COVID-19 | Albright College

COVID-19


The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are our highest priorities.
Below are messages to our campus community, helpful FAQs, links to technology and health resources, and information on the Pandemic Planning Task Force and the various subgroups working to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the Albright community.

What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus — or more specifically, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — continues to evolve in our country and around the world. Albright College’s Pandemic Planning Task Force, formed more than a decade ago to combat avian and swine flu, has been meeting regularly to develop short- and long-term contingency plans based on regularly-updated recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and PA Department of Health. Because the health and safety of all members of our campus community is our top priority, we will continue to monitor and inform the campus about changes stemming from the Coronavirus. Please return to this website regularly for the most current and reliable information from the college.


Campus Updates


About Coronavirus

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus through an outbreak that began in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The disease spreads from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. Droplets land on objects and surfaces other people come in contact with these objects or surfaces and can catch the virus from touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People are also able to catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.

According to the World Health Organization, a pandemic is a global outbreak of a serious new illness that requires sustained transmission throughout the world.

Anyone can catch COVID-19, but people with weak or compromised immune systems, particularly older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.

The CDC says that the symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus are fever, cough and shortness of breath which can appear 2-14 days after exposure. Please keep in mind that these are also symptoms associated with other types of infections.

  • Keep your immune system healthy by getting plenty of sleep, maintaining good nutrition, finding stress-relief and exercising.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

If you are a member of Albright’s campus community and answer “yes” to any of the following conditions, please contact the Gable Health and Counseling Center at 610-921-7532.

  • Have had a known direct exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Have been instructed to isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Have been notified by someone that you might have been exposed to COVID-19 directly
  • Have a fever, cough or shortness of breath
  • Have visited a travel warning Level 3 country

Albright’s Current Status

All classes in all summer sessions for both traditional undergraduates and students in the School of Professional Studies will be online only. No in-person classes will be held on campus this summer.

Learn about Albright’s plan to return to campus ahead of the fall 2020 semester here.

Instead of two, 15-week semesters, classes will be conducted in four, seven and a half week terms. Students will take two classes each term and will still earn four course credits each semester. This plan allows us to be flexible, creative and resilient as we continue to monitor the pandemic and guard against the potential for resurgence. We will continue to develop our fall plan, our return to campus, and to monitor COVID-19 projections, and will release more specific details about these schedule arrangements by July 1.

1) Shorter terms with fewer courses each term will allow more opportunity for social distancing in classes and will enable strict attention to sanitizing in between classes. 2) This schedule will allow greater flexibility with decisions to move on- or off-campus as dictated by the prevalence of the coronavirus and the potential for incidence and spread. 3) This model affords the highest potential for student success, which is always one of our highest priorities. Educational research shows that greater focus on fewer courses helps to reduce attention fatigue – that drag toward the end of a long semester. So whether we’re on-campus or online, it’s easier for students to maintain focus over seven weeks than it is over 15 weeks.

Because SPS students do not live on campus and are working in classes under different conditions, specific arrangements are being made on a class-by-class basis.

Only essential personnel necessary for the minimum maintenance of our physical plant will be allowed on campus. Online classes and telework for those who are able to work from home will continue as planned. Details regarding other workers, whom we are working to support through this, will be shared by their vice presidents or their supervisors.

Currently, the U.S. Department of State is under a level 4 Global Health Advisory and is advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. This advisory is unlikely to change soon. To ensure the health and safety of our students, the college has suspended all study abroad through winter 2020. Students who have applied for study abroad should keep in contact with the study abroad program, and will be contacted as necessary by Kim Justeson, director of experiential learning, with specific information.

Currently, there are no reported or suspected cases at Albright College.

We understand some Albright College community members may feel anxious about this evolving public health situation or have concerns about friends and family living in areas currently experiencing the outbreak.
Students may contact: Gable Health and Counseling Center at 610-921-7532; College Chaplains: Rev. Dr. Mel Sensenig, msensenig@albright.edu, Rev. Ibrahim Bangura, ibangura@albright.edu, Rev. Dr. Sudha Allitt, sallitt@albright.edu
Faculty and staff may consult the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or contact Human Resources for additional guidance.

On March 21, Albright moved into the mode of “community food and housing, emergency, and other relief services,” for students who were unable to return home, felt unsafe going home, have no home to go to, or those who have food or shelter insecurities. Students who remained on campus were not allowed to leave campus. The college’s dining hall remained open for these students to carry out three meals a day.

