Health Alerts | Albright College

Health Alerts

Dear Albright students,

In this email we share details about the fall 2021 semester and the transition of our Albright College community towards a post-pandemic world.

Albright’s goal is to continue our focus on a cross-disciplinary, personalized education in a close-knit community. For our traditional students, this means an on-campus, residential environment. For our post-traditional students, we also focus on the close-knit and personalized education, using technology to meet your scheduling and life needs. It is important to incorporate the best of what we learned from the global pandemic in meeting our shared goals.

For fall 2021, we will take significant steps towards this post-pandemic world; however, we recognize that we do not have all the answers. And the nature of the pandemic does mean that plans could change. Current plans for fall 2021 semester include:

  1. 15-week course semester: We will return to a regular 15-week semester with the first day of classes to be held on Monday, August 16. We are not offering fall break (though there will be two Fall Breather days), nor will you return to campus after Thanksgiving, as this remains one of the biggest pandemic risks.
  2. Residential housing: One of the many things that we have learned is that our traditional students want to be on campus. When given the choice this year due to the pandemic, fewer than 8% of you chose to remain at home. And because we know that we can keep our residential community safe, for fall 2021, we are eliminating the Pandemic Housing Petition. Traditional students will be required to live on campus for four years, unless a petition to live off campus as a true commuter – defined as living with a parent or guardian within 30 miles of campus – is completed and approved.
  1. Face-to-face teaching and learning: Plans are being made to hold as many classes as possible in-person or as a hybrid, both with meetings on campus. Departments have created schedules with fewer than 20% of courses offered online for fall 2021 semester.
  2. Employees return to on-campus work. Beginning in August, offices and departments are expected to work to achieve a presence on campus that aligns with our mission as a residential learning community, according to the limitations of social distancing in place at that time.
  3. Strong recommendation for vaccination: The most important thing that each Albrightian can do to protect themselves is to get vaccinated. Albright will be strongly recommending vaccination for all faculty, staff, and students, but not mandating it.
    1. Once vaccinated, all Albrightians are encouraged to self-report vaccination status to the Gable Health Center. Submit a copy of the COVID-19 vaccination card showing all doses were received – two doses for Pfizer, two doses for Moderna, or one dose for Johnson and Johnson. You may do this by accessing Albright.studenthealthportal.com with your Lions username and password. Select Document Upload and upload a copy of your vaccination record.
    2. Upon return to campus in August, students, faculty and staff will be required to either provide proof of vaccination or be tested for COVID-19. Information about re-entry and surveillance testing for fall 2021 semester will be forthcoming.
  1. New and more dining options: Most exciting is the renovation of Jake’s Place, which will offer expanded choices in a food court format and additional and more comfortable seating, student work spaces, and pool tables. All dining locations will be fully operational offering an array of menu items from smoothies at Peg’s Café to theme meals in the Dining Hall.
  2. Student activities and athletics: Our current goal will be to expand student activities and athletic competitions to the extent allowed by the CDC, the PA Dept. of Health and (for athletics) the NCAA and the MAC athletic conference. We expect that fall sports teams will be back at competition and we will follow the PA Dept. of Health and MAC guidelines on spectators, currently defined in our Spectator Policy.

We hope that you are as excited as we are to begin our return to a post-pandemic Albright. We will continue to follow our Community Care Compact, the recommendations of the CDC and the PA Dept. of Health, and the guidance of our own Pandemic Planning Task Force as we move into the fall semester. In the meantime, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your fellow college community members is to choose to get vaccinated!

Wishing you much success with the remainder of the spring semester. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions or concerns.

It is a great day to be an Albright Lion!

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Albrightians,

As we begin the second half of spring session one, we wanted to share with you some plans for the summer and fall 2021 semesters.

We continue our commitment to the health of self and others through the Community Care Compact, and we are encouraged by the positive news on the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.  While all summer 2021 courses will remain online, we are pleased to share that Albright College will return to a regular 15-week semester for fall 2021.

We are excited about this decision to return to the full semester, with students taking four classes throughout the 15 weeks. We also know that we must remain cautious and committed to health and safety of the Albright community, especially as we face many unknowns such as the availability of the vaccine and the persistence of the COVID-19 virus. To that end, the first day of classes of the fall 2021 semester will be Monday, August 16, two weeks earlier than originally scheduled. This earlier start date will allow us to be finished all classes by Thanksgiving so that students do not have to return to campus following the Thanksgiving break. Final exams will be online. Please visit the Albright website for the full 2021-2022 academic calendar.

Additionally, rather than have a concentrated Fall Break, two Fall Breather Days have been incorporated into the fall calendar – September 22 and November 2 – just like they were this spring. In this case, we will be able to accommodate the break days by holding those class days on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so that classes will run on the Wednesday schedule on Monday, November 22 and on the Tuesday schedule for Tuesday, November 23.

Though we are confident about moving back to a 15-week semester now that we know that in-classroom spread is less of a concern, we will continue to follow health and safety protocols by requiring the wearing of masks, social distancing, and attention to sanitary procedures. Some online classes will be held this fall, with a higher number of hybrid and in-person classes, as we work to accommodate in-person classes within the classroom spaces that are of appropriate size.

As the spring semester progresses, we will keep you updated on additional details for the fall 2021 semester. A structured move-in process similar to this fall and spring is being developed with specific dates to follow. More information will be forthcoming regarding the testing plan for the fall semester.

Though the pandemic still presents challenges for our living and learning community, we are focused on supporting student success, as well as the health and well-being of this entire community. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.

Best regards,

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

 

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC

Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Albrightians,If you’re paying attention to the news, you’ll likely note that there is lot of talk about new COVID-19 strains, vaccine distribution changes and guidelines for college campuses. As Chief Health Officer, I’d like to help clarify what some of this means for our campus community.

Entry and surveillance testing for spring 2021
As explained via email on Dec. 17, Albright is currently testing all students for COVID-19 as they return to campus following winter break (181 students returning to campus for the Interim session or athletics were tested as of Jan. 29. Four of those students tested positive and returned to isolate at home.) Albright’s COVID-19 dashboard will continue to be updated to include information on campus reentry testing and the rate of infection among Albright’s population.

Mirroring the fall reentry process, each resident returning for the spring semester has been assigned a specific move-in date and time that falls between Thursday, Feb. 11 and Sunday, Feb. 14. A letter detailing spring move-in structure and reentry testing was sent to students two weeks ago. (Students with extenuating circumstances that needed to be considered first were asked to contact Residential Life prior to Jan. 28.)

Surveillance testing for our students will occur throughout the spring semester. In addition, the Gable Health Center continues to follow student-athlete testing guidelines that have been outlined by the MAC.

New COVID variant strain
A new strain of COVID-19, originating in Great Britain, has made its way to Pennsylvania and other U.S. states in recent weeks, and is projected to be the most dominant strain in the U.S. by March 2021. Because the strain appears to be even more highly transmissible among younger populations, British schools and colleges have been closed, and the country has again locked down, to help stop the spread.

In the U.S., the official death count reached 400,000 on Jan. 19. And more than 100,000 of those deaths occurred in just five weeks.

In light of this new data, it has become even more important for colleges to diligently follow CDC and state guidelines this spring, and to remain vigilant in measures that aim to curb the spread, including properly wearing masks, social distancing and sanitization.

Vaccinations
Like annual flu vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines help bodies to develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without actually suffering the illness. This way, your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed, significantly lowering the risk of you becoming seriously ill or dying. Vaccination does not prevent you from getting or spreading COVID-19, so wearing masks and social distancing will likely still be necessary throughout the entire spring semester. Learn more about how the vaccine works here.

Vaccination timeline
Because initial supplies are limited, COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in phases. With current vaccines, recipients will need to take two doses, several weeks apart, in order for the vaccine to take full effect.

Pennsylvania is currently in the first of four phases – which involves vaccinating people most at-risk of serious illness, such as health care workers (including students actively training in health professions) and people living in long-term care facilities. Education workers, such as essential campus employees and faculty who are unable to work remotely, are currently listed among second phase recipients. See Pennsylvania’s phased vaccine distribution list here.

During phase one, vaccines are available at hospitals, health centers and pharmacies. In order to make it easier for Albrightians to receive vaccines as they become eligible, the college has applied for permission to administer vaccines at the Gable Health Center. We will keep you updated as we learn more about this opportunity.

Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 vaccine plan is fluid and continues to be modified as decisions are made at the federal level. Therefore, phase dates are not currently available. If you’re still wondering whether you are eligible for the vaccine now, take this vaccine eligibility quiz.

Stopping the spread
In light of the new, more highly transmissible COVID strain attacking younger populations, and the expected phased approach to vaccine distribution, students have been reminded about their commitment to taking care of personal well-being and respecting the well-being of all members of our campus community, as spelled out in the college’s Community Care Compact.

If you feel sick, get tested. And if you get tested away from Albright, please report any positive results to the Gable Health Center.

As a reminder, all Albrightians returning to campus commit to:
• Maintaining a social distance of at least six feet both on and off campus; replacing shaking hands, hugs and physical touching with verbal appreciation.
• Utilizing hand sanitation stations and frequently washing hands for at least 20 seconds.
• Sanitizing surfaces frequently, including tables, doorknobs, desks, light switches and computer keyboards.
• Wearing a mask that covers both nose and mouth as recommended by the CDC, both inside and outside of campus buildings when within six feet of another person.
• Avoiding in-person meetings by using Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
• Considering the potential risk of traveling and avoiding unnecessary travel.
• Self-monitoring personal health each day by taking temperature, monitoring symptoms through the Healthy Together app, or other methods — paying particular attention to the development of COVID-19 symptoms.
Let’s not forget to regularly check in with friends and family, and to ROAR together as we tackle these challenging times. I wish you a resilient, healthy and successful spring semester.

Sincerely,
Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students should see their Albright email account for a personalized edition of the email below, which includes their specific, individual arrival timeslot.Dear student,

Last Friday, you received an email message from Senior Vice President and Chief Health Officer Wesner about required COVID-19 testing procedures for reentry to the residence halls for spring 2021. This message outlined that you would be assigned a time for your arrival to campus. Please read the following carefully and fully as it contains important information for how you return to campus.

[Date and timeslots are listed here, in individualized emails to students.]

Upon arriving to campus during your designated time, you must report directly to Shirk Stadium (Exeter Street entrance) for a COVID-19 antigen test. Do not go to your residence hall.

Please remain in your vehicle. Your COVID-19 test will be administered in a drive-thru fashion at Shirk Stadium. You will be directed to a parking space until the results are returned, which takes about 15-20 minutes. If your test is returned negative, Residential Life will grant access to your residence hall. If your test is positive, you will need to return to your permanent address until the date designated by Gable Health.

If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19 but your test was not administered on campus, you will need to bring a copy of your test results to provide to Gable Health during your reentry testing.

You will need to continue commitments made with the Community Care Compact.

In an effort to reduce the number of positive tests returned during the move-in process, the college asks that you adhere to all safety guidelines outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, including completing a self-quarantine 14 days prior to your scheduled arrival to campus.

If you have a meal plan for spring 2021, it will be activated upon your move-in to the residence halls.

We appreciate your understanding, patience, and cooperation as we work to ensure the safety of our campus community during this move-in process. Please contact our office directly if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
Residential Life

Dear Albrightians,

If you’re paying attention to the news, you’ll likely note that there is lot of talk about new COVID-19 strains, vaccine distribution changes and guidelines for college campuses. As Chief Health Officer, I’d like to help clarify what all of this means for you and our campus community.

Entry testing

As explained via email on Dec. 17, Albright is testing all students for COVID-19 as they return to campus following winter break. To date, 127 students returning to campus for the Interim session or athletics have been tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival. Four of those students tested positive and returned to isolate at home. Albright’s COVID-19 dashboard has been updated to include information on campus reentry testing and the rate of infection among Albright’s population.

Mirroring the fall reentry process, each resident returning for the spring semester will be assigned a specific move-in date and time that will fall between Thursday, Feb. 11 and Sunday, Feb. 14. A letter detailing the spring move-in structure and reentry testing will be sent next week. Students who have extenuating circumstances (that must be considered before a move-in time is assigned) must contact Residential Life prior to January 28.

New COVID variant strain

A new strain of COVID-19, originating in Great Britain, has made its way to Pennsylvania and other U.S. states in recent weeks, and is projected to be the most dominant strain in the U.S. by March 2021. Because the strain appears to be even more highly transmissible among younger populations, British schools and colleges have been closed, and the country has again locked down, to help stop the spread.

In the U.S., the official death count reached 400,000 on Jan. 19. And more than 100,000 of those deaths occurred in just the past five weeks.

In light of this new data, it has become even more important to for colleges to diligently follow CDC and state guidelines this spring, and to remain vigilant in measures that aim to curb the spread, including properly wearing masks, social distancing and sanitization.

Vaccinations

Like annual flu vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines help bodies to develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without actually suffering the illness. This way, your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed, significantly lowering the risk of you becoming seriously ill or dying. Vaccination does not prevent you from getting or spreading COVID-19, so wearing masks and social distancing will likely still be necessary throughout the entire spring semester. Learn more about how the vaccine works here.

Vaccination timeline

Because initial supplies are limited, COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in phases. Recipients will need to take two doses, several weeks apart, in order for the vaccine to take full effect.

Pennsylvania is currently in the first of four phases – which involves vaccinating people most at-risk of serious illness, such as health care workers (including students actively training in health professions) and people living in long-term care facilities. Education workers, such as essential campus employees and faculty who are unable to work remotely, are currently listed among second phase recipients. See Pennsylvania’s phased vaccine distribution list here.

During phase one, vaccines are available at hospitals, health centers and pharmacies. In order to make it easier for Albrightians to receive vaccines as they become eligible, the college has applied for permission to administer vaccines at the Gable Health Center.

Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 vaccine plan is fluid and continues to be modified as decisions are made at the federal level. Therefore, phase dates are not currently available. If you’re still wondering whether you are eligible for the vaccine now, take this vaccine eligibility quiz.

Want to enjoy campus life?

Do your part to stop the spread! In light of the new, more highly transmissible COVID strain attacking younger populations, and the expected phased approach to vaccine distribution, your commitment to taking care of your personal well-being and respecting the well-being of all members of our campus community, spelled out in the college’s Community Care Compact, remain top priority. If you feel sick, get tested. And if you get tested away from Albright, report your results to the Gable Health Center.

As a reminder, all Albrightians returning to campus commit to:

  • Maintaining a social distance of at least six feet both on and off campus; replacing shaking hands, hugs and physical touching with verbal appreciation.
  • Utilizing hand sanitation stations and frequently washing hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sanitizing surfaces frequently, including tables, doorknobs, desks, light switches and computer keyboards.
  • Wearing a mask that covers both nose and mouth as recommended by the CDC, both inside and outside of campus buildings when within six feet of another person.
  • Avoiding in-person meetings by using Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
  • Considering the potential risk of traveling and avoiding unnecessary travel.
  • Self-monitoring personal health each day by taking temperature, monitoring symptoms through the Healthy Together app, or other methods — paying particular attention to the development of COVID-19 symptoms.

Let’s not forget to regularly check in with friends and family, and to ROAR together as we tackle these challenging times. I wish you a resilient, healthy and successful spring semester.

Sincerely,

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear students,

We are living in some tumultuous times – COVID-19, racial injustice, political unrest, and national chaos. In the meantime, life goes on and there is an expectation that students continue with business as usual, but we all know that it is not that simple. Circumstances like those our country is facing now produce a myriad of emotions including stress, confusion, heightened depression, and anxiety. The counseling center staff is available to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students. Sometimes it is just helpful to have an empathic ear to help you sort through the various feelings that arise. You may engage for one time or for several appointments. Whatever the need, we are here.

During the interim, while most of you are at home, we are offering confidential telehealth sessions by telephone or video. Appointments are available Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feel free to call the Gable Health and Counseling Center at 610-921-7532. If you are on campus and do not have a quiet and confidential space, please alert the receptionist when you make the appointment, and we can provide a quiet room on campus.

It is very important to practice self-care during this time. Healthy eating, physical exercise, stress-reducing activities, meditation and spiritual practices, and healthy conversations with family members and friends can serve as positive buffers. Feel free to visit the Counseling Center website for additional resources.

The Albright College Health and Counseling Center is available and open to support you. We look forward to hearing from you as the need arises. Make your mental health a priority!

Sincerely,

Brenda Ingram-Wallace

Director of Counseling Services

Dear Albright students,

We hope you are enjoying this holiday season. As we enter the holiday break, we wanted to provide you with some important information about residential living for the Interim and spring 2021 semesters. But first, thanks to each of you for your dedication to our community this past semester. Your commitment to caring for each other and oneself by following the Community Care Compact is what kept us in-person and on-campus. Just like in the fall, this winter and spring we will remain a resilient, residential campus, and under the advisement of the college’s Pandemic Planning Task Force, we will continue to implement necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of our community.

