Fall 2021 Guidelines and Mitigation Plan

In the 2021-22 academic year, Bryn Mawr College will resume most activities, while continuing key strategies that limit the spread of COVID-19, based on the following assumptions:

  • Evidence suggests that COVID-19 vaccinations authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reduce the spread of infection and greatly reduce severe illness. Vaccines are required for all faculty, students, and staff; the Bryn Mawr community will be fully vaccinated with very few exceptions.
  • We understand that not everyone can be vaccinated, and these unvaccinated individuals should not be stigmatized. Our overall level of vaccination and our mitigation measures will help to protect everyone.
  • Surface contamination is an unlikely pathway for the spread for COVID-19.
  • We will be flexible in our approach and will pivot in response to current conditions and medical/public health guidance.
  • If an outbreak occurs on campus, we may curtail in-person operations or take other mitigation steps to curtail the spread of COVID.

Vaccination Guidelines

  • COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all students, faculty, and staff.
    • 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 (WHO).
    • Those who have been vaccinated with a vaccine not on these lists will be required to be revaccinated with an approved vaccine.
  • Booster vaccinations may be required if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds them necessary.

Campus Activity and Mitigation Strategies

  • Masks are not required outdoors unless an activity will involve a crowd of people in close proximity.
  • In a crowd, individuals should wear masks.
  • Indoor spaces will return to full occupancy. 
  • Masks are required indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Faculty, staff, students, and visitors must wear masks indoors.
  • Given the high level of vaccination of our campus, the fact that some of our spaces are not public, and that some activities cannot fully take place with masks, we are allowing for some flexibility with indoor masking. Our high vaccination level is a key factor in allowing this flexibility. We encourage and support individuals who wear a mask for additional protection. Masks are not required in:
    • Dormitories (for residents while in their "home" dorm). For the mutual protection of students and staff, students should carry masks that they can put on when encountering staff in the dorms. Students should wear a mask if/when they are a guest of a student in a different dorm.
    • Dining halls (while eating). Students (including TriCo students taking Bryn Mawr classes), faculty, and staff must wear masks in the dining halls as they are getting their food and when they are finished eating. Masked visitors may get takeout or dine outdoors, but they may not eat in the dining halls. 
    • Private work areas (by mutual agreement). Vaccinated individuals in contained work areas (offices/conference rooms/private labs) can mutually agree to forego masks if they are in a private space together (in pairs or small groups only); however, the default assumption is that masks will be worn. Everyone should put on their masks when they leave their workspaces/private areas/offices, when they go to common areas, and when they enter any other indoor space. Everyone should also put on their masks if new people will be entering their private office space.
    • Supervised College activities (e.g., in dance, theater, and music). We encourage mask use as much as possible, but indoor mask-less activities are permitted as required by programmatic plans.
  • We strongly encourage all individuals to continue to symptom check for COVID-19 every day before interacting with others on campus or coming to campus.
    • To protect the overall health of the campus, individuals should monitor symptoms of all COVID and flu-like illness.
    • Any individual who is experiencing symptoms should stay home. Students should reach out to the Health and Wellness Center; faculty and staff should reach out to a medical provider.
    • If the symptoms resolve within 24 hours, individuals can return to campus activity. If symptoms persist, individuals should not return to campus activity unless cleared by a medical provider.
    • We are extending the modifications to our sick pay policy that we introduced last year for faculty and staff until October 1.
  • To protect the health of our campus, we also strongly encourage everyone to wear masks in public spaces when they are off campus and to avoid crowded gatherings, particularly if these gatherings are indoors and/or if people will be maskless.

Testing and Quarantine

  • We will not do general surveillance testing for vaccinated students or faculty and staff. We will do targeted surveillance testing where indicated.
  • Testing will also be provided to any students who are symptomatic and to any students concerned about a specific or potential exposure/risk, based on their personal health history or that of those with whom they live. Students should reach out to the Health and Wellness Center at 610-526-7360 or, after hours, at 610-517-4921 with questions regarding symptoms, risk, and/or exposure.
  • The Health and Wellness Center will partner with unvaccinated residential students to create an individualized testing plan.
  • Any individual who tests positive (regardless of vaccination status) must isolate for 10 days and can only return to campus activity when cleared by the College medical services director (for students) or the College's Environmental Health and Safety Officer (for faculty and staff).
    • If a student tests positive at an outside facility (not the Health and Wellness Center), and the Health and Wellness Center is closed, they should contact the after-hours nurse advice line at (610) 517-4291. During regular hours of operation students should contact the medical services’ main number at (610) 526-7360.
    • Faculty and staff who test positive should contact the Environmental Health and Safety Officer.
  • Any unvaccinated individual who is identified as a close contact (longer than 15 minutes of contact at a distance of less than 6 feet) of a COVID-positive individual will need to quarantine for 10 days.
    • This quarantine may be shortened to a minimum of 7 days, if the exposed individual receives a negative, approved test administered on day 5 from exposure or later.
  • Vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine if they are a close contact unless they are, or become, symptomatic. They must wear a mask at all times indoors for 14 days from the last time of exposure to the COVID positive individual. The CDC also recommends getting tested 3–5 days after exposure.
  • Vaccinated employees or students who are living off campus with a COVID-positive individual (and who will have sustained close contact) may be asked to remain off campus until the period of exposure is over and they receive a negative test result.
  • We are reserving isolation space for residential students in Wyndham.

