COVID-19 Updates | University of Valley Forge

COVID-19 Updates

UVF COVID-19 UPDATES

August 3, 2020 Update:

 

An email was sent to students informing them of the latest FAQs for returning to campus for the fall semester.

 


 

July 8, 2020 Update:

 

An email was sent to students on July 8, 2020, informing students of the University’s Health and Safety Plan for the upcoming fall semester. Please click here (updated July 29th, 2020) to read the 2020-2021 Health and Safety Plan for Resuming In-Person Instruction.

 


 

June 12, 2020 Update:

 

Dear University of Valley Forge Community,

 

We are happy to inform you that UVF will open as scheduled for the fall semester for both on-campus classes and residential life. Classes start on August 24. We are so very excited to see all of you back on campus.

 

Our Task Force on Reopening has been meeting regularly to work out the details of the safety plan for the fall semester. In the coming weeks, we will be sending more information about these plans, including move-in dates.

 

It has been good to see some of you on campus this past week to check out of your rooms. We continue to pray for you and look forward to being back together again in the fall.

 


 

May 22, 2020 Update:

 

An email was sent to students on May 22, 2020, explaining the timeline and process for retrieving their belongings from campus. Please see the following documents for more information:

 

      • Please read the FAQs for Check-out as they will address most questions about the check-out process.
      • Please review the Checklist for Check-out regarding the check-out process.

 


 

May 1, 2020 Update:

 

Dear University of Valley Forge Community,

 

Congratulations to everyone on completing the semester, and special congratulations to our 2020 graduates! Although these past two months did not turn out the way that any of us would have expected, we are so proud of all that you have accomplished. God has been faithful.

 

Here are some updates:

      • UVF has applied for and been awarded a CARES Act grant that will be used to aid students. There are additional steps that have to be taken before details are finalized. Thank you for your patience as we work through this process. We will send more information to our students via email over the next week.
      • Governor Wolf made an announcement today regarding the timeline for lifting the stay-at-home order throughout Pennsylvania. As soon as the details of the Governor’s announcement are made clear, we will announce via email how and when students may make arrangements to pick up their belongings.
      • This is our last regularly scheduled weekly Friday update. However, we will continue to send out updates as necessary and encourage our students to check their emails regularly throughout the summer.

 

As we close the spring semester, we are praying the Apostle Paul’s prayer over you:

 

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:16-19

 


 

April 24, 2020 Update:

 

Dear University of Valley Forge Community,

 

Happy Forge Friday! As classes end and we prepare for finals week, we are praying for you to persevere and finish strong!

 

Here are some updates:

      • Governor Wolf has extended Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order through May 8, after which the state will be reopened county by county, based upon case frequency. We are awaiting updates for Chester County, and working on a procedure for students to move belongings out of their rooms as soon as the state allows.
      • Congress recently passed legislation known as the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. UVF completed the application for this fund as soon as it was possible to do so. According to the Secretary of Education, as of April 21, only about half of eligible schools have applied for this fund. We are actively working on behalf of our students. We are currently awaiting approval for our application and a decision for how funding can be used to assist students. At this time, the University has not received any CARES Act funding. Further information will be communicated in future updates as we learn more.
      • UVF is proud to announce the hosting of a Virtual International Fine Arts Event for high school students. This event will provide scholarships for students who have been affected by the cancellation of the National Fine Arts Festival. More information is available here. Please share this news with anyone you know who might be interested!

 

As we wrap up classes for the semester, we want to take the opportunity to tell you all how much we love and appreciate you. We know that the past six weeks have not been easy – academically, physically, or emotionally. We were created to be relational. We know, however, that God can use all circumstances to grow us closer to Him, and this time of struggle is no different. We pray that you abide in God’s presence and learn to trust Him more.

 


 

April 17, 2020 Update:

 

Dear University of Valley Forge Community,

 

“Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you.”

– Philippians 1:2-3

 

We love you and are praying for you and your families daily.

 

Here are some updates:

      • Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order continues to be in effect through April 30. We do not yet know what will happen after that date. We are unable to allow students back on campus, even to retrieve belongings, until the stay-at-home order is lifted for Chester County.  We are working on a clear procedure for how students can retrieve belongings as soon as the state guidelines are changed.
      • Our summer housing policy is dependent upon Pennsylvania regulations. Right now, summer housing is limited to those who are already here. As soon as we receive word that we can reopen our campus, we will evaluate the summer housing policy. Questions can be directed to studentlife@valleyforge.edu.
      • Regarding financial implications, we have been working through our representatives in Congress to seek financial assistance for students affected by the mandated closure. Congress recently passed legislation known as the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. As soon as it was possible to do so, UVF applied for assistance from this program. We are currently awaiting a decision on our eligibility and how funding can be used to assist students. Further information will be communicated in future updates as we learn more.

 

As we come to the close of the semester, we encourage everyone to finish strong! Next week is our last week of virtual chapel on Wednesday (small group) and Friday (electives). And on Friday, April 24, we are celebrating the last day of classes with Forge Friday. Wear your Patriot gear, use a Valley Forge background, and post pictures on social media using the hashtag #ForgeFriday!

 


 

 

April 9, 2020 Update:

 

Dear University of Valley Forge Community,

 

We hope that you are all safe and healthy during this Holy Week. We are constantly praying for you and your families and miss having you all on campus!

 

There are no new updates this week. We encourage you to refer to previous updates and FAQs for more information. We continue to monitor the situation for any new updates from the government, including when students will be able to return to campus to retrieve their belongings.

 

Our Chancellor, Dr. Ron McManus, recently shared with the Board of Trustees, “Instead of going to church on a Sunday, we have the opportunity now to be the Church.” Our Easter celebrations will be different this year. We may not physically go to church, but we can be the Church. We can testify of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and of the power that conquered death.

 

“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”

– Romans 8:11

 

Wherever you may be this weekend, be the Church. Reach out, love, and serve by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ to the fullest!

 

He is Risen!

 


April 3, 2020 Update:

 

Dear University of Valley Forge Community,

 

We hope that you are all doing well and staying healthy during this time. We miss seeing you on campus and are praying for you and your families daily! We grieve with you at the loss of experiencing the rest of this semester together on campus. However, we look forward to finishing the semester strong, and know that God is still doing great things!

 

Here are some updates:

 

      • Commencement has been postponed to Saturday, August 29. The day will include rehearsal, Baccalaureate, and the Commencement ceremony. A schedule is forthcoming. We are committed to having an in-person Commencement when we can all gather together and celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating class.
      • Regarding the pick-up of your belongings and moving out of your room, UVF is still under state-mandated closure of the campus. We will let students know as soon as we hear a change in the guidelines from the Governor.
      • There are five chapel opportunities during the online period as part of the ongoing care for our community: Small Groups on Wednesdays, April 8, 15, and 22, and Electives on Fridays April 17 and 24. There are no fines attached to missed chapel during this period. The purpose of offering these chapels is to encourage one another by abiding together as a Spirit-filled, loving community. You are an important part of our community. Your participation will encourage all of us.
      • Easter Break remains the same: Thursday, April 9 – Monday, April 13. Classes will not meet during this time, but they will resume at 6:00 pm on Monday, April 13. Offices are closed on Friday, April 10, but will be open on Monday, April 13 (virtually). The weekly COVID-19 update will be posted on Thursday, April 9 instead of Friday, April 10.
      • Classes and chapel will be held as scheduled on Wednesday, April 15 due to Community Service Day being canceled.
      • Please contact anyone who might be sending you mail to the campus and update your address. You may pick up any existing mail and turn in your mailroom key when you check out and pick up your belongings.
      • Financial Services has always worked with individuals to accommodate changes in their financial circumstances. If you or your family have experienced financial crisis due to COVID-19 or any other reason and you have an outstanding balance to the University, please contact your Financial Services counselor at financialservices@valleyforge.edu to make arrangements for your individual situation.
      • There are currently no new updates to the March 30 announcement regarding financial implications.
        • From March 30: We understand you have questions about the financial implications of this situation. We have been working through our representatives in Congress to seek financial assistance for students affected by the mandated closure. We are closely monitoring legislation currently being considered and will communicate with students as information becomes available. Once the government response is clear, we will determine what additional actions the University should take.

