StayWithThePack.


Stay safe,


Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost

John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff

 

January 21, 2022 | COVID-19 Update

Dear Alvernia University Community,

Welcome back to campus! Now more than ever, seeing students and faculty in our hallways brings us great joy, knowing that this simple act of getting you back to campus safely cannot be taken for granted. 

Thank you all for your diligence in complying with the vaccination booster requirement. In our two booster clinics this week alone, we provided 137 boosters to students, faculty and staff. We know many more of you already have the booster; now, you need to be sure to share that information with us following the procedures below.

Our necessary campus operations changes have helped us to return to campus during a time of high COVID-19 transmission. The Health and Wellness staff are working tirelessly to administer tests and provide guidance and support to those entering isolation and quarantine. We applaud their continued efforts to keep our campus safe and healthy!

We must also recognize that each of us has a part to play in helping to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. If we take the necessary steps now, we can make the necessary campus operation changes that will allow us to return to a more normal campus experience that we enjoyed in the fall. So please, do your part by taking the following simple steps:

  • Schedule Your Vaccine/Booster: Data shows that boosted immunity is the best defense against the Omicron variant spread. The Health and Wellness Center will continue to update the campus on vaccine and booster clinics held on or near our campuses. You can also find a local provider for your vaccine booster here.
  • Update Your Records with Health and Wellness and Human Resources: As we continue to monitor COVID-19 transmission levels on campus, the submission of your vaccination/booster records and any positive tests are essential in providing us the actionable data we need to keep our community safe.
    • Students’ Proof: Students enrolled at all campuses for the spring 2022 semester must: 
      • Complete the Return to Campus form on the Student Health Portal. If you haven’t completed this to date, please do so ASAP.
      • Provide documentation (medical records or vaccine certification card) of booster vaccination via an upload to the Student Health Portal through the above form or as a separate upload. Any questions about this should be directed to the Health and Wellness Center at HealthWellness@alvernia.edu or by calling 610.568.1467.
    • Employees’ Proof: Employee instructions for providing proof of COVID-19 booster was sent to employees via Human Resources last week. If your vaccination status has changed since the fall, by receiving a vaccine or booster, please complete the survey provided in the “Post Booster Clinic Update” email sent earlier today. Any questions/concerns should be directed to Allyson.Mullin@alvernia.edu.
  • Wear Your Mask: Please follow the current masking policy, which requires everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face mask indoors at all times while on campus outside of individual residence hall rooms or individual offices. The CDC and ACHA recommend wearing three-ply surgical or N95 or KN95 masks. Disposable three-ply surgical masks are available across all three campuses. 
    • Francis Hall: Welcome Desk & Office 215
    • Bernardine Hall: Office Suite 106 (Lobby Area) & Office 218
    • PLEX: Desk on the Mezzanine
    • Student Center: Admissions Office Front Desk
    • Upland Center: HR Office Suite
    • Library: Public Safety Office
    • Veronica Hall: Office of Residence Life Information Desk
    • 951 Morgantown Road: Campus Operations Front Desk
    • CollegeTowne @ 401 Penn St.: Lobby Welcome Desk
    • Philadelphia Campus: Downstairs security guard desk, upstairs security guard desk, all employees have a box to hand out to students in need
    • Schuylkill Campus: Table in foyer and table in student lounge
  • Submit to COVID-19 Testing: If you are identified by the Health and Wellness Center or Human Resources as needing to submit to weekly testing, please be sure to check your email for instructions on the Aura app if you have not previously tested weekly. Weekly testing will start next week on 1/26/22 and will be weekly on Wednesdays for the foreseeable future. This is a vital component of our current mitigation strategy. Those who are required to submit to weekly testing include:
    • Those who have COVID vaccine exemptions
    • Those who are eligible for the COVID booster vaccine but have not yet received it. **if you are in the 90 days post COVID infection you do not need to test until those 90 days pass**
  • Monitor Your Symptoms: Regardless of vaccination status, everyone should monitor their symptoms daily. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, muscle or body aches. Click here to see a complete list of COVID-19 symptoms and a self-checker. Students experiencing symptoms should remain home and contact the Health and Wellness Center for necessary testing and counsel for any COVID-19 related illness. Employees with COVID-19 like symptoms should stay home, consult their physician for medical guidance, and report any positive COVID-19 test to Human Resources.

