Pittsburgh Technical College seeks to provide the safest community reasonably possible through its human resources, facilities, and technology.
PTC continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential impact on our community. The health, welfare and safety of our students, faculty and staff is the top priority for PTC leadership. We have assembled a COVID-19 Planning and Response Committee to align PTC’s response and preparedness with the Allegheny County Health Department, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
Please check this page for regular updates, including these recent messages to the campus community:
March 24, 2020 – “Stay at Home” for Allegheny County
As each day passes we continue to take all necessary steps to limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across our nation and the world. Our lifestyles have been inexplicably changed and this is a time none of us will soon forget.
PA Governor Wolf issued “Stay at Home” orders effective 8 pm last evening until April 6, 2020 for Allegheny and six other counties. PTC has been closely following all government directives regarding COVID-19 and will continue to do so.
This order by Governor Wolf further validates all of PTC’s current practices. We have already moved all instruction to an online or alternative format and closed the campus thereby requiring all employees, with the exception of Campus Police, to work remotely. The campus closure is in effect through April 10, 2020 and students will not be permitted to return to school grounds until at least the start of the April – July quarter, pending further instruction.
This is a trying time for all of us, but the health and safety of our community must be our top priority. I couldn’t be more proud of how our students and faculty have adjusted to a fully online environment, and how staff has managed to continue operations as seamlessly as possible given the circumstances.
I’m happy to see the increased interaction on social media, as well as the efforts put forth by our Student Activities department to keep students, faculty, and staff engaged. PTC has always been a family and even in times of isolation, we can continue to support one another.
If you do become ill, please get the help that you need, but also notify your supervisor or student advisor as it is necessary for us to track this illness within our PTC community.
I think we all have a greater appreciation for our beautiful campus and the camaraderie of our classmates and coworkers. We are doing what needs to be done, but I know we’re all looking forward to when we can return to business-as-usual. Until then, please stay home except when it’s absolutely necessary to leave for medical care or to obtain supplies.
A lack of commute and more time at home hopefully affords you the opportunity to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Make the most of this uninterrupted time with those in your household, get outdoors while practicing social distancing, and don’t forget to rest. Remember, counseling services are available.
PTC’s COVID-19 Response Team is meeting daily via conference call. I will keep you updated via email as new information arises. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me directly or to your supervisor. We are all in this together, and I look forward to an even greater sense of community as a result.
Stay well, and stay safe.
March 20, 2020 – Student Update
The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” has never applied to any of us at PTC, and you can be 100% sure that PTC students are top of mind throughout this time of global crisis.
For those of you accustomed to online classes either full-time or occasionally, we hope this time of transition has been relatively simple. And for those students experiencing online courses for the first time, I hope you’ve been able to get the assistance you’ve needed from our faculty and IT staff. I acknowledge that this isn’t what you “signed up for” with PTC, and I ask that you appreciate that we’re all doing the best we can to adapt to new circumstances. One thing I know for sure is that we are doing everything in our power to continue to offer you the quality of education and support you’ve come to expect from PTC.
Campus Reaction to COVID-19
In these uncertain times PTC is doing all that we can to keep our students, faculty, staff, and greater community healthy and safe. As you know, we are continuing online/alternative coursework through the end of the quarter. Additionally, we have officially closed the campus to staff and faculty through April 10, 2020. Rest assured we are not closed in terms of activity. Faculty continue to teach, staff continue to work remotely, Campus Police continue to monitor our facilities, and conference calls to determine future steps for all of us are happening on a daily basis.
PTC is Still Here For You
Our student activities team isn’t taking a break either. They’re busy looking for opportunities to provide you with interaction, even if it’s from a distance. They will reach out to you once plans are confirmed, but some things they’re looking into include discussion boards, game shows, viewing parties, and contests delivered to you via email and PTC’s social platforms.
If you have met with campus counselors in the past, or feel that you would like to speak with someone now, these services are still available to you. The following is a direct message from them:
“In light of the recent social distancing requirements, Pittsburgh Technical College’s student counseling services will now be conducted telephonically. Elizabeth and Patti will continue to provide the support. Please call 1-800-647-3327 to make arrangements for sessions by phone. Appointments will continue to be available Monday through Friday from 10 am-2pm. If you’re experiencing anxiety, fear, or other reactions to these unprecedented changes associated with the COVID-19 virus, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Lifesolutions is here to help.”
