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Masking guideline changes for fully vaccinated individuals effective June 14, 2021

All other changes outlined in this plan, aside from masking requirements noted above, take effect on June 1, 2021.

Main COVID-19 Page

Provide Proof of Vaccination: Vaccination Record Submission Form

*Information provided through the Vaccination Record Submission Form will not be retained in medical records maintained by College Health Services

Provide Notice of Close Contact/Test Results: COVID-19 Reporting Form

Ask a question about COVID-19 policies or changes: COVID-19 Question Form

Penn College’s Strategy to Provide In-person Instruction

Penn College’s hallmark is hands-on learning supported by in-person instruction; this is our enduring educational model, imbuing our graduates with the skills necessary to become leaders and innovators in their fields. Guided by our mission, and following the Commonwealth’s health and safety guidelines, Penn College has committed to in-person instruction in the safest and most responsible way possible.

This plan serves as a road map for students, employees, parents, and guests, outlining our strategy to continue providing world-class instruction while adhering to current health-and-safety guidelines.

The Penn College community joins the world in adjusting to circumstances that demands a high degree of personal responsibility in support of the collective health of society.

Vaccination & Prevention

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  • The College strongly encourages individuals to get a COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, the College is not requiring the vaccine.
  • Masking is required indoors for all unvaccinated individuals at this time. In accordance with guidance from the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, masking is not required for individuals who are fully vaccinated. Students and employees should plan to provide proof of vaccination prior to coming to campus without a mask. 
  • Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or who have been identified as a close contact should not report to campus.
    • Individuals who are fully vaccinated and who have provided proof of vaccination do no need to quarantine unless they are symptomatic.
    • Have I been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days? 
  • Posted guidelines and signage must be followed.
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FAQs

All individuals 12 years of age and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine. You can find vaccine locations near you using the CDC's Vaccine Finder tool. 

The College strongly encourages qualified individuals to get the vaccine. The vaccine is another important way we can keep campus safe. At this time, the College is not requiring the COVID-19 vaccine.

Individuals are welcome to continue wearing masks on campus, even if they are fully vaccinated, and will be supported in their choice to do so. The College recognizes that individuals have varying degrees of comfort with the changing of mask requirements. 

No, masks are no longer required when alone outside or in small groups. There may be events or activities that require masking even though they are held outdoors. 

In accordance with guidance from the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, masking is not required for individuals who are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine). Students and employees should plan to provide proof of vaccination prior to coming to campus without a mask. Masking is required indoors for all unvaccinated individuals at this time.

In alignment with CDC guidance, vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Persons who do not meet the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Proof of vaccination is required.

You will not be asked to provide your vaccination card outside of your submission through the College's official collection method. Supervisors are permitted to ask employees if they have received their vaccination if they are not wearing a mask. 

Guidance on this topic is evolving. Students and employees may voluntarily share their vaccination status with others, and this applies to faculty and students in the classroom. At this time, only students and employees who have reported their vaccination status to the College may be on campus (indoors) without a mask. 

In short, no, you should not ask others their vaccination status and no one is required to provide vaccination status to other members of the campus community. Students and employees may voluntarily share their vaccination status with others. In very limited instances the nature of an activity may prompt an inquiry into an individual’s vaccination status. In the event this information needs to be shared, it must be done so with the highest degree of confidentiality. 

“Limited instances” will be determined on a case-by-cases and will be reviewed by Academic Affairs. Faculty who believe that an activity within their instructional setting may necessitate the sharing of this information should contact academicaffairs@pct.edu for further guidance. For inquiries outside of Academic Affairs, please contact victor@pct.edu

At this time, College Health Services does not offer the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Many individuals are reporting flu like symptoms shortly after a vaccination, specifically a second dose. This reaction is anticipated, may vary from person to person, and usually only lasts about 24-36 hours. Individuals who were NOT experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 prior to receiving their vaccination, but do experience side effects in the timeframe immediately following vaccination, should follow the guidance provided by the individual administering the vaccine on whether they should report to work or class.

As always, individuals who are unsure of the origin of their symptoms or who do not feel well enough to work or attend class, should stay home and consult College Health Services or their medical provider.  

Masking is required indoors for all unvaccinated individuals at this time. Masks should be worn over the mouth and nose and be fitted to the face. 

