Coronavirus Important Updates

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PLAN AND RESPONSE

Updated October 10, 2021

This webpage provides important information for the Seton Hill community and offers regular updates about coronavirus and the latest guidance from state and federal authorities. All updates may be found at the links at the right. Please know the webpage is not intended to serve as a single reference about this rapidly evolving situation. More information about the coronavirus as well as guidance on prevention and travel can be found at the following resources:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

U.S. State Department

Pennsylvania Department of Health

National Institutes of Health

World Health Organization

Important Information for Students, Faculty and Staff

FALL 2021 UPDATES

Emergency Financial Aid Grants for Students Application

Students who have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have unmet financial needs that inhibit their ability to afford tuition, housing, food, health care, child care, technology, course materials and/or other expenses are encouraged to apply for a pool of Emergency Financial Aid Grants made possible by the American Rescue Plan. The application is available here.

COVID-19 2021-22 Campus Health and Safety Plan

August 18, 2021 - Updated August 28, 2021

The Campus Health and Safety Plan for the 2021-22 Academic Year is available here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

June 21, 2021

Updated August 6, 2021

Over the past several months – as COVID-19 vaccines have become readily available throughout the United States – it has certainly become clear that vaccination is the key to returning to normalcy. As vaccination rates have increased, COVID-19 infection rates have decreased nearly 90 percent since their peak in January. Fully-vaccinated individuals are now able to safely participate in activities without masks and without fear of infection. 

The American College Health Association (ACHA) has recommended that colleges and universities require campus community members to be immunized against COVID-19, while allowing for normal exemptions, in order to keep people healthy and return to a more normal campus life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to warn about COVID-19 variant strains that are more contagious and lead to more serious disease and hospitalization and the rise in cases among unvaccinated young people.  

Given the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing serious infection – and the desire of our Seton Hill community to return to a normal campus experience for all – Seton Hill University will require all students enrolled in face-to-face classes and attending campus activities to be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to arriving on campus for the 2021-22 academic year. Consistent with Seton Hill’s policies for other vaccinations for students, those with a valid medical or religious reason why they cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be permitted to apply for appropriate exemptions. 

As of August 6, 2021, Seton Hill will require vaccinations for all employees working on campus. Employees with a valid medical or religious, moral or ethical reason why they cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be permitted to apply for appropriate exemptions. Employees and students who receive an exemption - or those who are not two weeks beyond their second-dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the start of the semester - will be required to follow risk mitigation practices as outlined by Seton Hill. 

All of us at Seton Hill are eager to return to being together in the way we are accustomed.  In requiring the vaccine, we hope to offer our community opportunities to more fully engage in traditional face-to-face classes, laboratories and studios as well as to host campus activities and gatherings that bring us together in person and allow us to truly live the four pillars of our mission – welcoming, learning, celebrating and serving. 

Below, please find important information about the COVID-19 Vaccine Policy, including deadlines, information on uploading your proof of vaccination, exemption forms and information around policies for both vaccinated individuals and unvaccinated individuals for the 2021-22 academic year. 

QUESTIONS ABOUT SETON HILL UNIVERSITY’S COVID-19 VACCINE POLICY

Who will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19?

All students who are enrolled in face-to-face classes and engaged in any on-campus activities during the 2021-22 academic year must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes full-time and part-time students, undergraduates and graduate students, residential and non-residential students, and adult students. Students who are enrolled in fully online programs (e.g., ADP or graduate programs) do not need to be vaccinated if they will not be on campus for any reason. 

As of August 6, Seton Hill will also require vaccinations for employees who work on campus. Individuals who receive an exemption will be required to follow risk mitigation practices as outlined by Seton Hill. 

A link to the policy is available here.

Where can I get my vaccination?

Vaccine distribution is managed by federal and state agencies. A national website – www.vaccines.gov – provides a search tool that helps individuals find vaccines in their area. 

You may also ask your personal health provider. Some doctors’ offices offer pre-registration at clinics, or if not, can advise you on services in your area.

What is the deadline for vaccination? 

All students must receive both doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine (or one dose for the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine) and provide proof of vaccination no later than the start of classes. Fall sports athletes must receive all doses and provide proof of vaccination prior to their arrival on campus for fall practices. Coaches will be in touch with athletes about individual deadlines. 