For housing students, we know you have questions and concerns regarding returning to campus and/or retrieving your belongings. With the official closure of campus, all resident life buildings are closed and no one is permitted inside. Your property is being protected by Campus Police who do have permission to continue to patrol our facilities. PTC Resident Life staff will keep you informed in the coming weeks.
As we all proceed through this time of uncertainty, you are encouraged to follow guidelines to help reduce the spread of this illness and hopefully prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. Please continue
- Practicing social distancing
- Steering clear of gatherings of more than 10 people
- Avoiding contact with the elderly or those who are immunocompromised
The world has endured global crises before. History teaches us that this is temporary. You still need to be ready for the future. That includes the certificate or degree you’ve been working toward. You can count on us to help you reach your goals.
If you need assistance, please contact your instructors or Student Advisor directly. Updates are posted on our website at ptcollege.edu/public-safety. I will continue to be in touch with you as we wrap up the quarter.
March 17, 2020 – Remote Classes and Commencement
As information regarding the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rapidly develops, we are closely following the recommendations of government officials at the local, state, and the federal levels to stem the spread of the illness. Since our original communication with students on March 12, President Trump has declared a national emergency and Pennsylvania’s governor has closed all K-12 schools in the state and is recommending that colleges and universities do the same.
While we had hoped we’d be able to resume regular campus operations by March 31, 2020, it is clear that is no longer advisable and it is now necessary to continue remote classes through the remainder of the quarter, April 14, 2020. Your academic leadership team and faculty are working to ensure the continuity of education. Updates will be forthcoming with specific information about how this applies to your individual circumstances.
Additionally, the commencement ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, April 14, 2020 is being rescheduled to July 8, 2020. Updates regarding commencement will also be forthcoming.
Also note that PTC residences – Westpointe, Hawthorne, and on-campus – remain closed until further notice.
All of us at PTC are striving to do everything possible to ensure the well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as that of the greater community. We are all making sacrifices and adjusting to new ways of studying, working, and living. We truly appreciate your cooperation, patience, and compassion for one another during these unprecedented times.
March 16, 2020 – Employee Update
The safety and wellness of our students and employees are at the forefront of all decisions being made during this uncertain and unprecedented time. With confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Southwestern Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, we are all the more confident of the precautionary actions that have been taken to date.
To further protect our campus and greater community, effective Tuesday March 17, 2020 we are asking all employees where possible to begin working remotely. We recognize that some departments may require skeleton crews on campus during the next day or two as they finalize plans to transition remotely.
For those positions that do not translate remotely, supervisors will be working across the organization to develop workplans that may allow you to assist other departments with their roles and responsibilities; or you may use sick time and PTO accumulated through December 31, 2020.
Essential staff will be on campus on any given day, which may include a senior leadership representative, campus police, resident life, and maintenance. The small number of housing students unable to vacate their apartments are also being accommodated and cared for by designated staff.
The campus will not be closed. If for any reason you must come into the office, please coordinate with your supervisor. Access in and out of the academic building will be limited to the Reception entrance on Level 3.
However, if a national quarantine goes into effect the campus will close until allowed to reopen and further instructions will follow.
Please be assured that we are monitoring the situation and will follow the advice of the CDC, WHO, and state and local government. We will continue to keep you up-to-date with any new information or changes.
Please remember to continue to follow the CDC’s guidelines for proper handwashing, sanitation, and hygiene. It is our hope that you and your families remain healthy.
March 12, 2020 – Guidelines for Vacating Apartments
For your safety, we are temporarily vacating student housing.
Effective: Monday, March 16, 2020, by 3 pm
You have received the communication from PTC’s president, Dr. Harvey-Smith, stating that on-ground classes are being transitioned to online, and that it is necessary to ask our student residents in all complexes – Westpointe, Hawthorne, and on-campus student housing – to temporarily vacate their apartments. We understand that this is an inconvenience, but must do our part in responding to what has become a national health emergency response to COVID-19, the Coronavirus. These decisions were not made lightly and are in the best interest of the health and welfare of our students.
