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 operations committee, 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.

Classes

One of the hallmarks of a Saint Mary’s education is the in-person nature of coursework.  Therefore, all fall 2021 courses will be taught in person. Remote access to classes will not be offered this fall. If a student is sick, they will follow the College’s normal practice for missed classes. For further guidance on missing classes, refer to the Student Handbook.

Classrooms, Labs, and Common Area Capacity 

In nearly all cases, classrooms, laboratories, and common areas such as residence hall lounges and Noble Family Dining Hall, have been reset to normal capacity. In certain classrooms, spacing students to an appropriate distance might be necessary, and will be marked accordingly. Chapels and sacred spaces will be open for the Saint Mary’s campus community. 

Cleaning of Classrooms and Offices

Based on the low level of virus transmission on surfaces and objects, office cleaning has resumed 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. However, the scenarios will engage heightened cleaning protocol:

  • If a student becomes COVID-19 positive or symptomatic, the Health & Counseling Center will notify Building Services.
  • If an employee becomes COVID-19 positive or symptomatic, Human Resources will 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.

Daily Health Survey

A daily health check email will begin August 23 for all students and employees as a reminder to continue to monitor your health. You are asked to complete the survey only if any of the following apply: You are diagnosed with COVID-19; develop COVID symptoms; or if you have been in direct contact with someone positive with COVID-19.

Isolation

Regardless of vaccination status, a student with a positive COVID test, will need to remain in isolation for 10 days following the onset of symptoms or the positive COVID test. If a student (with a positive test) is or becomes symptomatic while in isolation, and symptoms do not resolve by the day 10, then isolation continues until symptoms improve and they are free of fever, without fever reducing medications, for 24 hours. Additional scenarios could warrant isolation and will be determined by Health and Counseling. 

updated 8/24/21

Masking Protocol 

All members of the community are encouraged to carry a mask with them at all times and be prepared to wear it when required. In situations when not required to mask, members of the community are encouraged and welcomed to mask any time they prefer to do so.

Now through September 30—All students regardless of vaccination status and unvaccinated faculty will be required to wear masks in the classroom. Vaccinated faculty have the discretion to remove their mask in the classroom if it is best for student learning that they teach without a mask, and if the faculty member can physically distance themselves from others in the classroom. In addition, we ask that all members of our community mask in offices where use of a mask is requested. 

Individuals who are unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated are required to wear masks indoors. An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final COVID vaccination dose has been received.

In addition to following Saint Mary’s masking requirements, athletes will follow NCAA and/or MIAA masking guidelines.

Meetings

Meetings can be conducted in person. Vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask or observe physical distance, unless otherwise directed to do so. 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. 

Mother Angela Care Center

This private and secure space located in Regina Hall South is again open for residential students who need  to quarantine or isolate. While we anticipate less need for the center due to our high vaccination rate, a care team is in place and will provide comfort and support for students who are in MACC. The Health and Counseling Center team will follow current CDC quarantine and isolation recommendations.

Re-Entry Testing

All students who are not fully vaccinated or who have received an exemption from the vaccine are required to provide a negative PCR test taken 3 days prior to arrival, and a rapid antigen test upon arrival. Students must sign up ahead of time with the Health and Counseling Center for a time to be tested on campus before moving into their residence hall or attending their first class, whichever comes first. Students will remain at the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex until their test results are available and they are cleared to proceed. The cost for this test is $5, and it will be charged to the student’s account. 

Quarantine 

Individuals who are fully vaccinated with no COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine after an exposure. However, they should monitor for symptoms throughout the 14 days following their exposure and are encouraged to get tested 3-5 days after exposure. The Indiana Department of Public Health is recommending a PCR test for these individuals. In addition, masks should be worn indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Close contacts who are unvaccinated MUST follow one of the following quarantine options:

  • Asymptomatic close contacts may return after Day 10 with enhanced precautions* in place on days 11-14, OR
  • Asymptomatic close contacts may return after day 8 with a negative PCR on day 5-7 or negative rapid antigen test on day 8. Continue enhanced precautions on days 8-14.
  • Asymptomatic close contacts may return on day 15. May return to all prior activities without enhanced precautions or testing.  

*The Health and Counseling Center recommends option #2 with a PCR on day 5-7.

If a student is unvaccinated with mild symptoms after a known COVID-19 exposure, a rapid COVID test will be done immediately. If the result is negative, the student will enter quarantine and have a PCR test performed on day 5-7. If the rapid test is positive, the student will be placed in isolation. 

  • If the PCR test on day 5-7 is positive (after a negative rapid), the student will be placed in isolation for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. 

updated 8/24/21

Residence Hall Guests

Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff have access to residence hall common areas and rooms. Guests are not allowed in residence halls or in rooms, including tri-campus community members, except during move-in.

Screening Testing 

Screening tests are intended to identify infected people who are asymptomatic and do not have known, suspected, or reported exposure to COVID-19. Screening helps to identify unknown cases so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to undergo routine COVID-19 screening testing. Screening tests of our unvaccinated student and employee populations are conducted weekly, in addition to NCAA-required screening tests of student athletes. 

Vaccination Requirements for Students and Employees

The CDC made it clear that those institutions which require vaccinations of their students and employees can return to close to pre-pandemic conditions in the fall. In April, we took bold steps to get back to normal by expanding our required student immunizations to include COVID-19. On June 25, we announced all faculty, staff, and administrators will need to provide documentation that they too are fully immunized against COVID-19 with one of the three US-approved vaccines. Click here for further information on vaccination requirements for students and employees. 

Visitors to Campus

The College welcomes visitors to campus and asks that they honor the College’s and local health officials guidelines.  All visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask indoors. As a reminder, members of the tri-campus community are not considered visitors and must follow Saint Mary’s masking and other protocols while on campus.