As the spring 2023 semester gets underway, please refresh your memory on our COVID-19 Protocols. Everyone is still required to be up to date with vaccinations, including two vaccine shots and a booster. There is a new COVID-19 variant called XBB 1.5 that is rampantly spreading across the nation with 75% of new cases due to this new variant. It derives from the Omicron strain but is more contagious.
We encourage the campus community to take preventive measures (like masking in indoor public spaces and getting the new bivalent COVID-19 booster) to decrease risk of illness. If you are sick, take responsibility and avoid coming to campus or class to help prevent any further spread. Students, if you have questions, please visit the Wellness Center webpage.
We recommend, when eligible, all members of our campus community get boosted against the Omicron strains. You are eligible two months after your 2nd dose or last booster, and it can be Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna. Everyone should evaluate their personal risk for severe COVID-19 illness and take protective actions, such as using effective KN95 masks in crowded indoor places, making sure you have a supply of COVID-19 take home test kits and staying up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland will periodically adjust COVID protocols according to current community conditions as published by the St. Mary’s County Health Department.
The health, safety, and well-being of our campus community – students, faculty, staff, as well as broader St. Mary’s City and County – are foremost in our minds. While we have made great strides together in managing the pandemic while preserving the essential character of the St. Mary’s College experience for everyone, we continue to face unknown challenges. The emergence of new, vaccine- and immune-resistant virus strains, and the potential for new variants to develop, challenge us to consider the procedures and protocols that best protect our community.
Two keys to remember are flexibility and concern: being receptive to changes in practices and procedures as warranted by the changing environment, and concern for one another in order to keep us all healthy and safe. St. Mary’s College of Maryland has based our guidance for the 2022-2023 year on the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Students, faculty, and staff who do not have an approved exemption are required to be up-to-date on all doses in the primary vaccination series and all recommended boosters, when eligible.
See above for current masking policy at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Individuals may elect to wear a mask at any time. Those who have COVID-19 symptoms, a recent positive COVID test result (with or without symptoms), or known exposure to COVID should mask at all times when in the presence of others out of concern for their health and well being. If you are immunocompromised or more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, learn more about how to protect yourself.
The College can provide you with two KN95 masks, if needed. Resident students should ask your resident assistants or staff in the hall; commuter students should visit the Student Life Office; faculty and staff can pick them up from their building facility coordinators.
If You Develop Symptoms or Think You Have Been Exposed
Students who have developed symptoms or believe they have been exposed to COVID should consider wearing a mask and contact the Wellness Center for advice, testing, and treatment. Isolation and quarantine accommodations are available if needed.
Staff and faculty should coordinate treatment and testing with their individual health care provider or the St. Mary’s County Health Department. The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) main office in Leonardtown offers COVID-19 Test to Treat (T2T) services, by appointment only. T2T services include on-site rapid testing for COVID-19 and treatment consultation with a medical provider. If a patient tests positive and treatments are appropriate for them – they can immediately receive free oral antiviral medication, filled onsite. Eligibility for treatment is assessed individually, based on evaluation from the medical provider, length of symptoms, underlying health conditions, and other factors.
For more information on COVID-19 treatment or to make an appointment for SMCHD T2T services, please visit this webpage. For assistance making an appointment over the phone, call (301) 475-4330 and ask for the COVID-19 Community Hotline. Testing and treatment is also available through local healthcare providers and participating pharmacies.
- To report a positive COVID-19 case, complete THIS FORM.
- Report COVID-19 safety issues or incidents on Campus Shield
- Spring 2022 Information
- Frequently Asked Questions
- St. Mary’s County Health Department COVID-19 Data
External COVID-19 Resources
Additional information about coronavirus, including signs and symptoms, transmission and risk of exposure, what to do if you are exhibiting symptoms, and continuing updates about the disease are available at:
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- St. Mary’s County, Maryland Data Tracker (CDC)
- St. Mary’s County Health Department Test to Treat Services
- Health Equity
- World Health Organization
- Maryland Department of Health
- Travel information related to Coronavirus
- COVID-19 NHDHHS: Frequently Asked Questions
- CDC – Know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors
- Maryland Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rumor Control
Family / Individual Assistance
- “Find Help” National Resource Database: This website allows users to enter their zip code and will produce a comprehensive listing of available assistance in their local area as related to COVID-19. Once on the site, users are able to search for assistance from a variety of categories, to include food, housing, transit, health, education, and many others. The site is very user friendly and contains a comprehensive list of resources available to individuals and families impacted by COVID-19.
- Unemployment Resources / Benefits: Laid off employees will qualify for unemployment benefits if the coronavirus (COVID-19) causes an employer to shut down operations or cut back on operations. Maryland unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own if they meet the monetary criteria and the daily eligibility criteria.
- The Arc is greatly concerned about the threat of COVID-19 to people with disabilities, their families, and the workforce that supports them. This website is a compilation of resources to help people with intellectual and /or developmental disabilities (I/DD), their families, and service providers to understand this global pandemic.
Business and Non-Profit Assistance
- Maryland Department of Commerce Emergency Relief Fund Programs for Businesses provides resources for Maryland Small Businesses. For non-profits, for-profits, and manufacturing.
- Disaster Relief Fund – The United States Small Business Administration will offer low interest loans to small businesses in designated states due to Coronavirus.
- Layoff Aversion Fund is designed to support businesses undergoing economic stresses due to the pandemic by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs.
- Maryland COVID-19 information for business
- The Maryland Resources page offers a variety of information, FAQs, and updated news / guidance for Maryland residents.
- Maryland Public School Meal Site: search database to find locations for free meal distributions near your home.
St. Mary’s County
- Food Pantries in Calvert County
- Calvert County COVID-19 Resource Center (county government site).
- Calvert County Public Schools Resource Center
Educational Resources and Activities for Children
- US Department of Education Information and Resources for Schools and School personnel.
- Scholastic Learn at Home program keeps the learning going with special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!
- PBS Kids offers a variety of free programs for students while schools are closed. Visit the site and pick the program that is right for your child.
- Khan Academy is a free online educational platform that offers free content for students on a range of subjects, as well as specialized content from organizations like NASA, the MoMA and MIT. In response to the coronavirus, Kahn released free daily learning schedules with plenty of links to online resources for students from pre-K to twelfth grade to follow along with from home.
- Urban U offering Free Online Gardening Classes – join Greg and The Urban Farm U team daily for free online classes. They are offering these classes for 30 days (or as long as needed) in response to the Coronavirus so that people worldwide can feel empowered to take control of our health and food supply. These free classes are Greg and his team’s way of using their expertise to help productively mitigate stress and build virtual communities in this time of uncertainty and social distancing.
Moratoriums & Protections During COVID-19
Foreclosures and Evictions
- The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published Mortgagee Letter 2020-04, “Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium in Connection with the Presidentially-Declared COVID-19 National Emergency,” which announces an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for all FHA-insured single family mortgages for a 60-day period.
- Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) and the Federal Home Loan Banks are taking steps to help people who have been impacted by the coronavirus. If your ability to pay your mortgage is impacted, and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible to delay making your monthly mortgage payments for a temporary period.
- Utility Service will not be suspended due to nonpayment during the COVID-19 crisis. Customers that had utilities suspended prior to March 13 are able to have utilities restored / reconnected. Late fees will be waived. Some individual companies have waived connection / reconnection fees as well (contact company directly to inquire).