We will answer questions about the spring semester by posting announcements and updating FAQs on our Health Alerts page. If you have any questions, be sure to send them to Campus.Update@alvernia.edu.

Thank you for continuing to do your part and help us all #StayWithThePack.

Stay safe,

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost

John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff

 

January 9, 2022 | Return to Campus 2022

Dear Alvernia University Community,
 

Happy New Year! We are looking forward to welcoming you back for the spring 2022 semester. As you know, we do so in a time of heightened transmission of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. As we’ve done several times during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are instituting some changes to our current campus operations to begin the spring semester. These changes in guidelines will help protect the health and safety of our entire community as we start our in-person semester.

  • Campus Masking Policy: To begin the spring 2022 semester, everyone, regardless of vaccination statusmust wear a face mask indoors at all times while on campus outside of individual residence hall rooms or individual offices. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing face masks while around others indoors is a critical component in helping to support the health and safety of the entire campus community. Students, employees, and any approved visitors must wear face masks in classrooms, labs, offices, dining and retail facilities, public spaces, and while traveling by car with others on Alvernia campuses. 
  • COVID-19 Booster Requirement for Spring 2022: As an extension of Alvernia’s existing COVID-19 vaccination requirement, we require the entire Alvernia community, including students, faculty, and staff, to receive and provide proof of a COVID-19 booster by Jan. 21 or within thirty days of becoming eligible per CDC guidelines, whichever is later. Data shows that boosted immunity is the best defense against the Omicron variant spread.
    • COVID Vaccinations Up to Date vs. Not Up to Date: The CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health recently changed the definition of “fully vaccinated.” Alvernia will follow these recommendations.
      • Up to Date includes those who have received all recommended vaccine doses, including a booster, if eligible, OR have received all recommended vaccine doses but are not yet eligible for a booster. 
      • Not Up to Date includes those eligible for a booster who have not received it or have not received any COVID-19 vaccinations.
    • Booster Clinics and Scheduling a Booster: Alvernia will host an on-campus clinic on January 16th from 3 pm to 5 pm in the Shander Room (make an appointment here) and January 20th from 10 am to 12 pm for walk-in COVID boosters and Flu vaccines. Stay tuned for more information to come. You can also find a local provider for your vaccine booster here.
    • Students’ Proof: Students enrolled at all campuses for the Spring 2022 Semester must provide documentation (medical records or vaccine certification card) of booster vaccination via an upload to the Student Health Portal.
    • Employees’ Proof: Employee instructions for providing proof of COVID-19 booster will come directly to employees via Human Resources. Any questions/concerns should be directed to Allyson.Mullin@alvernia.edu.
    • Exemptions: Those individuals who currently have COVID-19 vaccine exemptions do NOT need to reapply.
  • Return to Campus Instructions: Please read the following information on returning to campus for the spring 2022 semester:
    • Return to Campus Form: All students will be required to complete the Return to Campus form on the Student Health Portal before Friday 1/14/22 at Noon or risk delaying their arrival process.
    • Return to Campus Testing:
      • Residential Students: All residential students who are not up to date (see definition above) with their COVID-19 vaccination will be tested with a rapid COVID test on arrival for move-in on Sunday, January 16, 2021, from 10 am-4 pm. 
        • Resident students who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days will not need to test upon their return to campus. Proof of a positive COVID-19 test can be uploaded to the Student Health Portal.
        • Resident students should check their Alvernia email for a message from Residence Life to schedule their move-in time.
      • Commuter Students: All commuter students who are not up to date (see definition above) will be required to attend PCR COVID testing on January 18 and 19 in the President’s Box at the Football Stadium.
      • Philadelphia and Schuylkill Students: The Health and Wellness Center will be providing testing supplies for students attending classes at the Philadelphia and Schuylkill campuses. More details will follow shortly.
    • All students at all locations are encouraged to complete a rapid COVID-19 test before returning to campus to avoid exposing others.
  • Updated Isolation and Quarantine Policy: We are following the new CDC guidelines.
    • If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be required to isolate, ideally at home, for a minimum of five days and wear a mask around others for an additional five days. Health and Wellness will determine the time frame of isolation. 
    • If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and You are Up to Date on COVID vaccinations, OR you had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 90 days, you do not need to quarantine but should wear a mask for ten days and test, if possible, on day five 
    • You are NOT Up to Date on COVID vaccination; you will need to quarantine, ideally at home, for five days, test on day five if possible, and continue to mask for five more days. 
  • Dining Operation Changes: All university dining locations have been moved to take-out only to start the semester. No seating will be available in the dining hall.
  • No Spectators at Events: No spectators will be allowed at Alvernia University athletics or other events to begin the spring semester. 

