You'll need a mask indoors, but most everything else has changed
Posted: May 21, 2021
Gannon University is adjusting its COVID-19 protocols and planning for face-to-face instruction at both of its campuses in summer and fall.
Like you, the university has been digesting the flurry of guidance issued in the past two weeks by state and federal agencies. What follows are our adjusted guidelines and next steps. Keep in mind that these protocols can and most likely will change between now and Aug. 25, when a more traditional-looking fall semester begins. Keep and eye and ear out for additional messages coming in the weeks ahead.
We expect to be fully open come fall, and we hope to even be maskless – dependent on how widely vaccinated our Gannon population is by the beginning of school. As of May 10, 60 percent of our staff had reported being vaccinated; 47 percent of our faculty; and 23 percent of our students. We will be working to achieve a goal of all of these numbers being 70 percent or better for fall. You can help the cause of a maskless new year by confirming your vaccination status by uploading an image of your vaccination record at update.gannon.edu/vaccinecard
Here is Gannon’s general COVID-19 mitigation framework, effective immediately:
- For now, masks will be required indoors across the Erie and Ruskin campuses, unless you’re in your office working alone. You can wear a mask at your discretion when you are outside.
- We are discontinuing social distancing measures at both campuses.
- In classrooms and in dining areas, we are reverting to our regular room designs and assignments.
- The traffic patterns inside Waldron Campus Center and other areas across both campuses will be returned to their pre-pandemic design. COVID-limits in elevators and one-way traffic in stairwells are also being eliminated. (Please be patient as we remove signs, etc., over the next few weeks.)
- We are urging all members of the community to receive their vaccines, but we will NOT generally require them.
- We will strongly encourage vaccinations through summer and fall for students, faculty and staff.
- We will establish on-campus clinics, especially around the start of classes in August. However, vaccines are readily available now in Erie and Hillsborough counties, and across the country, so you do not have to wait until August to be sure you are fully vaccinated by the time of your planned return.
- To help us make decisions on campus policies and procedures, we are closely tracking how many in our Gannon community are vaccinated. Please upload an image of your vaccination record at update.gannon.edu/vaccinecard as soon as it is completed.
- We will continue to utilize LiveSafe as part of our campus health and safety procedures.
- Look for more communication regarding LiveSafe in the weeks ahead. We will be making several adjustments to the app’s content and questions.
- We will reduce the number of temperature check stations and make them passive check-ins rather than required stops.
- We have removed the mandatory temp check station in Waldron Campus Center. The scanners are still present in the building and we encourage you to use them at your discretion.
- For employees, we are eliminating the need to do temperature scans on arrival to campus. We encourage you to check them at home beforehand.
- We will continue our current Travel policy. https://update.gannon.edu/Documents/GannonUniversity-EmployeeTravelPolicy.pdf
- We will continue testing for COVID-19 through summer and fall, but those who show proof of being vaccinated will not have to test unless they have symptoms.
- Vaccinated individuals will not need to quarantine if identified as a “close contact” unless they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
- Students moving back to campus in August who are unvaccinated will instead have a welcoming process that includes testing and limited quarantine and participation in an ongoing testing protocol throughout the year. More information will be released soon that includes specific details of this process.
- We will continue our isolation/tracing/care program into the fall. This system, which helped us contain outbreaks of COVID-19, allowed us to stay open throughout this academic year. We will also continue to set aside spaces on campus for isolation and quarantine if that becomes necessary.
- For employees, we will return to working on campus this summer, but we will explore remote work where appropriate.
- In offices, supervisors and employees can determine what works best for them – that is, they can continue practices that might have worked – plexiglass and Zoom meetings, for instance – and that have use going forward. Scheduling and operational decisions should be reviewed with HR and/or the office’s VP.
- More specific guidance on return-to-work procedures will be issued soon.
- Whether student, staff or faculty: If you are sick or having symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home. This was a good practice in the past academic year and it will continue to serve us well.
- We will continue offering in-classroom cleaning supplies, but we will discontinue the requirement of “wipe in, spray out.” We will continue supplying sanitizer across campus.
- We will be moving courses back to traditional face-to-face using hybrid learning and remote learning when necessary and practicable. Details on accommodations for students and faculty where practicable will be coming soon as well.
- We have rolled back gathering limits and space restrictions across campus, effective immediately.
- In-person staff meetings can be resumed, but accommodations or alternatives should be considered if not all employees are comfortable or vaccinated.
- Classrooms and sitting areas will immediately begin to be repopulated with furniture that has been in storage.
- Water fountains across campus will be turned on.
- COVID-19 limits in Yehl and elsewhere across campus will be lifted and capacity will be restored to pre-pandemic levels. Signage is already being removed.
- New Visitor Polices will be released soon for both campuses, but COVID-related visitor restrictions in our residence halls are rescinded, effective immediately.
We will continue to send messages to your email and will post them at update.gannon.edu.
If you have a question or a comment, you can submit it at https://www.gannon.edu/Questions-or-Comments/.