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Return to the Hill: Spring 2021

The Return to the Hill (RTTH) Task Force, created by President Roger Casey and led by Executive Vice President/Provost Julia Jasken, is a leadership committee that meets regularly to develop recommendations for the President and the Board of Trustees as we work to keep the college safe during during the COVID-19 outbreak. As the college monitors COVID-19 nationally and regionally, we will be adapting the health and safety protocols that worked successfully in the fall in order to ensure a safe spring semester. In some cases, new protocols have been put in place.

 

For the Fall 2020 semester, McDaniel College utilized a green, yellow, and red notification system to inform our campus community of the success of our shared efforts in minimizing the spread of COVID-19. This system will continue through the spring.

 

Never Stop Climbing - Gill Center

Spring Semester Updates

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus this spring, even as we recognize that the coming semester will look different than the fall. We continue to be guided by our First Principles and realize that our community’s ability to successfully operate will require each of us to commit to the long-term health of our community that will necessitate short-term sacrifices of each of us.

Important Dates

January 29, 30, and 31, 2021
Residence Hall Move-in. Residential students received an email on 01/21/2021 with instructions for move in, including reserving a move-in time. Please contact the Office of Residence Life at 410-857-2240 or at reslife@mcdaniel.edu if you have questions or would like to discuss an individual circumstance.
All residential students will be required to complete a COVID rapid test upon their return to campus regardless of whether a test was completed prior to your arrival. Note that the required Limited Community Contact Period will begin upon move-in.
Monday, February 1, 2021
First day of Spring Semester Classes. Hybrid and in-person classes will be held fully online to support the required Limited Community Contact Period.
February 5, 6, and 7, 2021
All residential students will be required to complete a second COVID rapid test on either February 5, 6, or 7. Commuter students should sign up to get tested on the 5, 6, or 7 if they will be participating in hybrid or in-person classes. 
Monday, February 8, 2021
Scheduled end of the required Limited Community Contact Period. Hybrid and in-person courses return to standard scheduling.

Mandatory Rapid Tests

Due to increasing positivity rates and hospitalizations, the Return to the Hill Committee believes additional health and safety protocols must be implemented to ensure the best possible start to the spring semester. Among the most important of these is doing our best to prevent positive COVID cases from entering our residential community. The availability of rapid tests, which were not widely accessible in the fall, provides us an opportunity to minimize asymptomatic positive cases from entering our residential community. A second rapid test following the required Limited Community Contact Period provides an additional level of safety. 

All students who receive a positive rapid test will also complete a PCR tested to confirm the positive results. This provides the greatest assurance of a positive test.

All residential students will be required to complete a COVID rapid test upon their return to campus regardless of whether a test was completed prior to arrival. The test will be provided free of charge by McDaniel College and will be performed by Quest Diagnostics professionals. If the rapid test comes back positive, you will be required to return home immediately.

All residential students will be required to complete a second COVID rapid test on either February 5, 6, or 7. The test will be provided free of charge by McDaniel College and will be performed by Quest Diagnostics professionals. A positive test will result in the college’s isolation protocols.

Required Limited Community Contact Period

Though we realize the inconvenience of limiting in-person social interaction, all residential students will participate in a required Limited Community Contact Period from the day they move on campus until Monday, February 8. This is an additional health and safety measure being put in place for the spring semester due to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations nationally and regionally. We believe a period of limited community contact will help ensure a safe and healthy campus by minimizing the potential spread of asymptomatic positive cases on campus. This is especially important because winter weather negatively impacts safer options like outdoor dining.

Residential students will be expected to minimize in-person contact as much as possible during this period. Students will be permitted to leave their on-campus residence to pick up food and, if applicable, use a shared bathroom. Students can also be outside following social distancing and mask wearing guidelines. Residential students should plan to remain on campus and limit all community contact both on-campus and off. All classes, including hybrid and in-person classes, will be fully online for the first week to support the Limited Community Contact Period.

Commuter students should sign up to get tested on the 5, 6 or 7 if they will be participating in hybrid or in-person classes.

Flu Shot Requirement

All residential students must receive, and provide verification of receiving, the flu vaccine prior to their return to campus. Prior to Jan. 25, 2021, students may email their verification to wellness@mcdaniel.edu. After Jan. 25, students are asked to bring their verification with them to move-in. Students who received a flu shot at one of the on-campus clinics will not need to provide documentation of receiving the vaccine because the Wellness Center already has that verification. Commuter students should plan on providing verification of the flu vaccine if they will be attending hybrid or in-person classes on campus.

Students may choose to receive the flu vaccine upon return to campus. Please bring your health insurance information with you to Check-In if you will need to get a flu vaccine upon arrival.

If you are not able to receive the flu vaccine due to extenuating medical or personal circumstances, please complete the following waiver: Flu Vaccine Waiver Request.

Spring Housing Information

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus in the spring. In anticipation of the spring semester and decisions about housing, we will need to collect some information from you. These steps are only for current residents or students looking to move onto campus for the spring semester. If you are not currently living on campus, and plan to remain off campus for the spring, you do not need to do anything. In order to prepare for your return in the spring, we ask that students complete this process we ask that students complete this process as soon as possible.

  1. Please visit https://mcdaniel.erezlife.com, log in, and select My Profile from the top left to make sure that your information there is correct.
  2. Complete the one question survey where you can confirm your plans for Spring 2021 housing: https://mcdaniel.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6Rl27Ija0ZjGkPb.

Remember: If you had a Fall room and did not previously cancel for the Spring, the same room is in place for next semester. If you intend to cancel, please indicate so on the survey.

For those students who did not live on campus but would normally choose to if not for the pandemic, we encourage you to talk with friends who lived on campus this fall in order to determine if returning to campus housing is a possibility for you. If you have any questions about returning to campus housing for the spring, please contact the Office of Residence Life at reslife@mcdaniel.edu.

Move-in for the spring semester will take place January 29, 30, and 31, 2021, and students will need to schedule a time to move in just like for the fall. We expect to share additional information, including how sign up for your move-in time, in early January.

green alert status

COVID-19 Campus Notification System The surveillance testing program and campus notification

For the Fall 2020 semester, McDaniel College utilized a green, yellow, and red notification system to inform our campus community of the success of our shared efforts in minimizing the spread of COVID-19. This system will resume with the start of the spring semester on Feb. 1, 2021.

McDaniel Local Student with mask

Community Safe. McDaniel Strong.

“Community Safe. McDaniel Strong.” is our way of uniting our campus in our shared responsibility in preventing the spread of COVID-19. It requires each of us to commit to following all guidelines and proactive measures that have been put in place to positively impact the health, safety and well-being of our community. 

All members of our community are expected to follow the health and safety guidelines as stated in our pledge. By each of us doing our part, we can make a difference that echoes far beyond the Hill.

Key Decisions

Our reopening plans have been informed by the recommendations of the Return to the Hill Task Force and subcommittees, as well as guidance from state and county health officials. The task force will continue to meet during the semester to assess the plans in place and make any necessary updates.

The key decisions below have been made for the 2020-2021 academic year and will continue to be updated, as needed. It is important to note that spring semester health and safety protocols are not the exact same as the fall, as the Return to the Hill Task Force uses the most recent information and resources available to ensure a safe and healthy semester.