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McDaniel students in masks

COVID-19 Protocols for Prevention, Exposure, Testing, and Isolation/Quarantine

Prepared by the Campus Community Health and Safety Sub-Committee and approved by the Return to the Hill Committee. Last updated: 7/30/2021

McDaniel College is committed to protecting the health and safety of all members of our campus community and minimizing the potential spread of COVID-19 on the campus. Central to the College’s response to the pandemic is our commitment to our First Principles. Our first principle “We strive to place students at the center of a humane environment so that they may see and work toward their personal goals while respecting others and sharing responsibility for the common good” has deeply informed the development of these policies and protocols. Safety of all involved is critical in creating a humane environment in which our students will thrive.

The College's many decisions throughout this period have been and will continue to be informed by the recommendations and guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the state and local health departments. The College will continue to evaluate our procedures as future guidance is provided.

The policies and guidelines regarding student prevention, testing and treatment are applicable to all students spending time on campus, residential and commuter. Students’ protected personal information will remain confidential per guidelines under FERPA, HIPAA, and state confidentiality laws and only disclosed when necessary to protect public health.

“We strive to place students at the center of a humane environment so that they may see and work toward their personal goals while respecting others and sharing responsibility for the common good.” - First Principles


COVID-19 Symptoms

As defined by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea


Someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.


Contact between individuals is defined in three different ways when considering the potential exposure of COVID-19. If an individual is symptomatic, the contact period begins 48 hours before the onset of symptoms. In an individual is asymptomatic, the contact period begins 48 hours prior to the positive test result.

Physical Contact
Touching an individual who is presumed positive or confirmed positive with or without a face covering or mask.
Close Contact

Face-to-face contact within six feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period with an individual who is presumed positive or confirmed positive with or without a face covering or mask.

Proximate Contact
Face-to-face contact while social distancing (six foot or more distance) for 30 minutes or more with the individual who is presumed positive or confirmed positive with or without wearing a face covering or mask.

Contact Evaluation

An interview to determine if the individual who is being tested for COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19 has had any interactions with others that may put them at risk for exposure to COVID-19.


A type of test used to determine if an individual is actively infected with COVID-19. It may be performed through swabbing the front of the nasal cavity, cheeks or nasal pharyngeal. 


Defines the scenarios in which an individual may have been in contact with COVID-19:

  • An individual experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • An individual experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting test result.
  • An individual has received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • An individual has had physical or close contact with an individual who is experiencing symptoms and is awaiting test results or tested positive for COVID-19.


Isolation is the separation of someone who is ill with or has tested positive for COVID-19 from people who are not sick. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 typically isolate for at least 10 days (the duration of the infectious period) from the time they are tested or from the time symptoms first appear. Individuals may be isolated for longer periods if symptoms persist. Students in on-campus housing must be relocated from their housing assignment during isolation to minimize the risk of spread to peers in their residence.


Quarantine is the separation of someone exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual from the campus community in case the exposed person begins experiencing symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. A typical quarantine period lasts 14 days (the duration of the incubation period). The College will continue to follow CDC guidance and local health department directives regarding exemptions from the quarantine requirement.


An individual who has an approved medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Fully Vaccinated

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or;
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.

If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated.

Prevention of COVID-19

To maintain a healthy and safe campus community, all members have a responsibility to engage in behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19. To that end, students are expected to adhere to the following preventative measures:

Procedures for Potential Exposure

If a student meets any of the exposure definitions, they should contact a healthcare provider as soon as possible before taking any other action including interacting with other individuals. The student will be evaluated by a health practitioner to determine if testing and/or additional care is needed. The student will remain in quarantine until further guidance from the health practitioner is provided.

Procedures for Symptomatic Students

Any individual who reports experiencing COVID symptoms will be referred to the Carroll Health Group Primary Care Practice. If a PCR COVID test is administered, a student will need to quarantine until the results of the PCR test are received. A member of the Infection Control Response Team will contact the student and follow the quarantine process outlined under “Planning for Isolation and Quarantine”

Residential Students-Contacting a Healthcare Provider

  1. The student should contact the Wellness Center (410-857-2243) Monday through Friday between 8:30am to 4:30pm. The College Health Nurse will provide consultation and referral to Carroll Health Group Primary Care (CHGPC) for medical assessment and testing. Outside of regular business hours, the student is encouraged to contact Campus Safety (410-857-2202) who will assist student in connecting with the appropriate level of medical care.
  2. If student meets testing criteria, student will follow advice of treating healthcare provider in regards to testing.
  3. Student will enter isolation or quarantine, whichever is applicable to their situation, until released by a healthcare provider. If student wishes to return home off-campus, they will be permitted to do so unless otherwise instructed by Carroll County Health Department.

