Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Cal U is taking action in response to the spreading outbreak of a novel (new) coronavirus that causes COVID-19, a respiratory illness.
Our campus does not have any reported or confirmed cases of the virus at this time, but Cal U is
planning for the future with consideration for the health and safety of our students, our employees, and the communities where we live and work.


UPDATE: Important message about the fall semester

A spirit of caring and commitment guides our planning for the fall semester, when we anticipate resuming on-campus classes with enhanced health and safety measures in place. Read details here

UPDATE: ‘Green phase’ to begin; no change in operations for employees

Most University operations are NOT impacted by the governor’s plans to move southwestern Pennsylvania counties into the “green phase” and further reopen the region for certain business activities. Employees who are performing essential services on campus will continue to do so. Employees who are currently telecommuting will continue to work remotely. Read details here 


Please note:

To protect the well-being of our University community, no in-person University events will be held on campus during the summer term. All summer classes will be delivered online or via distance learning. See our Summer College schedule.
Cal U's response is based on guidance from the Office of the Chancellor. Read details here

The FAQ for Students has answers to many of the questions students may have. Family members who have questions may call the Cal U Information Hotline at 724-938-5600 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

It’s important for you to have timely, accurate information about the illness and how Cal U is responding. As the situation evolves, this webpage will be updated with current, accurate information pertaining to Cal U. Please check back regularly so you can stay informed.


 

Important messages

June 1, 2020: 'Green Phase' to Begin; No Change in Operations for Employees

 

To all faculty and staff,

You may have seen news reports about Governor Wolf’s announcement that Washington and the surrounding counties will be moving into the Green Phase on Friday, June 5. 

Most of the University’s current operations are not impacted by this announcement.  

Those employees who are currently performing essential services on campus will continue to do so. University leadership will be evaluating positions that will be required to move from telecommuting to on campus operations.  These positions will be those that now require a physical presence for critical functions.  Each Vice President will be working with their Directors and communicating any changes directly to those employees. In addition, comprehensive social distancing requirements and protective measures will be communicated to all employees returning to campus.  All other employees who are currently telecommuting will continue to work remotely. 

All faculty will continue to operate remotely at this time. 

Thank you for everything you continue to do for our University and your excellent work during this pandemic.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor. 

If you are experiencing problems that are affecting your well-being, don’t hesitate to contact the State Employee Assistance Program 1-800-692-7459, (1-800-824-4306 TDD) available 24 hours a day, or log on to www.liveandworkwell.com  ​access code: Pennsylvania​.

Regards,

Eric Guiser
Director of Human Resources

May 8, 2020: Important Message About Fall Semester

 

To our students, faculty and staff,

We have reached the end of the spring semester, an unprecedented time that has tested our ingenuity, our resolve and our patience. On this graduation weekend, I congratulate our seniors and graduate students who rose to the challenge and earned their degrees.

In fact, I am incredibly proud of the way our entire Cal U family has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past two months, you have demonstrated the resilience and caring that personify our University.

That same spirit of caring and commitment guides our plans for the fall semester, when we expect on-campus classes to resume.

As Pennsylvania gradually begins its phased reopening, we look forward to welcoming students and employees safely back to campus. A task force has been appointed, working groups are being identified, and detailed discussions are under way about enhanced health and safety measures to be implemented when we return.

Let me be clear: Nothing is more important than the well-being of our students, faculty and staff. Our University is well prepared to continue remote operations should the pandemic rebound. And our 100% online programs remain an excellent option for students who choose to study at home.

However, we recognize that many students prefer to learn in on-campus classes – and as a community, we value those day-to-day encounters that enhance our learning, our work and our lives. For these reasons, we are making plans to reunite safely with our Cal U classmates and colleagues this fall.

Many questions remain to be answered, and I will keep you informed as our plans progress. For now, let’s take pride in bringing the spring semester to a strong finish. Let’s celebrate the accomplishments of our Class of 2020. And let’s begin to look forward – cautiously but confidently – to being together again.

With warmest wishes,

President Geraldine Jones

May 4, 2020: CARES Act Relief Funds

 

To all Cal U students:

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which provided an economic “stimulus check” to many American families, also includes funds to assist college students impacted by the abrupt shift to online education because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Colleges and universities received CARES Act funding based on a formula outlined in the legislation, which also details how universities are permitted to use the funding.

Cal U received about $2.1 million to provide emergency financial assistance directly to eligible students who were enrolled in on-campus programs “for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.”

The University has set aside a small portion of the funding to assist students with extraordinary needs as they prepare for the fall semester. Applications for emergency grant funds will be available in late August.

The remainder of the funds will be divided equally and distributed as direct financial assistance to those students who are eligible under the CARES Act guidelines. Those payments will be sent to eligible students starting this week.

