Read the entire plan below or download the PDF. Please note, the PDF will change as the plan evolves.

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Email covid19@mtaloy.edu. Your message will be passed to the appropriate task force. Thank you.

To the Mount Aloysius College community,

Today I am pleased to present our initial plan for our return to campus for the Fall 2020 semester.

Promoting the safety and health of our community is at the forefront of the plan, which provides our current strategies for effective communication and COVID-19 responses. 

First and foremost, and on behalf of the entire College community, I am deeply grateful to everyone who worked tirelessly on this important project. This includes each member of our Task Forces (listed at the end of this plan), the experts and community partners who helped us along the way, and our stakeholders who offered input through the entire process. In addition to all those working hard to create a safe campus environment, I want to thank our faculty, who are once again doing extraordinary work to prepare for the fall. Our Mountie educators are diligently continuing to build out engaging and challenging courses in several formats. This will allow us to prepare for the fall with flexible in-person, and if necessary, remote offerings. 

A sense of place is part of the power of Mount Aloysius College. There is comfort in the clean mountain air here and the abundance of space on campus for our community. And 70% of our students are from seven neighboring counties, where COVID-19 rates remain low.

With that said, it is impossible for us to eliminate all risk for our community this fall. The goal of this plan is to mitigate risk as optimally as possible.  This summer, we will align our resources with this plan to make strategic facilities investments for the upcoming academic year. This includes a wide range of equipment, supplies, and technology to support health and safety initiatives. 

This plan presents strategies for a vibrant on-campus learning and living environment, as well as the opportunity to succeed in a physically distanced but still socially close-knit environment. In light of a constantly changing environment, the plan provides more of a “direction forward” than a “detailed map.” It will evolve in many ways as we approach August 24, based on guidance from the government and health experts, as well as the response of our community. At each stage, the key to the plan’s success is the community’s continued involvement.

Mountie Compact

Please take note of the Mountie Compact linked below. You will also see it around campus this fall. 

Being a Mountie means more than caring for ourselves. In the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, being a Mountie means caring for each other. This community pledge is a way for our entire campus to stand together, and to take responsibility for the well-being of our entire community.

As Sister Catherine McAuley once stated, “We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” Let’s all love our neighbor this fall by reading the plan, taking it to heart, and acting – both on-campus and in the community, in grace-filled ways that demonstrate our commitment to caring for each other.

I know this pandemic has already demanded so much from all of you, and there will be more adaptation in the fall. However, I am confident in the power of this place and our mission.  This community will work together to succeed this year and beyond. 

Thank you for your dedication to this wonderful place and your patience with this process. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

We are in this together!

Read the Mountie Compact

View the Poster Here (JPG)

Introduction

Mount Aloysius College is continually considering guidance from the PA Department of Health and the CDC as it pertains to returning employees and students to Campus this fall.

This Reopening Plan is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all of the College’s plans, policies, and procedures.

This Reopening Plan is fluid, subject to change, and will be revised as new information becomes available and/or in response to changing conditions and scenarios.

Portions of this Plan were adapted from the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) “Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education,” the National Governors Association’s (NGA) “Reopening Institutions Of Higher Education,” the Pennsylvania Dept. of Education’s (PDE) ​”Preliminary Guidance – Resuming In-Person Instruction at Postsecondary Education Institutions” and other federal and state government sources.

A poster of the Mountie Compact

Click the image above to view the poster of the Mountie Compact

Strategies

Our Plan is designed to address the strategies for institutions of higher education set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education which includes strategies to:

  • Coordinate with local public health officials, or their equivalent;
  • Safely resume in-person instruction;
  • Monitor health conditions in the campus community;
  • Mitigate and contain the spread of the virus on Campus; and a process to inform the Department of Health of an active case of COVID-19 on Campus; and to
  • Communicate accurate and timely information to students, faculty, and staff when necessary.

