COVID-19 Health and Safety

The purpose of this page is to keep the Mount Holyoke community updated on the status of the College’s preventive steps, policy decisions, plans and resources in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are monitoring the situation and are in ongoing contact with state and local public health officials, colleagues within the Five Colleges and other relevant parties.

For parents that wish to receive information when it is sent, please make sure to sign up or update your address.

Latest updates and important announcements

This page was last updated August 1, 2022 to reflect the College's fall COVID-19 health and safety plans.

An archive of past communications regarding the College's response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on our Letters to the Community page.

Questions?  Contact covid19info@mtholyoke.edu.

Vaccinations

Illustration of a bottle of the COVID-19 vaccine and a sticker that says "I got my COVID-19 vaccine!"

Mount Holyoke College will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and continue to require all employees and students to receive a primary COVID-19 vaccination series and one booster for the 2022–2023 academic year. It is highly recommended that all community members stay up-to-date with their vaccinations and receive further boosters when and if eligible. Medical and religious exemptions will continue to be granted for those who qualify. Those who have already requested and received an exemption need not file again.

Vaccination documentation

  • All students should follow the corresponding instructions found on College Health Service’s Student Health Requirements page when submitting vaccination and booster documentation.
  • Students who were enrolled for the 2021–2022 academic year and submitted their vaccination and booster documentation do not need to resubmit.
  • Students who do not already have an exemption from the College’s vaccine and booster mandate and need to request one should review the information on the Incoming Health Forms page and contact medical-records@mtholyoke.edu.
  • All existing employees were required to provide proof of their initial vaccination series or process a qualifying exemption on or before August 13, 2021, and proof of their first booster on or before January 24, 2022.
  • COVID-19 vaccination (or approved exemption) is a condition of employment at Mount Holyoke College. The Office of Human Resources will complete the verification process with all new hires.
  • To submit booster information, employees should complete the “MHC COVID-19 Vaccination & Booster Attestation” form by logging into my.mtholyoke.edu and following the link under “Self Service.” The form will collect all vaccination information and permit the secure upload of your vaccination card(s).
  • To request an exemption from the College’s vaccine and booster mandate, employees should review the COVID-19 EE Information page on my.mtholyoke and write to covid-report-g@mtholyoke.edu.

Three-layer masks will be required inside all campus buildings from August 21 through September 16. KN95 masks or better are recommended. Effective September 17, assuming on campus and community COVID-19 levels are not high, Mount Holyoke campus will shift to a mask-optional policy for all indoor spaces. Students, employees, alums or guests on our campus will not be required to wear a mask indoors, but are always welcome to do so. 

  • The College will follow the CDC’s masking and isolation guidelines for people who test positive for COVID-19 or who self-identify as a close contact. 
  • Students living on campus who test positive will isolate in place. The division of Student Life will communicate further guidance about this process directly to students. 
  • As an added precaution, people who have symptoms of COVID-19 and are awaiting testing or test results should not come to campus or, if living on campus, should isolate in place until they have obtained a negative test. 
  • Additionally, for their own personal safety, community members who are exempt from COVID-19 vaccination and/or booster(s) or who have not yet received a booster (but are eligible), as well as those with compromised immune systems or other risk factors for severe COVID-19, should wear a mask indoors on campus.

Anyone’s choice to wear a mask for any reason without explanation should be respected. While individuals or departments cannot create mask requirements separate from — or more restrictive than — College policy or accommodation requirements, we ask that everyone be attentive and respond reasonably to the concerns of others.

KN95 masks will be available to those who need them. Please write to mhc-testing-g@mtholyoke.edu with questions regarding mask pickup for yourself or your department.

