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Toward a Safe and Healthy MMC: Guidelines for Fall 2020

August 14, 2020
The Presidential Task Force to Restart MMC has worked diligently these past months to develop our Virtual Classes/Open Campus model for the fall 2020 semester. Our first priority, in this plan and through all of our efforts, has been to design and implement robust health and safety protocols for the MMC community, in alignment with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, New York State Governor’s Office, the NYS and NYC Departments of Health, and local healthcare professionals.

The College has taken extensive measures to help ensure a safe, healthy, and comfortable environment for all members of our community within MMC facilities. Maintaining such an environment requires the commitment, vigilance, and participation of each member of the community. We are in this together.

Toward this goal, MMC has adopted the following policies, which apply to all members of the MMC community. They are adapted and synthesized from a larger report encompassing all of MMC’s on-campus health and safety measures — a “living document” — that is subject to change as information and resources evolve. We will share the full report on our Restart MMC webpage when it is finalized.

SCREENING, TESTING, AND REPORTING

Faculty, staff, students, and visitors will be required to complete a digital questionnaire before arriving to campus. Students living in MMC housing will be required to complete the screening upon initial arrival to campus and then on a weekly basis. All other students who plan to visit campus will be required to complete the screening weekly. Individuals who answer “yes” to the screening questions, test positive for COVID-19, become ill with related symptoms, or have come in close contact with a confirmed case are asked to email safety@mmm.edu.

New York City now recommends that all New Yorkers get tested, regardless of symptoms or increased risk. MMC will not require testing; however, the College does recommend that all students, faculty, and staff be tested for COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to returning to campus or upon arrival. Find a testing site near you via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.

TEMPERATURE CHECKS

Upon entering Main Campus, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be required to go through a temperature checking process, monitored by Social Distancing Ambassadors stationed in the front lobby. Additional details are forthcoming regarding temperature checks in MMC housing. MMC reserves the right to refuse access to anyone who arrives on campus with an elevated temperature.

KEEP MMC HEALTHY PLEDGE

MMC recognizes that the commitment of the entire MMC population is required to establish and maintain an environment that is as safe and comfortable as possible. Accordingly, MMC has encouraged all students, faculty, and staff who come to campus to acknowledge the Keep MMC Healthy Pledge, and all resident students to sign the Residential Wellness Pledge.

As part of keeping MMC healthy, the College has modified its disciplinary procedures for students, faculty, and staff who violate MMC’s health and safety policies. Moreover, any individual whose behavior threatens the safety and well-being of others within the MMC community is subject to possible removal from MMC facilities.

FACE MASKS AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Everyone entering an MMC facility is required to wear a mask that fully and securely covers the nose, mouth, and chin. See the CDC recommendations on face mask design and usage. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear face coverings in common areas or situations where social distancing may be difficult to maintain, such as riding in elevators, entering/exiting classrooms, and in stairwells. For students who are quarantining within residence halls, to the extent possible, face coverings should be worn when in any shared space, even within your suite.

The College will provide a branded, reusable mask to all students, faculty, and staff and will maintain a supply of disposable face masks at every security desk in our facilities for individuals arriving without a mask.

All members of the MMC community are expected to maintain physical distancing of at least six feet with anyone who does not reside in the same residence, whenever possible.All members of the MMC community must recognize and respect directions regarding occupancy, foot traffic direction, space use, and/or distancing circles.

FACILITY ENHANCEMENTS, OCCUPANCY, AND USAGE

Those who visit campus will immediately see how our buildings have been subtly altered in appearance and functioning. Signage has been widely installed to promote physical distancing and to signal required public health practices; hand sanitizing stations are ubiquitous; and protective barriers in high-traffic areas and modified traffic patterns have been installed.

MMC has established a robust plan for regular cleaning and disinfection of facilities and has implemented logging systems for cleanings as required by New York State. Measures include heightened cleaning standards and implementation of EPA-approved solvents for COVID-19 cleaning, as well as a strategy for emergency cleaning/disinfection of facilities after any confirmed case within MMC buildings. MMC has provided cleaning supplies/disinfecting wipe dispensers for immediate use in shared spaces and with shared equipment.

