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Campus Communications

This page contains important messages sent to the Chatham community regarding our response to COVID-19 and the link to our Questions & Feedback Form
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on the COVID-19 site or in these messages below, please submit your question on our Question & Feedback form.

Communications to Campus

Select from the dropdowns below to review various campus message communications. 

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty, 

Chatham’s COVID-19 Campus Dashboard was updated today with the latest Weekly Trends and data covering August 1 through October 11. The data includes symptomatic, close-contact and group sample testing. 

From 8.1 to 10.11 Chatham conducted or received 1,675 tests and has had 21 positive cases for an overall positivity rate of 1.25%. In terms of weekly trends, our positivity rate increased from 0% from the previous week to 1.39% for the week of 10.2 to 10.8 with the addition of 3 new cases during that time. 

The breakdown of cases among the campus populations is as follows: 

  • Residential Students:  4 cases
  • Commuter Students:  14 cases
  • Employees:  3 cases 

As you can see above, the bulk of our cases are occurring in commuter students who live and/or work off campus. Whether on or off campus, be sure to continue following the latest health and safety protocols to protect the health of those around you.  

In terms of other considerations, we (thankfully) continue to see the presence of mild symptoms in our symptomatic cases. It is very important that you stay home if not feeling well to monitor your symptoms (even if mild). As we enter traditional cold and flu season over the coming weeks and months, this will become even more important to helping protect the health of our community and reducing the spread of COVID-19. 

The COVID-19 Dashboard is updated weekly, posted on the website, and communicated via the Friday Weekly COVID-19 Update Email or through separate communications such as this when necessary. 

As always, please contact Student Health Services at studenthealth@chatham.edu or 412-365-1714 or fill out the Questions & Feedback form if you have any questions or need additional information.  

Sincerely, 

The Office of Communications and Student Health Services

Dear Students, Staff & Faculty, 

Chatham’s COVID-19 Campus Dashboard was updated today with the latest testing and case data covering 8.1 through Friday, 8.20. During this time, Chatham conducted or received 105 tests and had 4 positive cases. All cases were from off-campus, commuter students. 

The COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated weekly, posted on the website and communicated via the Friday Weekly COVID-19 Update or through separate communications such as this when necessary. In addition, weekly trends will be added to the Dashboard beginning in September after we have a month of data.  

If you ever have any questions on the dashboard, protocols, what to do if sick or a close contact, or testing and contact tracing, visit the COVID-19 Information Website where the latest COVID response information is available or submit a question on our COVID-19 Question & Feedback form.

As always, thank you for following all health and safety protocols both on and off campus. Your efforts make a difference!

Sincerely,

The Office of Communications, Student Health Services and The Office of Student Affairs

Dear Staff & Faculty, 

We are pleased to announce that Student Health Services is now able to provide symptomatic COVID-19 testing for all employees (non-vaccinated or vaccinated) along with sample testing and close contact testing for non-vaccinated employees. 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and wish to be tested, you can register for testing with Student Health Services on our Testing & Contact Tracing web page. 

In addition, most local drug stores, doctor offices and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) offer convenient, local testing options. A map of local testing locations is available on the County’s website. If off-campus testing is more convenient for you, we encourage you to utilize these testing locations (most tests are free or covered by insurance). 

If you are tested off campus, please submit the results of your test (positive or negative) through our Off-Campus Testing Self-Report form

It may be necessary to temporarily pause symptomatic campus testing for employees to support the testing needs for students if our testing resources become strained this year due to an uptick in campus cases. We will communicate accordingly if this becomes necessary. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at StudentHealth@chatham.edu or submit a question on the COVID-19 Information Website Questions form

Wishing you good health and a great academic year!

 

Annette Muller
Nurse Practitioner
Student Health Services

Hannah Platz
COVID-19 Community Health Coordinator
Student Health Services

 

Dear Students, Staff & Faculty, 

Before the start of academic year, I want to take a moment to wish everyone the best of luck on what will be another historic and unprecedented experience for our campus community! Sue and I are always so thrilled by the excitement and energy this time of year, which feels even more special this year given the way our community has rallied together to navigate our way through the pandemic and with so many new and returning students on campus this fall. 

While we are unfortunately seeing an uptick in cases in Allegheny County, I continue to be optimistic about the ability of vaccines and strong health protocols to help us turn the tide of this pandemic. It is why I’m so proud to lead a campus community that has consistently demonstrated a commitment to caring and helping each other throughout this pandemic. From testing to health protocols to our vaccine requirement, members of the Chatham community always step up to do their part to protect the health and safety of our campus. 

As an illustration of this “Cougars Care” commitment, I’m pleased to share that our community vaccination rate currently stands at 88% of students and full-time employees on campus this fall. This number will continue to change as people receive vaccinations and records are updated. We will update this on the website as needed throughout the year. 

Thank you to everyone who received their vaccine and uploaded their vaccination records and to those who submitted a vaccine waiver and will participate in regular sample testing this semester. These steps are the foundation of the health and safety protocols that allow us to be together on campus, reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19, and protect the health of the most vulnerable among us. 

As always, please continue to check https://www.chatham.edu/covid-19 for the latest details on our response to COVID throughout the year and to submit any feedback or questions you may have. 

Sue and I look forward to seeing you around campus and at many of the events over the coming days, including the All-Community Welcome Picnic on Sunday, 8.22 from 11 to 2 on the Quad. 

All my best, 

David
David Finegold
President

Dear Students, Staff & Faculty, 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Chatham has followed the health guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Allegheny County Department of Health (ACDH). Doing so has helped keep our community safe, healthy, and here on campus. Below are two important updates regarding the latest health guidance for our community: 

Vaccine Requirement Update
The CDC and ACHD continue to place a priority on vaccination as the absolute best way to protect individual (and community) health and help bring an end to this pandemic. Our vaccine requirement is in direct response to this guidance, and we want to thank everyone who submitted their proof of vaccine or waiver request by this past Sunday’s deadline.
 

We will be reaching out directly over the coming days to any members of the community who have yet to complete their uploads to finish this process. As a reminder, it is mandatory that all students and employees who will be on campus this year have a vaccine record or waiver request on file. Failure to have one of these records on file can result in denial of access to some University systems, the inability to move into University Housing, limitations on job responsibilities or additional measures for continued failure to submit a waiver or vaccine record. 

If you do not have a waiver on file and are still on the fence about the vaccine, we encourage everyone to receive their vaccine as soon as possible. With over 300 million doses given (70% of US adults now have at least one shot), the vaccines are proving to be safe and highly effective. In fact, the CDC reports that as of July 26, only .004 percent of vaccinated Americans have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and .001 percent have died from it. And while the media is reporting on breakthrough positive cases among the vaccinated, this figure too looks to be less than 1% of the over 165 million people currently vaccinated. The reality is that the current surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the Delta variant is absolutely impacting the unvaccinated population, and the best way to protect your health is to get vaccinated. 

Campus Mask Policy Update
With our commitment to following CDC guidance for COVID-19, we are updating our campus mask policy based on the new CDC recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. Unfortunately, Allegheny County now falls into the category of substantial transmission and Chatham will adjust our mask policy accordingly.
 

Beginning Monday, August 9, masks will temporarily be required inside all public areas of campus buildings regardless of vaccination status. Masks are not required outside, when eating or alone in an office or campus room. 

As the health guidance and/or transmission rates decline, Chatham will adjust our mask policies accordingly. It is our sincere hope that increasing vaccination rates locally, a fully vaccinated campus community, and sample testing protocols for the non-vaccinated when school begins will allow us to adjust these policies once again as we work to keep COVID in check here on campus. 

Sincerely, 

Student Health Services, The Office of Student Affairs, The Office of Academic Affairs, The Office of Communications and The Office of the President

 

Dear Chatham Staff, Faculty and Students,

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has lifted the order requiring universal face coverings for the state of Pennsylvania. The lifted mask mandate means that while masks are no longer mandated by the state, businesses and organizations may continue to implement their own mask policies, masks may be required in some specific settings (such as hospitals or on public transportation), everyone is encouraged to follow CDC guidance, and people may choose to still wear a mask (even if vaccinated).

In response to the lifting of this state mask order and in alignment with the latest CDC guidance on masks, Chatham’s mask policy is as follows beginning tomorrow, June 29:  

  • Masks are not required outside regardless of vaccination status.
  • If fully vaccinated, masks are not required inside campus buildings.
  • If not vaccinated, masks should be worn inside campus buildings per the CDC.
  • People may choose to still wear a mask (even if vaccinated) in all settings, so please be kind and respectful to everyone. 

Some modifications may be made to Chatham’s mask policy over the summer and this fall, including different mask requirements for Day Camp, when in Student Health Services, and when in close contact/hands-on health education settings. In addition, mask requirements may be reinstated during the academic year if health guidance and/or disease prevalence require them. 

Any additional updates on the mask policy will be shared on the COVID-19 Informational Website and via e-mail over the coming weeks and before the start of the fall term. 

As always, if you have any questions, please submit them on the COVID-19 Information Questions & Feedback Form. 

Sincerely,
 

The Office of Communications

Dear Students, 

As announced in May, Chatham will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees and students participating in face-to-face classes or campus activities for the 2021-2022 academic term (except those with a valid waiver for medical, religious or other reason consistent with federal and state law). This requirement is a critical part of Chatham’s efforts to combat COVID-19, promote a healthy community and resume in-person activities this upcoming year. 

Thank you to the students who have already begun uploading their proof of vaccinations through Med+Proctor. We are sending this email today to help provide instructions on the process with Med+Proctor. If you have any questions or need further assistance with this process, you can contact student help (medproctor.com) or use the live chat feature on Med+Proctor.

All vaccine records or vaccine waiver must be received by August 1, 2021. If you upload by July 1, 2021, you will receive 25 Cougar Dollars loaded on your student ID. 

Upload Vaccine Records with Med+Proctor
Visit www.medproctor.com to access your account. You will register for an account (if a new user) or login (if previous user) with your Chatham email. Once logged in, select from one of the four requirement groups to which you belong. You will select your cohort and submit all required documentation as assigned in this grid.

Requirement Group

Immunizations

First Year & Transfer students

MMR, hep B, meningitis, COVID status

Continuing Students (Sophomore, Jr., Sr.)

COVID status

*should already have MMR, hep B, meningitis – upload if not

Graduate Students (non-campus residents)

COVID status

Graduate Students (campus residents)

MMR, hep B, meningitis, COVID status

For continuing students, we ask that you update your Med+Proctor account to include your COVID vaccination status. This will be in the same account where you submitted prior immunization records when you started your fist year or transferred to Chatham.

Upload Vaccine Waiver with Med+Proctor
Chatham will allow students with a valid medical, religious, or other reason consistent under federal and state law to apply for waiver. Anyone not vaccinated will be subject to additional health and safety protocols during the year. You can find this form in Med+Proctor under “Download Documents” with the title “Exemption Request Form”. Complete your form and upload in the same location in Med+Proctor.

Campus Vaccination Clinics
In collaboration with UPMC, Chatham will be offering the Pfizer vaccine at a series of clinics this summer for students, employees, and their families. Vaccines (1st and 2nd shots) will be administered in the Mellon Board Room from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7 and Wednesday, July 28. Information on how to register is our COVID-19 Information Website Vaccine Clinics page. In addition, if you can't make it to a clinic on campus this summer, vaccines are readily available at major pharmacies and other clinics near you.

Please continue to check the Chatham COVID-19 Information Website and review the weekly emails for important updates about the coming year, and, as always, contact Student Health Services at studenthealth@chatham.edu if you have any additional questions.

Have a safe and healthy summer,

 

Dr. Ron Giles
Director of Student Health Services

Annette Muller
Nurse Practitioner

 

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As you are more than likely aware, the guidance on masks from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) has been updated to not require masks for those who are fully vaccinated. However, both the CDC and the PADOH allow schools, businesses and organizations to continue their own mask requirements. 

In light of these changes, Chatham will no longer require masks when outdoors on campus grounds, but we will continue to require masks when inside campus buildings for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Chatham is regularly reviewing health guidance, the policies of other local schools and our own community vaccine rates. Based on these reviews, we anticipate we will update our mask policy again as our community vaccine rates increase and/or the state mask mandate is lifted (currently set for June 28 or when 70% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated).

Please remember: many people may make the personal choice to wear a mask at all times (even if vaccinated). Please be respectful and kind to each other. 

In addition, there are a number of other campus updates to share: 

The Athletic & Fitness Center
As of June 1, the AFC no longer requires registration for facility use and capacity restrictions are lifted. Masks are still required in alignment with University policy. 

Event & Room Capacity
As of May 31, Pennsylvania dropped all mitigation measures except the mask mandate. This means that venue capacity and other restrictions are no longer in effect. In response to this, Chatham venues and rooms can now accommodate 100% of stated capacity. 

Dining Updates
Masks are still required except while eating. Café Rachel is open M-F, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with to-go options only (no seating). The Esther Barazzone Center at Eden Hall is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. M-F for the Chatham community and the general public. Anderson Dining Hall will be hosting the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and Music & Arts Day Camp participants this summer, and will remain open to the Chatham community for lunch (with limited breakfast and dining options also available).

Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and Music & Arts Day Camp
Pittsburgh Ballet Theater will be on campus beginning June 14 and Chatham’s Music & Arts Day Camp is slated to begin June 21. The camps will operate in compliance with all CDC health and safety requirements for camps and the Music & Arts Day Camp will have 50% of normal capacity.

Campus Dashboard
The Campus Dashboard was updated through 5.31 with 2 tests and 0 positive cases. The Campus Dashboard will be updated twice a month (or as needed) for the rest of the summer. 

Campus Vaccine Clinics
Partnering with UPMC, Chatham will host a series of vaccination clinics for students and staff (and their families) in the Mellon Board Room. The Pfizer vaccine will be offered.  Clinics will be held on: June 16, July 7, and July 28. Details on how to register will be sent soon. Proof of vaccination or vaccine waiver must be on file by August 1st before the start of term.  

As always, if you have any questions, please submit them on the COVID-19 Information Website Questions & Feedback form.

Sincerely,
 

The Office of Communications

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff, 

As of today, nearly 125 million Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and over 160 million have received at least one dose of a vaccine. At the same time, new daily U.S. infections are down over 90% since the January peak. Vaccines are now readily available throughout the country and the U.S. is increasing shipments of the vaccine to other nations where it is badly needed. The impact of these safe, highly-effective vaccines in reducing illness and the spread of the virus cannot be understated. 

Given the success of the COVID-19 vaccines in helping turn the tide of this pandemic here in the U.S., Chatham has made the decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students participating in face-to-face classes or campus activities and for all faculty and staff for the 2021-2022 academic term. Those with a valid medical, religious or other reason consistent under federal and state law will be able to apply for an exemption. 

This vaccine requirement is a critical step in protecting the health and safety of our community and helping us return to a more traditional residential living and learning experience here on campus. 