As we’ve done since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we will answer questions about the spring semester by posting announcements and updating FAQs on our Health Alerts page. If you have any questions, be sure to send them to Campus.Update@alvernia.edu.

Thank you for continuing to do your part and help us all #StayWithThePack.

With very best wishes for a healthy start to the spring semester,

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost

John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff

December 21, 2021 | Spring 2022 COVID-19 Booster Requirement and Updates

Dear Alvernia University Community,

As we conclude our fall semester, we now look ahead to preparing for the spring 2022 semester. With the ongoing Omicron COVID-19 variant adjusting health and safety regulations, we wanted to share some important updates regarding our plans for the spring semester. Please know these are just the beginning of our plans. As shifts in community spread and changes in federal or state recommendations begin to occur, we are prepared to adjust our guidance to protect the health and safety of our entire community. We plan on returning to anin-person learning experience.

  • COVID-19 Booster Requirement for Spring 2022: As an extension of Alvernia’s existing COVID-19 vaccination requirement, we require the entire Alvernia community, including students, faculty, and staff, to receive and provide proof of a COVID-19 booster by Jan. 21 or within thirty days of becoming eligible per CDC guidelines, whichever is later. The data shows that boosted immunity is the best defense against COVID-19 variant development and spread.
    • Booster Clinics and Scheduling a BoosterAlvernia will host a walk-in clinic on Jan. 20 from 10 am to 12 pm for COVID boosters and Flu vaccines. Stay tuned for more information to come. Find a local provider for your vaccine booster here.
    • Students’ Proof: Students enrolled at all campuses for the Spring 2022 Semester must provide documentation (medical records or vaccine certification card) of booster vaccination via an upload to the Student Health Portal.
    • Employees’ Proof: As in the Fall, all employees will be required to upload their COVID vaccination cards with booster dose listed or other provider documentation of booster vaccination to the ADP system. Employees with questions/concerns on this process should be directed to Human Resources (Allyson.Mullin@alvernia.edu).
    • Exemptions: Those individuals who currently have COVID-19 vaccine exemptions do NOT need to reapply. Students who did not previously have an exemption but wish to request an exemption from the booster vaccine requirement should send a secure message ("health requirement question") through the Student Health Portal to request the exemption form. Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources (Allyson.Mullin@alvernia.edu) for the exemption form.
  • Campus Arrival Spring 2022: Please read the following information on returning to campus for the spring 2022 semester:
    • Residential Students: All residential students (vaccinated and unvaccinated) will be tested with a rapid COVID test on arrival for move-in on 1/16/21. Additional testing with PCR may be required at that time.
    • Commuter Students: All commuter students (vaccinated and unvaccinated) will be required to attend PCR COVID testing during the first week of classes.
  • COVID-19 Testing During Winter Break: During the winter break, the university will continue to conduct COVID-19 testing for the following:
    • Employees: The university has secured take-home PCR Testing kits through the established relationship with Genetworx. All faculty, staff, and contracted employees who are unvaccinated for COVID-19 must participate in weekly testing. Please contact Human Resources (Allyson.Mullin@alvernia.edu) with any questions or concerns. Failure to comply with this protocol violates university guidelines and is subject to the progressive disciplinary process.
    • Student-Athletes: The university will continue to follow NCAA testing procedures for in-season student-athletes. Testing times and methods will be shared directly with student-athletes via the Athletic Department, Sports Medicine, and the Health and Wellness Staff.
    • All Other Campus Community Members: Alvernia will continue to provide COVID-19 testing for exposures happening on campus. Those seeking a test for exposure outside of campus should contact their Primary Care Physician and seek a COVID-19 test. Everyone should continue to report COVID-19 positive tests to Health and Wellness (students) and Human Resources (faculty and staff).


