REVISED (1/10/22) : A guide to our next semester
Posted: December 22, 2021
The university announced last week that it is delaying the start of in-person classes at our Erie and Ruskin campuses to Tuesday, Jan. 18. Any previously scheduled online courses will begin as planned on Monday, Jan. 10. The university has also shifted formal move-in to our residence halls by a week.
This announcement has resulted in some changes to our operations and schedule. We would like to provide this updated guide from what was previously shared in December to keep you informed of our newest framework for the upcoming spring semester.
KEY Spring 2022 semester dates
- All classes previously scheduled to be in-person will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
- All classes previously scheduled to be fully online will begin as planned on Monday, Jan. 10. This also applies to courses for the Jameson School of Nursing.
- We have not adjusted the rest of our academic calendar. Spring and Easter breaks are still on. Our Erie and Ruskin Commencements will be in-person experiences.
- The start and continuation of clinical rotations or internships will not be impacted. Any changes will be communicated by the program.
- We have not altered our athletic calendar or any other aspects of the academic calendar beyond this start date.
- New student orientation is rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 15. Global orientation is rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 12.
What you need to know if you are a RETURNING residential student
A key aspect of this delayed start is the intent to delay return of students to campus. Therefore, we are discouraging our returning residential students and those returning to Erie from out of town from moving back in advance of Jan. 15.
We understand some of you may have booked flights or made other plans that might be unmovable. We will of course be here to support you in any way that we can. Dining will also be open. However, if you are sick or having symptoms of COVID-19 or any illness, please stay home and report this via LiveSafe.
- For residents who cannot delay arrival and need to pick up a key (returning and those attending orientation, which is postponed to Jan. 15), keys will be available for pick up at the University Services Building, 406 Peach St., from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 7, and from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8. If you are arriving outside of these times, your keys will be available at Police and Safety, 210 W. Sixth St.
- For residents who can delay arrival (highly encouraged) and need to pick up a key (returning and those attending orientation), keys will be available for pick up at the University Services Building, 406 Peach St., from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 14, and from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15. If you are arriving outside of these times, your keys will be available at Police and Safety, 210 W. Sixth St.
Contact the Office of Residence Life at email@example.com if you cannot make these dates or times or for move-in questions.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unvaccinated and require COVID-19 testing or if you have questions about testing in general.
What you need to know if you are a Student-athlete
- The university will continue to welcome student-athletes and other groups who have unique schedules for this week and next so they can begin practices and related activities.
- If you are a student-athlete, NCAA rules exist for travel, testing and vaccination. Consult with your coach and the Athletics Department for rules specific to your sport.
What you need to know if you are a NEW global student
- If you cannot delay your travel to campus, the university will make all necessary accommodations to support you in your arrival. If you are a returning residential student, please see more information above under “What You Need to Know if You Are a Returning Residential Student.”
- Global orientation for new global students is rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 12, in a virtual format. New global students will also be scheduled for an individual date to complete mandatory check-in processes. Please monitor your email for more information.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR PROTOCOLS
- We will be face-to-face for the spring semester in Erie and in Ruskin. If you are enrolled in an in-person course, that course will begin on Jan. 18. If you are enrolled in an online course, that course will begin as planned on Jan. 10.
- Masks are required indoors on both campuses. The only exemptions are when you are working alone in your office, while actively eating and drinking, or while in your residence.
- If you are having symptoms of COVID-19 or other illness, please do not come to campus.
- Report your symptoms or exposure through LiveSafe. If you are unfamiliar with LiveSafe, learn more about it here. Reporting through LiveSafe is the most efficient way to get through to one of our nurses in the Health Center. They will discuss your symptoms or exposure and can help get you in for COVID-19 testing if they think it is necessary.
ABOUT VACCINES AND SURVEILLANCE TESTING
- We are not requiring the vaccine, but we strongly encourage you to get it. Those who are unvaccinated must be part of our surveillance testing program. For employees, this testing – per President Biden’s order – will be weekly. For students, it will also shift to weekly. We are a highly vaccinated university. In Erie, 95% of faculty are vaccinated, 84% of staff and 75% of students. In Ruskin, 82% of faculty, 80% of staff and 83% of students are vaccinated
- Click here to read our latest update on spring on-boarding and surveillance testing. Unvaccinated employees are scheduled for on-boarding testing Jan. 3-7 and will schedule their weekly surveillance test at their on-boarding appointment. Unvaccinated students were provided a form via email by email@example.com with options regarding their on-boarding test based on whether they will be arriving as previously scheduled or delaying their arrival to campus. Please see your Gannon email for the form and these instructions to schedule your required on-boarding test. Unvaccinated students’ weekly surveillance tests will be scheduled at the time of their on-boarding appointment upon arrival. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to know if you are vaccinated and if you have received a vaccine booster. This information helps guide our COVID-19 surveillance efforts and in monitoring health and safety on campus.
