We have welcomed our students Back to the Vern after our faculty and staff's hard work to prepare our campuses. This fall, we are offering a dynamic academic life and engaging college experience you expect at Alvernia. Our goal is to raise the bar of the full student experience and we think you will notice the difference.

 

COVID-19 brings new realities that impact how we interact with each other. Face masks, physical distancing and frequent hand washing have become second nature to us as we all work together to limit exposure and transmission of the virus. Those who have returned to campus to continue their Alvernia experience are sure to have noticed the differences, as we have taken hundreds of actions to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our campuses.

 

Our Franciscan heritage encourages us to be flexible and nimble, which has been an asset given the evolving and uncertain nature of COVID-19. We will continue to let the health, safety and comfort of our students, faculty, staff and neighbors drive our decisions.

 

On this page, you will find the Alvernia Back to Campus 2020 guide, a flexible campus health and safety plan developed by Alvernia’s Pandemic Response Team, that will serve as a guide for interaction by the community. 

 

These recommendations and requirements will be updated as new information about the virus develops and as we continue to monitor and evaluate data and guidance set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Alvernia may add or reduce health and safety measures at any time and adapt them to our Alvernia campus environment, unique in the ways we all learn, live and work together.

 

Alvernia cannot guarantee these safety measures will prevent COVID-19 from occurring on our campus; however, given our current understanding of the transmission of the virus, adherence to these practices can decrease the likelihood of occurrence and enable us to keep the university operations on campus until the Thanksgiving Break.

 

The recommendations and requirements below are structured in an FAQ format. Any questions not covered in this area should be directed via email to the Pandemic Response Team at Campus.Update@alvernia.edufor inclusion in future updates.

 

Check back regularly for the latest information and updates... and welcome Back To the Vern!

Important Links

 

 


Community Health and Safety Considerations

How can Alvernia students, faculty and staff participate in keeping the campus safe? 

Alvernia students, faculty, and staff have created a community where we take care of one another. This year will be no different in that respect. The success of returning to campus will be largely dependent on the campus community taking personal actions to protect themselves and others on campus. With that in mind, all Alvernia students, faculty and staff returning to campus are expected to adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Practice social distancing of at least six feet while on campus and off-campus;
  2. Wear face masks when inside campus buildings, including classrooms, labs, offices and other public spaces as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)and the Pennsylvania Department of Health;
  3. Maintain high sanitation levels including frequently washing hands (for at least 20 seconds), utilizing new and existing hand sanitation stations, avoiding close contact with those who are sick and covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue as directed by the CDC;
  4. Self-monitor daily for COVID-19 symptoms on the #CampusClear app and report symptoms to a medical professional;
  5. Remain home if feeling ill or after having been exposed to someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19;
  6. Sanitize high-touch surfaces (desks, tables, doorknobs, etc.) and common spaces by utilizing the newly installed sanitation stations or provided wipes and sprays
  7. And develop creative solutions to avoid in-person meetings by utilizing university technology, including Microsoft Teams and ZOOM.

This information is summarized in the Alvernia Wellness Compact. Every member of the Alvernia community will be asked to review the wellness compact and adhere to its guidance throughout the fall semester.

What is the Alvernia Wellness Compact? (ADDED 8.10.20)

The Alvernia University Wellness Compact is a set of actions that all members of the university community are asked to abide by to protect themselves and others by doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. The Alvernia Wellness Compact is available here for review. 

Do we need to wear masks and maintain social distancing when we return to campus?

In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and current Pennsylvania public health guidelines, wearing face masks and adhering to social distancing practices, including maintaining six feet of physical distance from another person, are critical components in helping to support the health and safety of the entire campus community. Students, employees and any approved visitors are required to practice social distancing and wear face masks in classrooms, labs, offices, dining and retail facilities, public spaces, and while walking and traveling by car with others on Alvernia campuses.

I've heard Alvernia is using #CampusClear app but I want to find more information and how to download the app and make it part of my daily routine? (UPDATED 8.19.20)

What is #CampusClear?
 
#CampusClear is a COVID-19 assessment tool that allows individuals to report health status, symptoms, and exposure. More than 1,000 colleges and universities have signed-up for #CampusClear, which was created by Ivy.ai, a leading developer of higher-education artificial intelligence solutions, in partnership with Creighton University and other collegiate partners.
 
Alvernia University expects the entire campus community, all students, faculty and staff at all locations to utilize #CampusClear for daily self-symptom screening.
 
What does the #CampusClear app do?

  • Enables students and employees to self-report symptoms or COVID-19 infection daily in an easy and convenient way.
  • Clears individuals to access university facilities.
  • Gives Alvernia actionable information to manage emergent risks.
  • The app is not a source of medical advice. Check with your doctor if you have any health concerns.

#CampusClear Download and Account Set Up

  1. Search “Campus Clear” within the Apple App Store or Google Play store.
  2. Select #CampusClear app, indicated by the green hashtag logo and click install app.
  3. Read through the agreements and user consents and click “I understand/consent”
  4. Choose “student”, “employee” based on your appropriate role and enter your @alvernai.edu email address
  5. Check for confirmation email to complete account setup. Email will come from “Ivy Team” at the email address team@ivy.ai.
  6. Click “confirm email” to begin using the app.

 
How do I conduct a self health screen using the app daily?

  1. Check your temperature with a thermometer (remember your result) and then open the app. You need to complete the steps in the app before coming onto campus and also on days you do not come to campus. Please allow notifications on the app so you will be prompted by a mobile notification or email every weekday morning at 7:30 a.m. and at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
  2. Click the button for any symptoms you have or indicate if you are symptom free.
  3. Follow the guidance provided by the app. The app will tell you whether you are clear to come onto campus or not.
  4. Students and employees must self-screen via the app every day.

 Passes and Instructions
If you receive a screen (screen color will change daily) with a smiley face…
You are cleared to be on campus to attend classes, work, and other activities. Please follow social distancing guidelines, wear your mask and enjoy campus responsibly.
 
If you receive a red screen
Do not come to campus. Avoid contact with others.
Students should call the Health and Wellness Center (610-568-1467) before 4:30pm or send a secure message via the Student Health Portal if after hours. Employees should contact their primary care provider and reference the COVID-19 protocol sheet.
 
If you don't have access to a smartphone or other mobile device...
If you don't have access to a smartphone/device, you can provide a daily screening via a desktop or laptop computer here. Please print out your results and carry with you during your time on campus.
 
