GMercyU's COVID-19 Information Archive

GMercyU's COVID-19 Information Archive

Student FAQ Archive

See Spring 2020 COVID-19 updates here, and find FAQs from the 2020-2021 academic year below.

(See an archive of Faculty & Staff COVID-19 information below.)

Academics: Spring 2021 Course Schedule Details

Spring 2021 Course Schedule

Please log in to GMercyU’s portal using your GMercyU username and password, and click the Colleague Self Service icon. Once logged in, you will be able to view the Spring course schedule by clicking on the Course Catalog, which has been updated to include information on modality.

Here’s how to determine the learning modality of each of your courses:

Modality   Description Schedule - Calendar View on Self Service                    
Hybrid

Some or all of your class sessions/labs will be held on campus.*  

You will attend class at the appointed days/time, as directed by your professor. This information will be available in Blackboard at least one week before the semester begins.

Example:

Times: M/W/F 10:20-11:20 AM

Location: University Hall W112

Remote

Your class will be held remotely with at least some sessions held via live video conference on the scheduled day/time (synchronous).  

You will attend the synchronous sessions at the appointed days/time, as directed by your professor.

Example:

Times: M/W/F 10:20-11:20 AM

Location: REMOTE

Online

Your class will be held entirely online without a specific time and location (asynchronous).  

You will be able to complete your coursework at a time that best suits your schedule, as long as you meet assignment deadlines and requirements.

Example:

Time: 11:58-11:59 PM (generic) Location: Online

*Everyone on campus will be required to follow Safety Protocols, per the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local and state health agencies.

This hybrid model makes safety a top priority! Structuring our spring class schedule in this way makes it possible to adhere to physical distancing requirements and limit the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus among students, faculty, staff, and their loved ones. It also will lessen any disruption to you that could result from a requirement to close campus suddenly based on a resurgence of the virus in our area.

Here are a few other important things you need to know:

  • You will continue to benefit from personal attention in both in-person and remote courses.
  • The Library, Academic Resource Center (including tutoring and accessibility services), Health & Wellness Center, Counseling Services, and other key student services will be available to students either remotely or on campus in adherence to physical distance guidelines.
  • Testing accommodations will be available on campus to students who are registered with the Office of Accessibility Services. Please contact placementtesting@gmercyu.edu with any questions.
  • Remote courses will include virtual face-to-face instruction, meaning you will meet with your professors and classmates at the same time as you would if on campus. These “synchronous” sessions will all be held using Zoom.
  • Online instruction means you will complete your assignments at a time and place that best suits your schedule, as long as you meet assignment deadlines. These “asynchronous” sessions will still provide you with opportunities to interact with your professors and classmates via the University’s Learning Management System, Blackboard.
  • There are spaces available on campus for students that need to participate in a remote class. Keiss Library has designated spaces for commuter students who need to attend a remote class while on campus. Seats must be reserved ahead of time using the LibCal Seats app. Seats can be reserved up to two weeks in advance of when you need to use the library.
  • Training on how to get the most out of these experiences can be found in the Ready, Set, Remote! course that all students have access to in their BB courses.
  • Students that have technology concerns and needs, please see this section.

Safety Protocols

The safety of our campus community is our top priority! The University will follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC and local and state health officials. Some of these requirements include:

Entering Campus

  • Everyone will enter campus via Sumneytown Pike and leave campus using Evans Road.
  • A short screening questionnaire will be required to enter campus.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Face masks will be required while on campus. You may bring your own or use one provided by the University. Face masks can be removed when you are alone in your residence hall room or by yourself in a private office/other space.
  • Hand Sanitizer and Cleaning Supplies/Protocols will be provided throughout campus.
  • Students participating in clinical, internships and other off-campus experiential learning will abide by the safety protocols at those locations. More information will be provided to those students.

Physical Distancing

  • People on campus will be required to obey all posted health and safety signage. This will include maintaining the required 6 feet of distance between individuals.

 

Academic Support for Remote/Online Learning

As always, help will be available when you need it! GMercyU will continue to offer a wide array of student support services, and we encourage all students to take full advantage of them.

If you find you’re having difficulty in one or more of your courses, please reach out to your professor and/or the Student Success Center right away.  Schedule an appointmen by completing this form.