 

This time is challenging to all of us. Pastoral care is available at pastoralcare@valleyforge.edu. We are adjusting to guidance and recommendations that are changing every day. But we know that in times of uncertainty, we have one constant that is the same yesterday, today, and forever. May God grant you peace as you trust in Him.

 


March 30, 2020 Update:

 

Dear University of Valley Forge Community,

 

Today, Governor Wolf announced that the stay-at-home order applying to counties including Chester County has been extended through April 30. In addition, all schools in Pennsylvania are to remain closed until further notice.

 

      • Due to the Governor’s announcement, UVF is extending the period of online learning through the end of the spring 2020 semester and the campus remains closed.
      • We understand you have questions about the financial implications of this situation. We have been working through our representatives in Congress to seek financial assistance for students affected by the mandated closure. We are closely monitoring legislation currently being considered and will communicate with students as information becomes available. Once the government response is clear, we will determine what additional actions the University should take.
      • The date to allow students to retrieve their belongings has not yet been determined. Belongings left in the Residence Halls will be available when the directives from the government indicate that access is safe and legal. In the case of an emergency need, please contact Student Life to request permission for access at studentlife@valleyforge.edu.
      • Commencement is postponed. We will have a face-to-face Commencement ceremony at a point in the future. The rescheduled date will be announced in the Friday, April 3 update.
      • Final exams will occur virtually according to the Final Exam Schedule on MyVALLEYFORGE.
      • The following events will be held virtually:
        • Open Houses (April 4 & April 18)
        • Grad Center (April 7) – Prospective graduates will be sent an email with more details.
        • Housing selection night (April 16) – More information will be sent by email to students next week.
      • The following events have been canceled:
        • Spring Banquet (April 3)
        • Community Service Day (April 15), classes will be held
        • Forge Fest (April 27)
      • The FAQs on the UVF Covid-19 Update page on our website have been updated to provide answers to common questions we have received.

 

In the midst of this difficult season, we continue to pray for God’s grace to be with all of you.

 


March 27, 2020 Update:

 

Dear University of Valley Forge Community,

 

We hope that you are all doing well and staying healthy during this time. We miss seeing you on campus and are praying for you and your families daily!

 

Here are some updates:

 

      • The online learning period will be extended through at least Tuesday, April 14. Governor Wolf has extended the period of school closure for all Pennsylvania schools through April 6. In order to help with travel plans, we are extending the period of online learning to after Easter Break.
      • The date to allow students to return to campus has not yet been determined. We will provide updates as soon as possible.
      • In accordance with Governor Wolf’s mandate, dorms are still closed and will not be available to students to access until further notice. In the case of an emergency need, please contact Student Life to request permission for access at studentlife@valleyforge.edu.
      • Students who would like pastoral care are invited to email pastoralcare@valleyforge.edu. We have a team of faculty, staff, and local pastors who will connect with you to provide spiritual care and prayer.
      • Virtual chapel services will be held on Wednesdays (small groups) and Fridays (electives) beginning on Wednesday, April 8 at the regularly scheduled time of 10am. More details will be emailed out to students next week. We look forward to abiding together during this time.
      • A decision on the date of Commencement has not yet been made. We will make an announcement in the next weekly update on April 3.
      • Grad Center (scheduled April 7) will be held virtually. Prospective graduates will be sent an email with more details.
      • Spring Banquet (scheduled April 3) has been canceled.
      • Community Service Day (scheduled April 15) has been canceled in conjunction with the Borough of Phoenixville.
      • Open House (scheduled April 4) will be held virtually.
      • Housing selection night is moved from April 7 to April 16.
    •  

 

We, like you, continue to take the unfolding situation day-by-day. There are still many questions to be answered, so please continue to look for future weekly updates. We know that God cares deeply for our community. May the Lord continue to fill our hearts with the peace that surpasses all understanding.

 


 

March 20, 2020 Update:

 

Dear University of Valley Forge Community,

 

We hope you are settling into the new routine of online learning and adjusting to all of the unprecedented changes that we are experiencing together. We deeply care for you and are praying for you daily.

 

Here are some updates:

 

      • We will announce if the online learning period for seated classes will be extended by Friday, March 27.
      • Virtual tutoring and help from the Write Solution are available beginning March 23.
      • Plans for small groups to meet virtually and opportunities for pastoral care will be released soon.
      • Campus offices and services continue to operate virtually to serve our students and constituents.
      • Vital services remain available to students who were not able to return home (e.g. international students and family students).