As we’ve done since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we will answer questions about the spring semester by posting announcements and updating FAQs on our Health Alerts page. If you have any questions, be sure to send them to Campus.Update@alvernia.edu.
 

Thank you for continuing to do your part and help us all #StayWithThePack.
 

With very best wishes for a healthy start to 2022,
 

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost

John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff

October 15, 2021 | COVID-19 Update

Dear Alvernia University Community,

We write you today with a few updates and reminders:

  • Update on Vaccination Rates
    • 93% of full-time faculty and staff members are now vaccinated, with the final 7% undergoing regular COVID-19 testing.
    • 90% of our resident student population is fully vaccinated, with the other 10% currently undergoing regular testing.
    • 86% of day commuter students are compliant (vaccinated or will be receiving regular testing)
  • Day Commuter Students Testing begins next week: At this point, all Alvernia students, including adult, graduate and commuter students, are expected to be compliant with the Health and Wellness Requirements of the university, including providing proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or proper submission of a COVID-19 exemption. Regular testing of unvaccinated day commuter students will begin next week. The Health and Wellness Center will contact students that fall into this category via email. Any questions about this process should be directed to Alvernia’s Health and Wellness Center (healthwellness@alvernia.edu or 610-568-1467).
  • Unvaccinated employees must submit to COVID-19 testing protocol Procedure Requirement: All faculty, staff and contracted employees who are unvaccinated for COVID-19 must participate in weekly testing. Please contact Human Resources (Mullin@alvernia.edu) with any questions or concerns. Failure to comply with this protocol is a violation of university guidelines and is subject to the employee progressive disciplinary process.

These guidelines and requirements are subject to change with changes in community spread and if federal or state recommendations change.

As we’ve done since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we will answer questions about the fall semester by posting announcements and updating FAQs on our Health Alerts page. If you have any questions, be sure to send them to Campus.Update@alvernia.edu.

Thank you for continuing to do your part and help us all #StayWithThePack.

On behalf of the Pandemic Response Team,

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost

John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff

September 24, 2021 | COVID-19 Update

Dear Alvernia University Community,

As we close out our first month together, we have some exciting data to share with you.

  • 85% of our resident student population is fully vaccinated, with the other 15% now undergoing regular testing.
  • 88% of all traditional day students are compliant.
  • 88% of full-time staff and 95% of full-time faculty are fully vaccinated 
  • The current case count sits at 3 and has been steadily declining since the start of the semester.

Thank you to all those who are taking the necessary steps to keep themselves and their fellow Alvernians safe. Here are some additional announcements and reminders:

  • ATTENTION GRADUATE, ADULT AND COMMUTER STUDENTS: All Alvernia students at all campuses, including adult, graduate and commuter students, are expected to complete the COVID-19 health and wellness requirement, including providing proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or the proper submission of a COVID-19 exemption:
    • Submitting Proof of Vaccination: Students enrolled at all campuses for the Fall 2021 Semester or any 2021/22 mods must provide documentation (medical records or vaccine certification card) of vaccination ASAP, via an upload to the Student Health Portal. If you have only received one vaccine, please upload that proof now and upload the 2nd dose when you receive it.
    • Requesting an Exemption: Students requesting an exemption should send a secure message ("health requirement question") through the Student Health Portal to request the exemption form. This form must be completed in the Student Health Portal. If the reason is medical, a medical form will be emailed to the student and must be completed by a health care provider. This form must then be uploaded to the Student Health Portal.
    • Consequences for Noncompliance: Those who have not completed the requirement through the student health portal are now in noncompliance. Failure to meet these requirements is considered a policy violation and can result in progressive disciplinary action through the Office of Community Standards, leading to holds on accounts and technology and up to potential dismissal from the university.
  • Employee Vaccination Procedure Requirement Reminder: If you have not done so already, please participate in the COVID survey via the ADP Mobile App. If you are having difficulty with this, please see any member of the HR Team for assistance. If you do not participate, you will be required to follow the process for unvaccinated employees, including masking while on campus and testing weekly. The weekly testing schedule and instructions will be out to those affected in the coming days. Testing will begin Wednesday, September 29th.
  • Vaccinated or Unvaccinated, Monitor Your Symptoms: Regardless of vaccination status, everyone should monitor their symptoms daily throughout the fall. Given the rapid spread of the Delta Variant, we see a national trend of fully vaccinated people who are testing positive for COVID-19. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, muscle or body aches. Click here to see a complete list of COVID-19 symptoms and a self-checklist. Students experiencing symptoms should remain home and contact the Health and Wellness Center for necessary testing and counsel for any COVID-19 related illness. Employees with COVID-19 like symptoms should stay home, consult their physician for medical guidance, and report any positive COVID-19 test to Human Resources.
  • Get Vaccinated: The case for the vaccine is clear. A new CDC study shows a person is 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die if unvaccinated. In PA, 97% of COVID Deaths, 95% of Hospitalizations and 94% of Cases are among the unvaccinated, and those numbers are consistent nationally. COVID infections are 7.1 times higher among the unvaccinated and deaths 7.9 times higher. We are striving to be a completely vaccinated campus and encourage all students, faculty and staff to make plans to receive the vaccination as soon as possible. Have questions about the Vaccine and want to find out more information? Send an email to the Health and Wellness Center at HealthWellness@alvernia.edu. You are encouraged to view the Vaccine Finder to find a local provider.

These guidelines and requirements are subject to change with changes in community spread and if federal or state recommendations change.

As we’ve done since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we will answer questions about the fall semester by posting announcements and updating FAQs on our Health Alerts page. If you have any questions, be sure to send them to Campus.Update@alvernia.edu.

Thank you for continuing to do your part and help us all #StayWithThePack.

On behalf of the Pandemic Response Team,

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost

John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff

 

September 17, 2021 | COVID-19 Update

Dear Alvernia University Community,

As we close our third week of the semester, we wanted to share a few important announcements for your health and safety.

  • Employee Vaccination Procedure Requirement Reminder: If you have not done so already, please participate in the COVID survey via the ADP Mobile App. If you are having difficulty with this, please see any member of the HR Team for assistance. If you do not participate, you will be required to follow the process for unvaccinated employees, including masking while on campus and testing weekly. The weekly testing schedule and instructions will be out to those affected in the coming days. Testing will begin Wednesday, September 29th.
  • Vaccinated or Unvaccinated, Monitor Your Symptoms: Regardless of vaccination status, everyone should monitor their symptoms daily throughout the fall. Given the rapid spread of the Delta Variant, we see a national trend of fully vaccinated people who are testing positive for COVID-19. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, muscle or body aches. Click here to see a complete list of COVID-19 symptoms and a self-checklist. Students experiencing symptoms should remain home and contact the Health and Wellness Center for necessary testing and counsel for any COVID-19 related illness. Employees with COVID-19 like symptoms should stay home, consult their physician for medical guidance, and report any positive COVID-19 test to Human Resources.
  • Get Vaccinated: The case for the vaccine is clear. A new CDC study shows a person is 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die if unvaccinated. In PA, 97% of COVID Deaths, 95% of Hospitalizations and 94% of Cases are among the unvaccinated, and those numbers are consistent nationally. COVID infections are 7.1 times higher among the unvaccinated and deaths 7.9 times higher. We are striving to be a completely vaccinated campus and encourage all students, faculty and staff to make plans to receive the vaccination as soon as possible. Have questions about the Vaccine and want to find out more information? Send an email to the Health and Wellness Center at HealthWellness@alvernia.edu. You are encouraged to view the Vaccine Finder to find a local provider.

These guidelines and requirements are subject to change with changes in community spread and if federal or state recommendations change.

As we’ve done since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we will answer questions about the fall semester by posting announcements and updating FAQs on our Health Alerts page. If you have any questions, be sure to send them to Campus.Update@alvernia.edu.

Thank you for continuing to do your part and help us all #StayWithThePack.