To assist in the process of moving out of housing, we ask that you:
- Take your valuables home with you. As you should have personal property/renters’ insurance, PTC is not responsible for the loss or theft of personal property.
- Alternative accommodations must be made for all emotional support animals as they cannot remain in student housing.
- Clean up. Dirty dishes left in your apartment will be disposed of without compensation.
- Empty your refrigerator and dispose of perishable items that will “go bad” while you’re away.
- All items on flat surfaces like countertops, desks, and windowsills, should be removed. Bathroom sinks, showers, and toilet areas should be free of obstructions like rugs, towels, and shampoos. This will allow better access for potentially enhanced housekeeping services.
- Properly dispose of all trash and garbage.
- Turn off all lights and unplug small appliances. Do NOT unplug refrigerators, modems, or DTAs.
- Set thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lock all doors and windows before you leave.
It is not necessary to take everything home with you, but make sure you take anything you think you may need. This is a good time to organize your belongings and take home any items that you no longer need in your apartment. Apartments will be inaccessible until on-ground classes resume. If you have urgent reason to access your apartment, contact PTC Campus Police.
The health and welfare of our students is our first priority. If you have concerns about your housing, please reach out to:
Assistant Director, Resident Life
Associate Director, High School Admissions
412.809.5142 or 412.334.9808
Thank you for your cooperation.
March 12, 2020 – Virtual Instruction Announcement
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Pittsburgh Technical College continues to monitor the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and at this time there are no reported or confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus or in Allegheny County. However, to protect the health of our students and employees, especially those most vulnerable to infectious disease, we are implementing precautionary measures that are in line with local and national efforts to stop the spread of the illness.
With the end of classes this Friday, March 13, 2020, PTC is canceling all on-ground, face-to-face classes and replacing them with virtual instruction as much as possible.
We understand that this is a significant disruption. In its 70+ years, PTC has never experienced a public health challenge of this magnitude. These decisions have been made carefully and with the best interests of our students, faculty, and staff in mind. They are decisions guided by the latest preventive health recommendations and will help us participate in proactively reducing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the health and safety of our campus and surrounding community. As always, our commitment is to our students and ensuring the best education possible under these unprecedented circumstances.
Please note the following:
- Classes already held online will continue unchanged.
- Current on-ground classes will be canceled Monday, March 16, 2020 and Tuesday, March 17, 2020 resuming in an online format on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 and continuing online through at least March 31, 2020. Updates will follow as we assess the situation.
- Faculty will be in touch with students during this transition, and students should continue to check their email, Blackboard, and www.ptcollege.edu/public-safety for updates.
- Housing students should begin arrangements to vacate student housing. All residences – Westpointe, Hawthorne, and on-campus,– will close at 3 pm on Monday, March 16, 2020. Our intention is that this will support the need for social distancing and potentially allow enhanced housekeeping services. Additional communication from the Resident Life staff directly to housing students will follow, and options will be discussed for students with extreme circumstances.
- PTC shuttle bus services will be discontinued after the end of classes on Friday, March 13, 2020.
- Until further notice, all internships and clinicals are suspended as of Friday, March 13, 2020. Interning students living in student housing will need to vacate by 3 pm March 16, 2020. Remote work may be possible in some internships. Faculty will be in touch regarding the completion of required hours.
- Student workers employed by PTC should talk with their supervisors.
- Business operations will continue and staff and faculty will receive further direction.
- If you are experiencing signs of illness or have concerns of exposure to COVID-19, stay home, alert your supervisor, and complete the absentee form at www.ptcollege.edu/public-safety.
All preventative measures currently in place for your health and safety will continue, and you should check our website regularly for updates.
I thank you all for your patience and level-headedness as we proceed through the coming weeks. The PTC family is forever looking out for one another, and I strongly believe that will continue and our college will become stronger for this experience.
Dr. Alicia B. Harvey-Smith
March 11, 2020 – Open House Cancellation
The Open House at Pittsburgh Technical College, scheduled for Saturday, March 21, 2020, has been canceled. As we typically welcome several hundred visitors from around the tri-state area and beyond at our open house events, we have decided to proceed with an abundance of caution and take this proactive measure following the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation for social distancing.
