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.

Outlined below are current practices for testing and quarantine/isolation guidelines in accordance with current CDC and state recommendations. Because of the speed at which recommendations from the CDC are updated, these protocols could change at any time. We will update this information as soon as possible, but there could be some lag time.

Classes

One of the hallmarks of a Saint Mary’s education is the in-person nature of coursework.  Therefore, all spring 2022 courses will be taught in person. Remote access to classes will not be offered for the spring term. 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 are open. 

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 for all students and employees will continue as a reminder to remain vigilant about monitoring 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. This will continue throughout the 2021/22 academic year.

Eating and Drinking 

Food and drink is allowed at student and employee activities and meetings. We will continue to revisit the food and drink policy as the semester progresses. 

Isolation

Regardless of vaccination status, students and employees with a positive COVID diagnosis, must remain in isolation for at least 5 full days following the onset of symptoms, or the positive COVID test (if asymptomatic). The Health and Counseling Center team (students) and Human Resources (employees) will help determine the appropriate date. For guidelines on Quarantine, see the entry further down on this page.

The following are additional criteria for students following a positive diagnosis:

  • Students will consult with the Health and Counseling Center—regardless of whether they are in MACC or at their permanent residence—on day 5 to determine if additional time in isolation is needed. If you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving, you may leave isolation on day 6.
  • According to the CDC, Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive viral test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected.
  • The clock restarts at day 0 if an asymptomatic student with a positive test develops symptoms.
  • After being released, students must continue to wear a face mask in public spaces and around roommates until day 10. We recommend that students take their meals to go to a private space during this time.
  • If you develop symptoms after being released, or after day 10, contact the Health Center at HCCenter@saintmarys.edu.

The following are additional criteria for employees following a positive diagnosis:

  • Employees may leave isolation after 5 full days of isolation if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving.
  • According to the CDC, Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive viral test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected. 
  • After being released, employees must continue to wear a face mask until day 10 in public spaces and shared offices/work spaces.
  • If you develop symptoms after being released, or after day 10, contact Human Resources at HR@saintmarys.edu.

Masking Protocol 

All members of the Saint Mary’s student and employee community who are up to date on their vaccinations can remove their masks indoors if comfortable doing so, including in classrooms, with the following exceptions: 

  • Unvaccinated or Not Up-To-Date with Vaccines. Any individual who is unvaccinated, or is eligible to receive a booster but has not done so, should continue to mask indoors at all times. For students, this includes private residence hall rooms that are not yours.
  • Recent Close Contact, Quarantine or Isolation. Following CDC recommendations, you are required to wear a mask indoors when around others due to a close contact, or recent release from quarantine or isolation. 
  • Private Offices and Classrooms. We ask that all members of our community mask in offices, classrooms and spaces where use of a mask is requested. Employees of the College are encouraged to complete reports on students who are not following masking requirements in offices or individual classrooms, and violations could result in Student Conduct referral
  • Performances, Lectures and Events. Some performances, lectures, or events might require masks. Be prepared to wear a mask if the individual event requires them.
  • As Requested. Be prepared to mask when asked.

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 at the discretion of the organizer. All individuals are required to follow current masking protocols. When possible, it is recommended to open windows to allow for optimum air circulation. Participants are encouraged to wear masks if they are more comfortable doing so. 

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. In anticipation of a possible surge in cases as we come back to campus, students who need to quarantine or isolate whose primary home is within 300 miles of campus will need to make arrangements to move home within 24 hours to complete their quarantine and/or isolation period. 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 recommendations for the duration requirements of quarantine and isolation.

Quarantine 

The following guidelines pertain to those who come in direct contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19. For guidelines on Isolation, see the entry up above.

  • If you are up-to-date on COVID vaccinations—This includes those who have received a booster or do not yet qualify for a booster. This category also includes those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
    • If you have no COVID-like symptoms, you do not need to quarantine after an exposure, but you should wear a close-fitting mask in public spaces for 10 days following exposure.
    • Even if you do not develop symptoms, get tested on day 5 after your last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
    • According to the CDC, the date of your exposure is Day 0. The day after exposure is considered Day 1. Use this when calculating when to test.
    • Monitor for symptoms for 10 days following your exposure. If you develop symptoms while in quarantine, you should email the Health and Counseling Center right away to arrange for a diagnostic test and get further instructions for quarantine. 
    • Remember to fill out your Daily Health Survey if you develop symptoms, are exposed to someone else who tested positive, or if you are diagnosed with COVID. 
  • If you are NOT up-to-date with COVID vaccinations—This includes those who have not been vaccinated, have not received the second dose of a two-dose series, or qualify for a booster, but have not received one.
    • You must quarantine for at least 5 full days after an exposure and should wear a close-fitting mask in public spaces for 10 days following exposure. Email Health and Counseling Center right away for further instructions for quarantine.
    • If you live on campus, and your permanent residence is within 300 miles, you must make arrangements to complete your quarantine at home. 
    • Get tested as soon as you develop symptoms, or on day 5, if you do not develop symptoms.
    • According to the CDC, the date of your exposure is Day 0. The day after exposure is considered Day 1. Use this when calculating when to test. 
    • If you have not developed symptoms, and the Health and Counseling Center team clears you, you can leave quarantine after 5 full days, returning to campus on day 6. You should continue wearing a mask for a total of 10 days, even if released from quarantine on day 6. We recommend that students take their meals to go to a private space during this time.
    • Continue monitoring your symptoms until day 10.
    • If you develop COVID symptoms while in quarantine or after, email the Health Center at HCCenter@saintmarys.edu

Residence Halls

Residence Halls are now open to all visitors. Residence Hall visitors should follow the same masking protocols outlined above, and should wear masks if they are not up-to-date with the COVID vaccine (they are not vaccinated; or they are eligible for a booster but have not received one), if they are a recent close contact with someone positive, or after recent release from quarantine or isolation periods that require masking. Visitors and hosts should follow pre-pandemic visitation hours and rules. As a reminder, visitation hours are: Sunday to Thursday, 10 a.m. – midnight, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Screening Testing 

NCAA-required screening tests of student athletes is on-going. No additional screening testing is currently taking place. Students who present with COVID symptoms will continue to be tested by the Health Center Team. In case of a significant outbreak, or a change in the county or local levels of transmission, the College reserves the right to return to required screening testing. 

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 Spring 2021 we expanded our required student immunizations to include COVID-19. In December 2021 we expanded the immunization requirement to include the COVID-19 booster. All students who are eligible must meet these requirements to be considered up-to-date with the COVID-19 vaccine. We also announced in the spring that all faculty, staff, and administrators needed to provide documentation that they too are up-to-date with immunizations against COVID-19 vaccine with one of the three US-approved vaccines. Click here for further information on vaccination requirements for students and employees. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Booster

Visitors to Campus

The College welcomes visitors to campus. Visitors are not required to wear a mask unless they are not up-to-date with the COVID vaccine (they are not vaccinated; or they are eligible for a booster but have not received one), if they are a recent close contact with someone positive, or after recent release from quarantine or isolation periods that require masking.