As always, we will do everything we can to help you achieve your goals, so don’t hesitate to ask for help. For additional questions, email studentsuccess@gmercyu.edu.

Campus Spaces for Remote Learning (Spring 2021)

Individual Remote Study classrooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis until the room capacity has been met for physical distancing.

St. Bernard’s 21: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
St. Bernard’s 22: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
University Hall E109: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
Fatima 2: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Group Study classrooms (maximum limit is 14 people at one time). Advanced sign up is required, use the links below starting January 7, 2021.

University Hall E201
SIGN UP LINK

University Hall W116
SIGN UP LINK

St. Bernard’s 12
SIGN UP LINK

St. Bernard’s 14
SIGN UP LINK

Fatima 1
SIGN UP LINK

Clinicals, Internships, Student Teaching (Fall 2020)

Students will be able to complete clinicals, internships, student teaching, and other experiential learning experiences off campus this fall – as long as the sites are open and available, and students are able to comply with any site-specific requirements related to COVID-19.

Although we completely understand that students want to know exactly how these experiences will be handled this fall, the continued uncertainty around the spread of COVID-19 makes it very difficult to predict what will happen throughout the fall semester.

For the health and safety of all concerned, we will continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC and state and local health officials, and abide by the rules set by our partnering organizations. This will require us all to be patient and flexible as many of these decisions will remain outside our control.

Please know that we are doing everything we can to create the best possible learning experience this fall, and deeply appreciate the care and concern that has been so much a part of our campus community’s response to this very difficult and uncertain time.

Dining Services

This fall, students can find healthy and delicious options in the Waldron Dining Hall and the Pepperazzi. The University has also launched Mobile Order Pick Up as an alternative to in-person dining. 

Find meal plan options, hours of operation, and more on our Dining Services page.

Easter Break, Spring Break 2021

We will add four extra days to Easter break and cancel Spring Break rather than have two breaks just weeks apart during this uncertain time. This will further mitigate risks of exposure to the virus.

  • Classes will be held March 8-12, 2021 (originally designated as Spring Break on the Academic Calendar).
  • Classes will not be held from March 26-April 5, 2021 for Easter/Spring break.

Please remember that if you travel to a location designated as a “hot spot”, you will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks, which could impact your attendance for hybrid courses and/or clinicals and fieldwork placements. This could impact your academic progress.

  • The last day to withdrawal will be moved from March 31, 2021 to April 7, 2021.

 

Fall 2020: Which Classes Are Hybrid, Remote, or Online

Please log in to GMercyU’s Student Self Service portal using your GMercyU username and password, and click the Colleague Self Service icon . Once logged in, you will be able to view your course schedule, which has been updated to include information on modality. Here’s how to determine the learning modality of each of your courses:

Modality   Description Schedule - Calendar View on Self Service                    
Hybrid

Some or all of your class sessions/labs will be held on campus.*  

You will attend class at the appointed days/time, as directed by your professor. This information will be available in Blackboard at least one week before the semester begins.

Example:

Times: M/W/F 10:20-11:20 AM

Location: University Hall W112

Remote

Your class will be held remotely with at least some sessions held via live video conference on the scheduled day/time (synchronous).  

You will attend the synchronous sessions at the appointed days/time, as directed by your professor.

Example:

Times: M/W/F 10:20-11:20 AM

Location: REMOTE

Online

Your class will be held entirely online without a specific time and location (asynchronous).  

You will be able to complete your coursework at a time that best suits your schedule, as long as you meet assignment deadlines and requirements.

Example:

Time: 11:58-11:59 PM (generic) Location: Online

*Everyone on campus will be required to follow Safety Protocols, per the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local and state health agencies.

Regardless of whether a particular course will be held on campus or remotely, you will learn with the same faculty, receive the same quality of instruction, and earn the same credits as you would in any other semester. 

