With shift to ‘Level 2,’ Cal U moves closer to pre-pandemic experience

California University of Pennsylvania eases restrictions for summer, plans full schedule of in-person classes in fall


California University of Pennsylvania campus

As Pennsylvania relaxes its limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, Cal U is “leveling up” for summer and looking ahead to fall.

Robert Thorn, interim president at California University of Pennsylvania, announced today that Cal U will move one step closer to pre-pandemic operations for the university’s summer term.

“Most of our Summer College classes have always been offered online, and that will continue this summer,” Thorn said. “But telework is winding down, and all staff are returning to campus.

“Moving from Level 3 to Level 2 for the summer gives our employees and guests a chance to transition gradually as we prepare to resume normal operations and welcome back students this fall.”

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Cal U has used its four-level Guide to Operations as a blueprint for campus activities. The university operated at Level 3 during the spring semester, with about 50% of classes held in person, most residence hall rooms occupied by just one student, and many meetings and student activities held via Zoom.

Now, at Level 2, masks are not required outdoors. Individuals who are fully vaccinated – two weeks after their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – no longer are required to wear masks on campus, although social distancing is still recommended. Employees, students and guests who are not yet fully vaccinated must continue to wear a mask indoors.

“In keeping with our University’s core values of integrity, civility and responsibility, we trust that our students and employees will monitor their own health and use the ‘honor system’ when deciding how to interact safely with others,” Thorn said.

If the summertime shift is successful and the pandemic continues to wane, Cal U expects to resume a full schedule of in-person classes, on-campus events and student activities – Level 1 – in late August.

“Health and safety concerns are still paramount,” Thorn said. “We will continue to monitor the public health situation, as well as CDC and state Health Department guidelines, as our campus community gradually returns to pre-pandemic practices.

“We’ve all seen how quickly conditions can change. But as vaccinations become readily available and coronavirus infections decline, we’re easing back toward a more typical college experience.

“Our students are craving connection. They’re ready to get back to whatever our ‘new normal’ looks like. ‘Leveling up’ for summer is one more step toward that goal.”