 

Thursday, March 19, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf announced further mitigation efforts that included the closing of non-life-sustaining businesses. As a result:

 

      • We have closed access to our physical campus to the public.
      • Campus Security is monitoring access to the campus.

 

Thank you for your flexibility as we operate during the online learning period. Let us continue to abide in the presence of God, and pray for our community during this challenging time.

 


 

March 15, 2020 Update:

 

Dear University of Valley Forge Community,

 

Yesterday, Saturday, March 14, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf enacted aggressive social distancing procedures for Chester County for 14 days, effective March 15, in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Pennsylvania Department of Education advised that these procedures mandate the closing of institutions of higher education.

 

Therefore, beginning Monday, March 16, the University campus will be closed for the mandated period. Please see below for more information.

 

The University of Valley Forge will continue with our previously stated plan for seated courses. Seated courses are canceled for Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, and will be moved online beginning Wednesday, March 18 until at least April 3. Instructions regarding how to access virtual class sessions will be emailed no later than Monday afternoon.

 

UVF will continue to reassess and post updates on at least a weekly basis.

 

STUDENTS:

      • All students are required to leave campus by 8:00 p.m. Monday, March 16.
      • Food services will be provided through dinner on Monday. Graduate Assistant housing and Family Housing are not included in this closure.
      • All students must complete the Student Residence Report Form to let us know where you are going. If you already filled it out but circumstances have changed, please complete it again.
      • If you need to remain on campus due to extenuating circumstances, you must receive approval by completing the Exception to Remain on Campus Form no later than 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Monday, March 16.
      • This is not a final check-out; items may be left in rooms. Students will receive further communication from Student Life regarding retrieving items at a later date.
      • We will still provide critical infrastructure for resident students who must remain in the residence halls.
      • Administrative services will be available to students during this time (registration, Financial Services, advising, etc.).
      • Effective immediately, the Anvil, Student Center, Gymnasium, Capeci Hall, and Storms Research Center are closed. Library resources remain available online.

 

Questions or concerns related to housing should be directed to studentlife@valleyforge.edu. Questions or concerns related to classes should be directed to the faculty teaching the course.

 

Let us continue to pray for all affected by this situation. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility as we continue to monitor and respond to updates regarding COVID-19.

 


 

 

March 13, 2020 Update:

 

Dear University of Valley Forge Community:

 

In light of the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 epidemic, UVF is enacting new measures in support of the public health of our community, while remaining committed to our academic mission.

 

At this time, the University has no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.

 

Public health officials and medical experts have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and are encouraging institutions to increase mitigation efforts against the virus, including social distancing. Guidance from such public health officials, however, does not encourage colleges to close at this time.

 

The safety and well-being of our students and employees are of highest priority to the University of Valley Forge. To ensure this priority, UVF has been proactive in preparing for a response to the pandemic. A campus task force of administrators, faculty, and staff has been diligently working to facilitate calm, quick, and effective responses during this emergency situation.

 

With regard to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the University is taking the following actions, effective Saturday, March 14, 2020, unless otherwise stated below.

 

ACADEMICS

      • All seated courses are canceled on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 to provide our community a transition time to move seated courses to online delivery. More information about how to access online classes will be sent by Tuesday, March 17 at 4:00 PM.
      • All seated courses will move to online delivery beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 through at least April 3, 2020. Online delivery of seated courses will follow the same class meeting schedule (same times and days).
      • Online courses will continue as usual.
      • Field experiences, internships, and student teaching will continue through this period but must follow the guidance of the hosting organization. In the event that students cannot continue with such activities, the University will seek to provide alternative means to fulfill degree and certification requirements prior to May graduation or soon thereafter.
      • Advising and pre-registration period will continue as scheduled. Students should contact their advisors for meeting arrangements.