Here are a few other important things you need to know:

  • You will benefit from personal attention in both in-person and remote courses.
  • The Library, Academic Resource Center (including tutoring and accessibility services), Health & Wellness Center, Counseling Services, and other key student services will be available to students either remotely or on campus in adherence to physical distance guidelines.
  • Testing accommodations will be available on campus to students who are registered with the Office of Accessibility Services. Please contact placementtesting@gmercyu.edu with any questions.
  • Remote courses will include virtual face-to-face instruction, meaning you will meet with your professors and classmates at the same time as you would if on campus. These “synchronous” sessions will all be held using a high-quality interactive video conferencing platform.
  • Online instruction means you will complete your assignments at a time and place that best suits your schedule, as long as you meet assignment deadlines. These “asynchronous” sessions will still provide you with opportunities to interact with your professors and classmates via the University’s Learning Management System, Blackboard.
  • The University is working to identify spaces on campus where students who are enrolled in hybrid courses can also participate in synchronous sessions for their remote classes. More information will be forthcoming.
  • Training on how to get the most out of these experiences will be provided to both students and faculty.

See entire 6.23.20 portal message on this topic.

Health and Wellness Center (Fall 2020)

Students must contact the Health & Wellness Center immediately if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or feel you have symptoms.

Contact: 215-646-7300, ext. 21306 or email ferguson.d@gmercyu.edu.

Due to the potential spread of COVID-19, please contact the Health and Wellness Center for a phone screening prior to coming to the Health Center. The Health and Wellness Center staff will be following CDC guidelines and utilizing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for a safe opening in Fall 2020.

Location: We are located in Loyola Hall. Enter through St. Brigid Hall and we are on the right through the double doors. You will need to sign in or use your student ID to enter the building.

Hours: Monday, 8:30am - 6:00pm, Tuesday through Friday 8:30am-4:30pm. If you have an emergency outside of these hours, please contact Public Safety at 215-646-7300, ext. 21300. Nurses are available Monday through Friday, and doctor hours for the semester are posted on the Health and Wellness Center door.

Services: We are an acute care facility. Please refer to our web page for available services.

Fees: There is no cost for students to be seen in the Health Center. Nurse and doctor visits are free, as well as many over-the-counter medications. There is a minimal cost for the annual flu vaccine, PPD (tuberculosis) testing, and some antibiotics.

*Please contact Donna Ferguson, M.Ed, RN Director of the Health and Wellness Center at ferguson.d@gmercyu.edu if you have any further questions.
*Please note that all visits are private and confidential.

Hybrid Academic Model

Some courses will be offered in an in-person, on-campus format, but may also include some remote learning components. Other courses will be offered in a fully remote learning format, and will include a combination of virtual face-to-face instruction and online learning.

Here’s a little more detail on what remote learning will mean for you.

Courses that will be held remotely will include a combination of:

  • Virtual face-to-face instruction, meaning you will meet with your professors and classmates at the same time as you would if on campus. These “synchronous” sessions will all be held using a high-quality interactive video conferencing platform.
  • Online instruction, which means you will be able to complete your assignments at a time and place that best suits your schedule, as long as you meet assignment deadlines.  These “asynchronous” sessions will still provide you with opportunities to interact with your professors and classmates via the University’s Learning Management System, Blackboard.
    • Training on how to get the most out of these experiences will be provided to both students and faculty.
    • Remote courses will be noted with “REM” on your course schedule.

 

Keiss Library (Spring 2021)

For a current calendar of library hours and virtual reference assistance, click here.

Contact: library@gmercyu.edu

All library seats and study rooms, including spaces reserved for commuter student remote learning, must be reserved ahead of time by going to https://gmercyu.libcal.com/r/new. Please visit the website for our Spring Use Policy and more information on our front desk pick-up for library items and distance lending services for online students. As always, all of the Library’s online resources are available on and off campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We also have spaces elsewhere on campus that can be used for individual or group study.  Students must follow physical distancing protocols and sit in the seats that are marked. All group study and individual study rooms must be sanitized using the supplied cleaning products in these rooms by the occupants prior to leaving the area. The rooms will be cleaned each evening by Plant Services.

Individual Remote Study classrooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis until the room capacity has been met for physical distancing.

St. Bernard’s 21: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
St. Bernard’s 22: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
University Hall E109: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
Fatima 2: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Group Study classrooms (maximum limit is 14 people at one time). Advanced sign up is required, use the links below starting January 7, 2021.