This Plan will further address the following public health and safety measures:

  • Reinforcement of infection control practices related to personal hygiene, sanitation, facial coverings and social distancing.
  • Modification of facilities as necessary and practical to support infection control practices.
  • Easing of attendance/absence policies to encourage and support students and employees to remain home when sick and control spread of infection.
  • Avoidance of non-essential travel for students and employees; and 
  • Modification of course modalities, schedules, and/or the academic calendar in response to increased cases of the virus either on Campus or within Cambria or bordering counties to limit and/or curtail the spread of the virus. 

Criteria/Assumptions

This Plan is built on the assumption that Cambria County, Pennsylvania will be in the “Green” phase when students return to Campus in August. The chart below describes the various stages of Pennsylvania’s reopening plan and limitations associated with each phase.

Green Phase

“Stay at home and business closure orders lifted to allow the economy to strategically reopen while continuing to prioritize public health. While this phase will facilitate a return to a “new normal,” it will be equally important to continue to monitor public health indicators and adjust orders and restrictions as necessary to ensure the spread of disease remains at a minimum.”
Work and Congregate Setting Restrictions
Institutions may more fully resume in-person instruction and other routine operations.
Social Restrictions
Large non-instructional gatherings are limited to no more than 250 people. 
Continue to review CDC, DOH and PDE guidelines for facial coverings, social distancing and cleaning. It is possible that counties may transition back from green to yellow or red. 

Yellow Phase 

“Government-ordered closures of schools, gyms, and other indoor recreation centers, hair and nail salons, as well as limitations around large gatherings. Curbside pickup for restaurants/retail.”
Work and Congregate Setting Restrictions
Schools Closed for In-Person Instruction (under certain circumstances, nursing and health sciences may continue with in-person instruction)

Telework Must Continue Where Feasible

Social Restrictions
Stay at Home Order Lifted for Aggressive Mitigation; Gatherings of more than 25 people prohibited.
All businesses must follow CDC and DOH guidance for social distancing and cleaning

The College will educate faculty, staff, and students on infection control practices, monitoring their health and recognizing symptoms of COVID-19 to avoid the spread of infection. 

  1. Infection Control Practices
  2. Buildings and Facilities
  3. Minoring Your Health: Wellness Checks

Infection Control Practices

Mount Aloysius expects our students, faculty and staff to adhere to the following infection control practices.

Facial Coverings / Masks

Students and employees are expected to wear a mask or face shield when moving across Campus, in hallways, in meetings, and in the classroom. Masks may be removed to eat, in private offices, residential spaces or other areas in which you are alone or with only persons in your family unit on Campus. Masks may be homemade but must not contain any derogatory images, words or phrases toward any person or group of people. The College will have limited supply of disposable masks available for student and employee use. A College-branded mask will be issued to each student upon arrival in August. Additional branded masks will be available for purchase in the Bookstore. Follow CDC guidance for reusable masks.

EMPLOYEES MAY REMOVE MASKS IF you are alone in your office, if the mask impedes your vision creating a safety issue, or a medical condition prevents you from wearing a mask. In such cases, employees must consult with their supervisor.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

The College will provide as necessary PPE to students who are participating in off-campus clinical experiences in hospitals and other health care settings this fall. Each clinical site will establish the appropriate amount and grade of PPE for their site.

When conditions require, some Employees will be provided and expected to use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for their job; request replacements when needed; and notify their supervisor of any rips or tears incurred during disinfection or of known contaminated areas or surfaces.

Social Distancing

Maintain six feet of social distancing when possible. Greet others with a smile, hello or a wave. Avoid handshakes and physical contact.

Personal Hygiene

  • Practice regular hand washing throughout the day. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer when soap and water is unavailable.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Discard used items properly in receptacles. 
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Use water coolers to refill your own bottle or bring your own bottled water. Do not drink directly from water fountains. 
  • Monitor your health daily for symptoms of COVID-19 
  • Stay home when sick

Cleanliness and Sanitation of Personal Spaces, Study Areas, Office, etc.

While the College’s Housekeeping team will regularly clean and disinfect common areas and high-touch surfaces like doorknobs and light switches, our team cannot be everywhere all the time. 

Even spaces that look clean may contain germs that spread viruses and other infections. Additionally, spaces may have been cleaned just an hour before but another user passed through before you arrived. Therefore, the College is providing sanitizing spray and disposable towels for student and employee use. Doing your part to wipe down surfaces before and after use is another step you can take to keep yourself and others healthy.

