The following information is provided by the offices of Student Health Services and Office of Residence Life. Students with additional questions are encouraged to reach out to our offices with any questions or concerns.
We are happy to assist you!
If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, take a home test. Or, if you would like an appointment for further evaluation by our Nurse Practitioner, please call our office to schedule a visit. This may be particularly useful if you have a chronic health condition which could put you at greater risk for developing a complication to COVID-19 and/or Influenza should you test positive. If you are positive and performing self-care for mild symptoms, Health Services can prepare a “care package” with any over-the-counter medications and supplies you may need to help manage your symptoms. You or a friend can pick it up from the “Student Pick Up” box on our front porch. So, please let us know if you need anything!
• Do not enter the Wellness Center if diagnosed with COVID-19 unless you are experiencing an emergency.
• If receiving care with our counseling staff, please inquire about options for a virtual appointment while you are ill.
• Follow-up with the athletic trainers regarding anything they may need for a safe return to your sport.
To determine the end of isolation when you have tested positive with a home test, please refer to the CDC’s Isolation and Exposure Calculator. The minimal isolation period is 5 days, and most individuals with mild illness will fall into this category. To end isolation, you must be feeling better (no symptoms or very mild symptoms) and no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medication such as Aspirin, Tylenol, Motrin, and Aleve. No re-testing is required if you meet this criterion especially if you are in a low-risk group and are generally healthy. Wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask on days 6-10 when around others. *In general, we follow these same guidelines for Influenza. Students are highly encouraged to depart campus and isolate themselves at home if they are safely able to travel. See the “Residence Life” section below for more information.
Please utilize the CDC’s “When You Are Sick With Covid-19 Tool” and/or *CDC’s “Flu What To Do If You Get Sick Tool”.
Notify your close contacts, and encourage them to take a home test if they have symptoms, or schedule an appointment with our Nurse Practitioner for evaluation. Otherwise, close contacts who are asymptomatic should wear a mask and perform a home test as early as day 5 after their last known exposure if concerned about COVID-19. It’s a good idea to keep a few home test kits handy for this purpose. Health Services does not hand out home test kits but will supply them to the Residence Halls if there is a surplus from the Health Department. Our clinic is only authorized to perform COVID-19 testing on symptomatic individuals through an appointment with our Nurse Practitioner.
If you are well enough to do so, please keep up with your studies while recuperating from your illness. Work with your professors as they are easily approachable and will work with you directly to keep you caught up. They want you to succeed and not fall behind! If you still have questions regarding when to safely return to class even after utilizing the CDC’s Isolation and Exposure calculator and other resources, then give us a call to schedule a virtual appointment with our Nurse Practitioner. You will be guided as to your next steps in returning to work and/or school. If virtually meeting with our Nurse Practitioner, we MUST have proof of your positive home COVID-19 test. Visit your Medicat Patient Portal for instructions on how to do so. Be sure to legibly write your name, date of birth and test date onto the cassette or card. You are also required to report your home test result to the State of Maryland COVIDLINK website. This immediately connects you with additional resources to feel better quicker in addition to tracking infection trends within our community. Please note that Health Services does not share your healthcare information with professors or any department on campus except under a few special circumstances and with a signed Release of Information form. Please email or call the Director of Health Services if this could apply to you. We cannot speak with parents regarding your illness or a medical excuse/note for class if you are over the age of 18 years.
Any “return to work/school” note received from an off-campus provider (e.g., ER, urgent care, PCP, Health Department, pharmacy drive-thru) can be shared with Office of Student Success Services (OS3) directly by you. These notes typically verify only basic information such as the date(s) you were evaluated and when you are clear to return to class.
Deborah Bello, RN, Director of Health Services 240-895-4289
Respiratory infections are easily transmitted in congregate settings like residence halls, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland is trying to contain the spread. Therefore, you will need to complete the required isolation period as guided by the CDC. Additionally, best practice is that you leave campus to do so. If that is logistically impossible, the Offices of Residence Life and Health Services is allowing you to isolate in your own room through the duration of your isolation period. The good news is that in most cases, only a 5-day isolation period is required with DAY 0 being the onset of symptoms. Most students are already close to completion by the time they test themselves.
