St. Vincent College enacted a shelter-in-place for students on Thursday citing a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases on campus in recent days.

In a letter posted to SVC’s website, the college’s president, the Rev. Paul R. Taylor, OSB, said the mandate is being implemented “out of an abundance of caution” to identify the sources of the increase in positive cases — both symptomatic and asymptomatic.

“We must be proactive to avoid further significant spread across our campus,” he wrote.

The shelter-in-place went into effect at 3 p.m. Thursday.

On Friday and Saturday, symptomatic and surveillance testing will take place throughout campus.

“The results of this testing will dictate the length that this mandate remains in place,” Paul wrote. “Again, it is imperative that we act now to avoid any further spread and keep our campus community safe.”

SVC is asking anyone experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 to report them to the college’s Wellness Center to undergo the necessary testing. The Wellness Center can be reached at 724-805-2115 and WellnessCenter@stvincent.edu.

“Additionally, being honest and cooperating with our contact tracing team is more important than ever if we are to halt this spread quickly,” Paul wrote.

Updates about the situation on campus will be communicated daily, in addition to updates on any other measures that might be necessary. The college is asking students to continue to check their SVC email, website and the MySV Portal for updates.

According to the letter posted to SVC’s website, shelter-in-place means the following for students:

  • All classes on Friday will be conducted remotely;
  • Students should remain in their rooms in the residence halls and use the utmost caution with any type of social interaction. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will also be taking place in the residence halls and restrooms;
  • Students should also remain on campus. Leaving campus and returning home has the potential to expose family and others to the virus. Students who return home will be required to undergo testing and quarantine upon returning to campus until the results of the test are known;
  • Fully vaccinated students who choose to return home will be exempt from undergoing testing upon returning to campus, provided they have submitted their vaccination cards to immunization@stvincent.edu;
  • Students who hold work-study or employment positions should contact their supervisor to discuss any remote work accommodations during this time.

SVC asks faculty to make the necessary accommodations to deliver remote instruction for Friday and the beginning of next week. Offices are not expected to close for staff.

All meals will be available for to-go only beginning with dinner on Thursday. Only the Community Center will be open. The Shack and Barista will be closed for food service. The Dining Hall will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. A list will be sent to students soon providing a schedule for meal pick-up times. The GET App will not be in use during this time.

Faculty will be reaching out to students to check in about classes and overall well-being. Wellness Center counselors are also available to speak with students about any mental or emotional difficulties that are heightened during this time.

“The cooperation by every member of our campus is vital,” Paul wrote. “If we do not mitigate this rise in cases, it will jeopardize the remainder of this semester, including our Spring Commencement ceremony. Please stay safe, stay healthy and do your part to keep our campus safe.”

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