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General COVID-19 INFORMATION

What is the CARES Act, and how will it help students at Point Park?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from the Covid-19 pandemic. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund, which provides money for colleges and universities -- including Point Park -- to distribute directly to students as emergency financial aid for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

Will I qualify for funding under the federal CARES Act?

Undergraduate and Graduate/Doctoral students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid will be considered for these funds. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-degree students or students enrolled in fully online programs. Any student who withdrew prior to March 13 will not be eligible. Money awarded will be paid directly to the student within 14 days of the funds posting to their student account.

Do I have to apply to receive CARES Act funding?

Yes, every eligible student needs to complete the application form on PointWeb.

Do I have to complete the FAFSA in order to receive CARES Act funding?

Yes, every student will need to complete the 2019-20 FAFSA in order to be eligible for a CARES ACT Grant. If you have not completed the 19-20 FAFSA, you can complete this at www.studentaid.gov.

How much money will I receive?

The federal government has provided Point Park a finite pool of money to distribute. The award amount will vary by enrollment status. Full-time undergraduate students can expect to receive up to $640. Full-time Graduate/Doctoral students can expect to receive up to $425. Part-time Undergraduate and Graduate/Doctoral students can also expect an award up to $400.

How can I receive my grant?

Direct deposit of the award into a checking account is the safest, quickest and most-efficient way to receive the funds when they are available. For instructions on setting up direct deposit please click here.  Students who do not elect direct deposit will have a paper check mailed to the address on the form.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses known to cause respiratory illness in humans. Recently an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) strain of coronavirus (originally called “2019-nCoV” and recently officially designated as SARS-Co-V-2). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is not the same as the disease caused by coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

On Feb. 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) classified COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Symptoms may include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Complications can be mild and few, and in some cases can progress to severe illness, and in some cases to death.

Much is unknown about how COVID-19 spreads. Person-to-person transmission is occurring among close contacts and is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when a person with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive medicines to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, a physician will prescribe additional medical treatment as needed. Anyone who feels that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider immediately.

Students should call the Student Health Center at 412-392-3800.

Point Park Preparations

Yes, Point Park is closely monitoring the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, including recommendations from national, state and local public health authorities. The University will cancel in-person classes on Friday, March 13, Saturday, March 14, Monday, March 16, and Tuesday March 17. Classes will resume on Wednesday, March 18 with instruction delivered online or in alternative forms for the remainder of the spring semester.

To address the health crisis, Point Park University is asking all residential students to leave the residence halls no later than Friday, March 27, 2020. Very few exceptions will be granted. Additional information will be sent to students today from Keith Paylo, Dean of Students.  Residential students should check their Point Park University emails for further instructions or contact the Office of Student Life at 412-392-8026.

Members of the University community—including visitors to Point Park University’s campus—should practice social distancing for 14 days from the date they returned to the U.S. if they have returned from a CDC Level 3 or 4 travel advisory area since February 13, 2020, or if they have been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19. Determination of countries or areas with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 is based upon the most current CDC travel advisory levels.

There are no cases of COVID-19 impacting the Point Park University campus, but cases are now identified in the Western Pennsylvania region.

Point Park is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to send campus wide announcements and post updates and guidance on this website. Students should check their Point Park University emails for further information. 

Since March, the University has been providing information to the community to help provide instruction for personal and community welfare. We are constantly monitoring and relaying public health agencies’ instructions, government actions, and expert advice. The University will cancel in-person classes on Friday, March 13, Saturday, March 14, Monday, March 16, and Tuesday March 17. Classes will resume on Wednesday, March 18 with instruction delivered online or in alternative forms for the remainder of the spring semester.

To address the health crisis, Point Park University is also asking all residential students to leave the residence halls no later than Friday, March 27, 2020.

In addition to these actions, most if not all, University related events have been canceled or postponed for the time being.

The University’s academic and operational units continue to implement and review Point Park’s emergency preparedness action plan moving forward this semester.

