Fall 2021 Return to Campus
Mercy College is eagerly preparing for in-person learning and on-campus activities for the fall term and we need your participation to ensure this transition is a success.
Ready to Take UR Shot? It's Easy!
All students who will be on campus or engage in any level of in-person instruction or activity for the fall 2021 term will be required to submit records of their COVID-19 vaccination through the College's health records management system.
Upload proof of your vaccination to the Mercy student health portal
- Once you log in to the system find the COVID-19 Vaccine Intake Questionnaire
- Submit your records (name of vaccine and date of doses)
Vaccine Record Submission Deadlines
Residential Students and Student Athletes
Must submit proof of vaccination, or request an exemption by August 1, 2021.
Commuter Students (not living on-campus):
Must submit proof of vaccination, or request an exemption by August 15, 2021.
Exemptions, Accommodations & Waivers
Students may seek a medical or religious exemption, and reasonable accommodations will be provided in accordance with College Policy.
Fully online students taking 100% of their courses online and who do not plan to come to campus or participate in any on or off-campus College sponsored event for any purpose may be eligible for a waiver.
Please contact the Office of ACCESSibility (firstname.lastname@example.org / (914) 674-7764) to lean more regarding applying for an exemption, accommodation or waiver.
Get Vaccinated and You Could Win!
Just submit your COVID-19 Vaccine Intake Questionnaire and you could win one of dozens of cool prizes! Like an indoor skydiving experience, NYC helicopter ride or be president of Mercy for a day!*
*Students will be eligible for raffle opportunities if they are in compliance with the College’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Students are in compliance if they have successfully uploaded their proof of vaccination through the College’s Health Records Management System or, through the Office of ACCESSibility, been granted a medical or religious exemption, or been granted a waiver for 100% online students who will not be coming to campus. The earlier students are in compliance with the College’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, the greater their chances of winning. Students will be responsible for any applicable taxes on prizes.
Summer/Fall 2021 Mask Policy
The College will continue to evaluate and adjust these guidelines as necessary based on the evolving guidance being issued by the CDC and New York State.
|Outdoors||Masks are not required when outdoors|
|Indoor Common Spaces||Masks are required indoors when in common spaces such as hallways, bathrooms, elevators, cafeteria lines, bookstores, and libraries, as well as in the fitness center, health office or counseling office.|
|Classrooms & Labs||Masks are required by faculty and students in all classrooms and labs, regardless of vaccination status|
|Visitors to Offices or Cubicles||Masks are required when you visit someone’s office or cubicle. Masks can only be removed if both individuals are vaccinated and give consent to not wearing a mask. While you can ask someone whether they are vaccinated, it is against the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to ask an individual why they are not vaccinated; if uncertain of vaccination status, continue to wear your mask.|
|Meeting Rooms||Masks are required during group meetings, regardless of vaccination status.|
Fall 2021 Vaccine Policy
Q: Do students need to be vaccinated to attend in-person classes?
A: Yes. All students who will be on campus or engage in any level of in-person instruction or activity for the fall 2021 term will be required to submit records of their COVID vaccination through the College's health records management system.
Q: How do I upload my vaccination information?
A: Go to the College's health records management system to upload your vaccination status. Find the COVID-19 Vaccine Intake Questionnaire. Submit your records (the name of the vaccine and the dates of doses).
Q: Must I be vaccinated if I am taking only online courses?
A: Fully online students taking 100% of their courses online and who do not plan to come to campus or participate in any on or off-campus College sponsored event for any purpose are eligible for a waiver.
Q: How can I learn more about exemptions, accommodations and waivers?
A: Students may seek a medical or religious exemption, or a fully distance learning waiver, and reasonable accommodations will be provided in accordance with College Policy. Please contact the Office of ACCESSibility (email@example.com / (914) 674-7764) to learn more regarding applying for an exemption, accommodation or waiver.
Q: Do faculty and staff need to be vaccinated to work on campus?
A: Faculty and staff who will be on campus are strongly encouraged to submit proof of their COVID vaccination or confirm that they have chosen to decline the COVID-19 vaccine. Documentation can be uploaded through the College’s health records management system. Faculty, staff and students who remain unvaccinated may be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing and may be subject to other limits based on infection rates on campus.
Q: Why are students mandated to be vaccinated and faculty and staff only encouraged to do so?
A: There are very different legal thresholds for mandating vaccines for students and employees. For employees, the College must provide an individualized assessment to establish whether an employee who is not vaccinated poses a direct threat, that cannot be accommodated without an undue hardship. If an employee refuses to provide proof of vaccination, the College cannot terminate the employee without further consideration of the employee’s legal protections or other possible accommodation, including whether the employee can perform their job remotely.