All employees must receive both doses and upload proof of vaccination no later than September 15, 2021. 

How will students and employees provide proof of vaccination?

All Seton Hill University students who receive both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine must upload their vaccination card to Med+Proctor at mp.setonhill.edu. After uploading the vaccine card to Med+Proctor, students must email healthservices@setonhill.edu to alert the staff that their record has been updated.

Employees will also upload a photo of their vaccination card to the secure Med+Proctor site. Instructions for employees on how to upload your vaccination card to Med+Proctor can be found here.  Employees will be presumed to be unvaccinated unless and until they upload proof of vaccination to Med+Proctor. Employees may also seek assistance uploading their card at the Solution Center during the week of August 9 and on August 16 at Fall Workshop between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. 

What vaccines will be accepted?

Any COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the United States will be accepted, including Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. Some incoming students may be 17-years-old at the start of the fall semester and may only be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

How will Seton Hill accommodate international students?

Many of our international students may be vaccinated in other countries that are using vaccines not yet approved in the United States. International students who have received a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization will be considered compliant with the policy. Seton Hill will also work with international students who are arriving to the United States without vaccination to help them find vaccinations once they arrive. Upon arrival at Seton Hill, unvaccinated international students will need to quarantine for 5 days. Health Services will test students on day 5.  If the COVID test is negative, Health Services will direct students to the closest pharmacy / clinic to get a COVID vaccine. International students will need to follow quarantine, testing and masking protocols until they are fully vaccinated. 

Are there exemptions?

Students and employees may request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons.

Religious exemption: Students and employees may request an exemption based upon firmly and sincerely held religious beliefs, including moral and ethical beliefs, by completing a religious exemption form for the COVID-19 immunization. Students who have previously received a religious exemption for other immunizations will be required to submit this separate exemption request for the COVID-19 vaccination. 

Medical exemption: Students and employees may request a medical exemption by completing a medical exemption form signed by a health care provider with medical contraindication(s) to the vaccine documented. Students who have previously received a medical exemption for other immunizations will be required to submit this separate exemption request for the COVID-19 vaccination.

All student exemption forms must be completed and submitted by the start of their classes. Employees must submit exemption forms no later than August 23.

How will exemptions be reviewed and decided?

Each exemption request form will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether or not a waiver should be granted. 

What health and safety protocols will be in place for students who receive a vaccine exemption and are unvaccinated? 

Students with approved exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine are required to engage in the following risk mitigation practices established by Seton Hill University as influenced by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and/or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  1. Mask wearing and the use of PPE;
  2. Participating in universal testing for COVID-19 prior to the start of each semester in which the student is enrolled in face-to-face classes or attending on-campus activities;
  3. Participating in weekly surveillance testing for COVID-19 provided by  Health Services;
  4. Quarantining after out-of-state travel and testing with Seton Hill Health Services as instructed (Note: The ability to make-up work for students who must quarantine due to travel is at the discretion of the faculty member);
  5. Immediately notifying Seton Hill University Health Services of a positive COVID-19 test, COVID-19 symptoms, or a known or suspected exposure to someone with the virus; and
  6. Following protocols for testing, contact tracing, isolating, or quarantining. 

Students who fail to comply with the COVID-19 Vaccine Policy may be subject to disciplinary action and/or penalties up to and including cancellation of registration for the semester, and/or exclusion from face-to-face classes, university housing, and curricular and extra-curricular campus activities.

What health and safety protocols will be in place for employees who receive a vaccine exemption?

Exempt employees and/or those who are still completing their COVID-19 vaccination process are required to engage in the following risk mitigation practices established by Seton Hill University as influenced by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and/or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  1. Mask wearing and the use of PPE;
  2. Participating in universal testing for COVID-19 prior to the start of each semester;
  3. Participating in weekly surveillance testing for COVID-19 provided by Health Services.  In seek testing with an outside healthcare provider.
  4. Quarantining after out-of-state travel or hosting an overnight guest from out-of-state and testing with Seton Hill Health Services as instructed (Note: Work-from-home for employees who must quarantine for travel is at the discretion of their area vice president and is not guaranteed. Employees may need to use vacation or personal days for quarantine due to travel);
  5. Immediately notifying Seton Hill University Human Resources of a positive COVID-19 test, COVID-19 symptoms, or a known or suspected exposure to someone with the virus and following the COVID-19 Sick Leave Return to Work Policy; and
  6. Following protocols for testing, contact tracing, isolating, or quarantining.