Albright is fully prepared to test for Coronavirus on campus, and to quarantine or isolate affected students, if necessary.

Essential personnel on campus have been fit-tested for safety equipment and have completed a step-by-step walk through — from students scheduling flu-testing appointments, through quarantine, isolation, room cleaning in the residence hall and personal material gathering, to food delivery, technology capability and trash removal.

Students who are tested and exhibit positive signs of the virus will not return to their room in the residence hall. Roommates of affected students will be immediately notified and quarantined. Their rooms in the residence hall will be fumigated and personal effects will be brought to them. Their meals will be delivered on disposable plates so that nothing is brought back to the dining area.

If students are on campus and are experiencing a fever accompanied by symptoms of lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath), they should call the Gable Health Center at (610)-921-7532. To help stop the spread of the Coronavirus, students must call first before stopping by.

Yes. Albright successfully isolated seven students on campus during the H1N1 Pandemic Swine Flu virus in 2009.

COVID-19 is spread through direct contact or respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Although the virus is not airborne, Rockland Hall’s first floor has been chosen, in part, because it does not share air with the rest of the building. Multiple daily checks will be made on quarantined and/or isolated students, and emergency palm devices will be available in each room.

Students who are tested and exhibit positive signs of the virus will not return to their residence hall. Roommates of affected students will be immediately notified and quarantined. Their room in the residence hall – will be deep-cleaned by fit-tested essential campus staff and personal effects will be brought to them. Their meals will be delivered on disposable plates so that nothing is brought back to the dining area.


Events

In order to limit the number of people on our campus and the spread of the Coronavirus, all in-person student-sponsored, club-sponsored and college-sponsored events have been canceled or postponed until a later date. This includes events sponsored by the college, individual departments or offices, athletic teams, as well as student-sponsored events. This does not include virtual events.

Information on Commencement for the class of 2020 can be found here.

Diplomas for School of Professional Studies students are estimated to delivered approximately August 7.

Diplomas for bachelor and master degree students were ordered following the Pass/No Pass-or-GPA grade preference period, which ended for students on June 17. These diplomas are estimated to be delivered approximately August 15.


Spring 2020 Room & Board

Room and board adjustments were credited to the accounts of all eligible students on Wednesday, May 6. At that time, email notification from LionPay alerted each eligible student, and individuals authorized by the student to access student accounts, that updated account statements were available for viewing.

As a reminder, if there was an outstanding balance on the student account, any adjustment was applied directly to that unpaid balance first. Additionally, if spring 2020 room and/or board charges were funded by Albright financial aid, either directly (e.g. Davis, tuition exchange, RA stipend), or indirectly through supplemental aid awarded in response to financial aid appeals (e.g. Stabler, Collins, Advancing Lives), the financial aid award was reduced in direct correlation up to a maximum of the room and/or board adjustment, so that the student’s account is not negatively impacted and this aid is available to meet student needs in future years. In these circumstances, no credit balance is available for refund.

The net result of all adjustments will be reflected on the May 6, 2020, eBill statement of account. If this statement shows a credit balance, the student may elect to receive a refund of the eligible credit balance by direct deposit or check by completing the Student Account Refund Request Form at studentedocs.albright.edu. To avoid any delay in receiving the refund, students are encouraged to enroll in the direct deposit feature (eRefund) on LionPay. The process to enroll is simple – log into LionPay via selfservice.albright.edu and click on “Sign Up” on the overview page or under your profile. Students may also elect to leave the credit on the account to apply to the fall 2020 semester simply by not requesting a refund at this time.

As previously described, each student who resided on campus during the spring semester received an adjustment based on the prorated number of days from March 23 (or later, if the student departed at a later date), through May 15 (or May 31, for students who resided in Rockland Hall). Students who remain in the residence halls will not receive an adjustment for room.

Each student who held a Gold, Silver or Bronze meal plan during the spring semester received an adjustment based on the prorated number of days from date of departure used for the room adjustment, through May 15. Each student who held a block meal plan received an adjustment for the number of unused meals as of the date of departure. Students who remain in the residence halls will not receive an adjustment for board. These students were provided three carry-out meals a day and snacks regardless of meal plan.

Regular classes were scheduled to resume on March 23 following Spring Break. As such, this date marks the first date that room and board was no longer provided in accordance with the Residential and Food Service contracts. Albright College’s residence halls and dining facility were scheduled to remain open until the last day of final examinations, which is May 15. This represents the last day for the provision of room (other than for those residing in Rockland Hall) and all meal plans. The residential contract permits students to reside in Rockland Hall through May 31.

