Edinboro University’s Emergency Response Team continues to monitor the latest national data related to the COVID-19 pandemic while working tirelessly to minimize the spread of the virus and foster a safe living, learning and working environment.
Although we had hoped to have all members of our community together on campus this fall, a significant surge in COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania and many other states has necessitated an adjustment to our plans.
Circumstances surrounding the global pandemic remain incredibly fluid and largely unpredictable. With the health and safety of Edinboro students, faculty and staff at the forefront of our efforts, we believe moving the majority of courses online and limiting the number of students living on campus is the safest and best decision at this time. A small subset of courses with an experiential learning component, including art studios, labs, nursing clinicals, practicums and student teaching, will involve some on-campus, in-person instruction.
The following plan addresses all aspects of the Edinboro experience – from academics to housing and dining – and outlines necessary modifications to campus operations. University planning efforts were guided by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
We are confident that our community will come together, just as we did this spring, to showcase the passion, resilience and grit that makes Edinboro so special.
In order to limit the number of students on campus, the majority of classes will be offered via remote learning during the fall 2020 semester.
Classes that require an experiential component will be offered through a blend of in-person and online instruction to limit the number of students in the classroom at a given time. In-person classes will be scheduled in larger rooms, when possible, to ensure physical distancing. Students enrolled in face-to-face classes will be assigned a seat, and attendance will be taken regularly.
Information Technology Services will provide technical support and guidance for students, faculty and staff throughout the semester.
Clinical Experiences and Internships
Clinical experiences and internships will continue as usual and follow guidance provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Education and CDC.
Final exams will be administered online to mitigate the risk associated with holiday travel.
The fall 2020 planning page on the University website will serve as a hub for official information regarding plans for the fall semester, including campus announcements, FAQs and social distancing guidance.
Along with a face mask and hand sanitizer, students, faculty and staff will receive printed information regarding face coverings, proper hygiene and updated campus protocols. Mitigation signage that addresses symptoms, face coverings and social distancing will also be installed across campus.
The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference voted on Tuesday, July 14, to suspend all mandated conference athletic events and championships through the fall semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PSAC has already undertaken a full review of its ability to shift fall sports competition and championships to the spring semester and fully intends to do so if a return to competition can be safely executed.
All club sport travel and competition has been suspended for the fall semester.
A limited number of in-person events will be held for campus residents. All other face-to-face activities and events, both on and off campus, will be canceled. This also applies to events planned on campus by external organizations.
The Fitness Center in Frank G. Pogue Student Center will be open only to campus residents during reduced hours to minimize health risks to students and staff.
Due to health and safety concerns, we will be limiting our on-campus housing capacity to 175. The housing cost for all residential students during the fall 2020 semester will be $3,000.
On-campus housing will be limited to the following students:
All current housing contracts will be canceled. Students interested in housing must complete the housing request form found on the myHousing page in SCOTS. Priority for on-campus housing will be given to students who live more than 50 miles from campus, and housing requests will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students that will be living on campus will be subject to a health screening and a temperature check prior to moving into their residence hall.
Modifications will be made to the residence halls to promote physical distancing as well as other health and safety measures in each building.
A formal move-in plan has been developed to maximize social distancing by staggering the arrival of students and their families to campus. The Office of Residence Life and Housing provided move-in time slots for families so that they could choose a time that works with their schedules. Students will be limited to two guests to assist them with move-in. Face coverings must be worn outside the student’s room at all times.
The University requests that all students who are returning to campus reduce contact with others outside of their family and follow CDC guidelines, such as wearing face coverings outside of their home, reducing non-essential travel and increasing handwashing two weeks prior to move-in.
Students who have traveled to an area with high numbers of COVID-19 cases or internationally will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to attending classes.
With the exception of designated move-in and move-out times, visitors will be restricted from entering the residence halls.
