Planning for the Spring 2021 Semester

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November 17, 2020

New guidelines from Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health

To the University community:

Prompted by exponential increases in COVID-19 cases throughout the city, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) just yesterday announced important updates and restrictions that will affect how those in our city live, work, and socialize.

PDPH’s revised guidelines will be in place starting this Friday, Nov. 20, and running through at least the end of the calendar year.

I encourage you to review all of PDPH’s announced changes. However, for the purposes of informing our community of these new safety measures, I have distilled PDPH’s comprehensive list to include here only those that most directly impact the La Salle University community:

Remote work

The city has asked that all employers and institutions move to a remote-work model for non-essential operations. As for on-site work, offices are permitted to have only the employees who are essential to campus operations and those who cannot perform the functions of their work remotely.

La Salle University will remain open and operational. Vice presidents will work with their teams to determine which employees need to remain on campus to serve and provide for our students, ensure campus continuity, and prepare for the upcoming semester.

Supervisors are asked to contact La Salle’s Office of Human Resources (hr@lasalle.edu) if you have questions about development of on- and off-campus workplace plans for employees.

Instruction

Colleges and universities in Philadelphia must move to online instruction only, with the exception of clinical instruction for students in the health sciences. This Thursday represents the final day of classes for full-semester courses in the Fall 2020 semester. Other courses that continue into the weekend and early next week, as well as our winter intersession courses, are being offered online and will be unaffected; therefore, this new restriction is not applicable to La Salle.

Athletics

College and university athletic departments may continue, city officials said, if their plans are specifically approved by PDPH and if spectators are not present. City health officials have reviewed and approved La Salle’s Department of Athletics and Recreation plan for men’s and women’s basketball, which meets the aforementioned criteria.

Indoor gatherings

The city has prohibited all indoor gatherings and events involving people from more than one household, whether in public or private settings. PDPH director Dr. Thomas Farley stressed that city-wide enforcement of this restriction will be difficult; that’s why it is critically important that everyone in the La Salle community and beyond make a personal commitment to adhere to this revised policy. Limit interactions to only those with whom you live. Avoid gatherings of any size with others from outside your home.

Final note

Embracing these restrictions will not be easy. We all must nobly continue to make personal sacrifices in order to protect our communities. Doing so represents the most effective measure to flatten the curve and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Every stage of our planning has pivoted upon an unbridled commitment to protecting the health and wellness of our students, faculty, staff, and Christian Brothers. Please continue to act respectfully and responsibly as we close out the fall term and look toward a safe and successful start to our spring semester.

Sincerely,

Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D.
President