Unlike the employment context, currently there is no federal guidance on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations at the college and university level. There is the well-established practice of colleges and universities mandating vaccinations for other diseases, and the Supreme Court upheld such mandates in the K-12 context.
Fall 2021 Face Mask Policy
Q: Are masks still required on campus?
A: Yes, face masks must be worn by all students, faculty and staff in the following situations:
- Outdoors: Masks are not required when outdoors regardless of vaccination status.
- Indoor Common Spaces: Masks are required for all individuals indoors when in common spaces such as hallways, bathrooms, elevators, cafeteria lines, bookstores and in libraries, as well as in the fitness center, health office or counseling office.
- Classrooms: At this time, masks are required by faculty and students in all classrooms, regardless of vaccination status.
- Offices: Masks are not required for those who work in individual offices. In shared offices, masks are not required for vaccinated individuals who are seated at their own desk. If all employees in an office are vaccinated, they may agree to not wear masks while moving about the office.
- Visitors to offices or cubicles, including students: Masks are required when an individual visits someone’s office or cubicle. Masks can only be removed if both individuals are vaccinated and give consent to not wearing a mask. While you can ask someone whether they are vaccinated, it is against the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ask an individual why they are not vaccinated; if uncertain of vaccination status, continue to wear your mask.
- Meeting rooms: Masks are required during group meetings regardless of vaccination status.
Q: What face coverings are acceptable?
A: Acceptable face coverings include: Mercy-issued cloth face coverings or other cloth face coverings (e.g., homemade sewn, quick cut), surgical masks, N95 respirators, and face shields. Bandanas, neck fleeces and valve masks are not considered acceptable face coverings. Individuals with disabilities may request an accommodation to the face mask requirement.
Fall 2021 Course Modalities
Q: What are the course modalities for the fall 2021 term?
A: We will continue to monitor trends in Fall registration to make sure we keep our offerings aligned with the need for courses in different modalities. Courses that are operating in-person, on campus will not include an option for students to participate remotely.
- Blended Learning: Live class held at a scheduled time each week that meets together on campus some weeks and online some weeks, as directed by the instructor.
- In-Person On-Campus: In-person learning with safety measures in place on campus.
- In-Person Off-Campus: In-person learning with safety measures in place off campus.
- Distance Learning - Synced: Live, online-only class held at a set time.
- Distance Learning - Not Synced: Online-only class without set meeting times.
- Distance Learning - Hybrid: Fully online class with a portion of the class held live at set meeting times. The other portion of the class is completed online, per the syllabus requirements.
Q: Will in-person courses include a remote option for students?
A: No, courses that are operating in-person, on campus will not include an option for students to participate remotely.
Q: If I cannot attend an in-person class during one session, can my professor enable Zoom so I can attend remotely?
A: Students who cannot attend a class session should reach out to their faculty member to make arrangements about missed assignments. Generally, in-person classes will operate without remote options.
Self-Health Screenings and COVID-19 Testing
Q: Do I still need to complete the Mavericks Safe app every day?
A: You are no longer required to complete the daily screening in the Mavericks Safe App, but you may use it as a tool to facilitate your screening assessment. All individuals are expected to conduct a self-health screening prior to coming to campus. Self-screening involves confirming that you (1) have no new or worsening signs or symptoms of COVID-19, (2) have not tested positive on a COVID-19 diagnostic test in the past 10 days, and (3) have not been in close contact with anyone while they had COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Q: Will Mercy be conducting COVID-19 testing during the fall 2021 term?
A: Unvaccinated employees will be subject to required on-campus COVID-19 testing. Sanctions will apply to those who fail to participate.
Q: Will vaccinated individuals be able to obtain a COVID-19 test on campus?
A: Decisions about surveillance testing of vaccinated individuals will depend on infection rates in the community and access to testing resources. COVID-19 tests remain widely available at local pharmacies and clinics. Due to limited resources, we cannot accommodate individuals who wish to take a test without an invitation.
Confirmed Cases on Campus
Q: Will Mercy College communicate about future confirmed cases of coronavirus?
A: Mercy will communicate with close contacts if they have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19. A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period.
Q: Can you provide more details on any confirmed cases of coronavirus on campus?
A: Mercy College cannot comment on personnel matters and is obligated under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) rules to keep student records and information private. If you are aware of the identities of confirmed cases, please respect their privacy as they focus on their health.
