Colleges look to state leaders on COVID-19 vaccine guidance for students

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Thiel College administrators are keeping an eye out for guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health

GREENVILLE, Pa. (WKBN) – Colleges and universities have changed how they operate due to the COVID-19 pandemic and with a vaccine on the horizon, there’s a new factor to consider.

Colleges across the Mahoning Valley have been working to keep students and staff safe. Now that a vaccine will soon be available, administrators are thinking about how to best implement it.

Thiel College administrators are keeping an eye out for guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Like all businesses, colleges could legally require vaccines, but there haven’t been any recommendations yet.

Thiel has followed other health guidelines, which allowed them to have in-person learning throughout the fall.

“We are pacing ourselves to continue to live the way we have, successfully, with our masks on, keeping social distancing pretty much for the spring semester. And if distribution and implementation of the vaccine come faster, and we so hope it does, of course, we’ll make adjustments,” said Thiel College President Susan Traverso.

Traverso thinks the vaccine’s creation should be celebrated while also recognizing losses from the pandemic.

“As a leader in higher education, I’m proud of the strength of our sciences in this country. The power of ingenuity and creativity and the scientific method to quickly create this vaccine,” she said.

Traverso is hopeful that the vaccine will help Thiel return to normal for her students.

“One of the things that gets us through this time is daydreaming about a football Saturday at Thiel and then, of course, seeing them in those classrooms without masks on engaging with their faculty,” Traverso said.

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