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Current Students

Updated: 1/21/2022

Isolation and Quarantine Procedures - January 2022

The new CDC guidance for quarantine and isolation is more complex than in 2021 in order to more precisely manage the specifics of the omicron variant. Click here to view a PDF of the University's "flow chart" listing the guidance for isolation and quarantine for both positive cases and exposure to positive cases.

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UPDATED RE-ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR SPRING 2022 (1/7/2022)

The university is requiring all returning resident students, regardless of vaccination status, to test upon return to the residence halls. Resident students should have received an email from campuslife@misericorida.edu to schedule your testing/return time. We know testing is in critically high demand, so we offer three options:

  1. Complete an at-home antigen COVID test the day you plan to re-enter any residence hall.  You will be required to show a visual image (e.g., picture on your phone with name and date shown) of the completed negative test. Students should report to the Anderson Center during your confirmed return date and time. If you test positive, stay home. Complete the symptom tracker on myMU to notify Cougar Care.
  2. Complete an antigen COVID test to be administered at Misericordia University upon arrival.  We will have tests available. This test will cost $18.00 per test. Students should report to the Anderson Center during your confirmed return date and time. Results will be received within an hour. Students WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO move in until test results are complete. If a negative test result is received, students may proceed to the residence halls. If a positive test result is received, students will need to return home immediately. 
  3. Participate in Misericordia University surveillance testing (provide a saliva sample for our lab).  Sample to be collected on Sunday, January 16th during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. only.  Results will be received on Monday, January 17th by 10:00 a.m. This test is free to students. HOWEVER, you may not remain on campus while awaiting the result. You must leave campus until you receive a negative test result. If positive, do not return to campus.

Please note:  If you tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, please upload to Medicat and bring a copy of your positive test result and you are exempt from testing.  If you are unable to provide proof of your negative test, you will be required to participate in #1 or #2 above.

Students WILL NOT be permitted to enter the residence halls until a negative test result is received from any of the above approved methods.

COMMUTERS ONLY:  Commuter students are not required to complete a COVID-19 test.  However, for commuter students wishing to test, free COVID-19 surveillance testing will be available Sunday, January 16th from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

 

NEW MASKING REQUIREMENTS EFFECTIVE AT MOVE IN OR RETURN TO CLASS

Effective immediately when you return to campus, the university is requiring all students to wear three-ply surgical masks or KN95 (or similar, there are various such as N95, KF94, etc.)  masks indoors in all settings at all times when you are not alone in a private space. Please bring a supply of these masks with you when you return to the residence halls or classes. Cloth masks and neck gaiters will no longer be acceptable. Recent studies have shown that surgical and KN95 (or similar) masks are far superior in protecting against the omicron variant of COVID. Masking has been a critical part of our COVID management success over the past two years.

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Student need to report their vaccination status as soon as possible if you have not already done so. If you choose not to be vaccinated, you must complete the COVID Safety Agreement as outlined below.

To be in compliance with University policy, all students must:

1.      Be fully vaccinated by January 3, 2022.  Fully vaccinated means: 2 weeks have expired since either the second shot of Moderna or Pfizer or the single shot of J&J.   Students who have uploaded into Medicat a copy of their vaccination card and the dates of their vaccination will be considered vaccinated by the University.  Should the CDC change the requirements for full vaccination, all students must follow the guidance to be in compliance.  The University will notify all fully vaccinated students via University email of the new requirement and provide a deadline for compliance.

OR

2.      Complete and submit the COVID-19 Safety form https://formauth.misericordia.edu/validateSession.aspx?service=webtransferPOST&redirectPath=c19safety/c19safety_signin.cfm

Students not in compliance with University policy will not be allowed to return for the spring 2022 semester.

 

SURVEILLANCE TESTING

 

All unvaccinated students are required to participate in weekly surveillance testing beginning the week of January 17, 2022.

·         Students can participate in testing in the Henry Student Lounge (days/time TBD)

OR

·         Students can provide the results weekly of a COVID-19 test from a licensed health care provider or lab.  Only home tests from a licensed medical provider will be accepted.  Results are to be emailed to cougarcaretesting@misericordia.edu by noon every Wednesday.    

FAILURE TO TEST WEEKLY WILL HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES:

Students (including *student employees) failing to participate in surveillance testing or failing to attend a diagnostic testing appointment will experience the following consequences:

·         First miss:  $100 fine placed on bill.

·         Second miss:  $250 fine placed on bill; Interim suspension. *  Interim suspension includes removal from all classes and removal from campus residence halls.  Please note:  These sanctions include no obligation on the part of the instructor or the University to provide alternative methods of instruction, whether through Zoom or other virtual platforms.  Faculty are not obligated to extend deadlines or other course requirements to students who have been placed on interim suspension.

·      Third miss:  Suspension.  Involuntary separation from the university for a specified period of time, after which the student must petition to the Admissions Applicant Background Review committee.  If permitted by the University to return, the student does so on university probation status for a minimum of 1 academic year.  The student will be withdrawn with “W’s” on all course work, and refunds will be governed by the refund policy.

For resolution of an interim suspension, a student must submit to testing, either through Misericordia’s testing the following week or through a licensed health care provider/lab (at your own cost).

*Student Employees

Students who are employed by the University who fail to test weekly will be subject to student consequences and may be subject to additional consequences as required for employees by the federal government.