All spaces and elevators have posted limits on occupancy that must be observed. In addition, classrooms, study spaces, and meeting spaces across campus will utilize a new reservation system, Astra Scheduler, to maintain safe density levels. More information about this space reservation system will be provided in the coming weeks.

On Main Campus, only invited guests and critical vendors will be allowed to enter the facility, and they must adhere to MMC’s Health and Safety policies and procedures, including taking MMC’s online screening assessment prior to arrival and wearing a face covering. Guests will be required to identify the purpose of their visit at the Security desk and to provide IDs to enter Main Campus. Prospective students who are visiting for a guided campus tour will be asked to arrive during their scheduled appointment time and will be allowed no more than two accompanying family members.

MMC will not be hosting large College-sponsored gatherings or events during Fall 2020. Additionally, MMC community members will be required to abide by the space capacities listed in Astra Scheduler.

FACULTY AND STAFF

The College’s Virtual Class/Open Campus model allows many faculty and staff to continue working remotely. Staffing levels have been reduced on Main Campus via flexible scheduling, continued telework options, alternating schedules to reduce office density, and phased return of staff to campus. Those employees who are critical to supporting student activities, facilities, and technology on campus will return to workspaces that have been modified with their health and safety in mind. These modifications include addition of signage and decals throughout the building to enforce safety protocols; removal of furniture to ensure social distancing; installation of Plexi-glass in designated high-traffic areas; and enhanced cleaning and disinfectant protocols. Read more detailed information about the College’s Personnel Restart Plan here.

QUARANTINE PROTOCOL

In accordance with the CDC’s guidance, MMC’s Quarantine Protocol is intended to separate those individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 from the rest of the community. Quarantine may be required for individuals who have been in “close contact” with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19; who demonstrate COVID-19-related symptoms (potentially awaiting test results); and/or who may be arriving or returning to campus from a state or country for which a COVID-related travel advisory has been issued. Resident students will be able to quarantine within their assigned rooms/suites. All other members of the MMC community will be expected to quarantine at home. Any member of the MMC community who is unable to quarantine at home (for any reason) should email safety@mmm.edu as soon as possible.

ISOLATION PROTOCOL

In accordance with the CDC’s guidance, MMC’s Isolation Protocol is intended to separate individuals who test positive for COVID-19 from the rest of the community. Isolation space has been identified within both residence halls for isolation of resident students.Additionally, temporary isolation space has been identified on the Main Campus should any member of the MMC community become ill while within the facility and require isolation until they can be directed home and/or to a healthcare facility.

Additionally, MMC has devised a plan for resident students who become ill and require isolation during mandatory quarantine upon arrival. See Residence Life’s Quarantine and Isolation Move-In Guide.

TRAVEL POLICY

The MMC community is asked to continue to monitor updates from the College and public health agencies regarding travel advisory, prior to making travel arrangements. Based on the current state of the COVID-19 global pandemic and on the guidance outlined above, there will be no official study abroad for Fall 2020, and College-sponsored business travel will be highly limited. The College strongly recommends that all students, faculty, and staff members avoid all non-essential personal travel. Anyone within the MMC community who decides to travel, domestically or internationally, must consider the possibility that they may be subject to mandatory quarantine upon return. Students, faculty, or staff who have questions about their return from locales affected by COVID-19 should contact safety@mmm.edu. 

CONTACT TRACING & RESURGENCE

A team of MMC contact tracers, trained via Johns Hopkins University, will assist in identifying those who may have come into contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 within the MMC community/on campus. Additional information on contact tracing and emergency communication protocols will be provided in the coming weeks.

Keeping you regularly and consistently informed is a commitment the College takes seriously. Over the coming weeks, we highly recommend that you regularly visit www.mmm.edu/restart for additional and up-to-date information and FAQs. Your remaining informed will aid us greatly in keeping Marymount Manhattan College a safe and comfortable place of learning.

We are excited to be able to open our doors to the MMC community and visitors. Please direct any questions or concerns you may have to safety@mmm.edu. We look forward to seeing you on campus!

All the best,
Katie LeBesco, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Chair, Presidential Task Force to Restart MMC