 

STUDENT LIFE

      • On-campus residency is open during this period of online instruction, but students may choose to return to their homes if they so desire. Students must inform the University of their plans for this period by completing this survey by 11:55 pm on Monday, March 16, 2020.
      • Dining services will remain available, though hours and services may be adjusted.
      • Chapel requirements are suspended through April 3, 2020.
      • Athletic practices, contests, and intramurals are suspended through April 3, 2020.
      • Student activities may be limited through April 3, 2020.
      • University-sanctioned student travel (travel teams, Student-Led Ministries, etc.) is suspended through April 3, 2020 effective immediately.

 

STUDENT SERVICES

      • University office hours will remain unchanged. All administrative services will continue to be available to students.
      • Student workers should contact their supervisors for information on their work status. In most cases, students will be able to continue to work.
      • All campus facilities (Health Center, library, gym, etc.) will remain open until further notice. Hours may be adjusted if needed.

 

No decision has been made for any events after April 3, 2020 at this time. The University is continuing to monitor the situation and will be posting weekly updates every Friday or as needed.

 

Please see the FAQs page for more details and information about who to contact with specific questions.

 

During this period, the University will remain open with faculty and staff reporting to work. Faculty and staff will receive further information via email and are reminded to contact the Office of Human Resources if they have specific concerns.

 

We continue to make preparations in alignment with CDC guidelines and the guidance provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. We ask that everyone in our community continue to follow the practices set out by these health officials to prevent the spread of viral illness, including social distancing, refraining from gathering in large groups, and effective hand-washing and hygiene techniques.

 

Our COVID-19 web page continues to serve as a resource for our community and will be updated with the most current information.


 

March 10, 2020 Update:

 

UVF thanks our students, parents, and community supporters, as well as government officials and healthcare workers, that are together working to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in our area and around the world.

 

UVF continues to closely monitor the evolving situation with regular communication and guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Education, and the Chester County Health Department.

 

CDC and Chester County Health Department Information

According to the Chester County Health Department, there are currently no cases of Covid-19 in Chester County as of noon, March 12, 2020. If local health officials report that there are cases of Covid-19 in the community, we will take additional steps, in consultation with health officials, to reduce the spread of the disease. Temporarily suspending classes or moving classes online is a strategy to stop or slow the spread of Covid-19 in communities and one that would be made in consultation with health officials. Faculty are prepared to move classes into an online format should that become necessary.

 

The University recommends monitoring the CDC’s website and the Chester County Health Department’s website for ongoing information. CDC information: CDC Coronavirus 2019 Information. Chester County Health Department: CCHD Website

 

The following information comes from recent communication to our UVF community:

 

UVF Updates

The policies of universities and colleges are rapidly changing regarding athletic participation and contests. UVF is in regular communication with our conference and with teams on our schedule. Because the situation is rapidly changing, we are assessing competitions on a case-by-case basis as other schools do the same. Schedule changes and cancelations can be expected.

 

The following measures were mentioned in previous communications:

      • UVF has a pandemic flu emergency response plan in place.
      • We have increased the cleaning of high-contact surfaces of University with appropriate cleaning products with both Facilities and IT.
      • Information on good hand washing and use of hand sanitizer has been posted around campus as has CDC information about Covid-19 prevention.
      • We are closely monitoring student and staff absences.
      • We have increased the staffing hours of our Health and Wellness Center.
      • Sodexo is following guidance from their national office and has taken further steps toward prevention, such as making disposable utensils available. They are also prepared for greater levels of intervention to reduce risk.
      • UVF is prepared to take additional measures as necessary.

 

Illness Communication

UVF requests that any member of the UVF community with cold or flu-like symptoms report it to Lauren Born in the Health and Wellness Center. Resident students should also contact their Resident Assistant (RA) and Residence Director (RD). Information on symptoms of Covid-19 from the CDC may be accessed here: Symptoms

 

Should someone in our UVF community become exposed to or infected with Covid-19, UVF will follow the directives of health officials.

 

Illness Prevention

While our families and communities work to be prepared, the best information at this time recommends the same kind of preventative measures for influenza-like illnesses-frequent hand-washing, avoiding shared utensils, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve, and staying home or in your room if you are not feeling well.

 

In addition to good flu prevention practices, UVF recommends each person regularly clean personal spaces and items (such as mobile phones, dorm room or office internal door knobs, desks, and computer keyboards).

 

We appreciate our UVF community and the deep care and concern for one another. Please keep countries and persons impacted by Covid-19 in your prayers.