#CampusClear Helpful Tips

  • You will never have to select or remember a password to use the app.
  • You will remain logged in to the app until you logout, even after closing the app.
  • Your results for the day will display every time you open the app, until the next day when you are prompted to complete the question again. It is okay if you close the app between completing your attestation and needing to present your results on campus.
  • If you make a mistake and need to re-enter your results for the day, you must log out of the app and back in.
  • Every time you log out of the app and attempt to log back in, you will be asked to verify yourself through the email confirmation, to protect identity.

#CampusClear Privacy Policy
All data is transmitted encrypted and only certain individuals appointed by Alvernia will have the ability to unencrypt the data so they can make contact with sick individuals, for example. The app does not conduct surveillance or tracking other than the utilization of the app. No third parties will get access to the app’s data. Read the privacy policy in its entirety here.

Has Alvernia established a COVID-19 Dashboard for tracking COVID-19 cases in the campus community? (ADDED 8.19.20)

The university has established a COVID-19 Dashboard, which outlines testing and isolation of all students, faculty and staff studying or working at any Alvernia’s campuses (Reading, Philadelphia, or Schuylkill). To protect each person’s privacy, the university will not share names nor other specific details. Alvernia will update this list daily as information becomes available and is verified.

What should I do if I am a student and not cleared through #CampusClear to come to class? (ADDED 9.22.20)

If a student reports a symptom that results in the inability to come to class (i.e. a new headache, loss of taste and/or smell, a new cough, etc.), they should contact the Health and Wellness Center immediately to discuss the symptoms with the staff.  If needed, the Health and Wellness Center staff will schedule an appointment for testing.  Once cleared, the student should obtain a clearance note from the Health and Wellness Center and submit this to faculty for each course they are enrolled.  Students are expected to work with each professor in their classes to determine how to keep up with classwork while they are awaiting clearance.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation? (ADDED 9.22.20)

Isolation and quarantine are both intended to limit the spread of disease, but they have different meanings and different time requirements. 

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others and helps prevent spread of the disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

Isolation is reserved for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing symptoms.

Based on the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, time requirements for quarantine and isolation depend on a variety of factors, including whether an individual has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, is showing symptoms of COVID-19, has tested positive for COVID-19, and more.

The following provides a summary of quarantine and isolation time requirements for students and employees.

Quarantine:

  • Since symptoms typically develop between 2 to 14 days after exposure, students, faculty and staff who believe they have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 and/or been identified during the University’s contact tracing process must quarantine for 14 days from their last contact with the individual, in accordance with the CDC guidelines. The CDC provides guidance on when to start and end quarantine based on various scenarios.
  • Faculty and staff should quarantine at home and may work remotely if well enough to do so.
  • Students living on campus will quarantine in space identified on campus.
  • Students who live off campus or at home should plan to quarantine in their current residence. County contact tracers will evaluate additional quarantine needs for students living off campus as part of the contact tracing process. 
  • During quarantine, you may or may not develop symptoms of COVID-19.
  • For those in quarantine who begin developing symptoms, they should do the following:
  • Residential students experiencing symptoms should contact the Health and Wellness Center.
  • Commuter students experiencing symptoms should contact their primary care provider and the Health and Wellness Center.
  • Employees should contact their primary care provider, their supervisor and Leslie Kane (Leslie.Kane@alvernia.edu).

Isolation:

  • Students, faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate for at least 10 days. Students and employees who are experiencing symptoms and awaiting test results will need to isolate immediately. If the test result is negative, they no longer need to isolate in most cases. This should be discussed with the Health and Wellness Center or the primary care provider before clearance is given. 
  • Faculty and staff should isolate at home, students living on campus will stay in campus-provided isolation space. Individuals should not return to on-campus work or classes until cleared by a medical professional in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • According to CDC isolation guidance, individuals who tested positive and experience symptoms can be cleared by a physician to be with others after at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared, as long as the individual is without a fever forat least 24 hours with no fever-reducing medication, and symptoms have improved. Individuals who tested positive but did not experience symptoms can be cleared by a physician to be with others after 10 days have passed since the date of the positive test. For those who experienced severe illness, your healthcare provider may recommend that you stay in isolation for longer than 10 days after your symptoms first appeared (possibly up to 20 days).
  • During the semester, students who test positive or are exhibiting symptoms should immediately contact the Health and Wellness Center. Faculty and staff who test positive will need to report their positive status to their supervisor and Leslie Kane (Leslie.Kane@alvernia.edu), so their unit can begin the contact tracing process, and self-isolate off campus.

Can I leave quarantine early if I receive a negative test result? (ADDED 9.22.20)

If you are identified as a close contact through contact tracing, you must complete the entire quarantine period regardless of your test result. Since symptoms typically develop between 2 to 14 days after exposure to someone with COVID-19, close contacts are required to complete the 14-day quarantine period from their last contact with the positive individual. The Alvernia University Health and Wellness Center will tell you what your release date is pending your last contact with the COVID-19 positive person.

What is Alvernia’s contact tracing plan? (ADDED 9.22.20)

To support the health and well-being of the University community this fall and to limit COVID-19 spread and transmission, Alvernia has implemented a contact tracing process in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The contact tracing process will focus on identifying, notifying and monitoring students, faculty and staff who came in close contact with an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or is presumed positive, while they were infectious.

The University and the Pennsylvania Department of Health will work in tandem to support state requirements for case investigation, which is the process of contacting those who test positive for COVID-19, or are presumed positive, and then reaching out to their close contacts.

The following steps outline the contact tracing process and what students and employees can expect:

  • Step 1: Alvernia’s required use of the #CampusClear self-screening helps users to identify symptoms and alerts them to stay home and students to call Health and Wellness and employees to contact their PCP and supervisor.
  • Step 2: Health and Wellness Center staff will initiate contact with positive or presumed positive students and employees.
  • Step 3: Faculty will be contacted for current and up-to-date attendance and seating chart information. Health and Wellness Center staff members and contact tracers will communicate with faculty, staff and students identified as close contacts about quarantine expectations and to offer support and guidance.
  • Step 4: State contact tracers and select university administrators will reach out daily, or on an as-needed basis, to students in isolation and/or quarantine to provide support and will notify the Health and Wellness Center if they have additional recommendations. 

How will I be contacted if I am identified during the contact tracing process? (ADDED 9.22.20)

When a student or employee is identified as being positive for COVID-19, an Alvernia Health and Wellness Center staff member will reach out to them to provide support and isolation guidance and to collect information about that person’s close contacts. An Alvernia Health and Wellness Center staff member will then reach out to students and employees identified as close contacts to gain additional information and provide directions and health precautions. As part the University’s partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, a case manager from the state also will reach out to Alvernia students and employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 to identify close contacts; the state contact tracers will follow up with those close contacts.