To assist our community in meeting this vaccine requirement, a series of vaccine clinics will be held on campus in June and July, open to all students and employees (and their family members) who are not yet vaccinated. In addition, incentives will be offered for uploading proof of vaccine records by key dates. 

Please visit our COVID-19 Information Site for additional details, deadlines and instructions for uploading records, and a series of frequently asked questions related to vaccine requirements. We will continue to provide updates, reminders and additional frequently asked questions over the coming weeks. 

We continue to be grateful for the caring and compassion displayed by the Chatham community this past year and look forward to this same spirit helping us navigate this next hopeful phase of the pandemic. Please take care and enjoy your summer. 

Sincerely,

David Finegold, President
Jenna Templeton, VP of Academic Affairs
Heather Black, Dean of Students
Walt Fowler, SVP of Finance & Administration

Dear Students, Staff & Faculty,  

Chatham’s COVID-19 Dashboard was updated today with the latest Weekly Trends and data through Monday, 4.26. The data includes symptomatic, close-contact and group sample testing. 

Weekly Trends
From 4.17 to 4.23, Chatham conducted or received 132 tests and had 1 positive case for a low weekly positivity rate of .76%. You can view these Weekly Trends and more on our COVID-19 Campus Dashboard. The Dashboard will be updated weekly through the month of May. The update frequency for June and July may change to reflect changes in academic schedules and student enrollment over the summer months. For all students enrolled in summer terms, please continue to provide any off-campus testing results and/or utilize Student Health Services for symptomatic or close contact testing.

Campus Vaccine Clinic
On Thursday, May 6 Chatham will be hosting a small vaccine clinic for students, faculty and staff in the Welker Room from 10:30 am to Noon. The Clinic is being conducted in partnership with the Metro Community Health Center and will distribute the Moderna vaccine.

The clinic is open to all students, faculty and staff who have not yet received their first vaccine shot. Recipients can receive their second dose through Metro Community Health (South Braddock Avenue) or back home if leaving campus for the summer. 

Registration is currently capped for the first 20 to register for the clinic. If you would like to participate and there are no more registration spots available, please contact Student Health Services at StudentHealth@chatham.edu to discuss your options. Register for the clinic at https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=22078900&calendarID=5424981 

Latest Vaccine Information & Other Links
In addition, important vaccine information and links to schedule an appointment through a variety of other distribution sites are always available at: https://www.chatham.edu/covid-19/vaccine-info.html. There are plenty of appointments available around the region, so please schedule yours today! 

Thank you to everyone for all of your efforts this fall and spring to keep the Chatham community safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

The Office of Communications, Student Health Services, and the Office of Student Affairs

Dear Students, Staff & Faculty, 

Chatham’s COVID-19 Dashboard was updated today with the latest Weekly Trends and data covering 4.6 to 4.12. The data includes symptomatic, close-contact and group sample testing.

 From 4.6 to 4.12, Chatham conducted or received 263 tests and had 3 positive cases. In terms of weekly trends, our positivity rate remains relatively low for the week of 4.3 to 4.9 with 212 tests and 4 positive cases for a 1.89% positivity rate compared to 1.27% for the previous week. You can view these Weekly Trends and more on our COVID-19 Campus Dashboard every Tuesday.

Thank you to everyone for continuing to follow all health and safety protocols both on and off campus—you are making a difference. 

Speaking of making a difference, have you scheduled your vaccine now that Pennsylvania has expanded vaccine eligibility to all Pennsylvanians over the age of 16? The latest vaccine information and links to schedule an appointment are available at: https://www.chatham.edu/covid-19/vaccine-info.html.

There are plenty of appointments available around the region, so please schedule yours today!

Finally, while we have not received official notification yet, we are hearing from County and State officials that you may soon be able to get your second vaccine dose at a location different from where you received your first shot. This is great news for those students who live out-of-state or those in-state who will need a second dose after returning home.

Thank you again for all you have done this semester and, as always, please complete the Questions & Feedback Form if you have any questions or to provide any other feedback. 

Sincerely,

The Office of Communications, Student Health Services, and the Office of Student Affairs

Dear Chatham Students,
 
Any student taking in-person classes in the Summer 2021 term (both sessions) who has not been face-to-face for the Spring term will need to complete entry testing using a rapid antigen test or PCR test. 
 
Students meeting these criteria must submit a negative test within a seven-day period before starting classes. For example, your test must be conducted (and result must be available) April 19-25 if starting on April 26.
 
Students may be exempt from testing for the following reasons:
  • Fully vaccinated: A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final shot  
  • Tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days
  • Received a positive antibody test within the last 90 days
Students are permitted to test off campus and Student Health Services will offer free rapid antigen tests on a first come, first served basis the week of April 19th. Schedule your appointment using this online registration site.
 
Students who are exempt from testing and those who wish to test off campus should submit the Summer Entry Testing Form prior to starting classes.  
 
Chatham will continue to observe physical distancing, mask wearing, and encourage mitigation behaviors. We look forward to welcoming back more students in person and appreciate the continued effort to keep our community safe.
 
Sincerely, 
 
Student Health Services, the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Academic Affairs 

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff: 

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is inviting you to contribute to the growing science of COVID-19 by offering free antibody tests to members of the Chatham community. PADOH is undertaking this comprehensive research study to understand how much infection has occurred among Pennsylvania universities and in order to develop better ways to protect students and staff. 

This simple blood draw test will determine if your body has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, which would be the case if you have had the virus or if you received a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Participation is completely voluntary and involves registering, submitting a signed statement of informed consent, answering a short electronic questionnaire and allowing a phlebotomist to collect one tube of blood from you. The results of your test will be kept confidential and provided to you privately. Everyone is eligible including those who have tested positive for COVID, not tested positive for COVID and/or received one or two vaccine shots. 

Please note that this is not a test to see if you have COVID-19; it is only to see if your body has developed antibodies in response to it or to the vaccine for it. Here are the details for Chatham: 

When: Monday, April 19 | 9 am-4 pm
Where: Welker Room, Laughlin Music Hall
Register: Visit the PADOH COVID-19 Serology Study Participant Registration Form or see the attached for more information and links. 

Thank you for doing your part to help in COVID-19 research! 

Sincerely, 

Student Health Services, The Office of Student Affairs, and the Office of University Communications

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff, 

The past year on our campus, the region and around the world has been challenging to say the least. I mourn the loss of life, normalcy and togetherness that COVID-19 has caused everyone. 

Here at Chatham, our collective efforts and dedication to the Cougars Care Commitment have allowed us to stay healthy, safe and on campus throughout the year. I know it has not always been easy. Thank you once again for your commitment to Chatham and, most importantly, to each other this past year. 

As we look ahead, I am filled with hope that the normal rhythms of life are slowly beginning to return. A return that wouldn’t be possible without the incredible scientific breakthroughs that have produced multiple and highly effective vaccines, the tireless work of front-line healthcare workers, and the efforts of the more unsung essential workers that have kept our country, schools and universities, and the economy running in ways that we could have never dreamed of a year ago. 

In this hopeful moment, we continue the planning and preparation for the fall term. Our vaccine survey showed strong willingness among our community to get vaccinated. In addition, Pennsylvania expanded vaccine eligibility and registration, which means faculty and staff are now eligible to register for vaccine appointments through the County or a vaccine provider on April 5 and students on April 19. This accelerating rollout of the vaccines suggests we will have enough doses to vaccinate every adult in the country by the start of this summer—a truly remarkable accomplishment.

Based on these critical factors, I am pleased to announce it is our plan to return to an in-person, academic and residential campus experience this fall. We are anticipating an experience that will include on-campus classes, events, athletics, and increased capacity in our residence halls. In addition, we also plan to keep and enhance some of the changes and services we adopted due to the pandemic that increase convenience, efficiency and the overall experience for our students and employees. 

A number of campus working groups will work on the details for the fall, and we will share them through a series of campus and website updates in May, June and July. In addition, for those who are enrolled in or teach summer courses, we are currently working through the protocols and will provide details in the coming weeks. 

Our ability to achieve our return-to-campus goal hinges on high vaccine adoption by the community, local case and hospitalization trends, and, of course, the need to follow the guidance and requirements of government and health agencies. At the same time, we will also prudently prepare for various contingencies we may face this summer and next year. 

While we are excited to look ahead, it is vital that we continue to follow all current health and safety guidelines on and off campus. Our ability over the coming weeks to celebrate the end of the academic year and the accomplishments of our graduates, hinges on all of us maintaining these protocols, particularly as we know that the more infectious virus variants are now present in Pittsburgh. 

I encourage everyone to keep up the behaviors that have kept us safe and healthy this year and, as always, thank you for your commitment to Chatham. Best of luck on the end of term, and I look forward to celebrating with our graduates and many of you at the various in-person yet physically distanced events we have planned this month.   

Sincerely,

David Finegold

Dear Students, Staff & Faculty, 

Chatham’s COVID-19 Dashboard was updated yesterday with the latest Weekly Trends and data covering 3.16 to 3.22. The data includes symptomatic, close-contact and group sample testing. 

From 3.16 to 3.22, Chatham conducted or received 285 tests and had 8 positive cases. After weeks of very low positivity rates, we unfortunately saw an uptick in positive cases and associated close contacts presenting over the past week and weekend. In terms of weekly trends, our positivity rate jumped from a low .67% to 2.46% last week (3.13 to 3.19), which is a rate we last saw in early January. 

Contact tracing has shown that cases have been due in part to an increase in gatherings from weekend activities and the warmer weather. While we highly encourage everyone to take advantage of the spring weather to come together outside, please continue: to wear masks, stay six feet apart, avoid indoor gatherings, and limit your close contacts (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) at all times inside and outside. 

Our success with COVID so far this semester is because everyone has been really great about following the health and safety protocols. With about a month to go in the term, please keep it up to ensure that classes, events and activities (from Spring Carnival to the Graduate Toast to the Graduation Experience) can occur in April. 

We know everyone is tired and longs for more normalcy. We will get there if we can maintain our efforts for a while longer and allow time for the vaccine rollout to continue around the region. We thank you for your commitment to helping ensure these brighter days are just ahead. 

As always, please complete the Questions & Feedback form if you have any questions or to provide any other feedback.  

Sincerely, 

The Office of Communications, Student Health Services and the Office of Student Affairs 

Dear Students,  

The Commencement Committee has been working to finalize the plans for this year’s Commencement celebrations in response to COVID-19 case trends, the recent increase in event venue capacity restrictions from the Governor, and the results of a survey sent to graduating students.  

Based on these factors and current COVID cases remaining low on campus, Chatham is pleased to announce that we will hold a unique in-person Commencement Experience along with a virtual Commencement Ceremony option for all graduates (undergraduate and graduate).

The full details are still being finalized, but the current celebration plans are as follows:   

  • An outdoor graduation toast on Thursday, April 22, on the Old Quad from 4:00-5:00 pm or 5:30-6:30 pm.  
  • A physically distant Commencement “experience” in the Chapel on Friday, April 23 from 3:00-6:00 pm (with staggered start times). While not the full ceremony, this event provides graduates an opportunity to hear short remarks and walk across the stage in regalia to receive their diploma cover when announced. This experience is optional and will be live-streamed and recorded.
  • A virtual Commencement Ceremony available on Sunday, April 25 and viewable at any time that is convenient.  
  • A number of virtual or in-person graduation celebrations, including Multicultural Graduation, Lavender Graduation, and individual academic program celebrations.    

While the changes to event capacity restrictions allow us to provide an option for an in-person experience in the Chapel this year, unfortunately, we cannot accommodate spectators and guests due to capacity restrictions and the size of Chatham venues. For our planning purposes, we must assume current event restrictions will still be in place next month. Some individual celebrations may allow limited guests.  

In addition to above, it is still our plan and sincere hope that graduates from the Class of 2020 and those from the Class of 2021 who want a more traditional Commencement will join us at a future Commencement Ceremony (in 2021 or 2022) to be recognized and honored.  

Please visit www.chatham.edu/commencement for details and to sign-up for the in-person events and free graduation portraits (on 4.1 and 4.2), as well as, to find additional details on applying for degree conferral (deadline of 3.22) and ordering regalia.  

We appreciate your patience as the Commencement Committee works to adapt Chatham’s graduation ceremonies in light of COVID-19, and we look forward to celebrating with you next month.  

Sincerely,  

Dr. Jenna Templeton
Vice President of Academic Affairs 

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,  

After such a long and challenging year, it is heartening to see positive trends in lower numbers of COVID cases, hospitalizations and the low positivity rates we are seeing on campus so far this spring. At the same time, improvements in the supply and rollout of the vaccines—coupled with a newly approved vaccine and others in the pipeline—are building optimism that a return to a more normal sense of life over the coming months may be in reach. 

With this current environment in mind, we are undertaking the planning and preparation for how we can return to a more in-person, academic and residential campus experience this fall, even while operating under some continued health and safety protocols. However, our ability to achieve all or a portion of this goal is contingent upon vaccine availability and acceptance within our community, modified health guidance and restrictions from the government, and continued downward trends in COVID numbers. Due to this uncertainty, we are also working on contingency plans for a continuation of our current operating posture. 

While we are optimistic about the fall, we also fully recognize there could be many changes between now and the start of the Fall semester and will adapt any of our plans accordingly. 

To support our planning efforts and prepare for all contingencies, we are asking that all Chatham staff, faculty and students complete a quick and anonymous survey related to COVID-19 vaccines by Friday, March 26.

Click here to complete survey (closing 3.26.21)

To gather as much information and feedback as possible, we need all community members to complete this survey even if you are one of the number of employees or health science students and faculty that have already received or are scheduled to receive one (or both) vaccine shots as part of Phase 1a. 

As a reminder, Chatham is not currently requiring faculty, staff, or students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 vaccine. However, this policy may change for all (or some) community groups or we will require significant voluntary vaccination in order to have a successful return to campus this fall. Your input provided through this survey is critical to our understanding and planning around vaccines. Following the completion of the survey, we will share additional information and communications related to our fall planning efforts and decisions. 

Finally, thank you for your time and input on this survey, and most importantly, for your patience and perseverance as we’ve all navigated this difficult year. I look forward to brighter (and more together) days ahead. 

Sincerely,  

David Finegold
President 

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff,  

Chatham’s COVID-19 Dashboard was updated yesterday with data covering 2.23 to 3.1. The data includes symptomatic, close-contact and group sample testing. 

Dashboard Recap
From 2.23 to 3.1, Chatham conducted or received 327 tests with 1 positive case. In terms of Weekly Trends, Chatham continues to see low positivity rates week over week and throughout the month of February. 

  • 2.20 to 2.26     347 tests         4 cases                        1.15% positivity rate
  • 2.13 to 2.19     281 tests         0 cases                        0% positivity rate
  • 2.6 to 2.12       263 tests         6 cases                        2.28% positivity rate
  • 1.30 to 2.5       286 tests         3 cases                        1.05% positivity rate

Thank you to everyone for following campus health & safety protocols. Your efforts are making a huge difference and protecting the health of the community.

