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Faculty and Staff

Updated 2/28/2021

Cougar Care - Stop, Do Not Enter Building with these symptoms

The university has developed a COUGARCARE document for employees designed to set standards and protocols for a safe return to the workplace on July 27 as we prepare for the fall semester.  Paramount within this document is the need for all of us to do our part in keeping ourselves and one another safe.  Misericordia historically has had a very strong sense of community; this document was written with a view to strengthening that sense of community.

Guide for Return to the Workplaces Spring 2021 - Misericordia University COUGARCARE

Click here to review the COUGARCARE document for employees. Please note that this document may be changed as the situation evolves.

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

Campus Reopening Planning and State Recommendations

Masks Required - Cougar Care

Recent guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) set a framework to manage our response. The Reopening group has been reviewing that guidance. All colleges and universities need to have a plan for reopening that addresses multiple criteria in the PDE document.  That plan is now available and posted as the Health and Safety Plan in this section of the website.  The situation remains a dynamic one, so it should be everyone's mindset to be as innovative and agile as possible to react to changes as they occur. The plan will be updated accordingly.

Some other items to expect for working on campus:

  • Building exits and entrances and the flow of pedestrian traffic has been modified or specifically designated to limit face-to-face encounters. Our campus response will be known as COUGARCARE. Most buildings now feature signage with that “brand.” Please follow the instructions as posted for entrance and exit as well as stairway usage and other wayfinding inside our buildings.
  • Increased cleaning will take place throughout campus. Some areas may be restricted at times so that cleaning resources can be focused on high use areas.
  • The use of masks or facial coverings in all buildings, classrooms, hallways, public areas, shared office spaces, and outdoors when you might have any chance of encountering others, is required.  Those staff with private offices can remove masks when alone in the office. Doors should be kept shut where possible. Some staff may be assigned new office space to establish better social distancing.
  • Staff should avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use. Housekeeping will provide the necessary cleaning supplies.
  • No group meetings should take place until further notice. Use social distancing and wear your mask for small group interactions. Avoid drop-in meetings. Use telephone calls, email, collaboration software, and virtual meeting software instead of face-to-face meetings.
  • Anyone coming to campus should continue a daily personal health assessment before arriving as described in previous guidance.  If you feel ill, display any of the symptoms described in the guidance, or have been exposed to a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please contact your supervisor before coming to campus.
  • Food service is not currently available on campus, either for employees or the public. Please bring your lunch or plan accordingly. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after eating. Maintain social distancing. Food service will resume shortly with the arrival of students. Employees are advised to plan for expected changes and possible delays as we establish new methods for serving our students. Employees should plan to eat in their offices or private workspace if available.
  • UP ONLY Cougar Care
    Only essential visitors, invited guests, and scheduled vendors are coming to campus. There will be no general public access to buildings at this time.  Essential visitors will also share mask wearing, self-health evaluation, and exposure risk assessment responsibilities.  Please click here to download a PDF file with instructions for any approved visitor or vendor to follow. Public spaces, such as the fitness center, will be remain closed to visitors and the public so that we can focus our health and safety resources on our students, faculty, and staff.
  • Campus sidewalks and other outdoor walkways and open spaces are open (tennis and basketball courts will remain closed) to pedestrians from the general public.  Buildings and interior spaces remain closed to the general public and visitors.
  • Conditions will be monitored, and the campus will be ready to respond if health conditions change on campus or in the community.

These recommendations in our COUGARCARE plan include self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms, evaluation of exposure risk, mask wearing requirements, and other procedures. Please read the information carefully and follow all directions. These protocols are not intended to restrict individuals; rather, they have been designed to ensure the health and safety of the entire community. Some of the most important aspects of our behavior that will help protect others include:

Misericordia University Symptom Tracker

Daily Health Check and Risk Assessment via the MU Daily Symptom Tracker
Please see the information on myMU or visit the Personal Risk Assessment page on this web site for more information.

The Stronger Together Pledge
Everyone on campus will be invited to sign the Stronger Together Pledge. This link was emailed to all faculty and staff. Please sign this pledge to demonstrate our university-wide commitment to the health and safety of one another.

Required Face Coverings
At minimum, all persons entering campus must wear facial coverings (commercially manufactured or home-made masks are acceptable). Employees arriving for work without facial coverings will not be allowed entry to campus buildings. Facial coverings must be worn at all times when outside of your office.

Maintenance of Safe Social Distancing Required
At least 6 feet apart from other individuals is required.  This includes in exterior areas when arriving for work, or when leaving for the day; in common work areas; in lobby areas; in equipment exchange areas; etc. Do not congregate in areas such as lunch/break rooms, bathrooms, maintenance shops, or storage facilities. Employees who disregard the standards of social distancing in any area will not be allowed to remain on campus. 

Frequent Handwashing Strongly Encouraged
Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, five times per day during a typical eight-hour shift is recommended.  Use hand sanitizer with a minimum of 63% alcohol base if hand washing is not feasible.  Bathrooms and hand sanitizer dispensers are located in multiple areas of campus – Use them for your safety and the safety of others.

Disinfect High Touch Surfaces
Frequently touched worksite surfaces should be cleaned multiple times during the workday. These surfaces include machine controls such as copy machines, computer keyboards and mouse controllers, office doorknobs and handles, bathroom doors, faucet handles, lunch tabletops, etc. Avoid shared equipment. In addition to repeated applications of disinfecting materials by housekeeping staff in common and accessible areas, employees are responsible for taking steps to sanitize personal work areas and equipment. 



Mental Health Intervention Strategies to Promote Student Wellness & Academic Success

In this very challenging time, with civil unrest, racial injustice, and COVID 19, we heard concerns across campus that faculty felt a need to be better able to support students. And not only support students in their academics but in their resiliency and their ability to cope with these situations. As such, Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, Ed.D., Curtis Wisley, Psyc.D., and George Godlewski, Ph.D. worked together to provide a workshop for faculty, and staff, that shares some insight about what mental health resources exist on campus and some ideas on how to recognize signs that a student may need some assistance. It also provides some basic ways to talk with students and how to help during non-school hours. It is our hope that this will open a dialogue across faculty and students and faculty and the CAPS center and may lead to further workshops on specific topics related to mental health.

Barbara Schwartz-Bechet headshot



Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, Ed.D., SBA
Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Education


Curtis Wiseley


Curtis Wiseley, Psy.D.
Director of Counseling and Psychological Services






George Godlewski, PhD., MSW
Health Sciences Program Director