coronavirus important updates

coronavirus (covid-19) plan and response

updated november 30, 2020

this webpage provides important information for the seton hill community and offers regular updates about coronavirus and the latest guidance from state and federal authorities. all updates may be found at the links at the right. please know the webpage is not intended to serve as a single reference about this rapidly evolving situation. more information about the coronavirus as well as guidance on prevention and travel can be found at the following resources:

u.s. centers for disease control and prevention (cdc)

u.s. state department

pennsylvania department of health

national institutes of health

world health organization

important information for students, faculty and staff

spring 2021 semester updates

pre-matriculation testing

students attending face-to-face classes for the spring 2021 semester should see this message from health services dated november 20, 2020 for more information on pre-matriculation testing prior to the start of classes.

fall 2020 semester updates

on may 15, 2020, seton hill university announced its plans to begin the fall semester on monday, august 17 in the university's traditional manner of offering face to face classes on a residential campus. university leadership and health care professionals have worked to implement new protocols—and have expanded existing ones—that follow the protective policies, guidelines and requirements offered by the u.s. centers for disease control and prevention (cdc) and the american college health association (acha). 

relative to those guidelines, seton hill administration along with key faculty, staff, and health care experts have been engaged in the development of a comprehensive health and safety plan for all areas of campus life.  this plan includes enhanced protocols for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing all campus spaces including classrooms, laboratories, studios, residence halls and dining facilities; planning for appropriate social distancing in classrooms, co-curricular and event spaces, residence halls, and dining facilities; providing additional resources for students through counseling, disability and health services; and establishing procedures for managing visitors to campus.  

on june 24, 2020, seton hill university posted the return to campus plan on the university's covid-19 website. the university will continue to monitor national and state guidelines and update the institution’s health and safety plan with the most current recommendations.

return to campus plan

please find the current return to campus health and safety plan here.

covid-19 daily dashboard

the seton hill university covid-19 daily dashboard provides campus community members with important information and updates during the pandemic, including numbers of cases or suspected cases on campus, information on the covid-19 situation in westmoreland county, as well as changes to the return to campus plan and important reminders. 

the seton hill university covid-19 daily dashboard is updated every weekday at noon and can be found here.

social contracts for students

all seton hill university students attending face-to-face classes in fall 2020 have been asked to electronically sign and abide by a social contract outlining their roles and responsibilities as members of the campus community during the covid-19 pandemic. in addition, students living in seton hill residence halls have been asked to sign and abide by a social contract for residential living. the social contract can be found here. the social contract for residential living can be found here

flu shot clinics

health services, in partnership with giant eagle pharmacy, is sponsoring the first of three physically-distant flu clinics for the seton hill university community on tuesday, september 29th from 10:00-3:00 in mckenna gymnasium and 3:30-4:30 at the performing arts center.  please bring your insurance card and your giant eagle advantage card (if you have one).  as an incentive, giant eagle will apply a $5.00 credit to your advantage card good toward a future purchase.  this year, more than ever, getting a flu shot will help curtail the number of individuals afflicted with the flu and help in our fight against the covid-19 virus. flu clinics will also be held on october 6th and october 22nd.

as a reminder, the social contract indicates students will receive a flu shot when they are available on campus, or they will submit a record proving receipt of flu shot from another location to health services. exemptions will be granted for medical or religious reasons, and the deadline for student participation is december 1, 2020. please see the full policy with exemption request forms here.

although an appointment is not necessary, scheduling an appointment will lessen your wait time and help us adhere to physical distancing guidelines.  you can schedule for any of the three clinics (sept. 29, oct. 6 and oct. 22) using the following links:

seton hill university - upper campus

seton hill university - lower campus

designated student dining areas

seton hill university has established designated student dining areas throughout campus where individuals can remove their mask while eating or drinking as long as they maintain six feet of physical distance from others. 

the following locations serve as designated student dining areas for the fall 2020 semester:

  • boyle atrium areas – boyle health sciences center entrance, second and third floors
  • boyle vibe – boyle health sciences center, first floor
  • commuter lounge - maura hall, second floor 
  • cove - sullivan hall, ground floor
  • greensburg room - adjacent to lowe dining hall
  • lowe dining hall - lowe hall, first floor
  • maura dining - maura hall 131, first floor
  • mckenna lobby - mckenna center, first floor
  • nest - maura hall, ground floor
  • performing arts center – lobby and areas near the green room
  • outdoor tables and areas throughout campus
  • seton hill arts center café - arts center lobby
  • seton hill arts center lounge - arts center second floor
  • spirit room -  adjacent to lowe dining hall
  • sullivan lounge -  sullivan hall, first floor

please visit for helpful information and tips on the ways seton hill community members can stay safe this fall and stay on campus for in-person learning. 

covid-19 concern reporting form

throughout the course of the semester, seton hill students, faculty and staff may witness behaviors by other campus community members that may not align with our health and safety protocols and put others at risk. in an effort to provide a way for community members to alert the university to such behaviors, seton hill has launched the covid-19 concern reporting form, which allows confidential reporting of incidents they have witnessed in person, saw on social media, or heard about in other ways. the form allows users to share information as well as images – including photographs or screenshots of social media posts – about behaviors on campus or off.

the covid-19 concern reporting form can be found at, a website that offers community members with information on the ways we can stay safe this fall and stay on campus for in-person learning. you can click here for direct access to the form.

cares act

students who wish to apply for emergency funding through the cares act should visit the cares act information for students page.

a public disclosure on cares act emergency funding as required to comply with guidance by the united states department of education is available on the cares act public disclosure page.

fall athletics

the pennsylvania state athletic conference (psac) board of directors voted on july 14 to suspend all athletic competition and championships during the fall semester through the end of 2020. the psac is developing a plan to hold all athletic competition in the spring 2021 semester. more information will be provided as it is developed.

employee resources

please follow the link provided for information regarding paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the recently enacted families first coronavirus response act. 

the eeoc also provides a resource: guidance on what you should know about covid-19 and the ada, the rehabilitation act, and other eeo laws.

center for orthodontics

the seton hill university center for orthodontics is open for normal procedures beginning monday, may 18. the center is operating under strict cleaning and safety protocols, including: 

  • your doctor will call you the night before your appointment to review.
  • you will receive a text message on the morning of your appointment. if you do not text, please call the office that morning.
  • we ask that you reply to the text or call us when you arrive in the parking lot. please stay in your car or outside the office.
  • you will be contacted by text or phone call when your resident is ready for you.
  • all patients and visitors must wear a facemask or face covering.
  • your temperature will be taken before you are brought into the clinical area.
  • only the patient (if appropriate) will be admitted into the clinical area.
  • we will have reduced seating in the lobby, spaced appropriately for social distancing; family members can also wait outside or in their car.
  • after the appointment, the resident will call to discuss the appointment and schedule the next visit. 
  • if the resident is unable to contact you the same day, please call the office to schedule your next appointment.

may 2020 commencement

on july 6, seton hill university announced that an in-person commencement for the class of 2020 would not be able to be held in august as the university had hoped due to the rise of covid-19 cases across the country and a 14-day quarantine issued by the commonwealth of pennsylvania for those traveling from a number of states with high case numbers. may graduates are invited to participate in the december 2020 or may 2021 commencement ceremonies. may graduates should also send a photo of themselves along with a brief description of their future plans to seton hill graphic designer breanna salvio at by july 31 to be included in a special slideshow presentation.


archived information - spring 2020 semester

on march 16, 2020, seton hill university announced that in response to the growing global covid-19 pandemic, all face-to-face classes would move online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. in addition, residence halls are closed as of friday, march 20 at 5:00 p.m. students who are unable to make alternative housing arrangements may contact the office of student affairs for more information. 

