University Details Mask Requirement, Other Fall Reopening Plans

Aug 12, 2021

"It will take all of us, working together, to keep our Vulcan Nation as strong and safe as possible this fall," Dr. Dale, Cal U's president, says in an email to the campus community. Read her message to students, faculty and staff below.

vulcan statue mask

The Fall 2021 semester is almost here! I’m looking forward to the energy and excitement that comes with the start of a new academic year.

It will take all of us, working together, to keep our Vulcan Nation as strong and safe as possible this fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many counties in southwestern Pennsylvania are experiencing substantial spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, including the highly contagious delta variant.

New evidence shows that the delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than early forms of the COVID-19 virus. Even fully vaccinated people may, in some cases, transmit the virus to others. So it’s more important than ever that we reduce the risk to our campus community.

What does this mean for Cal U?

  • Our University will start the fall semester at Level 2, as defined in our Guide to Operations. Classes will meet as listed in the schedule and residence halls will be open, with enhanced health and safety measures in place. To mitigate risk, the University strongly encourages vaccination for all members of our Cal U community.
  • Everyone regardless of vaccination status will be required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth when they are indoors on campus, beginning Friday, August 13. You must wear your mask in all classrooms and academic buildings, office buildings, performance spaces and common areas inside residence halls.

Masks will not be required in most outdoor settings. You may remove your mask when you are inside your own residence hall room, actively eating or drinking in the Gold Rush or other dining area, or alone in a private office. Learn more here.

  • If you are a student with a residence hall contract, you will be required to participate in COVID-19 entry screening and surveillance testing when you arrive on campus. One of the following will be required:
    • Present a negative PCR test that was administered within 72 hours before your arrival. (At-home tests do NOT fulfill this requirement.)
    • Provide proof of being fully vaccinated or having tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
    • Enter a modified quarantine until a COVID-19 test can be administered on campus and a negative result received. Students will be asked to restrict their movements around campus and wear a mask when interacting with any other person. On-campus testing information will be provided at check-in.

You and your family members must wear face coverings while you’re moving in, and social distancing will be encouraged. Masks will be required at all indoor events during Welcome Weekend and beyond, and at some outdoor events where social/physical distancing is not possible.

  • Free COVID-19 testing will be available to all Cal U students and employees throughout the semester. If you are symptom-free, you may visit the testing site in the Convocation Center from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. It’s a good idea to monitor your own health, especially if you haven’t yet been vaccinated.

Students with symptoms of COVID-19 should phone the Health Center at 724-938-4232 and make an appointment for testing. The Health Center will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday. Employees who experience symptoms should contact the HR office and their own healthcare provider.

Although the University cannot require students and employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, we know that vaccination is the best way to protect ourselves and those around us, including vulnerable members of our community.

The University will be offering a free vaccination clinic Aug. 27 in the Convocation Center for anyone who has not yet been vaccinated. The two-dose Pfizer vaccine has proven safe and effective against COVID-19, including the delta variant. You can register for your first dose here and plan to receive your second dose on Sept. 17.

We have a promising year ahead. Let’s all work together and start off strong.

Keep well, Vulcans!

Dr. Dale