Facilities and Dining

  • All spaces will return to full capacity.
  • Plexiglass is not necessary for mitigation. Masks are required indoors except as detailed above.
  • Cleaning protocols will return to normal, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Dining will resume full indoor operation and all students (including TriCo students taking Bryn Mawr classes), faculty and staff are welcome to dine indoors as detailed above, unless they are not feeling well.
    • We encourage students, faculty and staff to continue to eat outdoors, and we will provide a tented space for outdoor dining behind New Dorm and on the Wyndham Terrace.

Visitors

  • Visitors to campus are welcome.
    • All visitors will be required to wear a mask indoors.
    • Prospective students are not permitted in the dorms. We will re-evaluate this policy by October 1.
    • Students are permitted to have one guest in their dormitory at a time (including remaining overnight), as long as the guest is vaccinated and abides by all Residential Life protocols (e.g., in a roommate situation, all roommates must agree). Host students are responsible that their guest abides by all guidelines, including vaccination.
    • Any guest in a dormitory (including Bryn Mawr students in other dorms, Haverford students, and other guests) must wear a mask in all common areas.
  • Visitors will not be permitted to eat in the dining halls. They are permitted to get take out and dine outdoors.
  • Visiting students are permitted to take classes consistent with our procedures and required permissions for visiting enrolled students. These students are subject to the College’s vaccination requirement. They should contact the Dean’s Office to get further information on how to provide proof of vaccination.

Events and Campus Rentals

  • Campus events that involve few or no outside visitors (e.g., a guest speaker or colloquium) can resume indoors with full occupancy of spaces. Food may be served at these events, including at Wyndham.
  • Campus events that are for visitors (e.g., visiting student days, homecoming) or that involve more than a few visitors (e.g., first-year drop off, performing arts series, and friends and family weekend) can have normal indoor occupancy for events, but cannot offer indoor dining/food service). Take-out options or outdoor dining is permitted. All visitors must wear masks indoors.
  • All groups who rent space must follow our COVID protocols. No food can be served indoors for campus rentals.
  • Wyndham's restaurant will remain closed to outside groups for its lunch service unless dining occurs outside.

Athletics

  • Athletics will resume practice and competition.
  • Varsity athletes will be permitted to practice and compete indoors without masks. This includes the swim team, who will have normal access to the pool. All athletes will need to wear masks indoors at all other times, including during strength and conditioning training. Masks are not required for outside athletic activities.
  • Additional restrictions and guidelines may be imposed by the Centennial Conference for competition as a condition of play.
  • The Fitness Center will resume full occupancy. Masks must be worn in the Fitness Center and locker rooms at all times. For Open Swim, the pool will be restricted to one swimmer per lane and advance reservations may be required.

Praxis and Community Service Activities

  • Students may participate in Praxis and community service activities, following Bryn Mawr College’s guidelines and those of the partner organization.
  • Students must remain masked, during travel and at all times when at the site.
  • Students are asked to consult with their partner organizations and their on-campus supervisor to ensure that they are aware of any additional COVID requirements or concerns.

Return to Campus for Students/Move-in

  • Vaccinated students (vaccinated with an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine) who have been residing in the U.S. do not need to quarantine or be tested upon return to campus.
  • Vaccinated students (vaccinated with an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine) who are returning to the U.S. from an international destination do not need to quarantine or be tested upon return to campus.
    • However, all students who are coming to the United States from an international destination must follow any current CDC requirements for quarantine from that destination. These requirements supersede any College policy.
  • Unvaccinated students who have been residing in the United States are required to be tested upon arrival to campus. If their test is negative, they do not need to quarantine. They should begin their vaccination process immediately (unless approved for an exemption) and will be required to wear masks indoors and follow other mitigation strategies (see above).
  • Unvaccinated students (or those vaccinated with a vaccine that is not on the FDA- or WHO-authorized list) who are returning to campus from an international destination:
    • Will be tested upon arrival. These students must adhere to all quarantine mandates until they are retested at day 5-7 and demonstrate a negative COVID test. The Health and Wellness Center and Residential Life will work with each quarantined student to determine a quarantine space and plan that works best for the individual student.
    • Should arrange to start a vaccination process immediately unless qualified for an exemption. We will support students in getting an approved vaccine. Please reach out to the Health and Wellness Center for guidance.
    • Can participate in in-person activities during the quarantine, but are required to wear a mask for all indoor activities until they are fully vaccinated. Students are permitted to have take-out dining only and should not eat indoors with others.
  • Unvaccinated students (or those vaccinated with a vaccine not on the FDA- or WHO-authorized list) who are returning from an international destination, but who have been in the U.S. for more than 10 days, must be tested upon arrival on campus. If their test is negative, they do not need to quarantine. They need to follow all guidelines for unvaccinated individuals until they are fully vaccinated.  
  • Unvaccinated students living off campus who are returning to campus activities from an international location must quarantine and test (as described above). They can participate in in-person activities, other than dining, but are required to wear a mask.
  • All students must follow the guidelines for unvaccinated individuals until they are fully vaccinated (2 weeks after their final dose).

Travel

  • College-sponsored domestic travel is permitted and does not require quarantine upon return to campus.
  • College-sponsored international travel must be approved by Tim Harte for faculty and students (other than College-approved semester student abroad, which is approved by the Study Abroad Office) and Kari Fazio for staff.
    • Individuals who travel internationally for any reason must follow any quarantine requirements of the CDC for that travel destination.
    • Unvaccinated individuals from any international travel destination must quarantine for 10 days before returning to campus activities or quarantine for 7 days AND produce documentation of a negative test result from a test administered between days 5 and 7 from their arrival back in the U.S.