As a community, we must be strategic and intentional in managing the COVID-19 pandemic on campus. With the increase in positive cases on campus at the end of the fall semester, an increase across our global community, and with additional guidance from the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office, the college will be moving forward with the following requirements for Interim 2021 and spring 2021:

  • Every Albrightian will need to continue their commitments made with the Community Care Compact, including wearing a mask, washing and sanitizing hands regularly, and social distancing. Each Albrightian must also monitor their symptoms daily with the Healthy Together appand submit COVID-19 information to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s COVID Alert PA app.
  • The college will test each student for COVID-19 upon their reentry to campus. The Gable Health Center now has the capability to administer both PCR tests and antigen screening for reliable detection of COVID-19. Reentry antigen screening tests will be administered free of charge. Residential Life will schedule each residential student’s arrival to campus and the Gable Health Center will administer COVID-19 screening. If a student tests negative, they will be allowed to move back into their residence hall. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they will be asked to return to their permanent address until approved to return to campus by the Gable Health Center. More information about the college’s move-in schedule and safety measures will be sent in January 2021. If students have questions regarding reentry testing, please contact Residential Life at reslife@albright.edu.
  • Students arriving for Interim housing or to Rockland Hall in January will receive a separate communication later today with specific instructions.
  • In an effort to reduce the number of positive tests returned for students during the move-in process, the college asks that students adhere to all safety guidelines outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, including completing a self-quarantine 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to campus.
  • To ensure that we are safely monitoring COVID-19 on our campus, the Gable Health Center will be administering mandatory surveillance testing for students throughout the spring 2021 semester. Given the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, the frequency of testing will be adjusted as needed to keep our community safe. More information on these testing procedures will be sent in the new year.
  • The Compass student handbook has been updated to reflect additional sanctions for students who do not adhere to the Community Care Compact, testing guidelines or additional safety protocols outlined by the college.

Please stay tuned to your email for more on the above requirements. Additional information will be sent in the new year.

We wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season,

Amanda J. Higginbotham

Director of Residential Life

Dear fellow Albrightians,

We made it! Six months ago we had just wrapped up a spring semester like none other. Thrown into a global pandemic in the middle of March, our Albright community quickly came together, learning new ways to teach, learn and work. And as soon as we made it through, we began thinking about the fall 2020 semester. We planned well, worked hard, and despite the spike in cases on campus in the last few weeks of the semester, we succeeded. And now, here we are in December!

It’s because of each and every one of you that we made it through a very different fall, one filled with daily challenges, multiple obstacles, and unchartered territory for all of us. But we did it – and we did it together!

Led by the staff, faculty, and students on the Pandemic Task Force, we succeeded in optimizing our campus for health and safety, and in maintaining full employment and benefits for all faculty and staff. Many colleges have not been as successful as we have this fall semester. Though I know it was often very difficult and stressful, I am so very grateful for your effort and hope that you will join me in this celebration.

And although one might think that during a global pandemic, just getting through the semester was enough, we have many other things of which to be proud. As we look forward to the upcoming winter break, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate all that we have accomplished as a community.

We were recognized by multiple rankings this fall!

A new co-major in public policy and administration was added giving students the opportunity to learn about both theory and practice of data-driven government policy processes and be exposed to the functions and role of nonprofit organizations.

In addition to a new interdisciplinary minor in African American music, new musical courses explore Black popular music and Afrofuturism (a Global Humanities Connections course).

A terrific series of virtual Racial Healing and Reconciliation panel discussions, led by Chaplain Ibi Bangura and partners Janice Luck and Beth Kiester, were held throughout the semester.  These panels served as a forum for fostering understanding on racial issues in our community, inspiring further healthy conversations, and taking actionable steps to tackle overt and subtle racial challenges in the Albright community – part of our ongoing commitment to developing and supporting an inclusive, thriving and equitable community.

Following nomination and interviews, three Albright College juniors, Brigette Amendano, Phuong Chau and Erika Hollinger learned this fall that they have been accepted into the Early Assurance Program at Penn State College of Medicine — Hershey. Congratulations to each of you!

Filling a need created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Solve-It Berks and Solve-It Berks Kids launched this fall in school districts across Berks County. These programs, run through Albright’s Science Research Institute, provide free internship, mentorship and digital curriculum for all Pre-K to 12th grade students and teachers in Berks County. Check out the Solve-It Berks Kids video on the SSRI YouTube channel.

More than 144 alumni engaged with the college this fall through virtual events such as interviews with accomplished alumni, book readings, wellness programs and trivia nights, including two of our superstar alumni – Author Bob Spitz ’71 and Actress Saidah Ekulona ’92. And, our first virtual Homecoming, held in September, engaged more than 300 alumni in a robust weekend of programming and reunions.

Through the hard work and dedication of our Advancement team and the generosity of our donors and friends, $5,143,682 has been raised towards our Advancing Lives Scholarship Initiative!

And, in addition to the $120,172 that Albright received through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (part of the CARES Act) for pandemic-related expenses when we served as a shelter in place for students last spring, we recently learned that we have been approved for a $100,000 grant through the Berks County CARES grant program for expenses such as personal protective equipment, cleaning/sanitizing supplies, testing machines and supplies, and Zoom licenses.

Clearly, despite having been through some very difficult months as we have made our way through the ebbs and flows of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have much to celebrate!

And so, as we head into the winter break, I hope that you will take time to be kind to yourself, to celebrate the holidays safely with those you care about, and to engage in those things that make you happy and bring you joy and peace. Each of us, and our Lion community together, is stronger than the many challenges that the world has presented to us this year. Let us continue to stand together, to look out for and to reach out to each other, and to place a high priority on our own self-care.

I wish each of you a season of joy and a new year filled with promise! It’s a great day to be an Albright Lion!

Warmest holiday wishes,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dear fellow Albrightians,

One of Albright College’s institutional priorities is to implement a solid financial model focused on sustainability and stewardship. So as we approach the upcoming holiday break and Interim session, we would like to share with you some changes to facilities operations across campus that will help us in our efforts towards this goal.

Since the majority of students have returned home for the break, Interim classes are all online, and the college is encouraging remote work for faculty and staff where feasible, facilities will implement the following beginning December 14, 2020.

  • Temperatures in academic buildings and empty residence halls will be dialed down to a less than comfortable degree. These temperatures will vary by building.
  • Minimal lighting will be on in buildings across campus.
  • Doors will be closed and locked between areas to limit air-flow transfers.

How will this affect me?

  • If you plan to be on campus during the break and/or Interim session, please notify Public Safety by calling 610-921-7670.
  • If you plan to be on campus for a short period of time (less than half a day) to work or gather things from your office, it is best advised to dress warmly.
  • If you plan to be on campus for an extended period of time (full day or more), you may call Facilities at 610-921-7520 and we will deliver a space heater to you for temporary use in the area. Please note: Facilities will not change whole building controls for temporary uses.

Which buildings will this plan impact?

  • Masters Hall
  • Teel Hall
  • MPK Memorial Chapel
  • Pushman Cottage
  • Center for the Arts
  • Alumni Hall
  • All residence halls excluding Rockland Hall and Albright Court

The facilities team is committed to providing the highest level of service to the Albright College community while serving as stewards of the college’s resources. This plan not only saves the college costs, it will lower our carbon footprint for a period of time as well.

Leading up to the return of students, staff, and faculty in February, the facilities team will begin to re-energize the campus so that all buildings are back in operational ranges to start the spring semester. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us.

Thank you and enjoy your holiday.

Jeffrey L. Strader

Vice President of Finance and Strategic Partnerships

Rick O’Leary

Acting Director of Facilities, Grounds Manager/Operations Manager

Dear Albright community,

As many of you are already aware, yesterday afternoon Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced series of new mitigation efforts aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. These new restrictions are to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, and will be in effect until 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Thankfully, due to the excellent planning and hard work of the Pandemic Task Force and others earlier this year, and the difficult decisions that we had to make to ensure the health and safety of our community, fall classes are already over and the majority of our students have returned home. This means that these new mitigation efforts have very little additional impact on our campus operations.

The only restriction that impacts Albright is the temporary closure of all gym facilities. As such, the Schumo Center for Fitness and Well-Being will be closed beginning Saturday, Dec. 12, and will re-open on Monday, Jan. 4, provided the restrictions have been lifted. All community patrons who pay a membership fee will be credited the amount of time the facility will be closed.

We continue to live in a very challenging time, one that has not been easy for any of us. The constant changes in restrictions and recommendations since this pandemic began has made it difficult to know how best to move forward. We are grateful to each of you for the roles you have played in helping us to successfully complete the fall semester while keeping our community healthy, safe, and fully employed.

As we enter the holiday season, especially now under these new restrictions, please remain vigilant. If you have plans to gather with family and friends this holiday season, please be extra cautious in taking health and safety precautions – mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing. Even though the vaccine is on the horizon, this pandemic is not over yet. This winter surge will result in much sickness and death. Please heed the warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and the PA Department of Health. We look forward to the spring semester and hopefully, to being back on-campus and in-person, the environment in which we thrive.

Be safe and well, and enjoy the holiday season.

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC

Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Albrightians,

Be sure to mark June 6, 2021 on your calendar for the class of 2021 Commencement ceremony.

Traditionally held in mid-May (just after Final Exams week), this year’s ceremony will be held a bit later to make room for the interim and spring sessions, which were adjusted to accommodate needs that have arisen with the ongoing pandemic.

For reference, the upcoming academic sessions will be:

  • Interim (6 weeks, online only, optional): Jan. 4 to Feb. 12
  • Spring Session 1 (7 ½ weeks): Feb. 15 to April 6
  • Spring Session 2 (7 ½ weeks): April 7 to May 28

Although large gatherings are currently discouraged in the state of Pennsylvania as part of the state’s targeted mitigation efforts in response to COVID-19, America’s top infectious disease expert recently offered the hopeful news that as many as 20 million of the country’s most medically-vulnerable people could receive coronavirus vaccinations before the end of this winter, with the rest of the U.S. population receiving vaccinations throughout the spring and summer.

Therefore, we are looking forward to gathering for an in-person ceremony, filled with pomp and circumstance, by mid-2021! However, as with all things related to the pandemic, time will tell regarding positive infections and what the government allows us to do.

The fight with COVID-19 is not over. Now more than ever, we ask that you continue to #MaskYourMane, and encourage others to do the same. Together, we can beat this virus!

Sincerely,

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC

Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82,

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Lois Kubinak, CCEP, M.A. ’20

Director of College Events, Conferences and Camps

Dear Albrightians,

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. I wanted to take a few moments to share a some thoughts in this video message, including how thankful I am for each and every one of you and a follow-up on my cancer treatments. In so many ways, this year has not been what any of us would have wished for and it has challenged us in ways we hadn’t imagined. And at the same time, we have worked through many of those challenges, and we’ve done it together, as a community.

And so, as we move into Thanksgiving break, I hope you will take some time to be kind to yourself, to engage in those things that make you happy and bring you peace. I also encourage you to be careful and to heed expert warnings – the virus infection rate is very high in most states and many people are dying every single day. We must take this virus seriously.

Experts are recommending that holiday plans be modified to reduce the spread of the virus. In fact, I have altered my own plans this year and will not be celebrating with my larger family. So, be with those you care about, but please consider doing so in small groups, while continuing to follow the guidance of health experts to wear a mask, social distance, and wash and sanitize hands.  The Center for Disease Control provides some guidelines here for a safer holiday celebration.

Thank you, Albrightians – students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni board colleagues – for continuing to stand together while prioritizing safety, self-care and care of others. I wish each of you a very happy Thanksgiving! Best wishes for a successful end to the semester and good luck to all of our students on exams!

Happy Thanksgiving break! Go Lions!

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dear Albrightians,

As we approach Thanksgiving, I would like to extend my gratitude to each of you for the commitments you have made to safety, for the dedication you have shown to your work and for the example that you have set for our students during COVID-19.

Optimizing our campus for health and safety remains one of the four priorities that have guided our decision-making during this worldwide pandemic. Additional positive cases on our campus (communicated by President Fetrow last week) combined with increasing positivity rates in Berks County and Pennsylvania, have made it clear that now is the time to de-densify our campus as much as possible in order to keep safety as our priority.

Therefore, staff members who are not classified as emergency essential personnel, and who are able to telework, are strongly encouraged to do so through Jan. 4. Please be sure to work with a manager or vice president to ensure you have a work plan in place.

Free COVID-19 testing continues today and tomorrow at the Gable Health Center. If you would like a free test before the holiday break, please call the health center at (610) 921-7532 to schedule an appointment.

As cases rise across the state, health officials have enacted a new mask mandate. Masks are now to be worn at all times indoors, irrespective of physical distance. If you are working alone and do not expect to have any interaction with other people, your face covering may be removed. You also must wear a face covering if you are with anyone who is not a member of your household when outdoors and unable to maintain sustained physical distance. So please, remain vigilant this holiday season. Wear a mask for your safety and the safety of others. Social distance whenever possible, wash your hands and sanitize frequently.

On-campus workers

One benefit of having non-essential staff telework is that it helps us to de-densify the campus for essential workers who must continue to be on campus to care for our resident-students, the physical plant and future Albrightians.

As you consider all that you are thankful for this Thanksgiving season, please take a moment to recognize our professionals in dining services, the health center, public safety, facilities, residence life and admission, who continue to go above and beyond to test, care for, feed, accommodate and assist our community. They are also important role models who – each day – show our students that it’s possible and normal to properly wear masks and socially distance during all encounters. We are incredibly thankful for all that you do!

As we continue to ROAR together this winter, please take some time to reach out to others and to take care of yourself. Although these are challenging and difficult times, we get through them together and come out the other side an even stronger community.

Sincerely,

Ann Thompson, CBP, SHRM-SCP

Director of Human Resources

Albrightians,

This message is being sent regarding interlibrary loan requests. Due to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the concerns regarding safety, we want to send everyone suggestions to make retrieving and returning materials to the library as simple as possible.

Picking Up Items:

First, if you are picking up print or physical interlibrary loans, come to the CCM or Computing & Mathematics building lobby by the circulation area. If you cannot come to campus, the library will ship materials to your home address via UPS. If you require materials to be shipped, please reply to interlibrary loan department emails with a mailing address so your books can be shipped to you. If sent via UPS, there will be tracking information available for your book(s).” Materials will be decontaminated prior to being released to you.

Electronic Copies

The library will try to get as many items in electronic format as possible. If you receive an electronic interlibrary loan, you will receive emails with links, usernames, and passwords to access these materials if a lender grants access. You can also contact the library reference desk via chat and email to request assistance to access Albright’s electronic materials.

Returning Materials

To return materials, your options include the following:

  1. Dropping your materials off at the book drop bin by the CCM building or in the building if it is open. The library staff will handle it from there.
  2. If you cannot return physical books in person. Please put them in the mail and send them back to campus. You can use either UPS or USPS.Albright’s mailing address:
    1621 N 13th St.
    Reading, PA 19604

For questions about the interlibrary loan service, please contact Samantha Thomas, sthomas@albright.edu.

Samantha J Thomas

Evening Reference Librarian & ILL Technician

Dear students and families,

We have almost made it to the end of the fall 2020 semester and what a semester it has been. We have come a long way and have had much success thanks to the dedication, hard work, and resiliency of each member of our campus community.

Unfortunately, again this past weekend, a small number of students violated the Community Care Compact and attended an off-campus gathering, which has resulted in a number of positive COVID-19 tests among the student body this week. Contact tracing was done and all those infected and their contacts have been isolated or quarantined, depending on their status.

As we have stressed from the beginning of this pandemic, optimizing our campus for health and safety is one of the four priorities that have guided our decision-making during this time. These additional positive cases on our campus, together with the increasing positivity rate in Berks County and Pennsylvania (see our COVID-19 dashboard for these data), means it is now time to de-densify our campus as much as possible in order to keep safety as our priority.

At the same time, we recognize that we are very close to the end of the semester. In order to both ensure the successful completion of the semester and the health and safety of our entire community – faculty, staff, students and their families – we are taking several actions:

  • Faculty are being strongly encouraged to move courses online for the remaining few days of the semester. Many faculty have already done this following last week’s increase in positives cases. Students, if you are unsure if your class will be meeting online or in-person, please reach out to your professors for guidance. Your successful completion of this semester is a top priority for all of us!
  • Students, we encourage you to go home early if you are able to do so safely. Your family’s health is equally as important to us as your health. Please follow the checkout process as outlined by Residential Life. Please talk with your roommate and consider staggering your departure so that there are not too many people on campus at one time, and be extra cautious as you re-enter your home environments. It is important that you continue your commitment to health and safety – mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing. And if you are able, quarantine from family members upon your return, especially those who are at risk.
  • If you do not have a place to go for the holiday break or are concerned about returning home to families, break housing is available.
  • If you are a non-Rockland, non-affinity student and meet the break stay requirements or have extenuating circumstances such as concerns about returning to your family for health reasons, please complete the Break Stay Housing form in the MyHousing Student Portal by tomorrow, Nov. 20, 5 p.m. All requests are subject to approval and limited housing options will be available for break.
  • Rockland Hall and affinity students should follow the procedures outlined by Residential Life, which were sent via email.
  • Parents and families who are picking up students must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Community Care Compact. Please do not come to campus if you are feeling ill, have a fever, or have been exposed to COVID-19. Family members are not permitted in the residence halls. Students must meet family members outside and masks must be worn at all times.
  • For students who remain on campus, adherence to the Community Care Compact will be strictly enforced. Students will be required to stay in residence halls and no in-person gatherings will be allowed.
  • Beginning this evening, all meals in the dining hall will be Grab-n-Go only through Tuesday, Nov. 24. Grab-n-Go options are also available through Grubhub at Peg’s and Jake’s Place. Students who remain on campus during break will be provided with non-perishable food items.
  • Effective tomorrow at noon, the Schumo Center will be closed through the holiday break so that it may be deep cleaned. It will reopen at 6 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 30.
  • As the population on campus decreases and buildings are emptied, the facilities team will be conducting a deep-cleaning of all buildings.

