Dear Carlow University Faculty, Staff and Students,
The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented disruption to the campus learning environment since the spread in March 2020. In response, the Carlow community acted effectively, embracing actions that support the common good. With the goal to fully reopen campus to pre-COVID-19 dynamics in fall 2021, Carlow sets forth the following policies effective July 1, 2021, for the 2021-22 academic year – or until any necessary updates are issued.
Vaccine Strongly Recommended: Widespread vaccination represents a critical step in stopping the pandemic. Per the CDC, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health and Allegheny County Health Department guidelines, Carlow strongly recommends that all students, faculty, and staff be fully vaccinated prior to August 2021. Research to date has demonstrated the currently authorized vaccines to be an effective combatant against the COVID-19 virus, and Carlow believes vaccination to be a demonstration of our commitment to the common good.
For those individuals who are fully vaccinated, the CDC recommendations will apply. This includes the removal of mask requirements.
However, Carlow will not require the COVID-19 vaccine at this time, except as noted below. We will continue to monitor recommendations, and this policy is subject to change with appropriate notice.
Vaccine Required for Residential Students: Residential living at Carlow University is a densely populated, communal, and interactive experience that resulted in impacts from contraction and spread of the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, to maintain the health and safety of occupants, while offering the full residential living experience, an FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine will be added to the list of required vaccines on the health form that must be submitted prior to move-in for Fall 2021.
Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for several authorized vaccines to protect against COVID-19. Documented medical or religious exemptions may be reviewed by Carlow Health Services and applied as determined appropriate through the currently established process for exemption consideration.
Vaccine Required for Student-Athletes: Athletic competition at Carlow University is an intense, highly interactive, and physically demanding experience that also resulted in impacts from the contraction and spread of the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, to maintain the health and safety of participants, an FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine will be added to the list of required vaccinations on the health form that must be submitted prior to engaging in active practice or competition. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for several authorized vaccines to protect against COVID-19. Documented medical or religious exemptions may be reviewed by the Athletics medical team (trainers, physician) in conjunction with Health Services and applied as determined appropriate through the currently established process for exemption consideration.
Program-Specific Vaccine Requirements: Students may be required to demonstrate COVID-19 vaccination for purposes of participating in experiential learning requirements (such as, but not limited to, internships, clinical rotations, student teaching and study abroad) specific to programs or chosen experience providers. Students will be directed to work with their faculty and faculty advisors on specific requirements that may apply.
Requirements for Unvaccinated Students, Faculty, and Staff: While Carlow strongly recommends and hopes that all students, faculty, and staff will choose to receive one of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines, Carlow recognizes that some individuals may not be vaccinated as we begin the fall semester.
For those unvaccinated individuals who had no access to an authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to arrival on campus, Carlow will work with them prior to and during the academic year to access authorized vaccination. Unvaccinated individuals who are participating in the learning community and campus life will be expected to follow continued restrictions (such as mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and participation limitations) consistent with the CDC, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Health Department recommendations. More specific expectations will be communicated as the opening of the fall academic year approaches.
Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD