COVID Mitigation Guidelines
- The College operates fully in person (e.g., for classes, services, athletics, events, etc.) unless a change in circumstances dictates otherwise.
- Bryn Mawr is a community of mutual care where community members place others’ physical health and emotional well-being on par with their own.
- The College will continue to maintain certain policies to help mitigate the impacts of the virus, but more limited than at the height of the pandemic. Individuals have agency to manage their personal risk and effective treatments are available.
- With very few exceptions, all students are vaccinated and have received at least one booster. Faculty and staff are encouraged to be vaccinated, but as of May 11, 2023, are no longer required to be vaccinated.
- Students should contact the Health and Wellness Center for guidance, care, and follow-up; employees should contact their personal health care provider.
Vaccines are required for all BMC students. The current College requirement includes a completed primary, or currently available, vaccine series with the first booster for all who are eligible.
- Individuals can apply for exemptions for medical reasons or for sincerely held religious beliefs.
- Acceptable vaccinations include those on the FDA’s Authorized Use List and those on the approved list of the World Health Organization. Those who have been vaccinated with a vaccine not on these lists will be required to be revaccinated with an approved vaccine.
Bryn Mawr’s campus is mask-friendly, meaning masks are welcome, but not required, including in classrooms, labs, public spaces, and most gatherings. Part of being mask-friendly means that hosts of gatherings may set expectations for masking at events, inclusive of faculty in their classrooms and other learning spaces. We encourage hosts (including faculty) to reach out to establish expectations collaboratively.
Properly wearing a high-quality mask (KN95 or KF94) is an effective strategy to help protect oneself from contracting COVID. The College will continue to support individuals’ choices to mask. Faculty and staff who need support in getting high quality masks should reach out to their department and masks will be available in the Dean’s Office for those students who need assistance in obtaining them.
The College may pivot to required masking if the risk levels indicate a pattern of, or rapidly trending toward, high risk.
All community members should symptom-check every day before coming to campus. Currently the CDC lists COVID-19 symptoms as: 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. Anyone who shows pronounced symptoms should stay home, wear a mask around others and seek medical guidance.
The Health and Wellness Center will continue to provide free COVID-19 testing for symptomatic students. BMC’s COVID-19 testing capabilities include antigen testing and molecular testing (a more sensitive test) if needed. Students are encouraged to contact the Health and Wellness Center when they are not feeling well (or have concerns about COVID) to receive medical advice, testing and treatment for a host of illnesses in addition to COVID.
We continue to strongly advise all campus members to wear a mask when around others if they have any respiratory symptoms, regardless of testing results.
Effective treatments are more readily available, and many are more effective in the early stages of COVID. Immunocompromised individuals and others at higher risk are strongly encouraged to seek medical guidance from their health care provider as soon as they become symptomatic. If an individual is treated with Paxlovid, they may need to isolate beyond the 5-10 day window.
Any individual who tests positive (regardless of vaccination status):
- Must Isolate
- Isolation for faculty, staff, and non-resident students means remaining off-campus and having no in-person contact with members of the BMC community unless they are living in the same household.
- Isolation for BMC students residing on campus (with or without roommates) means remaining in your room with the exception that you may leave to pick up food in the dining halls (you must be masked at all times when outside your room) or to spend time outdoors. Resident students who are positive for COVID should use the designated bathroom in the dorm and should not attend class or attend in-person work or events while isolating.
- Asymptomatic individuals who test positive (faculty, all students, and staff) may return to campus after five days of isolation. Symptomatic individuals may also return to campus after five days of isolation (or anytime between Day 6 and Day 10), provided they have sustained improvement of symptoms day-to-day and have been fever-free for more than 24 hours. A negative test is NOT required to return to campus. If symptoms persist or worsen at any time during this period, the individual should contact their healthcare provider. Day 0 is the first day of symptoms or, if asymptomatic, the day the specimen was collected for the positive test.