Students who remain in the residence halls will not receive an adjustment for room and board because they are continuing to use housing, dining and other resources such as Albright’s Care Corner, which provides toiletries and other needed essentials. However, we understand that these students also have additional financial needs and we are working to provide other support.

No. While we understand that some institutions have reduced room and/or board adjustments to cover ongoing fixed operating costs associated with these services, Albright is providing the full amount of the adjustments based on the above-defined methodology.

After painstaking review of the ever-shifting authoritative guidance and consideration of various computational alternatives, we are confident that we have chosen a calculation that has resulted in the most fair and equitable adjustments for our students. These adjustments are considered final. There is no appeal process for adjustment amounts.

No, tuition and fees for the spring 2020 semester will not be adjusted. All teaching, academic and other support services, and even many of our Experience events, are being provided via various alternative methods. Our move to online courses was done in a manner that preserves the same academic rigor and course objectives as when the courses are delivered on campus, and all online coursework meets the academic standards for Albright College. The faculty effort and resources required to deliver the coursework are the same, and in some cases greater, when they are delivered online as when they are delivered in person.

The federal CARES Act provides additional financial assistance for colleges to provide direct emergency cash grants to students who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regulation of the student aid portion of the CARES Act funding was recently communicated by the Department of Education. Albright College is in the process of securing this funding, is working to develop a formula for equitable and fair distribution that follows governmental guidelines, and is evaluating provisions of the CARES Act which may be used to address items such as retaking a class. We will continue to keep you updated about this funding and how it will be distributed to Albright students.

On a related note, some families have generously indicated an interest in waiving this credit adjustment in order to support another student who may be in need at this time. If you would like your credit to be donated to Albright’s Lifting Up Lions initiative or to the Advancing Lives scholarship fund, please indicate this on your response form or please send an email to COVID19adjustments@albright.edu, and we will be in contact with you.

Travel Information

Any person who has traveled to or through a country with a Level 3 travel warning must notify the college and remain away from campus for 14 days from the date of departure from the affected area. During this time, you should monitor your health and maintain a daily log, twice daily recording your temperature and presence or absence of cough and shortness of breath. Following this 14-day period, students and employees should contact the Gable Health Center to schedule a phone appointment to review this information and determine your eligibility to return to campus. If you experience symptoms during the 14 days, you will need medical documentation clearing you to return to campus. Any other visitors and/or guests who plan to visit campus are asked to follow the same self-monitoring guidelines if they suspect they have been exposed to the coronavirus.

The coronavirus and information pertaining to travel are constantly evolving. We strongly encourage any individual traveling to personally review the current CDC recommendations and plan accordingly.

  1. Level 3 International Travel:All college-sponsored travel to any Warning Level 3 country is prohibited for the immediate future as we continue to monitor the situation and the progress of the outbreak.

Currently, college-sponsored study abroad programs (short and long term) remain scheduled for summer and fall 2020. These programs will be reviewed on an individual basis by the ELCDC and the Gable Health and Counseling Center.

  1. All other college-related international travel:All future college-related international travel must be requested and approved by the Office of the Provost for faculty and the Gable Health and Counseling Center for staff and students, using the forms available here. If you already have travel plans in place you must complete the form so that we are aware of your travel plans.
  2. College-related domestic travel:All college-related domestic travel must be registered with the Office of the Provost for faculty and the Gable Health and Counseling Center for staff and students, using the forms available here. If you already have travel plans in place you must complete the form so that we are aware of your travel plans.
  3. Personal international or domestic travel: Any person with plans to travel to or through a Level 3 travel warning country must adhere to the college’s general policies outlined above. For all other personal travel, the college strongly encourages you to register your personal travel with the Office of the Provost for faculty and the Gable Health and Counseling Center for staff and students.

If you are returning to campus after having visited (for personal or college-related travel) an area in or outside of the United States in which a confirmed case of COVID-19 has occurred or where you have had potential exposure, please contact the Gable Health and Counseling Center. Depending on the CDC, PA Department of Health and other guidance for colleges and universities, you may be required to self-monitor away from campus for 14 days in accordance with the college’s general policies.


Technology Resources

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Health Resources

Albright College Gable Health Center
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
CDC: Enhanced Screening Procedures
CDC: COVID-19 Symptoms
World Health Organization (WHO) 
US State Department
PA State Department
Mental Health Resources