Transitioning to Tier 2 Status

By universityrelations 21160 | April 2, 2021
Dear Students,

Arcadia began a limited opening this spring semester under Tier 3 of our COVID Operational status, aligning with Commonwealth and county regulations. As our mitigation efforts have progressed with surveillance testing and safety measures, Arcadia has made great strides with small groups of students, faculty, and staff engaging in highly controlled, in-person living and learning opportunities on campus. 

Based on the current success of these efforts and testing strategy, a promising outlook of vaccination, and decreasing case rates, Arcadia plans to begin transitioning to Tier 2 status. This transition will be gradual, occurring over a number of weeks. Such a transition does not mean that we can abandon the efforts that have made our Tier 3 operations successful; rather, we must build upon those important behaviors to expand activities and access.  

Transition to Tier 2
Decisions regarding activities and campus access continue to be made by the Arcadia COVID leadership team in consultation with external health experts. Support, resources, and protocols are needed to expand campus access, services, and activities. Some of the planned changes that will be put in place during our transition to Tier 2 are described below. As we adjust operations over the coming weeks, we will continue to assess their impact on our COVID rates as well as available resources. Updates will be shared with the Arcadia community throughout this process on any changing activities or updates.  

COVID Mitigation and Testing
Surveillance, symptomatic, and exposure testing will continue for those with campus access. We will be observing the number of cases on campus and county-wide to evaluate when to start a decrease of the testing schedule. At this time, our testing approach will remain the same for Tier 2 as it is in Tier 3.  Until more data are available, Arcadia will continue to follow public health recommendations and include in COVID surveillance testing those who have been vaccinated.  

We must remain diligent in keeping standards of COVID mitigation measures in place, which include wearing masks, social distancing, and reducing group sizes. 

All-Modes Ready Academics
As we transition to Tier 2 status, we will maintain the existing status for All-Modes Ready classes, online classes, and in-person supplemental programming, based on safety requirements. A mix of All-Modes and online academic programming is expected for the summer sessions while we are in Tier 2. 

Commencement Ceremonies 
Commencement ceremonies will be held on May 20-21 on Haber Green in smaller ceremonies, by the program. The ability to host our ceremonies in person is contingent on several factors, including a successful transition to and sustaining of Tier 2 status, the continued mitigation of the spread of COVID within the Arcadia community after spring wellness break, continued adherence to University, federal, and county health and safety guidelines, and vaccine efficacy. 

Student Services 

  • Student Health Services will continue in-person appointments. Counseling services will still conduct most sessions remotely, however some exceptions may be made.
  • Students living on campus will be permitted to have other Arcadia community members as guests, with restrictions. Housing is offered at normal occupancy levels in approved residence halls.

Campus Usage 

  • A limited number of approved campus events, with prior approval required, may be held. 
  • To propose any event on campus, use the campus event request form

Athletics and Facilities

  • Usage of Athletics facilities may be expanded incrementally and be based on COVID risk, the capacity of facilities, and other available resources.
  • Students with approved campus access will be permitted to use the Sports Training Center on the first floor of the Kuch Center on weekends. More information on this will be provided to applicable students.

It has been more than a year since the last time the University community was together in person. So many of you have remained diligent and vigilant in your mitigation efforts, and it is because of this that we have been able to expand access, offerings, and opportunities throughout the past year. This continued expansion and potential transition to Tier 2 is a direct result of all of your efforts. Please remain attentive to weekly and University-related COVID and campus messages, as these include pertinent information for community members. 

If you have any COVID-related questions, contact