State Travel Restrictions Lifted
Earlier this week, Governor Tom Wolf lifted COVID-related travel restrictions that required quarantine or a negative COVID test for visitors from out-of-state or residents who traveled to another state. With the lifting of this order, Chatham visitors from out-of-state and employees or students who return to Pennsylvania after visiting another state, no longer have to quarantine or receive a negative COVID test. 

Upcoming Updates
With declining case counts and rollout of vaccines picking up steam, planning is underway for what this means for the fall term at Chatham. An update and survey on vaccinations will be sent this week as part of these planning efforts. Please complete this survey. In addition, information on the current plans and options for Commencement will be shared next week. 

As always, please complete the Questions & Feedback form if you have any questions or to provide any other feedback. 

Sincerely,

The Office of Communications, Student Health Services and the Office of Student Affairs

Dear Chatham students,    

To help alleviate financial burdens caused by COVID-19 disruptions, Chatham students can now receive assistance in the form of cash grants from the federal government’s pandemic relief legislation, known as HEERF II.    

Here’s what you need to know:  

Both undergraduates and graduate students are eligible for HEERF II funding. 

Pell-eligible students will receive $1,000 (full-time); $500 (part-time) automatically. Funds can be used toward cost of attendance and costs of living. Students will receive information on the distribution of their funds from the Office of Financial Aid.   

Students without a Pell Grant can apply to receive HEERF II funds for covered expenses. The following is a list of expenses that can be considered for this grant assistance: 

  • tuition 
  • food
  • housing
  • course materials
  • technology
  • healthcare
  • childcare   

To apply for these funds, visit the HEERF II Student Funding Page on our COVID-19 Information Site and submit the 2021 HEERF Student Funding ApplicationStudents must have a FAFSA on file with Chatham, and the application will remain open until all funds have been awarded. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, or non-matriculated students.   

In addition to HEERF II, Chatham is providing information on additional relief funding that can help students obtain food, healthcare (including mental health), childcare, and other necessities through Chatham’s Student Emergency Fund and Pennsylvania’s SNAP program.   

Visit the HEERF II Student Funding webpage to learn more about the financial assistance options available to Chatham students due to COVID-19.    

Sincerely,  

Office of Financial Aid 

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff, 

Chatham has completed all Spring Entry Testing, and the COVID-19 Dashboard was updated yesterday with data through Monday, 1.25. The data includes on-campus and off-campus entry tests, symptomatic testing and group sample testing (e.g., for athletic teams). 

From 1.21 to 1.25, Chatham conducted or received 195 tests with 2 positive cases. Throughout last week (1.16 to 1.22), Chatham conducted or received 580 tests with 8 positive cases for a positivity rate of 1.38%. This continues the low positivity rate trends experienced during Entry Testing and is the lowest positivity rate since September. With the completion of Entry Testing, the Dashboard will be updated on Tuesday or Wednesday of each week (the day will depend on PCR test result turnaround times) or on an as-needed basis. 

Thank you to everyone for your commitment to entry testing, sheltering-in-place and following all health and safety protocols to ensure a safe return to campus. It is important that we maintain our commitment to the health and safety of each other throughout the semester by: 

  • Continuing to wear masks at all times
  • Maintaining physical distance
  • Participating in community sample testing
  • Staying home if sick (no matter how mild the symptoms)
  • Reaching out to Student Health Services to discuss any symptoms and testing options  

As always, please contact Student Health Services at studenthealth@chatham.edu or 412-365-1714 or fill out the Questions & Feedback form if you have any questions or need additional information.  

Sincerely,

The Office of Communications, Student Health Services and the Office of Student Affairs

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff, 

We are writing today to provide an update on Spring Entry Testing and the results from the latest update to the Campus Dashboard. We will provide another dashboard update on Friday of this week, and then Campus Dashboard updates will return to a more regular update cycle next week with the completion of Entry Testing. 

COVID Dashboard Update 
Chatham’s COVID-19 Dashboard was updated today with Entry Testing data through Friday, 1.15.  Data is comprised of on-campus and off-campus entry tests being submitted as part of our Entry Testing protocol. It also includes any symptomatic testing being done on-campus or self-reported from off-campus. 

The last on-campus Entry Testing appointment is scheduled for tomorrow (1.20), and community sample testing (students, staff and faculty) will begin next week and run through the rest of the term. 

From 1.1 to 1.8, Chatham conducted or received 452 tests with 18 positive cases for a positivity rate of 3.98%. Last week from 1.9 to 1.15, Chatham conducted or received 372 tests with 9 positive cases for a positivity rate of 2.42%. So far, we are pleased with the low positivity rates we are seeing in the Entry Testing. 

Entry Testing Insights
With the positive cases we have seen during Entry Testing, the individuals reported they were experiencing very mild symptoms such as runny nose, headache, etc. Once again, this reinforces that the most important things we must all do this semester are: 

  • Continue to wear masks at all times
  • Maintain physical distance
  • Stay home if sick (no matter how mild the symptoms)
  • Reach out to Student Health Services to discuss your symptoms and testing options 

As always, please reach out to Student Health Services at studenthealth@chatham.edu or 412-365-1714 or fill out the Questions & Feedback form if you have any questions or need additional information. 

We wish everyone a healthy and good spring semester. 

Sincerely,

The Office of Communications, Student Health Services and The Office of Student Affairs

Dear Faculty & Staff, 

Chatham’s 2021 Testing Plan includes Entry Testing for all students, along with testing options for employees who would like to participate in entry testing. 

Following the entry testing period, we are expanding our sample testing protocol from the fall to include faculty and staff (along with students) who have in person activities throughout the Spring 2021 term.  

Spring Entry Testing – Last chance to sign-up
The final opportunity for faculty and staff to receive an entry test is on Wednesday, January 20th.  Any faculty or staff member who will be in person this term is encouraged to sign up through the Curative portal. This testing is not mandatory and is being provided as an option for those who wish to take advantage of this service as part of Chatham’s commitment to supporting a healthy living and work environment for all.  

Sample Testing – Sign-up by January 21st
Chatham will begin our Spring 2021 Sample Testing protocol the week of January 25th and it will run weekly to the final week of the term. During this time, 5-10% of in-person students, faculty, and staff will be randomly selected each week to be tested.  Testing will be free and done on campus. 

We are asking all faculty and staff who will regularly be on campus in-person throughout the Spring 2021 term to fill out this form no later than January 21st to be included in the pool for sample testing. 

Each Monday beginning January 25th, Student Health Services will send out an email to those students, faculty, and staff who have been selected for sample testing, and it will be your responsibility to sign up for testing once notified. Instructions on how to sign up for sample testing will be included in the email notifying you that you have been selected for testing. 

Sample and entry testing is the only form of testing available to faculty and staff through Student Health Services. If you become symptomatic, you should work with your Primary Care Physician and county resources for testing. Student Health Services will continue to test symptomatic and close-contact students. 

We appreciate your participation in this effort to keep Chatham’s campus community safe.

Thank you, 

Frank Greco
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources

Ron Giles
Director of Student Health Services

Dear Students, 

This email is a reminder that on-campus COVID-19 entry testing is available for commuter (off-campus) students next Wednesday, January 20th. Testing is mandatory for any student taking in-person classes (staring January 25) or participating in any campus activity in January. Please register as soon as possible to secure your space as testing spots are limited. You can register on the Curative website.   

If you have received a PCR test off-campus or had a positive COVID test in the last 90 days, please remember to submit your test results using the Spring 2021 Entry PCR Test form. 

In addition to Entry Testing, Chatham is asking all students (including those living off campus) to shelter in place by limiting all non-essential activities prior to and upon arrival at Chatham.  

Thank you for your attention and commitment to this testing requirement. If you have any questions, please contact Student Health Services at StudentHealth@chatham.edu or 412-365-1714. 

Sincerely,
 

The Office of Communications, Student Health Services and The Office of Student Affairs

Dear Faculty & Staff,  

As part of Chatham’s Spring Entry Testing plan, the University conducted entry testing for public safety officers and front-line housekeeping, facilities and student life employees who have direct student interaction starting this first week of January.  

We have some opportunities for additional entry testing for faculty and staff with direct, in-person student interaction in the month of January through a class or activity. This testing is not mandatory and is being provided as an option for those who wish to take advantage of this service as part of Chatham’s commitment to supporting a healthy living and work environment for all.  

Regardless of testing participation, we continue to request that all employees to shelter-in-place by limiting their non-essential activity and interactions prior to returning to work on-campus, and to follow all health protocols with regard to masks, physical distance, washing hands and staying home when sick.   

If you meet the testing criteria above (direct, in-person student interaction in the month of January) and would like to receive testing, there will be a limited number of spots available on January 11 and January 20 through the Curative Mobile Testing Van.  

The link to register for testing on the 11th is here: https://curative.com/sites/22621?date=2021-01-11. Spots are limited so we encourage you to register early. The link to register for testing on the 20th will be sent closer to the testing day.  

Thank you again for all that you do every day to help keep our community together and safe. 

Sincerely,


Frank M. Greco
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources

Dear Campus Community,

Happy new year! We hope you all have had a restorative, restful and happy holiday break. This email is a reminder of some of the COVID-related changes you can expect this week and next.

MITIGATION ORDER LIFTED
Effective at 8 a.m. this morning, Governor Wolf lifted the restrictions that were put in place on December 12, closing gyms and indoor dining among other things. Employees and departments should work with their supervisors concerning the status and continuation of any work-from-home arrangements that were in place.

ENTRY TESTING REMINDERS
Entry testing is mandatory for students who live on campus or participate in on-campus activities, including classes. The on-campus testing details and schedule (by student groups/designation) is available at https://www.chatham.edu/covid-19/testing-contact-tracing/spring-entry-testing.html.

Please note that entry testing on January 4, 5, and 6 will take place in the Welker Room, not Student Health Services. Entry testing on January 11 and 20 will take place in a mobile testing van located near the Chapel. 

You must register for entry testing, and you can do so here on the Curative portal registration site.   

SYMPTOMATIC & CLOSE CONTACT TESTING
If any students need symptomatic or close contact testing, please call Student Health Services to schedule testing, which will take place at Student Health Services from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily. 

SHELTER-IN-PLACE REMINDERS
In addition to the Entry Testing requirements outlined above, Chatham is asking all students (including those living off campus) to shelter-in-place by limiting all non-essential activities for 7-10 days prior to and upon arrival at Chatham.  

Students will only be permitted to attend in-person classes once they have received and submitted a negative COVID-19 test and their shelter-in-place period of 7-10 days is complete.  

We also encourage employees to shelter-in-place by limiting all non-essential activities prior to their arrival on campus.

DAILY HEALTH SCREENINGS
Daily Health Screenings are still required for all students and employees when on-campus (and required for access to dining facilities, the AFC and JKM Library). Utilize the ChathamU app for a quick and convenient phone-based health screening or visit the AFC for an on-campus screening. More information is available at: https://www.chatham.edu/covid-19/health-safety-protocols/daily-health-screenings.html.

ACADEMIC SCHEDULE REMINDERS
The following dates pertain to the start of the Spring term:*  

  • Wednesday, 1/ 6 – Friday, 1/8: Introductory virtual class period begins. Students should check courses on Brightspace and communicate with faculty as necessary.
  • Monday, 1/11: All classes begin virtually.
  • Monday, 1/25: In-person classes and labs begin. 

*Some graduate programs have alternate plans and students have been notified by their departments regarding program-specific expectations.

OPERATIONAL UPDATES
Athletic Fitness Center
The AFC will open beginning Wednesday, 1/6, with limited hours through Saturday, closed Sunday, and then fully open next week. View this week’s schedule.

JKM Library
The library is scheduled to reopen on Monday, January 18. Throughout the month, JKM librarians will be offering full virtual services and staffing the Virtual Chat Service on a schedule viewable here. The 24-hour computer lab is available with card access. 

Dining
Now through January 25, Parkhurst is offering exclusively to-go options at Anderson, Eastside, and Eden Hall Campus. In addition, hours of operation have been adjusted—you can view them on myChatham. Information on mobile and grocery ordering is available on my.chatham under Dining Services. 

Post Office & Copy Center
The Copy Center is open until 4 p.m. each weekday (through January 25) and work can also be scheduled by appointment. The Post Office is open normal business hours and delivering mail to departments by appointment or as needed.   

LOOKING AHEAD  
Weekly COVID-19 update emails will restart beginning this Friday, January 8, and we encourage everyone to keep visiting the site at www.chatham.edu/covid-19 for the latest information and to submit any questions or feedback. 

We wish you all the best for a successful term as Spring 2021 kicks off.

Sincerely, 

The Office of Communications

Dear Students,

This is a reminder that the following students must submit a negative PCR test within the
5-day period prior to the start of being on-campus in January:

  • Students living in any on-campus housing (including apartments)
  • Students living off-campus who are attending an in-person class or participating in oncampus activities

Based on our discussions and planning with the Allegheny County Health Department,
Chatham is offering two options for Spring Entry Testing:

  • On-campus testing in the month of January
  • Off-campus test with results submitted to Chatham

ON-CAMPUS TESTING
We understand it may be challenging to secure off-campus testing, and Student Health
Services will offer on-campus testing to any student who needs it. It is mandatory to
register (by January 3) prior to your test appointment to accommodate the number of
students that will need to be tested.

Please register directly on the Curative website and choose the appropriate date based on the table below. Testing is free, but it will request your insurance information. Your insurance will only be charged if testing is covered under your policy.  

All students who require on-campus testing must register for an appointment by
January 3, 2021. Please register as soon as possible to secure your space as testing spots
are limited (testing is also being offered for Chatham employees).

The testing dates by student categories are as follows:

Student Population

Testing Dates

RAs, GRDs, and approved winter residents and early arrivals

January 4 & 5 in Health Services

Health science commuter students returning to class January 11

January 5 & 6 in Health Services

All residents and health science commuter students returning to class January 15

January 11 in the mobile testing van 

All Eden Hall residents

January 13 at Eden Hall Campus 

All commuter students returning to class January 25

January 20 in the mobile testing van

OFF-CAMPUS TESTING (OR POSITIVE TEST IN LAST 90 DAYS)
Students are encouraged to receive a test off-campus to ensure you can quarantine in the
comfort of your own home if necessary. Students who receive a test off-campus or have had a positive COVID test in the last 90 days before before the start of in-person classes on January 25th should submit their results here at the Spring 2021 Entry PCR Test form.

QUESTIONS & MORE INFORMATION
As always, please visit the COVID-19 Informational Website for more information or to submit any questions. You may also contact the Office of Residence Life at ResLife@chatham.edu or Student Health Services at studenthealth@chatham.edu or 412-365-1714. Responses may be delayed during the holiday closure of 12.24 through 1.3.

Have a safe, happy (and healthy) New Year.