- If you are fully vaccinated and have not reported your status to the university, please do so here.
- If you have received a COVID-19 booster and have not reported it to the university, please do so here.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE POSITIVE OR A CLOSE CONTACT
- If you test positive for COVID-19 over the break, please report it to the Health Center via LiveSafe AND send a copy of your positive test result to email@example.com.
- If you have come in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case, please report this via LiveSafe, and a member of our Health Center will be in touch to guide you through next steps.
Some guidelines for those who become infected with COVID-19:
- You must isolate regardless of your vaccination status or symptoms. Our nurses and/or our contact tracers will provide you a date when you can return to regular campus activities.
- The length of isolation can be as long as 10 days. However, both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals have a chance to “test out” of isolation on day five with a second “test-out” chance on day 7 if the first was positive. If you receive a negative test either time, you will be released from isolation. If you receive a positive test both times, you will need to isolate for 10 days and be released on day 11.
- Students will have access to remote learning. This will be coordinated through the Health Center and Academic Affairs; however, students are responsible for communicating with their professors regarding their absence from class.
- Students living in on-campus housing who test positive and cannot properly isolate from others will be moved to new accommodations set aside for isolation and will be looked after by members of our Care Team, who will arrange for meal delivery and other needs. The Care Team’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you test positive outside of Gannon University’s testing program, report your illness to the Health Center via LiveSafe AND send a copy of your positive test result to email@example.com
Some guidelines for those who are determined to be “close contacts” to a positive:
- If you are vaccinated and experiencing NO symptoms, you will NOT have to quarantine. You will be tested on or about Day 5 after exposure to ensure you are not an asymptomatic positive.
- If you are vaccinated and DO HAVE symptoms, you will need to quarantine. A Gannon nurse or contact tracer will determine the length of that quarantine for you based on when you were exposed.
- If you are unvaccinated, you will need to quarantine. A Gannon nurse or contact tracer will determine the length of that quarantine for you based on when you were exposed.
- Quarantines generally last 10 days but can extend to 14.
- Students living in on-campus housing who are identified as “close contacts” and in need of quarantine may be moved to new accommodations set aside for isolation and quarantine and will be looked after by members of our Care Team, who will arrange for meal delivery and other needs. The Care Team’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
- For clarity, a “close contact” is someone who has been within six feet of a COVID-positive individual for 15 minutes or longer, with or without a mask.
OUR LATEST TRAVEL ADVICE
- The university in November updated its travel policy to account for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers and to reflect the lifting of most restrictions on domestic travel. You are no longer required to report travel unless you are headed to an international or cruise destination.
- Be aware that travel guidance – particularly for international travel to or from the U.S. – has been among the most frequently changed. Testing requirements and quarantines are likely to change given the spread of the omicron variant.
- The university has launched an updated online dashboard and a vaccination reporting system to track COVID-19 data.
- There are currently no gathering limits to events on campus. With gatherings, we encourage those who are unvaccinated to continue practicing social distancing and wearing a mask to limit possible exposure to yourself and others. Also, there are no visitor restrictions.
- Continue to practice healthy COVID mitigation efforts: Wear your mask, keep your distance and avoid congregate settings. COVID-19 is spreading throughout the Erie and Ruskin communities. You are your own best defense against the disease.
COVID-19 ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND TESTING
- All new students and new employees will be asked to complete an Acknowledgment of Mutual Respect and Responsibility Regarding COVID-19 form as we did last summer. This includes your consent to COVID-19 testing for the academic year should you be exposed or experience symptoms and require a test.
We would like to remind our employees of Gannon’s Flexible Work Arrangement policy. Those who wish to request a flexible work schedule or remote work should 1) discuss this with their supervisor, 2) review the FWA policy, and 3) complete an FWA request. These are both located on the HR website.
Supervisors and employees can determine what works best for them in their offices – that is, they can continue practices that might have worked: plexiglass and Zoom meetings, for instance – and that have use going forward.
In-person staff meetings can be held, but alternative participation methods should be considered and offered to accommodate employees who may not be comfortable or are unvaccinated.
A FINAL REMINDER …
Whether student, staff or faculty: If you are sick or having symptoms of COVID-19 or any illness, please stay home and report your symptoms via LiveSafe. This was a good practice in the past academic year, and it will continue to serve us well.