In accordance with CDC guidance, close contacts are defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick (or when they test positive, if asymptomatic) until the time the patient was isolated.

How is Alvernia testing for COVID-19 and will the university start testing asymptomatic individuals? (UPDATED 9.22.20)

Alvernia has secured rapid point of care, on-campus testing capabilities and is also partnering with local hospitals to test students, faculty and staff for COVID-19, as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines. 

The Alvernia Health and Wellness Center is conducting testing of all direct contacts of positive cases. The vast majority of those tested at Alvernia due to exposure have been asymptomatic.

What if I have been in direct contact with someone who did not test positive, but that person has been in direct contact with the person who tested positive? (ADDED 9.22.20)

Exposures of exposures do not need to quarantine. The Alvernia University Health and Wellness Center will, if necessary, expand the quarantine to additional individuals following receipt of test results of the first wave of individuals exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Will masks be provided to the Alvernia community?

The university has purchased 3,000 Alvernia branded masks that will be distributed to the student and employees during the first few days of the fall 2020 semester. In addition, the Alvernia has purchased 1,000 non branded cloth masks and 20,000 disposable masks for use by Alvernia students, faculty and staff. 

Will students, faculty and staff be required to take their temperature every day? (UPDATED 8.19.20)

As part of ongoing mitigation efforts, all students, faculty and staff will also be asked to complete self-monitoring, which includes taking temperature with a thermometer and screening for other symptoms through the #CampusClear app. For students, any concerning symptoms will be addressed by the university's Health and Wellness Center.

The Alvernia Pandemic Response Team may issue requirements for situations where students, employees, and approved visitors must have their temperature checked by an Alvernia representative before participating in an activity or entering a University-owned space. Examples include university-sponsored intercollegiate athletic activities and in certain lab activities. 

Are there penalties for faculty, staff and students who do not follow health guidance related to working, living 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 expectation is full cooperation from all faculty and staff members.

What will happen if/when a student, faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

If there is a confirmed case on campus, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will be notified. The Department of Health, together with the University and county resources, will begin contact tracing to determine others at risk of exposure. 

For the vast majority of the Alvernia population, home isolation is the recommended option. For those who can't return home, an isolation strategy will be put in place utilizing campus facilities. At this point, Alvernia has reserved 5% of available residential rooms for use in the isolation strategy. Students should review the Isolation Ready Kit Fact Sheet now to prepare themselves for a potential isolation situation.

Employees will work with their supervisor to determine if sick time or remote work is appropriate while in isolation. The employee can return to work in person once cleared to return by medical provider or has met the CDC standard for return to work.

As testing is a rapidly changing situation in Pennsylvania and across the nation, this plan may be adjusted by new CDC or Department of Health recommendations. In the coming weeks, the university expects to have further guidance for the community.

Will there be some type of COVID-19 safety training that students and employees will receive as they arrive to campus? (ADDED 8.17.20)

To educate our community on the COVID-19 and the various mitigation efforts, Alvernia has secured an online training module that all students, faculty and staff will be required to complete before their return to campus.

The module explores some of the challenges associated with, and strategies for approaching, reopening colleges and schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about COVID-19 and what faculty, staff, and students should expect, and do, as in-person operations resume. 

After taking this course, learners should be able to: 

  1. Describe the challenges institutions are facing as a result of the pandemic
  2. Recognize that everyone must work together to reduce the spread of the virus 
  3. Identify the signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  4. Detail safety precautions to minimize exposure to the virus 

Students, faculty and staff will receive instructions to their Alvernia email this week with instructions on how to complete the online training. All students, faculty and staff must complete this training as explained in the univeristy email regarding training.

What partnerships/protocols are in place with local health departments and hospitals if positive cases start to emerge?

Alvernia's Reading campus is partnering with two local hospitals, Penn State Health St. Joseph and Tower Health Reading Hospital, as well as the Southeast District office of the Pennsylvania Department of Health to assist in providing care, follow up and case management as needed. The university has also developed partnerships with the Montgomery County Bureau of the Department of Health (Philadelphia) and the Schuylkill County Health Center (Schuylkill) for students at the Philadelphia and Schuylkill campuses. 

Alvernia will continue to develop these partnerships to address needs as they arise.

What is Alvernia doing regarding residential dining options for students, faculty and staff?

Alvernia University's Dining Services has a comprehensive plan to minimize exposure risk at its several dining locations on campus. Highlights of that plan are listed below:

  • Indoor dining at Courtside Café and Student Center will be limited to 75% occupancy.
  • Increased outdoor seating will be available during the fall semester. Tents with picnic tables will also be available. In inclement weather, once dining capacity is reached indoors, the Alvernia community will be offered to-go meals to take and enjoy in other parts of campus.
  • The Student Center Dining Hall will run as a served or grab-and-go option (patrons will not be able to serve themselves). The newly expanded hours of operation will remain the same for all resident and retail locations. 
  • Meal exchange encourages patrons to utilize all dining locations during the week in order to decrease the number of patrons in a dining location during any given time frame. Meal exchange will be available at Freshens and Courtside Café from 11am-7pm Monday to Friday.
  • Green plastic, re-washable, to-go containers will be given to all students on a meal plan and can be utilized at any location to take a meal to-go at any time. Students can return their used containers when they visit the dining options and are given a clean, sanitized container for their next meal.
  • Social distancing measures will be enforced at all food service locations with guidance from floor signs and physical barriers to control flow of traffic.
  • Dining services has committed to a heightened sanitation and PPE regime that include: sanitation examinations every 30 minutes, face masks and gloves worn by all staff, staff temperature checks before each shift, high-temperature dishwashing machine and extended sneeze guards. 
  • Prior to the return to campus, the local health inspector will visit Alvernia dining to ensure all best practices and safety protocols are strictly enforced and followed.
  • For additional info on dining please refer to the updated dining website for menus, hours and contact information. 
What if there is a virus flare on campus during the semester? Will Alvernia close campus and return to remote learning? (UPDATED 8.17.20)

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 our 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.

