What Students Should Know - COVID-19 & Returning to Campus
As we return to campus in Spring 2021, MVCC’s first priority is the health and safety of our campus community, including our students, faculty, and staff. The best way to maintain the safest environment possible throughout 2021 and beyond is for each of us to take steps to minimize the risks, not only for ourselves, but for all members of the community. This includes:
- wearing face coverings (masks)
- hand washing
- social distancing
- participating in testing and tracing
- completing daily screenings
- being mindful of our surroundings and the impact we have
Any of us alone can spread this disease and cause harm to others. But all of us together can build a community that is safe and healthy, where educational success is possible.
Here’s what you need to know and do as MVCC welcomes students back to campus in 2021:
The Restart website will continue to be the clearinghouse for all relevant information related to MVCC’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic. It contains information, resources, and frequently asked questions segmented by audience (students, faculty/staff, parents/community, and all), as well as a comprehensive list of related campus email communications.
- Please continue to check your MVCC email account. As more information becomes available, it will be announced in a campus email from President VanWagoner or other college officials.
- The most crucial and sensitive information may be sent to students by text message via our NY Alert emergency notification system.
- MVCC social media (primarily Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) will also be a source for important COVID-19 notifications.
Return to Campus
Spring classes will resume on Tuesday, Feb. 2 with the only in-person instruction occurring for labs, clinicals, and applied learning courses that cannot be adequately delivered remotely. All other instruction will be delivered through remote modalities. In-person instruction will account for about 20% of the course offerings. All students will be asked to self-quarantine seven days prior to returning to the College. Residence hall students will test on the day of move-in. Surveillance testing for all students is slated to begin on Feb. 2, 2021. Pooled saliva-based testing will continue to occur weekly throughout the semester for those attending classes in-person, living in the residence halls, or participating in athletics. The College’s daily health screening protocols will remain in place and require all on-campus students, employees, and guests to be screened at a single entry point and issued a wristband as an indicator of clearing the daily health screening.
SUNY maintains a comprehensive dashboard of COVID-19 testing and infection rate status across the system and at each campus.
Be Responsible – It’s Easy to Do Your Part
Each of us can take small steps to protect ourselves and the campus community. Because COVID-19 is highly contagious, these simple measures apply both on and off-campus:
- Wear a face covering (mask) at all times on campus, including in classrooms, conference rooms, and other
public spaces, even when you are able to maintain six feet of social distancing.
- Exceptions to this requirement include when students are (1) in their private residential or personal space, (2) eating meals on-campus while seated and socially distanced, or (3) outdoors and social distancing restrictions can be consistently maintained (not when there is a high likelihood of passing someone on a walkway, such as when traveling in between class periods). Faculty and staff are likewise exempt when alone in their office or other private spaces.
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer where soap and water are not available.
- Stay home when you are sick or have potentially been exposed to COVID-19.
- Practice social distancing at all times to reduce transmission.
If Exposed, Complete Mandatory Quarantine and Isolation
Students who test positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to individuals who tested positive for COVID-19, or are informed by a state or local health department, or medical or campus official that they are “at risk” for having COVID-19 may be required to quarantine or isolate. This may include taking classes remotely, and not going to dining halls and other campus facilities. Students identified for quarantine and isolation (whether residential or non-residential) will have access to certain assistance, such as the delivery of food and medicine. They may also receive psychosocial, academic and/or other supports, as needed.
Take Care of Yourself – Physically and Mentally
We understand that this is an exceptionally challenging time. MVCC has resources to help you get the support you need:
- Counseling Services
- Health & Wellness Center
- New York State Office of Mental Health Crisis Text Line: Text GOT5 to 741741
- LifeLine - Dial 211 or 1-877-356-9211
Understand What’s Being Offered On-Campus & Online
Barring unforeseen circumstances, approximately 20% of spring classes are scheduled to meet in face-to-face or hybrid formats. 80% are online.
Get Instructional and Technology Help
Provides expert planning, accurate guidance, and stable support for you as you create, work toward, modify, and attain your educational goals.
A college-wide online service desk with specific services for assisting students with any technology need (i.e. loaning laptops or chromebooks).
Provides, coordinates, and facilitates federally mandated accommodations and services to MVCC students with disabilities, whatever those disabilities might be.
Changes and Updates
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic creates a fluid situation that may require unexpected changes in our response. Updates to scientific knowledge, public health guidance, or laws and regulations may mean MVCC has to make changes to our standards and rules, including those indicated above. MVCC will try to minimize these changes and their impact. We will keep you informed of new developments.
Thank you in advance for everything you are doing and will continue do to make 2021 safe for you, your fellow students, the campus community and beyond.