COVID Updates and Information

Arcadia believes the best path for a safe return to full student and campus engagement in the fall is to maximize the percentage of our community members who are fully vaccinated. With the FDA granting full approval to the Pfizer COVID vaccine on Aug. 23, all University community members who do not have approved exemptions are to receive their full vaccine dosage by Oct. 1.

Upload Your Vaccine Record 

Students should upload their record to Arcadia’s Patient Portal (instructions on uploading are here).

Employees who are fully vaccinated are to upload their vaccine records to the iSolved platform (instructions can be found here for iSolved).

Vaccine locations are available at the CDC’s COVID Vaccination Locations on VaccineFinder. Students with questions should contact Employees with questions can contact

Surveillance Testing for Unvaccinated Individuals

Anyone unvaccinated after Oct. 1 is required to continue with weekly surveillance testing. Those who have not been granted an exemption from the Interim COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, or who do not participate in surveillance testing or other mitigation measures where required, may face the possibility of restricted access and potentially disciplinary action.

Welcome Knights Fall 2021

Arcadia University welcomes all Knights for the Fall 2021 semester. We look forward to campus being alive with classes, activities, events, and social gatherings while remaining diligent in our COVID mitigation efforts.

Dashboard of COVID Cases

Arcadia's Dashboard was created to provide information about the number of confirmed COVID cases among students and employees on campus.

View COVID Dashboard

Did you test positive for COVID, and you were recently on campus? Did someone in your home recently test positive?

Use the Self-Disclosure Form.

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On Campus Through the Semester


Scalable Testing

Our scalable testing approach is tied to a number of risk factors, such as the level of positivity in our community and vaccine coverage. It is designed to be sufficient to secure shared safety. Our approach to testing is:

  • LOW -  Required weekly testing of unvaccinated individuals during the first four weeks of the semester; opt-in surveillance testing for all vaccinated and unvaccinated community members throughout the semester.
  • MODERATE - Opt-in surveillance testing for those who are vaccinated, but requirement for those who are unvaccinated to more closely monitor any COVID spread on campus, matching the higher risk within our community. 
  • HIGH - Surveillance testing for both vaccinated and unvaccinated. A sample of vaccinated individuals will be tested and the sample size will be informed by other factors like the level of community and campus spread.

At all times, we have:

  • Return to campus (entrance testing)- regardless of COVID levels in the local community, entrance testing of unvaccinated community members to mitigate potentially higher risk from other geographic locations. Utilization of entrance testing of vaccinated individuals will be based on level of community spread.
  • Symptomatic testing - If you are exhibiting symptoms, have a concern, or want to be tested regardless of community transmission level.
  • Close contact testing - if you are unvaccinated and in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID or vaccinated and having symptoms after being in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID regardless of community transmission level.
Condition Vaccinated Unvaccinated
Close contact of case Only if symptomatic Yes
Symptomatic Yes Yes
Return to campus (entrance testing at start of semester) Opt-in or Yes, based on community spread Yes
Low community spread (less than 10 per 100,000 in last 7 days) Opt-in Opt-in
Moderate community spread (at or between 10 – 49 per 100,000 in last 7 days) Opt-in Yes
High community spread (at or above 50 per 100,000 in the last 7 days) Yes, sample Yes
Moderate to low AU community vaccination coverage (below 75%) Opt-in Yes
High AU community vaccination coverage (at or above 75%) Opt-in Opt-in
Concerning campus spread Yes, sample Opt-in Yes
Waning vaccination immunity or increasing cases in fully vaccinated individuals Opt-in or Yes, based on other conditions listed above N/A

Note: This approach is meant to serve as a guide. When conditions indicate conflicting approaches,or if emerging data supports a different approach, Arcadia will utilize the factors indicated above along with other information such as but not limited to COVID variant characteristics and recommendations from public health agencies to determine the current surveillance testing response.

Arcadia University

COVID Operational Tiers

The following matrix outlines how Arcadia will operate in response to COVID as well as the mitigation measures that will be taken at each tier.

It is meant to serve as a guide to help the Arcadia community understand what services and activities may be available, but not intended to detail every activity or event that may occur. Decisions regarding activities and campus access are made by the relevant COVID leadership, including Deans and Vice Presidents, depending on the current tier and circumstances. The COVID pandemic is a rapidly changing situation that requires us to make updates to the Operational Tiers in response to the most current information available and best practices. 


Since July, the University has continued in Tier 1 operational status.

