The College is actively working to enhance campus safety and health by the time we return for fall 2020 semester. The safety and health of our community is of paramount importance.
- Residential students and residential employees of the College community will be asked to provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 7-10 days prior to arriving at the College. Those who are unable to access appropriate testing prior to arriving at the College will be tested upon arrival and will be required to quarantine until the results arrive. Positive tests will be handled through the College’s COVID-19 protocols in collaboration with the St. Mary’s County Health Department.
- Each student and employee returning to campus will receive an SMCM drawstring bag containing enough masks, gloves, and sanitizer to last throughout the entire fall semester, as well as an individual thermometer for daily personal temperature readings.
- Infrared thermometers will be used to monitor temperatures of employees returning to work on a daily basis.
- The College will require ongoing self-monitoring of symptoms for residential and commuting students and employees who will be on campus at any point during the semester.
The College will:
- Assist students and employees with securing COVID-19 testing and treatment in conjunction with local health care providers designated at an official testing facility.
- Isolate residential students who contract COVID-19 and isolate those who are exposed.
- Coordinate contact tracing with the St. Mary’s County Public Health Department.
What are the key factors that would determine St. Mary’s College’s transition to a fully remote teaching and learning experience for the remainder of fall 2020 semester?
St. Mary’s College will monitor several key COVID-19 indicators that may impact the College environment. They will inform our decision-making regarding, if necessary, the College’s transition to a fully remote teaching and learning experience for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester. These indicators include the College community’s positivity rate within a single day for four consecutive days and overall for two consecutive weeks, absentee rates among the on-campus College community, College quarantine/isolation capacity, and county and state health data and conditions.
Faceshields for All
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Troy Townsend has employed the College’s 3D printing capabilities to manufacture facemasks for medical personnel and College employees. By August 2020, he and his team of students – Jennica Bark, Nhu Chau, Juliana Hancock, Jasper Shide and Ashley Wagner – have made approximately 1,000 faceshields for the health department and 500 for the College.
A symptom screening process (testing) will take place for all residential and commuting students who will be on-campus.
Testing Requirement to Return to Campus
All students will need to produce a negative COVID-19 test result before moving back to campus. If a student has already taken a COVID-19 test, that negative test result will remain valid as long as the student quarantines a minimum of 14 days between the time of taking the test until returning to campus on the new move-in day. All students should complete the SMCM Daily Symptom Check (reminder emailed daily) starting Monday, August 17, no matter their move-in status.
Our goal is to institute weekly, situational testing throughout the semester as a means to monitor viral spread and potentially mitigate widespread infection. This is in addition to the baseline testing that all on-campus residents must complete prior to returning to campus.
COVID-19 Training & Education Requirements
- All students will be required to take a COVID-19 training and education campaign before returning to campus, or if already on campus, complete the training to stay on campus.
- All students will be provided a kit containing essential PPEs (masks as face coverings, gloves, hand sanitizer) and a digital thermometer for the semester.
Student Conduct Policies
For the health and well-being of our unique community, St. Mary’s College of Maryland may create campus standards that are tighter than CDC guidelines and / or state orders. If there appears to be a conflict between the College’s policies and regulations and those recommended/mandated by the Federal and/or State government, the student should exercise the more stringent guidance until clarification is made.
SMCM expects community members to adhere to the SMCM policies and may initiate an investigation and / or the Student Conduct process if reports of alleged violations are received. Immediate, temporary actions may be taken to maintain the health of the campus community while an investigation and / or Conduct process occurs. The following, if violated, are subject to disciplinary action, as provided for in the Student Handbook, “To the Point,” Code: A. Violation of published College policies, rules and regulations.
These policies cover student or student organization misconduct which occurs on College premises, contiguous properties, or which arises out of College-sponsored activities off the College premises, including study abroad, or which disrupts or endangers the College community, the College’s responsibilities, or its pursuit of its objectives, or which poses a threat to the safety and well-being of any individual. The following apply to all students, whether remote, residential, or commuters.
Following guidance from the St. Mary’s County Health Department and the Center of Disease Control, the use of face coverings can potentially slow the spread of COVID-19 by preventing people who may have the virus but are asymptomatic from transmitting it to others.
- Students must wear face coverings, this includes in buildings, grounds, classrooms, shared laboratory areas, conference rooms, elevators, hallways, etc. Face coverings must cover the mouth and nose at all times, except when eating, or alone in a private room or private vehicle.
- Students who cannot wear a protective mask due to a medical issue, like trouble breathing or the inability to remove the cover without assistance, should contact Accessibility Services for accommodations.
Social Distancing Rules
- Maintain at least six feet of social distance from others whenever possible.
- Follow any signage or instruction regarding the use of common spaces, hallways, or pathways.
- Report locations or examples of social distancing congestion to the Office of Public Safety (240-895-4911) to assist with identifying potential problem areas.
- Hosting a gathering that violates social distancing and is not conducive to CDC guidelines will result in the removal from campus housing and the student to finish the semester via remote learning.
General Health and Hygiene Rules/Face covering guidelines
- Refrain from visiting campus or facilities whenever you are sick or have symptoms of respiratory illness.
- Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, preferably with soap and warm water, particularly after coming into contact with high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, handrails, and commonly used equipment.
- Cough/sneeze into sleeves, preferably into the elbow. When using a tissue, discard it properly and clean/sanitize hands immediately.
- Avoid touching your face — particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth — with your hands to prevent infection.
Students arriving to attend SMCM from abroad or out-of-state must self-quarantine in their on- or off-campus residence for 14 days upon arrival.
Students should use a digital thermometer daily to track any rises in temperature prior to a fever being detected.
Students should notify the Wellness Center if they have tested positive for COVID-19, have been directed to quarantine, or, after recovering from a positive COVID-19 test, are returning to campus. These students must provide documentation from a medical provider and complete the SMCM Daily Symptom Check Survey before returning to campus.
Exercise caution per public health guidelines when leaving campus.
- Students should exercise caution when procuring food. Curb-side delivery, delivery, take-out, and drive-through orders are recommended, while maintaining social distance and wearing face coverings.
- Students may participate in fitness activities off-campus when appropriate social distance is maintained and face coverings are worn indoors and / or with others.
Comply with gathering policies.
- Indoor and outdoor gatherings, on-campus or off-campus, where social distancing cannot be maintained, are prohibited.
- Indoor gathering group sizes are limited to room capacity posted on facility signage, room furniture setup, and / or specific numbers provided for residential spaces. If occupancy numbers are not posted, the number of persons who can occupy the space shall not exceed that needed to maintain a social distance between attendees. Furniture should not be rearranged.
- Outdoor on-campus gathering group sizes are limited to capacity posted on the grounds. If occupancy numbers are not posted, the number of persons who can occupy the space shall not exceed that needed to maintain a social distance between attendees. Outdoor on-campus gatherings are not allowed between midnight and 6:00 a.m.
- Lewis Quad – 75
- Admissions Lawn – 200
- Townhouse Green – 175
- Pillow – 20
- Jamie L. Roberts Stadium practice fields – 220
- Waring Commons West – 80
- Waring Commons East – 30
- Lyon-Russell Quad – 40
If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, call the Wellness Center to arrange for testing on campus or testing through the St. Mary’s County Health Department at St. Mary’s Hospital.
- While residential students are awaiting their test results, they must self-isolate in designated on-campus housing.
- Commuter students should remain at home pending the test results.
Testing for any community member will initiate an investigation of direct contacts. Plans have been developed to both support the student and their direct contacts (who will be placed in quarantine) while awaiting results or should the results be positive for COVID-19. Positive cases will be communicated to the campus in a manner consistent with federal and state guidelines.
St. Mary’s College will continue to work with the St. Mary’s County Health Department and make the determination to shift to a non-residential experience should that become necessary.
Cooperate fully with the College’s self-isolation, contact tracing, and notification protocols, in alignment with the St. Mary’s County Public Health Department.
As a condition of returning to campus, students and employees must complete the mandatory COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices training.
*This pledge is signed by all students as part of the COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices Training Completion Form shown above. The full text is included in the accordion below for review.
- I have taken the online COVID-19 training and education campaign.
- I will wear face coverings while on campus including buildings, grounds, classrooms, shared laboratory areas, conference rooms, elevators, hallways, etc.
- My face covering will cover the mouth and nose at all times, except when eating, or alone in a private room or private vehicle.
- I will maintain at least six feet of social distance from others whenever possible.
- I will follow any signage or instruction regarding the use of common spaces, hallways, or pathways through campus.
- I will abide by reduced guest restrictions based on my type of residence.
- I will not host non-SMCM guests in my residence.
- I will refrain from engaging in activities that are not conducive to social distancing such as hosting and attending gatherings, including off-campus gatherings and events.
- If I host a gathering that violates social distancing and it is not conducive to CDC guidelines, I understand that I may be removed from campus housing and required to learn remotely for the remainder of the semester.
General Health and Hygiene Rules
- I will refrain from visiting campus or facilities if I am sick or have symptoms of respiratory illness.
- I will wash my hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, preferably with soap and warm water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if I am not able to wash my hands.
- I will cough/sneeze into my sleeves. When using a tissue I will discard it properly and clean/sanitize my hands immediately.
Testing & Contact Tracing
- I will participate in COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, as necessary and instructed by campus and/or local authorities.
- I will follow the guidance of the SMCM Wellness Center and the St. Mary’s County Health Department if I have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- I will participate in the daily wellness screening to determine if it is appropriate for me to interact with the St. Mary’s College community and complete my daily responsibilities.
- If I am aware that I have symptoms of COVID-19, I will contact the St. Mary’s College Wellness Center or the St. Mary’s County Health Department.
- I will stay at home or in my residence hall room if I do not feel well or have symptoms of COVID-19.
Off Campus Travel
- As a student commuting to campus, I will restrict my travel only to campus and for essential items including food, supplies, employment, and medical appointments.
- As a student living on campus, I will only go off campus for essential items including food, supplies, employment, and medical appointments.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland is committed to the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. As the College prepares to open for the fall 2020 semester, the COVID-19 Handbook has been developed for guidance.