Sincerely,

Student Health Services, The Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Communications

Dear Students,

As communicated to you earlier this month, Chatham is requiring Spring Term Entry Testing for the following student categories: 

  • Students living in any on-campus housing (including apartments)
  • Students living off-campus who are attending an in-person class or participating in on-campus activities 

This testing is being implemented based on the guidance from the PA Department of Health and Education and will help identify asymptomatic individuals to limit the spread of COVID-19. All students meeting the criteria above must submit a negative PCR test within the 5-day period prior to the start of being on-campus.

There are two options for Spring Entry Testing: 

  • Receive an off-campus test and submit the results to Chatham
  • Sign-up for on-campus testing on specific dates in January 

Further details on each of these options are below. 

Off-Campus Testing
Students are encouraged to receive a test off-campus to ensure you can quarantine in the comfort of your own home if necessary. Students who receive a test off-campus or have had a positive COVID test in the last 90 days before the start of in-person classes on January 25th should submit their results here at the Spring 2021 Entry PCR Test form. 

On-Campus Testing
We understand it may be challenging to secure off-campus testing within this time period. Student Health Services will offer on-campus testing to any student who needs it, but it will be important to plan accordingly. The testing dates by student categories are as follows: 

Student Population

Testing Dates

RAs, GRDs, and approved winter residents and early arrivals

January 4 & 5 in Health Services

Health science commuter students returning to class January 11

January 5 & 6 in Health Services

All residents and health science commuter students returning to class January 15

January 11 in the mobile testing van 

All Eden Hall residents

January 13 at Eden Hall Campus 

All commuter students returning to class January 25

January 20 in the mobile testing van

It is mandatory to register prior to your test appointment to accommodate the number of students that will need to be tested. Please register directly here on the Curative website and choose the appropriate date based on the table above. Testing is free, but it will request your insurance information. Your insurance will only be charged if testing is covered under your policy.

All students who require on-campus testing must register for an appointment by January 3, 2021. Please register as soon as possible to secure your space as testing spots are limited (testing is also being offered for Chatham employees). 

As always, please visit the COVID-19 Informational Website for more information or to submit any questions. You may also contact Student Health Services at studenthealth@chatham.edu or 412-365-1714. Please note: Student Health Services will be closed from December 24-January 3. 

We wish you all a happy and healthy holiday break. 

Sincerely, 

Student Health Services, The Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Communications 

Dear Chatham Students,

This message is a reminder that Spring 2021 classes being on January 6, 2021.

Students should be checking their courses on Brightspace regularly between Wednesday, January 6 and Friday, January 8. Virtual classes will not be meeting during this period; however, students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with each of their classes during this time. Faculty will be available to answer questions during this introductory period.

All students are expected to begin attending classes virtually starting on Monday, January 11.

In-person classroom or lab components can resume on Monday, January 25. Please pay close attention to your course syllabus for class-specific schedules for in-person instruction.

Students will only be permitted to attend in-person classes once they have received and submitted a negative COVID-19 test and their shelter-in-place period of 7-10 days is complete.

Some graduate programs have alternate plans and students have been notified by their departments regarding program-specific expectations.

We wish you a restful break and a happy new year,


Academic Affairs

Dear Staff, Faculty & Students, 

This note is to inform the campus community of changes in University operations and services effective Friday, December 11 through Sunday, January 3 across all of Chatham’s locations. 

These changes are being implemented in response to the end of the Fall Academic Term, the upcoming University Holiday Closure and the Governor’s new Limited-Time Mitigation Order announced on Thursday, 12.10.  

Campus Building Access
The following buildings will be closed beginning Tuesday, 12.15: 

  • Chatham Eastside
  • The Art and Design Center
  • Eddy Theater
  • Lindsey House
  • Buhl Hall
  • Laughlin Hall
  • Campbell Chapel 

Due to the Governor’s Limited-Time Mitigation Order, the JKM Library (except 24-hour computer lab with card access) will be closed starting today and the Athletic & Fitness Center will be closed starting Saturday, 12.12. 

The doors to all closed buildings will be locked, the temperature turned down, and housekeeping limited. For building or office access, please contact Public Safety at 412-365-1230. 

On Shadyside Campus, the following buildings will remain open and fully heated each day: Mellon, Berry, Beatty, Woodland, Braun/Falk/Coolidge, and the Carriage House.  

On Eden Hall Campus, with the exception of the EBC during to-go dining hours, campus buildings will be closed except by card access. The temperature in campus buildings will be reduced and housekeeping will be limited. 

Dining Services & Locations
Per the Governor’s Limited-Time Mitigation order, Parkhurst will provide to-go food service only from 11 am to 1 pm at Anderson and the EBC at Eden Hall beginning Friday, 12.11. 

Anderson and the EBC dining locations will be closed on 12.24, 12.25 and 1.1. Eastside Café and Café Rachel are closed now until 1.4. 

Athletic and Fitness Center (AFC)
Per the Governor’s Limited-Time Mitigation order, all gyms must be closed. In compliance with this order, the AFC will be closed beginning Saturday, 12.12 with a tentative reopening set for the Week of January 4th pending the release of the Governor’s order. 

JKM Library
Per the Governor’s Limited-Time Mitigation Order, all libraries must be closed. In compliance with this order, the JKM Library will be closed beginning Friday, 12.11, with a tentative reopening set for the Week of January 4th pending the release of the Governor’s order.

The 24-hour computer lab will remain open with ID-card access and full virtual services are available from library staff.

Book Store 
The Chatham Book Store will be closed from Friday, 12.11 until January 4. Online orders are available, and the bookstore manager is available to handle any emergency special requests on an exception basis via e-mail or phone.

Post Office
Starting Friday, 12.11, mail will only be available for pickup in the post office (no delivery across campus).  The Post Office will be closed beginning Thursday, 12.24 and will reopen on Monday, 1.4.21.  Special arrangements can be made with the Post Office for an emergency/urgent need.

Copy Center 
The Copy Center will be closed beginning Tuesday, 12.15 through January 4 except for special requests which can be arranged directly with the Copy Center staff.

Virtual Campus Services & Hours
Most campus offices and services are operating remotely and providing virtual services from now till the University’s Holiday closure beginning 12.24. Visit our Campus Services & Hours page on the COVID-19 Information site for contact info and details. 

Holiday Closure
As a reminder, the University will be closed beginning Thursday, December 24 and reopening on Monday, January 4. During this closure period, contact Public Safety at 412-365-1230 for any emergencies or campus access questions. Residents living in campus housing over break can also contact on-call Residence Life staff.

Staying Safe & Healthy
During the coming weeks and as COVID cases are rising, please to do your part to slow the spread every day by: wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance, washing hands, limiting close contacts, avoiding crowds, and staying home/apart from others if feeling sick.

We wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season.

Sincerely,


The Office of Communications 

Dear Chatham Students,  

In preparation for the Spring 2021 term, please carefully read this important communication concerning academic calendar adjustments and COVID-19 Spring Entry Testing protocols, including what you need to do prior to arriving on campus and can expect when on campus.  

New Entry Testing Requirement 
As was done in the fall, Chatham will continue to offer symptomatic, close contact, athletic team, and sample group COVID-19 testing for students through Student Health Services.  In addition to this existing testing protocol, Chatham will also require Entry Testing before the start of the term for the following student categories: 

  1. Students living in any on-campus housing (including apartments)
  2. Students living off-campus who are attending an in-person class or participating in on- campus activities 

The addition of Entry Testing to our testing protocol is being implemented based on the latest guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and is one more addition to our daily health and safety protocols that help us monitor and mitigate COVID-19 on campus. 

Changes to the Academic Calendar 
Based on the new Entry Testing protocols and the need to accommodate the testing schedule outlined below, the new start date for the majority of in-person classes is January 25 (virtual classes will begin as previously scheduled on January 11). 

Some graduate Health Sciences program and Pathways-to-Nursing in-person classes will start earlier (January 6 and 11), and students will be notified by their respective programs. 

An updated Academic Calendar is posted on our COVID-19 Informational Website under Spring 2021 Plans, and additional communications on spring academics will be sent via Chatham email. 

Entry Testing Details
Students who meet the categories above must receive a negative COVID test within five days prior to arrival to on-campus housing or before their first in-person class or activity. For those unable to receive a test while off campus or at home, Student Health Services will also provide on-campus testing (available by online appointment and by student group). 

We are encouraging all students to secure their tests while at home before coming to campus. If you are required to quarantine from a positive test taken at home, you will be able to complete your quarantine at home and not have to move to campus quarantine housing. 

Anyone who receives an off-campus test will submit their test results (positive or negative) via an Entry Testing Reporting Form. Instructions and a link to this form will be sent later this month via email and posted on the website. 

For those students who cannot receive a test while off campus or at home, Student Health Services will provide on-campus entry testing for students in January. All appointments must be reserved online and in advance. Instructions on how to sign-up will be sent later this month via email and posted on the website. 

The on-campus testing schedule is tentatively set as follows: 

  • January 4 
    • Graduate Resident Directors, Resident Assistants, and Early Move-in Students 
  • January 6-8 
    • Commuter and Off-Campus Students (returning to in-person classes January 11)
  • January 11-15
    • On-Campus Residential Students (living in residence halls or campus apartments)
  • January 19-22 
    • Commuter and Off-Campus Students (returning to in-person classes January 25) 

Please visit our Spring 2021 Entry Testing web page for more detailed instructions and example testing scenarios (including timing of when to receive the test) for both off-campus and on-campus testing. 

Shelter-in-Place
In addition to the Entry Testing requirements outlined above, Chatham is asking all students (including those living off campus) to shelter-in-place by limiting all non-essential activities prior to and upon arrival at Chatham. 

Students will only be permitted to attend in-person classes once they have received and submitted a negative COVID-19 test and their shelter-in-place period of 7-10 days is complete. 

Spring 2021 Information Session 
As we found in the fall, it will take a comprehensive and community commitment to ensure a safe return to campus this spring. 

We will continue to provide updates and reminders on these new testing protocols and requirements (and other community efforts) via email and the COVID-19 Informational Website over the coming days and weeks. Please remember to check your Chatham email regularly as plans may shift based on county, state, and CDC recommendations. 

In addition, Chatham will offer a Spring 2021 Information Session for Students and Families on Wednesday, December 16 at Noon where campus departments will share more information on testing, housing, campus life, academics and what to expect this spring.  Please visit our Informational Webinars web page to register.  

We hope you have a good end of term and restful holiday break.  

Sincerely,  

The Office of Student Affairs, The Office of Academic Affairs, and Student Health Services  

Dear Students, Staff & Faculty,  

We hope everyone had a nice holiday break and a good start to the virtual term period today. We will continue to provide ongoing updates for the community each week, including today’s important updates below:   

COVID Dashboard Update 
As of yesterday, Chatham’s COVID-19 Dashboard reported 8 new cases against 35 tests from 11.24 to 11.30. In addition, the Weekly Trends report was updated and shows 3 cases against 48 tests from 11.21 to 11.27, for a 6.25% positivity rate (down from the previous week’s 11.49% rate). 
 

Self-Reporting Reminder 
We are asking all students to self-report any COVID tests and positive or negative diagnoses they receive even while off-campus by using this self-reporting form. Faculty and staff should continue to self-report their tests and results as well. 

Student Testing in December 
Student Health Services is open and offering testing services for any local Chatham students who need a COVID test for symptomatic or close-contact testing between 12.1 and 12.23. Contact Student Health Services at 412-365-1714 to discuss your situation and next steps. 

Campus Visits Suspended 
Individual campus admission visits are currently suspended until January 2021. Virtual visits, information sessions and other virtual events are still available. 

Access to Campus Buildings
Campus buildings and offices are still accessible to employees and students at this time along with a variety of virtual services. We encourage students to check with individual departments for any modifications to on-campus hours or services between now and December 23.  

Helpful links to the latest hours, details and contact info for some key campus services and locations can be found here: 

Dining Services
The Athletic & Fitness Center
The JKM Library
Information Technology & Helpdesk
Campus Services & Hours Listing (COVID-19 Info Site)

Spring Return-to-Campus Testing 
This spring, Chatham will continue to offer symptomatic, close contact and sample COVID testing services. In addition, we will utilize Entry Testing for all returning students living on campus or those living off-campus and attending in-person classes (or participating in a campus activity). More information on this new protocol will be sent to all students this month via the website, email and US mail. 

Staying Safe Here and At Home
During the coming days and weeks, please continue your Cougars Care Commitment to: mask up, maintain physical distance, wash hands, limit close contacts, avoid crowds, and most importantly, stay home/apart from others if feeling sick. 

Please stay safe, healthy and best of luck on the rest of term. 

Sincerely, 

The Office of Communications, Student Health Services and the Office of Student Affairs 

Dear Students, Staff & Faculty,

As of yesterday, Chatham’s COVID-19 Dashboard reported 2 new cases against 36 tests from the dates of 11.19 to 11.23. In addition, the Weekly Trends report was updated and shows 6 cases against 60 tests from 11.14 to 11.20 for a 11.49% positivity rate (same rate as the week before).


Below are some additional important updates for the community before the holiday break:


Self-Reporting Reminder
As we head into the Thanksgiving break and the remaining weeks of virtual classes and exams (November 30 through December 11), we are asking all students, staff and faculty to self-report any COVID tests and positive or negative diagnoses they receive off-campus by using this self-reporting form.

We will continue to track all tests and cases with data from this form (and any on-campus tests from Student Health Services) and update the COVID Dashboard with this information each week.

Student Health Services Testing
Student Health Services is open and offering testing services for any local Chatham students who need a COVID test for symptomatic or close-contact testing between 11.30 and 12.23. Contact Student Health Services at 412-365-1714 to discuss your situation and next steps.

Campus Operations and State Mitigation Orders
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania issued new COVID mitigation orders this week concerning remote business operations and other measures. These orders do not alter on-campus operations significantly at this time due to Chatham’s shift to virtual learning beginning the 30th and operating conditions under the current RAISED Campus Alert Level.

Additional details on any changes to on-campus operating hours, services and building access will be issued the week of November 30th.

Spring On-Campus Testing
This spring, Chatham will continue to offer symptomatic, close contact and group sample COVID-19 testing services. In addition, we will utilize Entry Testing for all returning students living on-campus or attending in-person classes. More information on this new protocol will be sent to all students in early December via the this website, email and US mail.

Staying Safe Over the Coming Weeks
While we are no longer all together on-campus, please continue your Cougars Care Commitment every day to: mask up, maintain physical distance, wash hands, limit close contacts, avoid crowds, and most importantly, stay home/apart from others if feeling sick.

Stay safe, healthy and enjoy the holiday break.

Sincerely,

The Office of Communications, Student Health Services and the Office of Student Affairs

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,  

As of yesterday, Chatham’s COVID-19 Dashboard reported two new cases against 30 tests from the dates of 11.17 to 11.18. On Tuesday’s update, the Dashboard reported 10 cases against 45 tests from 11.12 to 11.16, for a total of 12 cases so far this week.  

