Student COVID-19 Protocols

All students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) no longer considers college residence halls as high-risk areas because this age group is unlikely to get severe COVID if vaccinated.

The policy and protocols are subject to change, any changes will be updated on this site and communicated directly to students as soon as possible.

When a Student Tests Positive for COVID

When a student tests positive for COVID through a home test or from a third party testing site, they should immediately begin isolation in place and notify Health Services within 2 days of your positive test using the Positive COVID Test Form.

You should not expect an immediate response from the Positive COVID Test form. If you indicated that you need to speak with College Health Services (CHS), you can expect a call within one day (unless reporting on the weekend, in which case a Clinician will contact you on the Monday following your submission). If you did not indicate that you needed to speak to Health Services at the time of your submission, Health Services will schedule a phone appointment with you on Day 5 (or 6) following the date of your positive test. You must remain in isolation until cleared by a CHS Clinical Staff Member.

After testing positive for COVID, there is no need to repeat your rapid antigen COVID test. Those test results do not impact the decision regarding the duration of isolation, nor when you are safe to end the "heightened safety precautions" protocols. We encourage students to save the rapid tests for when they are useful in guiding medical and public health actions needed for those who are ill.

  • Isolation Time Frame

    Because the infectious period lasts for up to 10 days following infection, students who test positive will be required to follow a minimum of 10 day isolation protocol. This is typically 5 days of isolation-in-place (days 0-5) followed by another 5 days of heightened safety precautions (days 6-10).

    • Day 0 = date of positive test result
    • Day 6 = earliest possible day of discharge from isolation
    • Day 11 = earliest possible day to end isolation protocol (isolation &/or heightened safety precautions).
    • In some cases, a student may need to isolate longer; rarely would a student need to be required to follow an isolation protocol longer than 10 days.

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    Health Services will make the determination for each individual student’s isolation protocol timeline. Students may NOT shift from isolating to following heightened safety precautions until cleared to do so by a Health Services clinician.

    Health Services will respond to initial reports of a positive COVID test the same day, or if after hours, by the next business day. They will also schedule a phone/virtual appointment on day 5 to assess the appropriateness of discharging from isolating to completing the isolation protocol following heightened safety precautions.

Off-Campus Students Isolation Protocol

When an off-campus student tests positive for COVID, you must follow the isolation protocols for off-campus students. If you have any urgent medical concerns such as shortness of breath, please contact Health Services via phone at 413-538-2121 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm). After hours, the On-Call Clinician can be reached by calling 413-538-2242 and following the prompts. If you have your own off campus medical provider, you may also reach out to that office for clinical needs. For medical emergencies, call 911 or go to a local emergency room.

In general, we recommend following the CDC guidance for isolating at home, with the exception of counting the isolation time frame. MHC uses the date the positive test was collected as day 0, even if you had some symptoms prior. You may not come to campus or attend classes until you are “cleared” by Health Services to end strict isolation and shift to heightened safety precautions to complete the isolation protocol.

Residential Students Isolation Protocol

When a residential student tests positive for COVID, you should immediately begin isolating and notify Health Services within 2 days of your positive test using the Positive COVID Test Form. You must remain in isolation until cleared by a Health Services Clinical Staff Member.

If you have any urgent medical concerns such as shortness of breath, please contact Health Services via phone at 413-538-2121 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm). After hours, the On-Call Clinician can be reached by calling 413-538-2242 and following the prompts. You may also message our triage nurse via theMyHealthConnection portalfor a response within 2 business days. For medical emergencies, call Public Safety & Service at 413-538-2304 (or 1-911 from a campus phone), or go to a local emergency room.

Starting Monday, November 28 residential students will have additional options for isolation:

  • Students whose roommate is currently COVID positive or has tested positive in the last 30 days will continue to isolate-in-place.
  • Student with roommate(s), who do not meet the bullet point above, will have the option to:Isolate-in-place with express permission from your roommate(s). All roommates must agree to this.
    • (1) Isolate-in-place with express permission from your roommate(s). All roommates must agree to this.
    • (2) Move to College provided isolation housing. See below for additional details about isolation housing.
    • (3) Isolate off campus if you have access to private transportation to get to your destination.
  • All residential students who test positive for COVID may opt to isolate themselves at home or off campus, provided they can travel there by private vehicle (do not use public transportation).

Please know that anytime there is a College break – such as the December break or spring break – all residential students will follow the isolate-in-place protocols.

ISOLATE-IN-PLACE PROTOCOLS FOR RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS:

You must remain in your own assigned residence hall room until you are cleared by Health Services staff to be discharged from isolating-in-place. Please follow emergency procedures should the residence hall experience an emergency. For the full isolate-in-place protocol.

  • During isolation you may only leave your room to pick up meals and to use the bathroom.
  • You must wear a KN95 mask (or better quality mask) every time you leave your room.
  • If you have a roommate, we encourage you to wear your mask when you are not sleeping but your roommate is present. Please discuss this with your roommate(s) ahead of time, as you are discussing your Roommate Agreement at the start of the semester, what your plan will be.
  • No one – other than any assigned roommate(s) – is permitted to enter your room or visit for the 10 days following your positive test. This applies even if your isolation-in-place period ends prior to day 11.