If you cannot leave campus, then you should plan to stay in your room as much as possible. Do not use the common areas in your suite/house/apartment or residence hall, around campus or attend in-person classes. You can go outside for fresh air when you need to, but you are advised to stay at least six feet away from those around you and wear a mask on your way out of the building. You can continue to use the bathroom in your assigned area, but you should wipe down the surfaces you touch if others have access to this space. Wear a mask and gloves whenever possible outside of your bedroom. If your roommate is present in your bedroom, you should wear a mask unless you are sleeping and not moving around. If you live in a townhouse, apartment, or suite, you should speak with your roommates to coordinate the bathroom use; if you live in a residence hall, you should try to use the common bathrooms at non-peak hours.
You cannot have guests in your unit or be in other residential spaces prior to the end of your isolation period, and you should advise your suitemates/housemates/roommates (if applicable) to keep guests out of your assigned residence during this time. You will need to stay in isolation unless there is an emergency, you need food, want to go outside, or are going off-campus for your isolation period. If you leave campus for your isolation period (unless you are logistically unable to do so), you cannot return until your isolation period is complete. Roommates choosing to stay within the same space as an isolated student should socially distance, remain masked, or can choose to stay with a friend or alternate location.
While isolating in your own space, you are permitted to visit the Great Room or Solomon’s Kitchen during nonpeak hours (lunch 12noon – 1pm; dinner 5p-6pm) to utilize “grab and go” options only. While in the servery, you are required to wear two masks (or 1 KN95 mask) and wear gloves. Extra PPE (gloves and masks) are in the laundry rooms of the traditional halls or the community kitchen spaces of Waring Commons and Lewis Quad.
You are encouraged to share this information as needed with your family members. Due to confidentiality regulations, we are not able to share this information with anyone besides the Health Services staff. Be advised that you are to remain in the isolation space (or off-campus location) until your isolation period ends. In certain circumstance, a student could be moved into a private isolation space on campus. If you feel you have an extenuating circumstance to warrant this, please let us know as soon as possible.
Danielle Brush, Office of Residence Life 240 895-4207
CDC: Understanding Risk
COVID-19 can affect anyone, and the disease can cause symptoms ranging from mild to very severe. We know that certain things can make people more likely to get very sick with COVID-19. We also know that certain settings and activities can make you more likely to get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Understanding the risk of COVID-19 for yourself and those around you can help you make informed decisions to keep you safe and healthy. If you have risk factors, have a COVID-19 plan in place in case you get sick, and discuss that plan with your healthcare provider and those close to you. Learn what extra precautions you can take to protect yourself and others in settings that make you more likely to be exposed to COVID-19.
CDC: Understanding Exposure Risks
CDC: Covid-19 Booster Tool
Boosters are an important part of protecting yourself from getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. They are recommended for most people.
Use the Booster Tool to determine when or if you (or your child) can get one or more COVID-19 boosters.
This tool is intended to help you make decisions about getting COVID-19 vaccinations. It should not be used to diagnose or treat COVID-19.
Free Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Card
St. Mary’s County Health Department and PinPoint US, LLC have partnered to offer free digital COVID-19 vaccine cards for those who live or work in St. Mary’s County. Students at St. Mary’s College of Maryland are also eligible for this service.
The VaccineCheck service generates a personalized digital version of a CDC vaccine card after verifying COVID-19 vaccine history through Maryland’s statewide immunization registry.
Participants can also use the service to upload images of their paper CDC vaccine card for safe digital record-keeping accessible through their smartphone or computer. Data uploads and verification of vaccine history are conducted using the HIPAA-compliant PinPoint platform.
For more information, CLICK HERE.
Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccine Offered at the St. Mary’s County Health Department
In accordance with amended authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) will now offer the bivalent formulations of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for use as a single booster dose at least two months following primary or prior booster vaccination. The bivalent vaccines are administered after the original series has already been completed.
The updated booster is a formula that both boosts immunity against the original coronavirus strain and also protects against the newer Omicron variants that account for most of the current cases. The Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 18 years of age and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 12 years of age and older.
For more information or to make a vaccine appointment, please visit: smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine and select the patient age group for available clinic dates. Call SMCHD at (301) 475-4330 for questions or assistance making an appointment over the phone. Please review the allergy guidance and the FAQs for SMCHD COVID-19 Vaccination prior to registering for a vaccine appointment. COVID-19 vaccines are also available through primary care offices and local pharmacies.