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COVID-19 Monitoring and Response Plan

I. Purpose

The COVID-19 Monitoring and Response Plan provides a framework for decision-making for the Spring 2022 semester in response to the dynamic and sometimes rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic.

II. Context

The following plan is based on known information about the COVID-19 virus, the effectiveness of the vaccines available now and public health recommendations. The plan will be adjusted as needed as public health professionals learn more about the vaccines and update their recommendations.

Beginning in the fall 2021 semester, all students and seminarians taking any class on the main campus are required to be fully vaccinated except for those with an approved exemption for a medical reason or a strongly held religious belief and for fully remote students. Students and seminarians who do not present proof of vaccination or an exemption will not be permitted to reside on campus, attend any in-person or blended classes or participate in athletics. Students attending only the Frederick campus are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated.

The university will continue to monitor the public health situation in Maryland and surrounding states and the implications of this on our operations. The university has a plan in place for identifying and containing any COVID-19 cases on campus. We will be monitoring metrics that indicate the level of exposure of our community to COVID-19. If these metrics reach specified threshold levels, the university’s Emergency Action Team will be engaged to develop a response to protect our community. The President will call meetings of the Emergency Action Team as needed.

III. Emergency Action Team

If needed, the President will convene an Emergency Action Team to assess the level of health threat to our community, develop appropriate responses to mitigate the threat, and communicate the situation to the community. Team members are:

  • President – Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., (Team Leader)
  • Executive Vice President – Kraig Sheetz, Ph.D.
  • Provost – Boyd Creasman, Ph.D.
  • Vice President and Dean of Students – Levi Esses, Ed.D.
  • Vice President and Rector of the Seminary – Msgr. Andrew Baker, S.T.D.
  • Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness – Jeff Simmons, Ph.D.
  • Director of University Operations – Maureen Plant
  • Environmental Assessment Specialist – Will Wood
  • Director of Public Safety – Ron Hibbard
  • Executive Director of Communications – Donna Klinger
  • Executive Director of Human Resources and Leader of the Mount Contact Tracing Team – Kristin Hurley

IV. Community Health Metrics

Student Life, Human Resources, and ASPIRE are responsible for the daily monitoring of the following health metrics:

  • Number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (tracked separately for residential students, off-campus traditional students, student athletes, GPCE students, seminarians, and employees)
  • Number of students and Seminarians in isolation* on campus by group
  • Number of students and Seminarians in quarantine** (by group)
  • Number of isolation beds in use
  • Number of fully vaccinated students, Seminarians and employees

*Isolation on campus is defined as a student moved into the university’s isolation space because of a positive test result for COVID-19.

**Quarantine is defined as a student who is following self-quarantine procedures in their own room or residence because they may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, have returned from out of state travel, or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

V. Alert Levels and Response

Thresholds for Transition Among Health Alert Levels Assuming 89% of Mount Community Fully Vaccinated

Metric Level 1 to Level 2 Threshold Level 2 to Level 3 Threshold
Active cases among UG students 90 (5%) 180 (10%)
Active cases among residential students 70 (5%) 140 (10%)
% of campus isolation spaces used. (49 beds total) 75% (37) 95% (46)
Active cases among Seminarians 8 15
Percentage of employees with confirmed cases 5% (30) 10% (60)
Weeks in a row of upward trend in number of cases 3 5

According to the level of incidences of COVID-19 cases on campus, the University will adapt its operations as necessary using four Alert Levels. The thresholds or triggers for each level are explained below.

A. Level Zero: No health alert - following normal operations

  • Vaccine or effective therapeutic treatment is widely available and a high percentage of the campus population is vaccinated so that the risk of transmission is very low.
  • Few cases on campus and in Frederick County

B. Level One: Low Level Health Alert

The university will assume a Level One Health Alert in January 2022 until monitoring results can inform the Emergency Action Team. Potential responses within Level One include:

  • Universal masking requirement
  • Implement surveillance testing and contact tracing efforts
  • Reduce or restrict the size of certain on-campus gatherings (e.g., lectures)
  • Reduce athletic team practices and travel
  • Consider expanding the number of isolation spaces

C. Level Two: Heightened Level Health Alert

Within Level Two, the university may consider these additional risk reduction measures among other alternatives:

  • Reduce or restrict the size of certain on-campus gatherings (e.g., lectures)
  • Reduce or place further restrictions on athletic team practices and travel
  • Consider expanding the number of isolation spaces
  • Increase surveillance testing and contact tracing efforts
  • Reduce or restrict student club and other extra-curricular activities
  • Further restrict student travel off campus
  • Require commuter students to attend all classes remotely and not come to campus
  • Reduce the number of students physically in classes
  • Move more employees to telework

D. Level Three: Advanced Level Health Alert

At Level Three, the university may consider these additional risk reduction measures beyond Level Two among other alternatives:

  • Move all class instruction to remote delivery
  • Increase teleworking of employees
  • Stop all athletic team activities
  • Send students home for the remainder of the semester

VI. Communication

All decisions and actions of the Emergency Action Team will be communicated first to the President’s Cabinet and, if necessary, to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

The Executive Director of Communications will develop and disseminate messages to the Mount Community regarding Emergency Action Team actions via email and social media.

The Mount Alert system may be used in emergency situations to inform the Mount Community of urgent matters.

Announcements about the health status of specific individuals are restricted by FERPA1.

1STUDENT PRIVACY POLICY OFFICE FERPA & Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) March 2020.

Last updated January 6, 2022.