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

Read Online
Download the PDF
COVID-19 FAQ

Questions or comments?

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

COVID-19 cases on this dashboard include laboratory-verified test results. The dashboard will be updated weekly each Wednesday.

The data represents activity since March 1, 2020.

The College will not disclose any identifying information about affected individuals. Students who test positive will be placed in isolation accommodations. To the extent possible, students who test positive will return home. As contract tracing identifies community members at risk for exposure, they will be contacted for quarantine measures.

Active positive cases will be removed from the first column once satisfying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for system-based recovery. All active case counts are classified to the best of the College’s knowledge.

Active positive cases in isolation on campus Active positive cases off-campus Dedicated rooms currently occupied for isolation or quarantine (%) * Cumulative Positive Student Cases – Fall 2020 semester
Total 0% 66**

Updated 12/7/2020 (1:40 p.m. EST)

Final COVID-19 numbers for the Fall 2020 semester

*This reflects the percentage of dedicated rooms currently occupied for individuals in isolation or quarantine on campus. Note: an active positive case or students identified for quarantine might either be at home or in their own residence hall room depending on the particular situation. These rooms may also be used for short term housing for students who are sick but test negative for COVID-19. 

**These results include early arrival, quarantine, and testing of students traveling from outside the United States, from certain States, and PA counties identified as “hot spots.”

Summer/Fall 2020 Campus Messages

Greetings, Mounties,

It is the penultimate day of Fall Semester 2020.  I could not be more grateful to our entire community. Students, you pushed through the added protocols and stress factors, and have succeeded. Faculty and staff, thank you for always going above the call of duty, allowing us to reach the finish line tomorrow.

Our COVID-19 dashboard now reflects the final numbers for Fall 2020. We hope it was beneficial for you this semester.  We will continue it in the Spring.

The Winter Break Sweepstakes kicks off today! Stop by the MAC Instagram account and view the new story posts to get involved. Remember, there are BIG prizes for current students, but all are encouraged to participate!

To the extent you are able, please consider a donation to our St. Nicholas Market/Angel Tree. Your donations will result in gifts for local children whose families need financial assistance. It is a wonderful way to ring in Christmas, and has been a worthy example of the Mount’s values for more than 20 years. Thank you to everyone who has already contributed.

Even though most of us are no longer on campus, please continue to prioritize your health and well-being over the break. As we’ve said countless times this semester, keep washing your hands, keep distancing, keep masking, and keep limiting social gatherings.  And for everyone who will be on campus – remember to use the CourseKey app!

I hope the upcoming weeks are full of rest, joy, hope, and fun for all Mounties.

Be Well, Live Mercy,

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Dear Mountie Students, Faculty, and Staff,
It’s Thanksgiving week.  In 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation designating Thursday, November 26 (the same date this year!) as our first national day of thanks.  Our customs have changed since then — Pres. Washington went to church, and afterwards distributed food and beer to people in a  debtors’ prison — and, there is no doubt this is a most unusual year, yet there remain a multitude of reasons to offer gratitude.
Earlier today, Pope Francis tweeted that “God made us capable of dreaming, so that we could embrace the beauty of life. The works of mercy are the most beautiful works in life.”  We can all be grateful to be part of this community, which furthers the works of mercy in so many ways.  Please take a moment to watch the following video message, and have a marvelous Thanksgiving!
Be Well, Live Mercy,
John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

Veterans Day

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

To all our Mountie veterans, today we acknowledge with gratitude your enduring contributions and service to country. The ideals of higher education are supported and protected through your sacrifices, and we are dedicated to your academic success. We believe our gratitude goes beyond words, as this year marks the 10th straight year Mount Aloysius was awarded the “Military Friendly College” badge, even bringing home the GOLD status this year for the second time. Our veterans will receive a card from us in the coming days with a small token of appreciation.

You have probably noticed a few small tables around campus with a table setting, a slice of lemon, and other items. These are in remembrance of those identified as Prisoners of War (POW’s) or Missing in Action (MIA). Please take some time to read the posters set up next to the tables.

With respect, honor, and gratitude, thank you.

Winter Break Sweepstakes!

Whether you will use the winter break to work or play (or just relax), we wanted to sweeten the pot a bit for our Mounties.

Next week, we will unveil some fun virtual and in-person opportunities for engagement over the break. By participating, you will gain entry into a contest to win some serious scholarships and bookstore gift certificates. 

Details are to follow, but suffice to say that the Mountie Ugly Sweater Instagram contest is inspiring a strange sense of anticipation and dread.

COVID Update

We currently have 0 students in isolation on campus, and 6 students isolated off-campus. 11% of our quarantine/isolation spaces are currently in use.   

While the numbers at Mount Aloysius College are encouraging, state and national figures continue to climb. To re-emphasize Monday’s message: 

There are two weeks left. Wear your mask. Physically distance. Wash your hands. Don’t lose focus this late in the semester! Keep up the great work!

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

Today’s message is brief.

In two short weeks, we will finish in-person learning.  I know you are excited about wrapping up your classes and putting a bow on 2020. 

At the same time, COVID rates continue to spike in Pennsylvania. 

Mounties – please emphasize masking, physical distancing, and hand washing for the next two weeks. All our protocols must be at the forefront of our daily routines. 

Congratulations are in order for your efforts in minimizing our current numbers (0 isolated on campus, 2 quarantined on campus). However, we know from other institutions that if a community lets its guard down, changes can happen quickly. 

Please channel your excitement for the holidays into planning for your time after November 24. For the sake of our community, it is imperative to avoid non-distanced social gatherings – there will be consequences for unwise choices.  

I’ll be praying for you in the coming weeks – for focus, confidence, fortitude, peace, and to continue acting in ways that promote the common good. Let’s finish this semester strong!

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

We have reason to celebrate: it is a real accomplishment that together, we are nearing the end of a most remarkable semester. 

I am so proud of everyone, and all the work that has gone into making this semester a success. You have taken the challenges of the COVID era and turned them into stepping stones for a bright future. It may be hard to see right now, but your academic progress and personal achievements this semester will better position you for success in the post-COVID world. 

Spring Registration

2021, here we come with open arms! 

You have a lot on your plate right now in wrapping up the semester, preparing for the holidays, and continuing to make COVID-based adjustments to daily life. We understand that reality, and want to help keep your educational journey on track.  Here are some things you can expect in the coming days:

  • If you haven’t yet completed registration, our advisors from the Office of Student Success and Persistence (Jenna Weyandt, Eve Laidacker, Shontae Graham, or Kim Washington) will contact you via email and text. 
  • Please respond as promptly as possible. One of the advisors will then discuss the spring with you, and assist with completing registration.  

Stress & Mental Well-being

We have taken some additional steps to ensure that all Mounties have access to mental health support if needed. 

Please join me in welcoming Brian McLeary, our new Licensed Professional Counselor who will be accepting additional evening and weekend sessions for our Mountie students in Cosgrave 114.  Email mleamer@mtaloy.edu or call 814-886-6515 to set up an appointment with Brian.

For our employees, please connect with Human Resources to get information regarding all of the resources offered through our EAP program.

COVID-19

Check out the COVID-19 dashboard on our website for the most recent data. Let’s keep our positive trend going by following the Mountie Compact, and by continuing with steps to mitigate risk for our community!

  • Wash your hands;
  • Stay physically distanced;
  • Avoid gatherings;
  • Use CourseKey every day;
  • Stay put if you don’t feel well (and contact Health Services!); and
  • Wear a mask everywhere!

Finish strong, Mounties, and know that you have the full support of this community and the Sisters of Mercy behind you.

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

All Souls’ Day and the Election 

Today is All Souls’ Day – the culmination of three special days, which began Saturday with All Hallows’ Eve (a/k/a Halloween!), followed yesterday by All Saints’ Day.  Tomorrow is Election Day.

At a time of bitter societal discord, this juxtaposition of events seems providential.  For no matter your party, preferred candidate, or most treasured platform plank, it is good to remember: those with whom you do not agree, who will not vote “the correct way,” who view issues differently – who are, to you, abjectly wrong – have souls.  And like you, they are destined for eternity.