Point Park is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and has an emergency preparedness plan that outlines potential actions in the event that cases of COVID-19 are reported in the region or on Point Park’s campus. Should this occur, Point Park will work closely with local and state health authorities to control spread of COVID-19. Isolating any confirmed or possible case will be a priority. As of now, the University will cancel in-person classes on Friday, March 13, Saturday, March 14, Monday, March 16, and Tuesday March 17. Classes will resume on Wednesday, March 18 with instruction delivered online or in alternative forms for the remainder of the spring semester. To further protect the Point Park community, all Point Park University affiliated individuals should practice social distancing for 14 days from they returned to the U.S. if they have returned from a CDC Level 3 or 4 travel advisory area since February 13, 2020, or if they have been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19.
The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Point Park has plans to cover many contingencies in support of individual students and the student body as a whole. The severity of the disease, extent of the spread of the disease, community impacts and resources available to help protect the safety of students and staff are some of the factors that influence actions the University could take if a COVID-19 case emerges on Point Park’s campus. As of now, the University will cancel in-person classes on Friday, March 13, Saturday, March 14, Monday, March 16, and Tuesday March 17. Classes will resume on Wednesday, March 18 with instruction delivered online or in alternative forms for the remainder of the spring semester.
If you are visiting Point Park University, please contact the Admissions Office for further visitation details.   Please note that we are following guidance issued by public health authorities in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In-person campus visits have been temporarily suspended through March 31, and the March 21 Admitted Students Day has been cancelled. RSVP for April. Admission counselors will continue to accommodate prospective families via email, phone, live chat and virtual tour.

The University is recommending that any member of our campus community—including visitors—practice social distancing for 14 days from the date they returned to the U.S. if they have returned from a CDC Level 3 or 4 travel advisory area since February 13, 2020, or if they have been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19.

The University remains open and operational at this time.  Until further notice, large gatherings and student related events have been cancelled.

If you need to convene a face-to-face meeting, limit the number of participants to 25 or less and ensure the meeting is in a space large enough to practice social distancing.  All such meetings should be approved in advance by:

  • John Pearson – Academics
  • Keith Paylo – Students
  • Lisa Stefanko - Employees

To continue to respond to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation while ensuring uninterrupted delivery of services, effective March 16, 2020 the Professional Career-Readiness Center will offer digital appointments only. Schedule an appointment or learn more about our services here.

Students completing internships and co-ops should complete this form to provide information on any impact COVID-19 is having on their experience. If you have any questions, please contact careerdev@pointpark.edu.

To address the health crisis, Point Park University is asking all residential students to leave the residence halls no later than Friday, March 27, 2020. Very few exceptions will be granted. Any student wanting to remain in the residence halls after March 27 is required to complete the Move-out Exception Request Form: https://pointsync.pointpark.edu/submitter/form/start/394970. Students will be informed if their exception has been granted.  Residential students should check their Point Park University emails for further instructions.

Check-out Envelopes for all residence hall keys will be available at every residential front desk. To be considered properly checked out, all envelopes must be completely filled out and returned to the Student Life Office prior to leaving the campus. If you are departing after hours, please fold your envelope in half and slide it into the key drop box, directly to the right of the office doors.

student_life_drop_box.jpg

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. You can come to the office (1st floor of Pioneer Hall) between 8:30 pm and 6 pm, call us at 412-392-8026 or email us at studentlife@pointpark.edu.

Extended Office Hours: For the remainder of the week we will be extending our office hours as indicated below. On Saturday, we will assess the number of residents remaining and announce the hours for the week of March 23rd-29th. 

  • Wednesday, March 18th - 8:30am-9:00pm
  • Thursday, March 19th - 8:30am-9:00pm
  • Friday, March 20th - 8:30am-9:00pm
  • Saturday, March 21st - 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Sunday, March 22nd - 10:00am-4:00pm

During these hours, Red Bins will be available with a strict 2-hour limit.  You will need to provide both your student ID as well as a state ID to sign out a bin.  All bins will be required to be returned prior to the closure of the office.

Though we are not sure exactly which facilities will be open, Food Services will remain available for the remainder of the semester.