Compliance with these practices is a condition of employment by the University. Noncompliance may lead to discipline, up to and including termination of employment.

What will mitigation efforts look like for vaccinated students and employees? 

Fully vaccinated students and employees will not need to participate in universal testing or surveillance testing (unless required by the NCAA for athletics). They will also be exempt from quarantine or testing due to a contact with a COVID-19 positive individual or for travel unless they develop symptoms of COVID-19. 

Mask wearing for fully vaccinated individuals will also be lifted on the Seton Hill campus effective immediately. If masking requirements are reinstated at the state or federal level, Seton Hill will implement them accordingly. 

Will Seton Hill summer housing require vaccination?

No. However, students are strongly urged to secure their vaccination as soon as possible. The vaccination requirement begins in Fall 2021.

If a booster vaccination is needed, will Seton Hill require it?

Yes.  All students and employees will be required to receive a booster vaccination if it is deemed necessary by federal and/or state health officials. 

Will Seton Hill require the flu shot?

Seton Hill added the influenza immunization to its list of required student vaccinations in the 2020-21 academic year and will continue to do so. Students with a valid medical or religious reason why they cannot receive the flu shot will be permitted to request an appropriate exemption. Flu Clinic dates will be announced in the early weeks of the Fall 2021 semester.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19 VACCINES

COVID-19 vaccines are being approved more rapidly than other vaccines. How do I know they are safe?

COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority.  COVID vaccines have been developed at a more rapid pace than what is normally seen with other vaccines. This does not mean safety steps have been skipped.  The development process has been expedited because of the pandemic (e.g., early funding to ramp up manufacturing, overlapping phases of trials).  COVID-19 vaccines are going through the same rigorous approval process as other approved vaccines. Data are reviewed/analyzed by independent experts (i.e., not scientists employed by the manufacturer). The independent reviewer recommendations are then presented to the approving agency (e.g., FDA, Health Canada).

Some of the COVID vaccines are utilizing new types of technology. How do I know that these newer vaccines are safe?

Available COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus and do not affect a person’s genetic material (DNA).  Scientists have been studying mRNA and viral vector vaccines for >15 years. Even though COVID-19 vaccines are the first mRNA and viral vector vaccines to come to market, it is not new science. Over the years of studying mRNA and viral vector vaccines (e.g., influenza, Zika, cytomegalovirus, rabies, Ebola) researchers have been able to solve problems that previously kept these vaccines from coming to market (e.g., vaccine instability, inflammatory outcomes, modest immune response).

Will the COVID vaccine change my DNA?

No.  mRNA vaccines do not interact with a person’s DNA or cause genetic changes because the mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept. The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions.

Will the COVID vaccine affect my fertility?

There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in men or women.   

Will COVID-19 vaccination lead to a positive COVID-19 test? 

No.  COVID-19 vaccination will not lead to a positive test for active COVID-19 infection (molecular or polymerase chain reaction [PCR] tests and/or antigen tests).  COVID-19 vaccination may lead to a positive test for COVID-19 antibodies (serology tests).

Can a COVID-19 vaccine cause a COVID-19 infection?

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines that are available or are currently in development use the live SARS-CoV-2 virus.

What is emergency use authorization (EUA)?

EUA is a process through the FDA to allow use of unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved products during an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening conditions when there are no approved alternatives available.

Which vaccine should I get?

The “best” vaccine to get is the one that’s available.  All 3 vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson) have at least 85% efficacy at preventing severe COVID-19 (such as cases leading to ICU admissions or death); efficacy seems similar for younger and older adults. None of the vaccines are “live” which means they can be given to immunocompromised patients and pregnant or breastfeeding moms.  Growing data suggest these vaccines also decrease asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and transmission.

How long does it take to develop immunity after COVID-19 vaccination; will I need a booster dose?

A person is considered fully vaccinated ≥2 weeks after a 2-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series or ≥2 weeks after a single dose of Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. The need for and timing of COVID-19 booster doses have not been established. No additional doses are recommended at this time.

