MU ALERT ISSUED

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources

 
 

Last updated: June 25, 2020


As we receive updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus Disease 2019, we want to keep you informed as well.
 
We encourage you to visit the CDC’s website for the most up-to-date information available. Ensuring that you are taking the right sanitary precautions is a very important step in the prevention of any flu-like illness. For this particular virus, washing your hands is of the upmost importance.
 
Another key resource is NAFSA’s (Association of International Educators) website, which provides details on critical updates, travel notices, and how international education is being affected.

If you have a question that is not addressed in the comprehensive information below, please call our COVID-19 hotline at 703-284-5782 or email covidhotline@marymount.edu.

CDC information and recommendations:

  • COVID-19 is present globally, and a pandemic has been declared by the World Health Organization’s (WHO).
  • The general population in the United States, which is unlikely to have been exposed at this time, is considered to have a low immediate risk. Currently, the goal is to contain the spread of the virus and the impact of the virus globally.
  • COVID-19 is a respiratory disease similar to influenza. Individuals should take everyday preventative measures and take antiviral medication if prescribed. However, there is currently no vaccine or treatment for the illness.
  • If you are ill, you are advised to stay home, avoid travel, and wear a mask when outside the home. Avoid taking ibuprofen products if you have COVID-19 symptoms, which can make the virus worse. It is best to take acetaminophen as directed.

Marymount plan:

  • Marymount is closely monitoring the course of COVID-19. Recommendations from the CDC, World Health Organization, and Virginia Department of Health are being implemented as received. We are also participating in weekly discussions with the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area in order to jointly monitor coronavirus developments on campuses throughout the region.
  • We are tailoring our existing communicable disease protocol to COVID-19 scenarios. This plan includes contingencies for single cases on campus, as well as a potential outbreak in the DMV area.
  • Regarding programming, our standing committee made the decision on March 6, 2020 to cancel all 2020 Global Classroom Programs and short-term faculty-led programs during Spring Break. Click here for a complete list of Travel Health Notices
  • On March 11, 2020, the University decided to extend Spring Break by two days and resume classes online-only on March 18. As of March 18, it was decided that all lecture and lab courses will be delivered online-only through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. For more information, please click here.
  • Also on March 18, it was decided that the traditional commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 2020 would be canceled in order to best protect the health and safety of the greater Marymount community. However, we are reaching out to graduating seniors to receive their input on how they would like to celebrate this milestone and their achievements at Marymount, whether through a postponed commencement to be held at a later date or a virtual commencement ceremony. More details are forthcoming.
  • Marymount has developed resources for faculty to assist with migrating their classes online. These resources can be found on our "Keep Teaching" page.
  • Marymount has also developed resources for students to help them be successful in a remote-learning environment. These resources can be found on our "Keep Learning" page.

Who to contact at Marymount:

  • Health Concerns: Please reach out to Student Health Services at 703-284-1610 or shealthc@marymount.edu.
  • Global Education/Study Abroad questions: Please reach out to Victor Betancourt at vbetanco@marymount.edu.  
  • International student travel concerns: Please reach out to Aline Orfali at aorfali@marymount.edu.
  • Media inquiries: ​Please direct any media concerns or questions to Communications Specialist Nick Munson at nmunson@marymount.edu
    • You can view a list of Marymount Community members with expertise related to the COVID-19 pandemic here.
  • Residence Life concerns (on Main Campus or at the Rixey): Please reach out to Susan Boyd in the Office of Student Living at sboyd@marymount.edu, 703-284-1608, or visit the Office in person at Berg 1001.
  • General COVID-19 questions: Please call our hotline at 703-284-5782, or email covidhotline@marymount.edu


Information for Study Abroad or traveling abroad:

For all current Marymount faculty or staff members traveling abroad on a University-sponsored trip, it is necessary to register your travel on the MU portal as soon as possible. 

Register Upcoming Travel 
 

 

COVID-19 Suspected and Confirmed Case Protocol

General Information

Answer
  • People with COVID-19 usually have mild to severe symptoms which can include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, or diarrhea. It can take 2-14 days for an individual to exhibit symptoms after being exposed.
  • Our procedures and priorities if someone tests positive for COVID-19 on campus are: (1) promoting the safety and well-being of the identified patient, (2) following up with anyone with whom they have come into contact, and (3) recommending self-isolation following the guidelines listed below (usually 10-14 days) to reduce the potential for additional spread. Per their management protocols, the Rixey will also alert building residents if one of their tenants has tested positive. Because the Rixey houses tenants including but not limited to MU students, our processes mirror those of other residential buildings. For students on the main campus, similar measures will be taken with notification about a positive COVID-19 case posted in the residence hall. Non-resident students of the Rixey and main campus housing should not be visiting those buildings.
  • Per Clery Act COVID-19 guidelines, MU cannot require any member of our community to disclose medical information. MU is committed to providing our community with information as it impacts community health and safety, while also safeguarding the privacy of community members.
  • Relevant on-campus entities, such as the residential facility and tenants, will be contacted about a positive case in their building.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or have tested positive:

Answer
  • Contact your health care provider to coordinate care. Let them know you are experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (or if you have tested positive) and if you have any other medical problems. Since there is a limited supply of tests and many false negatives, not everyone needs to be tested for the virus.
  • Refer to the VDH recommendations for “What to do if you have a confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?”  http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus/what-to-do-if-you-have-confirmed-or-suspected-coronavirus-disease-covid-19/
  • Do not go to work, school, or out in public places until cleared by a health care provider.
  • Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and remain isolated from others. Over-the-counter cold and flu medication might help alleviate some of the symptoms. Follow all usage and warning information on medication labels. 
  • Self-isolate for at least three full days after you no longer have a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) AND other symptoms are greatly improved AND at least seven days have passed since symptoms first started.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or have tested positive and reside on campus, live in the Rixey, or have visited campus in the past 14 days:

Answer
  • Students, please contact Student Health Services: shealthc@marymount.edu
  • Faculty/staff contact for Human Resources (HR): benefits@marymount.edu. *Please contact benefits@marymount.edu even if you have not been on campus in the past 14 days. HR would want to share eligibility information for leave options.*
  • If you are a contractor or temporary worker, please contact your supervisor and/or Marymount Sponsor.

Contact Tracing

Answer

Marymount University Contact Tracing Protocol

Rev 6/23/20

 

General Testing Guidelines

 

Contact tracing is an integral part of mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, all students, faculty staff, and contractors working on campus must report a positive COVID-19 test or if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to Student Health Services (SHS). This information is kept confidential with the exception of a single point of contact at SHS (mucovid19@marymount.edu), Human Resources (ppolson@marymount.edu) for staff and faculty, and Student Living and Engagement for residential students. The privacy of the individual is of utmost importance.

 

SHS is conducting contact tracing for individuals who have been on campus and come into close contact with a presumed/or confirmed positive case. SHS also shares with the community that an individual has been diagnosed, but provides no further details in accordance with HIPPA. Close contact is identified, per CDC recommendations, as 1) being within 6 feet of an individual with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes; (e.g. while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with an individual with COVID-19), note: MU is defining this even more narrowly as 10-minute contact, or 2) having direct contact with infectious secretions of an individual with COVID-19 (e.g. being coughed on). All individuals meeting criteria for COVID-19 must comply with reporting their symptoms and test results to SHS so mitigation of the spread can occur as fast as possible.

 

When someone on campus tests positive, an email is sent out to those currently living, learning, or working on campus to inform the community of a positive case. No personal information about the presumed/confirmed positive individual is disclosed to the public. 

 

Tracing and Testing Policies and Procedures -- Marymount Community

  1. Testing is available to students, staff, and faculty who meet criteria after an initial telehealth appointment with SHS. Employees are typically not seen at SHS, but contact tracing and testing are exceptions. SHS does not treat employee illnesses or injuries, and it is not a primary care facility for anyone. Employees receive symptom and post-testing instructions and appropriate recommendations for follow-up care with the employee's personal physician.

  2. SHS collects exposure data for tracing and, if necessary, order appropriate COVID-19 testing. By the start of the school year, testing (PCR or Serology) will be available to students, staff, and faculty. Note that SHS will not conduct any testing for employees as a blanket screening method.

  3. All test results, whether positive or negative, will be reported to the tested individual who can then request that the results be shared with the personal physician. Positive test results are reported to the Arlington County Public Health Department.

  4. Contractors and campus visitors who are symptomatic, have received a positive COVID-19 test, or who have been exposed to someone testing positive to COVID-19 or is presumed to be positive should contact SHS for a telehealth appointment for the purpose of contact tracing. These individuals are not eligible for testing or any other services from SHS but it is important to identify people on campus who interacted with the contractor or campus visitor to slow any possible spread.

  5. We share each positive test result, regardless of who ordered the test and where the testing occurred, with the Marymount community to comply with the law, but the individual's name and personal health information is not disclosed. ​

As outlined in the Saints Re-unite publication, contact tracing will be performed by Student Health Services (SHS) according to CDC guidelines in conjunction with Arlington County Public Health Department (ACPHD). ACPHD will also be performing contact tracing in regard to positive cases that were tested in Arlington County.  SHS is required to notify ACPHD of any positive cases diagnosed through our department.  If a patient is tested in a different county, that county will perform the contact tracing.  First and foremost, the individual that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 must be guaranteed that their identity is kept confidential.  At this time, there is no recommendation by the CDC or VHD to release the locations the individual visited .  If the recommendations from the CDC change we will make adjustments as needed. 

