University Communication to Students
Distributed: September 10, 2020
Posted: September 11, 2020  

Dear Students,

We are now past the drop add period, and I am hopeful that this week is bringing some degree of routine to your semester. Allegheny County and the state of Pennsylvania are both reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases. So, it is important that we remain vigilant.  

Your Questions

The new academic format has raised some questions that we will address in today’s communication.

As a reminder, information is regularly being updated on the COVID-19 landing page of Carlow’s website. In response to some of your recent questions, answers are noted below:

Use of Common Campus Spaces

Campus common areas, including computer labs and University Commons study areas, are open and available for student use. To facilitate social distancing, modifications have been made limiting the amount of space available.

If coming to campus, we ask that you are screened upon arrival and that you follow guidelines (wear a mask, social distance, practice good hand hygiene, and clean spaces you use before and after use). Additionally, library study spaces are open 24 hours a day in University Commons, where there also are private study rooms available. Library doors are unlocked all hours except the hours between 4:30 p.m. on Friday until 2 p.m. on Sunday. It is staffed from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Monday thru Thursday and from 2-9 p.m. on Sunday. No staff is in the library on Saturdays.

COVID-19 Policy Clarification

To provide greater clarity, we have updated the COVID-19 student handbook policy. Included is the following:

Given the extreme threat to health and safety presented by the COVID-19 virus, the University reserves the right to use of interim residence hall and campus removal measures immediately while alleged violations are investigated. Students choosing not to follow these policy guidelines below can expect to be directed to vacate campus for quarantine or isolation, shift to digital-only class attendance, and cease internship or practical training attendance while the matter is being reviewed. Those found in violation of the policy may have their housing contracts revoked, including on a first offense, be directed to digital class attendance only, or face suspension from the University.  

Contact Tracing

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) will be doing tracing and has assured us they are able to provide the contact tracing for smaller universities, such as Carlow University. If someone tests positive, they are the only one who can disclose their medical status to the University. If students, they are advised to inform all their instructors.

If there is a positive case in a class, the class may or may not proceed. If there has been adequate social distancing in the classroom (minimum of 6 feet), and everyone has been regularly screened in every class (i.e., they have their "I've been screened" sticker proudly showing), and everyone is ensuring that all students are wearing their masks throughout the class, class would likely not have to be cancelled. ACHD will contact everyone who would be considered a close contact of a positive case (within 6 feet of a positive case for at least 15 minutes, regardless of the presence of face masks). So, if you have tested positive for COVID-19, please cooperate fully with the contact tracing efforts.

Access Accommodations

Modifications to pedestrian flow have been made on campus to help with social distancing. However, if students find they are unable to access spaces for learning or accessibility, accommodations are available. One such example is walking from Curran Hall to the upper campus. Students who need to request access or accommodations, or who have questions, should contact Jackie Smith, Director of Disabilities Services, at . Every request will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and according to current evaluation protocols in each office.

Our hope is that these updates will assist your success during this unprecedented time.


Timothy P. Phillips, PhD

Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students