As a reminder, free testing at the Gable Health Center continues this week and Monday and Tuesday of next week. If you are going home to family members, especially those whose health may be compromised, and you have not had a test, we encourage you to call the health center to schedule one before you leave. To schedule an appointment for a test, please call 610-921-7532.

Enjoy the holiday safely. Stay vigilant!

To all members of our Lion community, your health and safety is important to us! Please remain vigilant, whether you choose to remain on campus or are returning home, and especially if you have plans to gather with family and friends this holiday season. We all must be extra cautious in taking health and safety precautions – mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing. In fact, just this week, PA health officials announced a new mask mandate – masks must be worn at all times indoors when you are with people outside of your household, even if you remain socially distant.

This holiday season, please consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe. The Center for Disease Control provides some guidelines here.

As we’ve said from the beginning, we all need to ROAR together to get through these challenging and difficult times. And when we get through them, we will be an even stronger community.

Be safe and well,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Albrightians,

Thank you for your perseverance and resilience the last couple of days since learning of the rise in community spread of COVID-19 among our student body. We write today with an update on testing. In addition, and according to the plan we developed to meet the occurrence of community virus transmission, health and safety precautions are being taken on campus to limit this spread. As long as we all continue to ROAR together and follow the commitment that each of us made to the Community Care Compact, we will get through this. As members of the Albright community, it is essential that each of us continue to do our part to keep ourselves and each other healthy and safe.   

Update on testing and positive cases:

As communicated on Tuesday evening, due to the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases and because we wish each member of our community to feel safe as we head home for the upcoming holiday, the Gable Health Center is currently offering one free test per student, faculty, and staff member. Yesterday was the first day of this free testing: 119 tests were administered, 6 were positive. Contact tracing has been done and all those infected and their contacts have been isolated or quarantined, depending on their status.

As per our plan, students who are in quarantine or isolation are not permitted to leave their designated living space or to enter any campus building or facility, including the dining hall. Meals are being delivered to students in isolation and quarantine.

Free testing at the Gable Health Center continues today and tomorrow. To schedule an appointment for a test, please call the health center 610-921-7532. Also, we are updating the COVID dashboard as frequently as we can and we ask your patience. The Health Center staff’s first priority is to provide a healthy and safe environment for all those wishing to take a free test. Compiling the dashboard data takes time, so we ask for your continued patience.

Virus transmissions on liberal arts college campuses:

Albright College is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP), a body of college leaders who share information, data and resources related to private higher education in Pennsylvania. AICUP presidents have been meeting throughout the pandemic and across a large number of liberal arts colleges, including Albright, it has been determined that classrooms are not sources of community spread on campuses. Almost all community spread in colleges comes from large social gatherings and parties, which is the case of our own most recent spread.

What does this mean?

Following the rules and the commitment that each of us made to Albright’s Community Care Compact are more critical than ever! We all must be extra cautious and extra vigilant in taking health and safety precautions – mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing – so that we may get through the last remaining days of the semester and return to our families, friends and loved ones healthy and safe. Though this recent spike in positive cases is disappointing, it has been caused by those who have disregarded the community guidelines in our Community Care Compact. These guidelines to ensure a healthy and safe campus community will remain in place for the interim and spring semesters.

Thank you for your continued commitment to the health, safety and well-being of the Albright College community. We will continue to keep you updated.

Be safe and well,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Athlete,

We write to you today to inform you of a serious situation. There has been a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases at Albright among our student body and all of them are tied to athletics. This is unacceptable.

As athletes, we expect to be held to a higher standard and right now we are not living up to this standard. Of the 17 documented COVID-19 cases this semester, 16 of them are athletes or tied to athletics. Again, this is unacceptable!

All of us at Albright College want to have some semblance of competition and normalcy in the spring semester, and we, along with President Fetrow, are working with MAC officials so that we may safely move forward with sports next semester. Actions like the party that was held on Union St. and the other large group gatherings held this past weekend, work against this desire as well as everything we have worked so hard for this semester. This poor behavior has not only affected some teams and their practices, it also threatens any on-campus activity for the spring semester.

Dealing with the challenges of the pandemic has been stressful for all of us, but we must all be role models for our college community. Please remember the commitment you made to the Albright Community Care Compact. Wear your mask, social distance, wash your hands, do not have large group gatherings, and restrict travel as much as possible. There is much at stake if we do not all do our part to take care of ourselves and others during this time.

If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, you must contact the Gable Health Center immediately. Additionally, please cooperate with staff who are conducting contact tracing. Contact tracing is critical to stopping the spread of this virus.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter and to your cooperation in helping to limit the spread of COVID-19. Your coach will be in contact with you to soon to discuss this important issue.

Janice Luck and Rick Ferry

Co-Athletic Directors

Dear Albrightians,

We are in the home stretch of fall session 2 of what has been an unprecedented and challenging semester. We are grateful to so many of our community who have been committed to Albright’s Community Care Compact and to limiting the spread of COVID-19 on our campus for the past several months. Unfortunately, because of weekend activity inconsistent with the Care Compact, we write this evening to inform you that there has been a significant outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases among our student body.

As of 2:30 p.m. today, nine positive cases of COVID-19 had been identified. All students who have tested positive are in isolation, contact tracing has begun, and all contacts of students who have tested positive are being quarantined. Information about cases at Albright, as well as statistics for the Berks County community, the state, the country and the world are available at any time on the college’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Why now? We’ve made it through since August with a very low number of positive cases on campus thanks to the commitment of all of those who have taken the Community Care Compact seriously. Unfortunately, some groups of students broke their commitment to the Community Care Compact this weekend, including breaking the rules of isolation and quarantine. Students who have violated their commitment to the community by not following the guidelines will be going through Community Standards as per normal process. Sadly, this behavior has put our community at risk.

What does this mean for our campus community now? It means that we will all be taking extra precautions on campus, especially in the dining hall. Grab and Go meals are always available, but dining services will be offering more opportunities to pick up meals and go. Additionally, social distancing (including in the dining hall) and mask wearing will be strictly enforced. And although data, including our own contact tracing, shows that spread of the virus is not occurring in classrooms, faculty will have the option of taking the remainder of their fall session 2 classes online. Faculty, please look for a follow-up message about this.

What this means is that we all must be extra cautious and extra vigilant in taking health and safety precautions – mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing – so that we may get through the last remaining days of the semester and return to our families, friends and loved ones healthy and safe.

Additionally, because of the spread and because we wish each member of our community to feel safe as we head home for the upcoming holiday, the Gable Health Center will offer one free test per student, faculty, and staff member beginning tomorrow. Yes, the test is being offered free of charge to each person on campus who wants it. To schedule a test, please call the Gable Health Center tomorrow morning (opening at 8:30 a.m.) at 610-921-7532 to schedule a test. Please be patient as the Gable Health staff will be working hard to accommodate these requests over a short period of time.

As a community, we have done really well at keeping each other safe this semester.  We have learned what works and what does not. We have learned that our protocols, when followed, work very well.  The news of this community spread on our campus so close to the end of the semester is disappointing for all of us. We remain committed to a healthy and successful completion to the semester. Thank you again to each person who has continued to #MaskYourMane, who has encouraged others to do so, and who has taken the health and well-being of oneself and others seriously.

Be safe and well,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Albright students,

It’s hard to believe that we have already reached midterms in fall session 2 and that advising and registration for interim and spring 2021 is beginning. We hope that you had an opportunity to unwind a bit during the past weekend, and that you enjoyed that extra hour of sleep as we set our clocks back! The Sketch Comedy of C’mon America was terrific – check it out tonight at 8 p.m.!

This semester – this entire year – has not been what any of us expected. We have faced many challenges – a global pandemic, racial and social injustice (which has increased during this pandemic), protests, and a contentious election causing division in our country and, sadly, even among family and friends. These are not easy times and it is stressful. Please know that we, the administration, faculty and staff, are here for you –to listen, to guide, to support, and to encourage. We are a strong, resilient pride of Lions and together, we will get through these trying times.

As registration approaches and you schedule time to talk with your academic adviser, please think about how you might be most successful. The arrangement of the interim and spring terms provides an opportunity for you to spread out your workload. Never take more than two courses in one session. Consider taking a course in interim to get ahead, or to catch up, or to provide the option of taking a one-course session in spring. Remember, for financial aid purposes, the government requires that you take at least three courses during spring sessions 1 and 2.  Our faculty and academic departments have worked hard to provide multiple ways to fulfill requirements.

Throughout this pandemic, we have been committed to ensuring the health and well-being of our community, while continuing our ability to deliver an engaging and valuable educational experience whether we are in-person, online, or a little bit of both. And in order to do this, four priorities have served as a framework for all decision making:

  • Keeping the Albright community — students, faculty, and staff — healthy and well by following CDC and PA Dept. of Health guidelines.
  • Providing every opportunity for as many of our students to live and learn on campus and face-to-face as possible. The data here are clear: we know that students want to be here and Albright students achieve greater academic success when on campus and in the classroom. Even being able to work with other classmates when participating in a course offered online provides the support of peers and a connection to the Albright community.
  • Optimizing classroom space and other spaces for socially distanced teaching and learning.  The classroom space for socially distanced courses is a very limiting factor on Albright’s campus.
  • Keeping faculty and staff fully employed. Since the beginning of the pandemic, higher education employment has decreased by over 7%. Many Pennsylvania colleges have laid off or furloughed employees and/or reduced benefits.  Albright has not yet had to resort to these measures.

As we have announced, Albright College will continue the two 7.5-week session model in the spring semester. We know this is not a perfect solution and like you, we wish more than anything that we could be fully on-campus, fully in-person. And at the same time, we are in the midst of an international health crisis. In order to keep our community as healthy and well as possible, we’ve had to make some difficult decisions. So we wanted to share with you the process by which we decided to move forward with the two 7.5-week session model.

With the above four priorities at the forefront, we created a decision matrix – one that outlined all the possible ways to organize the semester on one axis, and the several parameters that fall under these priorities on the other axis. Essentially, we created a matrix in which we colored each cell green, yellow, or red as follows:

  • Green – approach fully meets this specific parameter
  • Yellow – approach partially meets this parameter
  • Red – approach does not meet this specific parameter

With this matrix, it was easy to see how each approach to organizing the semester met the requirements. Unfortunately, no approach was green for all parameters – there truly was no perfect answer. The two 7.5-week session model, combined with an expanded six week interim session, optimized the parameters better than any of the other approaches, but it is not perfect.

Change is not easy, especially during this stressful time. We know that this change in the semester format has not been easy for many students, faculty and staff, although many have also thrived. We know that many of you hoped that we would return to the traditional 15-week semester in the spring. The fact is, we are still in the midst of the pandemic and all the constraints associated with this public health crisis. Thus, continuing this model into the spring is necessary. While we are extremely grateful to all members of our community for doing your part to limit the spread of the coronavirus and keep the numbers of positive cases on our campus low, unfortunately, the number of positive cases in Berks County and in Pennsylvania are rising. You can see these numbers on Albright’s COVID dashboard. So, it is even more critical that we continue to align decision-making with our priorities so that we may remain on-campus and in-person – the environment we value most and in which we thrive as a community.

Students, please know that we are here to support you, especially so during this challenging time of a pandemic and contested presidential election. We are always open to hearing your concerns. We care about you, your well-being and your success. Please continue to follow our Community Care Compact, to stay healthy and well, and to take a moment to breathe and to laugh. We are all in this together.

Warmly,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Hello Albright students,

We hope you have had a great fall semester and are enjoying your 2nd session courses. Although the end of the fall is still weeks away, it’s time for advising and registration planning for Interim and Spring 2021.

For the success and health of our community, we will continue the two 7.5-week sessions in the spring semester. Throughout this international health crisis, Albright College has kept several priorities at the forefront of all decision-making, including:

  • Keeping the Albright community — students, faculty, and staff — healthy and well by followingCDC and PA Dept. of Health guidelines.
  • Providing every opportunity for as many of our students to live and learn on campus as possible because we know that students want to be here and data show that students achieve greater academic success on campus.
  • Optimizing classroom space and other spaces for socially distanced teaching.
  • Keeping faculty and staff fully employed.

Aligning decisions with these priorities has allowed the Albright College community to remain on-campus and in-person – the environment we value most – during this challenging time.

Today, we are delighted to announce that the registration period begins with seniors on November 6. You should meet with your advisor prior to your registration date to plan for Interim and Spring 2021. Your advisor must authorize your registration prior to enrolling on your registration date. If this is your first time registering via Self Service, we encourage you to review the Detailed Online Registration Instructions prior to your registration date. Also, please keep in mind the following:

  1. You can review the courses offerings either via the Section search in Self Serviceor by reviewing the Master Course Schedule Booklet.
  2. Students are limited to 2 units per session in the Spring semester for a total of 4 units for the semester. A “1” or “2” in the section number designates which session the course is in.
  3. Interim is a separate, distinct semester from Spring and all courses during Interim are offered online.

For additional tips to help make your registration successful, please visit our Advising and Registration webpage.

If you have any additional questions, we’re here to help at registrar@albright.edu. We wish you continued success this semester.

Best wishes,

Registrar’s Office staff

Good afternoon, Albright students, faculty and staff,

We hope that your second fall semester session is off to a great start! Please take a few moments to watch this video message for a few words from me and my colleagues, senior vice presidents Dr. Karen Campbell and Dr. Samantha Wesner. We are all wishing you much success and continued health and wellness this session!

It’s a great day to be a Lion!

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dear Albright students and families,

Now that we’ve settled into Fall Session 2, we would like to share some updates, and thank our Albright community for taking to heart the college’s Community Care Compact. We see many Albrightians across campus taking measures to reduce the risk of unknowingly spreading the virus to friends, family and others. So on behalf of the entire Pandemic Task Force, thank you for all that you are doing!

Following are some important updates about the COVID dashboard and positive cases, travel restrictions, study spaces and athletic facilities, and the COVID Alert PA app. Please read this email in its entirety. As a college community, our ability to remain together on campus and in-person is dependent on all of us doing our part to stay healthy and well.

Current dashboard and travel information

The Gable Health Center has identified seven total cases among Albright community members since August; three have already recovered. Students who have tested positive are placed in isolation and individuals identified through contact tracing are placed in quarantine. As a reminder, students are discouraged from traveling to high risk locations while living on campus. A list of high risk states is available here. Anyone returning to campus after visiting a high risk area should self-quarantine, for14 days before returning to campus, even if asymptomatic. Albright coronavirus data, as well as statistics for the Berks County community, the state, the country and the world are available at any time on the college’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Reserving independent study space

In recent weeks, some resident-students have expressed limited ability to participate in online classes from residence hall rooms, given the activities of roommates. In response, the college has identified spaces that students may reserve to more readily participate in classes, undisturbed. These spaces and reservation contact information can be found here, along with a list of open study spaces that are available during fall session 2. The full listing can also be accessed via a red “study hours and independent study rooms” button on the Current Students webpage.

Sport performance space added to Camp Building

Since August, Albright student-athletes have been following NCAA guidelines for team resocialization and return to play. To help maintain social distancing during training and practice as the weather turns colder, the college has opened temporary space and added weight training equipment in the Camp Building for student-athletes to work with sports performance coaches.

Although this space alleviates some constraints in the Schumo Center, allowing for non-athletes and community members to continue accessing the fitness center – Bollman Gym and the Scholl LifeSports Center are to be utilized only for scheduled varsity athletic practices and Schumo classes at this time.

Pennsylvania COVID-19 exposure alert app

Available in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, Pennsylvania’s free COVID Alert PA app anonymously alerts app users who should quarantine or isolate due to possible exposure to the coronavirus. The app runs in the background, utilizing Bluetooth as well as Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification System to ensure that users remain completely anonymous. Although the app does not take the place of self-monitoring via the Healthy Together app, all Albrightians – whether on or off campus – are asked to download the app and turn on exposure notifications. Learn more about the COVID Alert PA app here.