Employees are responsible for sanitizing their own work areas on a regular basis including desks, file cabinet handles, printers and other office equipment.  

Supplies 

Physical Plant will order supplies for cleaning in bulk. If you need cleaning products, contact the Physical Plant office. Cleaning supplies will be limited to those who are onsite and not provided for teleworkers. Departments should not order their own cleaning supplies.

Buildings & Facilities

Building Ventilation

Ongoing assessments are done to ensure adequate air exchange. Central building units typically have return ducts high enough to avoid the risk of building occupants coughing or sneezing directly into them. The College is also evaluating options for higher-grade air filters in central units. Additional measures are under consideration for increased ventilation in areas where it is not already present. 

Traffic Flow patterns

The College is reviewing the flow of foot traffic on Campus and may designate certain doors as entry or exit only, and stairs or hallways as one way only. This will focus on areas with heavy traffic flow such as the dining hall, residence halls and narrow hallways or stairwells in other Campus buildings. Flow patterns will be adjusted where feasible to promote social distancing. Signage will be placed to establish new traffic flow patterns where deemed necessary. Such patterns may be reviewed and modified periodically as necessary.

Sneeze Guards

Plexiglas barriers or “sneeze guards” are being installed in some areas as an additional protective measure for employees, students and visitors.

Technology Upgrades 

A new phone system was installed this summer to increase College-wide functionality for call forwarding, video conferencing, etc.

Signage

Signs have been placed throughout Campus to inform and educate employees and students about mitigating risk and use of infection control practices, i.e., social distancing, handwashing, symptoms of COVID-19, and directional signage.

Limited or Reduced Occupancy

Seating is being removed and/or repositioned where possible to ensure proper social distancing in the dining hall and other designated areas. 

Occupancy limits will be established based on square footage and the ability to maintain social distance between individuals. Detailed protocols will be identified for areas such as:

  • Elevators
  • Chapel
  • Hospitality Center
  • Student and Employee Lounges
  • Restrooms
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Administrative Departments (Admissions, Registrar, Business Office, etc.)
  • College-sponsored Events
  • Facility Rentals

Monitoring Your Health – Wellness Checks

The presence or lack of a temperature alone is not 100% accurate for establishing illness. You may not have a temperature and still be carrying the virus, only to have a temperature a few hours later.

An elevated temperature may be the first sign of illness. The College has purchased several infrared thermometers and will have Temperature Stations/Wellness Check points at multiple locations to assist students, employees and visitors with monitoring their temperature.

We are in the process of developing additional protocols for wellness checks and temperature screenings.

Protocols are under development to determine criteria for appropriate symptomatic testing and will be congruent with CDC and Department of Health guidelines. Off-Campus testing will also be available for students. Employees should follow their doctor’s instruction for obtaining testing.

Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19

Isolation and Quarantine

Anyone who contracts or has been exposed to COVID-19 will be required to isolate or quarantine. For residential students, the College has identified and reserved appropriate residential or off campus spaces in the event of needed isolation or quarantine.

A protocol for management of isolation spaces and its procedures has been developed and will be overseen by the Director of Residence Life and the Vice President for Student Affairs. 

Academic Calendar

In-person classes will begin a week early on Monday, August 24 and conclude on Tuesday, November 24. A Reading Day will occur on November 30 and final exams will be delivered remotely from December 1 through December 4, 2020. In-person instruction will end at Thanksgiving break and students will not return to residence halls until the spring term. 

To achieve this new academic calendar, Labor Day and the two days set aside for Fall Break will now be standard instruction days. However, College offices will be closed on Monday, September 7.

Classes and Classrooms

To the extent possible, the College will utilize large meeting spaces in Bertschi, McAuley, and Alumni Hall as classroom spaces for large classes to promote social distancing.

The College will support enhanced social distancing for courses that would fill more than 50% of the room’s capacity. 