class schedule

seton hill university will be extending the suspension of all face-to-face classes and maintaining an online and alternative delivery format through the end of the spring 2020 semester. as announced previously, all existing online courses will continue their normal class schedule.  

faculty members will continue to be in contact with students regarding online class work and the completion of senior projects, internships, student teaching and other unique circumstances. additional information will be communicated by the provost, school deans and registrar. 

residence halls 

as of friday, march 20 at 5:00 p.m., the residence halls will be closed for the remainder of the semester. we recognize that this will require some time and coordination for students and families. any student in need of alternative housing arrangements to remain on campus past march 20 should complete the spring 2020 resident exemption form available online or through the office of student affairs by wednesday, march 18 to receive assistance and make appropriate arrangements.  

for those students who need additional time to vacate the residence halls or for those who already vacated the residence halls and need additional time to collect their belongings or to place them into storage please be in touch with rosalie carpenter, vice president for student affairs, at or by phone (724) 838-4242; or, cory campbell, director of residence life, at or 724-838-4260. please also refer to the residence hall faqs located on the university’s coronavirus webpage for additional information.

room and board

as seton hill decided to move entirely to online instruction and to close the residence halls for the remainder of the semester, students will receive a prorated credit of 40 percent of room and board charges for the spring 2020 semester. the credit will be used toward an existing balance and/or toward a future semester’s room and board charges in the 2020-21 academic year.  if the student is a graduating senior, they will receive a refund. 

support services

access to academic support services, reeves library, the counseling, disability and health services office, the career and professional development center and the solution center will be available in a virtual format for all students. please refer to the links on myshu to access these services. 

in addition, the seton hill community will continue to receive email from the counseling, disability and health services center.  these “wellness moments” will suggest ways for all of us to stay well physically and mentally during this period of great stress.  


lowe dining hall will continue to be used as the location for all food service. at this time, aramark has eliminated self-service stations and all food will be served by staff in carry-out containers.

reeves learning commons, the mckenna center, campus ministry lounge, commuter lounge and other common spaces are closed for the remainder of the semester.

shuttle service

shuttle service will be suspended for the remainder of the spring semester. 


seton hill continues to take measures to protect the health of the university community, our families and our neighbors. as a result, we are postponing commencement on may 9.  we plan to come together for the grad bash, honors convocation, baccalaureate mass, and the formal commencement ceremony during a time when we may all gather safely together—as a community and with family and friends—to recognize and celebrate our graduates and their incredible accomplishments.  

at this time, we are tentatively considering a weekend in early august for festivities. we will work with our seniors to ensure they are able to experience their 2020 commencement. the office of student life will provide updates regarding commencement via email. 

while commencement exercises are postponed, be assured that degrees will be conferred as scheduled on may 9, 2020.  diplomas and transcripts will be available and mailed to students the week of may 11, 2020.

in addition, the bookstore has shared the following information regarding regalia:

  • if you have already ordered your regalia, please know that order will remain active and we will receive your regalia when commencement is rescheduled.
  • if you would like to cancel your order and request a refund, please contact herf jones at 1-800-837-4235.
  • if you will need to purchase regalia when the new date is confirmed, you will receive communication on how to place an order for regalia at that time.  

virtual hub for students - connectshu

the division of student affairs created connectshu, a virtual hub where students can access important information to stay connected with seton hill during the pandemic.

cares act 

students who wish to apply for emergency funding through the cares act should visit the cares act information for students page.


seton hill university is suspending in-person mass and liturgical events sponsored by the office of campus ministry and the office of mission and identity. however, the university wants to remain connected to students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends during this time. we will be videotaping mass to share with the community at mass will premiere at 7:00 a.m. every sunday and wednesday for the remainder of the spring semester.  in addition, the office of mission and identity is also compiling “mission moments,” which will be communicated throughout the semester to help sustain us spiritually during this difficult time.  

travel, events and study abroad

all campus events and meetings larger than 25 people are canceled for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. where possible, on-campus meetings of groups of this size may shift to a virtual format. 

