Letter from the President to Maryville Faculty and Staff
Dear Faculty and Staff,
I hope you have had a restful and healthy winter break. I look forward to seeing all of you next week as we return to campus.
As we prepare for the start of the spring semester, I want to update you on our COVID-19 protocols – we will be returning for a normal start with in-person classes and following many of the same protocols as we did last semester, which proved very effective. As CDC guidelines have shifted, we have updated a few of the policies related to isolation and quarantining. SaintStrong is the best place to find updated information on policies.
Due to our high rate of student and on-campus faculty and staff vaccination rates we are in a very good place to mitigate the spread of COVID if we remain diligent about wearing masks indoors and testing unvaccinated individuals. Although the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is more contagious, symptoms are far less severe for people who are vaccinated and boosted.
Return to Campus Testing
All unvaccinated students (including commuter students) and all residential students will be required to complete a COVID-19 test when returning to campus this weekend and early next week.
Face Covering Requirement
All community members are required to wear a face covering while indoors (i.e. Gander Dining Hall, the Library, classrooms, common areas in residence halls, etc.). Recent studies suggest surgical and N95 disposable masks are more effective than cloth masks at protecting people from COVID-19, particularly the highly contagious Omicron variant. While a cloth mask is acceptable, we are encouraging the Maryville community to obtain either surgical or N95 masks for their superior fit and ability to filter out virus particles.
As a reminder, Maryville expects all faculty, staff, and students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit proof via our Vaccination Reporting Form. Following recommendations from the CDC, Maryville strongly encourages all community members to get a booster shot as soon as you are eligible and submit proof via our Vaccination Reporting Form. Community members should also note that the CDC recently revised their quarantine guidance for close contacts, which will impact individuals who have completed primary vaccination but not received a booster. Health agencies continue to state that getting vaccinated including a booster remains the best defense against all COVID-19 variants.
COVID-19 Mitigation Protocols
We have implemented additional mitigation protocols on a temporary basis including limiting in-person events and increasing physical distancing in critical spaces such as dining venues.
Students who are fully vaccinated will be required to:
• Wear a face covering while indoors
• Complete the health screening survey if they develop COVID-19 symptoms or have a positive COVID-19 test result
Students who are not fully vaccinated will be required to:
• Complete a COVID-19 test before returning to campus for the spring semester
• Complete a minimum of weekly COVID-19 tests throughout the academic year at Huttig Chapel
• Complete a daily health screening survey
• Wear a face covering when indoors and outdoors when physical distance cannot be maintained
Testing, Contract Tracing, Quarantine and Isolation
Maryville will continue to offer COVID-19 testing and coordinate contact tracing through the Health and Wellness Office. We will also continue to follow CDC and St. Louis County guidelines for quarantine and isolation related to COVID-19 exposure and infection. To help support the uninterrupted academic success of students who are in quarantine and isolation, Maryville plans to continue to offer students the ability to join classes by Zoom during periods of quarantining and isolation as directed by the Health and Wellness Office.
Please don’t hesitate to contact your Dean or your supervisor should you have questions about our plans for the start of the spring semester.
Mark Lombardi, PhD