For example: 

  • Courses, other than clinicals and labs, that exceed 50% capacity of the assigned classroom will be split into teams in which half the class meets in person on Tuesday while the other half works remotely through Canvas and then switch for the Thursday meeting.
  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday courses will meet in a similar way. However, one class session per week will be held in one of the large meeting spaces mentioned above to accommodate the entire class while maintaining social distance and preventing the course from becoming primarily online.

Clinical and Labs

Off-campus clinical and on-campus lab and simulation experiences will follow CDC guidelines. In addition, students are required to adhere to the clinical agency guidelines during off-campus clinical experiences.

Meetings and Office Hours

Faculty office hours and advising may be conducted through virtual platforms such as GotoConnect or Google Meet. Faculty advising appointments will be scheduled through AdvisorTrac and held virtually. 

Academic support services, such as peer and professional tutoring, supplemental instruction, advising, library assistance, registrar, study sessions, faculty/student meetings, etc., may be conducted in-person provided masks are worn and/or social distance can be maintained. 

Non-instructional meetings between faculty, staff, and students will generally be conducted virtually unless social distancing can be maintained. 

Social distancing and masking is required in College administrative offices such as Registrar, Admissions, Financial Aid and the Business Office. Phone calls or emails, in lieu of physical visits, can help avoid overcrowding of these offices. Student bills can be paid online through the Cashnet link on the MyMac Portal Page.

The following guidelines are set forth by the Athletics Department to mitigate student athletes’ risk of exposure to and possible infection with COVID-19.  These are precautionary measures and in no way guarantee a student will not contract COVID-19

Athletes shall adhere to the following infection control practices in addition to the guidelines listed earlier in the Plan:

  • Avoid unnecessary contact during practice and competition.
  • Maintain a safe distance while on the sideline or not participating in a drill.
  • Clean equipment daily with disinfectant and avoid sharing gear.
  • Use a personal hydration container. Avoid public fountains. Do not drink after others or share hydration containers. 
  • Wear a breathable mask while indoors.
  • Use hand sanitizer during breaks and timeouts.
  • Avoid large in-person group settings. Use video conferencing, email, text or phone to reduce possible exposure to the virus.
  • Temperature screenings will be required of all athletes before departing for any away contest. If an athlete has a fever over 100.3, they will not be permitted to travel until they are fever free for the prescribed time (at a minimum 24 hours).
  • Contact the Office of Student Health if you have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 (ie. dry cough, shortness of breath, fever). Contact your Head Coach and do not report for practices or games until cleared to do so through the Student Health Office.

Athletic Training

When seeking Athletic Training services, student athletes are expected to schedule an appointment in advance with the Trainer. A temperature screening will be conducted upon arrival and prior to entry into the Athletic Training Room (ATR). Masks and proper social distancing must be practiced at all times. Limit of four athletes in the ATR at any given time.

Taping will be done for athletes with an acute injury. For chronic instability, bracing and strengthening exercises will be recommended by the Athletic Trainer.

Attendance at Athletic Competitions

Competition venues will follow capacity guidelines in effect on game days. The number of spectators may be limited. Spectators may be asked to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols depending on the sport and environment.

Communication with Health Officials

MAC will report all positive and negative results to the Department of Health. In the event of a positive case, MAC will contact the Department of Health and start contract tracing for Quarantine. A telehealth company will be contracted to help serve the population if overflow from our counseling staff if the need exists. MAC will work with local EMS and give COVID-19 related info if transportation is needed. MAC will continue to work with local health care facilities for back-up testing of any students suspected of having COVID-19

Communication with Campus Community

MAC will send an SMS message through the MAC alert system at the start of the semester with instructions on how to access COVID-19 resources on the MAC website. 

The MAC website will be updated regularly with campus messages and information related to the pandemic. 

Campus emails will also be sent regularly with updates.

MAC will post flyers, posters, and digital signage messages across campus with tips for staying healthy and campus updates.

New traffic patterns for entry into and exit out of the dining hall and MAC Shack have been implemented. Dining hall seating has been rearranged to promote social distancing and facility hours have been expanded.

A variety of safety measures have been put in place to limit the number of times that food items are handled, including dining hall staff serving items to students, availability of to-go options for salad and deli items, and individually wrapped single-serve desserts and meal items. 