 

Students will have access to dining services and a limited amount of other campus facilities.  The University is in the process of shutting down some of its buildings moving forward. At this time, we are encouraging residence hall students to move out of the halls before March 27. The Student Center will also be closed for recreational use. The University will continue evaluating this situation as it develops as it relates to University operations and facilities.  Students should continue practicing all recommended social distancing and public health and hygiene measures the University and the CDC have recommended in all campus facilities.

 

ON THE POINT PARK UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE

The bookstore has closed until further notice.  You can visit the store online here for all your bookstore needs.

 

ON LIBRARY OPERATIONS

The following are additional changes to Library operations.  Until further notice there is a discontinuation of scanning reserve materials and pulling books and DVDs for physical pick up.

Online resources continue to be available.  Any questions or concerns, please email the library team at library@pointpark.edu   Librarians are monitoring online requests Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. - Midnight, Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

ON POINT PERK CAFÉ

Point Perk located in the Village Park is closed until further notice.

 

ON MAIL CENTER OPERATIONS

Beginning on Monday, March 23, the Mail Center will be open Mondays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m

The window will remain closed but mail can be deposited in the slot. Please only drop off mail during the hours of operation listed above.  If you have bulk mailings or need other services, please ring the doorbell or call x3820. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Mail Center at x3820 or the Physical Plant at x3495.

 

ON SAFETY ON CAMPUS DURING REMOTE OPERATIONS

Campus police are essential personnel and will continue to work to keep the campus safe and secure.  As always, it is recommended that you lock your office and secure any valuables during this period of remote operations.

 

ON COMPUTER AND OTHER LABS AND FACILITIES CLOSED EFFECTIVE MONDAY

As the University transitions to only essential personnel on campus, the computer labs will be closing according to the schedule below. We remind those who use the lab to practice social distancing in an effort to contain spread of the virus.

  • UC Television Studio – Closed
  • Playhouse Soundstage - Closed
  • Media Services Office – Closing 3/19 at 4:30 pm
  • Academic Hall Photography Labs – Closing 3/23 at 4:30 pm
  • SPS Equipment Room – Closing 3/23 at 4:30 pm
  • West Penn Edit Suites – Closing 3/23 at 4:30 pm
  • All IT computer labs - Closing 3/23 at 4:30 pm

Statement from the NAIA:

After convening the Council of Presidents Executive Committee this morning, and with input from the National Administrative Council and National Eligibility Committee, the decision has been made to cancel the spring 2020 sports season, effective immediately.

We know this is extremely disappointing, especially for our student-athletes. All possible options for maintaining the spring season were discussed at great length by multiple governance groups. However, the growing state of emergency due to COVID-19, as well as the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation yesterday to limit gatherings to fewer than 50 people for eight weeks, meant we could not in good conscience move forward, possibly putting student-athletes, staff, and fans at risk.

In an effort to provide relief, no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition. Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.

We know there are outstanding questions regarding relief for winter sport student-athletes, implications on transfer regulations, and impacts to academic eligibility rules. We are working closely with the appropriate governance groups to determine answers and will continue to share information with membership as it becomes available.

Please contact the Athletic Department with further questions.

Transportation service will continue business as usual unless the requester of service sends a cancellation notification. If a requester needs to cancel a request for transportation, please send an email to the following email addresses:

Jan Pekar at jpekar@pointpark.edu

Mary Beth Rosendale at mrosendale@pointpark.edu

Terry Daly at tdaly@pointpark.edu

Due to the University’s response to COVID-19, the Mindfulness Workshops offered by the UCC are canceled for the remainder of the semester until further notice.

If you are in need of support from the UCC, please contact us by calling 412-392-3977 or emailing counseling@pointpark.edu.

UPDATE AS OF MARCH 13:

Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse is POSTPONING the world premiere production of Pump Up The Volume. The show will be performed on future dates yet to be determined. Please check the Pittsburgh Playhouse website and social media channels for updates. 