Please be assured that this is a precautionary measure designed to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) before it reaches the PTC campus. Like many other colleges and universities nationwide, we are canceling all large events thereby limiting close contact for prolonged periods and staving off the potential threat of the virus to our residents, community, and guests.
We truly apologize for all scheduling inconveniences that this cancellation may cause. We recognize this is a crucial time for prospective students finalizing their college plans and that this open house was an anticipated opportunity to tour our on-campus housing. However, we hope that everyone can appreciate that this is an unprecedented public health condition and we must do our part to protect our students and community.
We are grateful to all PTC employees who have risen to the challenges raised by the present situation in our world. Particularly our housekeeping, maintenance, and foodservice teams and taskforces who have gone above and beyond in their contributions to ensure the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff and their families, especially those who may be more vulnerable to infectious disease.
Again, it is with great disappointment that we must cancel our upcoming open house. But you don’t have to wait to get the information you need. We will be in touch to make arrangements that work best for you. In the meantime, any enrollment, housing, or financial aid questions or concerns should be directed the Admissions staff who can be reached at 412.809.5100 or 800-784-9675.
March 11, 2020 – Coronavirus Update
PTC is taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our community. If you are feeling unwell, stay home, and contact your instructor or supervisor.
A questionnaire has been developed to gather information as we monitor the risk of exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19) to the PTC community. If you have concerns of exposure, or are experiencing any signs of illness, please complete the form located on the Public Safety page of our website: https://ptcollege.edu/public-safety/.
You are encouraged to check communications regarding COVID-19 on our website regularly. Should emergency communication become necessary, the text alert system will be utilized.
VP of Education
March 6, 2020 – Coronavirus Update
Dear PTC Family,
With confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, aka coronavirus, in the United States and specifically Pennsylvania, the PTC community should be assured that measures are in effect to protect our campus, residents, and commuting students and employees; and preparations are in place should the virus make its presence in Oakdale.
A Student Health Services COVID-19 Planning and Response Committee, chaired by Keith Merlino and Nancy Starr, is meeting regularly. If you suspect that you may be infected for any reason, but particularly because:
- You have a mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness with fever, cough, or shortness of breath
- You have traveled to or had contact with an individual who has returned from China since Jan 21, 2020
- You have traveled to or had contact with an individual who has returned from Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea since Feb 13, 2020
Please notify your supervisor, Keith, or Nancy, and immediately begin practicing social distancing (defined at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html) for a minimum of 14 days and refrain from coming to campus. Supervisors may investigate options for employees to work remotely, and student advisors will discuss with students the availability of continuing their studies remotely.
If you or a member of your household is traveling in the coming weeks, take note of the CDC’s travel advisory at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
To minimize the spread of illness to the college community, PTC regularly takes steps during cold and flu season to ensure that classrooms and public areas receive additional cleaning and sanitation such as disinfecting door handles, railings, classroom desk surfaces, light switches, shared computers, etc. The Housekeeping staff has been instructed to be hypervigilant in their efforts and are correctly using the recommended products.
Employees and students can also aid in preventing the spread of respiratory illness by following the CDC’s recommendations:
- Practice proper handwashing techniques
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
- Cough/sneeze into your elbow or cover your face with a tissue and immediately dispose of it
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Regularly disinfect objects and surfaces
- Stay home when you’re not feeling well
Guidance can also be found on our website at https://ptcollege.edu/public-safety/. You are encouraged to check the site regularly for updates. In the event that emergency communications need to be shared, the Text Alert system will be utilized – if you are not currently registered, you may do so on the site.
Remember, if you are sick, do stay home and take care of yourself.
Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, Ph.D.
February 27, 2020 – Coronavirus Update
Dear PTC Community,
Pittsburgh Technical College continues to monitor all developing news about the coronavirus. Many U.S. colleges/universities are beginning immediate preparations and are developing contingency plans if operations are impacted by an outbreak on campus. This will include: managing instruction, business operations, and all related social media panic concerns, suspending classes, sending students and personnel home, etc.
