Indoor mask mandate extended through September 30
Mount Holyoke College will extend its indoor mask mandate through at least September 30.
Dear members of the Mount Holyoke College community,
We write today with important updates; please read this note in its entirety.
- As a result of a high volume of COVID-19 student cases currently being managed by our campus health center, Mount Holyoke College will extend its indoor mask mandate through at least September 30. Please note that individuals delivering remarks or lectures may remove their masks indoors when teaching or presenting as long as they can maintain six feet of distance from others and agree to be diligent about at-home testing. In some instances, disability accommodations may require masking by all parties including those delivering remarks or lectures.
- Please be reminded that the College requires all employees and students to receive a primary COVID-19 vaccination series and one booster for the 2022–2023 academic year. All individuals aged 12 and up are now eligible for a second booster shot. Recently, the FDA authorized bivalent COVID-19 boosters and we encourage all those who are eligible to receive one. Currently, the College is making plans to hold a booster clinic this fall; confirmed plans and dates will be shared when available.
As a community, we must continue to care for each other and help mitigate the spread. While we recognize that there is no such thing as zero risk, there are measures we can take to protect ourselves:
- Consider wearing a mask indoors even when in spaces and venues off campus.
- While the weather is still milder, students may want to consider taking their food to-go and eating in their room or outdoors.
- Get tested if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Wear your mask at all times and isolate while you are awaiting your result. Students can make an appointment by phone to get tested at College Health Services.
- If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive you can still attend class or go to work but must follow the CDC’s guidance, including wearing your mask at all times around others for a full 10 days, and getting tested on the sixth day. If you develop symptoms, test sooner. Students can make an appointment by phone to get tested at College Health Services. Continue wearing your mask for the full 10 days, even if you test negative on the sixth day.
- Students (only) who test positive must submit this Positive COVID Test Reporting Form. They should also review and adhere to the Fall 2022 COVID-19 Testing and Isolation Policy and Protocols. All student cases, residential and off-campus, are managed by College Health Services and students must be cleared prior to leaving strict isolation.
- 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. The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and many other public and private insurance carriers offer rapid antigen tests for enrollees at no out-of-pocket cost. Students enrolled in SHIP can find more information about how to obtain these tests.
- Employees can find testing at a clinic or pharmacy or use a home test. The College’s employee insurance plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield offers coverage of certain rapid antigen tests for enrollees at no out-of-pocket cost.
- Employees must report their positive test date via email to email@example.com, an address monitored by a group of professionals from the offices of Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety.
- Further details about employee reporting protocols, as well as what to do if you have been exposed and/or have symptoms, can be found on the COVID-19 Information for Employees page in my.mtholyoke.
We appreciate your cooperation with and adherence to all of the College’s COVID-19 Health and Safety protocols. We are excited to have kicked off the semester and we are looking forward to a great year!
The Health and Safety Committee