And as a reminder, Albrightians returning to campus have pledged to:

  • Maintain a social distancing of at least six feet both on and off campus; replace shaking hands, hugs and physical touching with verbal appreciation.
  • Utilize hand sanitation stations and frequently washing hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sanitize surfaces frequently, including tables, doorknobs, desks, light switches and computer keyboards.
    Wear a mask that covers both nose and mouth as recommended by the CDC, both inside and outside of campus buildings when within six feet of another person.
  • Avoid in-person meetings by using Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
  • Consider the potential risk of traveling and avoiding unnecessary travel.
  • Self-monitor personal health each day by taking temperature, monitoring symptoms through the Healthy Together app, or other methods — paying particular attention to the development of COVID-19 symptoms.

Again, we are so proud of the Albright community’s PAWsome efforts to stave off COVID-19.

Our ability to remain on campus and hold in-person classes is dependent upon the continued health of our community. We must adhere to the guidelines set forth through the Community Care Compact. Please be aware that if we see a spike in coronavirus cases on campus, the privilege of remaining on campus is threatened. We must remain vigilant and make smart choices regarding our activities so that we may finish the second session together.

Please continue to #MaskYourMane and encourage others to do the same, as we ROAR together this fall.

Be safe and well,

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Albright students,As you end the fourth week of classes, we wanted to share with you some plans for the interim and spring 2021 sessions.

During these past six months, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges to the members of the Albright community. Many of your professors and staff mentors have been working hard to develop plans that support flexibility for faculty and students, provide an exceptional educational experience, and keep our Lion community healthy and well.

Each of us, and each of you, have made the commitment to the health of self and others through the Community Care Compact. In addition, changing the current fall academic schedule to two, 7 ½ week sessions with a combination of in-person, online and hybrid courses has proven beneficial by depopulating campus, keeping contact groups small, and ultimately, limiting the number of positive COVID-19 cases on our campus. Slowing the spread of the virus and diligent contact tracing is of utmost importance in determining our ability to continue the in-person residential college environment that we all value. We know you want to be on campus and we want you to be here! Small contact groups and combinations of face-to-face and online courses assists us in achieving these goals.

There are still many uncertainties with this pandemic. In order for us to plan through those uncertainties, the academic schedule for interim and spring 2021 will be structured as follows:

Interim (6 weeks, online only, optional): January 4 to February 12
Spring Session 1 (7 ½ weeks): February 15 to April 6
Spring Session 2 (7 ½ weeks): April 8 to May 28

You may register for up to two courses during interim and in each spring session. To be considered full time for financial aid and academic progress purposes, you must register for and take at least three courses across the two spring sessions.

This schedule provides you with the following opportunities:

Two courses for the price of one during interim. Typically, course registration is limited to one course. With the extension of a six-week interim, you may opt to take two courses for the regular interim tuition of $800. If you wish to retake a course, get your Foundations courses completed, tackle a course needed to graduate, or if you wish to get ahead, this is an excellent opportunity to do so. This year, interim and spring course registration will occur simultaneously, allowing you to work with your advisor to plan your course selection both for interim and for spring.

Institutional support for the interim fee is available. Recognizing the impact of the pandemic on the employment and financial situations of our students and families, Albright has made available institutional aid to support your attendance during interim. This institutional support will be available through an application process. Details will be provided prior to course registration.

On-campus housing. Although all interim courses will be online, on-campus housing will be available for students enrolled in classes or who are participating in official college business, such as in-season athletics. Details regarding the application process for on-campus housing during the interim session will be made available prior to course registration. Rockland Hall and affinity housing will remain open for residents, with additional precautions in place due to COVID-19. Please stay tuned to your email for more.

Though the pandemic still presents challenges for our living and learning community, we are focused on supporting your success, as well as the health and well-being of this entire community. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any of us.

Best regards,

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dear Albright community,

As we end the second week of classes since returning for the 2020-2021 academic year, we’d like to say thank you for your continued commitment to our Community Care Compact and to doing your part to keep our community healthy and safe during this challenging time.

Albright’s Gable Health Center has been testing symptomatic patients since our return to campus. We write today to inform you that one positive case of COVID-19 has been identified on campus among the student body. The student, who was not enrolled in any in-person classes, is being cared for and isolated on campus according to Centers for Disease Control guidelines, and is doing well with minimal symptoms experienced. The student’s roommates have been quarantined and we are working on contact tracing in partnership with Co-County Wellness, the organization identified by the PA Dept. of Health to conduct contact tracing for Berks County.

Having successfully isolated seven students on campus during the H1N1 Pandemic Swine Flu virus in 2009, Albright has been fully prepared to quarantine and/or isolate students during the COVID-19 pandemic, and has established and practiced procedures in place for mitigating and containing the spread of the virus on our campus, which are outlined on the COVID-19 webpage. To date, we have successfully isolated/quarantined 16 students. The students’ residence is being deep-cleaned by fit-tested essential campus personnel, personal effects are being brought to the students in quarantine and isolation, and meals are being delivered on disposable plates so that nothing is brought back to the dining area.

To ensure transparency in our communication and to keep our community up-to-date on the status of tests on campus, a COVID-19 dashboard has been created with information specific to Albright College along with data from Berks County, across the state, the country and the globe.

We are also pleased to share with you some news that will make testing on our campus even more efficient, which will further limit the spread of the virus. While COVID-19 tests are currently being conducted on campus, they must be sent to local hospital laboratories to secure test results, which can take two to ten days to receive. Albright College is currently awaiting the shipment of a rapid point of care testing machine, which will allow the Gable Health Center to offer same-day test results on campus. We expect to have the machine on campus the beginning of September.

We are grateful to all students, staff and faculty who continue to assess their health each day by checking for COVID-19 symptoms and self-tracing via the Healthy Together app or the set of health screening questions available on the Albright website. Monitoring symptoms daily and intentionally committing to social distancing, mask wearing, washing and sanitizing of hands, limiting travel to and from campus, and meeting virtually are critical to helping us limit the spread of the coronavirus on our campus.

And a big thank you to the Pandemic Task Force, which has been meeting regularly since January 2020 and has been continually monitoring and carefully reviewing the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and from Pennsylvania State health officials. The work of this hard-working, cross-campus team comprised of staff, faculty and students has been instrumental in Albright’s ability to plan, pivot and respond quickly to the needs presented by this pandemic. All decisions that have been made and continue to be made are done so using the best data available and are guided by Albright’s priority to protect the health, safety and well-being of our entire community.

As the weekend approaches, please be safe and stay well. We are all in this together!

Warm regards,

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Joshua B. Williamson, M.D.
College Physician

Dear Fellow Albrightians,

As we approach the new school year and the re-opening of Albright’s classrooms to in-person instruction during this pandemic, facilities would like to share with you the practices that are being implemented to ensure a healthy and safe environment for our community. All of these practices have been established in partnership with the Pandemic Task Force and are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and PA Dept. of Health, and with guidance from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (see attached).

It is also important to remember that we all share a responsibility to maintain the health and safety of ourselves and those around us as stated in the Community Care Compact. Please remember to wear your face mask or shield; stay home if you are not feeling well or showing any symptoms – you are encouraged to assess your health daily using the Healthy Together app; stay home if you have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19; maintain social distancing; adhere to capacity limits; wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if washing is unavailable.

To help keep the Albright community healthy and safe, facilities has implemented the following:

  1. Sanitizing stations have been placed in multiple locations in all buildings.
  2. Signs with helpful reminders about maintaining health and safety have been placed around campus.
  3. Directional signs that promote social distancing have been placed in buildings to assist with traffic flow, especially in areas with narrow hallways and in restrooms.
  4. Restroom seat covers have been installed.
  5. Classroom capacity has been downsized to promote social distancing and to limit the amount of people in a room at one time.
  6. Sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer will be placed in each classroom for self-care and sanitation of desks in between classes.
  7. A deep clean and sanitation of all residential halls will occur at least once per day,  seven days a week.
  8. A deep clean and sanitation of all academic buildings’ high touch, high traffic areas will happen every business day.
    1. Areas of sanitation include, but are not limited to, restrooms, laundry rooms, common areas, light switches, railings, door knobs/handles, elevator buttons
  9. Facilities is currently exploring the feasibility of adding a second daily cleaning to the above mentioned areas.
  10. Plexiglass barriers have been placed in areas where close interactions take place as a secondary precaution to masks.
  11. Water fountains have been turned off as a precautionary measure. Bottle fill stations will continue to operate.

What about ventilation in our buildings?

While studies are still being performed and new information is presented daily as to the aerosol nature of SARS-CoV-2, the Albright facilities team has taken the following steps to be better prepared. Please remember, each building on our campus contains different units that condition the air, so work has varied between buildings to maximize safety while also considering factors such as system capabilities, air flow exchanges, ability to successfully condition all air at reasonable temperatures, as well as financial costs.

  1. Albright recycles airflow in most areas as to not have to condition fresh air consistently.  This measure is done to reduce utility costs to the college. Where applicable, we have opened dampers to allow more fresh air intake into the systems to be conditioned and dispersed into the buildings to assist with air flow exchanges and increased fresh air.
  2. Albright reduces air exchange rates and conditioning of air overnight as a cost/energy saving measure. We are running all HVAC units continuously at high levels to ensure the highest amount of airflow in buildings even when not in use. This will help continue to circulate the air throughout non-operating hours.
  3. Albright replaces all filters in HVAC units per each unit’s recommendations with a cost-efficient filter. We have switched to the highest allowed Merv-rated filter in each HVAC unit where applicable. The rating on each filter does vary with each individual unit. Due to our aging systems, we did have to balance out the filter type with the unit’s ability to draw enough airflow through the filter.
  4. We will be increasing the amount of air filter changes throughout the year.
  5. We have repaired, and continue to work with vendors to continue repairing, windows in all buildings to allow access to open. This will assist in getting fresh air into rooms.
  6. In areas where we believe fresh air flow is inadequate, we are installing portable air purifiers with HEPA filters to assist in cleaning the air and to reduce risk.

Can we hold classes outdoors?

The short answer is YES! Plans for use of the Adirondack chairs on our campus for outdoor classes are currently in the works. More information about reserving these outdoor spaces will be coming soon.

Facilities will continue to monitor the needs of our campus and will make changes weekly as new information is presented to ensure the health and safety of our community. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us, or visit the frequently updated Return to Campus page on the Albright website.

Thank you,

Jeffrey L. Strader

Acting Vice President, Finance and Strategic Partnerships

Chuck Murphy

Director of Facilities Services & Operations

Dear students and families,At Albright College, we understand and value the feelings of connection that come from the face-to-face interaction of our residential community. In order to ensure the health of this important community as we grow closer to returning to campus, we must come together to address each new challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At this time, we ask you to be mindful of the risk assessment of COVID-19, for areas around the country and globe in which you are living, travelling to and travelling through (perhaps while vacationing) this summer.

Consistent with Pennsylvania Department of Health recommendations, students who are currently living, travelling to or travelling through high risk areas are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, even if asymptomatic, before joining Albright’s on-campus community in August.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health offers a list of high risk states here. But because the list of high risk areas is fluid, online tools are valuable for assessment. This interactive map is updated each day with data on high risk locations around the country, showing state and county hot spots. Many other online tools are collecting and sharing COVID-19 data and can be useful in determining if you are living in or visiting high risk areas, as well.

We hope that all of our Albright Lions will join together in intentionally and purposefully living our core values of resilience and integrity as we return to campus this year, by recognizing and honoring the collective importance of care for ourselves and others in our community.

We hope that you and your family are well and safe in these trying times, and are looking forward to living and learning with Albright College this fall.

Go Lions,

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Joshua B. Williamson, M.D.
College Physician

Dear Albrightians,We hope that you, your family and your loved ones are healthy and well and enjoying the summer. As promised, we write today with an update about plans for the upcoming fall semester, which begins on Monday, August 17.

Albright’s college-wide Pandemic Planning Task Force (PPTF), which originally formed during the avian flu in 2008, has been meeting twice weekly since January, continually monitoring and carefully reviewing the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and from Pennsylvania State health officials. With the health and safety of Albright’s community at the forefront, the PPTF and its sub-committees, which are comprised of faculty, staff and students, have been working to develop flexible plans for the fall semester.

The goal has been to create a path forward which prioritizes the health of our community, maintains flexibility and delivers an exceptional education to our students. We are grateful to the many faculty, staff, and students who have dedicated themselves to develop a plan which meets our goal, and which also aligns with a pandemic and guidelines that evolve at an amazing rate. As we begin to implement this plan as a Pride of Lions, we will all need to roar together in order to truly be successful this fall.

Following is information about Albright’s staged return for employees, revised academic schedule for fall 2020, as well as details about housing, dining, athletics and important health and cleaning protocols. Additional details and other information such as personal protective equipment, off-campus experiences, events, bookstore and mailroom operations, and much more may be found on the Return to Campus webpage on the Albright website. This webpage will be updated regularly so please check back often.

Employees Staged Return to Campus
Since March, the number of employees working on campus has been limited to emergency essential personnel only while Berks County remained in red phase. As the county moved from red to yellow phase, all custodial, maintenance and grounds crew members returned to full-time campus work on Monday, June 8 — allowing for the readying of our residence halls, facilities and grounds for our early August start.

As Berks County enters the green phase of the state’s reopening plan, a staged return to campus is being initiated. This staged plan, which will begin on Monday, July 6, enables the college to bring back various groups of employees at different intervals, ensuring strict adherence to social distancing and sanitizing guidelines. Yesterday, this first group and other leaders met with some members of the Pandemic Response team to discuss requirements and answer questions. Supervisors in each area will be communicating with staff members regarding this staged plan. A teleworking policy is also being developed to provide that option for those who need to work away from campus.

Academic Schedule
Classes for traditional undergraduate students will be conducted in two, seven and a half week sessions, instead of one 15-week semester. Students will take two classes during each session. Upon successful course completion, students will still earn four course credits over the full fall semester. This plan allows faculty and students to be flexible and creative as we continue to monitor the pandemic and guard against resurgence.

In the residential college program, approximately one third of Albright classes will be held in-person, one third will be fully online, and one third will be a hybrid of on-campus and online experiences. Lab and studio classes in particular will include on-campus components. Taking fewer classes at a time allows students and faculty to focus more deeply on each topic, while also cutting down on the number of people to which students and faculty are regularly exposed.

Classes for our students in the School of Professional Studies will continue online for fall 2020.

For a full academic calendar, please visit www.albright.edu/academic/academic-calendars/.

Course drop/add period for returning students
Returning students will still be registered for the same classes they originally signed up to pursue this fall. However, to accommodate the change to seven and a half week sessions, course sessions and times will be updated and will require review in Self Service.

During the add/drop period in early July, changes may be made in Self Service to resolve conflicts, sessions or replace cancelled courses. Advisors and the registrar’s office will be available to answer questions through this process.

Dining
Students will be able to order “to-go” meals from the Student Center Dining Hall via GrubHub, or dine-in with limited seating capacity. In keeping with CDC recommendations, directional signage and floor decals will control flow, and seats will be arranged or removed to encourage social distancing.

Jake’s Place and Peg’s Café will offer mobile order and pick-up only. Condiments will be provided with orders instead of self-serve. Floor graphics will be used for social distancing in Rockland Market.

Housing
Albright will be utilizing a “family” housing model in traditional residence halls (the Quad), grouping students with the peers they will naturally contact most often. For instance, incoming student-athletes will be housed by their athletic teammates and other incoming students will be housed with similar peer groups and classmates. This grouping will not be applied to single rooms, affinity housing, apartments, or suite style living, as these areas are for returning students and are generally self-selected based on peer groups. Roommate pairing requests for first-year students will be honored within these peer groupings.

Returning students will continue to be able to select housing, beginning July 7. Specific, phased move-in details will be emailed to all resident-students. Residential policies and procedures are continuously being evaluated to support the well-being of the residential community. Any changes will be communicated prior to students’ arrival to campus in the fall.

Health & Cleaning Protocols
Following CDC guidelines, high traffic campus areas will be sanitized nightly. In addition, sanitizer stations are located at the entrance area of each residence hall, as well as in campus common areas, high traffic areas, and in close proximity to campus bathrooms. Please use hand sanitizer or wash your hands often!

The Pandemic Response Team is developing Community Health Guidelines, which will be shared with everyone in the community when it is ready.

Athletics
Albright’s athletic directors Rick Ferry and Janice Luck have been meeting regularly with the athletic directors from the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). To date, a recommendation about fall sports is about to be made to the college presidents and a decision is expected by mid-July. We will inform you of this decision when the MAC makes its announcement.

Throughout this pandemic, the Albright College community has shown an amazing can-do spirit, moving forward and tackling every challenge with resiliency and pride. As the pandemic continues to present uncertainties, we must continue to move forward, providing a balance between campus well-being and flexibility. The plan may be modified, as the pandemic and the guidelines from the CDC and the state continue to evolve. If, later this month, we determine that it is not safe to bring students, faculty and staff back to campus for in-person instruction, the scheduling that has been planned will allow us to quickly pivot to online learning.

