Students required to COVID-19 test within two weeks of returning to campus

University Communication to Students

Dear Students,   

Beginning Monday, February 1, some classes will begin meeting on-ground. Your instructors, webadvisor, and syllabi should have details. Overall, the semester transition since January 11 has gone smoothly and with your help we are prepared to expand classroom use. The spirit of our strategy is to comply with CDC recommendations and to identify any asymptomatic students with COVID-19 to prevent spread as we navigate the semester. Therefore, the following is particularly important for you:  

January Testing Outcomes  

At present, testing positivity rates have remained extremely low, less than 1%. Students have continued to maintain their commitment to the common good, health, and safety.   

Given the diverse nature of our student body we intend to modify the two-test protocol to focus on early identification while balancing unnecessary impact to the learning environment. Therefore, with the exception of residence hall students and student athletes, students are not expected to have tested twice before returning to campus and will have access to testing in the coming weeks.  

COVID-19 Testing Expectations  

All students will be expected to produce a negative test result, or meet their program return expectations, within two weeks of their return to campus attendance. Campus testing options are available free of charge and will be expanded to provide access. Students who have been tested since the beginning of the semester or within the next two weeks off-site may provide proof of a negative test result to Health Services as confirmation. Students who have received a positive result in the past 90 days are unlikely to be re-infected and do not need to have a recent test. However, they must provide their positive results from the past 90 days to Health Services. Finally, students who have received their second dose of the COVID vaccine at least two weeks ago may provide vaccination proof in lieu of test results. Please contact Health Services if you have additional questions at +1 (412) 578-6174.  

Self-Screening Required  

Our priority remains on identifying those who may have unknowingly contracted the virus and preventing the spread of COVID-19. All students must complete the daily screening application, whether or not you will be on campus. Please visit the “Screening Schedule” box on our website for complete instructions.  

Students attending on-campus classes will be asked to show verification of screening completion and a Low Risk – Green outcome.  

Vaccine Availability and Distribution  

Carlow University is partnering with Integrated Health 21 for vaccine distribution. Spaces remain on January 29 for those in the 1A and expanded 1A group to obtain the Moderna vaccine. No one is required to get the vaccine, but it is strongly encouraged.   

Requesting Accommodations for Temporary Disability Related to COVID or for Chronic Disability  

Students requesting accommodation should complete a confidential request form. Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis and include an interactive conversation with the student to determine qualification for the accommodation. Approved accommodations will be relayed to faculty electronically.  


When in Doubt, Stay Where You Are  

All Carlow students are encouraged to use caution during this time of the pandemic. If you are experiencing any symptoms, stay at home or in your residence hall room and consult your Primary Care Provider or Health Services (by phone: +1 (412) 578-6174) as applicable. Also, please notify your faculty of your concerns. Discuss with your faculty member about how to keep up with assignments. If appropriate, reach out to Disabilities Services for temporary accommodations. Doing so will keep the entire community healthy and safe.  

Commitment to the Common Good  

In general, and specifically when on campus, all are expected to honor our Commitment to the Common Good that includes wearing a mask other than to eat, maintaining the recommended 6 feet of social distance, washing hands frequently with soap for 20 seconds and then rinsing thoroughly, and cleaning common surfaces before and after use with the disinfectant spray provided in common areas.  

Be Wary of Misinformation About COVID-19  

Experts are finding an immense body of inaccurate information regarding the pandemic and COVID-19 virus, which can be deadly if we are not critical of what information we consume about it. Misinformation spreads easily on the internet because social media platforms are incentivized to promote eye-catching emotional content over the facts. To see firsthand how easy it is to manipulate these algorithms with false and misleading information, check out the game “Go Viral” from the information experts at the University of Cambridge. It is a fun and short game, check it out!

Campus Is Open  

The State of Pennsylvania has encouraged remote work when possible. The campus itself is open and operational during business hours and after hours. Many at the University are working remotely, so please call via phone, reach out through Teams chat, or email before coming over. Some phones are ringing to computers, phone messages are being answered, and emails will be returned in a timely manner. Please leave a message or send an email to the respective office and allow a reasonable amount of time for a reply. The semester beginning is quite busy. However, if you have general questions about the return to campus, please contact Student Affairs (by phone: +1 (412) 578-6293 or by email: If you have questions regarding financial aid, student accounts, or registration, please reach out to the Student HUB (by phone: +1 (412) 578-6389) and we will be happy to assist.   

Thank you for your commitment to keeping the campus community safe and healthy.   


Timothy P. Phillips, Ph.D.   

Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students

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