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McDaniel students in masks

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

Prepared by the Campus Community Health and Safety Sub-Committee and approved by the Return to the Hill Committee. Last updated: 8/18/2022

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

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 isolate until the results of the PCR test are received. A member of the Infection Control Response Team will contact the student and follow the process outlined under “Planning for Isolation”

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 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.

Under what circumstances do I have to quarantine?

Based on updated CDC guidelines, at this stage in the pandemic those exposed to COVID-19 are strongly encourage to monitor for symptoms and wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5.

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 notify the Carroll County Health Department (CCHD), who will complete a contact evaluation. If the evaluation affirms physical or close contacts, then the CCHD will notify the impacted individual(s). This communication will specify any additional steps that may be required including a period of isolation.

Planning and Preparation for Isolation

All students living on campus are required to have an isolation plan.  For students who live outside a 200 mile radius of the College, 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 within a 200 mile radius of the college, live off-campus, or those who have received a religious or medical vaccine exemption, are strongly encouraged to have an isolation plan. McDaniel College will NOT provide isolation housing or meal service for students living within 200 miles, 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 on your physical and emotional wellness?
  • If you live within 200 miles of the campus, how will you return home?
  • How will you 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, 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 period. Speak with your provider about how you would access medications if you are in isolation.
  • 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 in a college-provided location, your favorite snacks can sometimes bring comfort. Students isolating 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 Procedures for Residential Students

The College has designated a limited number of specific rooms for isolation which will be available only to those residential students whose permanent address is more than 200  miles from campus. Residential students whose home address is within 200 miles will isolate at home and should be proactive in developing a plan to leave campus. 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. When a student isolates 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, 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.

Meals

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. 

Cleaning

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

Biohazard Waste

Each isolation 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 are required to wear a mask at all times when outside of their isolation 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 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. The Academic Life Office may be contacted at academiclife@mcdaniel.edu. Students registered with the Office of Student Accessibility and Support Services will continue to receive support while in isolation. The SASS office may be reached at 410-857-2504 or sass@mcdaniel.edu.

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 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 five 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). Further, symptomatic students must continue to wear a well-fitting mask when in the presence of others for another period of five days.  

  • Asymptomatic students can be released five days after the positive test date. Further, asymptomatic students must continue to wear a well-fitting mask when in the presence of others for another period of five days.  

The college's Infection Control Response Team will communicate the release from isolation with the student and all other appropriate campus offices. 

Vaccine-Exempt Surveillance Testing

All students who are vaccine-exempt are required to participate in COVID-19 testing when contacted by the Wellness Center staff. 

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why has McDaniel decided to end take-out in Englar Dining Hall (Glar)?

The take-out option was implemented at the start of the fall 2020 semester, in response to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, the delayed opening of the Hilltop Pub/Student Center renovation project, and the fact that students were not permitted to dine in Glar during the first weeks of the semester. Additionally, when Glar seating was opened to students, the capacity of the dining hall was decreased significantly allowing no more than 200 students in the dining hall at one time. For all these reasons, the carry out option was a necessity. 

Why is the decision being made now to not allow take-out in Glar?

Now that a sizeable portion of the college community is vaccinated and boosted against the COVID-19 virus, the masking requirement has been eased, and the campus is returning to most pre-COVID practices, the Englar Dining Hall operation is returning to its traditional all-you-can-eat/dine-in operation as well. 

Are students required to wear a mask in class?

The most up-to-date health protocols can be found here. Masks are required indoors when the community level in Carroll County is categorized as "high".

Where can I get take-out on campus?

Carryout services and ordering through the McDaniel Order mobile app continue to be available at Caseys’ Corner in Hoover Library and the Hilltop Pub in the middle level of the Roj Student Center. Scotty’s Convenience Store, also in the middle level of the Roj Student Center, remains accessible via your McDaniel ID card 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

What are the benefits to not allowing take out from Glar?

One of the concerns expressed by students about taking their meals out of Glar was the excessive number of take-out food containers that were used as a result of this option. While not environmentally friendly, the college viewed the take-out option as a necessity mandated by the pandemic restrictions under which we were living. Now that circumstances have improved, the college looks forward to re-instituting the more environmentally conscious practices in place prior to the fall 2020 semester. 

Are there still safety procedures in place in Glar?

Many of the safety procedures implemented during COVID by McDaniel Culinary Services will continue to be utilized, including plexi-glass partitions to separate seating groups, sanitizing of all high touch areas every 20 minutes, replacing self-serve utensils 3x an hour, and providing disposable gloves at self-serve stations for anyone to use. 

If I miss residential or academic experiences due to COVID, what is the refund policy?

The college's refund policy can be found in the Academic Catalog. The refund policy applies in all cases, including those impacted by COVID.

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:

Definitions

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

Case

Someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Contact

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.

COVID-19 Test

A type of test used to determine if an individual is actively infected with COVID-19. 

Exposure

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.

Isolation

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 5 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. Students who live within 200 miles of the campus are expected to isolate at home.

Vaccine-Exempt

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:

  • Two doses of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) followed by the booster, if eligible (5 months following the second dose) 

  • One dose of the J&J vaccine, followed by the booster, if eligible (2 months after the single dose)

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

For more information about booster guidelines, see the CDC Booster Guidelines