SHS will provide contact tracing for any student, faculty, or staff that test positive regardless of their county of residence or location of testing.  All staff members of the SHS have taken a course offered by Coursera and John Hopkins on contact tracing.  At this point in time we are planning on manual tracing, but programs are being developed to assist with tracing, Carl and I are in frequent communication.  I will be the point of contact for the tracing as well as the case manager as we initiate the return to campus plan.  We do rely on the individual's recollection of individuals that they may have been in contact, if there is any question about contact, ACPHD will be consulted. 

We are working with Human Resources to establish an email for individuals to report positive tests, if they are not tested through SHS.  Contact tracing will be performed per CDC guidelines, and individuals that have been in close contact (<6ft for >10 minutes, with or without a mask), will be instructed to self-quarantine. Only Individuals affiliated with the University will be notified if they are considered a close contact.  Residential students, that are considered close contacts, will be relocated to the designated quarantine areas set aside by the Office of Student Living. Otherwise instructions will be given on how to self-quarantine.  Daily check-ins by SHS will occur with all close contacts in order to monitor if symptoms are developing.  If the individual does develop symptoms testing will be ordered.  SHS does have a plan in place if more bodies are needed to do contact tracing, but at this time I am hoping that plan will not need to be activated.

Arlington County Public Health Department will be performing the epidemiological surveillance with information provided by me about the situation on campus.  If the university needs to close that decision will be made by the Cabinet after the recommendation from ACPHD, again I am hoping that we do not get to that point.

Our goal is to be transparent to the Marymount community when we learn of a positive COVID-19 case, but at the same time we don't want to cause panic.
It is important to remember, the best way to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 is to wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay home if you are sick.  It is a requirement to wear a mask when on Marymount campus (therefore reducing the risk of transmission).

If you know of a staff/faculty member that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (whether by test or clinical diagnosis, please encourage them to contact the COVID-19 case manager at mucovid19@marymount.edu.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have further questions.
 


Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19?

Answer
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before. It was initially transmitted from animals to humans, and is now spreading through human-to-human transmission. It was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in late December 2019, and it has caused an outbreak of pneumonia illnesses.

Since then, cases of COVID-19 have been identified globally, including in the United States.  The number of cases continues to grow daily. In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic.

COVID-19 is a public health concern because:
  • It is newly identified, and there is not a lot known about it.
  • There are two other human coronaviruses (SARS-CoV and MERS-Cov) which have caused severe illnesses in the past few years.

What is the risk?

Answer
The CDC considers this virus a new public health concern based on the current available information.

Currently in the U.S., the immediate health risk to those who have not been exposed is considered low. However, COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the risk assessment may change.

It is important to monitor the CDC website to learn of any updates on the change in risk status.

What are the symptoms?

Answer
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and may be flu-like:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • GI disturbances
  • Sore throat

How is it transmitted?

Answer
As more cases in the U.S. are identified, it is more likely that human-to-human transmission is occurring. Currently, transmission occurs through respiratory droplets (coughing and sneezing), which can also live on surfaces.

What if you are traveling?

Answer
The CDC and U.S. State Department have issued travel guidance to countries related to COVID-19. It is important to check the CDC website (www.CDC.gov) regularly to monitor for changes. 

If you are traveling as part of a Marymount University-sponsored trip, please be sure to sign up on the International Travel Registration website. (Marymount-travel.terradotta.com)

If you have traveled outside of the U.S., you may undergo a screening for COVID-19 when you return. This is occurring at larger airports at this time.

How do I prevent getting sick?

Answer
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent this virus. Therefore, the CDC recommends avoiding exposure to the virus.

Here are some ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people and notify SHS for evaluation and guidance if you have had contact with an individual that has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • The Commonwealth of Virginia requires wearing a mask when inside a building if social distancing (6 feet apart) cannot be practiced.
If you are a student and you have a fever and flu-like symptoms, it is important that you notify Student Health Services. Please make an appointment for evaluation so we can provide you with the appropriate protective equipment as you come into the clinic.

What is MU's Student Health Services (SHS) doing about COVID-19?

Answer
SHS is working as part of a university committee regarding COVID-19. SHS is also working with the Arlington County Public Health Department, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. We are closely monitoring the CDC, WHO, VDH, and Arlington County websites for guidance. We recommend that you frequently check the CDC website (www.CDC.gov) if you have questions. SHS is also available to answer your questions at 703-284-1610.

What if I am a faculty or staff member with more questions?