In the event of a lost or damaged mask, please visit one of the following locations to for a single-use mask: 

Locations with standard business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

  • SASC Front Desk
  • ATHS Mail Services Center (ATHS/E138)
  • School of Engineering Technologies (LEC/B1134)
  • School of Business, Arts & Sciences (ACC/102)
  • School of Nursing & Health Sciences (ATHS/E257)
  • Earth Science Center
  • Aviation Center
  • BWD Front Desk

Locations with extended business hours:

  • Campus Center Information Desk:
    Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
    Friday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
    Saturday and Sunday: noon-8 p.m.
     
  • Library Resource Desk:
    Monday – Tuesday: 7:30 a.m.-2 a.m.
    Wednesday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
    Friday: 7:30-9 p.m.
    Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
    Sunday: Noon-2 a.m.

Face shields are not a substitute for face masks, but may be used in limited instances as an acceptable accommodation or when providing instruction (while maintaining a distance of 6 feet or greater from students).

 

Students and employees are expected to follow the College's outlined requirements for masking if they are unvaccinated. Those are vaccinated should supply proof of vaccination

Students and employees who fail to comply with reasonable requests within the guidelines can be denied access to classrooms, labs, or other facilities and/or be denied service in dining units, the Madigan Library, etc. Individuals can be subject to charges under the Student Code of Conduct or through personnel policies for non-compliance or providing false information. 

Report Non-Compliance

Disability Services will be the point of contact for any accommodations requested as a result of COVID-19, and Human Resources will be the point of contact for employee needs. All accommodations will follow Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and will be responsive to COVID-specific guidance related to accommodating instances of elevated risk.

Our goal with all of these modifications has been to maximize our opportunities to provide the world-class, hands-on experiences that students come here to receive, while simultaneously following all available guidance to ensure the safety of our community.

Testing & Mitigation

  • College Health Services will continue to conduct COVID-19 testing and contact tracing for the College community.
  • Quarantine and isolation procedures are in place for affected students.
  • On- and off-campus students may isolate on campus after a positive COVID-19 test result. 
  • Only on-campus students may quarantine in on-campus facilities. 
  • Unvaccinated students and employees may be subject to random testing. 

FAQs

All tests, results and notifications of close contact should be reported to the College using the COVID-19 Reporting Form. If you have been vaccinated, and are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine. 

College Health services provides testing for symptomatic individuals, and those unvaccinated individuals identified as close contacts.

Students and employees will not be charged for COVID-19 testing. Employees are asked to provide an insurance card at the time of testing. There will be no direct billing to the employee, and those without proof of insurance at the time of testing will not incur a charge. 

If students report any symptoms of COVID-19, they will be instructed to notify College Health Services immediately by calling the office at 570.320.5234; employees may notify College Health Services or their preferred provider. College Health Services is seeing those concerned about COVID-19 in the College Health Services Annex in the Bush Campus Center. Staff in College Health Services will provide you with directions when you call. When you are seen in College Health Services, staff will conduct a second-level screening process and, based on that screening, may test for COVID-19. In the event of a medical emergency, dial 911.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 through a provider other than College Health Services should report their result via the COVID-19 Reporting Form.

Students tested for COVID-19 will be presumed to be positive and required to immediately self-isolate pending test results. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to continue isolation and remain isolated until they achieve recovery based on the CDC criteria. Students will have the option to return home to isolate, but the College has isolation space available for those who wish to stay on campus.

College Health Services will conduct contact tracing for anyone who tests positive. Based on information provided by the individual who tests positive, College Health Services will reach out to any individuals who were exposed to COVID-19. This includes any unvaccinated (and asymptomatic) individual who was in close contact (defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset, unless both parties were masked) with the infected person. Those notified of their exposure through contact tracing are required to quarantine for 14 days as long as the individual remains symptom free. Additionally, College Health Services will test individuals identified as a close contact on day five of their quarantine for release on day seven with a negative test result. Students will have the option to return home to quarantine or to quarantine in their existing residence. Students who live off campus will not be permitted to quarantine on campus. Contact tracing will also be used to implement cleaning protocols for all areas identified as potentially exposed through the tracing interview.