We know, because we’ve heard from so many of you — you want to be back in our face-to-face community. We do, too! Our goal is to be back together on campus where all Lions may thrive and roar together. We hope you continue to stay healthy, safe and well, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Albright students,

We hope that you and your families are healthy, safe and well during these very difficult and challenging times.

Today we are delighted to share with you some good news about the distribution of funds through the federal CARES Act. In May, Albright College received financial assistance to distribute to students who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare expenses.

Guided by Albright’s priority for fair and equitable distribution and our desire to provide funds to as many Albright students as possible, a formula was developed to determine distribution. As of Wednesday, June 10, immediate, base-level funds have been made available to all full-time and part-time students.

For those students who are enrolled at Albright College less than half-time and experienced additional educational expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, an application process has been developed and is available on the Albright website.

How will I receive my CARES Act grant?

CARES Act funds were posted to student accounts on Wednesday, June 10. Distribution of the funds will begin on Friday, June 12, and will continue until all refunds are issued. Your funds will be issued either as a direct deposit, if you have enrolled in eRefund, or as a paper check to be mailed to the home address on record. 

We understand that you may have questions about this refund, and you are welcome to email covidadjustments@albright.edu with those questions. We kindly ask that you have patience with our response as our first priority is the timely dissemination of your refund.

What may these funds be used for?

Students may use the funds for educational costs, for any expenses related to disruption of campus operations as noted above or to make a payment through Albright student accounts for any additional course materials or other education expenses.

Some families have generously indicated an interest in paying it forward by donating their CARES Act funds to support other students who may be in need at this time. If you would like your CARES Act funds to be donated to Albright’s Lifting Up Lions initiative or to the Advancing Lives scholarship fund, please send an email to COVID19adjustments@albright.edu, and we will be in contact with you.

What if I need more financial assistance?

We also know that some students and families were financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic more than others, so there is a portion of CARES Act funds that will be made available on a need basis. A web-based application process, which is based on data received from the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA), is available on the Albright website so that you may request additional funds.

All of us at Albright College recognize the difficulties that the pandemic has created for many of our students and families, and we continue to work hard to provide support for all of our students.

As we enthusiastically plan for the fall 2020 semester, we do so with the hope that we will be back on campus again, and at the same time, we know we must remain flexible given the uncertainties that still exist with the pandemic. Please continue to check your email throughout the summer for important updates about our return to campus. Information about the fall 2020 semester and other FAQs about Albright’s response to COVID-19 may be found on the Albright website: www.albright.edu/coronavirus.

A happy and healthy summer to each of you!

Warm Regards,

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Acting President and Provost

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Jeffrey L. Strader, CPA

Acting Vice President for Finance and Strategic Partnerships

Good morning, faculty and staff –

As you know, the Pandemic Planning Task Force, comprised of both administrators and faculty representatives, has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic as it plans for the fall 2020 semester and what we hope will be our return to campus. All of the decisions being made during this time are being guided by our priority to ensure the health and safety of our community, and to remain as flexible as possible given the uncertainties that still exist with the pandemic.

As communicated last week, our new academic schedule for the 2020-2021 year – four, seven and a half week sessions within two semesters – will allow more opportunity for social distancing in classes and will enable strict attention to sanitizing in between classes. In addition to this change to the academic schedule, and in keeping with our commitment to prioritizing the health of our community, Albright College will begin its first seven and a half week session two weeks early. Whether we are on-campus or online, classes will begin on Monday, August 17. Because our hope is that we will be on campus, beginning classes early allows for classes in both sessions to be completed by November 24, which puts us just before Thanksgiving, and the beginning of the regular flu season. Students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving, so exams for session 2, after Thanksgiving, on December 1 and 2, will be conducted remotely. This adjustment will help to reduce the risk of infection associated with students returning to campus following break travel. A list of important fall dates follows this message.

As we continue to plan, we do so with the hope that we will be back on campus having in-person classes, though we know that it is essential that we remain as flexible as we can should the risks of viral spread be too high as our start date nears. If, in the month of July, we determine that it is not safe to bring our community back to campus for in-person instruction, this scheduling will allow us to quickly pivot to online learning, and we will be communicating with you regularly between now and then.

As of June 5, Pennsylvania will move into the yellow phase of Governor Tom Wolf’s plan for reopening the state.

So what does this mean for us?

Being in the yellow phase allows for additional essential personnel to be on campus. Throughout the pandemic, although Albright was able to keep everyone employed, the number of employees working on campus has been limited to emergency essential personnel only. Custodial and maintenance crews have been rotating shifts during this time to limit the number of staff on campus. As of Monday, June 8, all custodial, maintenance and grounds crew members will return to full-time work on campus, which will allow for the readying of our residence halls, facilities and grounds for our early August start.

Teleworking will continue for the majority of our employees. As Berks County nears the green phase of the state’s reopening plan, a staged return to campus will be initiated. That staged plan, which will enable the college to bring back various groups of employees at different intervals, ensuring strict adherence to social distancing and sanitizing guidelines, will be shared in the coming weeks. We are working closely with the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania (AICUP) to determine how the state’s plan for reopening applies to institutions of higher education.

Thank you for all you are doing and continue to do for Albright College as we work together to navigate this unchartered time in our history. We will continue to communicate with you as circumstances evolve related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Albright College community, including campus operations. And given the uncertainties that still exist, we will continue to explore ways to enhance the delivery of our academic program in remote settings, should we need to pivot to that plan.

Please look for another update regarding confirmation of our final plans for the fall semester by no later than July 15, 2020.

In the meantime, please stay healthy and safely enjoy your summer.

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Acting President and Provost

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Revised Fall 2020 Academic Calendar:

  • Move-in dates and times will be assigned at a later date, taking into consideration then-applicable social distancing guidance
  • August 17 – Fall session 1 classes begin at 8 a.m.
  • October 2 – Fall session 1 classes end
  • October 5-6 – Final exams
  • October 7 – Fall session 2 classes begin at 8 a.m.
  • November 24 – Fall session 2 classes end
  • November 30 – Reading Day
  • December 1-2 – Final exams
  • Move-out dates and times will be assigned at a later date, taking into consideration then-applicable social distancing guidance

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Acting President

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dean of the Faculty

A message from Acting President Campbell, Senior Vice President Wesner, and Acting Vice President Strader

Dear Albright students, parents and families –

Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we worked through the many complexities associated with the calculation of fair and equitable room and/or board adjustments for our students.  We are pleased to share that these adjustments have been finalized and will be credited to the accounts of all eligible students tomorrow, Wednesday, May 6. As stated in our April 27 message, the Student Accounts office will be communicating with students about these adjustments this week. An email notification will be sent from LionPay tomorrow to let you know that an updated statement of account is available for viewing. All students, as well as those individuals authorized by the student to access the account, will receive this message.

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.

All of us at Albright College recognize the difficulties that the pandemic has created for many of our students and families, and we continue to work hard to provide support for all of our students. We know that many of you continue to have questions, and not just about room and board adjustments; so, we wanted to again take this time to answer as many questions as we are currently able to answer, and to provide clarification of answers previously provided.

How were the room adjustments determined?

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.

How were the board adjustments determined?

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.

How were the dates for room and/or board adjustments determined?

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.

What about the students who remain on campus?

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.

Were the room and/or board adjustments reduced in any manner?

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.

Can I appeal my adjustment if I am not satisfied?

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.

Will spring 2020 tuition also be adjusted?

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.

What about the CARES Act? Who is eligible and how are adjustments being made and applied?

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.

Can I use my credit to help someone in need?

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.

Where can I find answers to other questions related to Albright’s response to COVID-19?

Updates and resources about Albright’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including information about returning to campus to collect belongings from residence halls, plans for commencement, and more, can be found on the Albright website: www.albright.edu/coronavirus.

Additional questions related to room and board adjustments or the federal CARES Act may be emailed to COVID19adjustments@albright.edu.

Thank you again for your patience as we have worked through this process. Best wishes and good luck in this last week of classes!

 

Sincerely,

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Acting President and Provost

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Jeffrey L. Strader, CPA

Acting Vice President for Finance and Strategic Partnerships

Good afternoon, Albrightians –

It’s hard to believe that we are in our sixth full week of this new and unexpected way of working, teaching and learning. Though I know it hasn’t been easy, it has been so gratifying to me to see the energetic, resilient spirit of the Albright community shining through our current challenge.

Today, I have some very good news to share with you!

Through the dedication and hard work of the Finance and Strategic Partnerships division, led by Acting Vice President Jeff Strader, Albright College was successful in obtaining funding under the Small Business Administration Payroll Protection Program (PPP), which was created under the CARES Act. The funding obtained through this program will cover salary and benefits for faculty, staff and administrators, as well as college utility expenses, for eight weeks. The funds were received April 16, which marks the beginning of the eight-week period.

The Cabinet has been working hard to ensure that Albright College remains true to its institutional core values during this challenging time, by continuing to provide an exceptional educational experience for our students while maintaining business operations and employment for all members of our community. The funding through the PPP will allow the college to continue to maintain full employment and full pay for all employees through June 10, the funding period of the Payroll Protection Program. Supervisors will continue to work with individual employees to develop and sustain meaningful work plans. You will be kept informed of the college’s continuing efforts to maintain employment for all employees and on plans for reopening the college as they evolve based on the state’s orders.

Please note that for those employees who have already been approved to telework, are currently doing so, and who have developed work plans with their supervisor, there are no changes to compensation, and you will continue to be paid as usual.

I also wanted to take a moment to thank our emergency essential personnel in the dining hall, facilities, maintenance and custodial services, Gable Health Center, public safety, and residence life for your continued service to and support of our students who are still in residence on the Albright campus. On behalf of all of us at Albright, we thank you for your hard work during this challenging time. We appreciate you!

As always, we ask supervisors to please ensure that members of your teams that do not have internet access or technology resources in their home be made aware of this communication. You may also wish to share this list of the U.S. providers offering free wifi or special accommodations for 60 days during this pandemic. Please direct any questions you have to the human resources office at HRIS@albright.edu.

Everyone, please continue to be diligent in observing the CDC’s recommendations and in keeping yourselves and your families healthy and well. The Pandemic Planning Task Force, in partnership with the Cabinet, will continue to follow and monitor the state’s plans for reopening and will keep you informed.

Thank you for the many contributions you make each and every day to Albright College. You and the important work you do makes a difference!

Warmest regards,

Rita R. Franklin

Interim Director of Human Resources

Dear faculty and staff,

Tomorrow marks one month since Albright moved into the role of “community food and housing, emergency, and other relief services,” for students who felt unsafe going home, had food or shelter insecurities at home, or were unable to go home.

In order to provide a safe environment for our remaining students and our emergency essential staff remaining on campus, we continue to heed recommendations by the CDC and PA Department of Health.

As such, new safety guidelines have been ordered by PA Secretary of Health, Rachael Levine, M.D., for businesses permitted to maintain in-person operations. In reviewing these latest orders, emergency essential staff supervisors have determined that the following protocols are necessary, effective immediately:

1) Emergency essential employees and students must wear masks on campus.

Masks have been provided to all emergency essential personnel. Please refer to CDC recommendations for information about mask cleaning and/or directions for those who prefer to make your own masks.

Masks provided by fashion faculty, Paula Trimpey, were also delivered to resident students last weekend, and students have been advised to wear masks when picking up meals from dining services and visiting campus buildings or residential common areas.

2) Non-essential employees and faculty are now discouraged from entering campus buildings.

Our emergency essential employees have observed a significant number of Albrightians returning to campus each day. Remember that faculty and staff working from home may not return to campus unless the visit is approved by their vice president or divisional director. Please support our emergency essential personnel by limiting visits to campus as much as possible. Visitors who are not wearing a mask will be turned away.

The CDC advises the use of simple cloth face coverings that can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials. Please see the CDC guidelines for simple instructions on making a mask at home.

The state has also provided new protocols to be enacted if an essential staff or current resident student has been named a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19. Supervisors of emergency essential personnel have established protocols for their respective area that include disinfection, identifying employees who were in close contact, implementing temperature screening prior to work shifts, and keeping symptomatic or sick employees home.

Be well and stay safe!

Dr. Josh Williamson
College Physician

Rita Franklin
Interim Director of Human Resources

The Pennsylvania Department of Health recently issued new orders to which all current Albright residents and emergency essential personnel must adhere moving forward. In compliance with these orders, the following policies/procedures will take effect at the college at 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 19.

Masks were delivered to your residence hall door yesterday afternoon. These masks were provided by fashion faculty, Paula Trimpey, for your personal campus use. In calling for all Pennsylvanians to wear masks, Governor Wolf asked residents to reserve surgical and medical mask for health care workers and first responders. Learn more about these masks here and the CDC recommendations for mask use/care here.

In addition to maintaining six feet of distance from others, all residents and emergency essential personnel must wear a mask at all times when in a public campus space or campus place of business. This includes Roessner Hall, the dining hall, campus center, and residential common areas. Please understand that anyone who does not wear a mask in these areas may be referred to Community Standards.

Per the orders issued by the Department of Health, you will no longer be permitted in the dining hall without a mask. In order to limit your exposure to others, the dining hall offers the option of ordering your meals in advance to pick up at the register. If you prefer this option, complete the order form and submit to albrightdining@gmail.com at least one meal period prior to pick up.

The ELCDC has partnered with Public Safety and Spring Valley Church to provide additional food options for students via the college’s Care Corner. Please refer to student email for a list of available personal care and food items. The food provided by Spring Valley Church is of limited quantity and may not be restocked. To request these care and food items, please email elcdc@albright.edu so that a staff member can directly coordinate your order pick up.

We would like to thank you for your understanding and cooperation with the orders issued from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and for taking care of yourself, one another, and our emergency essential personnel on campus. Please reach out to our offices if you have questions regarding these new regulations.

Sincerely,

Gable Health and Counseling Center

Residential Life

Dear Albright students, parents and families,

Many of you have had questions about adjustments for room and board that may result in refunds since the decision was made to shift the remainder of the semester online due to Governor Tom Wolf’s orders in response to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we have been working through the complexities of this situation to make the best decisions we can for our students and families.

Albright College will be providing adjustments for room and board, the amount of which will be prorated from March 23 (or later, if the student departed the residence halls at a later date), through May 15, the last day of final exams (or May 31, for students who resided in Rockland Hall). The Residential and Food Service Contract allows Albright to deduct a fee for early termination; however, given the circumstances of the contract termination, this fee will be waived. Students who remain in the residence halls will not receive an adjustment 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.

The process of adjusting room and board is complicated and it differs for each student depending on the status of the student account, the type of financial aid each student has, and when each student left campus. Different financial aid types have requirements for refund distribution. Additionally, regulations from the Department of Education regarding federal funding and federal financial aid continue to change, which impacts how refunds, if applicable, are calculated and dispersed. So, we ask for your patience as we work to calculate adjustments properly for each individual student.

All of this work must be done on a student-by-student basis and may take several more weeks to complete. Students and families whose adjustment results in a refund that does not need to be paid back to a loan or grant will be given the choice of a cash refund or a credit to the fall 2020 semester. If there is currently an outstanding balance on the student account, any refund will be applied directly to that unpaid balance first.

We understand that this is a difficult time for all of our students and families and that the COVID-19 pandemic has created personal and professional challenges for many. Albright is committed to working through the details of room and board adjustments and refunds efficiently. At the same time, we want to ensure that this process is fair and equitable to all of our students, and that our work aligns with governmental regulations.

We also wanted to provide some preliminary information about another program that you may have recently learned about – the federal CARES act, which provides additional financial assistance to colleges for students. Please note that the room and board adjustments are Albright-issued, and are not part of the student financial aid grants that Albright will be providing through the federal CARES act. These are two separate and distinct programs. Regulation of the student aid portion of the CARES act funding was distributed last Thursday and it is complicated. Now that we have the regulations, we are working to develop a formula for equitable and fair distribution that follows governmental guidelines, and we are evaluating provisions of the CARES act, which may be used to address items such as retaking a class. We will be communicating with you about this funding as soon as we have more information to share.

As a reminder, updates and resources about Albright’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including FAQs, can be found on the Albright website: www.albright.edu/coronavirus. If you have additional questions, please email COVID19adjustments@albright.edu.

We hope that you, your families and those who most matter to you are healthy and well.

Sincerely,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Jeffrey L. Strader, CPA
Acting Vice President for Finance and Strategic Partnerships

Good afternoon, Albrightians –

I hope you’ve all been able to get out of your homes and enjoy the nice weather we’ve had this week. It’s been delightful to see the sun shining and the springtime flowers blooming!

The Cabinet has been working tirelessly to ensure that Albright College remains true to its institutional core values during this challenging time, by continuing to provide an exceptional educational experience for our students while maintaining business operations and employment for all members of our community.