all seton hill university study abroad trips for the may 2020 term have been canceled. 

all university-sponsored international travel for faculty, staff or students is suspended. non-essential university domestic travel is also cancelled. 

essential domestic travel must be approved in advance by the supervising member of president’s council/vice president.

personal travel is also discouraged and should be carefully considered. individuals who must travel should follow all cdc, pennsylvania department of health and university protocols for return to campus, including self-quarantine as necessary. 

center for orthodontics

the seton hill university center for orthodontics is operating on a reduced schedule and is handling only emergency cases beginning march 17, 2020. 

essential personnel

the business of the university continues. however, beginning tuesday, march 17, only essential personnel defined by area vice presidents and deans will work on campus.  all other staff members will work remotely from their homes until further notice under the direction and guidance of their immediate supervisors.  employees should take with them all the tools and materials they will need to work remotely. the use of virtual and flexible work arrangements during this time period is encouraged.

employee resources

please follow the link provided for information regarding paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the recently enacted families first coronavirus response act. 

the eeoc also provides a resource: guidance on what you should know about covid-19 and the ada, the rehabilitation act, and other eeo laws.

faculty resources

the innovative teaching and learning center is available to provide information to faculty on online teaching resources. 

athletic events

all spring athletic competition and championships have been canceled as of march 13, following decisions by the pennsylvania state athletic conference (psac) and the great midwest athletic conference (gmac). practices and other team-related activities are also suspended at this time.

important dates: grading/withdrawal

the following changes have been made by the office of the registrar for the spring 2020 semester:

  • mid-semester grades are due for the traditional semester-long classes by friday, march 20 at 11:59 p.m.
  • the withdrawal period (grade of w) has been extended to march 25 for traditional semester-long classes.
  • the withdraw-pass (grade of wp) and withdraw-fail (grade of wf) will be during the period of march 26 through april 16 for traditional semester-long classes.
  • withdrawals for traditional semester-long classes from april 17 through may 4 will receive a grade of  'f' - no change during this period.


to allow for additional time for student advising for summer and fall 2020 the registration schedule will be adjusted as follows:

  • tuesday, april 14 at 6 am – graduate students
  • wednesday, april 15, at 6 am – seniors, second degree, and post-baccalaureate teaching certificate students
  • thursday, april 16 at 6 am – juniors
  • friday, april 17 at 6 am – sophomores
  • monday, april 20 at 6 am – freshmen
  • tuesday, april 21 at 6 am – unclassified and pastoral ministry students

general covid-19 information

symptoms of coronavirus

symptoms of coronavirus are mild to severe respiratory illness and can include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

according to current information from the cdc, symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

health officials currently are advising that unless you have traveled to a country with high numbers of confirmed cases of coronavirus or have come into contact with someone known to have been diagnosed with coronavirus, your risk for being exposed is low. 

if you are experiencing symptoms and have reason to believe you have been exposed to coronavirus, please seek immediate medical attention. current guidance states that before you go to a doctor’s office, clinic, or emergency room that you call ahead and tell them about your symptoms and any recent travel or contact with someone who has traveled. if you plan to seek care at the office of counseling, disability and health services, please call ahead at 724-830-4606. in addition, the services of excela health's infection prevention and control staff are available around the clock for anyone who has questions about coronavirus exposure. they can be reached by calling the excela health operator at 724-832-4000.

preventative actions

the cdc recommends several preventative actions to reduce the risk of developing respiratory diseases such as coronavirus including: 

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • when you are sick, stay home;
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

in addition, immune-compromised students, faculty and staff should contact their faculty adviser or supervisor if they are concerned about exposure to coronavirus. 

seton hill university continues to clean all campus spaces thoroughly using best practices, including sanitizing door knobs, table tops, faucet handles and other commonly touched hard surfaces multiple times a day. the university has a robust emergency all hazards plan that provides guidance on closing campus and/or initiating a quarantine. we will continue to adapt the plan if needed as federal and state guidelines on coronavirus are updated.