In cases of isolation or quarantine, students will be supported in efforts to remain current with their coursework through coordination with their faculty. Students in isolation or quarantine will have meals delivered to them in accordance with their existing meal plan, if they have one, or billed as a declining balance expense, and they will have ongoing health support from College Health Services, as well as access to counseling though telehealth.

Employees who are exposed to or test positive for COVID-19 should refer to guidance provided by Human Resources.

Students and employees receiving positive test results while away from campus should remain in their home location to isolate. The COVID-19 Reporting Form should be completed, and College Health Services or Human Resources will follow up regarding medical clearance for return to campus. 

Employees must also submit a Leave of Absence Request and notify their supervisor. 

In an emergency situation, College Health Services will notify the individual designated as the student’s emergency contact in the SIS.  In non-emergency situations, College Health Services will not be able to discuss student health issues without the permission of the student.  Students can authorize College Health Services to provide information to designated individuals by signing a Release of Information when they come in for care.  In addition, students can designate individuals they would like to authorize to share information with by logging into the SIS and selecting ‘Full Academic and Staff Contact’ under Parent/Guest Access.   

If you have a positive test result within the last 90 days, and can provide that result to the College, you are not required to test or quarantine. The COVID-19 Reporting Form can be used to report tests and results. 

At this time, all unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask when indoors. Students and employees wishing to be vaccinated should consult their healthcare provider regarding when they are able to get a vaccine after testing positive. 

In alignment with guidance from Center for Disease Control for institutions of higher education, Penn College will adopt a random testing strategy for members of the campus community who have not provided documentation of vaccination, using rapid antigen tests. There will be no cost to students or employees for this testing. Those subject to this testing strategy will be identified based on vaccination documentation status at the time of sample identification.   

Selected individuals will be notified via Penn College email on the Friday prior to the testing week. A link to schedule the time and location of their test will be provided. Proof of prior positivity to be exempt from testing requirements may be provided in cases where positivity was within the previous 90 days. Testing must be completed within the assigned week and should not be scheduled during existing class times.  

Results will be provided onsite. Individuals who test negative may return to class or work uninterrupted. If an individual tests positive, they will be directed to College Health Services for a PCR confirmation test, which will be collected that same day. The individual will be required to isolate pending the result of the PCR test.  In addition, close contacts will be identified and instructed to quarantine pending results of the PCR test. If positivity is confirmed, the individual will be required to isolate per CDC guidelines and close contacts will be required to quarantine. 

Students failing to test within the defined week will receive a Health Alert informing them and their faculty that they should not report to class until testing is completed. Employees failing to test within the defined week will be referred to Human Resources and not permitted to work until testing is completed. 

Academic Instruction

  • Masking is required indoors for all unvaccinated individuals at this time. In accordance with guidance from the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, masking is not required for individuals who are fully vaccinated. Students and employees should plan to provide proof of vaccination prior to coming to campus without a mask. 
  • Global Experiences remain suspended through Fall 2021, and are tentatively planned to resume in some capacity in Spring 2022. 
  • Field trips and off-campus academic trips may resume.

FAQs

You should immediately notify Student Affairs at studentaffairs@pct.edu. After notifying Student Affairs, students should immediately contact their faculty regarding Continuity of Education plans. 

Masking is required for all unvaccinated individuals at this time. In accordance with guidance from the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, masking is not required for individuals who are fully vaccinated. Proof of vaccination  should be provided to the College prior to coming to campus without a mask. 

Unvaccinated faculty may continue to wear a face shield in place of a mask only when providing instruction and when 6 feet or more from students in a classroom.

Global Experiences are suspended through the Fall 2021 semester, and will tentatively resume in some capacity in Spring 2022.

Domestic travel for employees and students may resume. At this time, when traveling for or with the College, unvaccinated individuals must wear masks when indoors/in vehicles.

Yes, while you are not required to wear a mask if vaccinated, some faculty and staff may encourage you to wear a mask when in their office space, whether you are vaccinated or not. We encourage everyone to be respectful of others’ preferences.

In accordance with guidance from the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, masking is not required for individuals who are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine). This guidance applies to classroom and labs settings. Faculty and staff may not impose additional requirements beyond those outlined by the College. Individuals who wish to continue wear masks even if they are vaccinated, may do so. Some clinical and off-site locations may require additional precautions. 