Community criteria include: 

  • Significant, applicable action by the governor or other public officials
  • Escalation of the City of Reading Public Health COVID-19 risk-based guidelines 
  • Number of hospital admissions in Berks, Schuylkill, Montgomery and surrounding counties 
  • Trends among other institutions of higher education 
  • Upward trajectory of influenza-like illness (ILI) –when compared to traditional rates –and COVID-19-like syndromic surveillance within a 14-day period 
  • Upward trajectory of documented cases or percentage of positive tests (with flat or increasing volume of tests) for 14 days 
  • Degradation of robust testing capacity in community including screening and contact tracing for symptomatic individual 

Campus Considerations include: 

  • Employee absenteeism with focus on critical areas such as environmental services (ability to maintain a safe, hygienic campus) 
  • Increases in percent positives in testing 
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages impacting ability to test and care for COVID-19 
  •  Inability to adequately test for COVID-19 due to supply chain issues (e.g., collection kit, processing reagents) 
  • If the activity from clusters overwhelms our ability to quarantine/isolate and contact trace 
  • Positive tests in excess of predicted model 
  • Upward trajectory of ILI and COVID-19 syndromic surveillance within a 14-day period over baseline rates 
  • Excess student stress/concern
  • Upward trajectory of documented cases or percentage of positive tests (with flat or increasing volume of tests) for 14 days 
  • Increasing cases of community transmission (no known source) in student population 
  • Degradation of containment capabilities 

Some of the possible actions as a result of these factors include: 

  • Advanced or heightened social distancing, environmental cleaning 
  • Short class suspension, building and facility closure to clean/disinfect/contact trace in consultation with local health officials 
  • Phased occupancy reduction 
  • Closure of residence halls with the understanding that travel is a concern and it might be worse to send people home 
  • On-campus closure; full transition to remote learning
Has Alvernia placed any restrictions on travel?

Alvernia has canceled all university-sponsored travel for the fall 2020 semester. 

The university is also following the U.S. Department of State Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory and is advising all domestic students, faculty and staff to avoid international travel. 

What are the protocols for the university to maintain and sanitize all buildings?

In following CDC guidelines, high-touch and high-traffic campus areas will be sanitized daily. These areas will also have hand sanitizer stations, disinfecting wipes and spray disinfectants to be used frequently throughout the day by those individuals overseeing the area. 

Restroom checks will be completed multiple times daily for cleanliness and supply needs. Hand sanitizer stations will be added to all restrooms. 

Sanitizer stations will be added to the entrance of all campus buildings, as well as common areas and high traffic areas.

Sanitizing wipes will be made available in all classrooms, labs, studios, etc. Students, faculty, and staff should wipe desks, keyboards and computer mouse devices before using them. Used wipes should be immediately discarded. Extra or larger trash cans will be placed in areas as needed.

The university had invested in Halo and Curis Disinfection Systems for campus-wide use. 

Can you describe the measures Alvernia is taking with local communities to prevent the spread of the virus?

Education and social responsibility are at the forefront of Alvernia's COVID-19 mitigation tactics. The university will continue to educate its students, faculty and staff on the importance of enacting and maintaining proper health guidelines as described by the CDC and as outlined by the Pennsylvania Governor's office. Alvernia has and will continue to engage in collaborative efforts with various members of the local community (businesses, government officials, internship locations) to ensure these guidelines are being followed throughout the fall semester.

What should I do if I am struggling with the transition back to campus or someone I know seems to be in distress?

Students should ask for help and utilize resources on campus including the Health and Wellness Center. Students can contact the Health and Wellness Center at 610-568-1467 to talk to a counselor. Counseling services will be utilizing telehealth when appropriate and in-person visits if necessary.

Employees can utilize the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) during the transition.

Will the fitness centers be open during the fall 2020 semester? (ADDED 8.28.20)

The Campus Commons Fitness Center will open for the first time on Sunday, August 30 from 12pm – 6pm. Limited hours will allow for additional training for Fitness Center student workers and staff on Sunday evening. Normal hours, which begin on Monday, August 31, are below:

  • Monday – Thursday: 6:00am – 10:00pm
  • Friday: 6:00am – 7:00pm
  • Saturday: 7:00am – 7:00pm
  • Sunday: 7:00am – 10:00pm

Please see below for new/additional COVID-related guidelines and protocols for use:

  • Use of facilities is restricted to current students only. Faculty, staff, guests and alumni use has been suspended temporarily.
  • Plex Strength Room has been closed temporarily.
  • All Fitness Center/Strength Room locations have been reviewed by Advantage Fitness, our Fitness Center consultant, and floor plans have been updated to meet or exceed all appropriate CDC and/or industry guidelines, including removing pieces of equipment, spreading others out, restricting use, and placing some equipment out of order to ensure appropriate physical distancing, etc. 
  • Protective Shields have been added to all student check-in desks/areas.
  • Check-In/Check-Out procedures have been modified to include proof of #CampusClear status (smiley face).
  • In accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Health guidance and Alvernia policy, masks covering the mouth and nose are required to be worn at all times, including when exercising.
  • Physical Distancing of at least six feet must be maintained at all times.
  • Increased signage has been added to direct traffic flow, limit capacity, and to detail enhanced cleaning procedures.
  • Capacities have been decreased in each area and are indicated on signage throughout the facility.
  • Locker rooms, changing areas, and restrooms are open, but you may not leave anything in them.
  • Water fountains have been turned off, so please bring your own bottle (filling stations are on).
  • Additional staff has been added for the purpose of cleaning and sanitization of equipment hourly
  • Please report any violations of these rules and protocols, or any questions to the Front Desk Staff or e-mail Coach Rayne Reber at rayne.reber@alvernia.edu.

Additional rules and regulations are posted in the facility and available at AUWolves.com.

I'm a student and I received a card in the mail from SwiftMD, what is this service? (ADDED 8.10.20)

SwiftMD is a new after-hours telemedicine service that is provided to Alvernia's full-time undergraduate students at no additional cost. This service can be utilized when the Health and Wellness Center is closed. It is important to note that this not any kind of health insurance. 

Is there any new health documentation or information that will be required for students, faculty and staff to submit before arriving at campus? (UPDATED 8.19.20)

A new COVID-19 Return to Campus form must be completed by students returning to campus in August. That form has been delivered to students on the student health portal and was due August 13th.

If you have not completed it yet, please do so as soon as possible by logging in to the Student Health Portal and click on "My Forms." If you have not completed it yet, please do so as soon as possible. 

In addition, a Flu Vaccination requirement has been added this year for residential students and student-athletes. Residential students and student-athletes must have a current 2020-21 seasonal flu shot on file by Oct. 15 by uploading proof to the student health portal. Flu shot clinics will be available on campus through a local pharmacy and at the Health and Wellness Center during move in and through the first week of classes.