- If someone is allowed to return to on-campus activities in accordance with the policies above prior to Day 11, they must wear a well-fitted, high-quality mask AT ALL TIMES when indoors. The two exceptions are:
- When eating a meal. Eating outside is preferable, but if weather or schedules do not allow for that, eating indoors in a private space (dorm room, office, conference room, empty classroom, etc.) alone with the door closed is allowed.
- When in your dorm room (for students).
- On Day 11, the person can resume “normal” campus protocols, which allow for unmasking indoors in most circumstances.
- Must Notify BMC
- Employees must inform their supervisor or department chair if they are isolating. If they are well enough, staff should contact their supervisor to see if there is work they can accomplish remotely if feeling well enough. Employees’ health is the College’s top priority. Rest is an important component of recovery from illness, and no one is required to work remotely. Faculty members who may need assistance in continuing the progression of their classes while they are recovering should contact their department head and/or the Provost’s Office so that appropriate support is provided.
- All students should notify the Health and Wellness Center of a positive COVID test during normal business hours and call Team Health after hours. If notifying Team Health, students should follow up with the Health and Wellness Center once it is open. Students should alert their faculty members and work supervisors if they will miss class or work.
- Should Identify and Reach Out to All “Close Contacts”
- “Close contacts” are defined as those people who were within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes within a 24-hour period, regardless of location (e.g., indoor or outdoor) or whether masks were worn. The 15 minutes can be non-consecutive (e.g., two 10-minute close interactions over the course of a 24-hour period).
- As soon as practical, the COVID-positive person should reach out to BMC students, faculty, and staff who were “close contacts” over the 2 days prior to a positive test to let them know that they need to follow the College’s protocols for “close contacts.” See below for close contact protocols.
- Must Record Their Time Appropriately
- Staff members should record any unworked time as “sick” on their time sheet/attendance record.
- Students who are paid on an hourly basis and who work on campus for the College may be eligible for paid sick time if they are ill.
- Can Reach Out for Assistance.
- Students who have questions about COVID protocol may reach out to the BMC Health and Wellness Center.
- Faculty and staff who have questions about the COVID protocols should contact Kari Fazio, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, but reporting a positive test result is not required.
If you have been identified as a Close Contact:
Be particularly vigilant about checking yourself for symptoms daily and remain off campus (or in your room if you are residential BMC student) if you exhibit any potential symptoms.
Individuals (no matter what their vaccination status) do NOT need to quarantine if they are a close contact unless they are, or become, symptomatic; they can continue to work on campus, attend classes and events, etc. They must wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask when indoors around others for 10 days from the last time of exposure to the COVID-19 positive individual. Unmasking outdoors or in private spaces alone with the door closed is allowed. The CDC recommends getting tested five days after exposure.
Close contacts living in a household or dorm room with a COVID-positive individual do NOT need to quarantine; they can continue to work on campus, attend classes and events, etc. Students can call Team Health if they want guidance about testing recommendations.
Assuming no symptoms have developed and tests have been negative for COVID-19, “close contacts” can resume “normal” campus protocols on Day 11.
As is the case for all illnesses, students who are unable to attend class are responsible for making up missed work or class time. Students should notify their instructor in a timely manner and work out a plan to make up any missed classwork. Faculty are not expected to offer hybrid classes or replace missed classes with individualized instruction. Faculty should be clear in their syllabi about their course policies for absences due to illness.
The campus is open to visitors. Visitors must abide by the College’s rules for masking.
Guests are permitted in the dorms provided the guest is vaccinated. It is the responsibility of the host to check vaccination status and the guest must abide by all dorm rules.
Dining Halls are open at full capacity.
The College encourages outdoor dining. Outdoor tables, umbrellas, and tents are available for this purpose.
Visitors are permitted to eat in the Dining Halls.
Food is permitted at indoor events, including those events hosted by external groups who rent campus facilities.
The Fitness Center and Pool are open to students, faculty, staff — as well as the partners/spouses of Bryn Mawr faculty and staff, Bryn Mawr/Haverford emeriti professors and retired Bryn Mawr staff.