This week’s case counts are a slight increase over last week, consist of more commuter students and employee cases than residential students, and are reflective of the increasing case trends occurring throughout Allegheny County.  

In light of these trends and as we prepare to break for Thanksgiving, please continue to follow all Health and Safety protocols at all times, especially our Departing Campus Protocols for those leaving the residence halls. In addition, there are a number of new state and county health orders and advisories being issued so please do your best to stay aware of these as they are changing quickly.  

State and County Orders 
We have been working our way through these latest health orders from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Allegheny County this week and have updated our website with relevant information (and will continue to do so over the coming days and weeks). You can visit www.chatham.edu/fall2020 for a recap of the updates each week and links to more information. 
 

We have recapped in this email the most relevant updates to the campus community from the recent state and county orders. Please read the important updates below. 

Allegheny County Health Advisory 
Yesterday, Allegheny County issued a “stay-at-home” advisory which is focused on everyone limiting their movements to essential activities (work, school, food, medical and mental health/exercise). The County continues to see spread occurring from small social gatherings and the dropping off of important health and safety protocols, such as mask-wearing and physical distancing. 
 

This is an advisory, and not an enforceable order closing anything down at this time. In discussions with the local University Presidents this morning, the County Health Director is hopeful that people will modify their behavior now (and over the holiday) to limit social gatherings and interactions so they will not have to issue further orders, but that is unknown.  

As Chatham is already operating and running protocols very close to the recommendations of this advisory, there are no major changes to anything at this time at Chatham from this order.  

Pennsylvania Mask Requirements 
The Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an order concerning mask-wearing requirements in Pennsylvania. The details of this order are already incorporated in Chatham's masking protocol so there are no changes to our requirements. 
 

Pennsylvania Out-of-State Visitor Test Requirements
The Pennsylvania Department of Health mandated that anyone who visits Pennsylvania from another state must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth. We have updated our Visiting Campus procedures and protocols to reflect this new requirement. 

Details for Out-of-State Families Picking Up Residents 
For those families from outside of Pennsylvania picking up students over the coming days, as long as they stay in and near their car, they are not required to have a negative COVID test as it meets the “traveling through the state” exemption in the state order. 

Information on pick-up procedures (for both in and out-of-state families) has been added to our Departing Campus Protocol page and emailed to all residential students.  

COVID Testing for Out-of-State Residents Leaving Campus
As other states are quickly issuing similar out-of-state visitor (or residents returning from out-of-state travel) testing requirements, please contact Student Health Services at 412-365-1714 to discuss your testing options to meet any of these new requirements.

Requirements for Pennsylvania Residents Traveling Out-of-State 
The Pennsylvania Department of Health also issued travel restrictions as a result of which all Chatham students and employees returning from any state must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their return to Pennsylvania or quarantine for 14 days upon return. This replaces the previous “hot spot” list of states that Pennsylvania required a 14-day quarantine period when returning to Pennsylvania. 
 

Additional information on this has been added to our Travel Restrictions page, and we will continue to work through the particulars of this order and its impact in December and January if the order is still in place.  

Pennsylvania Testing Requirements for Colleges and Universities
The Pennsylvania Department of Health issued testing guidance to Colleges and Universities for returning to campus after the holidays or in the spring term. This included testing for before returning to campus, sample testing and ongoing symptomatic testing.  

Chatham will be sending details over the coming weeks on Entry Testing and on-campus residential student testing that we will conduct when we return to campus in January.  

Questions and Feedback 
We understand this is a lot of information to process, and that these orders can create confusion. Whenever they are issued, we work with our county and state health contacts to understand the order’s impact on our community and address items as quickly as possible. 

We thank you for your patience, understanding and attention to these updates. If you have any questions now or over the coming weeks, please be sure to submit your question on our Question & Feedback form, and we will do our best to address them. 

Please continue to stay safe, healthy and enjoy the holiday break.  

Sincerely, 

 

The Office of Communications, The Office of Student Affairs and Student Health Services 

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff,  

As of yesterday, Chatham’s COVID-19 Dashboard reported 1 new case against 56 on-campus or self-reported tests from the dates of 11.5 to 11.9. This is down from last week’s case count of 5 and is a testament to the commitment of each and every one of you to the campus health & safety protocols over Halloween and through Election Day. Thank you!  

Rising Cases in Allegheny County 
While our case numbers are low so far this week, that is unfortunately not the trend within Allegheny County and across Pennsylvania, where some of the highest numbers of cases ever (and increasing hospitalizations) are being recorded. 

County officials share that family and friend gatherings and fatigue with maintaining masks and physical distancing seem to be leading drivers of cases. These rising case counts and contact tracing trends in the County are a reminder of how important it is to not just follow our protocols when on campus, but to be sure to maintain them when everyone is off campus as well

Please stay safe and vigilant. 

Returning Home & Thanksgiving 
With this in mind, we want to remind students about the Departing Campus Protocol issued last week with guidance and recommendations for how best to prepare to depart campus the weekend of the 21st and for when you return home. 
 

The best way to protect your health and the health of your family and friends when you leave campus is to follow the guidance in this protocol. Highlights include:  

  • Limiting your close contacts, social circle and non-essential activities this week and next
  • Avoid parties and gatherings and maintain physical distancing 
  • Wear your mask, wash your hands, stay home if not feeling well (and contact Student Health Services to arrange testing if displaying any symptoms) 
  • Develop a health plan with your family and friends for the days when you return home 

While this protocol is directed to students, the tips and recommendations here are also applicable to staff and faculty in preparing for the holiday season with family and friends while cases are rising in the County.  

Cougars Care 
When we started this term, The Cougars Care Commitment was built on the idea that your health—and the health of others—depended on all of us caring enough to work together to mitigate COVID-19. As we near the last weeks of the in-person portion of our term, we believe this community has risen to this challenge, and through the ups and the downs, has made our ability to be together for this long possible. 
 

Please continue this commitment to each other (and to your friends and family at home) over the coming days and weeks when on campus and off.  

Sincerely,  

The Office of Communications, Student Health Services and The Office of Student Affairs 

Dear Chatham Community, 
 
As of Tuesday, November 3, Chatham’s COVID-19 Dashboard reported 5 new cases (4 commuter; 1 residential; 0 employees) against 66 on-campus or self-reported tests from the dates of 10.29 to 11.2. This is up slightly from the previous week’s trend, but still reflective of lower case counts from our highs last month. 
 
Staying Committed 
It is possible that we may see an increase over the coming days following the Halloween weekend, election day gatherings and from the general fatigue we all can feel in maintaining COVID protection efforts. While we understand how difficult and tiring this can be for everyone, we must remain committed over the coming weeks to helping keep the spread of COVID-19 under control through our ongoing individual and collective efforts. 
 
Remember: mask up, maintain physical distance, wash hands, limit close contacts, avoid crowds, and most importantly, stay home if feeling sick. 
 
Daily Health Screening 
To the protocol on monitoring symptoms, the new ChathamU App Daily Health Screening Option officially launched this week. This is a great way to monitor your health and other COVID risk factors each day. We encourage everyone to use the app or continue to receive an in-person screening at the AFC or other backup options at Eastside and Eden Hall (remember that showing the card or app pass is required for entry to some buildings). 
 
While the ChathamU App is a convenient and easy-to-use option, we want to reiterate a few key points for everyone to consider and keep in mind with the app: 
  • If you do not have a thermometer to take your temperature, you may pick one up at the AFC or Student Health Services. 
  • You should take your temperature and complete the health screening questions on the app BEFORE coming to campus. If you complete the health check while in-line or inside a building when asked to display your pass, you could be asked to leave. 
  • Please be courteous to anyone asking to see the pass. They are just doing their job and following protocols.  
  • This is a health screening focused on identifying potential symptoms or COVID exposure risk factors. While temperature is one metric, we are finding in our testing that runny nose/congestion, sore throat and fatigue are the primary symptoms of our positive, symptomatic tests. Please keep this in mind as you monitor for any symptoms and complete the screening each day.  
The Final Stretch 
This weekend will mark ~14 days before the shift of in-person classes to virtual and the closure of the Residence Halls on the 20th/21st. Later this week, we will release recommendations and guidelines for everyone on how best to protect their health (and the health of their families) as they prepare to leave campus and return home.  
 
As always, thank you for everything you are doing to keep each other healthy and safe. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
The Office of Communications, Student Health Services & The Office of Student Affairs 

Dear Chatham Students, 

Halloween weekend is coming up, and like so many holidays and cherished traditions this year, it’s going to look very different than in years past.  

First, we know it’s tempting to gather for parties at this time of year, but remember: the health and safety of yourselves, your classmates, and your community is at risk when protocols—especially in relation to parties and gatherings—around COVID safety are broken.  

Second, we are asking each of you to help hold yourself, friends and peers accountable in making smart choices this Halloween to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at ChathamU. If you see or hear something, please say something to each other. You can submit an Honor Code report using the online form.   

Third, while the usual parties and gatherings aren’t possible this year, Student Affairs and student organizations have worked to bring fun and COVID-safe activities to you, including: 

  • Friday, 10/30: Chatham Drama Club Presents Chatham Chiller Theater
  • Friday, 10/30: Hocus Pocus Watch Party with the Pre Law Club
  • Saturday, 10/31: Chemistry Club Presents Chemistry with Pumpkins
  • Saturday, 10/31: Double Feature in Eddy Theater: Halloween (2018) and IT Chapter 1 (2017) 

Finally, Pulse@ChathamU has pulled together some additional Halloween resources on costume tips, alternatives to Halloween parties, and more. 

However you plan to spend this Halloween weekend, please make sure you’re doing your part to minimize close contacts: 

  • Wear a mask around others (even when outside)
  • Maintain 6 feet or more distance from individuals (and in groups)
  • Avoid large gatherings and parties 
  • Be aware of the “15-minute window” in your interactions
  • Practice COVID safety both on-campus and off 

It’s on all of us to keep each other safe. Have a happy Halloween! 

Sincerely, 

Heather Black, EdD
Dean of Students

Dear Students, Staff & Faculty,

This week’s COVID-19 Campus Dashboard updates showed only four new cases this week with three on Tuesday’s report and one on Thursday’s. These positive trends indicate that the enhanced health and safety protocols we put in place—supported by reports from Chatham and Allegheny County Contact Tracing—have successfully contained and reduced the spread of COVID-19 among our residential population. 

Based on the testing results and case trends seen this week, Chatham will adjust our campus operational alert level from HIGH back down to RAISED effective 5:00 pm today. Here is what this means moving forward: 

  • Academics: In-person classes that shifted to virtual this week, are allowed to return to in-person delivery next week. Individual faculty will communicate with each class on the details relevant to your class and when this shift will occur.
  • Housing: The limited activity protocol is lifted. However, guest policy restrictions limiting visitors to only those who live in the same residence hall or apartment building will remain in place. Residence Life will send follow-up details to all residents.
  • Dining: Campus dining locations will resume in-person dining services on Saturday, 10.24. Café Rachel will reopen on Monday, 10.26.
  • Events & Activities: Campus events and activities will resume on Monday, 10.26.
  • Shuttles: Shuttle service between campus locations will resume on Monday, 10.26.
  • AFC: The AFC will reopen on Saturday, 10.24.
  • JKM Library: The library will reopen for in-person services and reserved study space beginning Sunday, 10.25 at 5:00 pm.
  • Student Jobs & Internships: Students may return to on-campus jobs or off-campus internships and/or jobs once cleared with their supervisor.
  • Employees: Departments may return to previous work arrangements under the RAISED alert, and supervisors will communicate details with each department accordingly. 

While we are pleased that our collective efforts have worked to bend the curve back down, we also believe these past two weeks clearly show that we must not take this virus—and its direct or indirect impact on each other and our community—lightly. 

While we are fortunate that most cases have been mild or asymptomatic, spread of the virus like we experienced within our community greatly disrupts campus life and, more concerning, can quickly endanger those most at-risk to COVID at Chatham and in the larger community. 

Please remember that the most important things each of us must continue to do are: 

  • Stay home if feeling ill
  • If feeling ill (no matter how mild the symptoms), contact Health Services for testing
  • Wear a mask
  • Practice physical distancing 
  • Wash hands and clean surfaces
  • Avoid large gatherings and parties
  • Limit small gatherings and close contacts (>15 minutes less than six feet apart)    

Thank you to everyone for your support and cooperation with the enhanced (and daily) efforts we pursue to help protect the health of our community. By committing to these individually and as a community, our experience this term has shown that we can make a difference. 

Sincerely,

David Finegold
President

Jenna Templeton
Vice-President of Academic Affairs 

Heather Black
Dean of Students

Dear Chatham Students (especially those preparing to graduate this Winter), 
 
Due to public health guidelines limiting large-scale gatherings, coupled with Chatham’s ongoing prioritization to protect the health and safety of our community, the December 2020 Commencement ceremony will be held virtually beginning Friday, December 11
 
From that date forward, and at a time convenient for you, you’ll be able to view the ceremony at www.chatham.edu/commencement. While it won’t be a traditional commencement, we hope you’ll take this opportunity to make it your own! 
 
While planning your celebration, you’ll also want to be sure to stay on track with these important details and next steps: 
 
Steps to Graduation 
In order to graduate, you need to: 
  1. submit your online degree conferral application
  2. register for commencement 
You can do both of those things on myChatham. The deadline for both is Sunday, November 15. 
 
Regalia
Time to look the part! Regalia—cap, gown, and hood—can be ordered through the Chatham bookstore. The deadline is Saturday, November 7th.
 
Graduation Photographs
GradImages will visit Shadyside Campus on 11.19 and 11.20 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm in the Welker Room to take photos of graduates in their regalia. 
 
A link to schedule appointment times will be made available to all eligible students. If you are not available to attend either day, you will be able to submit a photo and it will be added to your backdrop.
 
Graduation Announcements
Graduation announcements (and other items, such as rings and diploma frames) can be ordered through Herff Jones.
 
If you have any questions or need additional information, please reach out to AcademicAffairs@chatham.edu. On behalf of everyone at Chatham, we are proud of all that you’ve accomplished, and we can’t wait to celebrate (virtually) with you starting on December 11! 
 
Sincerely, 
 
The Office of Marketing & Communications 

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,  

Since last Friday, Chatham has unfortunately seen our positive cases rise from a low of 10 to 41 (as of today, 10.16). Visit the Campus Dashboard for the latest updated information and weekly trends data. 

We are pleased that our health and safety protocols have worked and been instrumental in identifying positive cases (thankfully all presenting as mild or asymptomatic); however, the case increase is concerning, and indicates we must enhance our efforts to control and reduce the spread of COVID next week among our Shadyside Campus undergraduate residential population. 

While today’s testing and case results suggest that contact tracing and quarantine/isolation protocols may have begun to slow the spread from earlier this week, we are at a critical moment and need to take additional steps to ensure we continue to reverse this trend. 