  Academics Research Student Services Housing and Student Access Staff and Faculty Access Student Life & Events Building Access and Campus Services Mitigation Measures Travel
TIER 0 Normal operations. Normal operations. Normal operations. Normal operations. Normal operations. Normal operations. Normal operations. Testing by government/public health recommendations. Travel may be limited based on government/public health recommendations.
TIER 1 All-Modes instruction across all departments. Clinical and laboratory research spaces are open. Most undergraduates approved for research.  Most supports are all-modes. Normal operations in Student Health Services. Both in-person and teletherapy appointments for Counseling Services. Normal housing operations with COVID measures.  Faculty and Staff are in-person for some but not all activities. Remote work in some cases. Events are possible as resources allow. All buildings are open. Testing and mitigation measures based on vaccination status. Domestic travel according to University guidance;  international travel must be approved.
TIER 2 All-Modes instruction is prevalent with online instruction as needed, based on safety requirements.  Most clinical and laboratory research spaces are open with limited student work. Most supports are digital-only. Some in-person appointments for Student Health and Counseling Services. Arcadia guests are permitted with some restrictions in place. Housing offered at normal occupancy levels in approved residence halls. Staff and faculty both remote and in-person as designated by supervisor or department chair. Majority of meetings through digital media.  A limited number of approved events. Most buildings are open with access restricted to only approved individuals. Scheduling required to use spaces on campus. Surveillance, symptomatic, and exposure testing for applicable individuals; standard COVID mitigation measures in place, reduced group sizes allowed. Domestic and international travel must be approved.
TIER 3 Mostly online instruction. Some All-Modes Ready experiential instruction approved. Clinical and graduate lab experiences and accreditation needs possible. Limited approval of clinical and laboratory research based on need and risk. Most supports are digital-only. Some in-person appointments for Student Health Services. Limited guests of Arcadia permitted with additional restrictions in place. Limited housing available. Essential employees. Staff and faculty for approved programming. Only approved academic and co-curricular events and gatherings. A subset of buildings are open with access restricted to approved individuals. Scheduling required to use spaces on campus. Surveillance, symptomatic, and exposure testing for applicable individuals; standard COVID mitigation measures in place, limited group sizes allowed. Domestic and international travel must be approved.
TIER 4 All instruction online except for necessary lab experiences for clinical programs. Only online research. Most supports are digital-only. Some in-person appointments for Student Health Services. No guests permitted. Housing available only to students remaining on campus. Essential employees. Faculty necessary for clinical lab experiences. No events or gatherings on campus. Buildings closed except for essential maintenance and service to remaining residential students. Closed campus except for essential functions and remaining students. Domestic and international travel must be approved.

*This 4-tier model was adapted from the model developed by the University of Liverpool. Updated July 2021.

How does Arcadia University decide what Tier we are operating in and when to move from one Tier to another?

Many factors are considered when making this determination, including the level of COVID transmission with the Arcadia community, the level of COVID transmission in the local area, the availability of resources needed to address the health and safety needs of the University community, our testing capacity, vaccine availability, and uptake, and recommendations and requirements from public health, government, and accrediting or other oversight bodies.

What are the "standard COVID mitigation measures" mentioned in the Operational Tiers?

These measures include, but are not limited to, wearing a mask, social distancing, practicing proper hand hygiene, reduction or elimination of group sizes, and enhanced sanitation.

These guidelines are an important part of establishing a common understanding of the University’s public health expectations for operating in the time of COVID.

COVID Health and Safety Plan

The Arcadia Department of Public Health, Physician Assistant Program, and the COVID Care Team hosted a webinar on Sept. 23 with public health experts who shared information about the COVID-19 vaccination.

Panel: The Science and Safety of COVID Vaccines

If you believe you have symptoms related to COVID-19

It is highly recommended that students and employees who believe they may have come in contact with the virus, self-monitor in their place of dwelling while monitoring for signs and symptoms of illness as described by the CDC.


Frequently Asked Questions

For questions about academic and campus life, prevention and self-care, study abroad programs, and more, please refer to our FAQs here.

Guidelines for University Event Planning during COVID Tier One Status:

  • As of Aug. 1, masks are required when indoors, regardless of whether you are vaccinated. 
  • Operational status: If the University COVID Operational Tier status reaches Tier 2, Arcadia would more than likely move back to an event approval process.
  • All events may have food, however, Social distancing is recommended for dining indoors and for large gatherings outdoors with food. (We recommend space out as much as possible.)
  • Campus space usage is back to design capacity in Tier One status. 
  • Guests are expected to follow University guidelines. 
  • Event managers are responsible for sharing Health and Safety guidelines with any visitors and guests expected to campus. 
  • Supervisors and group planners planning large group functions should consider a virtual event when possible and when technically supportable. 
  • The University expects the community to work together to protect our most vulnerable members.
  • View the FAQs on the COVID website at

Communications, Information, and Planning

Fast Links

Arcadia University Education Abroad Program Updates

The University’s International Travel Policy outlines a protocol for consideration of all University-sponsored travel for all students, faculty, and staff. The decision to suspend any course or travel is based on travel health notices identified by the U.S. State Department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the University’s travel assistance provider – International SOS.


Arcadia’s Community-Centered Pandemic Response

Arcadia University took a values-based, community-focused, strategic approach in responding to the disruptions that have been brought by COVID since early 2020. Each initiative enacted and measure taken placed students and those most vulnerable in our community at the center, with University units and leadership setting an example of steady, unwavering strength and vision in the face of challenges. 

What if I still have questions?

Contact Information

If you are a member of the University community and need a place to direct your question, our central point of contact is Public Safety at 215-572-2800 or 215-572-2999 (emergency) for more information.

For specific questions, please direct to the following Arcadians:

Student Health Services

Theresa Smith
Director of Student Health Services

Arcadia Glenside Housing

Susanne Ferrin
Director of Residence and Commuter Life or call 215-572-2189

Parent and Family Inquiries

If you are a parent of a current student, please join our email listserv or send any questions to

IT Related Questions or Concerns

Please submit a ticket via

Staff and Faculty Employment-Related Questions

Human Resources