Commuting Students-Contacting a Healthcare Provider

  1. The student may contact the Wellness Center (410-857-2243) Monday through Friday between 8:30am to 4:30pm. The College Health Nurse will provide consultation and referral to Carroll Health Group Primary Care (CHGPC) for medical assessment and testing. Outside of regular business hours, the student is encouraged to contact an urgent care center for an evaluation. Alternatively, the student may seek care from their regular community healthcare provider.
  2. If student meets testing criteria, student will follow advice of treating healthcare provider in regards to testing.
  3. The student will enter isolation or quarantine (whichever is applicable to their situation) in their off-campus residence until released by a healthcare provider.
  4. If the student is being treated by a community healthcare provider, the provider should coordinate with the Wellness Center regarding release from isolation or quarantine.

Am I exempt from quarantine?

Students who are identified as close contacts of a COVID positive individual can be exempt from quarantine if the following criteria are met:

  1. They were fully vaccinated at the time of their exposure
  2. They have not displayed any COVID symptoms since the exposure

Quarantine-exempt students are required to complete a COVID test 3-5 days after their exposure to confirm no further action is needed.

Receiving a Positive Test Result

If a student receives a positive COVID-19 test result, they must notify the Wellness Center as soon as possible. The College Health Nurse will provide consultation and referral to Carroll Health Group Primary Care (CHGPC) for medical follow up. Isolation will be required. Please see the isolation procedures.

Infection Control Response

Once the College receives notification that a member of the campus community has tested positive or has been referred for COVID-19 testing by a healthcare provider, the Infection Control Response Team will complete a contact evaluation. If the evaluation affirms physical or close contact, then the impacted individual(s) will be contacted by the Infection Control Response Team. The communication will include any additional steps that may be required including a period of quarantine or isolation. Full contact tracing with be conducted through the Carroll County Health Department.

Planning and Preparation for Isolation and Quarantine

All students living on campus are required to have an isolation and quarantine plan. Students who can travel home safely in a private vehicle have the option to conduct their period of isolation in their home. For all other students, McDaniel has secured temporary off-campus isolation space which will be made available to our students at no additional cost. Meals will be delivered and all other campus services remain accessible to students virtually. Ongoing check-ins will be conducted by staff of the Wellness Center, and the Department of Campus Safety is available to all students 24/7.

All students living off-campus, or those who have received a religious or medical vaccine exemption, are strongly encouraged to have an isolation and quarantine plan. McDaniel College will NOT provide isolation or quarantine housing or meal service for commuter students who live off-campus in the Westminster area, those who have remained in their permanent residence, or those who are exempted from receiving the vaccine.

Communicate with your Family/Support System

Discuss the following with your family before coming to campus:

  • With consideration to known health and mental health factors, have you considered the impact of potential isolation/quarantine on your physical and emotional wellness?
  • If you live within driving distance, are you be able to return home in a private vehicle?
  • Are you able to distance yourself from others in your home to keep other family members safe?
  • If someone from your family plans to pick you up from campus to take you home to isolate or quarantine, how much time will they need to arrive—hours or even a day or two?
  • Do you have a thorough working knowledge of your health insurance policy, coverage in Maryland, and how to access care locally while at McDaniel?

Prepare a To-Go bag

Students are encouraged to create a “Covid-19 To Go Bag” stocked with essential items that you will need or desire while in isolation.

  • Academic materials: Pack your laptop and charger cord, books, notebooks, pens, paper, and other supplies
  • Cleaning supplies: Pack EPA-approved disinfecting wipes to use in your living spaces before, during, and after any possible isolation or quarantine. Over the counter medications: Pack fever/pain reducers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin). Do not use multi-symptom medications in combination with these, as it can be easy to take too much. You may want lozenges for sore throats or cough medications.
  • Prescription Medications: Pack any medications you will need for the duration of your isolation/quarantine period. Speak with your provider about how you would access medications if you are in isolation/quarantine.
  • Thermometer: Pack a digital thermometer that works under your tongue and is easy to use. Make sure you have one with new batteries.
  • Face Coverings: Pack multiple face coverings as they will be required upon arrival to and departure from your isolation location.
  • Comfort Food: Pack your favorite comfort snacks and drinks, along with a reusable water bottle. Although the college will ensure meals are delivered to those isolating or quarantining in a college-provided location, your favorite snacks can sometimes bring comfort. Students isolating or quarantining off-campus should maintain a supply of food at home and be knowledgeable about ordering food delivery from their local grocery store.
  • Comfortable Clothes: Pack a few days’ worth of comfortable clothes, including two weeks’ worth of undergarments.
  • Hygiene Supplies: Pack shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine products, etc.
  • Phone and all other electronic device chargers
  • Self-care items to support your overall well-being: art supplies, puzzles, crafts, playing cards, portable exercise equipment (like fitness bands, hand weights, or yoga mat), books, etc.