University Hall E201
SIGN UP LINK

University Hall W116
SIGN UP LINK

St. Bernard’s 12
SIGN UP LINK

St. Bernard’s 14
SIGN UP LINK

Fatima 1
SIGN UP LINK

New Student Orientation (Fall 2020)

The University will still hold a New Student Orientation event! Our Orientation Planning Team has been working on the best way to provide our incoming students with all the opportunities to meet their fellow classmates and learn more about how to be a successful student that we typically offer, while still adhering to all necessary health and safety guidelines.

We will share more information on how Fall Orientation will work in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Parking Permits (Fall 2020)

The University will not charge students to park on campus during the summer and fall semesters, but all students MUST register their vehicle and display a permit while on campus or be subject to a parking violation.  You will be required to register your vehicle with the Public Safety Department online at the link below and display your 2019-2020 tag, if available.

Please register your vehicles by Sunday, August 23, 2020.

Register your Vehicle

When registering enter LAST YEAR'S PERMIT # into the NOTE SECTION of the Registration form. This will allow for the data base to have current vehicle contact and vehicle information. If you DO NOT HAVE last year's permit, please add "NEED NEW PERMIT, RESIDENT STUDENT" or "NEED NEW PERMIT, COMMUTER STUDENT" into the Note section of the registration form on the last screen.  Permits can be picked up at the main entrance gate the first two weeks of the semester.   

All vehicles on campus must be registered per University policy. The Public Safety Department will be enforcing parking regulations at the onset of the semester for our community’s safety. Campus parking enforcement will begin on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. 

Public Safety is asking anyone who cannot register online to call the Public Safety dispatcher to make alternate arrangements to register your vehicle.  If you have any questions, please call 215-641-5522.

At this time, a decision has not yet been made on parking permits for the spring semester.  Please check your email and the portal for future announcements for parking this spring.

Pass / Fail Policy

The University will not change our current pass/fail policy for online courses, which applies only to open elective courses taken by junior- and senior-level students; however, requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please know that for many students, the move to pass/fail would not be in their best interest with regards to meeting accreditation standards, pursing certifications, and/or applying to graduate school.

If you have a question about whether a specific course qualifies and/or if it is in your best interest to pursue pass/fail, please contact your academic advisor. All pass/fail requests require final approval from the Dean of your school.

Residence Life: Fall 2020 Moving In

Despite these challenging times, Residence Life is dedicated and committed to providing a fun, warm, and supportive residential experience. We are excited to welcome both new and familiar faces back to campus soon!

As announced in June via email, the Office of Residence Life has assigned students to rooms – with no roommates – in all four of GMercyU’s residence halls. Assignments for all residents were issued via email on Friday, July 3, 2020 and Tuesday, July 7, 2020. First-year and transfer students had their assignments emailed to both their personal and GMercyU email accounts.

To keep everyone safe and healthy this fall, residents can expect the following:

  • Masks will be required when residents are not in their own bedrooms.
  • All residence hall lounges and laundry facilities will remain open with posted occupancy limits and physical distancing signage.
  • While there will be no restrictions on residents visiting each other, guests (anyone who is not a resident) will not be allowed in the residence halls.
  • Community kitchens in Siena and Alexandria Hall will be closed.
  • Resident Assistants (RA’s) will continue to be present to provide caring support and encouragement, programming, and other initiatives to engage and contribute to the growth of our residents.

To help protect our commuity while around campus, residents will also be expected to follow the University’s health and safety protocols. 
 

Move-In/Drop Off

Due to the need for physical distancing, we will be staggering our move-in schedule. You'll sign up for a specific day and time to bring your belongings to your room and then return home until we officially open the residence halls for the semester. Detail on this process will be sent via email.

What to Bring/What Not to Bring

Students may be required to leave housing with short notice due to state-mandated COVID-19 closure requirements or an on-campus outbreak; please consider this when deciding how much to pack. In addition, Residence Life has put together a recommended list of items to bring and a list of items that you cannot bring. Find more details on that here.

If you are interested in living on campus and have not yet submitted your housing application or deposit, please contact Residence Life for next steps as soon as possible at reslife@gmercyu.edu.

Residence Life: Thanksgiving Break Closing Information

The residence halls close at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 and re-open at 12:00 PM on Sunday, November 29, 2020.  

Resident students should review the emails related to this closing that were sent on Thursday, November 12, 2020 and Thursday, November 19, 2020.

