Spring 2022 Guidelines and Mitigation Plan

Updated April 11, 2022 and subject to further revision as current community conditions change.

The following assumptions will guide our spring 2022 planning:

  • 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 (including a booster when eligible) are required for all faculty, students, and staff; the Bryn Mawr community will be optimally 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.
  • Our mitigation measures will greatly reduce the prevalence and transmission of COVID on campus; however, given the prevalence of COVID locally and globally, it is likely that we will see more COVID on campus than we have seen in past semesters.
  • We are committed to supporting our employees and students in caring for their health and in being responsible when they are symptomatic.  This may result in some disruptions in campus services as we may sustain labor or supply chain shortages.
  • 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.
  • In order to adjust to current conditions on campus or in the community, 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. This requirement includes one booster for all who are eligible.  We will audit for compliance with this new requirement. 
    • 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.

Campus Activity and Mitigation Strategies

  • Surgical masks, N95, KN95 or KF94 masks are required indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Cloth masks are not permitted unless used to double mask with an approved mask.  Faculty, staff, students, and visitors must wear masks indoors. Masks should fit well and disposable masks should be replaced at least every five days and more often as needed.
  • Masks are not required outdoors unless an activity involves a crowd of people in close proximity.
  • Indoor spaces will remain at full occupancy.
  • Our community’s high level of vaccination is a key factor in allowing some flexibility with masking. Given this and 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 limited flexibility with indoor masking. We encourage and support individuals who wear a mask for additional protection. Masks are not required in:
    • Dormitories (for residents while in their own dorm even while in common spaces like lounges). Dorms are mask-friendly (meaning masks are welcome but not required) for their own resident students. However, masks should be worn if/when a student is a guest of a student in a different dorm.
    • Dining halls (while eating). Until further notice, all indoor dining will be at reduced capacity and we will increase capacity for grab-and-go meals.  Visitors are not permitted in the dining halls.  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.
    • Other communal spaces (while eating): Masks are required in all communal spaces but can be removed in spaces like the Campus Center when eating.  Students and staff without private offices need places to eat, but should limit eating in groups and should re-mask as quickly as possible.
    • 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.
    • In work spaces.  Spaces that are primarily work areas/offices for staff, faculty, or students, including conferences rooms and meetings among co-workers, are designated as “mask friendly,” meaning mask use is welcome but not required.Masks continue to be required when others enter the space and/or when those workers leave their designated work area. 
  • Air purifiers have been placed in select spaces on campus where the mechanical ventilation requires a supplement. These purifiers are designed to run 24/7 and should be used on their highest setting.
  • All individuals must 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, cold, and flu-like illness.
    • Any individual who is experiencing symptoms should stay home and get tested. Students should reach out to the Health and Wellness Center; faculty and staff should reach out to a medical provider.
    • We are extending the modifications to our sick pay policy that we introduced last year for faculty and staff until May 31, 2022. Student workers will have 15 hours of sick time for the spring semester.
  • 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

  • The College will conduct required surveillance testing for all undergraduate students periodically during the spring semester. We will also conduct targeted surveillance testing where indicated. 
  • Individuals who have had COVID in the last 90 days should not participate in ongoing surveillance testing until they are 90 days from the positive test.
  • Testing will 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 a minimum of five days from the positive test or the onset of symptoms. Asymptomatic individuals will generally be cleared to return to campus after five days of isolation. Symptomatic individuals will be required to isolate for 10 days or until their symptoms are resolved and they have been fever-free for more than 24 hours. Individuals can only return to campus activity when cleared by the College medical services director (for students) or Kari Fazio, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (for faculty and staff). Even after the period of isolation, all individuals will be required to wear masks at all times when around others until they are 10 days from the positive test or the onset of symptoms.
    • 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 Kari Fazio, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer.
  • Any unvaccinated individual, any individual who completed the primary series of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine over six months ago and is not yet boosted, or any individual who received the J&J vaccine more than two months ago and is not yet boosted who is identified as a close contact (longer than 15 minutes of contact at a distance of less than 6 feet in a 24 hour period) of a COVID-19-positive individual will need to quarantine for five days. After the five days, they must continue to wear a mask around others at all times for five days. The CDC recommends getting tested five days after exposure. The College requires that all vaccinated individuals are required to get their first booster dose within 30 days of when they become eligible. 
  • Optimally vaccinated individuals (those who have received at least one booster dose and those who have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last six months or the J&J vaccine within the last two months) 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 when around others for 10 days from the last time of exposure to the COVID-19 positive individual. The CDC recommends getting tested five days after exposure.
  • Vaccinated employees or students who are living off campus with a COVID-19-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.
  • Students who live in singles will be asked to isolate in their rooms.  We are reserving isolation space in Wyndham for residential students living in rooms where isolation is not possible.  

Facilities and Dining

  • Dining will operate with reduced eat-in capacity (approximately 50% of normal capacity) in the dining halls and take-out will remain an option until further notice.
  • We encourage all students, faculty and staff to limit dining with others to very small numbers, physically spread out, and in well-ventilated spaces since masks cannot be worn while eating. When eating with others, everyone should re-mask as soon as eating is completed.
  • We encourage students, faculty and staff to continue to eat outdoors. Tented space is available seasonally.
  • All spaces (outside of dining) remain at full capacity.
  • Plexiglass is not necessary for mitigation.
  • Cleaning protocols are carried out in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Visitors

  • Visitors to campus are welcome.
    • All visitors will be required to wear a mask indoors.
    • Prospective students are not permitted in the dorms.
    • Students are permitted to have one guest in their dormitory at a time (including remaining overnight), as long as the guest is vaccinated (including a booster) 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.
  • Until further notice, visitors are not permitted in the dining halls.
  • 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 may offer indoor dining/food service if the event will be attended by BMC students, faculty and/or staff exclusively or with one or two visitors (e.g., a reception for a guest speaker to campus). Outdoor dining is permitted and encouraged.
  • 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 the College’s designated COVID protocols.

Athletics

  • Varsity athletes will be permitted to practice and compete indoors without masks (although as much as possible, we are encouraging athletes to wear masks even when practicing). 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.
  • Indoor athletes will be required to be tested at least one time per week.
  • Since varsity athletes may engage in maskless activities, they will be required to have a negative rapid test before returning to full practice and competition after their isolation period. 
  • Additional restrictions, testing and guidelines may be imposed by the Centennial Conference for competition as a condition of play.
  • Spectators are allowed at indoor sporting events. Surgical masks, N95, KN95 or KF94 masks are required for spectators and must be worn at all times.
  • The Fitness Center can be at full occupancy. Masks must be worn in the Fitness Center and locker rooms at all times.
  • Open Swim in the pool is allowed; the pool will be restricted to one swimmer per lane and advance reservations will 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 with other people, 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.

Travel

  • College-sponsored domestic travel is permitted and does not require quarantine upon return to campus.  As community and national virus transmission is surging, we strongly urge potential travelers to limit travel to those trips deemed essential for College business or for critical educational or research opportunities. Testing before return to campus is strongly encouraged for the protection of others in the community.
  • 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.