On behalf of the Pandemic Response Team,

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost

John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff

September 11, 2021 | COVID-19 Update

Dear Alvernia University Community,

As we close our second week of the semester, we wanted to share a few important announcements for your health and safety.

  • No Mask, No Ride: Please remember that masks are required when you get on an Alvernia shuttle or bus. You are expected to bring your own masks. Masks must be worn appropriately, covering the nose and mouth the entire time you are on the shuttle. Please be prepared and have a mask when getting on the shuttle. Beginning on Monday, September 13, if you do not have a mask, you will not be able to get on the shuttle. Friends, we have used over 1,000 masks on shuttles since the beginning of the semester. Please do your part to eliminate this problem.
  • Employee Vaccination Requirement Deadline Approaching: Please reference the emails on August 26 and September 4 from Executive Director of Human Resources, Allyson Mullin, for information regarding the vaccination process and procedures for Alvernia employees. Please submit your vaccination cards ASAP. Compliance with this process is expected by next Wednesday, September 15.
  • Vaccinated or Unvaccinated, Monitor Your Symptoms:Regardless of vaccination status, everyone should monitor their symptoms daily throughout the fall. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, muscle or body aches. Click here to see a complete list ofCOVID-19 symptoms and a self-checklist. Students experiencing symptoms should remain home and contact the Health and Wellness Center for necessary testing and counsel for any COVID-19 related illness. Employees with COVID-19 like symptoms should stay home, consult their physician for medical guidance, and report any positive COVID-19 test to Human Resources.
  • Submit Your COVID-19 Health Requirement ASAP: All Alvernia students at all campuses are expected to complete the COVID-19 health and wellness requirement, including providing proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or the proper submission of a COVID-19 exemption. Those who have not completed the requirement through the student health portal are now in noncompliance and are being contacted by our Health and Wellness Center staff. Failure to meet these requirements is considered a policy violation and can result in progressive disciplinary action through the Office of Community Standards.
  • Get Vaccinated: On August 23, the FDA fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for anyone over 16. Alvernia strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to make plans to receive the vaccination as soon as possible. Have questions about the Vaccine and want to find out more information? Send an email to the Health and Wellness Center at HealthWellness@alvernia.edu. You are encouraged to view the Vaccine Finder to find a local provider.

These guidelines and requirements are subject to change with changes in community spread and if federal or state recommendations change.

As we’ve done since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we will answer questions about the fall semester by posting announcements and updating FAQs on our Health Alerts page. If you have any questions, be sure to send them to Campus.Update@alvernia.edu.

Thank you for continuing to do your part and help us all #StayWithThePack.

On behalf of the Pandemic Response Team,

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost

 

September 3, 2021 | COVID-19 Update

Dear Alvernia University Community,

We hope you enjoyed a wonderful first week on our campuses for the fall 2021 semester. Nothing is better than seeing you all together on our campuses. Here are a few reminders to help keep yourself and your fellow Alvernians safe and healthy throughout our semester together.

  • Get Vaccinated: We are happy to share that 86% of our full-time undergraduate students who have completed the COVID-19 requirement have been fully vaccinated. 13% of the full-time undergraduate students have not yet completed the requirement so we will continue to update you on the vaccination rate of the campus. Now is the time to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines in the United States are now available to anyone over 12, and many pharmacies and providers offer walk-in appointments for COVID-19 vaccines. On August 23, the FDA fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for anyone over 16. Alvernia strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to make plans to receive the vaccination as soon as possible. Have questions about the Vaccine and want to find out more information? Send an email to the Health and Wellness Center at HealthWellness@alvernia.edu. You are encouraged to view the Vaccine Finder to find a local provider.
  • Are you compliant?: All Alvernia students at all campuses are expected to complete the COVID-19 health and wellness requirement, including providing proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or the proper submission of a COVID-19 exemption. Those who have not completed the requirement through the student health portal are now in noncompliance. Failure to meet these requirements is considered a policy violation and can result in progressive disciplinary action through the Office of Community Standards.
  • Continue to monitor your symptoms:Regardless of vaccination status, everyone should monitor their symptoms daily throughout the fall. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, muscle or body aches. Click here to see a complete list of COVID-19 symptoms and a self-checker. Students experiencing symptoms should remain home and contact the Health and Wellness Center for necessary testing and counsel for any COVID-19 related illness. Employees with COVID-19 like symptoms should stay home, consult their physician for medical guidance, and report any positive COVID-19 test to Human Resources.
  • Employee Vaccination Reminder: Please reference the email on August 26 from Executive Director of Human Resources, Allyson Mullin, for information regarding the vaccination process and procedures for Alvernia employees. Please submit your vaccination cards ASAP. Compliance with this process is expected by September 15.
  • COVID-19 Dashboard: The COVID-19 dashboard will be updated weekly. You can find the dashboard here.