Residence Life: Winter Break Closing Information

The residence halls close at 5:00 PM on Friday, December 18, 2020.

Full Winter Break closing guidelines and expectations will be emailed out to residents by the Office of Residence Life on Thursday, December 3, 2020.  

Floor meetings regarding closing will take place for each resident at 8:00 PM on Monday, December 7, 2020.  Residents will receive an Outlook calendar invite with a specific Zoom link from their Resident Assistant.

Any further updates or changes regarding to living in the residence halls will go directly to a student’s GMercyU email account.

Residence Life: Spring 2021 Housing

Residents were sent an email on Sunday, November 8, 2020 asking to fill out a survey to let the Office of Residence Life know their plans for living on campus for the 2021 spring semester.  This survey allows Residence Life to:

  • Work directly with those residents not remaining on campus and the housing contract release and move-out process
  • Update room and board charges prior to bills being made available
  • Determine where there are empty spaces and vacancies
  • Fulfill any room change requests and manage consolidation needs before Winter Break
  • Create housing assignments for new Spring 2021 residents

If a resident did not fill this out or their plans have changed, they must contact Residence Life at reslife@gmercyu.edu.

The residence halls will be open for the 2021 spring semester. To keep everyone safe and healthy residents can expect the following:

  • Residents will be living in bedrooms without a roommate but those living in suites can expect both bedrooms to be occupied.
  • Masks will be required when residents are not in their own bedrooms.
  • All residence hall lounges and laundry facilities will remain open with posted occupancy limits and physical distancing signage.
  • While there will be no restrictions on residents visiting each other, guests (anyone who is not a resident) will not be allowed in the residence halls.
  • Community kitchens in Siena and Alexandria Hall will be closed.
  • Resident Assistants (RA’s) will continue to be present to provide caring support and encouragement, programming, and other initiatives to engage and contribute to the growth of our residents.

Prior to leaving for Winter Break, residents will be asked to sign up for a time to move back into the residence halls between Tuesday, January 5 and Sunday, January 10, 2021.  

Residence Life: Spring Break 2021 Closing Information

To further mitigate risks of exposure to COVID-19, the University has canceled Spring Break (originally March 8-12, 2021) and has added four extra days to Easter Break.  The new Spring/Easter Break will now be Friday, March 26-Monday, April 5, 2021. The residence halls will close at 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 25 and re-open at 12:00 PM on Monday, April 5, 2021.  Residents will receive more information related to leaving for break during the week of March 8, 2021.

Technology Needs

April 6, 2021 Update: The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute $10-$50 toward the purchase price.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Eligible students and families include those who received a Pell Grant during the current academic year (2020-2021). The benefit will be paid directly to the service provider and then reflected in the monthly billing statement. Please see the Federal Communications Commission's FAQs for details. 


Fall 2020 Update: 

In need of an affordable internet service provider? Please see this Guide To Internet Plans For Low And Fixed-Income Households.

And, a limited amount of CARES Act funding may be available to help you with your technology needs. To apply, please complete this form and submit it studentbilling@gmercyu.edu. See all CARES Act details here.

Travel

Starting May 15, the University will be following the PA Department of Health travel guidelines and will continue to follow the CDC Traveling Abroad Guidelines.  

When returning from travel, use the CDC COVID Data Tracker to obtain updates concerning COVID case status for areas you may be visiting.

(Areas in Dark Blue and Light Blue represent Daily Case Rate, by State/Territory (cases per 100K) 

In addition, we will continue to require you to complete the health survey prior to entering campus. If you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, please do not come to campus. 

If you are experiencing symptoms, have been informed of a COVID exposure, or have questions about whether or not you should come to campus because of a COVID concern, please contact the Health and Wellness Department at Ferguson.d@gmercyu.edu.

Tuition

No changes have been made to tuition. Regardless of whether a particular course will be held on campus or remotely, you will learn with the same faculty and earn the same credits toward the same degree as you would if on campus. Although there will be savings in some areas, there are significant additional costs associated with moving instruction to a remote learning format that are not being passed along to students.

We did change the meal plan options for students living on campus, including adding a low-cost 100-meal block option. More details are located on the Dining Services page.