Shift in Operational Alert Level

Effective at 5 PM, on Friday, October 16th, Chatham is raising our operational alert level from RAISED to HIGH and implementing the following measures: 

Academics
To limit campus movements and interactions, any in-person undergraduate classes on Shadyside Campus, Chatham Eastside, and Eden Hall Campus will shift to virtual delivery beginning 5 PM, Friday, 10.16 running through Sunday, 10.25. Additional information will be sent over the weekend from the Program Directors, Department Chairs, or Deans as needed. 

Graduate programs may continue to hold in-person classes as determined by the specific department and communicated by the Program Director.

Residential Students
Residential housing on Shadyside Campus and Eden Hall Campus is being moved to a limited activity protocol beginning 5 PM on Friday, 10.16 running through Sunday, 10.25, consisting of the following: 

  • Residents should limit their activity outside of their residence to pick-up meals at campus dining locations, visit the grocery store or pharmacy, receive medical attention at the doctor or Student Health Services, participate in outside walks and exercise, or for other essential needs.
  • Residents will not be allowed to visit other residence halls and apartments.
  • COVID sample testing of different residential groups will occur next week. 
  • Additional information and details will be sent by the Office of Residence Life.
Campus Activities & Operations

Following are important details concerning modifications to campus activities and operations beginning at 5PM on Friday, 10.16 running through Sunday, 10.25: 

  • All campus dining locations will only offer to-go orders (the Tent and Café Rachel will be closed).
  • All on-campus events and activities are cancelled for the week.
  • Shuttle service is suspended between Shadyside and Eastside and Eden Hall Campus.
  • Any undergraduate students with on-campus jobs, participating in internships or with an off-campus job should shift to remote work if possible.
  • The Athletic & Fitness Center (AFC) will be closed.
  • The JKM Library will move to fully virtual services with the 24-hour computer lab remaining open with swipe card access.
  • Helpdesk will remain open for virtual and in-person service by appointment.
  • Students should check with each department for any changes to on-campus services next week. 

Employees
We are fortunate to have zero employee cases and no spread to employees identified from contact tracing this semester. Given this positive trend, we will continue to have essential campus service employees report to campus for work and encourage telework next week for those who are able as determined by each department. If you have questions, please reach out to your supervisor or departmental vice-president.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

We will continue to monitor our testing and case counts, and update everyone accordingly throughout next week. In addition to the new measures next week, everyone should continue to: 

  • Stay home if feeling ill, and contact Student Health Services for testing (no matter how mild the symptoms)
  • Wear a mask
  • Practice physical distancing 
  • Wash hands and clean surfaces
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Limit small gatherings and close contacts (>15 minutes less than six feet apart)    

We do not take these steps lightly and know that we are asking those of who you have been working so hard this semester to now take on more responsibility and sacrifice next week to support the health of our community. If we can come together around these efforts next week, we are optimistic that we can bend this curve back down to the low positivity rates we saw throughout the semester. 

Sincerely,

David Finegold
President

Jenna Templeton
Vice-President of Academic Affairs

Heather Black
Dean of Students

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,   

We are writing to share with you an overview of some important information regarding the spring 2021 academic term.   

Full details are available on the COVID-19 Information Site, and highlights include:   

  • The spring academic calendar begins January 6-8 with virtual academic acclimation followed by continued virtual class delivery January 11-17 with any in-person instruction classes beginning January 19. Some graduate programs may have differing in-person instruction schedules and requirements; students will be notified by the specific academic department.
  • In place of a traditional spring break, there will be one day off each month. Classes will end on April 23 in accordance with our academic calendar.  
  • Students will be required to shelter in place—on or off-campus—for 14 days before attending classes in person.  
  • As with fall term, classroom delivery methods will include a mix of in-person, virtual, and online options.  
  • There will be an extended refund period, including refunds for withdrawal from the University, housing and meal plans.  
  • Additional information about spring registration will be sent on Friday and residential students will receive additional information next week. 
  • More detailed communications and updates will be shared over the coming weeks from various departments.  

After reviewing the initial Spring 2021 information, if you have any questions, please submit them using the form on our Fall 2020 website or contact AcademicAffairs@chatham.edu.   

Thanks for your attention in this matter, and best wishes for a successful semester.   

Sincerely,  

 

Dr. Jenna Templeton
Vice President of Academic Affairs   

Dear Chatham Community, 

Chatham’s COVID Campus Dashboard was updated this morning for the period 10.13 through 10.14. 

During this timeframe, there were a total of 54 tests, with 18 new positive cases, and 44 quarantine/isolation spaces in use. All but one of these new positive cases came from testing of an athletic team, men’s ice hockey, which was implemented as a safety protocol after multiple positive cases on the team occurred earlier this week. 

The good news is that the safety protocols (e.g., suspension of team activities, shelter-in-place for team members and full-team testing) were quickly activated, cases were identified and placed in isolation, contact tracing and quarantine of close contacts occurred, deep cleaning of impacted campus areas was completed, and any identified cases are mild or asymptomatic. 

The bad news is that this cluster of cases suggests a serious break in health and safety protocols. At this point in time, all men’s ice hockey student athletes are in isolation or quarantine, and all team activities are indefinitely suspended pending additional investigations and any disciplinary actions if violations of protocols and/or the honor code are found. 

The University takes this situation, and its impact on our campus community, very seriously and will proceed accordingly. 

Thank you to everyone who continues to wear a mask, maintain physical distance, stay home when sick (and call SHS for a test), and limit your close contacts. These steps are more important than ever, and we must maintain our commitment to them daily. 

The Dashboard will be updated again next Tuesday, and we will update everyone again at that time (or sooner if necessary). In the meantime, if you have any questions on anything related to this or other COVID protocols, please submit them on the Fall 2020 COVID site.  

Sincerely,

 

The Office of Communications, The Office of Student Affairs, Chatham Athletics and Student Health Services

Dear Chatham Community, 
 
Chatham’s COVID Campus Dashboard was updated today covering the period 10.8 through 10.12. During this timeframe, there were a total of 109 tests (102 on-campus and seven self-reported tests) and five positive cases. Contact tracing occurred, along with any necessary follow-up testing, and there are 18 quarantine/isolation spaces on campus in-use. 
 
With today’s dashboard update, we are writing to share information on important safety protocols relevant to the most recent positive cases, which included students participating in a sports team. Anytime there are two or more unrelated positive cases within a sports team (or 20% of the roster), team activities are suspended, all team members will be directed to shelter-in-place for 72 hours and all team members will be tested.  
 
All of the safety protocols outlined above were implemented based on the cases in this reporting period. In addition, sample testing of the athletic team occurred last week and all tests were negative, which reinforces that sample testing is just one part of our overall health and safety strategies, but the most critical things that all of us need to continue to do are:  
 
  • Stay home if feeling ill (and contact Student Health Services for testing)
  • Wear a mask
  • Practice physical distancing 
  • Wash hands and clean surfaces
  • Limit your close contacts (>15 minutes less than six feet apart)   
The Dashboard will be updated again this Thursday, and if you have any questions on anything related to this or other COVID protocols, please submit them on the Fall 2020 COVID site.  
 
Sincerely,
 
The Office of Communications, The Office of Student Affairs, and Student Health Services

Dear Chatham Community,

Chatham’s Campus Dashboard was updated yesterday on 10.8 and currently reflects testing, cases and other data through the end of day on Wednesday, 10.7 (the next update will occur on Tuesday, 10.13).

We are writing today to share additional information on the latest dashboard data and trends we are seeing through this week. Here are some key points to understand:

  • 509 on-campus tests have been conducted since August 21st (13 self-reported tests from students and employees have been reported).
  • We have had 10 positive cases, representing a low .019 positivity rate.
  • Of the positive cases, 9 have been commuter students and 1 was a residential student.

While we are pleased (and fortunate) to have such low positivity numbers, we saw our highest daily positive case count this week on 10.6 with 3 positive cases. In addition (and also concerning), we saw a higher number of close contacts from these cases and now have 18 on-campus quarantine or isolation spaces in use along with a number of students in quarantine at home or off-campus.

As a reminder, a close contact is someone identified by contact tracing as being within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes of someone who tests positive for COVID, whether wearing a mask or not. Chatham tests all close contacts and they will be placed into the quarantine protocol regardless if their initial test is negative.  

So, you may ask, what should we take away from all this?  

First, we should take comfort that our positivity levels are low, and that as we have expanded sample testing, we have not found asymptomatic community spread. This is a testament to the Chatham community wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, washing hands, and following other health and safety protocols when both on-campus and off. We must maintain our commitment to these to ensure these trends continue.

Second, our positive cases have presented as symptomatic, with, thankfully, mild symptoms. This reinforces the importance of taking care of yourself, staying home at the first sign of sickness, and getting tested if not feeling well.

Finally (and in many ways, the most important take away from this week’s results), each of us needs to do our part to help keep personal close contacts to a minimum in the event that someone tests positive by limiting the number of people you interact with on a regular basis (i.e., “form a pod”). We must also continue to do the following:

  • Wear a mask around others (even when outside)
  • Maintain 6 feet or more distance from individuals (and in groups)
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Be aware of the “15-minute window” in your interactions
  • Do all of these when you are both on-campus and off

All in all, Chatham’s results so far show that we are following the protocols and helping to hold each other accountable. Let’s be sure to keep this up and start to focus on keeping close contacts to a minimum. 

We will continue to update the dashboard every Tuesday and Thursday (notifications of the update are shared on Twitter, the Fall 2020 home page and the Friday weekly update e-mail). In addition, we will provide additional communications such as this one from time to time as needed.

As always, if you have any questions, please submit them on the Fall 2020 COVID site. 

Sincerely,

The Office of Communications, The Office of Student Affairs, and Student Health Services

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff, 
 
Today marks a milestone, as we have successfully completed the first half of the Fall term’s in-person classes, with six weeks to go until the Thanksgiving  break, and the final two weeks of virtual classes to follow.  
 
I am incredibly proud of the way the Chatham community has risen to the challenge of the global pandemic, embraced the Cougars Care Commitment, and treated each other with kindness and patience in the majority of our interactions. It is these collective efforts that allow us to be together on campus (and also virtually), while helping to keep everyone safe and healthy. 
 
We’ve been fortunate to have low positive case counts even as we continue to expand our sample testing to more groups. Let me be clear: these results are a testament to each and every one of you! By what you choose (and choose not to do) each day, you are helping to keep each other healthy and protect the most vulnerable among us. 
 
But while we should take time to celebrate reaching this milestone, which many thought unlikely back in the summer, now is not the time to let our guard down.  Now is the time to recommit to each other, and practice those things that are showing they can work: 
 
  • Stay home if you are sick (no matter how mild the symptoms)
  • Wear your mask 
  • Stay physically distant 
  • Avoid gatherings without masks or physical distance 
  • Wash your hands and wipe down surfaces 
  • Follow the what to do if sick or identified as a close contact protocols  
Let’s continue to embrace these (and our other) protective measures so that we can continue to be socially and academically connected (even if behind a mask and six feet apart).  
 
Finally, I’d like to close with a thank you to our own “essential front-line workers” -- the staff and faculty – who have worked so hard to support our students and campus community and enabled us to have such a successful start to the term in such difficult circumstances. 
 
Thanks again for all you are doing. Sue and I hope to see you around campus with our latest addition to the Finegold family, our new dog, Louis.
 
Yours, 

David 
President
Chatham University

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff, 

As you know, Chatham provides COVID-19 rapid testing for the following individuals: 

  • students who are showing symptoms of COVID-19
  • students who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (a close contact)
  • sample testing of select community groups (which started with student athletes on 9.8) 

Starting this week, we will begin sample testing of our second community group: Resident Assistants (RAs) and Graduate Resident Directors (GRDS). Next week, sample testing of on-campus residents will begin. Details on how this process will work will be sent directly to on-campus residents. 

Sample testing is an important health and safety protocol that supports our efforts to manage COVID-19 on campus by helping us identify any asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic individuals. 

We want to thank everyone once again for your efforts to follow campus health and safety protocols by participating in daily health checks, wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, staying home if sick and following the "What To Do If..." procedures on the website if not feeling well or in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19. 

Also, be sure to visit our Testing & Contact Tracing web page for more details about testing, and a video showing the testing process at Student Health Services. 

Sincerely, 

 

Dr. Ron Giles
Director, Student Health & Wellness 

Dr. Heather Black
Dean of Students

 

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty,  

As part of Cougar Cares initiatives to foster a safe and healthy campus community, we are pleased to announce a new “space reservation” system for the JKM Library building. This reservation system includes the group and individual study rooms, as well as study tables, study carrel desks, comfortable seating, and computer lab seating.   

Please begin to explore the reservation system and the dropdown menus at the top of the screen to select different library spaces. Starting Monday, September 21, all patrons entering the JKM Library building will need to have a reservation in addition to presenting their Chatham IDs and health screening cards. Spaces should be reserved in advance of entering the library. While reservations are not required this week, priority for a space will be given to patrons who do make a reservation.  

The following additional information should also be reviewed: 

  • An additional window of time has been added between each reservation to allow for air circulation before use by the next patron. Patrons should leave their space promptly at the end of the reservation to allow for this opportunity.  
  • Patrons are restricted to 3 hours of reservation time in the library building per day, which can be split into two separate reservations.  
  • Reservations may be made up to 28 days in advance. 
  • Patrons are expected to wipe down their reserved areas after use. Wipe dispensers have been installed on all four floors of the library (near the elevators with additional dispensers in the labs and classrooms). 
  • Please do not move furniture, including chairs. has All spaces have been arranged for appropriate physical distancing. 
  • Masks must always be worn in the library building unless alone in a group or individual study room with the door closed.  
  • No food is allowed in the library building. Drinks with lids are permitted.  
  • Meetings with OAAR or Career Development do not require reservations through the library’s system, but if you would like to remain in the library after a meeting, you will need one.  
  • Library staff is monitoring adherence to campus health & safety protocols, providing friendly reminders, and following appropriate reporting procedures as necessary.   

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we make every effort to keep the library as safe as possible for you!   

Thank you,  

The JKM Library Staff 

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff: 

Chatham was informed this afternoon (through self-reporting) by a member of the campus community that they tested positive for COVID-19. The last time this community member was on campus was Friday, September 4, and the community member is currently isolating at home off campus. 

Contact tracing by Chatham has occurred and anyone identified as a close contact has been contacted directly. In addition, all cleaning and other protocols are underway in accordance with campus and public health guidelines. 

As this is Chatham’s first positive case, we are informing the campus community directly via email as part of the University’s Campus Dashboard update for today, 9.10. The Campus Dashboard is where the latest testing and positive case information will be regularly updated and shared. Not all positive case notifications will receive a campus email such as this (it will be dependent on specific case situations). 