Last week I wrote to update you on a decision to extend full active status pay through April 11 for those employees who are unable to telework. New opportunities with the federal government for possible financial relief are changing and evolving just about as rapidly as the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic itself. The Cabinet has been diligently evaluating these opportunities as it looks to make the best decisions for the college and the Albright community. So today, I’m writing to let you know that all employees who are unable to telework and only have the option of on-campus work to complete their job functions, will be given the opportunity for meaningful work and continued full pay through May 2, which aligns with the stay-at-home order issued by Governor Wolf. Supervisors will work with individual employees to develop meaningful work plans. Additionally, Cabinet will continue its work to evaluate and apply for federal financial relief opportunities, and we will continue to keep you updated.

Please note that for those employees who have already been approved to telework, are currently doing so, and who have developed a work plan with their supervisor, there are no changes to compensation. You will continue to be paid as usual.

I would also like to remind everyone that although classes will be held this Friday, April 10, administrative offices will be closed. For administrative and support staff, it is a scheduled holiday. Faculty and students who observe Good Friday may make arrangements to do so. Essential services (i.e. dining, public safety, etc.) for our students who are currently on campus will continue during this time.

We know that some members of our staff do not have internet access or technology resources in their homes, so we ask supervisors to please ensure that the members of your teams are aware of this communication.

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact the human resources office at HRIS@albright.edu.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this challenging time together.

 

Sincerely,

Rita Franklin

Interim Director of HR

Dear Albright Students. Happy Spirit Day!

I’m sure that this version of Spirit Day wasn’t what you had ever imagined, adhering to social-distancing protocols whether on-campus or at home! I hope that in any location you can still feel the Albright spirit and support of your Albright family as we work our way through this challenging semester. Most importantly, I hope that you are feeling safe, and that your family is also safe and secure.

I know that this switch to learning online is challenging, both academically and because of the distance that it places between students and professors and advisors and friends.  Even though we have so many ways of keeping in touch virtually (I learned about NetFlix parties just yesterday!), it’s not exactly what we signed up for in coming to Albright as either a student or a professor.  It was my experience with the students during my interview at Albright that brought me here, because those interactions set Albright apart from all the other schools that I had visited!  Walking around campus is beautiful, as Dr. Pankratz captured in his photos today, but I will admit that I cried a little bit when I was on campus for some work today.  It’s pretty lonely without all of you here!

I hope you are adjusting to learning online, and I’d really like to know how that is going and how we all might help make it better.  The faculty are also adjusting to a teaching format for which they had  not prepared.  We all came to Albright for the opportunity to interact with students face-to-face, to hear your stories, to get to know you, and to help you find success in our classes.  Doing this virtually is a huge challenge.  We’re just glad that we had at least half the semester to start to form that relationship with you!  Please let us know how we can help to improve your experiences in our courses by giving us some feedback through this survey.  We still have time to make adjustments, but we need to know what is working and what doesn’t work for you in order to make those adjustments meaningful.  Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts about your courses and what you find to be helpful and what you still need to help you find academic success.

We are still “here” for you, in many ways.  Online tutoring is available and the writing center services are available to all students.  If you are experiencing the stress of handling class work, “family life”, and juggling other challenges imposed by this pandemic, please reach out to our counseling center.  And please try to be patient with our faculty.  Remember that they share the same concerns that you have for their family members and their own personal health at this time.  Don’t be afraid to just send an email, asking for help if something seems confusing in what they have posted for your class.  They are trying to help you complete your courses to the best of your (and their) ability … we just need to work through this together. Let that Albright spirit of caring and compassion rise to the surface!

Please let me know if I can help in any way, first by completing the survey, but also just by reaching out.  I really do miss you all, and I’m happy to help!

Go Lions!

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dean of the Faculty
P. Kenneth Nase Chair of Biology

Dear Albrightians,I hope this message finds you and your families healthy, safe and well. This is a difficult time for all of us, especially as the situation we are in continues to evolve and change. We wanted to write to you today to ensure you that know we are working hard to make the best decisions we can for both the college and our valued employees.

As you have seen in the news around the world, things are changing daily in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the number of cases and subsequent state mandates, orders and acts that may provide relief to individuals and businesses. President Fetrow and the Cabinet are meeting almost daily and the Pandemic Planning Task Force is meeting twice a week in order to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape that we are currently facing.

Two weeks ago, when the college moved to a remote work environment, the decision was made to keep all employees regardless of ability to telework in full active status with continued pay through April 4.

Today, due to uncertainty regarding government funding and the extension of the federal stay-at-home order, President Fetrow and the Cabinet decided to continue this pay through the end of the current biweekly pay period, April 11, for employees who do not have the ability to telework. All employees who have been approved for telework and have developed work plans with their supervisors will continue to be paid as usual.

For those employees who are not able to telework, we are working to the greatest extent possible to provide meaningful work for all and will continue to provide updates as decisions are made. We know that some members of our staff do not have internet access or technology resources in their homes, so we ask supervisors to please ensure that the members of your teams are aware of this communication. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact the human resources office at HRIS@albright.edu.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this challenging time together.

Stay safe and be well.

Sincerely,

Rita Franklin, Interim Director of HR

Dear Albrightians,

We have made it through our first week of online classes and our first full week of working remotely – and we made it together! This is not an easy time for any of us and there are many hard decisions that are being made every day as this pandemic continues to evolve. We write today to share decisions that, though likely not unexpected, are still very difficult to accept because we are a community that values our time together on campus.

As we’ve communicated previously, the college’s Pandemic Planning Task Force has been carefully reviewing the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, and from Pennsylvania State health officials. Given the current situation, and based on the recommendation of the Pandemic Planning Task Force, the decision has been made to continue to deliver classes online throughout the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

The team did not come to this decision lightly. Taking into account CDC and state recommendations, as well as current coronavirus trends across the country and the globe, it is clear that asking students to return to campus before the end of the semester from areas that have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus – including surrounding counties in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey – would put many people at risk.

We also wanted to remove some of the uncertainty for students and faculty, who can now finalize and move forward with their plans and coursework over the remainder of the semester.

What about commencement?

In addition, and given the ongoing pandemic and its evolution, the commencement team has made their recommendation, which we have accepted. It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Albright’s class of 2020 commencement ceremony will not be held on May 17.

Although we all hope to be back to normal as soon as possible, it is important at this time that we consider the safety, planning and travel needs of Albright’s graduates and families, and to keep with Governor Tom Wolf’s directives for social distancing and closure of physical locations around the state of Pennsylvania, such as Santander Arena.

Do not worry – even without the pomp and circumstance of commencement, you still are a graduate of Albright College. Commencement is truly “ceremonial” and does not affect the college’s ability to confer degrees. Diplomas will be mailed to class of 2020 graduates as soon as they are available.

We recognize the fact that our seniors have worked hard and deserve to celebrate their achievements among family and friends. And, we wish to celebrate with you all!  Therefore, the college’s Commencement Committee, consisting of faculty, students and staff, is carefully considering a range of later dates for in-person celebrations – as well as a number of creative ways to celebrate student accomplishments virtually. Finalized plans will be announced with enough notice for graduates and their families to participate, if they wish to do so.

Students with innovative ideas or suggestions of dates on which to honor the class of 2020 are encouraged to contact Kathy L. Cafoncelli ’99, chair of the Commencement Committee, at kcafoncelli@albright.edu, and/or Commencement Committee student representatives, Faith Guzzo ’20 and Allison Ulaky ’20, at faith.guzzo001@albright.edu or allison.ulaky001@albright.edu, respectively.

Will I get a refund for room and board? How can I get the things in my room?

The decision to remain online, of course, leads to the question that many of you have already asked, “Will there be refunds for room and board?” We are currently evaluating how best to handle refunds, and because some students left campus before others, we are assessing how to make it fair to all parties. We will be communicating with students and families soon on how we plan to move forward. Additionally, we know that many are concerned about being able to gather belongings from the residence halls. Though we are abiding by the governor’s current orders, we will continue to assess the coronavirus situation and when it has been determined that it is safe for students to return to campus, we will make arrangements for students to return to their rooms to collect their things. In the meantime, know that your belongings are safely locked in your rooms and are not being disturbed.

We know that this news is disappointing. We are a community that values our time together and celebrating one another’s accomplishments. Please know that although our interactions are taking on a different form right now, we continue to celebrate our special community of Albrightians.

Please take time to care for yourself and celebrate every accomplishment. Speak on the phone and video chat with friends and family, post your positive moments on social media and tag Albright College, and look forward to better times ahead when we can all be together again.

With best wishes for a successful (online) semester,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Fellow Albrightians,

Here we are, at the third day of virtual classes, almost one week since the Pennsylvania governor declared all non-life-sustaining business to close operations. Since then, I’ve watched faculty come together to support virtual teaching, student groups self-organize into study and “keeping in touch” groups, staff develop approaches to work from home, and trustees engage in our call to reach out to senators to support higher education in the COVID-19 bill that the US Senate passed last night.

What I’ve learned is that, like the strong community we are, we are coming together to meet this challenge. And, even though we miss the face-to-face interactions, I know we will come out on the other side a stronger community than when we started.

In this past week, I’ve realized even more how valuable our community is, one of which I am so grateful to be a part. I’d like to invite each one of you to reflect and think about how valuable our Albright community is.

To Albright Students: Give your professors positive feedback – let them know what works. Your professors love teaching you in the classroom! For many of them, this is their first foray into online teaching – and it’s not the way they want to teach. Teaching virtually is rarely perfect – from crashing videos, to sound not working, to pixelated screens – laugh with them, and thank them for their effort to help you continue your education.

To Albright Faculty: Some of your students are learning online for the first time – this is not what they came to Albright for either! For many, virtual learning may be much less compatible with the way they learn. Give them positive feedback for engaging online. Share with them things that you have learned that help other students.

To Albright Staff: Working from home is not easy – many of you have children, partners and pets who are also at home and you’re balancing your workload while making sure your children engage in their own online learning. Remember to breathe. Take the dog for a walk. Stay in daily contact with your teams and managers. Use technology to connect virtually and keep those “water cooler” conversations going.

To Essential Personnel: Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is not an easy time for anyone, and you are in jobs that require your continued service to and support of our students who are still in residence. Your dedication and commitment to our community is commendable. I invite everyone in our community to reach out to Albright’s essential personnel – in public safety, the Gable Health Center, the cafeteria, and those in facilities maintenance and custodial services – and thank them. Remember that not all heroes wear capes.

Everyone, please be diligent in observing the CDC’s recommendations and in keeping yourselves and your families healthy and well.

In the last several weeks, each of our lives have been upended – we’ve had disruptions to our classes, our work, and our learning. It seems like the continuous news cycle brings ever worsening news, heightening our anxieties and fears. We are currently living through a time much like the Great Depression and World War II – a crisis that will in many ways define a “before” and an “after.”  Keep a journal of your time, your learning, your feelings, and your impressions – like the pandemic of 1918, this will be a time to be remembered in history.

As Albrightians – a pride of Lions – it is important to remember that you are not alone. We are all in this together and we will get through it together. Face-to-face interactions and a strong community are what we value at Albright College. As the pandemic prevents us from that experience, it becomes ever more important to build that community virtually. I will continue to be in contact with you during this time as will other community members, to inform you of operational details and to share words of encouragement – we could all use some words of encouragement as we navigate this situation together.

While we are living through circumstances unlike anything seen in generations, this too shall pass, and we will take from our experiences the strength we will use to heal our college, our society and our world. Continue your good and important work and learning – it matters.

Stay safe, healthy and well, and know that Albright College is there for you. I look forward to our return to campus and to our daily in-person interactions when this pandemic wanes.

Warm regards,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ‘82

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dear Fellow Albrightians,

Here we are, at the third day of virtual classes, almost one week since the Pennsylvania governor declared all non-life-sustaining business to close operations. Since then, I’ve watched faculty come together to support virtual teaching, student groups self-organize into study and “keeping in touch” groups, staff develop approaches to work from home, and trustees engage in our call to reach out to senators to support higher education in the COVID-19 bill that the US Senate passed last night.

What I’ve learned is that, like the strong community we are, we are coming together to meet this challenge. And, even though we miss the face-to-face interactions, I know we will come out on the other side a stronger community than when we started.

In this past week, I’ve realized even more how valuable our community is, one of which I am so grateful to be a part. I’d like to invite each one of you to reflect and think about how valuable our Albright community is.

To Albright Students: Give your professors positive feedback – let them know what works. Your professors love teaching you in the classroom! For many of them, this is their first foray into online teaching – and it’s not the way they want to teach. Teaching virtually is rarely perfect – from crashing videos, to sound not working, to pixelated screens – laugh with them, and thank them for their effort to help you continue your education.

To Albright Faculty: Some of your students are learning online for the first time – this is not what they came to Albright for either! For many, virtual learning may be much less compatible with the way they learn. Give them positive feedback for engaging online. Share with them things that you have learned that help other students.

To Albright Staff: Working from home is not easy – many of you have children, partners and pets who are also at home and you’re balancing your workload while making sure your children engage in their own online learning. Remember to breathe. Take the dog for a walk. Stay in daily contact with your teams and managers. Use technology to connect virtually and keep those “water cooler” conversations going.

To Essential Personnel: Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is not an easy time for anyone, and you are in jobs that require your continued service to and support of our students who are still in residence. Your dedication and commitment to our community is commendable. I invite everyone in our community to reach out to Albright’s essential personnel – in residence life, public safety, the Gable Health Center, the cafeteria, and those in facilities maintenance and custodial services – and thank them. Remember that not all heroes wear capes.

Everyone, please be diligent in observing the CDC’s recommendations and in keeping yourselves and your families healthy and well.

In the last several weeks, each of our lives have been upended – we’ve had disruptions to our classes, our work, and our learning. It seems like the continuous news cycle brings ever worsening news, heightening our anxieties and fears. We are currently living through a time much like the Great Depression and World War II – a crisis that will in many ways define a “before” and an “after.”  Keep a journal of your time, your learning, your feelings, and your impressions – like the pandemic of 1918, this will be a time to be remembered in history.

As Albrightians – a pride of Lions – it is important to remember that you are not alone. We are all in this together and we will get through it together. Face-to-face interactions and a strong community are what we value at Albright College. As the pandemic prevents us from that experience, it becomes ever more important to build that community virtually. I will continue to be in contact with you during this time as will other community members, to inform you of operational details and to share words of encouragement – we could all use some words of encouragement as we navigate this situation together.

While we are living through circumstances unlike anything seen in generations, this too shall pass, and we will take from our experiences the strength we will use to heal our college, our society and our world. Continue your good and important work and learning – it matters.

Stay safe, healthy and well, and know that Albright College is there for you. I look forward to our return to campus and to our daily in-person interactions when this pandemic wanes.

Warm regards,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ‘82

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Good afternoon, faculty and staff –

Whether you’re working remotely, on campus serving our students, or beginning a new journey in teaching online, I hope you are doing well during these challenging times. We’re all “learning to learn” as we go in this new online environment. I wish each of you peace of mind and patience as we work through this challenge together.

I write today to inform you of the protocols that have been put in place to keep our community healthy and safe, and to remind you of the steps you can take to keep yourself and your family well.

Students in emergency shelter

As of this communication, there are 139 students who remain in residence on campus. These students have been approved for emergency housing. For the health and safety of our community, including those essential personnel who are providing services to our resident students, students who are staying on campus are not permitted to leave campus for any reason, including to go to the grocery store, WAWA, or any off-campus employment. The Dining Hall is open for three carry-out meals per day, regardless of the student’s meal plan.

To lessen the health risk to staff, students in need of medical care from the Gable Health and Counseling Center must call the health center at 610-921-7532 to speak to a staff member. Dr. Williamson and his team will provide care during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During the evenings and on weekends, calls will be handled by Public Safety and emergencies addressed as needed.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the symptoms of COVID-19 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.

Help us be proactive in lessening the spread – self report your symptoms

If you are experiencing these symptoms and have contacted your health care professional for testing, or if you have been tested, we ask you to please also contact the Gable Health and Counseling Center at 610-921-7532 so that we may be proactive in alerting members of our community that they may have been exposed. We will need to know when you were last on campus and who you were in contact with. Self-reporting your symptoms will allow Albright to be proactive in addressing this public health crisis.

For those members of the Albright community who are listed as essential personnel and are currently reporting to campus, it is critical that you monitor your health daily and do not report to work should you exhibit any of the symptoms listed above.

How can I keep myself and my family healthy?

We are urging Albrightians to continue taking all precautions recommended by the CDC:

·         Keep a six-foot distance between yourself and other people

·         Avoid contact with those who are sick

·         Wash your hands often for 20 seconds with soap and water

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

·         Cover coughs and sneezes

·         Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a daily basis

What counseling and support services are available?

It’s understandable that many of you may feel anxious about this evolving public health situation or have concerns about friends and family and their well-being. Our chaplains are always available to talk, provide guidance and direction, or simply to listen. They may be reached at: Rev. Dr. Mel Sensenig, msensenig@albright.edu, Rev. Ibrahim Bangura, ibangura@albright.edu, Rev. Dr. Swamini Shraddhananda Saraswati, sallitt@albright.edu.