If I had COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?

Yes! Previous COVID-19 infection (with or without symptoms) is NOT a contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination.

What are potential adverse effects of the vaccine?

These are similar overall for the 3 vaccines.  Most people can expect mild to moderate injection-site pain or soreness; less common is a large, red, itchy reaction around the injection site a week or so after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.  This reaction is not uncommon and not a reason to avoid the second dose. Consider getting the second dose in the opposite arm.

Many people will experience systemic reactions (such as fever, malaise, headache, fever, chills, muscle aches), within about two days of vaccination. These usually go away within a day or two. This is a normal response to a vaccine and means the body is building antibodies to prevent infection. Systemic adverse effects may be more likely with the second dose.

Do COVID-19 vaccines increase clot risk?

This concern is due to reports of serious blood clots along with low platelets with the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine in the U.S and the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe and other countries.  The incidence of a clot post vaccination is rare. The risk of a clot risk due to COVID-19 infection is much higher.

The FDA and CDC “paused” use of this vaccine for a short time to sort out risk factors for these clots and treatment strategies. Safety systems for vaccines are working to catch potential issues.  The theory is that an immune response to the vaccine may promote clotting similar to heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). It’s being called “vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).”

There have been no reports of this issue with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines after over 305 million doses.

Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

  • Vaccination may reduce illness severity if you become infected with COVID-19
  • Immunization will protect friends, family, co-workers, and close contacts from getting COVID-19
  • Vaccination gets your immune system ready to fight COVID-19 infection if exposed.
  • Vaccination is also an important step in the development of herd immunity and an  important tool in the toolbox to end the pandemic
  • Vaccination is the safer path toward herd immunity:
    • Relying on natural immunity to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19 would mean hundreds of millions of people would have to recover from COVID-19; and during the time it would take for that many to recover, many more people could experience COVID-19 complications or death.
    • There is no way to predict COVID-19 infection severity for anyone, and infections can be fatal.
    • COVID-19 infection has been associated with long-term consequences, even in young healthy people (e.g., lung, heart, and memory problems; mood changes; kidney damage).
    • It is unknown how long natural immunity (antibodies from exposure to the virus through infection) or vaccine-induced immunity (antibodies from vaccination) lasts. Limited vaccine data suggests vaccine-induced immunity may last longer.

Will the vaccine protect against variants?

New variants of the virus that cause COVID-19 are spreading in the United States. Current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most variants. However, some variants might cause illness in some people after they are fully vaccinated.

Should someone who previously received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma for COVID-19 get vaccinated?

There is no data about the use of COVID-19 vaccines in patients who received either monoclonal antibody therapy or convalescent plasma. To avoid any possibility of lessening a patient’s immune response to a COVID-19 vaccine, wait at least 90 days before vaccinating a patient who received either monoclonal antibody therapy.

Do COVID-19 vaccines contain aborted fetal cells?

Available COVID-19 vaccines do NOT contain fetal cells.

What are contraindications or precautions to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • History of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a dose of the same type of COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., mRNA, viral vector).
  • History of an immediate allergic reaction of any severity within four hours (e.g., wheezing, hives) to:
    • a previous dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
    • any component of the vaccine
  • Contraindication to an mRNA vaccine is a precaution to a viral vector vaccine (and vice versa).

Is the single-dose viral vector COVID-19 vaccine as effective as two-dose COVID-19 vaccines?

There is no head-to-head data directly comparing the available COVID-19 vaccines. Experts believe that the single-dose J&J COVID-19 vaccine is NOT inferior to the two-dose mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer).  Differences in efficacy rates are likely due to differences in when and where trials were conducted and circulating variants.

SUMMER 2021 UPDATES

COVID-19 Dashboard

During the Summer of 2021, the COVID-19 Dashboard will be published weekly on Fridays at noon. Archives of the Final Fall 2020 Dashboard and the Final Spring 2021 Dashboard are also available. 

SPRING 2021 SEMESTER UPDATES

Spring 2021 Start Dates

Seton Hill will delay the start of the traditional Spring 2021 semester to Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Please see this Announcement from President Mary Finger for further details.

