COVID-19 Guidelines

COVID-19 Guidelines for the 2022-2023 Academic Year

Our goal is to create an academic year that is full of typical Saint Mary's activities and traditions, while continuing to consider CDC and Indiana Department of Health guidelines. We are confident that even with the unpredictability of the Delta, Omicron and other variant strains, by following the science, routinely reviewing emerging data and remaining flexible, we can ensure a successful year for our entire campus community. We remain confident that by following the mitigation protocols outlined below we can offer an outstanding experience to our community once more.

Visitors to Campus

The College welcomes visitors to campus. Visitors are not required to wear a mask unless they are a recent close contact with someone positive, or after recent release from quarantine or isolation periods that require masking. In some instances, individual programs or events will require participants to mask. Faculty and employees reserve the right to require masks to be worn in particular classrooms or work spaces, and visitors are required to abide by such requests.Visitors are prohibited in rooms where students are completing quarantine or isolation periods. 

Masking

Individuals who prefer to continue to wear a mask are welcome to do so. Public spaces, classrooms, offices, and office suites will no longer require masking, with a few exceptions: 

  • Recent Close Contact, Quarantine or Isolation. You are required to mask after testing positive for COVID-19 or being identified as a close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19
  • Private Offices and Classrooms. When requested, all members of our community will mask in offices, classrooms and spaces. Employees of the College are encouraged to complete reports on students who are not following masking requirements in offices or individual classrooms. 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.

Caring for our Community

Our ability to come together for in-person instruction depends on suppressing the spread of COVID-19 in our community and avoiding serious illness, hospitalization, and death. The broad immunization of our campus community is critical to achieving this goal. Because we are a congregate-living residential community, we must take every measure available to prevent this highly infectious disease. Beginning with the academic year 2021-22, we expanded our student immunization requirements to include being up-to-date with the COVID-19 vaccine and booster. In addition, employees of the College were required to be up-to-date with the COVID-19 vaccine and booster. 

Document Your COVID-19 Vaccination

Students must document their vaccination record by uploading their information to the medical records system, Medicat. For further questions, students should contact HCCenter@saintmarys.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19

Masking

+Do I have to wear a mask if I’m vaccinated?

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.

Vaccinations

+Who is required to have a vaccine at Saint Mary’s College?

All students and employees of Saint Mary’s are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before enrolling or beginning employment. Exemptions must be approved prior to enrollment or employment. Information on the exemption process before enrollment can be found here.

+Are students required to get a booster for the COVID vaccine?

Yes.

+What do you mean by "up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccine?

According to the CDC, you are considered up-to-date with the COVID-19 vaccine if you have received your booster, or do not yet qualify for a booster because you received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the past two months, or the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine within the past 5 months. If you did not receive a vaccine, or did not complete the initial two-shot series of Moderna or Pfizer, or you qualify for a booster but have not received one, you are not considered up-to-date. Testing, masking, and quarantine protocols, among others, are different for individuals who are not up-to-date with the COVID-19 vaccine. 

+Why is the College requiring a COVID vaccine?

It is clear that our ability to remain together for in-person instruction depends on suppressing the spread of COVID-19 in our community and avoiding serious illness, hospitalization, and death for those that do become infected. Because we are a congregate-living residential community, we must take every step available to prevent this highly infectious disease. The broad immunization of our campus community is critical to achieving this goal.

+How do I document my vaccine?

Students, to document your vaccination, please upload your information to the medical records system, Medicat.   

+How do I seek an exemption?

Undergraduate and graduate students attending classes on campus may request vaccine-specific verified medical exemptions for individual vaccines, including COVID. A general vaccination exemption from all vaccine requirements for religious reasons can be requested. Information on how to request an exemption can be found here.

+Is the University of Notre Dame requiring Saint Mary’s students who are enrolled in ND classes or activities such as band to show proof of a vaccine?

The University of Notre Dame is requiring all students enrolled in courses, active in student organizations, or in band to provide proof of having a COVID-19 vaccine. That includes Saint Mary’s students. Notre Dame will honor exemptions to the vaccine approved by Saint Mary’s. 

+Will the College contact other students or employees I have been in close contact with if I become positive?

No. The process of contact tracing is explained to the student who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, including instructions on who is a close contact and what steps their close contacts need to take. It is the responsibility of each individual to protect our community by promptly notifying others that could be affected. The Health and Counseling Center team will notify Academic Advising of the length of time the student is expected to be away from class, without identifying the reason.

+Are there options to be fully remote for students who are not vaccinated?

DNP and Data Science graduate programs are the only fully online programs. 

Screening Testing

+Are you conducting COVID-19 screening testing?

NCAA-required screening tests of student athletes is on-going. No additional screening testing is currently taking place. 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. Students who present with COVID symptoms will continue to be tested by the Health and Counseling Center team.