The Absurd Bird, Scotland Road Subs and Salads, the Culinary Table (full meals) and grab-and-go options in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center will operate in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Health requirements. All other dining locations will be closed during the fall 2020 semester in an effort to streamline operations and bolster mitigation efforts. Additional mitigation measures include:
When using any type of transportation, follow these general principles:
Follow the general principles listed above, plus the following:
Follow the general principles listed above, plus the following.
Academic support services will be available during the fall semester. Virtual methods will be utilized when possible.
In addition, peer tutoring and fully online tutoring, through Smarthinking, will be available throughout the semester.
The Baron-Forness Library will be open to visitors for the start of classes on August 17. Hours of operation will be as follows:
In order to minimize use of elevators and reduce foot traffic in the stairwells and stacks, we are strongly encouraging library users to take advantage of the “Request” feature in the library catalog. This will allow library staff to retrieve requested items and prepare them for pickup at the circulation desk or at curbside.
Librarians will be available through Zoom, email, chat and telephone to provide research assistance.
Study rooms remain available (four on the first floor, two on the second) but are currently limited to single-person occupancy.
Computers remain available for general use in the lab, but numbers have been reduced to create social distancing
Other mitigation measures include:
Additional information is available on the Library’s COVID-19 help guide at: libguides.edinboro.edu/covid19
Counseling and Psychological Services will provide mental health services through a hybrid approach, utilizing teletherapy, Zoom meetings and limited in-person sessions. Evening appointments will be available Monday through Thursday.
Students who are registered for fall 2020 classes and are currently living in Pennsylvania are eligible for services and may contact CAPS at (814) 732-2252 to make an appointment or for more information.
The University’s fall 2020 strategy employs preventative measure stacking in order to create the greatest possible protection against COVID-19 exposure.
Know how it spreads
According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or sings. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Research has suggested that the virus may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. The risk of contracting the virus increases the more closely a person interacts with others and the longer that interaction.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Wash your hands often
Avoid close contact
Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering when around others
Cover coughs and sneezes
Clean and disinfect
Monitor Your Health
When used in conjunction with other preventative measures—including social distancing and proper hygiene—cloth face coverings can be an effective method of source control. Emerging evidence from clinical studies shows that cloth face coverings reduce the spray of respiratory droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. Face coverings help to protect those around you, including those who are at higher risk of severe illness.
Until further notice, students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus must wear a face covering to enter campus buildings and in hallways, meeting rooms, common spaces, elevators and all other areas where social distancing is not possible. Changes regarding face covering requirements will be made by the University’s Emergency Response Team based on guidance from local, state and national health experts.
Individuals who are unable to wear a face covering due to a documented health condition or disability must request an exception through the Office for Accessibility Services.
Face Covering Considerations
Types of Face Coverings
Students are required to wear a face covering in all public spaces on campus, including classrooms, dining areas and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
Residential students are not required to wear a face covering in their personal room; however, face coverings are mandatory while in community spaces such as hallways, stairways, elevators and laundry rooms.
Edinboro-branded cloth masks will be provided to residential students at the beginning of the fall semester. Students are permitted to wear their own face covering as long as it meets CDC guidelines.
All employees working on campus (regardless of frequency) are required to wear a mask while working, except when the employee is eating or drinking, driving alone in a vehicle or working alone in an office. Employees are not to ride together unless it is absolutely necessary and it is for a duration of less than 15 minutes. Face coverings are required to be worn for the entire duration of the trip.
Edinboro-branded cloth masks will be available to all employees at the beginning of the fall semester. Faculty members who are teaching in-person courses will also receive a clear face shield. Employees that do not have a face covering should contact Safety & Risk Management to receive one at no cost to them. Shields are available to staff members upon request.
Employees are permitted to wear their own face covering, subject to approval by their supervisor.
Contractors, vendors and other approved visitors to campus must wear a face covering at all times while on University property. Face coverings will be supplied by the visitor or service provider.
