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Current Students

Updated: 1/19/2021

Classes begin on January 25, 2021, a week later than originally planned as recommended by government health officials to help mitigate the current wave of COVID-19. Please consult myMU for a revised Spring 2021 academic calendar.

All of the prior recommendations and required procedures from fall are still in place for spring: required mask wearing, social distancing, socially distanced classrooms, modified or hybrid classes, avoiding large groups, frequent hand washing, etc. Please see the January 7, 2021 announcement below regarding the new re-entry testing requirement for students. This re-entry testing has been strongly encouraged by state and national health officials and will be required of all Misericordia students with rare exception. (e.g. exclusively online, etc.)

Guide for Students Return to Campus Spring 2021 - Misericordia University COUGARCARE

Our COUGARCARE Guide for Students Return to Campus is available at this link.

To learn more about pool testing, visit our frequently asked questions page or download this .pdf file.

Self-Quarantine Beginning January 15, 2021

All students, including commuters, are being asked to self-quarantine for 10 days prior to returning to campus for classes. To the greatest extent you can, please avoid any unnecessary activity. This is intended to limit your exposure to others and reduce the risk of bringing COVID to campus. During this time, you should:

  • Wear a mask when around others.
  • Stay at least 6 feet from others.
  • Wash your hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily.

January 7, 2021 - Spring 2021 COVID Re-entry Testing Requirements

In alignment with recommendations from federal, state, and local medical officials, Misericordia University will require entry screening testing of all students at the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester to mitigate COVID-19 transmission. This requirement is for all students who intend to live on campus, will attend any in-person classes, and/or plan to use any campus facilities during the Spring 2021 semester.

 

Classes resume January 25. Do not come to campus for any reason (move in, classes, COVID testing) if you are known to be COVID positive, living with a COVID positive person, have active COVID-like symptoms, or are in quarantine for a confirmed exposure.

 

Please read carefully the information below.

 

All students returning to the Dallas campus should begin a 10-day self-quarantine on January 15, 2021 and complete the daily symptom check via the mobile app each day beginning the 15th and through the entire semester. The intent is to limit your exposure to others and reduce the risk of bringing COVID to campus.

RE-ENTRY TESTING DALLAS CAMPUS STUDENTS:

1.    Must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 laboratory-reviewed PCR test to Misericordia’s Health and Wellness Center prior to your arrival on campus. “Rapid” or antigen tests will not be allowed.

2.    You must have your negative test results uploaded to Medicat (our University’s Health Center software) COVID clinic or have uploaded proof that you have received both parts of the two-part COVID-19 vaccination to the Medicat COVID clinic no later than January 21, 2021. If your test result is positive, you must upload this as well and report your status to Cougar Care. Do not come to campus if you are positive for COVID-19. Cougar Care will provide guidance to you if you report a positive test.

3.    Any student who does not submit their test results to Misericordia as directed will not be permitted on campus.

4.    If you test negative but later develop symptoms or have confirmed exposure to a COVID positive person (15 minutes or more, less than 6 feet) within 48-hours of returning to campus, please remain at home and report your situation to the Cougar Care team.

Exceptions:  1. Any student who tested positive for COVID-19 after November 1 and is currently free of any symptoms does not need to get tested again prior to the spring semester.  The CDC guidance says that testing is not a priority for those who have had a positive COVID test result in the last 90 days. If you tested positive after November 1, you must upload a copy of your positive test result to the University’s Medicat COVID clinic software as managed by the Health and Wellness Center. This is the same system that students use to upload other health information. The upload function of Medicat COVID will be available beginning January 18. Students who were positive for COVID will become part of the surveillance testing pool and be tested again if selected at random later in the semester. 2. Any student who is exclusively online with no in-person campus contact is also exempt from re-entry testing.

 

TESTING OPTIONS PRIOR TO START OF SEMESTER:

A.   We strongly encourage you to get a test on your own if you can. Check for testing options through CVS, Walgreens, Rite AID, or through your medical provider.  You can also purchase an at-home test through Vault using this link, Costco, or Amazon and submit the results to MU.  Other at-home tests may be available as well. Test results must be uploaded by January 21. The state recommends that test results be no older than 72 hours when they are submitted. We recognize this could be challenging.

B.   Because of the possible challenges in getting tested, the University is planning to have a block of re-entry COVID testing opportunities available on campus between January 19 and January 22 for those students who can’t obtain testing elsewhere. A separate email will be sent with a link to register for the on-campus testing. The registration links will only be active for a limited amount of time once they are released. Students will have opportunities for tests between January 19 and 22. It is IMPORTANT to note that the number of on-campus tests is limited and that students will not be able to remain on campus following the test as the results will take approximately 48 hours. This process will be done as “pool” testing where samples will be processed in groups. If you are in a positive test group, you will be required to return to campus for another test or obtain a second test on your own with a negative result in order to return to campus. For more details regarding the on-campus testing program, please click here.

 

TESTING FOLLOWING START OF SEMESTER:

Once the semester begins, the University will begin what is referred to as “surveillance testing.” Each week, a sample group of students will be directed to receive a COVID-19 test on campus. Please watch for more details later on how the surveillance testing procedure will be implemented. This process is recommended by health officials to help keep outbreaks in check. More details are forthcoming.