We also reduced some student fees and absorbed substantial increases in fees charged by outside vendors for online exam software and other student services. We eliminated parking fees for the summer and fall terms, and reduced the 2020-2021 Comprehensive Fee by $170 (or $4 per credit for students who are enrolled part-time) since there will be some changes in the types of activities and services offered on campus this fall.

Students will still have unlimited access to counseling, career development, library, tutoring, academic advising, IT, and on-campus health and wellness services throughout the fall semester. Students also will be able to participate remotely in our many clubs and organizations, and take advantage of other co-curricular opportunities, including Campus Ministry and the Griffin Student Leadership Institute, among others.

Why am I paying lab fees if my courses are being held remotely this semester?

Laboratory courses offered in a remote learning environment will include virtual labs and may require kits sent to the student’s home. The fees associated with these virtual lab materials will be covered by the University’s normal lab fee. However, if students are required to purchase lab kits and supplies directly from an outside vendor for a particular course, the University lab fee for that course will be eliminated.

Your Health & Safety

It is our top priority. The University’s Emergency Response Team has developed detailed health and safety protocols that comply with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and local and state health officials. All students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus will be required to comply with these protocols.

Please see details here

We understand that health concerns may make it inadvisable for some students to come to campus while the risk of the spread of COVID-19 still exists. Please contact your academic advisor if you will not be able to come to campus so you can work together to determine the best path forward.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or are experiencing symptoms, please immediately contact the University’s Health and Wellness Center at 215-646-7300, ext. 21306.

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Faculty & Staff FAQ Archive

See Spring 2020 COVID-19 updates here, and find FAQs from the 2020-2021 academic year below.

Approach to Spring 2021

Academic Council, Executive Council and the Emergency Task Force have been reviewing the Spring calendar to determine the safest way to proceed in the light of the continued risks associated with the spread and potential resurgence of COVID-19. 

We have decided that it is in the best interest of all concerned to continue to operate in a hybrid format for the Spring Semester. Information on which courses will be offered in which learning modality will be available beginning October 16. Students are being instructed to check their Self Service portal for more details.

In addition, for the health and safety of all concerned, we have decided that the best way to keep our campus safe is to limit the travel and other risks associated with having two Spring semester breaks in a very short window of time.  

Although many Universities have chosen to eliminate Spring break and shorten their academic calendar, we realize the importance of the break for faculty, staff and students. Therefore, we have decided to eliminate Spring break (March 8-12, 2021) and extend Easter break from March 26 through April 5, 2021. The University will be closed for the Easter holiday from April 1-5, 2021, as planned.

We will also move the last day for students to withdraw from classes from March 31 to April 7, 2021. 

The Emergency Task Force will send out reminders to all faculty/staff/students regarding travel to hot spots and the notification and self-quarantine process for any of these prolonged breaks, including Thanksgiving.

We strongly believe this decision will balance the need to give everyone a much-needed break and offer further protection to our campus community from students and others who may travel to hot spots. This also will limit the number of disruptions to hybrid classwork/clinicals/fieldwork placements.

Please see the message to students here.

Campus Sanitization Process

In alignment with public health recommendations, the Office of Environmental Safety, in conjunction with Plant Services and Housekeeping has developed enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures to follow during the COVID-19 public health situation.

  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection for prevention
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection after notification of a confirmed case of COVID-19

While we understand these details may not answer every unique question, they are meant to provide a fundamental understanding of Gwynedd Mercy University’s approach to incrementally welcoming Faculty and Staff back to the workplace.

Community Online Trainings

To assist employees, we will be implementing several online trainings covering Coronavirus Awareness, Hazard Communication Standard (Hazcom), CDC Guidelines for making and using cloth face masks, and Cleaning and Disinfecting Workplace.

Covid-19 Exposure

Any employee who has received a positive reporting of COVID-19 or possible exposure to COVID-19 is not to report to campus and should contact their supervisor and the Human Resources Department immediately at 215-646-7300 x21562.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Resources

For employees facing COVID-related stress, fear, anxiety, loneliness, money, family, and work issues, the Human Resources Office is here to help. Go to the HR portal page for the resources available to you, including an EAP webinar that directly addresses the emotional impact of the virus and how to cope. 

