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Spring Semester Health and Safety Policies and Recommendations

January 10, 2023

The below message was sent on Jan. 10, 2023.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff: 

We hope you have been able to enjoy the winter holidays and to find a little time to relax and rejuvenate.  As we begin looking ahead to the start of the spring semester and particularly for the benefit of those returning from study abroad, sabbatical, or other leave during the fall semester, we wanted to remind you of our health and safety policies and recommendations. 

  • Out of consideration of others, we ask that no one return to campus with COVID or any other easily communicable virus.  If you are experiencing any symptoms, please self-test for COVID prior to your initial return to campus.  

  • The Health and Wellness Center will continue to provide free COVID-19 testing for students.  Our COVID-19 testing capabilities include antigen testing and molecular testing (a more sensitive test) if needed.  We encourage all students 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.  Health and Wellness Center Staff are preparing for the possibility of increased testing demand and will ensure that staffing can accommodate student requests. 

  • 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.   

  • The College continues to be “mask-friendly,” meaning mask-wearing is supported but not required in most spaces/at most times.  Hosts of gatherings and faculty in their classrooms/learning spaces may require masks. Masks are also required at certain times if you have been exposed to COVID.   

  • Even when masks are not required, individuals may opt to wear a mask to reduce their exposure to respiratory illnesses.  Well-fitted medical masks (and specifically N95, KN95 and KF94 masks) are recommended in those cases.  The College will continue to make masks available to students, faculty and staff who request support. 

  • If you test positive for COVID or if you have been a close contact with someone who has, please follow the protocols on the COVID website.  If you have COVID, you need to isolate for at least 5 days.   

  • If you are a close contact of someone who has COVID, you are required to wear a mask when around others for 10 days from the last day of exposure to that person.  However, you do NOT need to isolate.  As long as you remain masked around others and are feeling well, you may maintain normal activities. 

  • In addition to COVID, flu and other viruses are also quite common at this time of the year.  Frequent hand washing will help reduce risk of transmission. 

  • A flu vaccination and a bi-valent COVID booster are important protections to severe illness.  If you have not yet received these vaccinations, you may want to consider getting one or both before returning to campus if you are eligible. 

Please check the COVID website or contact one of us if you have any questions.  As always, we will monitor circumstances, consult with public health experts and the Montgomery County Public Health Department, and notify the community if there are any material changes to the policies.   

Thank you for doing your part to help our community reduce the spread of easily transmittable respiratory illnesses. We look forward to the start of the spring semester and to seeing you soon. 


The Campus Operations Team:  Nina Bisbee, Kim Cassidy, Kari Fazio, Cheryl Horsey, Reggie Jones, Beth Kotarski, Julia McLaughlin, Angie Sheets

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