No. Unvaccinated individuals are permitted in all campus spaces as all others are, as long as they are masked.

No. Unvaccinated individuals are permitted in all campus spaces as all others are, as long as they are masked. Some clinical and off-site locations may require additional precautions. 

Campus Life

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  • Administrative and student support offices remain available to students.
  • On-campus housing and dining options are available with modified operations to promote safety.
  • Providing engaging, fun, and enriching experiences remains a priority.
  • The Fitness Center will reopen to students and employees. Masks are required for all users at this time, regardless of vaccination status.
  • College Health Services continues to offer preventive and urgent care services, in addition to needs related to COVID-19.
  • Counseling Services provides free and confidential counseling via telehealth. Employees have 24/7 access to the College’s Employee Assistance Program at no charge.
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FAQs

New students are encouraged to visit the Welcome Weekend website to learn more about their arrival for the Fall 2021 semester.

Yes, unvaccinated students may remove masks when in their private residence hall spaces, with doors closed. Masks are not required for fully vaccinated students. 

 

Absolutely! We maintain our commitment to provide engaging, fun, and enriching experiences both in and outside the classrooms. The offices of Student Engagement, Residence Life, and others have a calendar full of opportunities to relax, have fun, and meet your fellow Wildcats. Most of these activities will be in-person experiences, and others will be done virtually, providing a range of options across a broad spectrum of interests. We hope you will join us in person or online for as many activities as your schedule allows. Follow our social media channels or check out the Stall Wall to stay on top of what’s happening.

College Health Services offers a complement of urgent care, preventive, and emergency services in its main office in Room 150 of the Bush Campus Center and is open by appointment. Students seeking preventive or urgent care (other than something potentially COVID-19-related) can visit College Health Services free of charge and may receive lab work and prescription medications at a nominal cost. Any member of the campus community who feels they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should call College Health Services at 570-320-5234 to arrange a visit in the College Health Services Annex.

College Health Services is open during the College’s regular operating hours, and services are supplemented through the support of Susquehanna Regional EMS after hours.

Absolutely. We know that college is a stressful time under normal circumstances; the uncertainties we are all living with can only add to this. Anxiety, depression, homesickness, and challenges adjusting are very common for college students, and Counseling Services is here to help. Counseling Services provides free and confidential counseling services to all enrolled students. Five full-time, licensed counselors are available during regular operating hours, and services are supplemented by College Police after hours. Anyone experiencing a mental health emergency should dial 911.

Employees have 24/7 access to the College’s Employee Assistance Program.

The Fitness Center will be opened in the near future and all users will required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

Campus common spaces will be repopulated with furniture and other previously removed items. 

No. Unvaccinated individuals are permitted in all campus spaces as all others are, as long as they are masked. Some clinical and off-site locations may require additional precautions. 

Consistent Communication

  • The COVID-19 Information web page will provide ongoing communication and updates.
  • The College maintains a dashboard documenting cases of COVID-19, testing, vaccination, and recovery data.
  • Daily case notification (Monday-Friday) and updates are provided to students, faculty, and staff via AdminWire, the College’s internal communication system. Any results received over a weekend are reported in Monday's data.

Commitment

Our commitment to a healthy campus

The COVID-19 pandemic demands that we view our world in a different light. Now, more than ever, we are compelled to honor our institution’s core value of a “Community of Respect.”

As a member of the Penn College Community, I understand my moral and ethical obligation to:

  • Consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself and others.
  • Practice good hand-washing behaviors.
  • Regularly clean all personal and shared spaces.
  • Wear a face mask if unvaccinated.
  • Immediately seek medical advice/attention if I have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Wear a face mask if unvaccinated.
  • Avoid interacting with others if I have symptoms, or if I may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Follow all quarantine or isolation directives.
  • Support those who choose to wear a mask even if vaccinated, recognizing that members of the campus community have varying degrees of comfort with changing mask guidelines.
  • I understand that the continuity of our educational environment and mission depends upon every single one of us taking mitigation measures seriously and respecting our fellow campus-community members through necessary actions.
  • Additionally, I acknowledge that Penn College is a part of a greater surrounding community, and that I also have a responsibility to keep our neighbors safe through my actions.
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