As always, please follow these important health protocols: 

  • For everyone: 
    • Continue to wear your mask, stay physically distant and wash your hands regularly.
    • If you are feeling sick, stay home from school and/or work.
  • For students:
    • If displaying symptoms of COVID or if you have been identified as a close contact of someone positive for COVID-19, stay home and contact Student Health Services to schedule a rapid test (this is open to all students, including commuters).
    • If you receive a test off-campus, be sure to report that you received a test (and again later when you receive your results) to Student Health Services.
  • For employees:
    • If displaying symptoms of COVID or if you have been identified as a close contact of someone positive for COVID-19, stay home and contact your medical provider and/or follow the instructions of contact tracers for testing.
    • Contact Human Resources to report that you received a COVID test (and again later when you receive your results). 

For more detailed instructions and frequently asked questions on these health protocols, please visit the What To Do If Sick or Close Contact webpage on our COVID Informational website. In addition, be sure to review the resources and information on the Testing & Contact Tracing and Quarantine & Isolation webpages to learn more about these important topics.  

Sincerely, 

The Office of Communications

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff,  

Since the start of term, Chatham has been providing COVID-19 rapid testing for any students who are showing symptoms of COVID or who have been exposed to someone with the virus. Be sure to visit our Testing & Contact Tracing web page for more details and a new video showing the testing process at Student Health Services.  

Chatham is now prepared to begin the next phase of the University’s testing protocol which entails conducting sample testing of different community groups, while continuing to offer symptomatic and close contact testing services. Sample testing will identify asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic individuals, and serve as another important health and safety protocol in our efforts to manage COVID-19 on campus.  

Sample testing will begin the week of 9.8 for our first testing group, student-athletes, which will allow us to meet NCAA requirements in order for teams to return to practice. Once the students on the athletic teams have been tested and the testing process has been refined over the next 2 to 3 weeks, sample testing will be expanded to include other community groups on campus, such as: those participating in labs, residence halls, and/or on-campus staff.  

Chatham’s phased approach to testing is focused on protecting the health and safety of our campus community and ensuring that we have the capacity to serve (and scale) the testing needs of the campus. Chatham's testing protocol may continue to change as we adapt to the conditions on campus, new county and federal guidance, and new testing formats that may become available over the coming months.  

We want to thank everyone once again for your efforts to follow campus health and safety protocols by participating in daily health checks, wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and following the "What To Do If..." procedures on the website if not feeling well or in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19.  

These individual and collective efforts (supported by campus testing) are the absolute best way to protect your health and the health of others, while helping us maintain our presence here on campus.   

Sincerely, 

 

Dr. Ron Giles
Director, Student Health & Wellness  

Dr. Heather Black 
Dean of Students 

Dear Chatham Students:

Per our Academic Calendar, there will be no classes this coming Monday, September 7th in observation of Labor Day. While we hope that you enjoy a restful long weekend, we want to issue a reminder about the travel and safety guidelines currently in place to ensure the health and safety of our Chatham community. Please review these key items to keep in mind as you make informed decisions about how to spend your Labor Day weekend:

  • Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel, especially by air or to one of the PA Quarantine states.
  • Be aware that all students, faculty, or staff members who travel to a state that is currently on the PA Quarantine list must quarantine upon their return to campus. For full information, please visit the Travel Restrictions section of our Fall 2020 website. If you are an on-campus resident who traveled to a quarantine state, please email reslife@chatham.edu for further directions.
  • If you do intend to travel, you should consult with faculty to understand the impact that quarantine protocol may have on your academic progress.
  • Regardless of whether you choose to travel or remain local, remember that quarantine mitigation does not take a vacation. Please continue to practice social distancing, mask wearing, and frequent hand washing and sanitization throughout your holiday weekend to ensure we can keep our campus community safe. 
It is up to all of us to follow these guidelines to keep one another safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Enjoy your long weekend.

Be well,

Dr. Jenna Templeton
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Heather Black
Dean of Students

Dear Students,  

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been told by Allegheny County or Chatham contact tracers that you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you must get a COVID test on campus.  

Here are the steps you should follow to schedule and receive testing:  

  1. Make an appointment with Student Health Services by scheduling online or call 412-365-1714. 
  • Testing is available M-F, 8 am - Noon 
  • You must make an appointment in advance 
  1. When it’s time for your appointment, go to the two tents set up outside of Student Health Services at the back of Woodland Hall for check-in. 
  • Masks are required 
  • Bring your Student ID 
  1. A trained test provider will administer the test. The test involves putting a swab in your nose.  
  1. After the test, it will be taken into the lab for processing. You will be directed to the second tent, where you can wait on some chairs. Processing and results take about 15 minutes.  
  1. Student Health Services will provide you the results and directions for your next steps based on your specific situation and test results.  

As always, please visit www.chatham.edu/fall2020 for the latest information and updates on our response to COVID-19 this fall, including our “What To Do If Sick or a Close Contact” pages and our Testing & Contact Tracing pages.  

Sincerely, 

Dr. Heather Black
Dean of Students 

Dr. Ron Giles
Director, Student Health & Wellness 

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff, 

Chatham has designed a series of graphics—for both students and employees—to explain the different processes and protocols you should follow for two scenarios: 

  • What to do if you feel sick
  • What to do if you are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 

The graphics will walk you through the steps you need to take and explain what will happen in these scenarios. Please review this important information in order to help protect your health and the health of the entire Chatham community.   

You can view this information (and a list of Frequently Asked Questions) at https://www.chatham.edu/fall2020/what-to-do.html

Sincerely, 

The Office of Marketing & Communications

Dear Students,  

Earlier this summer, contact tracers found that people going to bars were spreading COVID-19, and Allegheny County shut the bars down (and have continued to limit operations). This week, the County had reports of college parties in Pittsburgh, and discussed with all of the local colleges the importance of our students following health and safety guidelines to avoid a repeat of what happened in June and July.  

I’ll be as clear as I can: if parties and flouting of health and safety guidelines continue to occur, the County or City could well take steps that will greatly impact and limit your experience this academic term!  As you know, Chatham student behavior off campus is subject to the Honor Code, which includes our new COVID guidelines, and we ask that you each help us in stressing the importance of these behaviors with your peers.  

It’s the responsibility of each and every one of us to do what we can to help keep the Chatham community—as well as Pittsburgh as a whole—safe. Here’s what you need to do:  

  • Going out? Mask up. Masking is one of the most important things you can do to protect your friends and your community. 
  • Avoid going to parties where physical distancing is likely to be a problem. The CDC recommends six feet as the minimum distance that can help stop the spread of disease.  
  • Remember the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) guidelines: No more than 25 people are permitted at an indoor event, and no more than 50 at an outdoor event. Let’s also be realistic, more than 25 people cannot fit in a house or apartment with proper physical distancing.
  • Hold your friends and peers accountable.  If you hear plans about a gathering that seem to violate guidelines, talk to your friend. 
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well. The importance of this can’t be overstated.  

We know that for many of you, this may represent a different form of socializing, and we really appreciate your taking these measures to try to keep our community safe during this pandemic. By taking care of each other, we will get through this.  

Sincerely,  

Heather Black, Ed.D.
Dean of Students 

Dear Chatham Community,  

By now, we all hopefully understand the importance of wearing masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but you may still have questions about masking protocols on campus. 

When are masks required?  

Masks are required:

  • In classrooms and labs
  • In offices and conference spaces
  • In common areas, hallways and walkways
  • In public spaces like the library, gym, or dining hall (when not eating)
  • When meeting with at least one other person, even if people are sitting six feet apart
  • When traveling from workspace to restroom, copier, etc.
  • On shuttles or if being transported by public safety
  • In crowded places—inside or outside
  • A good rule of thumb: When inside, always mask up 

When are masks not required?  

  • When alone in an office, workspace, residence hall private room, or apartment
  • When outside and can easily maintain physical distancing of six feet or more 

Mask Best Practices 

  • Mask must cover your nose and mouth.
  • Disposable, reusable, purchased, and homemade masks are all acceptable. Pick one that’s comfortable for you, can stay on your face without you holding it in place, and store it in a clean place when not in use.
  • Reusable masks should be washed daily, at least.
  • If a mask is not feasible, face shields can be worn. These are available from Facilities.
  • Guests, visitors and contractors are also required to wear masks. 

Chatham will provide all students and employees with masks to supplement any masks they already use. If anyone forgets their mask, or it becomes damaged, they can pick up a replacement at the Office of Student Affairs, too.  

Thanks for doing your part to keep our community safe, and be sure to keep visiting www.chatham.edu/fall2020 for important information, the latest campus updates and more throughout the semester.  

Dear Students, 

I am looking forward to welcoming you to the Fall 2020 term. We will face a new environment this fall, but one constant is that all students are responsible for upholding the Student Honor Code. 

The Student Honor Code is a set of standards that guides how we live, work, and learn together on Chatham’s campus and beyond. The Honor Code is intended to foster and strengthen a learning, living, and working community that is committed to excellence in all endeavors, honesty, personal integrity and accountability, and respect for the rights, opinions and well-being of others, and whose members are committed to having these and the other Chatham values inform the choices they make. 

The Honor Code Policy on Behavior and Student Conduct has undergone a revision this summer to incorporate student and community feedback, and language has been added related to guidelines enacted due to a health pandemic. Please take a moment to review the Honor Code Policy on Student Behavior and Conduct and the Procedures for Investigating Prohibited Conduct on myChatham.  

Please remember the following key points related to the Student Honor Code:

  1. You can be held accountable for actions that take place on or off campus.
  2. Students are responsible for following all University policies and guidelines, including those on the Fall 2020 website. All guidelines outlined on the website are actionable under the Honor Code.
  3. It is your responsibility to review the Honor Code Policy on Student Behavior and Conduct and the Procedures for Investigating Prohibited Conduct.   

I have recorded a short presentation on the Student Honor Code that is available for all students to access. This presentation is approximately 10 minutes and gives an overview of expectations and how the Honor Code interacts with COVID-19 policies and guidelines. I strongly encourage you review it prior to the start of classes. 

Students, faculty, and staff are able to submit an Honor Code behavior or conduct complaint by connecting with me, emailing HonorCode@chatham.edu, or submitting an online form.  Please connect with me if you have questions or concerns. 

Being a Chatham student comes with responsibilities, and I hope you will all take your responsibility to help keep one another safe seriously.   

Best, 

Heather Black, EdD
Dean of Students

Dear Students,

As part of our efforts to protect against the spread of COVID-19, Chatham has trained a team of staff members to act as contact tracers in the event we have a positive case on campus.  Contact tracing is a process used to contact all individuals who have been within a 6 foot radius for more than 15 minutes of the positive case.  You can learn more about contact tracing on the fall planning website.

In order to contact students quickly and efficiently through contact tracing, we need every student to update their personal information on myPortal by no later than Sunday, August 23rd to make sure their cell phone number is listed in the system. You may update other information, but please leave your address as your permanent residence (do not update to on campus address).

Please review the following information about the process of updating personal information. 

  • Students should login to the Chatham University online Student portal to update personal information. Type https://portal.chatham.edu, select the ‘Login’ dropdown and choose the option of ‘Student Portal Homepage’.
  • Put in your username and password and click ‘Sign In’. The same username and password that you use to login to the campus network and for checking email is also your login for myPortal. If you experience problems logging into myPortal please contact the Chatham University Helpdesk at 412-365-1112.
  • Go to My Profile > My Information:
    • Select the edit button on the address screen.
    • Select the address type / contact information you are changing from the upper left dropdown: Mobile Phone
    • Make the appropriate changes and click Save. 

For more detailed instructions, please refer to the attached document. It is imperative that Chatham has the correct phone number for all students in the system to ensure quick and effective contact tracing to keep our community safe. 

Be well,

Heather Black, EdD
Dean of Students

Kailin Nelson 
Contact Tracing Coordinator  

Dear Students,

Chatham is working diligently to open our campus for the Fall 2020 term in a safe and healthy way.  This fall will look different than ever before and it will take all of us – doing our part – to keep our community healthy.  Our efforts include adjusting residence hall occupancy and policies, decreasing classroom sizes to ensure physical distancing, increased cleaning protocols, and community-wide mandates such as requiring a mask. 

As part of these efforts, Chatham is strongly encouraging all students – commuters and residents - to self-isolate at home for 14-days prior to arriving on campus. 

This self-isolation is not a quarantine. Students are asked to limit your exposure to those who do not reside in your home environment. We also ask that you be extra vigilant if having any friends and family good-bye gatherings: such events are now the #1 source of COVID spread in Allegheny County.  

Your at-home self-isolation should begin 14 days prior to the first day you will be physically on one of our campuses. This would begin 14 days prior to your move-in date (residents) or your first on-ground class (commuters). For example, a commuter student who has an in-person class scheduled on Monday, August 24 should begin your at-home self-isolation on Monday, August 10. 

If you need to go out to a store or public area for errands, please engage in the following proactive behaviors: wear a mask, observe physical distancing (6 feet), and regularly wash or sanitize your hands. Please note, this does not apply to students who have already started classes, been living/working on campus this summer, or students who plan to be virtual in the fall. 

We understand the at-home self-isolation may create financial hardship for some of our employed students. If you cannot afford to stop your job two weeks early, we ask that you do all you can to observe all the behaviors that are part of the Cougars Care Commitment when working and avoid any other activities outside your home.  

Chatham is also requiring all community members to complete the Cougars Care Commitment and training to learn more about our community expectations for the fall. Please be sure to complete your pledge by August 7th. We hope you understand that Chatham is doing this and all mitigation efforts to promote a healthy and safe start to the academic year. It will truly take all of us to be able to live, learn, and engage on our campus. 

Be sure to review the email from Academic Affairs sent yesterday regarding the class formats and student class options. More information can be found on the Academic section of the Chatham Fall website. 

Be safe and well.

Heather Black, EdD
Dean of Students 

Dear Students,   

As part of Chatham’s ongoing Fall 2020 planning, Chatham has been working to provide additional virtual and online course options for students (living both on-campus or off) for the fall academic term.   

While it is not possible to offer virtual or online formats for every course at Chatham, numerous changes have been made to provide a variety of courses in the different delivery options for students. These options are available to any student enrolled this fall including those uncomfortable with returning to campus for medical or any personal reason.    

Reviewing & Making Changes to Schedules    

To begin the process, students should first review their Fall 2020 schedule in the Student Portal. On the Portal and Course Schedule, there is information labeled Delivery and Classroom Space, which will identify the format of the class. There are three format options:  

  • Classroom 
  • Online 
  • Virtual (noted as Delivery = Online with the classroom space listed as Virtual)    

Students should review their schedules to understand any changes to the Delivery format of their registered courses. Additional descriptions on the delivery formats are provided below.   

If a student is registered for Classroom-based courses and does not feel comfortable attending class in-person, they should search the Course Schedule for courses listed as an Online or Virtual format. The student can then register for these courses through the Student Portal.    