The strong women who established Mount Aloysius were motivated by the belief that each ensouled woman and man, made in the image and likeness of God, has inherent dignity.  Accordingly, the Sisters of Mercy offered education as a light for the path to the fullness of life, both here and in the hereafter.

To vilify anyone who does not vote your way, to suggest ostracizing, to label obnoxiously, evidences not just extreme self-righteousness, and worship to an Idol of one’s own political making, but also rejection of the inherent dignity we all share. 

Yes, attempt to persuade, with reason, logic, and facts. 

Yes, by all means, vote!

But if your neighbor has a different view, or votes for a different candidate, you are proffered no license to hate, to denigrate, or to shun. 

Today is All Souls Day.  And regardless of the outcome tomorrow, all our souls will continue their journey.  As Sr. Catherine McAuley noted, “The tender mercy of God has given us each other.” So whatever the outcome of Election Day, let us continue to love one another, especially those with whom we disagree.

COVID-19 Update 

Our figures continue to improve:  

Active Cases (with positive results) 

  • 0 students are isolating on campus (down 9 from last Tuesday)
  • 5 students are isolating off campus/home (up 2 from last Tuesday)

Quarantine (not COVID positive, but identified in contract tracing)

  • 5 students are in quarantine on campus (down 4 from last Tuesday)
  • 21 students are in quarantine off-campus (down 10 from last Tuesday)

There were 52 students in quarantine/isolation last Tuesday. As of today, that figure is down to 31.

We are currently at 31% occupancy of designated on campus quarantine/isolation rooms.  

Even with this positive shift, it is vital for our entire community to keep working together. 

We are three weeks away from Thanksgiving break and the shift to remote finals. Please remember to continue to:

  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer;
  • Social distance/avoid gatherings;
  • Use your CourseKey; and
  • Wear your mask everywhere!

Keep up the great work, Mounties!

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

Our COVID-19 figures have improved:  

Active Cases (with positive results)

  • 9 residential students are isolating on campus (down 3 from Thursday)
  • 3 residential students are isolating off campus/home (down 2 down from Thursday)
  • 0 commuter students are isolating at home (down 2 from Thursday) 

Quarantine (not COVID positive, but identified in contract tracing)

  • 9 students are in quarantine on campus (down 1 from Thursday)
  • 31 students are in quarantine off-campus (down 12 from Thursday)

In aggregate, there were 72 students in quarantine/isolation last Thursday. As of today, that figure is down to 52.

We are currently at 88% occupancy of our designated on campus quarantine/isolation rooms.  

Even in light of this positive shift, it is now more crucial than ever that our entire community work together to keep our campus healthy. 

Are you wearing your mask everywhere? This includes all of the various studying and lounge spots on campus, such as the library and Bertschi. 

Are you avoiding all gatherings where distancing is not possible? Your residence hall room is only for you and your roommate. Don’t gather to study at tables where distancing is not possible.

Are you washing your hands regularly every day? Use our sanitation stations if you don’t have quick access to a washroom.

Remember to complete your CourseKey everyday!

For the next four weeks, please keep all of this at the forefront of your day-to-day activities.

We understand that our community is experiencing extraordinary pressure right now, whether academic, professional, or personal. Please keep in mind what it means to be a Mountie:

  • Take time to care for each other. 
  • Ask your peers how they are doing. 
  • Check-in on your co-workers. 
  • Be an empathetic listener.

Thank you for your continued dedication to the well-being of this wonderful community, and keep up the exemplary work!

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

We are just six weeks away from the end of fall classes.  While the community’s adherence to COVID protocols has been terrific, we are seeing an uptick in positive cases and use of quarantine/isolation rooms. We have three new positive cases since last Wednesday, with several quarantined students identified through contact tracing. While the rates are still manageable at this time, an increased effort from everyone can help us to maintain our in-person semester.

  • Wear a mask
  • Social distance no matter where you are
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
  • Get the flu vaccine this fall
  • Keep your personal spaces clean
  • Contact Health Services with any symptoms, questions, or concerns.

We will continue to share information as is appropriate, and you can check our online COVID-19 dashboard (updated each Wednesday) at www.mtaloy.edu/coronavirus

The Arts – Good for Body, Mind, and Soul!

Below are two links for your viewing pleasure. The arts are alive and well this semester at Mount Aloysius College, and ingenuity has always been one of our top traits! 

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

“Isn’t our greatest legacy to the future likely to be found in the small decencies of the everyday, the simple acts of civility that will never make the history books?”

Fr. Eugene O’Neill, an Irish priest (and my cousin), offers this reflection today on BBC Radio’s “Thought for the Day.”  He reflects on the life of a young woman who lived anonymously in late 19th-century France, but whose diary and writings profoundly address the anxiety of this era. Small actions rooted in love and care are what will most significantly impact our futures and the futures of those around us. This is an especially apt reflection for our times.  

Mountie students, please don’t forget about the weekly “Pray, Eat, Chat” opportunity on Thursdays at 11:55 a.m. Meet at my office, then join for Mass followed by lunch in my office.  I look forward to meeting more of you and hearing what you have to say about Mount Aloysius College. We will wrap up by 1 p.m.

COVID-19 Update

You may be aware that recently we’ve had an increased number of students in quarantine/isolation both on- and off-campus. As a result of random testing of higher-risk groups (such as clinical students and student-athletes) and then contact tracing, we have identified four new positive cases in our student body. Our distancing, sanitization, contact tracing, and testing processes are intended to reduce the chance of a greater spread amongst our community, but we must continue to take the appropriate steps in monitoring the situation and assessing risk.  This has included tests for students not within the current quarantine, which to date have been negative. We have been planning for this type of situation for some time, and I am thankful for everyone involved in keeping our campus healthy this semester. We will continue to share information as it is appropriate to do so, and you can check our online COVID-19 dashboard (updated each Wednesday) at www.mtaloy.edu/coronavirus. 

It is essential to maintain the same level of dedication to our protocols as you did in the first month back on campus. Wash your hands. Wear your mask. Social distance. And as noted in Thursday’s message, be sure to complete the Coursekey app survey EVERY DAY that you are on campus. All of these practices make a real difference, and they are necessary for remaining on campus this semester. 

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

It’s hard to believe that October is already here. It’s great to be back in Pennsylvania to witness the colorful transformation of the mountainsides overlooking campus. Take some time this week to pause, look around, and appreciate our beautiful landscape.

COVID-19

As you know, a number of the colleges in the region have experienced an uptick in COVID cases over the past several weeks. We continue to trend in a positive direction, but flu season is upon us.  Let’s bolster our commitment to keeping ourselves and our community healthy: physically distance, wear masks, and wash your hands!

CourseKey

All students are required to complete CourseKey each day that you are physically on campus. 

It is also required that you show your professors your green CourseKey success screen, with the current date, every day in every course. 

If you are not able to download the app, you can also access your CourseKey account online and use one of the printers on campus to print your daily results. 

Remember, if your results do not give you a green square, you should not come to campus. You should contact the Office of Student Health for further conversation about next steps.

We encourage you to: 

  • add a reminder in your phone, 
  • add an event to your daily calendar, or
  • take whatever step is needed to ensure that you complete the very short survey daily. 

Moving forward, we will be sending additional reminders to anyone who is not actively using the app or website. 

The app has been extremely helpful in identifying symptomatic members of our campus, and your cooperation will help us to stay in-person through the end of the semester.

Below are a few links. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Student Affairs.

Thank you for your continued care for our campus and our community.

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

Happy Mercy Week! 

Join us in celebrating our Mercy heritage this week, as we commemorate Catherine McAuley first opening the doors of a House of Mercy on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland on Sept. 24, 1827.  We are one of 17 colleges in the United States serving under the auspices of the Religious Sisters of Mercy. Please explore the links below for more information on this special week.

As week #5 of our fall semester progresses, I encourage you to keep up the good work with masking, distancing, sanitizing, and monitoring your health. With many other schools staying (or going) virtual, we can all be proud of our achievements so far, but now is the time to double our efforts in order to keep the community healthy and stay on campus. Some of our student videographers recently took a trip around campus and rewarded Mounties with “precious little babies” for following our Mountie Compact and protocols. Watch the video here to find out what this means!  And with the terrific weather this week, be sure to get outside for free Vitamin D!

