COVID-19

Information for Students (Student Policies)

Muskingum continues to make the health and well-being of the University community our highest priority.

This spring, our COVID-19 mitigation strategies, developed based on local, state, and federal guidance, continue from fall semester. Our goal is to both connect and protect our friends, colleagues, and community. The following information will let you know what to expect on campus this semester. Muskingum will return to face-to-face classes for spring semester in accordance with the academic calendar.

Policies and procedures may be adjusted based on campus conditions as well as local, state, and federal guidance. We will continue to monitor both as we move through the academic year.


Return to Campus Testing

Residential students who are unvaccinated are required to take a COVID test prior to moving in. The Testing Center will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 9, 2022. Student Affairs will email students with a scheduled time for them to be tested and move in.

After taking your test, please wait in your vehicle until you get your results (approximately 15 minutes). Students who test negative can then move in.  Students who test positive will be contacted by the Student Health Center to make plans for their time in isolation.

Commuter students who are unvaccinated are required to take a COVID test prior to attending their first class. Please schedule an appointment to be tested. 

Vaccinated students may choose to be tested by scheduling an appointment after classes start on Monday, January 10, 2022.

For anyone using the Testing Center, please download the NAVICA app on your phone to keep the Testing Center operating quickly and efficiently.

In-season athletes should follow the testing instructions provided by their coach.


Face Masks

Students are required to wear proper face coverings in all shared indoor spaces on campus. Proper face masks are at least a double layer of fabric and cover the nose, mouth, and chin. See the CDC's website for more information about masks. Students do not have to wear face coverings when alone in their residential facility room. Campus roommates will be assisted in discussing their expectations for wearing face coverings as part of their roommate agreement.

Students also do not have to wear face coverings when in the shower or when brushing teeth; when seated to eat; and in certain performance classes or science labs, as directed by the instructor. Student Athletes will follow all face covering requirements established by the University Athletic Department following NCAA guidance during mandatory group activities.

Facial coverings may be worn by any individual on campus at any time but are not required outdoors unless mandated for particular group activities.

Faculty, staff and students are expected to provide your own, clean face covering that covers your nose, mouth, and chin. Building and other departmental administrative assistants will have disposable masks in the event a student or employee forgets their face covering. These masks are provided as a courtesy and are not to be used in lieu of your own personal face coverings. Please do not bring respirators.  


Isolation, Quarantine, and Vaccinations

The University will utilize the new isolation and quarantine guidelines as recommended by the CDC and Ohio Department of Health in December 2021; however, release from isolation or quarantine will not happen automatically after 5 days.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 prior to starting classes, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, please contact the Student Health Center at sdickson@muskingum.edu. Based on current COVID trends in the state and elsewhere, we ask that you seek medical assistance rather than self-diagnosing your condition. 

If you have tested or do test positive for COVID-19 at any time during winter break, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, please notify the Student Health Center by emailing sdickson@muskingum.edu.

Regardless of vaccination status, if students develop ANY symptoms of COVID-19, they must be tested.  The Student Health Center will test students if they are symptomatic once they are back on campus or will help them identify a testing location near their home if they have not yet returned to campus.

Isolation:  Any individual who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, will be placed into isolation for a minimum of 5 days.  The Student Health Center will assess each student’s release date based on the student’s individual circumstances.

Quarantine:  The following guidelines apply to students who are exposed to somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19:

  • Individuals whose vaccination status is up to date will not need to quarantine in the event of a COVID exposure.  However, they will be required to wear their masks indoors and around other people for 10 days, and they will need to be tested on Day 5 as directed by the Student Health Center or their assigned contact tracer.
     
    • “Up to date” means that the individual has received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months OR that they have received the single dose Johnson & Johnson dose within the last 2 months OR that they have received a booster shot.
       
  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated or their vaccination is not up to date will need to quarantine for 5 days.  However, they are required to wear their masks indoors and around other people for 10 days, and they will need to be tested on Day 5 as directed by the Student Health Center or their assigned contact tracer. 

Vaccinations:  Students are strongly encouraged to complete an initial vaccination series as soon as possible or obtain a booster shot as soon as eligible. Students are eligible for a booster shot 2 months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or 5 months after receiving the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.  Students who are unvaccinated or have not submitted their vaccination card to the University are required to participate in regular surveillance testing.


Health & Safety

Daily health checks – All employees and students should monitor their own health on a daily basis. If you exhibit new or usual symptoms of COVID-19, you must submit a COVID-19 Symptom Notification form, which will be located on both the Muskie Safe app and online. Students may also notify the Student Health Center.

Underlying health conditions – Employees and students with underlying health conditions may need accommodations to comply with health and safety protocols. Students will work through the accommodations process managed by the Disabilities Education Office, while employees must submit accommodation requests to the Human Resources Office. 

Residential facility adjustments – Common areas will be organized to follow social distancing spacing, and additional cleaning protocols have been instituted for all residential spaces.


Academics

Classroom reassignment – Classrooms have been reconfigured, so the majority of classes can meet for face-to-face instruction, while carefully maintaining appropriate social distancing. Many computer labs and classrooms are outfitted with plexiglass dividers for maximum health and safety. Please check MuskieLink for your most up-to-date classroom assignment.   

Remote instruction – Students who are placed into quarantine or isolation will continue to participate in classes through use of remote instruction.  Recorded lectures and classroom discussions, joining classes via Teams, and online submission of assignments and assessments are among the tools faculty will use to provide maximum learning opportunities during this time. Students and faculty members will be notified of start and end dates for remote instruction accommodations, based on quarantine and isolation periods determined for each student.


Dining & Campus Services

Dining spaces – All campus dining facilities will operate at a reduced capacity. Dining facilities also will offer take-out boxes if students want to take their meals to go.

Bookstore – Muskingum University’s First Day Complete program continues for spring semester.  Traditional undergraduate students should schedule a time to pick up their course materials in the bookstore prior to the first day of classes. Pickup dates/times are scheduled to accommodate social distancing.

University offices – Plexiglass dividers are installed in offices with walk-up desks or counters to ensure the health of students, faculty and staff. Counseling, tutoring and career services have online options available to meet student needs in addition to following social-distancing guidelines when meeting in person.  

Student Life – Clubs, Greek Life, recreation and leadership activities will be planned to maintain social distancing and hygiene protocols.  Student leaders will submit plans for prior approval. 


Athletics

As of this point in time, all NCAA intercollegiate athletic competition will commence as scheduled for the academic year. There also will be no limitations on spectators.

Muskingum is dedicated to delivering a safe and healthy environment for Muskie student-athletes to stay actively engaged with their teams and coaches throughout the academic year. Specific plans for each team have been put in place.


Keeping in Touch

These precautionary measures will help us to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on campus and maximize the time we are able to spend together. We will share additional information as it becomes available. Students, please check your Muskingum email regularly for messages and visit https://www.muskingum.edu/covid-hub for updates on the latest developments. If you have any questions about this information, or any other aspect of your Muskingum University experience, please do not hesitate to email muskiehelp@muskingum.edu, and the appropriate person will respond to you as quickly as possible.

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