To continue to respond to this unprecedented, rapidly changing situation and provide a safe environment for our patrons, students and staff, Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse has made the difficult decision to CANCEL the following productions: Pippin, Student Choreography Project, and the Spring Dance Concert. At this time, these productions will not be rescheduled.

This decision was made in accordance with the CDC guidelines which include avoiding large crowds and gatherings of people. 

If you have tickets to these performances, please see the ticketing options on our home page, call the box office at 412-392-8000, or email boxoffice@pointpark.edu with questions.

All University and Playhouse events and performance schedules are subject to change.

Faculty FAQs

As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all classes will be completed remotely.  Whether large or small, undergraduate or graduate, classes should not meet face-to-face.  We are trying to do our part to address a public health crisis, and in particular to do what we can to safeguard the health of our students, faculty, and staff.
The University is halting all nonessential domestic and international travel until further notice.

Yes.  While most physical offices on campus are closed, staff and faculty continue to work remotely.  All University administrative functions will continue.  Email will be the best means of communication at this time as some faculty and staff will not have access to their office phone. Staff will follow CDC guidelines on social distancing.

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, Point Park University Library’s hours will be changing as the University moves all courses online.  The Library will be open Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  Online librarian assistance will be available Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – Midnight, Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Yes.  The University will remain open, and you will have the same access to your office as you always have.

ON COMPUTER AND OTHER LABS AND FACILITIES CLOSED EFFECTIVE MONDAY, MARCH 23

As the University transitions to only essential personnel on campus, the computer labs will be closing according to the schedule below. We remind those who use the lab to practice social distancing in an effort to contain spread of the virus.

  • UC Television Studio – Closed
  • Playhouse Soundstage - Closed
  • Media Services Office – Closing 3/19 at 4:30 pm
  • Academic Hall Photography Labs – Closing 3/23 at 4:30 pm
  • SPS Equipment Room – Closing 3/23 at 4:30 pm
  • West Penn Edit Suites – Closing 3/23 at 4:30 pm
  • All IT computer labs - Closing 3/23 at 4:30 pm
Quite possibly.  As the public health situation changes, we must adjust our policies and practices.  Federal, state, and local mandates may require us to take different measures.
Questions regarding academics come to Dr. John Pearson at jpearson@pointpark.edu; for help with online conversions and courses, contact onlinesupport@pointpark.edu.  Questions related to students go to Keith Paylo, Vice President of Student Affairs at kpaylo@pointpark.edu.  Questions related to staff, faculty, or others as employees of the University go to Lisa Stefanko at lstefanko@pointpark.edu.

Things to Consider

According to the CDC, social distancing is defined as remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding local public transportation (e.g. bus, subway, taxi, ride share), and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others. Congregate settings include classes, laboratories, work/office and campus activities.
No. If you remained at the airport for the duration of the layover, you are excluded from social distancing requirements for travelers returning from that country.
Speak immediately with your Resident Director if you need to social distance, as alternative accommodations may be available.
Students who think they may have COVID-19 should call Point Park’s Student Health Center at 412-392-3800. They should then contact their academic advisor for further instruction about their studies. If you have returned from a CDC Level 3 or 4 travel advisory area since February 13, 2020, or if you have been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19 and feel sick, call your healthcare provider immediately.

Effective immediately, Point Park facilities and operations will remain open. All Point Park student workers may continue to work, if they so choose. Please notify the University of your intentions by using this form

The status of these measures will be evaluated every two weeks.

Point Park recognizes such steps will prompt many questions and cause disruption. We ask for everyone to accommodate these changes, engage in and support appropriate personal health measures, support other Point Park community members, and frequently check the university’s COVID-19 website for updated information.

In limited situations, remote work may be approved for student employees. Please consult with your supervisor, complete the form above, and receive approval from Jessica Ureste in Human Resources before completing any remote work.

Please note, these steps only apply to students who work for and are paid by Point Park University.  If you work on campus for another organization (ie Culinart or the Bookstore), please contact your supervisor for more information.

 

For questions specifically about excused unpaid leaves, contact the Office of Human Resources.