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RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS MOVING TO ISOLATION HOUSING:

If you are a residential student with one or more roommate(s) and you tested positive for COVID, you must move to MHC isolation housing UNLESS one of the following applies:

  • Your roommate is currently COVID-positive or has tested positive and recovered from COVID within the past 30 days
  • Your roommate submits this Acknowledgment of COVID-Positive Roommate form allowing you to remain in your residence hall room to isolate-in-place. If you have more than one roommate, each one must submit their own form, otherwise, you will need to move to College isolation housing
  • You made plans to isolate at home or somewhere else off campus and you have private transportation to get there - you cannot take public transportation

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Moves to isolation housing will only take place between the hours of 9am-8pm. The isolation housing protocols are outlined below. You must remain in your assigned isolation house and room until you are cleared by College Health Services staff to be discharged from strict isolation. Please evacuate the house immediately in the event of a fire or any other emergency and call Public Safety and Service 413-538-2304.

  • The Q&I Coordinator will be in contact with you to inform you of your isolation housing assignment location and instructions
  • Follow the ‘Meals During Isolation” instructions below
  • During strict isolation you may leave isolation housing to pick up your deliveries and go outside to get fresh air - you cannot interact in-person with others or enter any buildings, except your residence hall room very briefly as detailed below
  • You will be permitted to return to your residence hall room for very brief periods (no more than 15 minutes) to retrieve personal items that you forgot - you must wear your KN95 at all times and notify your roommate in advance
  • You must wear a KN95 mask (or better quality mask) every time you leave your room (except when in the bathroom) - this includes when you are outdoors
  • No one – other than any other student(s) currently assigned to the isolation house - is permitted to enter
  • You cannot have guests and you cannot switch places with anyone - this temporary isolation housing assignment is for you only
  • There will be times when Facilities Management must enter the house for cleaning, service and maintenance work - you will be notified and you must remain in your room with your door closed during those times
  • You cannot move back into your residence hall until you’re cleared by College Health Services
  • You must vacate the house before 11:00AM on your Day 6 or whatever day Health Services has cleared you to leave
  • Before you leave to return to your residence hall, you must bag all of your trash, tie the bag and place it in the outdoor trash barrel
  • KN95 Masks and Cold Care Kits

    If you need a KN95 mask or a cold care kit, they will be available via outdoor pickup at the Dining Commons. Email your request to qimeals-g@mtholyoke.edu and wait for confirmation that it was received. You will be able to pick up your items outside the Dining Commons - DO NOT ENTER. Please come to the exterior side door before the entrance into the Dining Commons, remain outside and call the Cashier Station at 413-538-3090. We will bring your items out to you. Again, call upon arrival to the exterior side door - DO NOT ENTER THE DINING COMMONS.

  • Use of Residential Hall Bathrooms

    You may use the toilets and sinks in communal bathrooms at any time, while masked with a KN95.

    You may use your floor’s bathroom(s) for unmasked activities during designated times only, which are posted on the bathroom door.

    • This applies to communal bathrooms.
    • Unmasked activities include showering, face washing, brushing your teeth.
    • Designated time slots are posted outside each bathroom and alternate on every floor.
    • Cleaning supplies will be stocked in every bathroom for you to wipe down after any unmasked use.

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    You must wipe down all used bathroom surfaces after unmasked use in both single user and communal bathrooms.

    • Cleaning supplies are in the bathroom.
    • Email your Area Coordinator if bathroom cleaning supplies need to be restocked.
      • Kelly Bernatzky: 1837, Abbey, Buckland, Creighton, MacGregor, and Ham
      • Mae Inge: Mead, Porter, Prospect, Rockefeller, and Wilder
      • Sarah Garijo-Garde: Brigham, Dickinson, Mandelle, Pearsons, Pearsons Annex, Safford, and Torrey
  • Meals During Isolation

    Starting Monday, November 28:

    Students in isolation will order all of their meals through DoorDash for the duration of their strict isolation period (Days 0-5), unless College Health Services determines that they must remain in strict isolation for a longer time.

    • The Q&I Coordinator will add you to the College account and you will receive an email from ‘DoorDash for Work’ with a link through which you should order all of your meals.
    • You must access the MHC DoorDash isolation meals account link from your computer - not your phone or mobile app. If you have questions, email the Q&I Coordinator on duty (9am-8pm): covidhousing-g@mtholyoke.edu.
    • If you have questions, email the Q&I Coordinator on duty (9am-8pm): covidhousing-g@mtholyoke.edu.

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    Students with food accommodations that cannot be met through DoorDash options may get their meals from Dining Services by emailing their order (select from the Dining Services Menu) to qimeals-g@mtholyoke.edu.

