Campus Updates

Visit the campus updates page for information on Mount Holyoke's response to the global pandemic. The Opening the Gates site contains details about the fall semester.

Mount Holyoke College
Opening the Gates

Health and Prevention

All members of the community are expected to follow COVID-19 prevention measures as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID-19 Higher Education Control Plan

The incoming health forms page has details on the health requirements for students arriving to live on campus for the first time.

The higher the level of vaccination on our campus, the more quickly and safely we will be able to return to in-person, unmasked interactions.

  • We expect all members of the Mount Holyoke campus community to be vaccinated for the fall 2021 semester and 
  • We require all students to be vaccinated before returning to campus. The vaccination card will serve as documentation. 

We urge everyone — students, faculty and staff —  to receive one of the approved vaccines wherever you live, and as soon as vaccination is available to you. The College will help those students unable to secure a vaccine in their home country to be immunized on arrival, as well as support any recommended quarantine requirements. The higher the level of vaccination on our campus, the more quickly and safely we will be able to return to in-person, unmasked interactions.

Mount Holyoke will accept completed COVID-19 vaccination series that are authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and/or by the World Health Organization (WHO). As of May 17, 2021, these include:

  • Pfizer BioNTech, 2 doses 3 weeks apart
  • Moderna, 2 doses 4 weeks apart
  • Johnson and Johnson/Jansen, 1 dose 
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca, 2 doses 6-12 weeks apart
  • Sinopharm (China), 2 doeses 3-4 weeks apart
  • Covidshield Serum Institute of India, 2 doses 4-12 weeks apart

These approved vaccines may change over the summer, so please check the WHO site for pending vaccine emergency authorizations.

The division of Student Life is currently working on a new community compact for fall 2021. We will continue to monitor Massachusetts state guidelines for in-person gatherings. There will likely still be face covering and some physical distancing requirements for indoor events, gatherings and classes.  

Mount Holyoke will continue to offer an on-campus testing program for its students and employees. The frequency and duration of testing is currently under consideration, following recently-issued guidance from the working group that has continued to inform the policies and  practices of Massachusetts independent colleges and universities.

The transmission of COVID-19 is similar to that of other viral illnesses. We recommend taking preventive actions every day to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds — especially after you cough and sneeze and before you eat. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance and wear a face covering when outside of your residence hall room or office. This includes while outside. 
  • If you are sick, avoid contact with others (in classes, group meetings, work settings, common areas, etc.). Staff members should not come to work.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or sleeve or with a tissue, and throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched, including laptops and mobile devices. LITS recommends using damp antimicrobial wipes, such as Clorox or alcohol wipes to disinfect your phone, laptop, mouse, keyboard and tablet. Wring out the wipe before you clean to prevent liquid getting into devices.