Who is eligible for CARES Act funding?

Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education allow Cal U to distribute CARES Act funds as direct emergency aid to domestic undergraduate and graduate students who were enrolled in on-campus degree programs during the spring semester, and who have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. This includes full-time and part-time degree-seeking students with a permanent U.S. address, whether they were living in on-campus residence halls, living at Vulcan Village or another off-campus location, or commuting to Cal U for face-to-face classes this spring.

Under the federal guidelines, students are NOT eligible for CARES Act funding if they were enrolled in a 100% online program as of March 13, 2020, when the pandemic was declared a national emergency, or if they do not have a FAFSA on file. International students and students in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), High School Early Admission (HSEA) and 60+ CAP programs also are not eligible to receive these funds.

How and when will my relief funds arrive?

Cal U expects to disburse this aid beginning May 6, 2020. If you have direct deposit set up with Student Accounts, this money will be deposited to your bank account; it will NOT be used to reduce any balance you may owe to the University. If you do not have direct deposit, you will receive a check by mail at your permanent address. You can sign up for direct deposit on VIP; look under the “Billing” tab for details.

Need more help?

All students, including those enrolled in Global Online programs, should contact the Financial Aid Office (finaid@calu.edu) if medical expenses, job loss or other effects of the pandemic have made a significant change in your family’s income. Financial Aid staff can advise you about updating your FAFSA to ask for an adjustment in your financial aid.

The current public health crisis has changed all of our lives, and I appreciate the sacrifices you are making to keep yourselves, your families and your communities safe. Please remember that Cal U is here to help. For more information about student services, look for the Coronavirus: FAQ for Students on our homepage, calu.edu.

With warmest wishes,

Geraldine M. Jones
University President

April 21, 2020: No Change in Operations for Employees

 

To all faculty and staff,

You may have seen news reports about Governor Wolf’s announcement about re-opening Pennsylvania for certain business activities next month. 

The University’s current operations are not impacted by this announcement.   

Those employees who currently are performing essential services on campus will continue to do so. Employees who are currently telecommuting will continue to work remotely.

The University will communicate any changes to this directive – but right now there is no timeline for any changes in our current operation.

Thank you for everything you do for our University. We know this is a difficult and stressful time. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor.  

If you are experiencing problems that are affecting your well-being, don’t hesitate to contact the State Employee Assistance Program 1-800-692-7459, (1-800-824-4306 TDD) available 24 hours a day, or log on to www.liveandworkwell.com  ​access code: Pennsylvania​.

Regards,

Eric Guiser
Director of Human Resources

April 14, 2020: President's Message - Celebrating Graduating Seniors


 

Cal U family!

I hope you and your families are managing well as we adapt to these difficult times.  

Covid-19 has changed our lives, but I am incredibly proud of the resilience you’ve shown over these past several weeks. You all have made sacrifices to keep yourselves, your families and your neighborhoods safe. I know it isn’t easy, but every Cal U student is part of a strong and caring community. Although we are apart, we will get through these challenges together.

If you need help with your classes, or support for your mental or physical health, please let us know. Just like you, our faculty and staff are working in new ways, and from new locations. But one thing hasn’t changed – we remain committed to your well-being, as well as your academic success. 

Speaking of success, I have good news for our graduating seniors. Although we won’t be holding a formal ceremony this spring, we will be celebrating this important turning point in your life.

Please watch the mail for a package arriving in mid-May. In it you’ll find some special gifts to mark your graduation and help you celebrate at home.

A second package will arrive a few weeks later. It will include your personalized diploma, your Commencement booklet and any honor cords you may have earned. You will also find a link to an interactive version of the booklet that you can share with friends and relatives online.

Your celebration package includes a personal invitation to take part in our winter Commencement ceremony in December. Every one of our seniors deserves the opportunity to walk across the stage and be recognized for their achievement.

I look forward to sharing that milestone moment with you and all our 2020 graduates.

Until we are together again, I wish all of you good health and happiness. Stay safe, stay focused and stay connected. I’ll talk to you again soon!

Geraldine M. Jones
University President

More Updates


Read more updates from the University
to students, faculty and staff.


 

Information about the coronavirus and COVID-19

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STAY WELL?

There is no vaccine or anti-viral treatment for COVID-19. To reduce your risk of becoming ill, the CDC recommends these commonsense measures:

  • Stay home when you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Use a regular cleaning spray or wipes to clean and disinfect surfaces you touch frequently, such as doorknobs, keyboards, computer mice, cellphones, etc.

HOW CAN WE HELP?

Studying or working from home? Check our these helpful resources:

 


Use your Cal U login and password to read the University’s 2020 Pandemic Response Plan and unit/department plans for responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.