Faculty and staff may also consult the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides three free counseling sessions per year for employees and their household dependents through Inroads at Family Guidance Center, a local provider. You may access their website www.familyguidancecenter.com. All sessions are completely confidential.

New information from the Department of Education

Yesterday, in a message from Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera, the Department of Education (PDE) announced that all educational institutions in the commonwealth will remain online only through at least April 6, and that this order could be extended beyond April 6. Given the current situation, this extension is likely. Please know that the Pandemic Planning Task Force is monitoring this situation daily and meeting twice weekly in order to make decisions to protect the health and well-being of our Albright community. We will continue to keep you updated.

Thank you for your patience, resilience and cooperation as we work together to navigate this unprecedented situation.

Stay healthy and well,

Sam

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer
O: 610-921-7611 | F: 610-921-7590
swesner@albright.edu

Dear Albright students and families –

I wanted to clarify some important information from last evening’s message regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement to close the physical locations of all non-life-sustaining businesses by tomorrow, Saturday, March 21.

If you did not elect to remain on campus during Spring Break and you are currently at your home residence, you are not to come back to campus to gather your things at this time. Commuter students are also not allowed to come to campus. The governor’s order restricts you from doing so. Only those students who chose to remain on campus during Spring Break must now vacate their residence halls or petition to stay on campus. Albright College is moving into the mode of “community food and housing, emergency, and other relief services,” which counts as an essential business. This allows Albright College the ability to keep residence halls open for those students who are unable to go home, feel unsafe going home, have no home to go to, or those who have food or shelter insecurities.

Students who are approved to remain on campus will not be allowed to leave campus and will be held accountable to Community Standards if they do. And the dining hall will remain open for carry-out of three meals a day regardless of how many meals a student has signed up for. Carry-out meals will begin with dinner on Saturday evening.

I know this is a confusing time and that it is imposing fear and anxiety on many. Please understand that we don’t have all of the answers right now and are continually monitoring this situation as it unfolds. If we remain in an online learning environment for the remainder of the semester, arrangements will be made to have all students return to campus to clear out their rooms at a later date. We will keep you informed as we know more.

In the meantime, I wish you health, wellness, and the best of luck as you begin your online learning experiences.

If you have any questions, please send them to studentlife-reply@albright.edu.

My best to you,

Dr. Wesner

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer
O: 610-921-7611 | F: 610-921-7590
swesner@albright.edu

Dear Albright faculty and staff –

This has been a trying time for all of us as we adapt to the changes that the unprecedented public health situation of the novel coronavirus has presented. This evening, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close physical locations until further notice, effective Saturday, March 21, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Higher education was specifically listed as a non-essential business in the list of businesses.

What does this means for Albright College?

Albright College is moving into the mode of “community food and housing, emergency, and other relief services,” which counts as an essential business.  As of noon on Saturday, residence halls will remain open only to those students who are unable to go home, feel unsafe going home, have no home to go to, or those who have food or shelter insecurities. Students who remain on campus will not be allowed to leave campus and will be held accountable to Community Standards if they do. The dining hall will remain open for carry-out of three meals a day for these students regardless of how many meals the student has signed up for.

What does this mean for faculty and staff?

Only personnel needed to provide essential services for our resident students in the areas of public safety, health center, facilities, dining, residential life, and the mailroom will be allowed on campus. 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.

Faculty and staff who need to retrieve items from offices may do so tomorrow, Friday, March 20, during the core business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After tomorrow, buildings will be locked and no one other than essential personnel will be permitted on campus, as per the governor’s order.

You likely have many questions about how this will impact you, your work and your classes. You will be hearing additional details on specific information for each group of employees from the vice presidents, the athletic directors and the chief of staff.

What does this mean for our community?

This was not an easy message to either compose or send, and I know that it is not an easy message to hear.  This new government order will likely evoke even more fear and anxiety.  But, know that we are a stronger community standing together than we are apart — we are a pride of lions, even if we must be so from distant locations for a while.

We are urging Albrightians to continue taking all precautions recommended by the CDC. Keep a six-foot distance between yourself and other people; avoid contact with those who are sick; wash your hands often; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; cover coughs and sneezes; and clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces on a daily basis.

As this situation continues to evolve, the Cabinet and I are working through the many questions that have already been presented and doing all we can to continue to support the success of our students while addressing the health and safety needs of our community. We are committed to our faculty and staff, and are taking every effort to support the work and employment of Albright employees.  Each of your divisional vice presidents, athletic directors, or chief of staff will be communicating with you soon to provide additional details. In the meantime, if you have questions, please send them to president-reply@albright.edu.

My thoughts are with each of you as well as your families as we continue to navigate this unprecedented and emergent situation together. Be safe. Be well. Take care of each other. When this is over, we will emerge a strong community.

Warm regards,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ‘82

President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dear Albright students and families –

This has been a trying time for all of us as we adapt to the changes that the unprecedented public health situation of the novel coronavirus has presented. This evening, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close physical locations until further notice, effective Saturday, March 21, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Higher education was specifically listed as a non-essential business in the list of businesses.

What does this means for Albright College?

Albright College is moving into the mode of “community food and housing, emergency, and other relief services,” which counts as an essential business. Online classes and telework for those who are able to work from home will continue as planned. Online classes are scheduled to begin on Monday, March 23.

What does this mean for students who are currently on campus?

As of noon on Saturday, residence halls will remain open only to those students who are unable to go home, feel unsafe going home, have no home to go to, or those who have food or shelter insecurities. Students who are currently on campus may petition to stay on campus by completing the “COVID-19 Petition for Residency” form on the MyHousing student portal: https://housing.albright.edu. This petition must be complete by 3 p.m. on Friday, March 20. Late submissions will not be considered and all submissions are subject to approval.

Students who are approved to remain on campus will not be allowed to leave campus and will be held accountable to Community Standards if they do. And the dining hall will remain open for carry-out of three meals a day regardless of how many meals a student has signed up for. Carry-out meals will begin with dinner on Saturday evening.

Students who are not approved to remain on campus will need to vacate residential space by no later than noon on Saturday, March 21. Students vacating residence halls are encouraged to make arrangements to leave campus immediately to comply with the directives of Governor Wolf, and to move out as many items as possible. Following departure from residence halls, students must complete the “Residence Hall Departure Form” on the MyHousing student portal: https://housing.albright.edu.

Residential Life staff will be available tomorrow, Friday, March 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to answer any questions you may have and to provide assistance. Please email reslife@albright.edu or call 610-921-7641.

What does this mean for our community?

This was not an easy message to either compose or send, and I know that it is not an easy message to hear.  This new government order will likely evoke even more fear and anxiety.  But, know that we are a stronger community standing together than we are apart — we are a pride of lions, even if we must be so from distant locations for a while.

We are urging Albrightians to continue taking all precautions recommended by the CDC. Keep a six-foot distance between yourself and other people; avoid contact with those who are sick; wash your hands often for 20 seconds, using soap and water; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; cover coughs and sneezes; and clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces on a daily basis.

As this situation continues to evolve, President Fetrow, my Cabinet colleagues and I are working through the many questions that have already been presented and doing all we can to continue to support the success of our students while addressing the health and safety needs of our community. If you have questions, please send them to studentlife-reply@albright.edu.

My thoughts are with each of you as well as your families as we continue to navigate this unprecedented and emergent situation together. Be safe. Be well. Take care of each other. When this is over, we will emerge a strong community.

Warm regards,

Dr. Wesner

Samantha J. Wesner, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC
Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer
O: 610-921-7611 | F: 610-921-7590
swesner@albright.edu

Dear Albright faculty and staff,

Last week was a blur of information, of change, of questions, and perhaps of fear.  Things moved quickly.  Decisions were made, new information became available, and then more questions were raised.  There isn’t anyone at the college, including myself, who didn’t need to turn to someone for help in navigating what has been an extremely difficult week.

WHAT HAPPENED?

On Thursday evening, Albright community members received an email from Provost Karen Campbell, and Chief Health Officer Sam Wesner.  This email shared that we had made the difficult decision to move teaching to virtual and online mode for at least two weeks following Spring Break.  The email also described the various options that were available for students, options designed to fit the needs of our varied student population.

This was not a decision taken lightly or in haste. Albright’s Pandemic Planning Task Force has been meeting since mid-January and has been working diligently to continually monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation in order to ensure the health and safety of our community. As the possibility of pandemic loomed, this group recognized the many different needs of our students and our staff, including those who are unable to continue in their coursework from home, while others who do not have homes to which they can return.

WHY DID WE MAKE THIS DECISION?

We know that many of our students come to Albright for its close-knit community.  Now we are being asked, each one of us, to adhere to the principle of social distancing.  Social distancing, meant to “flatten the pandemic curve,” is why so many institutions – museums, theatres, schools, Disneyland, ski resorts, the NBA, and many others – have closed or suspended their activity.

One might think, why colleges?  College students are young and at less risk than older and less healthy individuals.  For one reason, many of our faculty and staff are more at-risk.  But really, social distancing is also essential for those who aren’t high risk, to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. An illustration of the importance of social distancing and what it means to flatten the curve can be found here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/.

Today, slowing the spread of this virus is a public health imperative.  Continued spread of the virus is inevitable.  It will not be limited to any particular state, or region, or country.  We must all work together to slow the spread, so that the healthcare system is not overwhelmed and, thus, compromised.

WHAT ABOUT EACH OF US?

As Rita Franklin, our interim director of human resources, indicated in her Friday email, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that employers establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., teleworking) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts) to increase the physical distance among and between employees.

We’ve asked managers to work with employees to determine how this will look.  Much remains to be determined.  The Pandemic Planning Task Force continues meeting to answer questions and address new data as it becomes available.  You can expect to continue to receive information on a regular basis.

WHAT WILL THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?

Please know that we don’t have all of the answers right now. I expect that timeframes will be different than what we are currently projecting. Educational and other activities will happen in different ways and in different places.

I also know that the quality of the education that our students receive will not degrade. I know this because our faculty and staff are committed to students and committed to student success.  The faculty are already working hard, through Spring Break, to bring the quality of an Albright education into the virtual world.

I know that you, our faculty and the staff, will bring your talents and creativity to bear as we work together to navigate constraints that are so essential to meeting the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community is one of the many things that is special about Albright College.  And we know that our students come to Albright for just the thing that the current public health pandemic does not allow us to do — be together.  During this time, we will miss that community in its physical reality.  However, we are fortunate that we may still be able to experience that community as we work together in the virtual world to support our students and to meet the challenges this pandemic brings.

And when this situation has passed, we will welcome the return of all students, faculty, and staff, to our campus, and we will look for opportunities to gather and to celebrate our community.

Be safe and well during this time.

Warm regards,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Albright College

Good evening, Albright faculty and staff,

First, my apologies for the late evening communication. This email provides a follow-up to this afternoon’s press conference by Gov. Tom Wolf, during which he announced an extension of his order to shutdown non-essential businesses to include the full state of Pennsylvania.  Governor Wolf’s announcement was made in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Following this announcement, the Cabinet, Pandemic Planning Task Force, and I have taken time to carefully consider how this affects our various communities here at Albright College, and how we as an institution can continue to educate our students of academic promise while ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our entire community.  Let me state our values upfront:

  • We are here to support the success of our students and we are committed to that success, and the options for students laid out last week are not changing at this time.
  • We are committed to our faculty and staff, and are taking every effort to support the work and employment of Albright employees.

WHAT DOES PENNSYLVANIA’S “SHUT-DOWN OF NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES” MEAN FOR US?

For institutions like Albright College, this shutdown does not mean that we are closing. We will continue to follow our plan announced last week for online learning and we will continue to provide essential services for our students who have chosen to remain on campus during Spring Break.

And, in accordance with the Governor’s announcement, we will move quickly to a remote work model for all non-essential staff beginning Wednesday, March 18. Some divisions have already begun this transition.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, we ask that employees report to work to gather what you need in the way of equipment and materials for your work from home and to discuss any last-minute issues with your supervisors. This work from home model will begin with the start of business on Wednesday, March 18.

As communicated late last week, we will follow this model through Friday, April 3.  We will be re-evaluating, as this situation continues to develop. The earliest that we would bring students, staff and faculty back to campus would be Sunday, April 5.

WHO ARE ESSENTIAL STAFF? 

In last week’s communication, we encouraged our students to remain on campus during Spring Break to help limit the spread of the coronavirus and to ensure our students have the resources available to them to be successful in an online learning environment.  Following that announcement, approximately one third of our student body made the decision to stay. In order to continue to provide a functioning, comfortable and safe living and learning environment for those students who remain, while maintaining the highest standards, essential staff members in several key areas will need to continue to report to work in person. These areas include facilities, dining services, public safety, housing, the health center, payroll, human resources, and digital strategy and infrastructure.  

Not all staff in all of these areas are considered essential.  Divisional vice presidents and supervisors will be communicating with the individuals in their respective divisions and departments regarding which personnel are considered essential.  They will also provide details and guidelines for safe work practices and social distancing for essential staff. Divisional vice presidents and supervisors will be working with non-essential employees to develop a work-from-home plan, or to develop alternate work plans for their employment during this time. Additional information from human resources about teleworking for both employees and managers is forthcoming as well.

WHAT RESOURCES ARE THERE FOR REMOTE WORK?

To help employees make the transition to remote work, the college has created an online resource called Work from Anywhere. This resource is designed to collect in one place the tools and resources you’ll need to be productive off-campus. The menu at left lists all the questions addressed in the resource for easy navigation. A Collaborate discussion forum provides a place to post questions and network with colleagues about how they’re handling the transition. Additional resources will be added as they’re needed and available, so check back often.

To use this resource, just go to Work from Anywhere and click Enroll me.

WILL I BE ABLE TO GET BACK ON CAMPUS?

As of Wednesday, March 18, only those who are defined as essential staff will be allowed on campus and have access to campus buildings. If anyone else has a need for a short-term visit to campus or to a campus building, prior arrangements must be made and approved by your divisional vice president. The provost will follow-up with an email tomorrow, regarding arrangements for faculty who wish to produce their classes from classrooms on campus. 

SELF CARE AND COMMUNITY

We want to do all we can to keep everyone safe and healthy in the midst of this crisis, while also providing education to our students. I urge every one of you to continue taking all precautions recommended by the CDC. Keep a six-foot distance between yourself and other people; avoid contact with those who are sick; wash your hands often; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; cover coughs and sneezes; and clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces on a daily basis. Please do all you can to protect your own health and the health of your loved ones. As you do, you will also be helping countless others.

The Pandemic Planning Task Force will continue monitoring this rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to keep you up to date on all college developments. The Cabinet will be meeting regularly to hear and discuss issues as they arise during this uncertain and difficult time. 

Please take care of yourselves, your families, and each other as we navigate this situation together. As always, please find the most up to date information on our website: www.albright.edu/coronavirus.

Sincerely,

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Albright College

Dear Albright staff and faculty,

We find ourselves in challenging times. Our current situation requires us to think about and prepare for how we continue the important work of educating our students of academic promise and providing them with the services and resources to succeed, while ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our campus community. As we all know, the situation we are in continues to change at a rapid pace. The Pandemic Planning Task Force continues to monitor this evolving situation and make decisions based on the most up to date information and the well-being of our community.

As announced last evening, Albright College has been working very hard to consider the many needs of our diverse student population, many of whom do not have reliable internet access at home or home environments that are conducive to online study, and those who are unable to go home at all. This, coupled with our desire to lessen the spread of the Coronavirus by not allowing students to leave and come back, is why Albright College has decided to provide the option to stay on campus during Spring Break and move all classes online beginning March 23.

We are also very aware of and concerned about the needs of our staff and wanted to let you know that options and resources for teleworking are currently being reviewed. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that employers establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., teleworking) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts) to increase the physical distance among and between employees, and we are working toward this end.

At this time, while essential personnel will remain on campus, we ask that supervisors consider if and how their staff and/or student workers are able to work remotely, or what barriers for teleworking exist for their staff and/or student workers. A teleworking policy along with a teleworking request form will be distributed next week. In the meantime, it is important that all department managers think about the critical functions that your teams must provide and how to best proceed in this environment.

Additionally, if you are currently in the process of a hiring search or you have someone needing to be onboarded now or in the near future, please contact our office at HRIS@albright.edu so that we can assist you with these needs.

Though you will be receiving additional information next week, below are a couple of resources to help you as you think about and plan for the possibility of teleworking.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to monitor and navigate this dynamic situation. Please visit Albright.edu/coronavirus for more information, or to review all college updates and policies pertaining to Coronavirus.