Spring 2021 Return to Campus Plan

Seton Hill has updated the Return to Campus Plan for Spring 2021. The plan follows current health and safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education and will be updated as new regulations or guidelines are issued by state and federal agencies. 

Spring 2021 Social Contracts

All Seton Hill University students attending face-to-face classes in Spring 2021 will be asked to electronically sign and abide by a Social Contract outlining their roles and responsibilities as members of the campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, students living in Seton Hill Residence Halls will be asked to sign and abide by a Social Contract for Residential Living. The Social Contract can be found here. The Social Contract for Residential Living can be found here. 

FALL 2020 SEMESTER UPDATES

On May 15, 2020, Seton Hill University announced its plans to begin the fall semester on Monday, August 17 in the university's traditional manner of offering face to face classes on a residential campus. University leadership and health care professionals have worked to implement new protocols—and have expanded existing ones—that follow the protective policies, guidelines and requirements offered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College Health Association (ACHA). 

Relative to those guidelines, Seton Hill administration along with key faculty, staff, and health care experts have been engaged in the development of a comprehensive health and safety plan for all areas of campus life.  This plan includes enhanced protocols for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing all campus spaces including classrooms, laboratories, studios, residence halls and dining facilities; planning for appropriate social distancing in classrooms, co-curricular and event spaces, residence halls, and dining facilities; providing additional resources for students through Counseling, Disability and Health Services; and establishing procedures for managing visitors to campus.  

On June 24, 2020, Seton Hill University posted the Return to Campus Plan on the university's COVID-19 website. The university will continue to monitor national and state guidelines and update the institution’s health and safety plan with the most current recommendations.

RETURN TO CAMPUS PLAN

Please find the current Return to Campus Health and Safety Plan here.

COVID-19 DAILY DASHBOARD

The Seton Hill University COVID-19 Daily Dashboard provides campus community members with important information and updates during the pandemic, including numbers of cases or suspected cases on campus, information on the COVID-19 situation in Westmoreland County, as well as changes to the Return to Campus plan and important reminders. 

The Seton Hill University COVID-19 Daily Dashboard is updated every weekday at noon and can be found here.

SOCIAL CONTRACTS FOR STUDENTS

All Seton Hill University students attending face-to-face classes in Fall 2020 have been asked to electronically sign and abide by a Social Contract outlining their roles and responsibilities as members of the campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, students living in Seton Hill Residence Halls have been asked to sign and abide by a Social Contract for Residential Living. The Social Contract can be found here. The Social Contract for Residential Living can be found here

FLU SHOT CLINICS

Health Services, in partnership with Giant Eagle Pharmacy, is sponsoring the first of three physically-distant Flu Clinics for the Seton Hill University Community on Tuesday, September 29th from 10:00-3:00 in McKenna Gymnasium and 3:30-4:30 at the Performing Arts Center.  Please bring your insurance card and your Giant Eagle Advantage Card (if you have one).  As an incentive, Giant Eagle will apply a $5.00 credit to your Advantage Card good toward a future purchase.  This year, more than ever, getting a flu shot will help curtail the number of individuals afflicted with the flu and help in our fight against the COVID-19 virus. Flu clinics will also be held on October 6th and October 22nd.

As a reminder, the Social Contract indicates students will receive a flu shot when they are available on campus, or they will submit a record proving receipt of flu shot from another location to Health Services. Exemptions will be granted for medical or religious reasons, and the deadline for student participation is December 1, 2020. Please see the full policy with exemption request forms here.

Although an appointment is not necessary, scheduling an appointment will lessen your wait time and help us adhere to physical distancing guidelines.  You can schedule for any of the three clinics (Sept. 29, Oct. 6 and Oct. 22) using the following links:

Seton Hill University - Upper Campus

Seton Hill University - Lower Campus

DESIGNATED STUDENT DINING AREAS

Seton Hill University has established Designated Student Dining Areas throughout campus where individuals can remove their mask while eating or drinking as long as they maintain six feet of physical distance from others. 