I am also happy to announce that we have been named a Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award! Students and employees are eligible to participate if you meet certain criteria. Watch for a MAC announcement from Mission Integration with more details.

Mercy Week 2020 links

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

We are just 30 minutes away from the premiere of our Fall 2020 Virtual Convocation. While it is unfortunate that we can’t gather together to experience the fellowship, traditions, and thoughtful addresses provided in a normal Convocation, it is still exciting to share this alternative, which features a prayer from a Mountie student, remarks from Mount Aloysius leadership, and a keynote presentation by Ram Devineni and Dipti Mehta, an award-winning, activist creative team. Tune in here at 3:30 p.m. for the premiere, or visit the link at any time after that to view the video.

Word on the street is there are a few Mountie roving reporters out and about today, looking for students who are following protocols such as masking, distancing, and washing their hands. I’ve also heard they are sporting a bag of rewards. Did Santa come early? Keep your eyes peeled and don’t forget to keep up the good work with keeping our community safe! 

Mental Health and Well-Being

We are now a few weeks into the semester. That means you are settling into a routine, and starting to experience an increased workload with your academics, all while coping with added stress brought on by the continuing pandemic. 

The journey through college can sometimes feel perilous, but this community, reflecting the abiding care and concern of the Sisters of Mercy, offers a solid pathway on which to advance.  Please reach out and take advantage of the resources that are specifically in place to address confusion, turmoil, unhappiness, and whatever else you are experiencing. Another good way to combat difficult feelings is to get involved with your peers, and also to get outside – nature is restorative!

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

There have been many changes to campus this semester, and we ask for continued diligence in observing signage and following instructions. This includes seating, stairways, hallways, restrooms, the dining hall, and outside of offices. It is great to meet with others, but please stay distanced and masked unless you are outside and more than 6 feet apart. 

If you notice someone on campus who is not following the protocols, we encourage you (to the extent that you are comfortable) to have a friendly discussion about it. If an issue persists, employees should talk to their supervisors; students should contact their RA or the Student Life Office.

We had a new positive test this week. Contact tracing has been conducted and those who were identified in that process are currently quarantining off-campus. At this point, it appears on-campus exposure was limited. Please continue to check our COVID dashboard for weekly updates moving forward.

Thank you for your continued dedication to the safety and well-being of our entire community. And for participating in the many activities that are occurring this Fall! It is wonderful to be part of the Mountie family!

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

We are one week into the fall semester.  In a “normal” era, that might not be particularly remarkable, but let me offer a big thank you to our students, faculty, and staff for such tremendous efforts so far. Our Mountie family is doing a great job of following protocols on campus to mitigate risk – and to keep everyone on campus! We will enforce the student conduct board process for policy violations such as “no large gatherings,” but I am pleased with how Mounties are fulfilling their personal and community responsibilities. Our shared goal remains the same: to stay together on campus for the entire semester.

I am encouraged by some recent data for Pennsylvania, especially in Cambria and Blair counties, but it remains vitally important to act in ways that benefit us all: masking, distancing, washing your hands, avoiding large gatherings, and staying put if you don’t feel well. Stay smart and stay healthy!

There have been a few rainy days lately, but please continue to enjoy our outdoor settings – both new and old. Hang out with friends in the adirondack chairs, play disc golf, hike the Mountie trail – whenever there’s an opportunity, get outside and experience this beautiful campus.

We had an excellent turnout for the sidewalk ribbon cutting last Thursday. There was a great program and a special blessing from Sister Giuseppe. The sidewalk was completed for YOU, so please take advantage of our new connection to downtown Cresson. Check out a few photos from the event here.

For your calendar, Virtual Convocation will be posted on September 10 at 3:30 p.m. Look for more information about our speakers and program as we get closer to the event.

Finally, yesterday’s liturgy provided another reminder of the unique gift of being part of a learning community, one that “develops values, attitudes, and competencies necessary for lifelong learning within an environment that reflects a liberal arts orientation and a Catholic, Judeo-Christian heritage.”  We were all urged to be transformed by the renewal of our minds, to discern God’s will, to know what is good and pleasing and perfect.  Education, our shared pursuit of truth, enhances our ability to exercise good judgment in confronting the wide variety of decisions required in the course of daily life. Maximize every opportunity at Mount Aloysius College to gain greater knowledge and to live with faith, hope, and love.

Be Well, Live Mercy,

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

Thank you for your great work in making the start of this semester so successful. I’ve seen so many of you carefully following our guidelines, and I am very proud of our whole community.

Even with a great start, please keep in mind that we are still vulnerable to ending in-person instruction early. While “temptations” will increase, so must our resolve to follow the Mountie Compact. Keep masking. Keep distancing. Keep washing your hands. Keep staying in place when you don’t feel well. We can’t guarantee safety, and the risk of getting sick and/or being forced to go remote is still real. So far, I am encouraged by everyone’s willingness to work through this challenging time together in our “bubble.” Stay smart!

We are now back at zero active cases on campus. We have set up a dashboard on the COVID website that will be updated weekly to keep our community informed. Please take time to review the dashboard and the rest of the information on the page.

This is a stressful era.  Many media reports are highlighting stark survey data related to mental well-being at this trying time. I want you to know that we are taking additional steps this semester to help anyone who needs it. Information about counseling and disability services is included at the bottom of this email. Take good care of yourself and those around you.

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Counseling:

Disability Services

  • Meetings available to all students via Zoom or Go To Connect
  • No walk-in appointments
  • Appointments available M-F, 7:30am – 5pm
  • Medical documentation can be submitted to MSchuster@mtaloy.edu
  • Schedule a meeting by calling Marisa Schuster at (814) 886-6336, or email mschuster@mtaloy.edu
  • All testing will be conducted in the Learning Commons
  • Accommodation packets will be distributed electronically to the student

Greetings, Mounties,

Excitement is in the air! The first day of the semester is finally here!

It was a busy weekend as Mounties moved in and numerous activities occurred on and off campus. Theresa, Mary, and I had a great time meeting many of you.  We look forward to continuing to engage throughout the coming weeks.

This week is jam-packed with events, and all students should have received an email from the Student Life Office with the details. Please check it out and add the events to your personal calendar.

If you haven’t already heard, every Mountie student will receive a MAC camping chair that can be used for outdoor classes and socializing. Chair distribution is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow in the Hospitality Tent outside of St. Gert’s. Be sure to get one; these are yours to keep! Mask packets will also be available.

Now that we are all back, let’s put the words of our Mountie Compact into action.

Another important point for every Mountie this semester is to keep reviewing your emails. This is how we will continue to communicate with you regarding events, announcements, and updates.

I want to acknowledge that the start of a new semester, especially in the COVID-era, will involve stress and challenges. Please know that the Mount Aloysius community is here to help, with a number of resources that are free and easily accessible for our students. Whether you need to talk to a counselor, learn about stress management, make a medical appointment, or discuss disability services, there is support available. Please visit our Health & Wellness Services page for contact information and additional details.

Lastly, it is no mere coincidence that yesterday’s Gospel featured a question (the basis for learning) from the Ultimate Teacher: “Who do you say that I am?” Please examine this question, with rigor, during your time of studying and living on the Mount. Surrounded by a community committed to mercy, justice, service and hospitality, you have a beautiful opportunity to consider what following Christ really means, offering personal transformation for you and the lives of all you encounter. May God provide you daily hope and peace, throughout this semester and for all time.

Be Well, Live Mercy,

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

Media reports in the past few days have focused on larger universities shifting to remote learning due to the spread of the virus. Un-distanced and un-masked student social gatherings and parties are a commonly cited factor.

This reinforces the importance of following ALL of the Fall 2020 Student Agreement: Our success this semester is up to YOU. We know you miss your friends. We recognize social interaction is an important part of college. We are not saying that can’t happen at Mount Aloysius. We are saying it is vital to follow the rules, all the time, in order to stay here: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands often, and stay put if you’re not feeling well.