Sincerely,

Rita R. Franklin
Interim Director of Human Resources

Dear Albright students, parents and families,

The Coronavirus and COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. Yesterday, the World Health Organization declared that the Coronavirus is officially a pandemic. Today, Governor Wolf held a press conference announcing that the state ordered the closure of all pre-kindergarten through graduate-level schools in Montgomery County (Pa.) for the next two weeks. The presidents of the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) made a decision that no athletic competitions would be held for the next two weeks, effective Monday, March 16. And cases of confirmed COVID-19 have reached more than 1,300 in the U.S., and eight counties in Pennsylvania have been impacted.

We are continually monitoring this situation and we are very aware that many of our students may be unable to successfully continue in their coursework from home, while others do not have homes to which they can return. Yet, the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty are our highest priority.

Therefore, Albright is creating options to fit our varied student population’s need. Beginning on March 23, all Albright classes will be instructed online. However, we encourage students to stay on campus — especially those who do not have reliable internet access, those whose home environments may not be conducive to online study, and those who are unable to go home.

Students who remain on-campus during Spring Break must complete the Spring Break Stay Form no later than noon on Friday, March 13. Please login to aLink to complete this form. Fees associated with break stays will not apply for this break period and meal plans will be active. Grab-and-go bags will be available for students who stay on campus but do not wish to eat meals in the Dining Hall.

Students who decide to leave campus over Spring Break must take everything they need to continue their studies online, including but not limited to laptops and related technology, and all course materials. Students who decide to leave campus over Spring Break will not be allowed to return to campus following break and will be expected to continue studies online until the college reevaluates the situation. At this time, the earliest students would be allowed to return to campus is Sunday, April 5. This includes residents of Rockland Hall and affinity housing as well.

What about School of Professional Studies (SPS) students?

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.

The Pandemic Planning Task Force will continue to monitor this evolving situation and we will be communicating with you on a regular basis. Please visit Albright.edu/coronavirus for more information, or to review all college updates and policies pertaining to Coronavirus.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Karen Campbell

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the Faculty

Dr. Samantha Wesner

Senior Vice President for Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Albright community,

The Albright College Pandemic Planning Task Force has been meeting regularly and is continually monitoring the spread of novel Coronavirus and COVID-19 in order to develop short- and long-term contingency plans. With Spring Break just around the corner, and with an abundance of caution for the health and well-being of our community, Alternative Spring Break trips, athletic team trips to Florida and South Carolina, and a faculty-led trip to Madrid during Spring Break have been cancelled. As this situation continues to evolve, decisions regarding other events and activities both on- and off-campus are being discussed and will be communicated.

Travel Guidelines

Please note that all college-related domestic or 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. Additionally, in order to ensure the health and safety of our community, we also strongly encourage 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, using the forms available here. 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.

Spend Spring Break on Campus

Students, were your travel plans for Spring Break cancelled? Is your home state currently under a state of emergency? Although this Coronavirus is very new, it is not the first novel virus Albright has faced. In addition to staffing its own physician on campus, the college has been working closely with national and local health care experts and is well-prepared to quarantine or isolate students, if necessary. Plan to stay on campus during Spring Break and help us lower the risk of spread.

Students who remain on-campus during Spring Break must complete the Spring Break Stay Form no later than noon on Friday, March 13. Please login to aLink to complete this form. Fees associated with break stays will not apply for this break period and meal plans will be active. We ask that students remaining on-campus avoid traveling to high-risk areas.

Be Prepared

As Spring Break approaches, and given this dynamic situation, please be prepared for disruptions in services that we usually take for granted. For example, keep academic supplies (laptops, books, etc.) with you, even during overnight travel. Think about what you would need if you were notified that you were exposed to COVID-19 and your ability to travel, on or off campus, became restricted.

Stay Up to Date

Please be sure to visit the Albright website for the most current and reliable information from the college, and we will continue to update the community via email as well. On the web, you will find the college’s travel policies, forms to register your upcoming travel plans, FAQs, community messages and links to health resources.

Please take care of yourselves, stay healthy and be well.

Sincerely,

Dr. Karen Campbell

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the Faculty

Dr. Samantha Wesner

Senior Vice President for Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Albright,
COVID-19 news continues to break rapidly. Albright staff and administration continue to adjust our responses to the evolving outbreak.
As  we approach spring break, I wanted to remind students and staff to be prepared for disruptions in services we usually take for granted.  Please remember to keep academic supplies (for example: lap-tops and books) with you, even during overnight travel.  We all need to be prepared.  Think about what you would need if you were notified that you were exposed to COVID-19 and your ability to travel, on and off campus, became restricted.  
We are already screening patients for recent travel prior to appointments at the Gable Health Center.  We will REQUIRE phone appointments (instead of accommodating walk-in appointments) from this point forward to facilitate social distancing from ill students.
From the Pennsylvania Department of Health:

PA COVID-19 Update – March 10, 2020

Last updated 9:45 a.m.

  • To date, there are 11 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania.
  • Counties impacted to date include:
    • Delaware (1)
    • Monroe (1)
    • Montgomery (8)
    • Wayne (1)

Symptoms of the COVID-19 can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold:

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it;
  • Occasionally, fecal contamination.

Prevention:

  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  • Contain: if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.

The CDC does not recommend wearing masks or respirators outside of workplaces settings (in the community).  Most often, spread of respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens among close contacts (within 6 feet).

Yours,

Dr Williamson

College Physician, Albright College

Dear Albright Community,

Coronavirus, or more specifically, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), continues to be an evolving situation, and we want to keep you informed about initiatives to prepare for and respond to this issue. The Albright College Pandemic Planning Task Force has been meeting regularly and is continually monitoring the situation in order to develop short- and long-term contingency plans.

With spring break just around the corner, below is important information about travel notices from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Albright College travel policiesPlease note, though this email is lengthy, it is important that you read it in its entirety.

Though the number of coronavirus and COVID-19 cases is changing rapidly, as of March 9, more than 500 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been identified in the United States. It is important to note that there have been no reported or suspected cases at Albright College or in the Reading community.

To date, the work of the Pandemic Planning Task Force remains primarily preventative in nature to maintain the health and safety of our campus community. Given this dynamic situation, please be sure to visit the Albright website for the most current and reliable information from the college, and we will update the community via email as well.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Notices

According to the CDC, travel notices “inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues that impact travelers’ health, like disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, and natural disasters, in specific international destinations.”

As of March 8, 2020, the notices are as follows:

Warning Level 3 (Red): Avoid all non-essential travel to the following destinations. The outbreak is of high risk to travelers and no precautions are available to protect against the identified increased risk.

              Italy – COVID-19

              Iran – COVID-19

              South Korea – COVID-19

              China – COVID-19

              Venezuela – Health Infrastructure Breakdown

Alert Level 2 (Yellow): Practice enhanced precautions for this destination. The travel health notice describes additional precautions added, or defines a specific at-risk population.

              Japan – COVID-19

Watch Level 1 (Green): Practice usual precautions for this destination, as described in the travel health notice and/or on the destination page. This includes being up-to-date on all recommended vaccines and practicing appropriate mosquito avoidance.

              Hong Kong – Coronavirus

 

Albright College Travel Policies

In addition, following guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC, Albright College has developed policies applicable to all members of the campus community. These policies are similar to those implemented at colleges and universities across the country.

If you are planning travel during spring break, please keep these policies in mind:

General Policy

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.

Travel Policy

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. Please be aware that some national conferences such as the Eastern Psychological Association and American Chemical Society have already cancelled their conferences, and we expect that others may do so as well. Plans for Albright College-sponsored travel are evolving as well. We will keep you informed of any changes as they occur.

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.

2.    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.

3.    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.

4.    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 international 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.

The health and safety of all members of our campus community is our top priority. We continue to monitor this evolving situation and will keep you informed of any changes as they become available.

Sincerely,

Dr. Karen Campbell

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the Faculty

 

Dr. Samantha Wesner

Senior Vice President for Student and Campus Life and Chief Health Officer

Dear Albright faculty and staff,

As the Coronavirus continues to develop, we understand that you may have questions and concerns. We want you to know that the health and safety of our employees and students are our highest priority.

Albright’s Pandemic Task Force was formed during the avian flu in 2008, and has been meeting regularly since the news about this new virus initially broke. Early on, the team made sure that our facilities crew had the necessary CDC-approved cleaning chemicals (on hand and in use), and that our Health Center is prepped and ready to implement the CDC and PA State Department of Health triage and testing protocols. Although no current Albright international students come to us from cities of great concern, the virus has disrupted travel plans for a number of students. A faculty-led Spring Break trip to Paris and Madrid has been cancelled, and one student has decided not to pursue a study abroad trip to South Korea this semester. Two students studying in Italy will soon be returning to their homes (but not to campus).

The task force’s discussions range from smaller points (like hand sanitizers that are available throughout campus) to larger plans that we hope will never become necessary (like isolation, quarantine, and shutdown protocols).

All employees are encouraged to take precautions which can help to prevent the spread of not only the Coronavirus, but also seasonal flu and colds.

What You Should Do:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who 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 — such as computer keyboards.
  • Review the CDC’s specific guidance for travelers

 

What You Should Not Do:

  • The CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks for the general public to prevent respiratory illnesses like seasonal flu or COVID-19.

Learn more via:

The Centers for Disease Control website: https://www.cdc.gov/
Real-time Johns Hopkins Coronavirus world map: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
The World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
The college’s health alerts on the Gable Health Center webpage.

Rita R. Franklin
Interim Director of Human Resources

Albright continues to be very proactive about the novel coronavirus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes, named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”) by the World Health Organization (WHO).The Albright College pandemic planning committee continues to stay informed of the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health updates. We are establishing protocols for any potentially affected areas on campus, in the event COVID-19 begins to spread in communities in the U.S.

The U.S. confirmed case count has risen to 53 cases. Six of these are considered to be “recovered.” There have been no deaths in the U.S. There was a big jump in total case count over the weekend because 36 American patients from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship finished their 14 days of quarantine on the ship (while docked in Japan) and are now under quarantine in the U.S.

According to the CDC, the U.S. government has taken unprecedented steps related to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus, including suspending entry into the U.S. of foreign nationals who have visited China within the past 14 days. Other measures have also been implemented to monitor the health of American citizens who have recently been in China and are allowed entry into the U.S.

Today, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering and WHO:

  • Globally: 81,244 confirmed COVID-19 cases; 30,311 recovered; 2,770 deaths
  • Outside of China: 2,459 confirmed COVID-19 cases; 34 deaths

For perspective; the CDC estimates seasonal influenza in the U.S. alone tallied at least 29 million flu illnesses; 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths so far this season.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a case series from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Feb. 11, with data the 72,314 Chinese COVID-19 cases:

  • Patient age distribution: ≥80 years: 3%, 30-79 years: 87%, 20-29 years: 8%, 10-19 years: 1%, <10 years: 1%. Spectrum of disease: Mild: 81%, Severe: 14%, Critical: 5%

These numbers indicate that risk to our Albright student population is extremely low, even if exposure occurs.

Nancy Messonnier MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said using the existing [U.S. influenza] surveillance system is an efficient way to watch for more person-to-person spread of COVID-19. If specimens at those labs test negative for flu, they would be tested for the COVID-19.

Given that COVID-19 is a new disease, it is understandable that its emergence and spread cause confusion, anxiety and fear among the general public. These factors can give rise to harmful stereotypes, and discrimination. This kind of stigma can:

  • Drive people to hide the illness to avoid discrimination
  • Prevent people from seeking health care immediately
  • Discourage people from adopting healthy behaviors

Such barriers could potentially contribute to more severe health problems, ongoing transmission and difficulties controlling infectious diseases during an infectious disease outbreak.

“Because 98% of people who get [COVID-19] are recovering, this is not an extinction-level event or the zombie apocalypse,” said Kevin T Powell, MD, Ph.D. “It is a major health hazard, and one where morbidity and mortality might be assuaged by an early and effective public health response, including the population’s adoption of good habits such as hand washing, cough etiquette and staying home when ill. But fear, discrimination and misinformation may do more damage than the virus itself.”

According to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the epidemic peaked and plateaued in China between Jan 23 and February 2, and has been declining steadily since.

WHO findings:

  • There has been no significant change in the DNA of the virus.
  • Fatality rate is between 2% and 4% in Wuhan, and 0.7% outside Wuhan.
  • For people with mild disease, recovery time is about two weeks.

The team also estimates that the measures taken in China have averted a significant number of cases, and emphasize that the virus can be contained. However, sudden increases of cases in Italy, Iran and South Korea are deeply concerning.

“Our decision about whether to use the word ‘pandemic’ to describe an epidemic is based on an ongoing assessment of the geographical spread of the virus, the severity of disease it causes and the impact it has on the whole of society,” Dr. Tedros explained. “For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death.”

Please call the Gable Health Center at (610)-921-7532 with any questions or concerns you may have on this or any other health related issue.

Dear Albright College parents and families,

As you may know, there is growing concern among international public health officials regarding the Wuhan, China coronavirus. Earlier this week, the first person-to-person transmission in the U.S. occurred, when a wife returning to Chicago from Wuhan transmitted the virus to her husband.

The CDC recommends that patients in the U.S. who meet the following criteria should be evaluated:

  1. Fever accompanied by symptoms of lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath)

AND travel from Wuhan, China (in the last 14 days) or close contact with a person who is already under investigation or confirmed for coronavirus infection.

Although Albright is home to a number of international students, none are native to Wuhan, and no Albright students are currently studying abroad in China.

Nonetheless, Albright’s pandemic planning committee has been carefully monitoring the virus and is taking proactive action. Our facilities professionals are using CDC-approved cleaning chemicals and our Gable Health Center is prepped and ready to implement the CDC and PA State Department of Health triage and testing protocols. We are also reminding students to wash their hands whenever possible, and of course, hand sanitizers are available throughout campus.

According to experts, this new coronavirus appears to be much less deadly than the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus of 2012-2014 (which ultimately resulted in only two U.S. cases).

But seasonal influenza is always a concern. With that in mind, please help us to remind students to:

  1. Cover mouths and noses with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  2. Wash hands frequently
  3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  4. Do not share eating and drinking utensils
  5. Do not share saliva
  6. Be sure to get adequate sleep, good nutrition and regular exercise

Have questions? Please call Albright College’s Gable Health Center, counseling center or nutritionist at (610)921-7532.

As you may know, there is growing concern among international public health officials regarding the current Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Please be assured that federal, state and local authorities are working very diligently to avoid the spread of infection in the United States.As of yesterday the first case of person-to-person transmission in the U.S. occurred (from a woman who returned from Wuhan to her husband in Chicago).

Earlier this week the CDC reported:

  • 2, 886 WORLDWIDE cases of 2019-nCoV
  • 81 worldwide deaths
  • 5 cases in the US, and 110 US persons under investigation (see additional information below)

For perspective; seasonal influenza tallied at least 15 million flu illnesses, 140,000 hospitalizations and 8,200 deaths so far this season.

According to experts, this novel coronavirus appears to be much less deadly than the MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus) of 2012-2014, which never spread significantly (2 cases) to the United States.

Albright has a history of being very proactive in these situations. The college established a pandemic planning committee in response to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) of 2003-2005. This committee made sure Albright was prepared for the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.

We have been monitoring the home cities of our students; none currently live in Wuhan. Also, we do not currently have any students studying abroad in China.

The Albright College pandemic planning committee will continue to stay informed of the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health updates on this virus.

Of course, please call the Gable Health Center at (610)-921-7532 for any questions or concerns you may have on this or any other health related issue.

According to the CDC: Criteria to Guide Evaluation of Patients Under Investigation (PUI) for 2019-nCoV

Patients in the United States who meet the following criteria should be evaluated as a PUI in association with the outbreak of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan City, China.

  1. Fever AND symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)

–AND in the last 14 days before symptom onset,

  • History of travel from Wuhan City, China

-or-

  • Close contact with a person who is under investigation for 2019-nCOV while that person was ill.
  1. Fever OR symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)

–AND in the last 14 days before symptom onset,

  • Close contact with an ill laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV patient.

Dear Students,

Welcome back to campus, hopefully well rested and ready for your next step here at Albright.

Just a quick reminder for those of you who have not had the flu shot this year:

We continue to be in peak flu season (which typically lasts through March most years). The cost for the vaccine is $20 for Albright students. Please call the health center at (610) 921-7532 to schedule an vaccine appointment.

According to the CDC:

  • Over 50% of influenza positive test results from public health laboratories this season are in children and young adults (<25 years), while only 12% are in adults aged 65 and older. This has resulted in high levels of outpatient illness, but lower levels of hospitalization and death due to influenza.
  • 15 additional pediatric deaths were reported this week, bringing the total for the season to 54. Influenza B viruses account for 37 of the 54 reported flu-related pediatric deaths this season.
  • The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 15 million flu illnesses, 140,000 hospitalizations and 8,200 deaths from flu.

Yours,
Dr. Joshua Williamson
Albright College Physician, Gable Health Center

 

Travel Registration

 

Contact

Albright College Gable Health Center
1829 Linden Street
Reading, PA 19612-5234
Phone: (610) 921-7532

Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Should an emergency arise after business hours or on weekends please call Public Safety at 311.