The following locations serve as Designated Student Dining Areas for the Fall 2020 semester:

  • Boyle Atrium Areas – Boyle Health Sciences Center Entrance, Second and Third Floors
  • Boyle Vibe – Boyle Health Sciences Center, First Floor
  • Commuter Lounge - Maura Hall, Second Floor 
  • Cove - Sullivan Hall, Ground Floor
  • Greensburg Room - Adjacent to Lowe Dining Hall
  • Lowe Dining Hall - Lowe Hall, First Floor
  • Maura Dining - Maura Hall 131, First Floor
  • McKenna Lobby - McKenna Center, First Floor
  • Nest - Maura Hall, Ground Floor
  • Performing Arts Center – Lobby and areas near the Green Room
  • Outdoor tables and areas throughout campus
  • Seton Hill Arts Center Café - Arts Center Lobby
  • Seton Hill Arts Center Lounge - Arts Center Second Floor
  • Spirit Room -  Adjacent to Lowe Dining Hall
  • Sullivan Lounge -  Sullivan Hall, First Floor

Stay.SetonHill.edu

Please visit stay.setonhill.edu for helpful information and tips on the ways Seton Hill community members can stay safe this fall and stay on campus for in-person learning. 

COVID-19 CONCERN REPORTING FORM

Throughout the course of the semester, Seton Hill students, faculty and staff may witness behaviors by other campus community members that may not align with our health and safety protocols and put others at risk. In an effort to provide a way for community members to alert the university to such behaviors, Seton Hill has launched the COVID-19 Concern Reporting Form, which allows confidential reporting of incidents they have witnessed in person, saw on social media, or heard about in other ways. The form allows users to share information as well as images – including photographs or screenshots of social media posts – about behaviors on campus or off.

The COVID-19 Concern Reporting Form can be found at stay.setonhill.edu, a website that offers community members with information on the ways we can stay safe this fall and stay on campus for in-person learning. You can click here for direct access to the form.

CARES ACT

Students who wish to apply for emergency funding through the CARES Act should visit the CARES Act Information for Students page.

A public disclosure on CARES Act emergency funding as required to comply with guidance by the United States Department of Education is available on the CARES Act Public Disclosure page.

FALL ATHLETICS

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Board of Directors voted on July 14 to suspend all athletic competition and championships during the fall semester through the end of 2020. The PSAC is developing a plan to hold all athletic competition in the Spring 2021 semester. More information will be provided as it is developed.

EMPLOYEE RESOURCES

Please follow the link provided for information regarding paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

The EEOC also provides a resource: Guidance on What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.

CENTER FOR ORTHODONTICS

The Seton Hill University Center for Orthodontics is open for normal procedures beginning Monday, May 18. The Center is operating under strict cleaning and safety protocols, including: 

  • Your doctor will call you the night before your appointment to review.
  • You will receive a text message on the morning of your appointment. If you do not text, please call the office that morning.
  • We ask that you reply to the text or call us when you arrive in the parking lot. Please stay in your car or outside the office.
  • You will be contacted by text or phone call when your resident is ready for you.
  • All patients and visitors must wear a facemask or face covering.
  • Your temperature will be taken before you are brought into the clinical area.
  • Only the patient (if appropriate) will be admitted into the clinical area.
  • We will have reduced seating in the lobby, spaced appropriately for social distancing; family members can also wait outside or in their car.
  • After the appointment, the resident will call to discuss the appointment and schedule the next visit. 
  • If the resident is unable to contact you the same day, please call the office to schedule your next appointment.

MAY 2020 COMMENCEMENT

On July 6, Seton Hill University announced that an in-person commencement for the Class of 2020 would not be able to be held in August as the university had hoped due to the rise of COVID-19 cases across the country and a 14-day quarantine issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for those traveling from a number of states with high case numbers. May graduates are invited to participate in the December 2020 or May 2021 commencement ceremonies. May graduates should also send a photo of themselves along with a brief description of their future plans to Seton Hill Graphic Designer Breanna Salvio at bsalvio@setonhill.edu by July 31 to be included in a special slideshow presentation.

 

ARCHIVED INFORMATION - SPRING 2020 SEMESTER

On March 16, 2020, Seton Hill University announced that in response to the growing global COVID-19 pandemic, all face-to-face classes would move online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 Semester. In addition, Residence Halls are closed as of Friday, March 20 at 5:00 p.m. Students who are unable to make alternative housing arrangements may contact the Office of Student Affairs for more information. 