Additional protocols will be announced from our food service provider, SAGE, closer to the start of the semester.

The MAC Learning Center and Head Start Program located in the lower level of the Cosgrave Student Center will follow the guidelines specified by the state for their specific programs.

On-Campus Events

MAC will follow all national and state guidelines surrounding in-person events. In the Green Phase, the state of Pennsylvania allows a maximum of 250 attendees at an event, or the maximum available through social distancing. 

All events that include outside parties must be approved by the President’s Executive Council at least two weeks prior to the event. To be considered, submissions must include event details, attendance and sanitation plans. 

For in-person events, chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart in large spaces (Bertschi, Alumni Hall, ACWC). All health and safety policies must be followed including masking and sanitation. For events in which chairs are not provided, signage which encourages students to social distance will be displayed. If food is offered at events, it will be either individually wrapped and distributed by gloved persons OR prepared and distributed by Sage Dining Services.

Students will be expected to sign a “Resident Safety Agreement” outlining our regular student expectations as well as specifically COVID-19 related expectations:

  • Keeping private space cleaned and disinfected.
  • Following traffic patterns and procedures.
  • Keeping gatherings in dorms to residents of that room and no more than two guests.

Non-residents, including outside guests, non-residential staff, and others are prohibited from entering a residential building. Overnight guests who are not residential MAC students are also not permitted. 

Anyone showing persistent and willful disobedience of this Plan will be subject to probation or dismissal.

Mount Aloysius College students who either live internationally, or in COVID-19 hot spots, may be required to quarantine for 14 days prior to the start of school, athletic practices, etc.  The Office of Residence Life will contact students to whom this applies.  Students required to quarantine may do so in their residence hall room (with roommates/suitemates), and will have to make timely arrangements with the Office of Residence Life to return to campus and their assigned residence hall room to provide sufficient time for the 14 day quarantine.  Students who do not make arrangements to quarantine on campus will need to secure off campus housing at their own cost (the College can provide information about alternative housing options in the area).

All MAC-related travel by students, faculty and staff must be approved by a member of the  President’s Executive Council prior to the trip. 

The admissions and financial aid offices will host visitors by appointment only. Walk-ins may be asked to reschedule to ensure there is no overcrowding within the office and that staff and visitors can maintain a proper distance. Masks will be required for all visitors and staff. A visitor form has been moved to an online form to be submitted electronically ahead of the visit. Students can also fill out an application during their visit using a computer or their personal cell phone to cut down on passing papers and clipboards back and forth. This computer will be wiped down after each use.

Visitors for any other purpose must follow all guidelines laid out in this Plan.

  • Brianna Baker, Director – Mission & Ministry/Volleyball Coach
  • Mike Baker, Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Shelley Campbell, Director – Administrative Support
  • Andrew Clouse, Director Freshman Admissions
  • Nicole Custer, Interim Dean School of Nursing and Health Sciences/Assistant Professor
  • Cathleen Golden, Dept. Chair – Business Dept., Associate Professor of Business Admin, MBA Coordinator
  • Tonia Gordon, Director – Human Resources
  • Shannon Grove, Director – Health Services
  • David Haschak, Academic Dean School of Business, Arts & Sciences/Assistant Professor/Coordinator Community Counseling Graduate Program
  • Kathleen Hoyne, Clinical Coordinator Health Studies/Assistant Professor Medical Lab Tech Program
  • Patricia Ireland, Senior Vice President Academic Affairs/Provost
  • Kevin Kime, Director – Athletics/Head Baseball Coach
  • Sarah Klawinski, Director – Student Activities
  • Chris Lovett, Registrar
  • Tracy McFarland, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Saige Perry, Student
  • Gerry Rubritz, Director – Facilities
  • SAGE Dining
  • Veronica Scott, Student
  • Rich Shea, Director – IT Services
  • Bill Trexler, Director – Campus Police & Safety
  • Sam Wagner, Director – Communications
  • Allen Weakland, Assistant Director – Physical Plant
  • Jenna Weyandt, Associate Dir. Center Student Success & Advising