And as I say to my own college-age sons: if you want to be part of a living/learning community this fall, BE SMART!

We are also implementing a number of strategies to offer additional outdoor opportunities such as large tents, a bagged camping chair for every student, new student activities, and adirondack chairs that will be located outside of residence halls. Take advantage of enjoying the outdoors – while distanced – as much as possible!

Masking & Social Distancing

Speaking of masks and social distancing, there have been several questions about what that looks like on campus. These videos do a great job demonstrating exactly that:

VIDEO: Where to Mask?

VIDEO: What Social Distancing Looks Like at Mount Aloysius

Recently Submitted Questions

What will determine if the College decides to go online?

The College has identified a variety of factors that would lead to a move to remote learning, including guidance from government and health officials, local hospital capacity, quarantine space availability, and numbers of COVID-positive students and employees.

Do I need a mask in the hallway of my residence hall?

Yes, we mask in motion! Anytime you are out of your room in the residence hall you should have a mask.

What is the contact tracing and quarantining protocol?

Contact tracing will determine anyone who has been within 6 feet of the COVID-positive person for 15 minutes or more. Those people will be asked to immediately quarantine. If they begin to show symptoms, they will be tested.

Why do we have to wear a mask?

It is possible to be COVID-positive and not show any symptoms. Masking is one of the ways we are working to mitigate the spread of the virus on campus. According to the CDC, “Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.”

If you need accommodations related to masking, please arrange that before Monday. You can contact our Disability Services Coordinator at MSchuster@mtaloy.edu.

How was it decided who needs to quarantine on-campus before the semester?

Early arrival candidates were selected based on criteria from the national and state government. That included:

In addition, to promote the health of our community, we asked everyone coming to campus for the fall semester to quarantine at home for seven days before arriving – to stay home as much as possible, wear face coverings, limit contact with others, practice social distancing, and avoid large gatherings.

If anyone has traveled out of the country or to a state listed at the link above in the past two weeks, please contact Health Services before returning to campus.

Go Mounties!

Be Well, Live Mercy,

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Good Afternoon Mounties!

We hope this email finds you well and ready to arrive at Mount Aloysius College.  Please read this email carefully, as it contains important information about your residence hall move-in on Friday, 8/21 (first year students) and Sunday, 8/23 (upper class students).

  • Move-in will take place from 10am-3pm and you are expected to arrive at your assigned time. We understand that things happen, but please do your best to arrive at your scheduled time and not much earlier or later.

  • If you are not feeling well, please stay home!  We will work with you to have you arrive when you are feeling better. The CourseKey app can help you determine if it’s safe for you to come to campus or not.

You will enter the college on your move-in day in accordance with your assigned residence hall.

  • St. Gertrude’s Hall, St. Joseph’s Hall, and McAuley Hall residents will enter through the main entrance. This entrance is marked by a sign that says “Main Entrance” and has a large digital sign. (Please see map)

  • Ihmsen and Misciagna Hall residents will enter through the upper entrance This entrance is marked by a sign that says “Upper Entrance.”  (Please see map)

  • Once you check in and unload your vehicle, you will be directed to a parking lot on campus.

Here’s how the move in process will work:

  • The first stop will include the CourseKey check, temperature check, and guest wristbands. You will be asked to show the results screen of your CourseKey symptom checker on your phone.  Please download this app if you haven’t already. Please use the log-in information sent to you directly by CourseKey. If you are unable to download the app for any reason, staff will have you answer a series of health-related questions in place of showing the “Green Pass” on your phone.

  • Your temperature, and that of everyone in your vehicle, will be taken by a staff member, while you remain seated in your vehicle. If anyone in your vehicle has an elevated temperature, or you do not receive a “Green Pass” on your CourseKey app, you will be asked to move in at another time.

  • You will receive one wristband for the individual who will be assisting you with unloading and moving your belongings into your residence hall.  Your guest must wear the wristband while they are in the building. The wristband can be shared between guests, however, only one guest may enter the residence hall with the student.

  • Once you clear the CourseKey and temperature check station, you will be directed to the unloading area for your assigned residence hall. You will unload your items from your vehicle and will be instructed to park your car in a designated parking lot.

  • Next, you will check in at various tents around campus (according to your assigned building).  At these tents, you will verify that you are cleared financially, verify your housing contract and obtain your room key. Students will also receive a health packet at the entrance of their assigned residence hall, which contains a Mount Aloysius College official face mask, a small bottle of hand sanitizer, and a Mountie Compact card (students only, please).

  • Your (one) guest will have the opportunity to help you move your belongings to your residence hall room. Please unload your vehicle, take your items to your room, and set aside some time for goodbyes within your one hour move in time frame.  All persons who enter the residence hall are expected to wear a mask and comply with social distancing practices. If you have more than one guest with you, only one individual will be allowed in the residence hall with you at any given time and that person must wear the wristband that was provided at check-in.

  • In order to save time on move-in day, we ask that you sign your housing contract before your arrival. Please use the link provided here: https://forms.gle/UCU9YbPCUzTa8hdt9

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are not feeling well or have any symptoms leading up to move-in, we ask that you please contact Health Services (814)-886-6515 or mleamer@mtaloy.edu.  You can also communicate with Residence Life at (814)-886-6472 or residencelife@mtaloy.edu  prior to your arrival. This will allow us to address questions individually and help you plan accordingly for move-in. Please do not come to campus for move-in if you do not feel well!

We are very excited for your arrival and are looking forward to having you on campus!

Dr. Tracy B.McFarland

Vice President for Student Affairs

Greetings, Mounties,

We are less than one week away from the start of classes. There are several items to share with you at this time.

Fall 2020 Student Agreement

As you know, we announced our first COVID-positive student yesterday. I am pleased with the effectiveness of our early-arrival protocols, and the exemplary performance of staff who worked together to address the situation.

This early case is a good reminder of the importance of Mounties to understand their community responsibilities. The Fall 2020 Agreement linked below includes a bulleted reminder of responsibilities, a guide to testing and quarantine strategies, and a notice of risk. As we have noted many times, we have taken steps to mitigate risk on campus, but cannot eliminate risk or guarantee safety. We want to emphasize this as you return to campus and stress your part in taking the steps required to mitigate risk for our community. If you have any questions related to the Agreement, please feel free to use the form below to submit your questions.

Fall 2020 Student Agreement

Google Form to Submit Questions

Move-In Process

Move-in for new students starts on Friday, August 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Returning students arrive on Sunday, August 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. By now you should have signed up and received confirmation for a specific arrival time to allow for staggered move-in. Here is a summary of what move-in will look like this fall. If you have any questions, email ResidenceLife@mtaloy.edu.

  • We will be splitting up traffic through both entrances on campus. You should have already received the entrance that you should use.

  • The first station you will reach will include a temperature check and a series of screening questions. You should download the CourseKey app and anticipate showing the result (as in many settings this semester). We will also have alternative methods for move-in if the app isn’t downloaded yet. If you do not pass the temperature check and screening questions, you will not be able to come on campus.

  • You will receive your Residence Hall Agreement and keys to your room.

  • You will be asked to unload your vehicle at a designated location and then park after you have unloaded.

  • You will take your belongings into your room through designated entrances and exits. Only one person can accompany you at a time.

  • Some moving assistance will be available, but it will be minimal in order to mitigate contact.

  • On Friday, we ask parents to efficiently utilize your assigned one hour move in time slot to unload belongings and reserve some time to say goodbye to your student.

  • Any student who has not been cleared by Financial Aid and the Business Office will be directed to those offices after the initial temperature check station. We strongly encourage students to take care of these issues prior to Friday, August 21st.

Masking

Another reminder, you will need to wear a mask essentially everywhere on campus. If you need accommodations related to masking, please arrange that before Monday. You can contact our Disability Services Coordinator at MSchuster@mtaloy.edu.

When You’re Sick

We understand that in the past, many of our residents, commuters, faculty, and staff may have “pushed through” to attend an important class or event when they weren’t feeling 100% well.

I can’t stress this enough:

IF YOU DON’T FEEL WELL, STAY PUT.