How can I submit the new student health form in the student health portal? (ADDED 8.10.20)

Log in to the Student Health Portal and click on "My Forms" to complete the Alvernia COVID-19 Return to Campus Form.

What if I can't get an appointment with my doctor before school starts to fulfill the health requirements? (UPDATED 8.19.20)

All full time undergraduate, DPT, DNP, MSN, MSAT, MSOT, and MSW students are required to complete forms and submit copies of their immunization records and insurance card on the Student Health Portal by August 1. If you are having trouble getting an appointment with your doctor, you may be able to request your immunization record from them without needing an appointment. You can also contact the Alvernia Health and Wellness Center by sending a secure message in the Student Health Portal with your concern. There will be a vaccine clinic on campus the first week of classes to help students catch up on necessary vaccines including the flu shot. 

Will Alvernia have flu shots available on campus for students, faculty and staff? (ADDED 8.26.20)

Students and employees are eligible for the on-campus flu vaccination clinic provided by RiteAid. Enter 19607 for the zip code, register and schedule the appointment, print and complete the consent info and bring those papers along with your insurance card and ID to the clinic.

Will there be a mandatory quarantine before coming back to campus? (UPDATED 8.10.20)

As part of Alvernia’s efforts to open our campus for Fall 2020 in a safe and healthy way, we’re strongly encouraging all students – commuters and residents - to self-isolate at home for 14-days prior to arriving on campus. Please note, this does not apply to students who have already started classes, been living/working on campus this summer, or students who plan to be virtual in the fall. Students are asked to limit your exposure to those who do not reside in your home environment. We also ask that you be extra vigilant if having any friends and family good-bye gatherings: such events are now the #1 source of COVID-19 spread in Pennsylvania’s current hot spots. Your at-home self-isolation should begin 14 days prior to the first day you will be physically on one of our campuses. This would begin 14 days prior to your move-in date (residents) or your first on-ground class (commuters).

 

Academic Considerations

What type of behaviors are expected of students in the new learning environment? (ADDED 8.10.20)

Students are expected to adhere to the Alvernia University Expected Classroom Behaviors and Cleaning Protocols for Fall 2020 that are available here. This includes guidelines for in-person instruction, the virtual learning environment and cleaning procedures for classrooms. 

If I decide not to attend the university this fall but return for the spring semester, will it affect my financial aid package? (ADDED 8.10.20)

Alvernia University will honor institutional aid awards for students who decide to not return for the fall 2020 semester but return for the spring 2021 semester. Students should be aware that taking a gap semester or gap year will trigger the start of the federal loan grace period. Students should consult with Student Financial Services by contacting FinancialAid@alvernia.edu or 610-796-8356 to discuss the options available to them.

What does the academic calendar look like for the fall semester?

Classes for the fall 2020 semester will begin as scheduled on Aug. 31, campus-based and in-person instruction for a majority of courses will end Nov. 25, with the remainder of the semester – including final examinations – delivered remotely when classes resume after Thanksgiving break on Nov. 30.

To minimize travel and lower the risk of possibly spreading coronavirus on Alvernia campuses, classes will be held during regularly scheduled fall breaks, including Labor Day and the Feast of St. Francis.

What are you doing to keep us safe in the classrooms and classroom buildings? (UPDATED 8.26.20)
  • Alvernia is de-densifying classrooms, libraries, common areas, offices and spaces throughout the campuses to a maximum of 50% capacity.
  • All classrooms have been reconfigured to reflect physical distancing protocols; that is true also of all public and common spaces – indoors and outdoors. Visual social distancing markers will be installed to encourage students, faculty, and employees to remain six feet apart in workspaces, hallways, and other common use areas.
  • Outdoor classroom space is being prepared. All spaces will be available to faculty through the reservation system. Chairs and portable whiteboards will be made available for outdoor classroom use.
  • Faculty in higher health risk categories or situations may teach remotely to address their health vulnerabilities. Arrangements must be made through Human Resources.
  • Alvernia's facilities team will perform regular intense cleaning of all public spaces to disinfect classrooms, common areas, workspaces and dining areas to minimize transmission. Each classroom will be equipped with hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes. Students and faculty members are expected to wipe down tables and desks before each class. Every utilized university classroom will be cleaned daily. 
  • Facemasks will be worn in public spaces at all times. Face shields may be worn in addition to masks or added protection. Clear masks will be available to accommodate reading the instructor's lips.
  • Clear signage will be posted that reinforces policies on social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, personal protection, and personal hygiene including not touching eyes, nose, or mouth, and washing hands frequently.
  • Ventilation rates and the percent of outdoor air that circulates into the system will be increased, where possible. Air conditioning systems have been cleaned and are fully functioning. Where possible, windows will be opened to increase outside air circulation.
  • The use of shared equipment will be minimized. If equipment is shared, it will be cleaned before each use.
  • Office, laboratory, teaching and workspaces have been structured to maintain physical distance between faculty, students, and staff, without any opposite-facing arrangements. 
  • As soon as a suspected case of COVID-19 surfaces, Alvernia will institute a contact tracing protocol to identify those with whom the potentially sick individual came in close contact. In order to accomplish this, attendance will be taken in all classes and seating will be assigned. Exposed individuals will be separated from the rest of the student body, housed in the quarantine quarters, and tested according to guidelines.
  • Students are expected to adhere to the Alvernia University Expected Classroom Behaviors and Cleaning Protocols for Fall 2020 that are available here. This includes guidelines for in-person instruction, the virtual learning environment and cleaning procedures for classrooms. 
What options are available for immunocompromised or at-risk students who are unable to be on campus this fall? (UPDATED 8.20.20)

With the health and safety of the entire campus community at the forefront of decision making, the university understands not all students will be able to return to campus with ongoing pandemic conditions. Alvernia has heard the concerns of students and parents and is committed to finding suitable educational experiences for students on a case-by-case basis.

If you are concerned about returning to campus, students should contact the Office of the Provost.

In order to finalize plans for the start of the semester, Alvernia has made a request that concerned students should contact the Alvernia University Office of the Provost (Provost@alvernia.eduno later than Monday, August 24 at 5 p.m. ET. Any requests after this time may not be able to be accommodated. 