Guidelines such as those published by the Pennsylvania Department of Education will be used as a basis for classroom design and capacity on physical distancing. Students and faculty should not enter a classroom until the room is completely vacant. Students and faculty should not arrive at the classroom early, and should wait at a reasonable distance away from the doors.
There are many types of HVAC systems located on the Edinboro campus. While these systems are numerous and varied, they were professionally designed to the standards in place at the time. Because of the variance in the systems and their modes of operation, the adjustments that can be made to the systems in response to COVID-19 will vary as well.
This operations plan was developed based upon the current guidance and recommendations available and will be adjusted as new information becomes available. Sources and guidance used in developing this plan:
Edinboro University’s Facilities Department will take the following actions per the current guidance to reduce the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19:
Facilities does not recommend opening windows, doors or other openings to the outside. Doing so could:
Textbooks can ONLY be ordered online. At checkout, you will be offered the choice to have your textbooks shipped (off-campus) or to be picked up in the bookstore (during limited hours). No direct sales of textbooks will occur in the bookstore. All orders must be placed online. Please check the bookstore website for store hours.
The sales of art supplies will be done by appointment only.
Student Health Services will conduct appointments through telehealth, Zoom health, as well as some limited in-person visits. For the safety of our students and staff, walk-in appointments will not be accepted. Students should call ahead to schedule an appointment at (814) 732-2743. Any medical concerns that cannot be addressed through a virtual visit will be scheduled for a face-to-face visit at Ghering Health Center.
Prescreening of all face-to-face visits will be completed in advance, and individuals with respiratory concerns will be separated from those requesting well visits such as TB tests and physicals.
Only essential professional travel will be permitted during the 2020-2021 academic year. No other travel will be permitted nor financially supported by the University.
Essential travel must be (a) kept to a minimum, (b) be conducted in a way to protect traveler health and safety per CDC considerations and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines, and (c) occur only when remote participation/engagement is not possible. Following are examples of permitted essential travel:
Travel that is not permitted (non-essential) includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Per the State System’s Fall Framework, all university-sponsored international or out-of-state travel for students, faculty, or staff should be curtailed unless approved by the university president (or designee).
The State System's Fall 2020 Framework recommends against all unnecessary travel. Employees who have traveled to an area with high numbers of COVID-19 cases should plan to telecommute for 14 days upon their return. Anyone traveling abroad -- employees or students -- should quarantine for 14 days upon their return.
Employees will be encouraged to continue to telework where appropriate. Directors should consider staggering employees or alternating daily schedules to limit interactions.
As noted in the System framework, faculty and staff who do not have a disability as defined under the ADA may seek a flexible work arrangement if the employee is at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as defined by CDC guidelines.
Employees who have traveled to an area with high numbers of COVID-19 cases should plan to telecommute for 14 days upon their return. Anyone traveling abroad -- employees or students -- should quarantine for 14 days upon their return.
As a proactive measure to keep our campus community as healthy as possible, we are asking for your help to ensure the good health of all students and employees.
Please self-report for any one of the following situations:
How to self report
The University and all of its employees play an important role in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Their observations and reporting of student attendance and symptoms, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) will be key. Everyone will be asked to observe student behavior and refer a student who appears symptomatic to Student Health Services. Faculty members are also asked to monitor student absenteeism in both online and face-to-face classes.
Tests are available at Ghering Health and Wellness Center to any student who is symptomatic, regardless of whether they live on or off campus. Students must contact Student Health Services at 814-732-2743 to schedule an appointment to pick up a test kit.
Students will perform their own specimen collection with remote guidance and observation by trained Student Health Services staff. Once complete, the specimen must be returned to Ghering Health and Wellness Center.
Specimens will be picked up at Ghering Health and Wellness Center twice daily by Associated Clinical Laboraties/Quest Diagnostics. The wait for results will vary depending on the volume of tests received by the testing facility.
The cost of the test, which is $100, is covered by most insurances for symptomatic students. If a student does not have health insurance, the cost of the test will be covered by CARES Act funds through ACL as long as funding is available.