It doesn’t matter what you have lined up that day. It doesn’t matter if you think it is something minor or allergies. JUST STAY PUT! Your professors and supervisors will work with you to make sure you do not fall behind. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, contact Health Services or your supervisor. Even if you don’t, just stay put, give it some time, and see how you are feeling. For this semester, “better safe than sorry” may mean the difference between staying on-campus for the semester and remote instruction.

Here are some additional links for you to review this week.

Recently Submitted Questions

Thank you for continuing to submit your questions. Here are a few recent questions/answers.

Will there be limitations on how many people can enter a restroom at the same time? Will there be cleaning equipment in computer labs?

Yes and yes. The important thing to remember is always look for signage and follow the instructions. If you are in an area where you do not see cleaning supplies or you notice that the cleaning supplies are running low or empty, please submit a Work Request on the Portal page or talk to someone in that area.

Am I allowed to leave the dorms on the weekends?

Yes, you will be allowed to go home on the weekends as needed – but we are asking students to make every effort to stay on campus as much as possible in order to mitigate the risk of bringing COVID to campus. If you travel to any area that requires quarantine, you should contact Health Services before coming back on campus. Also make sure to use your CourseKey app to answer the screening questions before coming back on campus.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Be Well, Live Mercy,

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings Mounties,

As part of our reopening plan, students traveling from outside the United States, from certain States, and PA counties identified as “hot spots,” were required to arrive on Campus early for testing and quarantine.  Students began to return last week, and as a result of our protocols, we quarantined a student who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 last night (8/16/20).

Our early return protocol was implemented for such a circumstance.  While a positive test is unsettling, these measures allow us to manage the situation. The student was living in, and remains, in a single room with a private bathroom. Contact Tracing is underway and anyone who may have been in “close contact” (as defined below) with the student will be notified.

According to the CDC, close contact is defined as: being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (15 minutes). Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case, or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case. Close contacts who are not symptomatic should self-monitor and contact their healthcare provider if symptoms arise. Close contacts who are symptomatic should self-isolate and practice physical distancing. To protect the privacy of employees and students, the names of individuals testing positive will not be released.

Rest assured that our team is monitoring the situation on Campus. We will continue to share information as it is known and appropriate to do so.

This situation reminds us to be extra vigilant with practices to reduce the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus.  We ask every Mountie to adhere to our Mountie Compact, including:

  • Wearing a mask on campus

  • Staying physically distanced (6 feet minimum)

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water, especially before eating or preparing food, after going to the bathroom and after you have been around someone who is sick. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash with soap and water.

  • If you’re not feeling well, don’t come to campus.

Moving forward, the community will be informed of any significant updates or changes in cases, such as multiple reported cases, signs of community spread, etc.

In the Mercy tradition, please pray for the student’s quick recovery.

If you have a question, please visit www.mtaloy.edu/coronavirus. If your question is not answered by the website, please email covid19@mtaloy.edu.

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

Today, the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) decided to postpone intercollegiate athletic competition for these sports for the fall 2020 season: soccer, volleyball, cross country, and basketball. Golf and women’s tennis will continue this fall; the conference is still discussing the possibility of moving the postponed seasons to the spring semester. Neither the College nor the conference has made a decision yet regarding bowling or the spring athletic seasons.

While this is a disappointment for our entire community, we want to assure you that we have been making plans in anticipation of this possibility. We are fully dedicated to providing our athletes with the vibrant, robust, and quality experience they are accustomed to here at Mount Aloysius, even if that does not include conference competition.

To our Mountie student-athletes, we want you to know that we are going to go above and beyond to give you the experience you deserve. This video from Athletic Director and Baseball Coach Kevin Kime provides some initial details about the fall semester:

Please reach out to your coaches or our athletic department with any questions you may have.

Be Well, Live Mercy,

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

Here’s an “Eight is Great” list to review as the new semester approaches. Remember, you can find our entire plan for the Fall at www.mtaloy.edu/coronavirus

  1. 7-Day Quarantine At Home – To promote the health of our community, we’re asking everyone coming to campus for the upcoming semester to quarantine at home for at least seven days before arriving. That should include staying home as much as possible, wearing cloth face coverings, limiting contact with others, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings. This is an important part of reducing risk to others.
  2. Orientation and Move-In – New Students will begin moving in (during their assigned time window) on Friday, August 21. Returning Students will begin moving in using a phased approach on Sunday, August 23. Orientation is already underway (virtually) and you can find those details on the Orientation webpage.
  3. Daily Routines for Fall 2020
    1. Complete Your Daily CourseKey Wellness Check – Complete the short questionnaire daily.  A green screen means one may proceed with classes and work. A red screen means stay put and follow the instructions to ensure the health of our campus community. Screens will remain yellow when the screening is not completed.
    2. Wear a Mask: We mean it!
    3. Wash Your Hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    4. Physically Distance: 6 feet of physical distancing is crucial in keeping ourselves as healthy and safe as we can.
  4. Dining on Campus – New traffic patterns will guide entry and exit at the dining hall and MAC Shack. Dining hall seating has been rearranged to promote social distancing, with expanded hours. Safety measures will be 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 desserts and meal items.
  5. Engaging Outside of the Classroom – Our staff has been working hard to provide the care and support you need. Our Health & Counseling Services will be open and operating with both virtual and in-person appointments. Our Center for Student Success is here to provide one-on-one support via phone and Zoom. We are shifting larger events and activities online, while increasing the number of small and outdoor events. Our student affairs office is preparing an array of activities and programs to align with our in-person limitations. 
  6. Athletics – The AMCC decided to postpone intercollegiate athletic competition for these sports for the Fall 2020 season: soccer, volleyball, cross country, and basketball. Golf and women’s tennis will continue this fall; the conference is still discussing the possibility of moving the postponed seasons to the spring semester. Neither the College nor the conference has made a decision yet regarding bowling or the spring athletic seasons. While this is a disappointment, we are dedicated to providing our student-athletes with the vibrant, robust, and quality experience they are accustomed to here at Mount Aloysius, even in the absence of conference competition.
  7. Isolation and Quarantine if Needed and Testing Available – We all recognize that we cannot fully protect ourselves from COVID-19, even with the most proactive behaviors. Quarantine spaces have been identified, and testing/isolation protocols are in place.
  8. Town Halls – The ultimate solution to this pandemic requires widespread availability of effective vaccines. Until this occurs, however, we will all be living and working in less-than-ideal circumstances.  We are committed to your success on campus and want to make sure that everyone is both informed and supported. To accomplish that, I will be hosting several virtual town halls, starting next Tuesday, August 11. The times are listed below. You will receive a follow-up email this week with more information, a form to submit questions, and a registration link.
    1. Town Hall for Faculty – 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
    2. Town Hall for Staff (Staff Council) – 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    3. Town Hall for All Students and Parents – 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
    4. Orientation Webinar and Facebook Live for New Students/Parents – Week of August 17

I am so impressed with the teamwork of everyone at the College, and am confident our whole community is ready to work together this semester. We will continue to be in touch regularly, so please continue to check your inboxes. 

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

I have three updates to share with you today.

Student Quarantine

Approximately 70 students received instructions earlier this week to arrive on campus by August 15 in order to conduct appropriate testing and quarantine. This group is comprised of students from countries other than the United States, areas of the United States that have been identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as “Hot Spot” states, or counties identified by the Governor’s Office as “PA counties of coronavirus concern.” 

Those students are scheduling their (staggered) arrivals with Residence Life. The rest of our student body will arrive August 21 and 23, also in staggered arrivals. Look for more information soon regarding our plans for handling move-in and wellness checks upon arrival.

Athletics

As of Tuesday, 37 NCAA Div. III conferences have announced cancellation or postponement of fall sports. Six conferences have still not made a decision about fall athletics, and the AMCC is among that number. 

Although the AMCC has yet to make a formal decision, three of our conference members have announced the cancellation of their fall sports. 

We are expecting more clarity from the presidents of the AMCC tomorrow, but regardless of what is decided, we will keep our student-athletes practicing, scrimmaging, and engaged and active this fall with a variety of team-centered events that will highlight the College’s dedication to a vibrant experience at the Mount.  We will send more information as soon as we have an update.