Isolation and Quarantine Procedures for Residential Students

The College has designated specific rooms for isolation. Each space will include an individual bedroom and bathroom. While in isolation, a student is required to remain in their assigned location except for seeking medical treatment and outdoor exercise (e.g. taking a walk, alone). Visitors will not be permitted at any time during the isolation period. McDaniel College staff will not be permitted to enter the isolation room unless there is an emergency and the staff member is wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Wellness Center Health Services

  • According to public health directives, McDaniel must notify the Carroll County Health Department when a student or other member of our community tests positive for COVID-19. Medical care will be available through the college's partnership with Carroll Health Group Primary Care. Students should call 410-751-2595 and identify themselves as a McDaniel student.
  • Wellness Center nurses, or their designee, will conduct periodic wellness checks with students in isolation and quarantine. Students in isolation or quarantine at the Best Western will receive phone calls approximately every other day. When a student isolates or quarantines in a location not provided by the College, they will receive calls from Wellness Center staff at the beginning and end of their time away from campus.
  • Students will be asked to check their temperature daily and report temperatures to the Wellness Services team member during wellness checks.
  • Communication about how the student feels, signs and symptoms of illness, any medication taken within the past 24 hours, and any test results will be discussed and documented during the wellness checks.
  • A referral to Wellness Center Counseling Services will be offered to assist the student in managing the stress related to their isolation/quarantine, illness (if applicable), and other related stressors. Telehealth counseling services are available to students located in Maryland. Students can request an appointment by calling 410-857-2243 during business hours.


College staff will deliver meals prepared by Food Services to students who are self-isolating in the McDaniel College Residence Halls. Students will order the to-go meals through the food service app.

To-go-meals will be delivered outside of the student’s residence. 


Students are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their own residential spaces during self- isolation.

Biohazard Waste

Each isolation or quarantine room will be provided with a biohazard box lined with a red biohazard bag.

Students will be instructed to dispose of all waste products in the red biohazard bag. This should include all utensils, napkins, and personal care items such as tissues. Once the red biohazard bag is ¾ full, tie off the bag by making a knot at the top. Set aside and line with a new red biohazard bag. If needed, additional red biohazard bags will be left outside the student’s door.

Once the student exits isolation, everything in the room is disposed of properly.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Students in isolation or quarantine are required to wear a mask at all times when outside of their isolation/quarantine room or when interacting with staff. McDaniel College staff interacting with students who are being tested for COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19 will utilize PPE during each interaction.

  1. A supply of PPE will be stored in a designated location central to isolation/quarantine rooms for donning and doffing. The supply will include:
    • N-95 respirators
    • Surgical masks
    • Gloves
    • Gowns (or Tyvek suits)
    • Shoe covers
    • Hair covers
    • Goggles/Face Shields
    • Alcohol sanitizer
    • Disinfecting wipes

Parent/Emergency Contact Notification

If at any time, college staff become concerned for the immediate health and safety of a student, the student’s emergency contact will be notified.

Academic Support

The College will inform the student's faculty that they cannot attend in person class activities. Students are expected to keep current with the class readings and assignments as much as possible and should connect with their professors about any needed modifications. Students will receive a communication from the Academic Life office encouraging them to connect with their faculty and to notify Academic Life is they are not feeling well enough to complete their work while in isolation/quarantine. The Academic Life Office may be contacted at Students registered with the Office of Student Accessibility and Support Services will continue to receive support while in isolation/quarantine. The SASS office may be reached at 410-857-2504 or

Emergency Procedures

If the student is experiencing a medical emergency 911 will be called. The operator will be notified that care is being sought for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

The following are emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, SEEK EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE IMMEDIATELY:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

If a student in isolation or quarantine is unable to be reached for their wellness check or there are other reasons to be concerned for the student’s immediate safety, a staff member will don PPE and knock on the student’s door and identify themselves. If the student does not answer the door, Campus Safety will unlock the student’s door and again announce themselves to conduct a safety check.

Release from Isolation

McDaniel College follows CDC guidelines and local health department guidance for the discontinuation of isolation. Symptomatic students may be released 10 days after the onset of symptoms as long as symptoms have improved or completely resolved and 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications). Asymptomatic students can be released 10 days after the positive test date. The college's Infection Control Response Team will communicate the release from isolation with the student and all other appropriate campus offices.

Release from Quarantine

McDaniel College follows CDC guidelines and local health department guidance to release students from quarantine. All vaccine-exempt students who have been identified as close contacts of a case may be released from quarantine 10 days after the last exposure after providing a negative PCR test taken on the 8th day of quarantine. After release, students are required to continue wearing a mask through the 14th day after their last exposure to the case. The college's Infection Control Response Team will communicate the release from quarantine to the student and all other appropriate campus offices.

Vaccine-Exempt Surveillance Testing

All students who are vaccine-exempt are required to participate in weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing. The test samples will be collected on campus by Wellness Center nurses. Student's health insurance will be billed and the college will cover any remaining balance. Students and families will not be responsible for any out of pocket expense.

Testing Results

Positive test results will be shared with the individual, the Carroll County Health Department, and Carroll Health Group Primary Care for additional medical care. Students will not be routinely notified when test results are negative. For more information on what occurs after a positive result, refer to section Receiving a Positive Test Result.