 

At the launch of the fall semester, negative asymptomatic tests will be required for all students and employees living or working on campus. The College’s asymptomatic testing program will remain suspended for the fall semester. Symptomatic COVID-19 testing will be available for students through College Health Services

Students

  • Residential students should obtain a negative COVID-19 test no more than 24 hours before arriving on campus and be prepared to show third-party documentation of this test result upon arrival. Those who test positive should not come to campus and should report their results to health-admin@mtholyoke.edu for further guidance.
  • Self-test results will not be accepted, unless they are virtually observed by an independent third party provider that provides official documentation. *At-home observed testing services are available at outlets such as:
    - On-Point Testing
    - Rapid Test and Trace
    - eMed
    - Azova
    *for information purposes only; please note that Mount Holyoke does not endorse any of these providers
  • Students who cannot comply with this requirement will be tested immediately upon arrival to campus. However, students should note that this option may involve a prolonged move-in process due to wait times. Additionally, if the test is positive, students will be asked to return home for their isolation. If this is not possible, the College will provide isolation space as available.
  • Further clarification for students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days:
    • Students who have had a COVID-19 infection within 90 days of move-in, but over 30 days ago must present third party proof of a negative rapid antigen test result taken within 24 hours of move-in/arrival, or take a test upon arrival. They should not obtain a PCR test, given the possibility of a false positive test result.
    • Students who have had a COVID-19 infection between 30 and 10 days prior to move-in/campus arrival, must present an official copy (electronic or paper) of their positive test as a substitute for the requirement of a negative test within one day of coming to campus. Students who tested positive in this timeframe with a self test and/or do not have third party documentation of their test result must present third party proof of a negative rapid antigen test result taken within 24 hours of move-in/campus arrival, or take a test upon arrival. They should not obtain a PCR test, given the possibility of a false positive test result.
    • Students who have had a COVID-19 infection within 10 days of their scheduled move-in/campus arrival, must contact Health Services (413-538-2121 or email health-admin@mtholyoke.edu) to coordinate plans for campus arrival.
  • Graduate and commuter students will receive separate communication about showing their negative test results or receiving a test before Orientation, Convocation or the first day of classes. Questions can be directed to dean-students@mtholyoke.edu.&
  • For more information regarding move-in, please visit the Fall 2022 Move-In page on Embark.
  • This fall, we will offer symptomatic COVID-19 testing for students through College Health Services. Students who are asymptomatic and wish to test may do so either through a home test or at a clinic or pharmacy in the area.

Employees

  • All employees who are returning to campus or have been working on campus over the summer should test within 24 hours before September 6, the day of Convocation.
  • During this time, and throughout the fall semester, tests should be obtained either locally at a clinic or pharmacy or through a home test.
  • All positive test results should be reported to covid-report-g@mtholyoke.edu, and all subsequent instructions followed. Negative results need not be reported.

Low or no-cost COVID-19 tests are available to everyone in the U.S., including the uninsured. Low or no-cost testing is available at select pharmacies and local health centers in Massachusetts.

Campus guests are required to self-assess their symptoms and should follow any and all health and safety protocols in effect at the time of their visit. For further information regarding on-campus events, visit the Event Services web page.

Guests staying overnight in residence hall rooms will need to be registered and are required to be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. Students will receive additional information regarding fall 2022 residence hall policies from the division of Student Life. 

Resources for immunocompromised individuals and others with questions or concerns

Those who are immunocompromised should check in with a healthcare provider and/or College Health Services to make appropriate plans for the semester as needed.

Anyone with concerns or questions may also make use of available resources and reach out to the appropriate contacts listed. Community members may always seek support through the ombudsperson.

  • Faculty with questions should contact their supervisor and supervisors should engage employees to determine what, if any, appropriate adjustments are available. A summary of these procedures can be found in this Human Resources document
  • Employees and supervisors can find information on ADA/504 Workplace Accommodations on my.mtholyoke and further resources are on the COVID-19-EE-Information page of my.mtholyoke. 
  • Provided there is no material change in the employee's needs or medical status, prior accommodations granted via the accommodation process will be honored. 
  • Faculty may also reach out to the Office of the Dean of Faculty with any questions.
  • Staff with questions should contact their supervisor and supervisors should engage employees to determine what, if any, appropriate adjustments are available. A summary of these procedures can be found in this Human Resources document
  • Employees and supervisors can find information on ADA/504 Workplace Accommodations on my.mtholyoke and further resources are on the COVID-19-EE-Information page of my.mtholyoke. 
  • Provided there is no material change in the employee's needs or medical status, prior accommodations granted via the accommodation process will be honored.