If you had close contact, meaning you were within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, or if you are experiencing a fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste/smell, headache, muscle or body aches, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, please call SHS at (814) 732-2743 to speak with a medical staff member.
Edinboro University is partnering with members of the Erie County Department of Health to establish contact tracing procedures for our campus. Contact tracing will be utilized to identify and inform members of the Edinboro community who may have had close contact with someone on campus who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. University personnel have undergone contact tracing training to prepare them to assist the DOH with contract tracing if needed.
The State System is also working with both the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Health on the issue of contact tracing. We will adapt contact tracing protocols as necessary.
The Erie County Department of Health has protocols for confirmed cases. Information will be shared in accordance with the Erie County Department of Health’s guidance. Each situation will be unique and will be evaluated on what notifications will be necessary based on the current situation to ensure the confidentiality of the student or employee.
Quarantine and isolation measures are critical to mitigating further spread of the virus on our campus. Individuals who are feeling unwell or are experiencing the following symptoms should stay home and seek medical attention.
Quarantine is used to keep an individual who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.
Based on CDC guidance, individuals who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 will be directed to stay home for 14 days after their last exposure, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
What counts as close contact?
Residential students should remain in their residence hall room and separate themselves from others. Students in quarantine should contact Student Health Services to arrange meal delivery, receive academic accommodations, and to be monitored.
Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (with or without symptoms) from people who are not infected.
Residential students should remain in their residence hall room and separate themselves from others. Students in isolation should contact Student Health Services to arrange meal delivery, receive academic accommodations and to be monitored.
Non-residential students should isolate themselves in their current housing location, separate themselves from others, monitor their symptoms and follow directions from the Erie County Department of Health.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania utilizes a three-color scheme (red, yellow and green) that corresponds to specific mitigation actions.
In the event that Erie County returns to the yellow or red phase of Gov. Wolf’s COVID-19 reopening plan, Edinboro University will follow guidance outlined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.
Communications with students, employees and parents will be ongoing and clear to ensure that these key stakeholders understand what is expected of them and what they can expect from the University as they return to campus. Questions posed directly to the president’s office, Marketing and Communications and other University offices will be answered as soon as possible. We will emphasize the fluidity of the situation as we work to manage expectations.
Communications to the campus community regarding COVID-19 cases will be done in accordance with Erie County Department of Health’s protocols, as the authority having jurisdiction. We also will ensure compliance with FERPA, while at the same time ensuring that we are as transparent as possible with the campus and broader communities.
The Clery Act and its implementing regulations require institutions to notify the campus community upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff occurring on campus. The DOE does not interpret the statutory language as requiring institutions to give regular, on-going updates on COVID-19 or to proactively identify positive COVID-19 cases within the campus community. The department also does not interpret the statutory language to apply to positive COVID-19 cases among individuals who are not attending classes, working or residing on campus or to require notifications to such individuals.
An institution may satisfy the emergency notification requirements of the Clery Act as follows: (1) provide students and employees a single notification through the regular means of communicating emergency notifications informing them about COVID-19 and necessary health and safety precautions, as well as encouraging them to obtain information from health care providers, state health authorities and the CDC’s COVID-19 website; or (2) create a banner at the top of the institution’s homepage containing that same information, including a statement about the global pandemic and a link to the CDC’s website.
All media inquiries will be managed by the Marketing and Communications division, which will ensure a timely and clear response. Where possible, we will engage in proactive media relations to ensure information is shared up front clearly and concisely.
In addition to following guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the CDC, Edinboro University has worked closely with the Erie County Department of Health since the spring of 2020. We have a well-established, positive relationship with these agencies, and we will continue to coordinate with them through the life of the pandemic.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education has provided a framework for reopening State System campuses for the fall 2020 semester. Edinboro University will follow the 2020 Fall Framework closely as we implement plans for the resumption of in-person classes. The document outlines expectations for employees, students and visitors to campus.