Safety Reminders

As the semester draws closer, I can’t stress enough the importance of the following three items. 

  • Wear your mask
  • Wash your hands
  • Social distance

Mounties take care of Mounties, and these simple steps are how we will accomplish that this fall. Join me in following the Mountie Compact!

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Greetings, Mounties,

We have identified August 15 as the arrival deadline for students who are traveling internationally, as well as from “hot-spot” states and certain PA counties. This will allow for an appropriate testing and quarantine timeline leading up to the start of the semester.

If you are in this group, you will receive a message on or about Wednesday, July 29, from Dr. Tracy McFarland, Vice President for Student Affairs. That message will contain details about your anticipated arrival, as well as a form to fill out so we can document your trip details. 

We understand that due to the pandemic’s ever-changing nature, it might be difficult to make travel plans.  Please know that the Office of Student Affairs recognizes that this is a complex situation, and will work to address individual circumstances to the extent possible. 

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

Dear Mount Aloysius College community,

With just a month until the start of the fall semester, this is an update on our reopening plans and processes.

First, we are aware of increasing COVID-19 cases across the nation, as well as concerns about how viable certain activities will be this fall, including in-person living and learning. Changing circumstances are necessitating a number of modifications, such as the postponement of study abroad for the fall semester, the transition of planned large events from in-person to virtual, and a restructuring of our food services processes.

As of this writing, the federal government has set restrictions on traveling from various countries, and Pennsylvania has made recommendations about traveling from certain states. Some of our Mounties call these places home. Whether near or far, there are various levels of COVID risk across the country, and we are striving to calibrate our response accordingly.

With all of this in mind, our state guidance remains supportive of resuming in-person living and learning under the condition that we, as a community and as a family, act in accordance with the most updated health and safety guidance.

It is important to remain transparent about our decision making process, so here are some of the factors and steps (in addition to our Reopening Plan) that are keeping us on track for an in-person experience this fall.

1. Returning to Campus

Nearly 70% of our students come from the six surrounding counties. Half of our international population is already in the U.S., with more than half in these same counties. At this writing, only 10 of our students are from states on PA’s recommended quarantine list.

Why is this important? We know that these types of numbers do not eliminate all risk, but they give us a clearer picture of what our testing procedures will look like in August. We are arranging for both on-campus, point-of-care testing capabilities, as well as sampling tests for higher-risk populations. Those traveling from other countries or high-risk states will be asked to return to campus early and will also be tested on campus before the start of the semester. If you are in that group, you will receive further details by August 1. We are also investing in personnel to make sure we are situated to handle the amount of testing that will be required.

2. On-Campus Life

Once everyone is back, maintaining a safe environment on campus will be our top priority. We have already started preparing for this stage.

  • CourseKey app – This app is an effective way to keep those with symptoms from interacting on campus. CourseKey is a simple screening tool in the form of a mobile app and/or web page. For the well-being of our community, Mountie students and employees will complete the short questionnaire daily and receive either a green screen or a red screen. A green screen means one may proceed with classes and work. A red screen means stay put, and follow the instructions to ensure the health of our campus community. Screens will remain yellow when the screening is not completed.

  • Fogging machines and campus cleaning – We invested in “fogging machines” which will allow us to effectively (and quickly) disinfect our larger gathering areas. We are also investing in personnel and supplies to make sure we are effectively and efficiently cleaning classrooms and other high-traffic areas.

  • Going outside – With the sometimes unpredictable Cresson weather in mind, we are taking steps to utilize our beautiful campus grounds this fall. That will mean dedicated outdoor areas for various classes and activities (we are allowed to have larger gatherings outside). We will also be enhancing our student life experience by trying new things, such as outdoor movie nights and purchasing additional equipment for outdoor activities. This is another area where we would love your feedback and ideas!

  • Residence halls – The Office of Residence Life will be implementing the following measures to mitigate risk for students living on our campus by reducing exposure and close contact to others.

    • Signage will be posted in all residence halls delineating specific entrances, exits, hallway and stairwell traffic patterns, and appropriate social distancing measures.

    • Designated quarantine areas and isolation spaces have been identified and are separated from other rooms. Procedures for arrival and departure of students who need to be quarantined or isolated have also been put in place.

    • Hand sanitizer will be provided at the entrances and exit areas of all residence halls and sanitizing stations (including disinfectant and paper towels) will be supplied in kitchenettes, laundry rooms and near vending machines. Students will be required to clean these areas after each use.

    • All students will receive a Welcome Back Safety Kit with a mask, hand sanitizer, and a card-sized Mountie Compact. Please remember to bring some extra masks with you.

    • Common area lounges in residence halls will be replaced with outside community seating areas and gathering spaces, allowing students to socialize while following physical distancing and masking protocols.

  • SAGE Dining Service – 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.

Residence Life will soon release information on staggered move-in. First year students will be allowed to move in on August 21, and returning students will be allowed to move in on August 23. Students will be assigned a move-in time, and will be allowed to bring one family member to assist. This will help ensure that we can follow physical distance protocols and will also reduce congestion as students move in.

What’s next?

We will continue to seek guidance from health and government officials about the safety and well-being of our campus. We will communicate with you more frequently as we approach the start of the semester. We will continue to assess and plan, and to chart the best course for our community.

By August 1, students will begin to receive communication from various offices with exact details related to the testing plan, residence hall assignments, moving in, and more.

As I’ve said many times already and will continue to say all semester, our success depends on the commitment of our community in caring for each other and acting in a safe manner. And again, our plans remain fluid and are subject to change!

Here are steps you can take now for our community.

  • Embrace the Mercy values: Service, Hospitality, Mercy, and Justice.

  • Stay in touch. Start checking your emails daily or at least multiple times per week.

  • Commit to masking. It is a required step to keep our campus safe.

  • Be smart before returning. Think carefully about where you are going, and what you are doing, in the two weeks leading up to your return to MAC to mitigate the risk of bringing COVID to campus.

  • Residents – pack lightly and plan to settle in on the weekends. Focus on bringing only essential and important items to campus in case of relocation or changes to state mandates that affect living on campus. Travel between home and the residence halls adds risk to you and the community, and should be avoided.

  • Commit to the CourseKey testing app. Students – you will receive more information soon.

  • Work together. Send your ideas, concerns, and questions to covid19@mtaloy.edu.

Be Well, Live Mercy,

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

On Friday, July 3, the PA Department of Health issued a 14 day quarantine recommendation for anyone traveling to the following states upon return to PA.

The Department of Health website states, “If you have traveled, or plan to travel, to an area where there are high amounts of COVID-19 cases, it is recommended that you stay at home for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. If you travel to the following states, you will need to quarantine for 14 days upon return”:

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Louisiana
Mississippi
Nevada
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Utah

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Travelers.aspx

COLLEGE RESPONSE
Based on the State issued recommendation, if you are traveling to any of the states listed above, you must notify your supervisor, PEC member or Dean and me.  We will evaluate the appropriate course of action on a case by case basis and may require you to self isolate at home for 14 days BEFORE returning to work.  This time away from work may be handled as follows:

1) If you are well, you might be able to telework to the extent possible based on your position and with supervisor permission;
2) For any hours you are unable to telework, you may take additional vacation time; or
3) You may request FFCRA provided Paid Leave entitlements if you are subject to a Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19. This time is limited and available through December 31, 2020.

If you choose to be tested, you may do so at your discretion.  It is recommended that you wait 3 days after your return before testing.  Testing sooner may be too early for the virus to be detected.  If you are tested, you may return to work with documentation of a negative test result.

If additional states or locations within the US are added, the College will follow the same protocol above.  If you plan to vacation in any of these states, you should talk with your supervisor in advance of your trip and determine what steps you will take upon your return.

 

If you have questions, or concerns, please contact me.
— —
Tonia Gordon, MHRM, SPHR, CDTLF
Director of Human Resources

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

Greetings, Mount Aloysius College community,

The College’s leadership team is diligently working out details for the fall semester. In the past week, we received additional guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Today, I am pleased to announce we will begin classes in-person on Monday, August 24 (a week prior the original schedule), and finish in-person, standard classes on Tuesday, November 24. Reading Day will occur on November 30, with final exams on December 1 through December 4, 2020.  Final exams will be delivered remotely

By ending in-person classes before Thanksgiving break, we seek to minimize a possible COVID-19 resurgence due to extended travel to and from campus. 