Q: What should I do if I have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
A: If exposed to a confirmed case, vaccinated Mercy employees should contact the Office of Human Resources about whether they should come to work and Mercy students should contact the Health Office about whether they should come to campus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website provides helpful information on facts and guidance about exposure.
Q: Who needs to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19?
A: Vaccinated individuals who test positive should stay off campus until the end of their isolation period. Unvaccinated individuals who test positive or are exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 should stay off campus for the duration of their quarantine or isolation period.
Consistent with the most recent CDC recommendations, vaccinated individuals who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 should continue to wear a mask and get tested within 3-5 days of their exposure. If exposed to a confirmed case, vaccinated Mercy employees should contact the Office of Human Resources and vaccinated Mercy students should contact the Health Office about whether to come to campus. In certain circumstances, the College may recommend an employee work remotely temporarily if practicable with job responsibilities.
The College will communicate with individuals who we learn were in close contact – within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes within two days of illness onset – with confirmed cases on campus.
Q: What counts as close contact?
A: A close contact is someone who has COVID-19 and with whom you were within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period.
Q: How should I protect myself?
A: The CDC recommends taking every day preventative actions to help stop the spread of germs including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
Q: What do I do if I feel sick?
A: Mercy students should contact the Health Office on the Dobbs Ferry Campus at (914) 674-7255. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care provider
Q: What if I am experiencing increased anxiety or stress related to concerns about COVID-19?
A: The following resources are available:
- The Student Counseling Center is offering all appointments through the virtual platform, Doxy.me. To schedule an appointment, please email CounselingCenter@mercy.edu. For more information, visit the Counseling Center webpage here.
- Faculty and Staff have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a resource available to all employees, providing no-cost counseling service to help address stress and other personal issues you and your family may face. The EAP can be reached 24 hours a day and 7 days a week at 800-327-1850 or https://www.guidanceresources.com.
Q: If I am feeling sick, do I need to take a sick day?
A: As always, employees are encouraged to use sick leave when feeling sick. In some cases, individuals may qualify for NYS Quarantine Leave. For more information about updated College leave policies, click here.
Q: How often will classrooms be cleaned?
A: Our cleaning providers will disinfect and detail classrooms daily. For additional cleaning, materials will be available for faculty, staff, and students who wish to wipe down their individual tables, chairs, and computer equipment as an additional precaution.
Q: Will Mercy be doing increased cleaning of high-touch areas?
A: Mercy has increased the number of cleaning staff and will be increasing rotations for cleaning campuses and locations. In addition, the College has “high touch cleaning” staff to focus on highly used areas. This includes doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, and other frequently touched items. All Mercy shuttles will be wiped down after every trip and receive enhanced cleaning at the end of each day.
Q: Will Mercy provide cleaning supplies for individuals to clean their own spaces?
A: Yes, the College understands that many people will be more comfortable cleaning their workstations themselves prior to use and will be making the proper cleaning supplies available.
Q: Are the residence halls open?
A: Yes, Mercy’s residence halls are open for the fall. For general housing questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about fall registration, please contact your PACT mentor or email@example.com.
Q: What is Mercy doing to ensure its facilities are receiving the proper cleaning and disinfection protocol?
A: In accordance with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mercy College Facilities and Operations Team has hired additional personnel to provide increased frequency of cleaning on high-contact surfaces including but not limited to doorknobs, light switches, countertops, elevator buttons, computer and podium keyboards, and vending machines with an enhanced viral disinfectant.
Events, Gatherings and Visitors
Q: Are in-person events and gatherings permitted in the fall?
A: The College reserves the right to limit what events and gatherings will take place on campus, and off-campus at College-related events, as well as numbers permitted in any particular gathering. The College’s policy will continue to adhere to any local, state and federal COVID-19 laws/ordinances, including strict adherence to guidelines relating to NYC indoor dining requirements. Currently, events with 50 or more attendees must be approved in advance in writing by the Provost or President, and all attendees must show proof of vaccination, with limited exceptions. See the current guidelines relating gatherings and events, including other requirements and limitations.
Q: Are visitors permitted on campus?
A: Under the current Interim Visitors Policy, access to all Mercy College buildings is restricted to students, faculty, staff, designated vendors and service operators, and invited guests (including parents/guardians, prospective students and families, board members, alumni, donors, partners, etc.) who are essential to our business model. All other visitors will be admitted by appointment only. We ask that all visitors not come to Mercy if they are feeling ill. Admissions tours will be allowed to run with small groups. Masks must be worn by all visitors at all times. Alumni are now permitted on campus, but must first obtain an alumni ID through the Office of Alumni Relations, which requires showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Spectators at sporting events are specific restrictions as well depending on whether the event is indoors or outdoors. See the policy for further details.