Are there any restrictions for internship or clinical sites for the fall 2020 semester? (UPDATED 8.10.2020)

Departments requiring community-based placements (i.e. nursing clinical, student teaching, internships) will ensure that sites adhere to safety, health and social distancing protocols and that students receive appropriate orientation and training before placement. Students should verify the availability of opportunities with their internship or clinical site supervisors. If students do not know their internship or clinical site supervisors, they should contact their Dean’s Office.

What if we need to move online again?

All programs should be prepared to ramp down or shut down immediately if instructed to do so. Where possible, courses at Alvernia will continue through the use of virtual modalities. This will allow the university to pivot immediately to online instruction should public health and safety require the cessation or suspension of on-ground instruction.

How do I access academic advising and tutoring services? (ADDED 8.28.20)

The Academic Success Center in Bernardine Hall 105 is open for academic advising, accessibility services, tutoring and academic coaching. Please request advising and accessibility services appointments using your Navigate Student app ("Wolves Guide") or call 610-796-8263. 

Tutoring and academic coaching is primarily accessed online with some in-person meetings by appointment as needed in Bernardine Hall 105. The full schedule of peer tutors, writing support, study groups and workshops is available on www.alvernia.myWCONLINE.com. There are four ways to make an appointment: 

Will the nursing study groups and SI Sessions for BIO and CHEM still meet? (ADDED 8.28.20)

Study groups will be conducted both in-person and virtually on Zoom. Students attending a study group or SI Session should take the following steps:

  • See the ASC FAQs page for detailed instructions on making, editing & canceling appointments. It's always better when students study together!
  • Please RSVP for all study group sessions by making an appointment on www.alvernia.myWCONLINE.com. If you realize later that you cannot attend, please cancel your appointment so that others on the waiting list can join. 
  • Wear your mask and try to sit in the same seats each time. Attendance will be taken on a confidential seating chart in case contact tracing is necessary.
  • Understand that if the room reaches maximum occupancy for social distancing, you can access the study session via the Zoom links on www.alvernia.myWCONLINE.com.
What is the expectation for returning in person for the spring semester and why is the spring 2021 academic calendar missing from the website? (UPDATED 8.10.20)

Alvernia continues to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. In order to be fluid and nimble in planning for the Spring 2021 semester, the Spring 2021 Calendar is not available at this time. As the university continues to monitor the latest health guidance and organizes its spring academic experience, more information will be shared via the COVID-19 campus update emails.

 

Student Life Considerations

What will student housing look like this semester?

Alvernia looks forward to student residency during the fall semester and is making the appropriate adjustments to make this happen. This includes an effort to decrease the overall density of students in residence halls by eliminating triple rooms and allowing no more than two students to occupy any residence hall room. This proactive step is being implemented to reduce the number of contacts students have in the residence halls. Below are some additional considerations for resident students:

  1. This reduction in density may require the university to find additional housing space for the fall semester. Alvernia is exploring partnerships with hotels in Reading, which may serve as student housing this fall. Some returning students may be assigned to hotel spaces, which will offer double or single occupancy with a private restroom. The Office of Residence Life will contact students directly if their residential assignment is impacted.
  2. Residence Life will utilize the residential building structure to promote supportive student living units. A living unit may be a suite, an apartment, a pod, a townhouse or a wing of students under the purview of the resident assistant – their "Wolf family" – responsible for each living unit member's emotional wellbeing, physical health and social support. Most residence halls are physically designed by hallways and layouts to create such areas.
  3. Enforcement of physical distancing in the residential community will require new guidelines or revision to current policies. These will include but are not limited to: 
    1. Students wearing masks in common area spaces, including restrooms, laundry rooms, elevators and hallways. 
    2. If conditions warrant, Alvernia may need to close/lock building lounges and common areas. 
    3.  Signage in common areas and laundry rooms will be posted related to possible occupancy limits. 
    4. The visitation policy has been amended to not allow visitors in student rooms at any time, except for move in. During move-in, two move-in assistants will be permitted. Once move-in concludes, no visitors (members of the Alvernia community or the public) will be permitted in the residence halls. 
    5. The room change policy has amended not to allow room changes.
    6. Residence Life programming and certain protocols (ex: roommate mediations) will be redesigned to comply with physical distancing guidelines and other established policies.
  4. Facilities staff will enhance cleaning and disinfection in halls and across campus, including high touch areas in the residence halls. Shared common spaces (bathrooms, lounges, hallways, elevators, etc.) in all halls will be cleaned extensively seven days a week.
  5. Resident students must commit to high standards of personal behavior and hygiene in order to protect themselves and others. Residence Life Staff will be utilizing already-existing room, apartment, townhouse, house, and community agreement processes to emphasize guidelines related to COVID-19. These agreements will differ based on the type of housing, as guidelines for each living space may be slightly different based on each physical space. Residents living in traditional halls, apartments/suites, and townhouses will engage with these agreements as a means of demonstrating their understanding of the guidelines and their commitment to supporting the health and safety of the Alvernia community. Agreements will emphasize guidelines related to health and safety standards, cleaning practices, food sharing, and honest and effective communication when concerns arise.
  6. We will follow a modified residential move-in process. Further details will be sent to resident students in the near future.
When will resident students be able to return to campus? (ADDED 8.10.20)

The Office of Residence Life is planning a staggered move-in for both new and first-year students as well as returning students. It is our hope that by staggering times, we can efficiently, safely and quickly move all your belongings to campus without the usual crowds and traffic of a typical move-in process. Residence Life will communicate with you via your Alvernia email to sign up for a move-in time.

First-year students will be able to sign up for move-in during the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, August 27th, 9am-12pm & 1pm-4pm
  • Friday, August 28th, 9am-12pm & 1pm-4pm

Returning upper-class students will be able to sign up for move-in during the following dates and times:

  • Saturday, August 29th, 10am-12pm & 1pm-4pm
  • Sunday, August 30th, 9am-12pm & 1pm-4pm

New and returning students will be allowed two family members or friends to help with unpacking and room set up. To ensure the safety of all our resident students, we ask students and their families and friends to adhere to their three-hour move-in window. All students and their family and friends must wear a mask during the entire move-in process. Once students and their family and friends have moved all their belongings into their rooms, we ask that they depart the residential area to make room for the next move-in cohort and take some time to explore our beautiful campus together. 

If you are registered to live on campus, but now wish to commute, can you do so? (ADDED 8.10.20)

Yes, please contact Shannon Merkey, Director of Residence Life, at Shannon.Merkey@alvernia.edu if you would like to change your status to a commuter.

Will there be intercollegiate athletics during the fall 2020 semester?

The Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Presidents announced on July 24, 2020, the suspension of intercollegiate athletics competition for the fall semester for all 18 member schools.

For more information, please review the Alvernia Athletic release.

Will there be student activities, university-sponsored events, clubs, etc.?

To minimize the exposure risk to the Alvernia and greater Reading communities, residential students will be expected to limit off-campus trips and stay on campus as much as possible. With this being the case, co-curricular activities become an even more vital part of the Alvernia experience. An increased blend of virtual and social distance friendly programming will keep students immersed in campus culture, entertained and engaged with their fellow students as well as faculty and staff.

Below are some initial guidelines for student activities:

  • Registered student organizations are expected to adhere to the proper social distancing guidelines and encouraged to meet virtually where appropriate. 
  • If an activity occurs locally, off-campus (i.e. late night bowling), Alvernia will provide transportation and reserve the entire venue to limit contact between Alvernia students and the public. 
  • Any student activities trips, outside of the immediate Reading area, will be limited
What kind of student job opportunities will be available during the fall semester?

In order to keep Alvernia students engaged and participating on campus. Alvernia is committed to providing an increase in on-campus student employment during the fall semester. More information on new and expanded student employment opportunities will be available in the near future.

Will there be a way for students to anonymously report non-compliance of health and safety guidelines, including not wearing masks and not social distancing? (ADDED 8.17.20)

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

Are outside groups able to utilize campus spaces for public events (conferences, lectures, etc.) while students are on campus?

Requests to utilize campus space by outside groups are being handled on a case-by-case basis. Outside groups may submit their requests by emailing Alvernia Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, John McCloskey at John.McCloskey@alvernia.edu.

Will the university operate its usual shuttle services and how can I know where the shuttle is? (UPDATED 8.26.20)

Campus shuttles shall operate at a reduced capacity. Riders must wear masks while on the shuttles. Students should plan for increased wait times and may need to leave for classes earlier than they have in the past, if using the shuttles.

Students, faculty and staff can check on the current location of Alvernia shuttles by downloading the Buswhere app on their mobile device by doing the following:

  1. Navigate to Buswhere.com/Alvernia and register with your Alvernia email address.
  2. Check your email for a registration link and click it. 
  3. Enter your name, choose your password and enter your phone number. 
  4. Enter the times you want to receive notifications (pick the times you use the shuttle most). 
  5. Complete the registration and explore the site. 
  6. Download the BusWhere for Alvernia app by searching "BusWhere for Alvernia University" in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
What type of meetings and events will be allowed on campus? (UPDATED 8.17.20)

Current guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health restricts all indoor activities (that are not related to educational instruction) to no more than 25 people (includes all people present). This includes meetings, assemblies, etc.

Activities and gatherings held outdoors are limited to no more than 250 people.

The university encourages all event organizers to consider holding meetings and events virtually if possible. When that is not feasible, organizers should do the following: 

  • Consider outdoor event spaces whenever possible 
  • Notify participants that events can be canceled at any time, depending on how the pandemic evolves. 
  • Design events to ensure proper social distancing and hand hygiene. 
  • Keep a log of all attendees. 
  • Adhere to recommended protective face masks guidance. Event organizer has to ensure everyone is compliant. 
  • Clean event spaces regularly — at least daily. 
  • Ensure that non-local attendees review and adhere to Alvernia travel restrictions 

 

Faculty Considerations

How will I know if a student in my class or lab tests positive for COVID-19? (ADDED 9.22.20)

Alvernia’s contact tracing process consists of multiple layers of outreach. This process prioritizes getting the COVID-positive individual into isolation. The first layer involves reaching out to the individual who has tested positive for COVID. Next, Health and Wellness Center staff or state contact tracers will contact those who have been identified by the COVID-positive individual as close contacts. Finally, a Health and Wellness Center staff member or other university administrator from the Pandemic Response Team will contact the faculty member to inform them of a positive case and request seating charts and other pertinent information to aid contact tracing efforts. We will reach out to faculty with each positive test. We are reaching back for attendance information for the full week before testing. It is crucial to our process that all faculty submit attendance daily and have accurate seating charts available upon request. We will continue to refine and improve this process as we learn more this semester.

The contact tracing process begins as soon as possible when the University is informed of a positive case. It is possible, even likely, that a student who has tested positive will notify their professors before the University is able to do so. If a faculty member receives notification from the student prior to receiving formal notification from Alvernia, they do not need to contact the Alvernia Health and Wellness Center, as a representative will be in touch to collect information pertinent to contact tracing. 

If a student advises their faculty member directly, then the faculty member will have additional time to work with that student on any adaptions needed to help the student be successful in learning while in isolation or quarantine.

What should I be doing with the #CampusClear app with my students? (ADDED 9.22.20)

Faculty members are encouraged to check the #CampusClear pass from their students before each class. Students are instructed to contact the Health and Wellness Center immediately if they are not cleared. In the situation that a student attends class without clearance, faculty members may ask the students to leave the class and report directly to the Health and Wellness Center. Faculty are also encouraged to request that the student provide a clearance note from Health and Wellness before a student is allowed to return to class after not clearing the #CampusClear app.

How do I mark students who are virtually attending class in AUAdvise? (ADDED 8.26.20)

Faculty will need to mark “virtually attending” students as “Tardy Excused” on AUAdvise rather than “Present” for contact tracing purposes.

How do I set up Zoom meetings for students attending class virtually? (ADDED 8.26.20)

Faculty members who have been notified that they have students attending class virtually must set up a recurring Zoom meeting for their virtual classrooms. The Center for Instructional Design and Learning Technology in the Media Suite can provide resources for training in the procedure if needed.

What are the expectations for faculty who have students who are not able to attend class due to COVID-19 symptoms? (ADDED 8.26.20)

Faculty should clearly communicate a process for course participation to students who may have to attend virtually if they are not cleared for campus access via the #CampusClear App and for any time the campus is not face to face, including the time period after Thanksgiving. 

How do I create a seating chart for my class? (ADDED 8.26.20)

The university is creating a seating chart template for all classrooms. In the meantime, faculty are encouraged to take a picture of their class each day for contact tracing purposes. In the event a faculty member is considering assigning seats, considerations of seating placement must include ADA accommodations.