Answer
If you are employed by Marymount University and have questions related to how COVID-19 will impact you, you are encouraged to reach out to your HR representative.

Marymount facilities and operations information

Answer
Communications with details and information about housing and parking policies

Are residence halls still open?

Answer
Yes. While we encourage students to stay home if possible during this temporary period, our residence halls and dining services are open.

Are family and friends from outside Marymount allowed in my dorm room?

Answer
Out of an abundance of caution, we will be restricting non-Marymount student guests in our halls. You may not have any non-Marymount guests, friends or family visit you in your residence hall. This is for your safety, as well as the safety of the entire community.

Will I receive a refund for housing or parking costs?

Answer
In light of our recent request for Marymount students to leave main campus housing if possible, we have been working on a plan to appropriately address questions about credits or refunds for housing and dining. Our pivot to online learning for the remainder of the semester also means that many students will no longer need their MU Student Parking Permit.
 
To communicate more information related to these plans, the Division of Financial Affairs sent email announcements to affected students with more details. For more detailed information, you can read those communications here:
 

Cares Act Information for students

What is the CARES Act?

Answer

On March 27, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) was passed into law. CARES is aimed at providing stimulus to the economy through relief to individuals and businesses, forbearance to those who had taken federal student loans and provides incentives to encourage philanthropic giving in 2020.

Learn More

Who is eligible and what action do they need to take?

Answer

Under the CARES Act, emergency funds are available to students who are currently enrolled in a degree program and who must be a U.S citizen or national, a permanent resident, or an eligible noncitizen. In addition, graduating students are not eligible for these emergency funds. Eligible students must have a completed FAFSA to obtain aid. 
 
Eligible students who have completed a FAFSA for the 2019-2020 academic year do not need to take any action to receive their CARES Act emergency funds.
 
However, eligible students who have not submitted a FAFSA should do so by Wednesday, May 20 in order to be considered for CARES Act emergency funds.  To complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA, go to www.fafsa.ed.gov
 
Eligible students should verify that their address on file at Marymount is up-to-date and accurate.

Can students receive any assistance if not eligible under the CARES Act?

Answer

The CARES Act emergency funds are available to students who are currently enrolled in a degree program and who must be a U.S citizen or national, a permanent resident, or an eligible noncitizen.  Unfortunately, international students, DACA students, non-documented immigrants, and graduating seniors are not eligible under the CARES Act.  However, Marymount has established separate funding opportunities for students not eligible under the CARES Act but who have been impacted by COVID-19.  Marymount is working to assist those who fall into this ineligibility category.  More details will be forthcoming, but at this time, there is no action that is required on your part if you are ineligible under the CARES Act.    

What if you previously submitted an Emergency Tuition Assistance application?

Answer

Due to the receipt of the CARES Act emergency funds, the Emergency Tuition Assistance has been discontinued.   If you submitted an application for Emergency Tuition Assistance, your circumstances have been taken into consideration when dispensing the CARES Act emergency funds.   If eligible, you can receive emergency funding under the CARES Act as explained below.

If you previously submitted an Emergency Tuition Assistance application,

  • If you are eligible under the CARES Act and you completed a FAFSA for the 2019-2020 academic year, you do not need to take any action to receive their CARES Act emergency funds

  • If you are eligible under the CARES Act and you have not submitted a FAFSA, you should do so by Wednesday, May 20 in order to be considered for CARES Act funds.  

  • If you are not eligible under the CARES Act; Marymount is working to assist those who fall into this ineligibility category.  More details will be forthcoming, but at this time, there is no action that is required on your part. 

Eligible students should verify that their address on file at Marymount is up-to-date and accurate.

Please note as indicated above, by accepting these funds, students agree to use them toward expenses related to the disruption of Marymount campus operations due to coronavirus (e.g. food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).

What is Marymount doing with CARES Act funds?

Answer

Marymount University is the recipient of $1,037,469 in federal funds through the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) for student relief under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES). These federal funds provide direct assistance for students in the form of emergency relief funds for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis. The relief funds can be used for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.

 

On April 10, 2020, Marymount University signed the Certification and Agreement Form for this award, and uploaded it to the Grants.gov portal on April 11, 2020. Marymount intends to use 100 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency relief to eligible students.

 

Based upon the current eligibility requirements under the CARES Act, Marymount estimates that there are approximately 2,322 students eligible for assistance. The emergency relief funds have not yet been distributed to eligible students, but Marymount will begin disbursing the relief funds at the end of May 2020.

 

Marymount will utilize the needs-level approach to provide relief funding to all eligible students as recently defined by the CARES Act. All students were notified on May 8, 2020 via email about the eligibility requirements, purpose of the aid and other pertinent information concerning these funds.



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