Gannon to delay move-in, start of in-person classes
Posted: January 4, 2022
As we have become accustomed to these past two years, our plans are made to accommodate change based upon our environment and the realities we are managing within our Gannon community. The recent exposures of both students and colleagues to the COVID-19 virus has led to our decision to delay the start of in-person classes at our Erie and Ruskin campuses to Tuesday, Jan. 18, and to shift formal move-in to our residence halls by a week.
We are taking these steps after observing an abrupt rise in the number of cases among students, faculty and staff over the past two weeks. Testing on Monday alone revealed another 34 positive cases aligned with the surge of cases being reported regionally and nationally. It is likely that these numbers will remain high in coming days as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly across Erie and Hillsborough counties.
We understand that this decision will cause disruptions in many plans for us all, but we believe it is the most prudent path given the current situation. We think the additional time away from campus will allow the holiday-fueled surge in the virus to begin to ease and for additional time to support the smooth return of students to the engaging environment we have enjoyed this past semester.
There are a few caveats to our shift in the start of in-person learning:
- The university will continue to welcome athletes, global students and other specific groups that had unique schedules for this week and next so they can begin practices and orientation-type activities.
- All fully online classes -- as well as courses for the Jameson School of Nursing -- will begin as planned on Monday, Jan. 10.
- 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.
Employees are expected to return to work as planned. However, if you are sick or having symptoms of COVID-19 or any illness, please stay home and report this illness or any exposure via LiveSafe. If you have questions, please reach out to your supervisor.
A key aspect of this delayed start is the intent to delay return of students to campus. Therefore, we are discouraging our 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.
- 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 are able to 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.
If you cannot make these dates or times, reach out to the Office of Residence Life at email@example.com for move-in questions. If you are unvaccinated and require COVID testing or if you have questions about testing in general, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we expect to resume in-person classes on Jan. 18, we will all need to continue to be flexible -- as we have been -- and the Deans will discuss at the College faculty meetings this week any additional preparation that might be needed to ensure we have a successful semester together.
Again, we have not adjusted the rest of our academic calendar. Spring and Easter breaks are still on, and our Erie and Ruskin commencements will be in-person experiences.
All of this is a reminder that we need to remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19. We need to keep wearing our masks – they are required inside any Gannon building – and we continue to recommend vaccination. Vaccines have proven to be the best defense against severe illness. In addition, we encourage those who are vaccinated to get a vaccine booster as soon as possible. We are working to bring more vaccines and boosters to our campus communities, and we should have more news on these efforts soon.
We understand you may have additional questions, and we are planning messages regarding these changes for specific groups needing more detailed operational information. Please look for additional emails and social media posts this week.
In the meantime, we hope you are doing well and staying safe. We look forward to seeing you on campus soon. And we are both sorry to make yet another change and grateful for your patience as we work through all of this together.
As always, if you have a question or a comment, you can submit it at https://www.gannon.edu/Questions-or-Comments/.