A special PTC Task Force is being formed to include Student Services, Public Safety, Marketing, Education, Human /Resources, Facilities, and others, to explore potential scenarios and develop a comprehensive response for PTC. Keith Merlino, the Vice-President of Student Services and Nancy Starr will serve as the chairs of this critical emergency planning and response team. A very special thank you to Sandra Ireson for taking the lead on ordering additional sanitizers for distribution.
We will also work in partnership with Allegheny County Health Department to assure our community receives appropriate guidance. Vice President Merlino, is also working closely with other Pittsburgh Council of Higher Education membership colleges to develop and share joint response plans.
Please review all posted information and take all necessary pre-cautions. Be reminded, that if you are experiencing any cold or flu related symptoms, please seek treatment immediately. As this global situation continues to evolve and alerts heighten, we will continue to monitor and update the PTC community.
Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, Ph.D.
Pittsburgh Technical College
1111 McKee Road
Oakdale, PA 15071
January 29, 2020 – Coronavirus Update
January 29, 2020
A Message to the PTC Community:
Pittsburgh Technical College is monitoring developing news about the new coronavirus spreading in China and elsewhere. Although the risk of an epidemic in the U.S. is very low, we are sharing this information to better educate and update our community. More than 100 individuals in the U.S. have been tested for the virus, but only five cases have been positive for coronavirus, and there are no reported deaths. At this time, no positive cases have been identified in Pittsburgh or surrounding areas.
We encourage our faculty, staff and students in our community — especially individuals who recently traveled to China or who plan to visit in the near future — to stay informed, cautious and healthy.
The CDC describes the coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause mild and moderate upper-respiratory-tract illnesses, similar to the common cold. Symptoms may include runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell.
The viruses also can sometimes cause lower-respiratory-tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. These appear more commonly in people with cardiopulmonary disease or a weakened immune system and in older adults and infants. Symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
Prevention and Care
At present, there is no vaccine to prevent a coronavirus infection. The best way to prevent infection is through simple precautions:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- 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 immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing and have traveled in China in the past 14 days, contact your health care provider or your local public health department.
Counseling Support is available 24/7 for anyone with additional concerns. They are located on the 3rd Floor and the number is 1-800-647-3327 or you may also contact Keith Merlino, VP of Student Services, at Merlino.Keith@PTCollege.Edu
The CDC on Tuesday advised Americans to avoid travel to all of mainland China. It is advised for those considering travel abroad to enroll in the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive email health and safety alerts and informational updates from the local U.S. Embassy and to update their locations with STEP as they travel to other countries. You may also follow the news, check the World Health Organization and CDC websites for updates.
At this time, there are no restrictions or warnings in place at PTC or surrounding areas. The College will continue to track the situation and communicate any changes affecting college and community. Thank you and stay well.
Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, Ph.D.
Pittsburgh Technical College
1111 McKee Road
Oakdale, PA 15071
PTC encourages a common sense approach to prevention that promotes the all-around well-being of our community. We encourage our faculty, staff and students to:
- Carry tissues to cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze
- Clean and disinfect common surfaces
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Stay at home if you feel sick and avoid close contact with others
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you are not in a location where hand washing is convenient
- Stay informed and follow advice given by health authorities
We will continue to monitor this outbreak and provide updates to our campus community. We understand that following the progression of the coronavirus (COVID-19) can be a source of stress. Faculty and staff will be available to discuss questions or concerns that you may have. But, above all, we encourage all members of our PTC community to support each other and look out for each other. PTC is a global, inclusive college and will not tolerate racist, xenophobic behavior or any violation of our non-discrimination policy.
If you are feeling unwell, stay home and contact your instructor or supervisor. If you need to report off from work or school due to illness, please complete the absentee questionnaire, to assist us in gathering information to assess risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Resources & Information
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Pennsylvania Department of Health
- Allegheny County Health Department
Food Panty Resources
- West Allegheny Ministerial Association
105 West Allegheny Road, Imperial PA
2nd Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
2nd Wednesday: 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
4th Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
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- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
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- Salvation Army Chartiers Valley
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- United Way
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