In addition to Chatham’s courses, undergraduate students can explore additional online course offerings through our participation in OCICU. Students should work with their advisor to determine course equivalencies and substitutions as needed. Students should read all of the information on the OCICU page to understand the requirements of the online, asynchronous learning environment. Most OCICU courses are 3 credits and are 8 weeks in length.   

If a student is unable to determine appropriate online or virtual alternatives for currently scheduled courses, they should complete this request form as soon as possible to work with their advisor, Department Chair or Program Director to adjust their schedule for the fall.   

Students should follow the usual process for changes to their schedule through the Student Portal from now through the add/drop period on September 1, 2020.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: When making any schedule changes, students need to ensure they maintain the appropriate credit load for the fall semester or their financial aid will be impacted. If you have any questions about your credit load and financial aid, please contact the financial aid department at FinancialAid@chatham.edu.   

The following is a summary of what students can expect within the different delivery formats:  

Delivery - Classroom  

In this mode, face-to-face instruction occurs in classrooms or labs. Students will be required to attend physical classroom/lab sessions during the semester. These will appear on the schedule with assigned days and times and an assigned room. The Delivery will be Classroom on the schedule.  

Many courses may employ flipped learning strategies. Faculty may choose a “hybrid” form of Classroom Delivery where only portions of the class meet on a given day (for example, Group A on Tuesdays, Group B on Thursdays, or Group A for two weeks in lab, then two weeks online, etc.). Any such arrangements are handled by the faculty and posted on the syllabus in the LMS, but not the course schedule. Supplemental instructional material and activities will be included in the LMS.   

Students should plan to report to class for classroom listings unless instructed by faculty member. Be sure to check email frequently the week before classes.  

Delivery - Virtual 

These classes are delivered on scheduled days and times but instruction is delivered via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or another appropriate synchronous classroom platform. Students and faculty engage in the synchronous classroom remotely, from campus dorms, other campus spaces, or at home. These appear in the schedule as Online Delivery, with indicated days and times, but with the classroom space listed as Virtual. This delivery format may be preferable for many students as opposed to an Online Delivery (below). There may be some variations in required student participation in synchronous classes but minimum requirements will be clearly listed in the syllabus.   

Delivery - Online  

These classes are delivered online, in a traditional asynchronous mode. The Day/Time is listed as TBD and the delivery is Online. There is no requirement for campus attendance (with some exceptions for required residencies in fully online programs). These courses may have some required synchronous participation, but it is limited and accounts for students in varying time zones, etc. Online courses offered by Chatham are generally asynchronous and may be in 7.5-week formats. Be certain to pay close attention to the start and end dates of courses in the course schedule.   

Campus Housing Considerations 

Chatham University will continue to provide on-campus housing accommodations to students who register for 12 credits or more, whether they are held in-person or online. Students who transition to a completely virtual or online class format will have the ability to remain in on-campus housing unless they decide otherwise.   

Any student interested in canceling their housing should complete the Housing Cancellation Request Form before checking into on-campus housing during student move-in.  Your account will be updated and the housing reservation fee will be credited to your fall tuition.  

Medical Academic Accommodations
If you need academic adjustments for the fall due to medically-related issues, complete the alternative academic adjustments form no later than noon on Friday, August 14.  
 

All requests will be reviewed by a committee coordinated by the Office of Academic and Accessibility Resources (OAAR), and a decision will be communicated to the student via email. Appropriate faculty and administrators will be notified by OAAR of the nature of the approved academic adjustments. All decisions are final. Even with adjustments, not every class may be available via distance learning, and substitutions may be necessary. Adjustments may not be possible in the case of cohort programs.   

Conclusion  

A recap of this email and other other important academic information is on our Fall 2020 Website. 

After reviewing this information, if you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact your academic advisor or AcademicAffairs@chatham.edu for guidance.  

Sincerely,  

 

Dr. Jenna Templeton                                  

Vice President of Academic Affairs                                        

 

Dr. Lisa Lambert  

Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Learning and Professor of Biology 

Dear Residents, 

As we prepare for your return to campus this Fall, Chatham will be implementing a variety of policies and protocols to promote physical (social) distancing and proactive strategies to support students choosing to live on-campus. While there is no way for any organization, including Chatham, to guarantee that students won’t be exposed to contagious viruses like COVID-19, we are confident that we are taking the best steps to mitigate risks within our residential communities.

We’ve identified several new policies and changes that are now outlined in the Residence Life Terms and Conditions. We believe residents should review prior to returning to Chatham University for the Fall 2020 term and we will be having residents sign the document during the check-in process. Please know that these may shift as the summer and fall progress, but we affirm it is important that residents know what to expect as they move onto campus. 

  • Adhere to all move-in policies and restrictions, which includes only bringing one (1) vehicle and two (2) individuals to assist with the move-in process. New and transfer students were emailed their assigned move-in date and time slot by mid-July. Returning students were emailed to sign-up for a move-in date and time slot.
  • Guest privileges are suspended until further notice. Resident students are not permitted to host off-campus guests (including family and friends) in their room, apartment, or building. Additionally, resident students can only visit other residents live within the same building or tower. Example: A resident that lives on Fickes 1st Floor cannot have a guest from Dilworth. However, they can host a resident from Fickes 2nd Floor.
  • Upper Campus Residence Halls have new communal bathroom occupancy limits. These occupancy limits are clearly posted on each bathroom door and residents are expected to adhere to the occupancy limits established to the best of their ability.
  • Lounges and community spaces in the residence halls and Chatham Apartments may be closed or have occupancy restrictions imposed. Residents must adhere to lounge/community spaces closures and any posted occupancy restrictions at all times.
  • Adhere to occupancy restrictions for residence hall rooms and apartments, as indicated in the Terms and Conditions of Residency Addendum 2020-2021. Residents are limited to the number of residents/students who can be in a room and are only permitted to have visitors who reside in the same building or tower.
  • Face masks must be worn in all public spaces. This includes residence hall and apartment stairwells, hallways, laundry rooms, community kitchens, lounges/community spaces, and communal bathrooms. Masks must be worn outside when 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained. Masks will not be required when you are inside your residence hall room or apartment.
  • Submit to daily health screenings at designated locations on-campus and follow any guidance or instructions they receive due to these screenings. Daily health screens include temperature and symptoms check.
  • Complete a Resident Safety Plan Form by July 31, 2020 that outlines individual plans in the event of contact with, or exposure to, COVID-19. The safety plan requires residents to determine an emergency relocation plan if they are required to move off-campus due to the closure of campus housing. Students who don’t have a safety plan will not be permitted to move-in.
  • Attend your residence hall opening meeting to participate and complete COVID-19 safety training and any additional trainings or meetings that are announced.
  • Complete the Cougars Care Commitment by Friday, August 7, to acknowledge your understanding of university policies and procedures. Students should refer to the email they received on Wednesday, July 22, for more information about the Cougars Care initiate.
  • Adhere to all signage posted regarding COVID-19 mitigation and social distancing requirements and recommendations.
  • Quarantine and complete COVID-19 testing if you are exposed to COVID-19 while residing in on-campus housing. Any resident notified must self-isolate/quarantine and are required to comply with all instructions provided by the University.
  • Self-isolate in either your room or in an assigned location, as instructed by Health Services or Residence Life, and follow all instructions provided.
  • Comply and adhere to the Terms and Conditions of Residency Addendum 2020-2021 and all other Chatham University policies. Residents found in violation of any Chatham University policies will be subject to disciplinary action.  

Throughout this coming year, you may be asked to self-isolate or quarantine for a variety of reasons, including suspected exposure. By moving on-campus, you agree to follow all policies and instructions provided by Chatham University to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19. Chatham is committed to accommodate you through classes and may request you move to a different space should the need to self-isolate occur. Our policies for self-isolation will be uploaded by July 31, 2020 and students will be emailed so they can review these documents. We encourage every resident to review them to fully understand the commitment to living on-campus.

We will continue to communicate with you throughout the summer to provide updates and welcome you to campus in August! Please visit www.chatham.edu/fall2020 to learn more about our reopening plans and consider attending and registering for the Residence Life & Living on Campus Webinar being held on Wednesday, July 29th, at noon. If you have any questions, please email reslife@chatham.edu. 

Sincerely,

Shawn A. McQuillan
Director of Residence Life        

Our entire Chatham community must come together in Fall 2020 to uplift and protect each other.  Cougars Care is an initiative to provide support, resources, videos, and training for our ongoing collective effort towards a safe and successful Fall term.  It will take all of us, caring for one another and doing our part, to keep our community healthy.

We are asking every community members – student, faculty, and staff – to take a moment to review the video and Training Presentation available on the Cougars Care website. The training is a self-paced power point where you will learn about Chatham efforts and community expectations.  Following the completion of the website, all community members should complete the Cougars Care Commitment to acknowledge your understanding and commitment to help keep our community safe by Friday, August 7th.  Please use the individual link below to complete your commitment.

We appreciate your continued commitment and patience as we navigate and plan for Fall 2020. Please visit the Fall 2020 Campus Plan website to learn more and submit your questions and feedback.

Sincerely,

Employee & Student Health Working Group
 

Follow this link to the Cougars Care Commitment :
Take the Survey

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:
https://chatham.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8ro04l766rd2vQ1?RID=MLRP_bJ8WYzoT55yn29T&Q_CHL=email

Dear Students,

Like so many of us this summer, I often begin my day with a sense of uncertainty and apprehension as I await the latest news and updates on the Coronavirus pandemic locally and around the world. While it is disheartening to see the sharp rise in cases nationally and continued loss of life, there are also signs of progress and optimism on the horizon, including:

Treatments for those who require hospitalization have improved greatly; vaccine trials are proceeding with encouraging early and rapid results (Note: UPMC is seeking to recruit 750 people in the Pittsburgh area to take part in a Phase III vaccine trial if you are interested); thankfully, cases continue to be mild for the vast majority of those infected, particularly those under 25; physical distancing, daily monitoring, and masks are proving effective at reducing the spread; and Allegheny County has made smart and targeted enforcement efforts to reduce the factors—bars, travel to hot spots, and not wearing a mask—that contact tracing showed were causing recent case spikes locally (helping us so far avoid the fate of hot spots in other parts of the country).

International Student Update
I was also very pleased at this week’s announcement by the Department of Homeland Security to reverse the new rules it had issued which would have meant all international students needed to leave the U.S. if we are forced to return to virtual instruction this Fall due to the pandemic.  Like many colleges and universities across the U.S., Chatham joined the Amicus Brief filed by Harvard and MIT that led to this change in policy and will permit international students, as occurred this Spring, to remain on campus if we do need to change our mode of course delivery.

Planning & Website Update
While I am pleased to see these positive developments, we must also continue to be fully aware of the challenges ahead of us as we proceed with our plans for the return to campus this fall. Plans that are being guided by our goals to:

  • protect community health;
  • provide a quality academic and personalized education experience; and
  • prepare our community to adapt and change based on the results of things within (and out of) our control. 

With this in mind, we have made a major update to our Fall 2020 Planning Site at www.chatham.edu/fall2020. The updates are in response to questions and feedback we’ve received since our initial planning document was shared last month and the ongoing planning by the Working Groups.

You will find more detail on “What to Expect on Campus” by topic, including the latest information on health and safety protocols, testing and contact tracing, move-in and orientation, and more. You will also find information on our Cougars Care Program, and the Cougars Care Commitment we are asking everyone to make in order to help protect the health of our community. Please visit the site to review.

Upcoming Informational Webinars
The site also provides information and registration for upcoming Fall 2020 Informational Webinars for Students and Families on a variety of topics. The webinars kick-off with a Fall Return-to-Campus Overview Update that I will present on Friday, July 24th at Noon. Please visit the site to view and register for the upcoming webinars. Be sure to check back as more are added over the coming weeks, and don’t hesitate to submit additional questions you may have.

Lastly, I continue to participate in regular calls with the other Pittsburgh University Presidents, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Association for Independent College and Universities of Pennsylvania, the City of Pittsburgh, and the Allegheny County Health Department. I greatly value these discussions as they help guide and inform our efforts at Chatham, and for how they showcase the spirit of collaboration and helpfulness present across our region.

These discussions (and the planning work we are doing on campus) also remind me that what we are planning for this fall will not always be easy, that it will definitely be different, and that our ability to succeed will depend on doing it together. 

I hope you are having as good a summer as possible during this pandemic, and I look forward to speaking with you on Friday, the 24th.

Sincerely,

David

Chatham alumna Rachel Carson ’29 showed wisdom and foresight in raising our understanding of the interconnectedness of all living things on our planet, as displayed most acutely today with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The popular rallying cry during these times—“We’re all in this together”—underscores Carson’s thesis. 

If anyone still doubts that “we’re all in this together,” who among us has not been impacted by the coronavirus? Who among us does not know of someone who contracted the coronavirus or lost their job, either permanently or temporarily? Who among us doesn’t know what it’s like to not be able to do things we once took for granted? 

In the wake of the pandemic, I believe even more strongly that “we are all in this together.” I also believe more strongly than ever in the vital importance of the following:

  • Chatham’s Mission, with its focus on building a healthy planet and healthy people, and its commitment to preparing leaders who will solve the big problems and challenges of today and tomorrow (and a pandemic certainly qualifies as one);
  • Chatham’s work in our surrounding communities and the continued importance—indeed, urgency—of helping improve the quality of life in them, and
  • The value of being physically present on campus.

Although Chatham’s campuses are second to none in beauty and uniqueness, my yearning to be back on campus is not simply a case of absence making the heart grow fonder. Great value comes from being physically on campus—interacting and exchanging ideas with other people in the classroom, residence hall, dining hall, and athletic field; bouncing ideas off other people in the lab or in the library; or just hanging out on the quad with friends on a beautiful spring afternoon. These experiences are what most of us remember most fondly from our experiences as undergraduate or graduate students—even more than brick and mortar and idyllic campus settings. And for good reason: these are some of the time-tested ways that students learn and grow intellectually and personally. 

We’ve also learned a great deal more about COVID-19 since we were required to shut down our campuses in March. We now know that the data is showing that the coronavirus poses lower risk to individuals 25 and under, but that we all need to do our part to help protect those most at risk (the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, preexisting conditions or respiratory issues). And importantly, we’ve also learned much more about effective mitigation strategies that all of us can use to help reduce the spread of the virus. 

All of these factors are why Chatham is committed to joining the vast majority of our national and local peers who are planning to reopen their campuses in the Fall, now that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and our local governmental authorities have given us all the “green light” and guidance on how to reopen. That said, our return to campus is directed by our ability to mitigate risk to the extent humanly possible to ensure the health and safety of the entire Chatham community—students, faculty, staff and visitors.

The purpose of this Planning for Reopening Chatham” document and website is to describe our strategies for being back on campus, safely. It is not a task for anyone of us to shoulder alone, but each of us—student, faculty member, administrator and staff member—will need to do our part if it is to succeed. After all, we are all in this together. 

I look forward to welcoming you all back to campus in the fall. Until then, wishing you and your families the very best for the summer.

David Finegold
President