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.

We are planning to use each residence hall as designed, but are still reviewing guidelines and safety protocols around shared bathrooms to ensure we are taking the most appropriate steps. 

We will follow health agency guidelines as well as recommendations by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. We are already taking measures to ensure our campus is as reasonably safe as it can be. While we cannot completely eliminate all risk, we are striving to mitigate it.

Our Campus Reopening Task Forces are working toward the goal of completing a comprehensive reopening plan by June 26, including a strategy on how we will coordinate with local public health officials, resume in-person instruction, monitor health conditions of our on-campus community, mitigate and contain the spread of the virus on campus, and communicate accurate and timely information to our students, faculty, and staff.

Like all of our COVID-19 plans and procedures, our calendar and plan may change in light of guidance from medical professionals and/or to comply with government directives.

More information will follow in the coming weeks, including specific instructions for Move-In Day/Orientation, dining, and clinical information. The AMCC conference is also anticipated to make a determination about fall athletics in the next several weeks.

In-person classes and an on-campus learning community are at the core of our mission. With that said, things will look different this fall as we seek a healthy environment. Of course, if we are required to provide virtual instruction, our faculty and staff have demonstrated their flexibility and readiness to provide a high-quality experience online. We are taking steps to make sure that capacity continues. Thank you for your patience as we work out the optimal plan for moving Mount Aloysius College forward.

Please continue to check your emails regularly, and visit mtaloy.edu/coronavirus for recent updates.

I cannot wait to see you all in the fall!

Be Well, Live Mercy, 

John McKeegan
President, Mount Aloysius College

View the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar (PDF)

We are in this together!

Read the Mountie Compact

View the Poster Here (JPG)

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

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.

To promote the health of our community, we’re asking everyone coming to campus for the upcoming semester to quarantine at home for at least seven days before arriving. That should include staying home as much as possible, wearing cloth face coverings, limiting contact with others, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings. This is an important part of reducing risk to others.

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.

Students who test positive will be asked to isolate at their home.  Exceptions for certain  circumstances may be made such as for international or out-of-state students.

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.

Competition

The AMCC decided to postpone intercollegiate athletic competition for these sports for the Fall 2020 season: soccer, volleyball, cross country, and basketball. Golf and women’s tennis will continue this fall; the conference is still discussing the possibility of moving the postponed seasons to the spring semester. Neither the College nor the conference has made a decision yet regarding bowling or the spring athletic seasons.

Campus Guidelines

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.

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.

MAC will follow all national and state guidelines surrounding in-person events. In the Green Phase, the state of Pennsylvania allows a maximum of 25 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.
  • No guests in a residence hall room other than the residents.

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).

Move-In

Move-in will take place on August 21st (first-year students only) and August 23rd (upper-class students). On August 7th, resident students will be receiving an email that will allow them to sign up for a move-in time slot. Below you will find some information to help you prepare for move-in day:

  • We will be conducting temperature checks upon arrival
  • Students will be allowed to bring one family member to assist. This will help ensure that we can follow physical distancing protocols and will also reduce congestion as students move in.
  • Each student and their one (1) guest will be given an hour to drop off their belongings in their assigned room
  •  Masks or face coverings will be required at all times while on campus

We are encouraging students to focus on bringing only essential and important items to campus in case of relocation or changes to state mandates that may affect living on campus. This will also create a more efficient move-in day for you. 

Residential Quarantine

As the coronavirus situation progresses in different areas of the country and the world, the college has identified students that will need to return earlier to quarantine before joining the residential community.

We are currently fine-tuning quarantine guidelines for students, which will be shared with them prior to their arrival. These guidelines will help make our expectations clear and provide a general overview of the quarantine process. We will be delivering meals to students daily (at no additional charge) and our health, counseling, and student affairs staff will be conducting check-ins with students who are quarantining.

We will also be offering virtual engagement opportunities that will allow students to socialize and connect with each other during this time. 

A few days into quarantine, students will be administered a COVID-19 test. Once a student receives a negative result, they will be able to join the campus community and begin to prepare for their first day of class. 

We cannot make exceptions to our quarantine guidelines however, we will continue to monitor the situation and further update students as we get closer to move-in day.

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.

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.

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 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.

  • 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

Mount Aloysius College COVID-19 FAQ

*Updated on 8.11.2020 (This FAQ will continue to evolve leading up to the fall semester.)

General

Living out the core values of the Sisters of Mercy has always been a priority at Mount Aloysius, and those principles are now more important than ever. By pledging to follow the compact, Mounties promise to protect themselves and their community against the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in the broader community.

Mount Aloysius has designed a reopening plan containing strategic elements identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to promote the health and safety of the Mountie community. When the campus reopens in the fall, Mount Aloysius will:

  • 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 inform the Department of Health of an active case of COVID-19 on Campus;
  • Communicate accurate and timely information to students, faculty, and staff when necessary;
  • Reinforce infection control practices related to personal hygiene, sanitation, facial coverings, and social distancing;
  • Modify facilities as necessary and practical to support infection control practices.
  • Ease attendance/absence policies to encourage and support students and employees to remain home when sick and to control spread of infection;
  • Avoid non-essential travel for students and employees; 
  • Modify 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; and
  • Implement infection control practices, such as facial coverings/masks, personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing, personal hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation of personal spaces, and obtaining adequate amounts of sanitation supplies.

Flu shots are encouraged, but only required for certain majors.

Yes, 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 5, 2020. In-person instruction will end at Thanksgiving break, and students will not return to residence halls until the spring term. 

The College has identified a variety of factors that would lead to moving to remote learning that include guidance from health & government officials, local hospital usage, and percentages of COVID-positive students & employees.

The Mount Aloysius campus has been fully sanitized to prepare for the return of students in the fall.  Along with regular sanitization by the College’s Housekeeping team of common areas and high-touch surfaces, students and employees are also sanitizing surfaces that they have been in contact with to further ensure a clean campus. Hand sanitizer stations are located all across campus.

There are certain expectations for all Mounties in maintaining the safety and health of our community. The well-being of our population is our top priority. Consequences for students will be handled through the student conduct process; employees will work with their supervisors on any issues.

Service and hospitality are at the core of the values of the Sisters of Mercy, and they should be present in all interactions on campus. To the extent that you are comfortable, we encourage you to have civil, non-confrontational discussions about guidelines with your peers and community members. If an issue persists, employees should talk to their supervisors; students should contact their RA or the Student Life Office.

MAC will follow all national and state guidelines surrounding in-person events.  In-person events will follow social distancing guidelines and all health policies including masking and sanitation.  All events that include participants who are not part of the Mount Aloysius community must be approved by the President’s Executive Council at least two weeks prior to the event. 

For information on Orientation, please visit www.mtaloy.edu/orientation.

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. The College will have limited supply of disposable masks available for student and employee use. A College-branded reusable mask will be issued to each student upon arrival in August. 

Residential students should contact health services to schedule an appointment and quarantine in their room until given further instructions by the health service staff.

If a commuter student, faculty member, or staff begins to feel sick, they are advised to stay home. Mount Aloysius is easing attendance/absence policies to encourage and support staying home to control spread of infection. Anyone who contracts or has been exposed to COVID-19 will be required to isolate or quarantine. 

Students who test positive will be asked to isolate at their home.  Exceptions for certain  circumstances may be made such as for international or out-of-state students.

If you are experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 please contact the Financial Aid Office so that we can explore available options with you. For payment plan options, please contact the Business Office.

Student organizations are required to follow the same guidelines regarding events and social distancing as set forth by the Mount. In the Green Phase, the state of Pennsylvania allows indoor events with a maximum of 25 attendees and outdoor events up to a maximum of 250 attendees, or the maximum available through social distancing. Additional planning will have to be completed for both in-person events and events for participants who are not part of the Mount Aloysius community. 

Students may engage in service and volunteer activities as long as they are following College and state health and safety guidelines.