Event Planning During the Pandemic

Please submit this form at least three weeks prior to the event. Your requests cannot be processed unless both pages of the form are completed in full. All requests are subject to availability, adherence to guidelines and approval by the Emergency Management Committee. 

Once your request has been processed you will receive a confirmation via email. Please do not assume that your request has been granted unless you receive a confirmation notice. Thank you!

Isolation / Quarantine Guidelines and Notification Processes

Definitions of Important COVID-19 Terms

Quarantine: An individual is required to remain in a confined space for a determined amount of time as part of the University’s procedures. Quarantine is used as a preventative measure and may be implemented while the University is gathering needed information on possible exposure risks. The individual will be directed to quarantine on campus if a resident or at home if a commuter student, staff, or faculty member. NOTE: As this procedure is used as a preventative measure, no one other than the affected individual will be notified by the University.

Self-Quarantine: An individual has been informed that they did not meet quarantine parameters set by the county or the University but CHOOSES to self-quarantine because they feel it is the right choice for them.  NOTE: This action is chosen by the individual and is NOT University-mandated. Faculty, staff, and students may be notified by the individual but will not be notified by the University.

Isolation: An individual is required to remain in a confined space for a determined amount of time due to receiving an active COVID-19 diagnosis or showing two or more COVID-19 symptoms. Any hybrid faculty, university staff or students who were in close contact with this individual WILL be notified according to the contact tracing process. 

Close/Direct Contact/Exposure: Being within 6 feet of an infected person (with or without a mask/PPE) for at least fifteen minutes starting from two days before illness/symptom onset (or for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to positive test) until the time the infected person is isolated. 

Active Case: An individual who is placed into an isolation space and awaiting test results or has experienced two or more symptoms of COVID-19. Any hybrid faculty, university staff or students who were in direct contact with this individual WILL BE contacted according to the contact tracing process. 

Positive Case: An individual who tests positive for COVID-19. Any hybrid faculty, university staff or students who were in close/direct contact with this individual WILL BE contacted according to the contact tracing process. 

Negative Case: An individual who tests negative for COVID-19. Any hybrid faculty, university staff or students will NOT be notified. 

Delayed Reporting: When the University is not immediately notified of a possible exposure, an active case, a positive case, or a negative test. The University will act on information as soon as it is received. Example: Active exposure occurs on January 1st but is not reported to the University until January 8th. 

When information concerning a possible exposure or active COVID-19 case is received, the following processes are followed: 

  • If notification of possible exposure or an active case is forwarded to the Human Resources Department, Health and Wellness Center, Residence Life, or Public Safety, the COVID-19 contact tracing and notification process will be implemented. 
     
  • If notification is given to a department other than those listed above, the Director of the department should immediately forward the information to either Human Resources (for faculty/staff) via email: mcdonald.m@gmercyu.edu, or the Health and Wellness Center (for students) via email: ferguson.d@gmercyu.edu.
     
  • If notification is given to a faculty member by a student, the faculty member should immediately contact the Health and Wellness Center via email: ferguson.d@gmercyu.edu.
     
  • Depending on if the individual is a student, staff or faculty member either Human Resources or the Health and Wellness Center will gather preliminary information and begin the contact tracing process.
     
  • Human Resources or the Health and Wellness Center will determine if reported exposure or active cases are to quarantine or isolate based on information obtained.

In the event of an isolation order, an active or positive case, the following actions will occur:

  • The Health and Wellness Center WILL notify the Montgomery County Office of Public Health which will proceed with contact tracing and provide instructions to GMercyU. This is for any reported cases involving students, staff or faculty. 
     
  • If the individual is a resident student, Residence Life WILL be notified. Per state and county guidelines, the student will be encouraged to isolate in designated residence hall isolation rooms.
     
  • The Health and Wellness Center WILL notify the student’s faculty that the student will be out of class for a designated period of time due to a private medical issue. University staff and students who were in direct contact with the individual will be informed in accordance with the contact tracing process. 
     
  • The Health and Wellness Center WILL notify the appropriate faculty members via email when a student is cleared to return to hybrid classes. 
     
  • Human Resources WILL notify the appropriate supervisor via email when a staff or faculty member is cleared to return to return to campus.  
     