The safety and well-being of all Point Park community members is the University’s top priority. Any Point Park student or faculty or staff member who feels as if they are being discriminated against because of their race or ethnic background are strongly encouraged to contact Vanessa Love, the Director of Title IX and Diversity. Point Park has a non-discrimination notice that applies today, during this outbreak, and every day.

Feel free to also contact the University Counseling Center to speak with one of our counselors about any issues that you are currently facing.

The safety and well-being of all Point Park community members is the University’s top priority. You can provide social support and counter stigma by learning and sharing facts about how COVID-19 spreads. The CDC has developed resources to help communicate facts about COVID-19.

Please continue to visit this website for the most up-to-date information about the University’s response to COVID-19. Additional information on COVID-19 is available from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Everyday preventive actions help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then promptly throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning agent.

Assessing COVID-19 Risk

If you have returned from a CDC Level 3 or 4 travel advisory area since February 13, 2020, you should practice social distancing for 14 days from the date you returned to the U.S. by avoiding all public gatherings, classes, work sites and shared transportation (buses, planes, ride-share).

Students should contact the Student Health Center at 412-392-3800 to report a recent return from these countries. You should also follow any guidance that may have been provided by public health authorities at the airport when you arrived in the U.S.
Call your health care provider immediately. Do not go to a clinic, hospital or doctor’s office without calling first. For further instruction visit the CDC website.

Students should call Student Health Center at 412-392-3800.
If you have been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, there are measures you should take to avoid getting ill or spreading this disease. The CDC has developed guidance with suggested measures to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of someone confirmed to have an active infection for a prolonged period of time.
Close contacts of asymptomatic people returning from areas where there is community transmission of COVID-19 are at low risk of getting sick, according to CDC guidance. Close contacts are people who are within 6 feet (2 meters) for a prolonged period of time while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing an area or room with a person who visited an area with community transmission of COVID-19. Both the traveler and the close contacts should self-monitor for symptoms of novel coronavirus: fever (take body temperature twice daily), coughing/sneezing or shortness of breath.

This guidance changes drastically if the traveler or a close contact develops symptoms. If the traveler or a close contact develops symptoms, they must CALL a healthcare provider immediately.

Students should call Student Health Center at 412-392-3800.

The CDC has developed extensive guidance for close contacts living with a symptomatic confirmed case of COVID-19.
Currently the CDC does not recommend social distancing for contacts of asymptomatic persons with potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (e.g. travelers from countries with widespread sustained transmission of COVID-19). You should remain in communication with your family members or friends during and after their visit and they should notify you immediately if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. If any of them do become symptomatic, both you and your family member(s) or friend(s) should notify a healthcare professional and begin social distancing.
There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through mail or packages.

Travel and International Student Resources

Before traveling internationally, confirm the CDC travel advisory level and information on COVID-19 for your destination country. For example: Travel to China is currently restricted by the U.S. government. Do not travel to China. As the global COVID-19 outbreak continues, travel to additional countries could become restricted or not recommended. Current travel advisory information from the CDC is available.

The University has temporarily halted study abroad program and have recalled all of our students on current trips.

Contact Amanda Anderson at aanderson@pointpark.edu or 412-392-8028 with questions about study abroad programming.

Airline travel cancellations to particular locations around the world may impede summer travel. International students should contact the International Student Services and Enrollment Office to receive specific guidance regarding summer travel. Contact iss@pointpark.edu or 412-392-4792.

As of Jan. 31, 2020, a White House Proclamation has suspended entry into the U.S. as immigrants or nonimmigrants to persons physically present in the People’s Republic of China. Point Park University has yet to make a determination on Commencement related activities.

For questions please contact the Office of International Student Services and Enrollment at iss@pointpark.edu or 412-392-4792.

Point Park’s Office of International Student Services and Enrollment is currently assisting international students who are eligible to graduate but cannot return home at the end of the Spring semester. International students can contact the Office of International Student Services and Enrollment to receive specific guidance regarding immigration regulations. Contact iss@pointpark.edu or 412-392-4792.