MAC’s counseling services will still be open to students. Virtual tele-counseling appointments are preferred, but students may also schedule in person appointments if needed. Students should contact the Counseling and Disability Services office at 814-886-6336 to schedule an appointment.

Yes, we have already started a phased opening to the Wellness Center with some equipment spread out to promote proper social distancing and cleaning supplies readily available.

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.

No plan for the spring semester has been made at this time.  Mount Aloysius will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and make decisions to promote the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff.

Yes, students and employees are expected to wear a mask or face shield when moving across Campus, in hallways, in meetings, and in the classroom. Exceptions will only be made for those providing medical documentation.

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 and will maintain 6 feet distancing where possible. Masking will be required whether or not six feet of distancing can be maintained.

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 switches 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.

No, a Reading Day will occur on November 30 and final exams will be delivered remotely from December 1 through December 5, 2020. In-person instruction will end at Thanksgiving break, and students will not return to residence halls until the spring term. 

Accommodations for remote learning that conform to ADA guidelines may be made for students who are not able to live on campus. Note that some majors, particularly nursing and other health studies, require in-person clinicals, labs, and/or simulation experiences. Students in these majors must consult their advisors about the impact of remote learning on their degree progress.

No, the standard grading system will be used.

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 virtually or 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. 

Academic support services, such as advising, registrar, and faculty/student meetings may be conducted in-person if masks are worn and/or social distance can be maintained. We recommend calling, emailing, or requesting a virtual meeting with your advisor for questions and other matters that can be handled remotely.

Faculty advising appointments for current students will be scheduled through AdvisorTrac and held virtually. You can meet with your advisor following proper masking and social distancing guidelines, but we recommend that you call, email, or set up a virtual meeting for matters that can be handled remotely.

Residence Life (On-Campus Housing)

Our intent is to allow students to keep their belongings in their assigned residence hall room through the winter break period. Students do not need to remove their belongings when they leave on November 25. They should just take the clothing items, computers and any valuables with them for the extended break period. The only exception would be if a student is not returning to MAC for the spring semester. Any student not returning for the spring will need to sign up for a check out time with their RA prior to departing on November 25. At that time, the RA will check the room for any damages and the student will return their room key. Students will also be notified of the check-out procedures a few weeks prior to the end of the fall semester via an email reminder.

New student move-in is scheduled for Friday, August 21.  Strategies to reduce move-in traffic, limit contact with others, and make move-in a safe and sanitary experience will be released closer to the move-in date. New students have been participating in online orientation this summer, and both virtual and socially distanced in-person orientation activities will continue from move-in to the start of classes.  Check out mtaloy.edu/orientation for a schedule of events and a list of deadlines.

Students with extenuating circumstances may be granted permission to move in early by contacting Andrea Mantilla, Director of Residence Life. Andrea can be reached at 814-886-6388 or residencelife@mtaloy.edu. We encourage students to contact Residence Life as early as possible should you have a conflict or extenuating circumstance.  This will allow Residence Life to make the appropriate accommodations early, as move-in day and the week prior are typically busy with staff training and putting the finishing touches on our residence halls.

Social distancing must be practiced at all times and this includes in your room with your roommate, and in any shared spaces (such as bathrooms) with suitemates.

Students will be able to leave campus and should follow all PA state and county guidelines for the areas where they will be spending time or traveling to. It is important that students stay abreast of PA State guidelines regarding travel to other states, and quarantine requirements for return to PA from those states, as Mount Aloysius College will be following those guidelines and requiring students and faculty/staff to quarantine upon return in order to keep the MAC campus as safe as possible. 

If you need to cancel your housing assignment for a valid reason, please contact residencelife@mtaloy.edu as soon as possible. This will allow the College time to adjust your financial aid and billing if you will no longer be living on campus. 

Room and board rates will remain as planned.  While the in-residence period ends earlier, there are additional days during the semester in which the College will be providing housing and meals (Labor Day, Fall Break).  In addition, the College’s overall dining costs will now include significant new costs associated with COVID-19 safeguards, as well as significant price increases associated with certain food products.

Immediately contact the Health Services office at (814) 886-6515 or (814) 886-6336 for further instruction. 

Employee FAQ

Yes. Use of face masks or face shields is required for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. The College will provide every student, faculty, and staff member with a College-branded mask, and will have a limited number of disposable masks available for those who need one. Employees may remove masks if you are alone in your office, if the mask impedes your vision creating a safety issue, or if a medical condition prevents you from wearing a mask.  In such cases, employees must consult with their supervisor.

Many administrative offices on campus are already equipped with plexiglass shields. We encourage phone calls, emails or virtual meetings in lieu of physical visits to reduce in person contact and avoid overcrowding in offices. Many offices will only allow one visitor at a time. Employees are encouraged to readjust their workspaces where possible to allow for social distancing.

Masks or face shields must be worn in class at all times, and students and faculty are expected to maintain social distancing. 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. 

Courses, other than clinicals and labs, that exceed 50% capacity of the assigned classroom will be split into teams in which half of the students attend in-person one day and online on another day. Students will be notified if their classes have been affected. 

Nursing and Health Sciences on-campus labs and simulation experiences, and off-campus clinicals, cannot be in hybrid format. These will follow CDC and clinical agency guidelines. There will be temperature screenings in on-campus nursing and health sciences labs and simulations courses.

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. While classes will be conducted on Labor Day, College offices will be closed on Monday, September 7.

Because the situation is ever-changing, we have not made decisions regarding the spring semester at this time. We will notify faculty, staff, and students when more information becomes available.

The Office of Student Health will have the ability to screen students on Campus for COVID-19, along with other viruses and infections, such as strep and the regular flu.  We are establishing protocols and criteria for appropriate symptomatic testing congruent with CDC and Department of Health guidelines. Off-Campus testing will also be available for students.

Employees will not be tested through the Office of Student Health and should instead contact their physician for instructions and to obtain testing.

Testing is NOT covered under the College’s health insurance plan for asymptomatic members (those with no symptoms) unless it is done as pre-op testing for individuals with recent exposure.  

However, if the patient is symptomatic and testing is recommended by a medical professional as medically necessary and appropriate, then Coronavirus (COVID-19) related testing will be covered under the College’s Health and Safety Plan.  

It is our understanding that Rite-Aid in Cresson is conducting COVID-19 testing and will test those with no symptoms (asymptomatic individuals).  

ICare in Ebensburg also does testing, but because they are a health care provider, we believe it must be medically necessary.

We require all employees (including student workers) to fill out a contact tracing log in the event that someone on campus develops symptoms. If that should occur, we will notify individuals who came into contact with the infected persons, and may request they quarantine themselves based on federal and state guidelines.

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.  

Just because you don’t see someone cleaning does not necessarily mean it wasn’t done.

If you are concerned about the frequency of cleaning in your area, employees should speak to their supervisor.  Students may raise their concern with Residence Life staff and/or with the Office of Student Affairs. In either case, those individuals will be able to address your concern with Physical Plant staff. It may be as simple as sharing the cleaning rotation so you feel more comfortable, or we may find an adjustment is necessary.

Contact the Human Resources office for information on options such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The energy curtailment period begins at 2 p.m. and is done to assist our electric supplier when the draw on the electricity grid is at its highest.  

During the curtailment period the AC is not shut off. The HVAC systems are put in unoccupied mode which means the fan motors shut down and the cooling set point is raised to 76 degrees.  All sensors are still active, and in the event the temperature reaches 76 degrees, or the CO2 level becomes too high, the fans turn on and will run until levels fall below these settings.   

Air quality is determined by fresh air exchanges. Our HVAC systems exchange the total air volume in our facilities multiple times per day.  Systems also monitor CO2 levels and open outside air dampers when necessary.  However, our units have a minimum outside air damper position of 10% so fresh air is mixing with conditioned air when the blowers are running.

Finally, system returns are located high in the ceilings, which makes it nearly impossible for any virus or other airborne infection to enter the HVAC system.  In any event, our systems are filtered and air is exchanged before it is pumped back out into the building.

Our participation in the energy curtailment would have no negative impact on the air quality in any of our buildings.