    • Please use the detailed subject line "Isolation Meal Food Accommodation for (list your name)". You will need to email twice per day to order each meal - please indicate which station each item is from (i.e. xxx from Classics, xxx from L’Chaim - Kosher, etc.). Dining Services will pack your meal and you will go receive it via outdoor pickup at the Dining Commons - DO NOT ENTER. Please come to the exterior side door before the entrance into the Dining Commons, remain outside and call the Cashier Station at 413-538-3090. We will bring your food out to you. Again, call upon arrival to the exterior side door - DO NOT ENTER THE DINING COMMONS.
    • You will need to email twice per day to order each meal - please indicate which station each item is from (i.e. xxx from Classics, xxx from L’Chaim - Kosher, etc.). Dining Services will pack your meal and you will go receive it via outdoor pickup at the Dining Commons - DO NOT ENTER. Please come to the exterior side door before the entrance into the Dining Commons, remain outside and call the Cashier Station at 413-538-3090. We will bring your food out to you. Again, call upon arrival to the exterior side door - DO NOT ENTER THE DINING COMMONS.
    • Dining Services will pack your meal and you will go receive it via outdoor pickup at the Dining Commons - DO NOT ENTER. Please come to the exterior side door before the entrance into the Dining Commons, remain outside and call the Cashier Station at 413-538-3090. We will bring your food out to you. Again, call upon arrival to the exterior side door - DO NOT ENTER THE DINING COMMONS.
    • Lunch order must be placed by 10:00 AM daily and can be picked up at 12:00PM - (pickup timeframe is 12:00PM-2:00PM only)
    • Dinner order must be placed by 3:00 PM daily and can be picked up at 5:30PM - (pickup timeframe is 5:30PM-7:30PM only)
    • Please be sure to include non perishable breakfast items when you are ordering either your lunch or dinner. DIning Q&I meals are NOT be available for breakfast.
    • If you are unable to pick up your meal, identify a friend to be your “meal buddy”and have them pick your food up for you. Order your food as detailed above and your Meal Buddy can pick it up from the Dining Services Cashier during the designated times listed above. Those with food accommodations who are unable to use the 'Meal Buddy' system should email covidhousing-g@mtholyoke.edu for alternative arrangements.
  • Academics During Isolation

    During your isolation-in-place period, you may not attend class.

    • Please reach out to your professors directly to get assignments, notes, etc. during your absence. If you have difficulty, notify your Academic Dean to help support you in getting class materials.
      • Academic Dean's Office: 413-538-3610 oracademic-deans@mtholyoke.edu
      • Kim Parent – Assistant Dean of Studies and Class Dean for New Students
      • Alison Hopkins - Assistant Dean of Studies and Class Dean for Sophomores & Juniors
      • Amy Rodgers –  Class Dean for the Seniors
    • As your health allows, we encourage you to do some academic work while you are following isolation protocols. If you are too ill to keep up, please be proactive in sharing this with your professors and or Academic Dean. They can help coordinate a plan to stay as up to date as possible, and adjust deadlines as appropriate.
  • Mail During Isolation

    Because the infectious period lasts for up to 10 days following infection, students who test positive will be required to follow a minimum of 10 day isolation protocol. This is typically 5 days of isolation-in-place (days 0-5) followed by another 5 days of heightened safety precautions (days 6-10).

    If you need your mail picked up, use the buddy system – identify a friend or a residence hall mate who can pick up your mail and drop it outside of your door.

    You must email mailandcopycenter@mtholyoke.edu to inform them of the name of the student that you are authorizing to pick up your mail; include your mailbox number in the email. Please note that these requests take time to process and we take mail security seriously. Your Mail Buddy should not attempt to pick up your mail until they receive a new package pickup notice from the Mail & Copy Center.

    If you cannot identify someone to assist you, email covidhousing-g@mtholyoke.edu and a staff member will help you make arrangements.

Heightened Safety Protocols Once Approved to Exit Isolation

If you are discharged from isolation by Health Services prior to the full 10 days of infection risk you will be required to follow the College’s heightened safety precautions to complete your 10 day isolation protocol. You must:

If you are discharged from isolation by Health Services prior to the full 10 days of infection risk, you will be required to follow the College’s heightened safety precautions to complete your 10 day isolation protocol. You must adhere to the following:

  • Wear a KN95 mask at all times when outside your own private space.
  • Residential students will no longer get meals from DoorDash. You can enter the main Dining Commons to get to-go food. You MUST get to-go food and continue to eat alone in a private room with a closed door. You cannot eat in common spaces or the Dining Commons until your Day 11.
  • You can not participate in congregate or group exercise. This means you can take walks or jog outside but should not exercise at Kendall, and cannot participate in team sport activities or PE classes until day 11 following your positive test.
  • Avoid travel, except to attend 5 College classes or health related appointments.

You may attend classes, group activities or 1:1 meetings (except for sport/singing activities as noted above and any specific classes listed in the ‘release from strict isolation’ notice that Health Services sent you). Remember to wear your KN95 mask and, whenever possible, arrange to physically distance yourself from others.

After the full 10 days following your positive COVID test, you may resume MHC’s current health & safety behavioral expectations on day 11.

Asymptomatic testing of any kind is not recommended in the weeks following a positive COVID-19 test. It is possible to continue testing positive for several weeks on an antigen test and up to 90 days on a PCR test. If you have questions about whether you have a new COVID-19 infection or any other medical concerns, contact College Health Services.