Visitor Policy

+Are visitors allowed on campus?

Our campus is open to visitors, who are asked to honor the College's and local health officials guidelines.

+Are visitors required to wear masks?

The College welcomes visitors to campus. Visitors are not required to wear a mask unless they are visiting an office, classroom or space where masks are requested, if they are a recent close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or after recent release from quarantine or isolation periods that require masking.

+Are visitors allowed in the residence halls?

Residence Halls are open to all visitors. Residence Hall visitors should follow the same masking protocols outlined above, and should wear masks if they are visiting an office, classroom or space where masks are requested, if they are a recent close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or after recent release from quarantine or isolation periods that require masking. Visitor hours are Sunday to Thursday, 10 a.m. – midnight, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. Visitors are prohibited in rooms where students are completing quarantine or isolation.

Quarantine and Isolation

+Where do students complete quarantine and/or isolation?

Beginning with the fall 2022 semester, students will no longer complete isolation/quarantine in the south wing of Regina Hall. Residential students whose primary home is within 300 miles, who test positive, or who are not vaccinated and need to quarantine, are encouraged to move home within 24 hours to complete their Q/I period. Students who remain on campus will complete their isolation/quarantine period in place in their residence halls. Students completing isolation/quarantine in residence halls who have roommates are required to mask at all times while in their room, when their roommates are present. More information on quarantine and isolation can be found in our Health and Safety Guidelines.

+Are the rules for quarantine different for individuals who are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccine vs. those who are not?

Saint Mary’s uses information from the CDC and the Indiana Department of Health (IDH) to inform our protocols. Currently, the CDC and the IDH have different quarantine protocols for individuals who are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccine, and for those who are not.

+Do I have to quarantine if I am up-to-date with my vaccine and I come in contact with an individual who is positive for COVID?

According to the CDC, if you are up-to-date with your vaccine, you do not need to quarantine but you should get tested after 5 full days from your exposure (your date of exposure is considered Day 0), even if you don’t have symptoms. You should wear a mask in all circumstances until the results of your test are available. If your test is negative, and you do not develop symptoms, you should wear a mask indoors for another 5 days, then you can revert to the current College masking protocols, if any.

+Do I have to quarantine if I am NOT up-to-date with my COVID-19 vaccine and I come in contact with an individual who is positive for COVID?

According to the CDC, if you are not up-to-date with your vaccine, you should immediately go into quarantine after close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19. The Health and Counseling Center team will inform Academic Advising that you will be away from class without releasing the reason, and Academic Advising will in turn notify your professors. As with all excused absences, it is your responsibility to contact your faculty and work with them to plan how you can stay on track in your courses during your absences. Each faculty member will have a policy in the course syllabus that will guide how they approach working with you during your absence. You should test, even if you do not have symptoms, after 5 full days from your exposure (your date of exposure is considered Day 0). If your test is negative, and you do not develop symptoms, you can be released from quarantine by the Health and Counseling team. You must continue, however, to wear a mask indoors, avoid eating in public, and whenever possible, maintain physical distance until day 10.

+When do I need to be isolated?

Regardless of vaccination status, a student with a positive COVID test, will need to remain in isolation for a minimum of 5 days following the onset of symptoms, or a positive COVID test if asymptomatic. The Health and Counseling Center team will inform Academic Advising that you will be away from class without releasing the reason, and Academic Advising will in turn notify your professors. As with all excused absences, it is your responsibility to contact your faculty and work with them to plan how you can stay on track in your courses during your absences. Each faculty member will have a policy in the course syllabus that will guide how they approach working with you during your absence.

If a student with a positive test has symptoms that do not resolve after 5 full days in isolation, then isolation continues until symptoms improve and the student or employee is free of fever, without fever reducing medications, for 24 hours.

Students who tested positive for COVID-19 but were asymptomatic develop symptoms while in isolation, their isolation period starts over. Day 0 will be the day symptoms start, and they will need to isolate for 5 full days.

Whether isolating at home or on campus, students will be released from isolation by the Health and Counseling team after assessment.

+What happens if my quarantine or isolation period extends past the official end of the semester?

Students whose primary residence is further than 300 miles from the College, and who are in quarantine or isolation on campus, and whose release date extends past the end of the semester, might be allowed to remain on campus to complete their quarantine and/or isolation until their release date in some instances. They might be required, however, to move to a different room to complete the quarantine/isolation period and could incur additional housing charges.

As Campus Dining is closed during breaks, and all meal plans have ended for the semester, students on campus past the date of move-out will be responsible for ordering and paying for all meals from local dining establishments. They should coordinate delivery with the Campus Safety team. A daily check in will also occur via phone.