Class Schedule

Seton Hill University will be extending the suspension of all face-to-face classes and maintaining an online and alternative delivery format through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. As announced previously, all existing online courses will continue their normal class schedule.  

Faculty members will continue to be in contact with students regarding online class work and the completion of senior projects, internships, student teaching and other unique circumstances. Additional information will be communicated by the Provost, School Deans and Registrar. 

Residence Halls 

As of Friday, March 20 at 5:00 p.m., the Residence Halls will be closed for the remainder of the semester. We recognize that this will require some time and coordination for students and families. Any student in need of alternative housing arrangements to remain on campus past March 20 should complete the Spring 2020 Resident Exemption Form available online or through the Office of Student Affairs by Wednesday, March 18 to receive assistance and make appropriate arrangements.  

For those students who need additional time to vacate the Residence Halls or for those who already vacated the Residence Halls and need additional time to collect their belongings or to place them into storage please be in touch with Rosalie Carpenter, Vice President for Student Affairs, at rcarpenter@setonhill.edu or by phone (724) 838-4242; or, Cory Campbell, Director of Residence Life, at ccampbell@setonhill.edu or 724-838-4260. Please also refer to the Residence Hall FAQs located on the university’s coronavirus webpage for additional information.

Room and Board

As Seton Hill decided to move entirely to online instruction and to close the Residence Halls for the remainder of the semester, students will receive a prorated credit of 40 percent of room and board charges for the Spring 2020 semester. The credit will be used toward an existing balance and/or toward a future semester’s room and board charges in the 2020-21 academic year.  If the student is a graduating senior, they will receive a refund. 

Support Services

Access to academic support services, Reeves Library, the Counseling, Disability and Health Services Office, the Career and Professional Development Center and the Solution Center will be available in a virtual format for all students. Please refer to the links on MySHU to access these services. 

In addition, the Seton Hill community will continue to receive email from the Counseling, Disability and Health Services Center.  These “Wellness Moments” will suggest ways for all of us to stay well physically and mentally during this period of great stress.  

Facilities

Lowe Dining Hall will continue to be used as the location for all food service. At this time, Aramark has eliminated self-service stations and all food will be served by staff in carry-out containers.

Reeves Learning Commons, the McKenna Center, Campus Ministry Lounge, Commuter Lounge and other common spaces are closed for the remainder of the semester.

Shuttle Service

Shuttle service will be suspended for the remainder of the Spring Semester. 

Commencement

Seton Hill continues to take measures to protect the health of the university community, our families and our neighbors. As a result, we are postponing Commencement on May 9.  We plan to come together for the Grad Bash, Honors Convocation, Baccalaureate Mass, and the formal Commencement ceremony during a time when we may all gather safely together—as a community and with family and friends—to recognize and celebrate our graduates and their incredible accomplishments.  

At this time, we are tentatively considering a weekend in early August for festivities. We will work with our seniors to ensure they are able to experience their 2020 Commencement. The Office of Student Life will provide updates regarding Commencement via email. 

While Commencement Exercises are postponed, be assured that degrees will be conferred as scheduled on May 9, 2020.  Diplomas and transcripts will be available and mailed to students the week of May 11, 2020.

In addition, the Bookstore has shared the following information regarding regalia:

  • If you have already ordered your regalia, please know that order will remain active and we will receive your regalia when Commencement is rescheduled.
  • If you would like to cancel your order and request a refund, please contact Herf Jones at 1-800-837-4235.
  • If you will need to purchase regalia when the new date is confirmed, you will receive communication on how to place an order for regalia at that time.  

Virtual Hub for Students - ConnectSHU

The Division of Student Affairs created ConnectSHU, a virtual hub where students can access important information to stay connected with Seton Hill during the pandemic.

CARES Act 

Students who wish to apply for emergency funding through the CARES Act should visit the CARES Act Information for Students page.

Mass

Seton Hill University is suspending in-person Mass and Liturgical Events sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry and the Office of Mission and Identity. However, the University wants to remain connected to students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends during this time. We will be videotaping Mass to share with the community at mass.setonhill.edu. Mass will premiere at 7:00 a.m. every Sunday and Wednesday for the remainder of the Spring Semester.  In addition, the Office of Mission and Identity is also compiling “Mission Moments,” which will be communicated throughout the semester to help sustain us spiritually during this difficult time.  

Travel, Events and Study Abroad

All campus events and meetings larger than 25 people are canceled for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Where possible, on-campus meetings of groups of this size may shift to a virtual format. 

All Seton Hill University Study Abroad Trips for the May 2020 Term have been canceled. 

All University-sponsored international travel for faculty, staff or students is suspended. Non-essential university domestic travel is also cancelled. 

Essential domestic travel must be approved in advance by the supervising member of President’s Council/Vice President.

Personal travel is also discouraged and should be carefully considered. Individuals who must travel should follow all CDC, Pennsylvania Department of Health and University protocols for return to campus, including self-quarantine as necessary. 

Center for Orthodontics

The Seton Hill University Center for Orthodontics is operating on a reduced schedule and is handling only emergency cases beginning March 17, 2020. 

Essential Personnel

The business of the University continues. However, beginning Tuesday, March 17, only essential personnel defined by area Vice Presidents and Deans will work on campus.  All other staff members will work remotely from their homes until further notice under the direction and guidance of their immediate supervisors.  Employees should take with them all the tools and materials they will need to work remotely. The use of virtual and flexible work arrangements during this time period is encouraged.

Employee Resources

Please follow the link provided for information regarding paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

The EEOC also provides a resource: Guidance on What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.

Faculty Resources

The Innovative Teaching and Learning Center is available to provide information to faculty on online teaching resources. 

Athletic Events

All spring athletic competition and championships have been canceled as of March 13, following decisions by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC). Practices and other team-related activities are also suspended at this time.

Important Dates: Grading/Withdrawal

The following changes have been made by the Office of the Registrar for the Spring 2020 Semester:

  • Mid-semester grades are due for the traditional semester-long classes by Friday, March 20 at 11:59 p.m.
  • The withdrawal period (grade of W) has been extended to March 25 for traditional semester-long classes.
  • The withdraw-pass (grade of WP) and withdraw-fail (grade of WF) will be during the period of March 26 through April 16 for traditional semester-long classes.
  • Withdrawals for traditional semester-long classes from April 17 through May 4 will receive a grade of  'F' - no change during this period.

Registration

To allow for additional time for student advising for summer and fall 2020 the registration schedule will be adjusted as follows:

  • Tuesday, April 14 at 6 am – Graduate students
  • Wednesday, April 15, at 6 am – Seniors, Second Degree, and post-baccalaureate Teaching Certificate students
  • Thursday, April 16 at 6 am – Juniors
  • Friday, April 17 at 6 am – Sophomores
  • Monday, April 20 at 6 am – Freshmen
  • Tuesday, April 21 at 6 am – Unclassified and Pastoral Ministry students

GENERAL COVID-19 Information

SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS

Symptoms of coronavirus are mild to severe respiratory illness and can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

According to current information from the CDC, symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

Health officials currently are advising that unless you have traveled to a country with high numbers of confirmed cases of coronavirus or have come into contact with someone known to have been diagnosed with coronavirus, your risk for being exposed is low. 

If you are experiencing symptoms and have reason to believe you have been exposed to coronavirus, please seek immediate medical attention. Current guidance states that before you go to a doctor’s office, clinic, or emergency room that you call ahead and tell them about your symptoms and any recent travel or contact with someone who has traveled. If you plan to seek care at the Office of Counseling, Disability and Health Services, please call ahead at 724-830-4606. In addition, the services of Excela Health's Infection Prevention and Control Staff are available around the clock for anyone who has questions about coronavirus exposure. They can be reached by calling the Excela Health Operator at 724-832-4000.

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS

The CDC recommends several preventative actions to reduce the risk of developing respiratory diseases such as Coronavirus including: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • When you are sick, stay home;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

In addition, immune-compromised students, faculty and staff should contact their faculty adviser or supervisor if they are concerned about exposure to coronavirus. 

Seton Hill University continues to clean all campus spaces thoroughly using best practices, including sanitizing door knobs, table tops, faucet handles and other commonly touched hard surfaces multiple times a day. The university has a robust Emergency All Hazards Plan that provides guidance on closing campus and/or initiating a quarantine. We will continue to adapt the plan if needed as federal and state guidelines on coronavirus are updated.