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McDaniel students in masks

COVID-19 Student Health Protocols

Prepared by the Campus Community Health and Safety Sub-Committee and approved by the Return to the Hill Committee. Last updated: 1/20/2022

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

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), if necessary. Isolation will be required. Please see the isolation procedures.

Isolation Procedures for Students

All students should have an isolation plan. Students living within a 200-mile radius of the campus are required to isolate at home. Students who live outside a 200-mile radius and test positive will isolate in place in their assigned rooms. McDaniel will maintain limited availability of separate isolation spaces that may be used when extenuating circumstances exist. The use of these spaces will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Students isolating in place may leave their room in order to pick up take-out food at the Hilltop Pub or Caseys’ Corner. When outside of their individual room, the student must always remain masked and avoid interacting with others. Meals must be eaten alone, either outdoors or in a residence hall room. Covid-19 GLAR passes are available from the College Nurse and will allow a friend to pick up food at GLAR and bring it to the isolating student.

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/non-residents of the room will not be permitted at any time during the isolation period. McDaniel College staff will not enter the isolation room unless there is an emergency.

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. 
  • 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

Students isolating in place may pick up take-out food at the Hilltop Pub or Caseys’ Corner on their own. Covid-19 GLAR passes are available from the College Nurse and will allow a friend to pick up food at GLAR and bring it to your room. Students may also choose to order out for delivery (e.g., Doordash, etc.) at their own cost.

Cleaning

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

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Students in isolation are required to wear a mask at all times when outside of their isolation room or when in the presence of others, including roommates and College personnel. McDaniel College staff interacting with students who are being tested for COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19 will wear a mask during each interaction.

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)

In what situations would a separate isolation space be utilized?

The College will prioritize isolation rooms for students who have immunocompromised roommates or other extenuating circumstances. Additional considerations may be given based on the type of room in which the student is living; for example, double occupancy rooms versus those in suites where students may have their own room.

What happens if a student doesn’t follow isolation guidelines?

Students are asked to follow the isolation guidelines provided to them by the Wellness Center College Nurse or other College official in order to protect oneself and those around them. If students are found to violate these guidelines, they will be referred to the Student Conduct Process.

If my roommate must isolate in place, can they use the common areas of our residence?

If in isolation, a student is not permitted to use the common areas of the residence or in the residence halls. If sharing a bathroom, the student should wipe down the faucets and other surfaces after use, open any windows, and run any ventilation fans continually until out of isolation.

If I have to isolate in place, when is it okay to leave my room?

A student who is isolating in place may leave their room to walk outside, attend a medical appointment, and to pick up food. A student should wear a mask at all times when in the presence of others in and outside of their room. Students isolating in place can pick up take-out food at the Hilltop Pub or Caseys’ Corner on their own. Covid-19 GLAR passes are available from the College Nurse and will allow a friend to pick up food for you at GLAR and bring it to your room.

Do I have to wear a mask in my room if I am isolating in place?

A student should always wear a mask when in the presence of others in and outside their room.

If I am isolating, is it possible to get “to go” food from Englar Dining Hall (GLAR)?

The College Health Nurse can provide you with a Covid-19 GLAR pass, which allows a friend to pick up food for you at GLAR and bring it to you at your room.

Is food delivery available?

Students are able to order out for delivery (e.g., Doordash, etc.) at their own cost. Otherwise, students isolating in place may pick up take-out food at the Hilltop Pub or Caseys’ Corner on their own. Covid-19 GLAR passes are available from the College Nurse and allow a friend to pick up food for you at GLAR and bring it to your room.

Residence Life Roommate Discussion Topics and COVID-19 Considerations

We encourage all students living in double or triple occupancy rooms, suites, houses, and apartments to talk with those who they live with about plans for living should someone residing in the space test positive for COVID-19.

Questions for students living together to consider and discuss at the beginning of the spring semester:
If someone tests positive for COVID-19 and is isolated in our living space, what is our plan knowing that person needs to isolate in place? Things to consider:
  • Will a roommate(s) return home while the person who has tested positive for COVID-19 isolates in place?
  • If someone tests positive for COVID-19 and needs to isolate in place, is the other roommate(s) comfortable staying in the room during that time?
  • Is the roommate of the positive student immunocompromised?
    • If so, the positive student should relay this information to the College Health Nurse during consultation and discuss alternative separate isolation options.
  • Will a roommate(s) stay with a friend or peer in another room on campus if the person who tests positive for COVID-19 has no choice but to isolate in place?
  • Are our plans different for direct roommates and suite/house/apartment mates? How?
    • How will we as roommates, communicate with one another about sharing the common bathroom if someone in the shared living space has to isolate in place due to a COVID-19 infection?
  • What are our expectations for one another around testing for COVID-19
    • Do we expect each other to routinely self-test for COVID-19? How often?
    • Do we expect each other to self-test for COVID-19 when experiencing symptoms of any illness?

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.

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. 

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