  • If an accommodation for a student, staff or faculty member is necessary, Brandi Crawford, Director of Accessibility Services, should be contacted for assistance via email: crawford.b@gmercyu.edu
     
  • If a positive case is identified in a building, classroom or other area on campus, Public Safety will contact the appropriate Dean and Karen Law to find another classroom or location to be used while the area is closed. The existing area will need to have three full days of non-use prior to Plant Services conducting a deep cleaning. If space is needed prior to the three full days of non-use, an outside cleaning agency maybe contracted by Plant Services to deep clean the area. NOTE: Cleaning may not occur immediately in the case of delayed reporting.
     
  • If Health and Wellness staff instructs a student to quarantine or isolate, the Health and Wellness staff will provide the student a letter clearing their return to field experience sites.  
     
  • Students must follow field experience sites’ requirements for clearance and return.
     
  • Students must immediately report all incidents of possible exposure or confirmed COVID-19 cases to the Health and Wellness Center via email: ferguson.d@gmercyu.edu, or phone: 267-448-1306.
     
  • Staff and faculty must immediately report all incidents of possible exposure or confirmed COVID-19 cases to the Human Resources Department via email: mcdonald.m@gmercyu.edu, or phone: 215-646-7300, ext. 21562.
     
  • After business hours, students, staff and faculty must report any violation, possible exposure or positive COVID-19 cases to Public Safety via email: gallagher.j@gmercyu.edu, or phone: 215-641-5522.
     
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or who have been in close/direct contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19 are NOT permitted on campus until appropriate clearance has been provided. 

 

Stay-At-Home Policy

Please do NOT come to work if you are not feeling well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that sick employees stay home if they are sick with flu-like illness until at least 48 hours after they are free of fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (chills, feeling very warm, have a flushed appearance, or sweating). This assessment should be made without the use of fever-reducing medicines (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).

Summer/Fall 2020 Return-to-Work Plan

We look forward to welcoming facuty and staff back to campus in a phased approach over the summer and into the fall.  As members of our caring community, all faculty and staff will be expected to abide by the University's on-campus health and safety requirements.

The following details will provide some clarity and address some general questions; more information will be shared on the University portal in the coming weeks.

  • Week of June 1 - Plant Services Department Returned to campus
  • Week of June 15 - Custodial Services Returned to campus
  • Week of June 15 - Staff and Faculty – Limited Building access for individual visits
  • Week of June 29 - Summer II Session begins
  • Week of July 6 - Summer II Hybrid On-Ground Instruction begins (select classes), Faculty / Staff Return-to-Campus 25 % on campus and 75% work remote plan implemented

Gwynedd Mercy University’s Return-to-Campus Plan is structured to allow faculty and staff to return to campus with a predetermined 25% department hybrid schedule. This means that initially only 25% of each department will return to campus at any given time. Working from home is encouraged if possible, across all departments. Individuals returning to campus for work should be based on the need for business continuity. The plan must remain flexible to adapt to any changes required by new federal or state regulations, and to continue observing best-practice CDC recommendations. Any additional or changing information will be provided in a future update. All Staff and Faculty should speak to their department supervisors to discuss their return to campus schedule.

Supervisors and directors will be provided with information outlining best-practices for managing and maintaining health and safety in their areas. They will be responsible for training their staff in on-campus health and safety requirements.

Employees who may have a concern about returning to on-campus work are encouraged to contact Human Resources directly. Human Resources has a protocol/process in place for employees who are experiencing an impact from COVID-19 and will review each concern individually, using the University’s Return-to-Work policy, which you can access on the portal.

Travel

Starting May 15, the University will be following the PA Department of Health travel guidelines and will continue to follow the CDC Traveling Abroad Guidelines.  

When returning from travel, use the CDC COVID Data Tracker to obtain updates concerning COVID case status for areas you may be visiting.

(Areas in Dark Blue and Light Blue represent Daily Case Rate, by State/Territory (cases per 100K) 

In addition, we will continue to require you to complete the health survey prior to entering campus. If you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, please do not come to campus. 

If you are experiencing symptoms, have been informed of COVID exposure, or have questions about whether or not you should come to campus because of a COVID concern, please contact Human Resources Department at HR@gmercyu.edu or 215-646-7300, ext. 21250.