 

Employee Considerations

How should Alvernia employees get a COVID test if necessary? (ADDED 9.22.20)

All employees who are exhibiting symptoms or who have had direct contact with a positive COVID case should contact their Primary Care Physician (PCP) for a testing order. Presently, the test availability in the area and wait time for results are as follows:

  • Rite Aid 6th St. Reading
    • Online appointment scheduling
    • 2-4 day wait time
  • PennState Health On Demand app
    • Schedule telemedicine appt. for drive through at Penn state Health St. Joseph
    • Mon-Fri 8am-3pm 
    • 4-5 day wait time
  • Patient First 
    • Online appointment scheduling
    • 2-4 day wait time
  • Tower Health Urgent Care Liggett Ave.
    • Mon-Fri 8am-8pm or Sat. 8am-3pm.
    • 4-5 day wait time
What will a phased return look like for employees?

Alvernia University remains in a predominantly remote working status in the coming weeks per PA state requirements. Slowly and only under the direction of divisional senior leadership, the university will begin to have some employees return to campus later in July and August. Employees will be working together with various functional areas to determine what is the safe and appropriate speed and order of return to campus using flexible schedules, varying attendance and hosting larger meetings using Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

What is the expectation of visitors upon entering any of Alvernia’s campuses? (ADDED 8.19.20)

While visitor access to Alvernia campus locations should be very limited, there is an understanding that some visitors will need access to campus for various reasons. Alvernia has established expectations for all campus visitors (including guest speakers) as well as for employees who invite visitors to campus. 

Visitor Expectations

  • All visitors (including guest speakers) should complete self-monitoring of symptoms, which includes taking temperature with a thermometer and screening other symptoms through the Alvernia Visitor COVID-19 Daily Self Checklist on your computer or mobile device by visiting or by filling out this paper form with your campus contact before entering any campus facility. This is expected of visitors each time they come to campus.
  • All visitors should practice social distancing of at least six feet while on campus and wear face masks when inside campus buildings.
  • Visitors should maintain high sanitation levels including frequently washing hands (for at least 20 seconds), utilizing new and existing hand sanitation stations, avoiding close contact with those who are sick and covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue as directed by the CDC.
  • Visitors should remain home if feeling ill or after having been exposed to someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19 and reschedule their visit for a later time.
     

Employee Expectations

Employees should limit the number of visitors invited to campus during the fall 2020 semester and should instead explore options to meet virtually via ZOOM or Microsoft Teams in an effort to reduce potential virus exposure to the campus community.

If meeting virtually is not viable...

Will employees be asked to monitor their temperature every day before entering the workplace?

Yes. Prior to a return to campus each day, employees will be asked to complete a daily self-monitor assessment for COVID-19 symptoms on the #CampusClear app (Please see Community Health and Safety Considerations dropdown for more information) before entering campus buildings.

What is the university doing to reconfigure buildings and office spaces?

Signage will be visible throughout campus as a reminder to stay at safe distances within campus buildings. Where necessary, plexiglass shields will be installed, and furniture will be moved to accommodate spacing requirements.

Will masks be provided to all employees?

Alvernia will follow the guidance of the CDC and require employees to wear face coverings on campus to protect their colleagues while near others. Employees should bring or wear a face covering to work daily. An Alvernia branded mask will be provided to employees at the start of the academic term.

Can I continue to work from home if I can accomplish my work remotely? What if I, or someone I live with, is immunocompromised or part of an at-risk population? (UPDATED 8.20.20)

Alvernia University is open for business and on ground campus support is expected to service our students and campus community. The university continues to support reasonable flexible work schedules for some roles to ensure safety for all. However, some roles require daily on campus presence to support continued university operations.

In order to finalize plans for the start of the semester, Alvernia has made a request that any additional requests fpr accomodations be filed with Human Resources no later than Monday, August 24 at 5 p.m. ET. Any requests after this time may not be able to be accommodated. 

What if I am feeling ill, who should I notify, and what are my steps for returning to campus? (UPDATED 8.26.20)

Employees who are not feeling well should not report to work, contact their supervisor, contact Leslie Kane (Leslie.Kane@alvernia.edu) and seek appropriate medical care.

The Health and Wellness Center and Human Resources Department have worked diligently to develop employee protocols for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms as well as a return to work/campus. This infographic explains the number of potential scenarios faculty and staff may encounter during the upcoming semester.

What if I am asked to quarantine if exposed to a co-worker who is sick? Will I be paid if I cannot perform my job remotely?

Alvernia will work with employees on a case-by-case basis. 

The sanitation supplies have run low in my area, who do I contact to refill them? (ADDED 8.19.20)

Facilities staff has been increased to monitor cleaning supplies, however, if you notice any sanitation supplies (wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.) that need refilled/replace, or if you have safety questions/concerns on how to administer those products, please email ehs@alvernia.edu. This is a new email for Environmental Health and Safety and will be monitored during working hours. Please include refill items needed and location and/or room number.

I need to create some COVID-19 related signage for my area, where can I find some templates? (ADDED 8.19.20) 

Alvernia has created a number of COVID-19 signage templates for use by faculty and staff. The designs come in a variety of colors and sizes and are in Microsoft Word format and can be printed on university printers. The templates can be found here.

Per the revisions to the academic calendar, will employees be compensated for Labor Day and Feast of Saint Francis?

For this year Alvernia will treat Labor Day and Feast of St. Francis like the President's Day holiday by adding a vacation day to each employee's bank. So, for Labor Day the vacation day would be added Sept. 7 and Feast of St Francis would be added on Oct. 2. Employees can use a vacation day if they receive approval for time off on either day. Or this time can be used at the employees' request with manager approval. Time needs to be used prior to Dec. 31, 2020.

 

Staying Informed

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 as well as Alvernia.edu/Health-Alerts. The university recommends bookmarking both webpages and revisiting them often. 

The university will continue to provide updates via the university's email system. For those who do not have a university email address, or don't check it often, it is recommended to register for university updates here.

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

The Provost is holding Town Hall meetings for faculty and as needed.

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

How will the community be notified of positive cases on campus?

In compliance with the Clery Act, Alvernia will alert the campus community, via email, if a student or employee on campus self-reports a positive case of COVID-19 to the university. Those deemed to be in close contact will be notified as per the guidelines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Confidential exposure information will be provided in consultation with health officials and in compliance with FERPA and HIPAA guidelines. Alvernia will maintain the confidentiality of the student or employee as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, as applicable.

What if I am a media member who is seeking information or I am an Alvernia student or employee and receive a request for information from a media member?

It is expected that media members will want to keep informed on campus happenings during the fall semester.

Media members should contact the University Communications office at news@alvernia.edu.

As always, any student or employee who receives a request from the media should contact university communications at news@alvernia.edu to coordinate a response.

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.

 

Health Alerts