Questions should be submitted to cougarcare@misericordia.edu.  If you would like to speak to someone, include your telephone number so a member of the team can respond.

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November 1, 2021

 Update on Vaccine Policy

From: Dr. Daniel J. Myers, Ph.D., President

Greetings, Misericordia community.  I write to share some necessary decisions and alterations regarding our COVID-19 vaccination mandate in the context of the ever-changing challenge that is this pandemic.

As a University, we decided in June to proceed with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all, contingent upon FDA approval of one of the vaccines.  All the available professional guidance indicated that vaccination was, and remains, the most effective way to limit the spread of the disease and the serious health risk that it presents.  FDA approval occurred in late August, and out of a desire not to interrupt faculty and students in the middle of the semester, we pushed the deadline for vaccination to January 3, 2022.

Due to the diligent efforts of our campus community, at this time, over 85% of the students and over 90% of faculty and staff are vaccinated.  Our testing program, indoor masking, and other steps have kept COVID infections on campus very low. Thank you to everyone who has helped keep the campus safe by complying with these measures.

Given the current improving trajectory of the pandemic combined with some complex challenges to implement fairly and in a timely manner the exemptions policy as originally planned, we have decided to modify our vaccine mandate.  We believe this modification will still preserve the health and safety of our campus.
These are some very important and significant changes. Effective immediately:

  • We will not dismiss any students or employees because they have not gotten vaccinated, contingent on all unvaccinated students and employees following mitigation as outlined below.
  • Registration holds for spring 2022 classes related to lack of vaccination will be lifted.
  • All students and employees who have not demonstrated proof of vaccination will be required to upload their proof of vaccination as soon as possible or sign a COVID Safety Agreement by December 20 indicating that they will submit to regular COVID testing and agree to abide by mitigation behaviors as set out by the University.
  • To clarify:  the religious and medical exemption process previously established is suspended indefinitely due to complex risk management and related issues. Any submitted information will be held confidentially and securely at this time.  As per the third bullet on this list, students who filed for exemptions will still need to sign a COVID Safety Agreement as soon as possible or prior to December 20, 2021.
  • Any student who intends to do an internship, field placement, or clinical off campus next semester or at any point in the future, may still need to be vaccinated.  Off campus sites may still mandate vaccination. Many employers, regardless of industry, may require vaccination to work at that site. The University cannot control the policies of external entities and generally supports vaccination in any regard.

We should also be clear, that the federal government mandate for employers over 100 persons is imminent.  This means that employees of Misericordia University—possibly including student employees (pending federal government rules)—are still going to be subject to some kind of mandate. The University has yet to see the specific instructions from the government as it relates to employees.

We once again thank all who have received the vaccine; we know that this is the most effective way to avoid contracting COVID, mitigating symptoms, and reducing the spread of the virus.  We continue to very strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated.

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-evolving situation, and the Misericordia community may have to, yet again, change course or modify our policies.  Anyone who is not vaccinated is subject to a testing regime, which may be escalated in frequency depending on what is necessary to keep the university safe in addition to the dictates of national, state, and local governmental entities, the NCAA, and the MAC. 

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to email cougarcare@misericordia.edu

Q & A:

Does the Misericordia University mandate remain in place as previously stated?

No. Because the exemption process has been suspended, the policy has changed. We will continue to maintain existing safety measures, require unvaccinated persons to sign a COVID Safety Agreement, and strongly encourage vaccination.

I applied for an exemption.  Will it be granted?

The exemption process is suspended indefinitely.  If you applied for an exemption, you will need to sign a COVID Safety Agreement that will require you to follow the appropriate COVID mitigation steps as deemed necessary by the University, including testing, masking, and other things related to the intensity of the health risks at the time.  You may also be subject to fines or suspension for non-compliance as well as any costs allowed by law for mitigation efforts.

I have neither applied for an exemption nor uploaded documentation of vaccination.  What do I do?

You will need to sign a COVID Safety Agreement that will require you to follow the appropriate COVID mitigation steps as deemed necessary by the University, including testing, masking, and other things related to the intensity of the health risks at the time.  You may be subject to fines or suspension for non-compliance as well as any costs allowed by law for mitigation efforts. 

Will the vaccine mandate be applied to employees?

Not as previously communicated. We await the federal guidance and regulations regarding vaccination.  We plan to comply with the regulations and take other steps necessary to protect health and safety.  We strongly and seriously encourage all employees to be vaccinated; however, the January 3, 2022 deadline is no longer in place.  Along with federal and state authorities, we consider COVID vaccines to be safe and effective.

I am non-vaccinated student. Can I register on time? 

Yes, however, you must complete the COVID Safety Agreement by December 20, 2021 or risk another hold.

How do I get the COVID Safety Agreement?

A link will be sent in the coming weeks to all students and employees and posted on the COVID web page that will take you to the form for completion.

How often will I have to sign the COVID safety form?

The COVID Safety Agreement will remain in effect for as long as you are a student and as long as the University or government regulatory agencies deem that COVID presents a health threat on campus. Should you become vaccinated, upload your proof of vaccination to the Medicat System (students) and send an email to cougarcare@misericordia.edu or report it to Human Resources (employees) and the COVID Safety Agreement will no longer be needed.

 

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Reporting

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