Students issued guidance on holiday gathering

University Communication to Students

Distributed: November 5, 2020

Dear Students,

Moving into November, we are faced with what has been referred to as the “darkest hour” of the pandemic. Allegheny County, and Pennsylvania, continue to exceed previous numbers of reported positive cases almost daily. Our collective resolve to mitigate spread, while spending more time indoors, becomes of paramount concern. Important information this week includes:

New This Week:

Consider Travel Carefully

Given the increasing prevalence and spread of COVID-19, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is concerned about risk of exposure due to travel in November and December. As you consider travel, and relocation for the upcoming holidays, please exercise an abundance of caution, including making plans to self-quarantine and limit direct contacts. For travel details, consult the CDC website for appropriate consideration.

Look Out for Each Other

Please take care to look out for each other as the semester comes to a close. High stress, long hours, and the holidays can take a toll on mental health any year, let alone in this year of the pandemic. If you become concerned about yourself or others, please submit a report and let the Care team know about needs, questions, or concerns. We will make contact with you to extend help.

COVID-19 Virus Does Not Discriminate

Experts say we need to assume we are being exposed to the COVID-19 virus daily. Experiencing symptoms or testing positive should not diminish your self-worth or dignity. Those symptomatic should remain away from campus, notifying Health Services, +1 (412) 578-6474, and respective faculty or work supervisors.

Holiday Gathering Consideration

Given the increase of COVID-19 cases, the CDC is recommending consideration be given to postponing, canceling, or limiting the number of attendees at holiday gatherings. Should you choose to gather, wearing masks and social distancing are recommended as spread has been increasing through smaller gatherings in homes according to ACHD. Especially if you will be returning after the Thanksgiving Break to the residence halls or on ground classes, we ask you to limit holiday gatherings and risk of exposure. For more information, consult the CDC.

Turn to Dialogue, not Social Media

The election has generated a wealth of emotion, much as did summer events. To refresh, posting or sharing content that is demeaning, degrading, or racist is not consistent with Carlow University’s Catholic Mercy values. Choose to have the conversation with friends or those close to you. If you are not willing to do this, it is probably an indication that you should not be posting such comments to social media. The University may choose to address any comments that reflect poorly on the University through the conduct review process. EVENT NOTE: Friday, November 6, at 3:30pm the SJI club is welcoming all students to gather via zoom. This will be a safe space to process the election and past year. Resources will also be available.

Important Resources:

Disabilities Services Registration

As registration for the spring semester proceeds, continuing DSO students with current accommodations should be sure to request accommodations for their new semester courses. Students can log in to the Accommodate system and complete a Semester Request.

Continuing students do NOT have to complete another Confidential Request for Accommodations form.

Reminders:

Disabilities Services Accommodations and Assessment Available

Students with qualifying disabilities may still request accommodations through the DSO for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester. Please complete a Confidential Request for Accommodation form to start the process.

Students may request accommodations at any time, although accommodations are not retroactive.

The DSO offers assessment for disability to those students who may not have documentation, or whose documentation is more than four years old at no charge to the student. To request assessment, please complete the Confidential Request for Accommodations form and check the assessment request box.

PA COID Tracking App

If you have not yet downloaded Pennsylvania’s state tracking app, COVID Alert PA, please do so today. It’s available on the Google Play Store or the Apple App store.

Move to Self-Screening After Thanksgiving Break

Continuing with the COVID-19 health management strategy, we will shift to self-screening for all students who are living on-campus or coming to campus for in-person instruction. Many classes will shift to finishing the semester remotely. Please clarify with each instructor so you will know what to expect.

Have a good rest of the week. Be well and stay safe,

Timothy P. Phillips, Ph.D.

Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students

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