Spring 2022 Health and Safety Plan - Message from the President
January 14, 2022
Dear Seton Hill Students, Faculty and Staff,
As we prepare to begin the Spring 2022 semester, I am writing to provide important updates on Seton Hill's Health and Safety Plan that are meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus as the Omicron variant has been rapidly infecting individuals in our community.
Indeed, Westmoreland County has seen a marked increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks and has reached a positivity rate of nearly 30 percent. The increased community spread of COVID-19 has greatly informed our decision-making as we prepare for another semester of in-person teaching and learning on the Seton Hill campus.
The updated Health and Safety Plan contains a number of new initiatives and updated protocols, including:
- Required for ALL students, faculty and staff engaged in on-campus learning and activities regardless of vaccination status prior to the start of the semester
- Required in indoor common spaces for ALL students, faculty and staff - regardless of vaccination status - for at least the first two weeks of the semester;
- Mask wearing policy may be extended or revised based on campus infection rates;
- Faculty and staff reserve the right to require masks in classrooms, labs, studios or during work study/internships at any time beyond the first two weeks of the semester.
Surveillance Testing Protocols
- Until further notice, surveillance testing will be increased to twice a week for students, faculty and staff who have received COVID-19 vaccine waivers;
- In-season athletes who have vaccine waivers will continue to be tested three times a week per NCAA guidelines;
- Random surveillance testing of campus community members who have been vaccinated or vaccinated and boosted will also occur with up to five percent of that population tested weekly until further notice.
Quarantine and Isolation Protocols
- Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 7-10 days. A 7-day isolation period is permitted for those who are asymptomatic - or whose symptoms are resolving and are fever free for at least 24 hours - at Day 7. Health Services will conduct random testing of individuals at Day 7 as well. Those whose symptoms are not resolving - or who test positive at Day 7 - will be required to isolate for 10 days;
- Individuals who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 who ARE NOT fully vaccinated or who are eligible for a booster dose but HAVE NOT received one must quarantine for 5 days following exposure; test at day 5; and, if negative, must wear a mask around others for another five days;
- Individuals who have received a booster dose, who are fully vaccinated but not yet eligible for a booster, or who have tested positive within the last 90 days do not need to be quarantined if exposed to COVID-19 but must wear a mask for 10 days and test at day 5 after exposure.
- The CDC has recommended all fully-vaccinated individuals age 12 and up receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine if they are five months past their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or two months past their single Johnson and Johnson dose;
- As boosters have emerged as the leading tool against the Omicron variant - and offer an extra layer of protection from severe disease and hospitalization - Seton Hill will require all students, faculty and staff who do not currently have a COVID-19 vaccine waiver to receive the booster and upload proof to Med+Proctor by January 31 or within 30 days of becoming eligible;
- Because of the new quarantine requirements, having the booster will also prevent individuals from having to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with the virus.
Campus community members who need their COVID-19 booster - or a first or second vaccine dose - can attend one of three vaccine clinics scheduled for campus this spring.
The clinics will be held on Tuesday, January 25; Tuesday, February 22; and Tuesday, March 29. All three clinics will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the McKenna Center Lobby. Please register at https://haydenspharmacy.com/setonhill-covid-vaccination-page/.
The entire updated Health and Safety Plan is available here.
We are hopeful that all of the efforts that are being undertaken will keep the campus community healthy and allow Seton Hill to continue to provide face-to-face instruction during these challenging days.
Thank you for your continuing cooperation with these protocols, and I wish you the best during the Spring 2022 semester.