Our Campus Health and Safety

As we adapt to the new normal brought on by the coronavirus, we will do everything we can to provide you with a safe campus environment for learning, research, working, worship, and socializing. Safety, security, and our community’s health are the top priorities in decisions regarding campus life. We move forward on this shared journey with the assurance from our coronavirus daily operations taskforce, who has analyzed our campus operations, personnel, and facilities, and have maintained detailed health and safety standards to guide us throughout this time.

The plans outlined by Saint Mary’s College are dependent upon local, state, and national health and wellness guidelines, and can change according to the current state of COVID-19. We encourage you to watch for further updates via email communications and on this website.

Masking Protocol 

Beginning June 1, in accordance with the St Joseph County health office guidelines, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance indoors or outdoors.  Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue to wear a mask and continue to observe physical distance.

For summer day camps run by Saint Mary’s, voluntary vaccination information will be requested. Camp participants who provide proof of vaccination can be unmasked indoors or outdoors. Camp participants who are unvaccinated should wear a mask at all times indoors, and in some cases outdoors. All campers and staff who wish to continue to wear a mask are welcome to do so.  

In-person Meetings

Meetings can be conducted in person. Vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask or observe physical distance. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue to wear a mask and observe physical distance. When possible, it is recommended to open windows to allow for optimum air circulation. 

Distancing in Classrooms and Labs 

Classrooms will be set up with 3 ft. distance between students. Science labs might require additional personal protective equipment (use of masks and/or face shields) as appropriate. Classroom configuration for discussion-based classes will be revisited in early August. Guidelines from the CDC and local health department will be considered. Classrooms will be set with 3 ft. distance beginning June 1. 

Eating in Offices and Break Rooms

Vaccinated individuals are welcome to eat at any location on campus, including the Noble Family Dining Hall. Understanding the risk of COVID-19 transmission is higher in settings where unmasked conversations and meals happen, unvaccinated individuals eating with others, in break rooms or in offices, must consider the inherent risk of eating in a group. For unvaccinated individuals, eating outside is recommended and preferred whenever possible. Decisions have not been made regarding students eating in public areas. Additional meetings with the county  health officials and Campus Dining need to take place to make a final determination. 

Mail Delivery and Operations

Based on the low level of virus transmission on surfaces and objects, mail services can resume pre-pandemic activity.

Office Space and Classroom Cleaning

Based on the low level of virus transmission on surfaces and objects, office cleaning can resume with pre-pandemic protocols. Classrooms will continue to be cleaned following the same safety protocols as they have throughout the spring semester, as will bathrooms and other public spaces.

  • If an employee becomes COVID-19 positive or symptomatic, Human Resources should notify Building Services so the appropriate level of cleaning can be performed in the individuals’ office/classroom and in any common area(s) the individual has recently accessed.
  • If a student becomes COVID-19 positive or symptomatic, the Health & Counseling Center will notify Building Services.
  • If an individual attending a summer camp (whether it is a Saint Mary’s or an outside camp) becomes COVID-19 or symptomatic, Campus and Community Events will notify Building Services. 

Visitors to Campus

Campus is open to visitors, who will not be required to wear masks outdoors, regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated visitors are encouraged to wear masks indoors. The same guidelines apply to groups renting space from the College. No outside visitors are allowed in residence hall rooms.

Cushwa Leighton Library Operations

The Cushwa Leighton Library will be open to visitors during normal business hours. 

Working from Home

As a general rule, working from home is only permitted for individuals whose job clearly necessitates them working away from South Bend (for example, development gift officers and regional admission counselors). In rare occasions, a supervisor could consider limited work from home instances for specific projects or special circumstances. In order to be considered for permanent work from home allowances due to medical reasons, employees can apply for reasonable accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act by emailing the Office of Human Resources.  

Daily Health Checks

A daily health check is emailed to all students attending classes on campus, as well as all employees. This daily health check must be completed by individuals who have not received the vaccination for COVID-19. Vaccinated individuals must complete the report if you have been newly diagnosed with COVID-19, have developed any new and unexpected symptom (such as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea), or if you have been in direct contact with an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Vaccinations for Employees

In order to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, Saint Mary’s strongly encourages employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The College also reserves the right to require vaccinations for specific jobs based on the job description. 

Protocols for Unvaccinated Employees

Following CDC, state and local health guidelines and recommendations, unvaccinated employees will continue to participate in weekly random screening testing. They will also be required to quarantine after travel (see below). Additional information for required quarantining after travel can be obtained from Human Resources. Unvaccinated individuals will also be required to quarantine when they come in direct contact with a positive individual. Employees may seek a medical or religious exemption by contacting Human Resources at HR@saintmarys.edu.

Following current CDC state and local health guidelines and recommendations, employees who are fully vaccinated AND have informed the College of their vaccine status by completing this form will not be included in random COVID-19 screening testing, and will not need to quarantine after travel for pleasure or for business, or when in direct contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Quarantining After Contact with a COVID-19 Positive Individual

  • Vaccinated employees do not need to quarantine upon return.
  • Unvaccinated employees who have an approved exemption from HR, quarantine based on current CDC guidelines. When applicable, they could be approved by their supervisor to work from home while quarantining.  If their work can not be completed from home, Saint Mary’s will cover pay during their quarantine.
  • Unvaccinated employees without an approved HR exemption are to quarantine based on current CDC guidelines. When applicable, they could be approved by their supervisor to work from home while quarantining. If their work can not be completed from home, they will be required to use their available vacation, sick or personal time for the duration of the quarantine period.  If none is available, or falls short of the duration of the quarantine period, any uncovered time off will be without pay. If the COVID-positive individual they were in contact with is a Saint Mary’s student or employee, and if the work can not be completed from home, Saint Mary’s will cover pay during their quarantine.