These guidelines and requirements are subject to change with changes in community spread and if federal or state recommendations change.

As we’ve done since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we will answer questions about the fall semester by posting announcements and updating FAQs on our Health Alerts page. If you have any questions, be sure to send them to Campus.Update@alvernia.edu.

Thank you for continuing to do your part and help us all #StayWithThePack.

On behalf of the Pandemic Response Team,

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost
John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff

 

August 16, 2021 | Return to Campus Fall 2021 and COVID-19 FAQs

Dear Alvernia University Community,
 

We are pleased to welcome our community back to a safe and active campus environment this fall. From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of the entire Alvernia community has been at the forefront of our decision-making process related to safety protocols. The university and the Pandemic Response Team has worked continuously to consult with government (local, state and national) and industry-specific (American College Health Association) health and education organizations to develop policies, procedures and guidelines that protect the health of students, faculty, staff and the communities in which we reside.
 

As we prepare for the fall semester, here are a few important updates and reminders:
 

Updated Mask Guidance

The following guidance on masking could change throughout the semester due to changing campus, local, regional and national conditions.

Fully vaccinated individuals: For fully vaccinated individuals, face masks are not required for outdoor activities. Face masks are recommended (but not required) for indoor classes and other activities. However, there are exceptions to this recommendation:

Masks will be required for certain situations including, but not limited to: when entering the Health and Wellness Center, Athletic Training rooms, other healthcare settings, in large indoor events, or when utilizing university buses and shuttles.

The locations/situations where a mask will be required to enter/attend will be clearly marked and communicated.

In addition, faculty, coaches and meeting/event leaders may require masks at their discretion in their classroom or event/meeting

Everyone is expected to continue to carry masks in case they are needed.

Unvaccinated individuals: Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a face mask at all times while on campus outside of individual residence hall rooms. Consistent with state guidance, enforcement of vaccine compliance is a personal responsibility.


Student Vaccine Requirement and Exemption Information

Alvernia expects to be a vaccinated campus by the start of the Fall 2021 semester. Students enrolled at all campuses for the Fall 2021 Semester must provide documentation (medical records or vaccine certification card) of vaccination ASAP, via an upload to the Student Health Portal. We will continue to accept documents via the portal, but please submit ASAP. If you have only received one vaccine, please upload that proof now and upload the 2nd dose when you receive it.
 

As with all required vaccinations, Alvernia allows requests for medical, religious, or philosophical exemptions. Students requesting an exemption should send a secure message ("health requirement question") through the Student Health Portal to request the exemption form. This form must be completed in the Student Health Portal. If the reason is medical, a medical form will be emailed to the student and must be completed by a health care provider. This form must then be uploaded to the student Health Portal.


New FAQS now available below

The Pandemic Response Team has updated and added a number of new FAQs for the upcoming semester. These FAQs are very important to the health and safety of the community, so please take the time to read them.

We will continue to rely on the expertise and guidance of our public health officials to ensure a safe Fall 2021 semester and deliver the experience our students desire and deserve.
 

We will answer questions about the fall semester and COVID-19 vaccine requirement by posting announcements and updating FAQs on our Health Alerts page. If you have any questions, be sure to send them to Campus.Update@alvernia.edu.
 

Thank you for continuing to do your part and help us all #StayWithThePack.
 

On behalf of the Pandemic Response Team,

Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Provost

John McCloskey, D.B.A., Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff

 

Health & Wellness Center