Dear Campus Community,

Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to extend the all-student quarantine and remote instruction through the night of Sunday, 10/25 with the intention of resuming in class learning on Monday, 10/26. We appreciate your patience and your understanding as we continue to evaluate the situation. In addition to the positives already reported, today we received two more positive student cases from Friday tests. While we are awaiting test results for today, in the previous seven day period, we tested a total of 699 people with a test positivity rate of 1.58%, well within the parameters needed to contain any spread. We will continue to update the campus throughout the week as we receive updates.

While we are not yet in a safe position to resume normal campus operations, we also recognize the psychological burden of this quarantine on our students. As of Wednesday:

  1. Students will be allowed to leave their dorms to spend time outside, on-campus, in groups of two or three individuals. Socially distanced eating is permitted outside, with the same size group.
  2. The first floor of the library will be open and can accommodate up to 50 people as an individual study space (no participating in zoom classes please).
  3. Select academic buildings will be open and students may be in a class room by themselves, or with one other person
  4. Students may exercise by themselves within town, or at the peace chapel.
  5. Knox stadium will be open for exercise. Further details will be communicated from Athletics following this email.
  6. Laundry rooms will be opened and can accommodate one student at a time.
  7. Students are prohibited from traveling home without prior permission; students who are not presently on campus must arrange to return within safety protocols.

Masks must be worn at all times. Meanwhile, all other quarantine requirements as previously communicated remain in place.

This includes:

  1. Remote instruction for the remainder of the week
  2. Dining remains takeout
  3. No athletic practices, social events, or face-to-face meetings
  4. Athletics has arranged for access to Knox for wellness purposes and recreation. More details will be forthcoming via email.
  5. No guests in the residence hall
  6. No travel off-campus, including into Huntingdon

If you violate our protocols and leave campus, you are putting a burden on our testing process and will be asked to quarantine for an indefinite period upon return, until we can test you.

At this time, we are not considering de-densifying campus, or extending remote learning through the rest of the semester. We have great confidence in our community to abide by our protocols, which are necessary to remain on campus. Our students have shown incredible resilience these past few days and we sincerely thank them for how they have handled themselves during this difficult period. We understand that further extension of this quarantine is not welcome news. If you are struggling in any way, we encourage you to contact the Glaeser Counseling Services, Campus Ministries, or Jody Althouse. Additional mental health resources can be found on our coronavirus dashboard. Students should direct additional questions to the Dean of Students, Faculty and Staff should direct questions to the Provost and their area Vice Presidents.

Thank you, and stay safe.
COVID Operations Team