 

Testing is helpful and a new, important step in COVID protection.  However, please remember to wear your masks, stay socially distant, wash your hands, avoid large groups, and do all the other things that have been proven helpful in keeping people free from COVID infections. ###

 

 

2020 Announcements - A few examples of other important announcements from last semester:

1. Residence Life

Please follow all of the guidance in the COUGARCARE document regarding residence life. Do not gather in large groups or break the social distancing and masking requirements. Visitors are not allowed inside any residence hall. Please limit your trips off campus and back home to those trips that are absolutely essential. Do not knowingly expose yourself to high risk situations. Feel free to gather in outdoor spaces on campus but always wear your mask and maintain six feet or more of distance at all times. Do not rearrange outdoor or indoor furniture as it has been preset for social distancing.

2.     Class Times for Fall 2020

The Fall 2020 semester will be unlike any in the nearly 100-year history of Misericordia.  One adjustment we need to make focuses on time between classes.  In order to keep faculty and students safe, we will extend the time between all classes to 20 minutes.  A chart of how that affects the weekly calendar is as follows.  Note that this grid does not address ALL possible classes.  You should see all the appropriate times appearing on your courses.

MWF start

MWF end

Rev MWF start

Rev MWF end

TR start

TR end

Rev TR start

Rev TR end

8:00 AM

8:50 AM

8:00 AM

8:50 AM

8:00 AM

9:15 AM

8:00 AM

9:15 PM

9:00 AM

9:50 AM

9:10 AM

10:00 AM

9:30 AM

10:45 AM

9:35 AM

10:50 AM

10:00 AM

10:50 AM

10:20 AM

11:10 AM

11:00 AM

12:15 PM

11:10 AM

12:25 PM

11:00 AM

11:50 AM

11:30 AM

12:20 PM

12:30 PM

1:45 PM

12:45 PM

2:00 PM

12:00 PM

1:15 PM

12:40 PM

1:55 PM

2:00 PM

3:15 PM

2:20 PM

3:35 PM

1:30 PM

2:20 PM

2:15 PM

3:05 PM

3:30 PM

4:45 PM

3:55 PM

5:10 PM

2:30 PM

3:20 PM

3:25 PM

4:15 PM

6:00 PM

8:30 PM

6:00 PM

8:30 PM

3:30 PM

4:45 PM

4:35 PM

5:50 PM

       

6:00 PM

8:30 PM

6:10 PM

8:40 PM

       

 

 3.     Technology Needs

With increased reliance upon online/virtual teaching, we want to emphasize to all of you the importance of having up to date and truly functional equipment as you start the Fall 2020 semester.  Below is a set of minimal specifications that you will want to have on your computer so as to be as functional as possible through the 2020-2021 academic year.  These are not requirements, but they are strong suggestions.

  1. 8 GB RAM or higher; Intel i5 (or equivalent) or higher; 2GHz clock speed or higher (can probably get away with 1.6GHz)
  2. Runs windows 10 (recommend avoiding 8) or Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) or above.
  3. Camera (built in or external) capable of video capture.
  4. Microphone and speakers (built in or external) or a headset -- for headsets, we recommend Logitech headsets that start around $30 (for example, the H340 USB).
  5. Pop-up blockers should be configured to permit new windows from blackboard.misericordia.edu and other Misericordia websites.

Recommended software (general, not program specific):

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office (365 available to MU students)
  • Chrome Browser (latest version)

 4.     Dining

Misericordia University Campus Dining Fall 2020 Reopening Plan

Meal plans will be activated on Monday, August 17.

Metz Culinary Management worked closely with the university to alter our food service while still providing valuable options to students. Here is link to download a full guide to the changes as they stand today.  We have adapted our procedures to correlate with what the CDC recommends including dining staff temperature checks, increased sanitation procedures, social distancing signage and instructions on flow of travel.  We have extended the times of hot meals in the dining hall (to go available), incorporated to go options out of the Chopping Block retail area, as well as implemented an online ordering program for specific retail locations to allow for more flexibility during meal periods. The following information will remain fluid as we continue to abide by CDC directives. Please download and review the document for full details. The content may be updated as conditions change.  

New Academic Calendar for Fall 2020

We have been thinking innovatively about the fall academic calendar. Health officials warn of a possible resurgence of the COVID-19 virus that may coincide with the onset of the traditional flu season in late fall.

Therefore, Misericordia University will begin classes on Thursday, August 20 and have classes run continuously up to November 24. (no Labor Day holiday; no two-day fall break). Students would leave campus, complete remaining instruction and final exams remotely, and not return until the start of the spring semester in January 2021. This adaptation is our best attempt to preserve the highly valuable and, in some cases, necessary on-campus instruction and experiences for students and avoid the most likely period for a COVID rebound. Many other universities, both our size and others of national scope, are choosing a similar approach to fall scheduling. We hope that the spring semester can be completed normally and the revised academic calendar reflects that.

The revised academic calendar has been completed and posted to myMU. As our task forces continue their work, the leadership team will keep everyone updated on the steps being taken in residence life, classroom management, food service, and other areas to preserve the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff as we implement a controlled resumption of modified, but more normal, operations. We will remain flexible and ready to adapt if the health conditions change.

How can you help keep others safe?

Misericordia University Symptom Tracker

Access the MU Daily Symptom Tracker and complete the health assessment every day.

Sign the Stronger Together pledge to follow the rules and protect our community.

Please adapt to the “new normal.” We know students have not been on campus for months but clearly remember the campus feel before the pandemic. For now, it won't be the same. Please adapt to the changes so we can keep everyone healthy. Students should be wearing a mask in all public areas, social distancing, washing hands frequently, dining outside or in small, distanced  groups, using modified building entrances and exits, conducting a personal daily health assessment using the app, and following the other protocols. We hope you will comply with all the recommendations to increase the chances that we can keep everyone on campus safe. Check this web site for the latest information and the most current copy of the COUGARCARE document. Watch your email for periodic updates.

The Student Government Association has a message for students as we return to campus.