Employees must meet their visitor at the entrance of the building and escort them to and from the meeting space. If a visitor is present for 15 or more minutes, the employee must also obtain contact information from the visitor and retain that information for 14 days (in the event of a confirmed case on campus and contact tracing is necessary).
Q: Will Mercy be conducting a review of the HVAC systems to ensure proper ventilation?
A: Yes, Mercy is following all CDC recommended guidelines that pertain to HVAC and airflow operations. Heating, ventilation and cooling systems are being reviewed and enhanced to increase outdoor air ventilation where possible. Filtration will be improved to MERV-13 recommended standards wherever possible, and we have established longer run times, and increased sanitization of components.
Q: What is the plan for ventilation and fresh air at the Manhattan and Bronx Campuses where windows do not open?
A: The Manhattan and Bronx Campuses utilize a closed HVAC system where fresh air is introduced to the building through the system, which is designed to work in environments where windows do not open. The systems include MERV-13 filters, and make-up fresh air and exhaust components.
Q: Are HVAC filters in offices being sanitized?
A: Yes, Mercy is following the recommendation from the CDC to increase filtration and disinfection of all filter components and has updated HVAC filters to the MERV-13 filter as suggested wherever possible.
Q: My duties at the College involve travel. Are there restrictions prohibiting me from this type of travel?
A: Work-related travel may resume, with approval in advance by the Department Vice President or Dean. The College reserves the right to limit work-related travel to any areas, including those considered high-risk. Any and all travel must abide by all local, state and federal COVID-related laws, orders and regulations.
Q: Will the Athletics Teams compete in the fall?
A: Yes, Mercy’s fall teams will be practicing and playing on their regular schedule. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Can I still apply to Mercy College?
A: Yes. Mercy College has a rolling admissions policy and reviews all applications as they are received. If you intend to start college this summer or fall, however, we encourage you to apply as soon as you are able. We encourage you to apply online and send all supporting documentation electronically. If COVID-19 has created a financial hardship for you, please contact us to request an application fee waiver.
Q: How can I send you my transcripts, test scores, and other supporting documents?
A: We know requesting information from your current, or previous, institutions will be difficult for the foreseeable future. We are currently accepting unofficial/student copies of transcripts and test scores at this time. We highly encourage you to send all supporting documentation to have access to through your applicant portal or by emailing documents to email@example.com. Please note: official copies of all documents will need to be received in order to begin classes.
Q: How do I commit to Mercy College?
A: If you are ready to commit to Mercy College, we are ready to get you all set to start classes! The first step is submitting your enrollment deposit of $100 for a commuter student or $200 for a residential student. This will tell us you are committed to attend Mercy and will make you eligible to register for classes.
Q: How do I register for classes?
A: Once you have submitted your enrollment deposit, you can register for classes. There are two ways to register – online through Mercy Connect or with the help of a PACT Counselor by phone or virtual meeting. We will be sending out additional information on registering to our accepted students very shortly.
Q: Can I talk to someone if I have questions or need help?
A: Yes, that is what we are here for! Please contact your admission counselor as needed. Here are a couple of other ways to contact us:
- General email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- General phone: 877-MERCY-GO
International Students Studying at Mercy College
General Information About Coronavirus
Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19? (source: World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses)
A: The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. About 2% of people with the disease have died. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
Q: How does COVID-19 spread?
A: COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:
- Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.
- Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.
- Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.
Q: Is Mercy working with the local health authorities to receive the most recent updates?
A: Mercy College is closely monitoring the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and our staff is consulting with public health, and state and county officials.
Q: Who should I contact if I have a coronavirus related question or would like to provide information that might be helpful to the College?
A: The College has created a dedicated email address HealthAlert@mercy.edu for coronavirus related questions and to provide information that might be useful to the College.
Q: Where should I get my information about the virus?
A: Public health officials are concerned about misinformation about this outbreak. If you have a question about coronavirus, please visit the websites of reputable sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local health agencies and the World Health Organization for the most up-to-date information about the virus and its spread. Additionally, the New York Department of Health has a hotline 1-888-364-3065 dedicated to the coronavirus.
In addition, the College has created a dedicated webpage www.mercy.edu/coronavirus on the Mercy website that includes safety recommendations and preventative measures on staying healthy and Frequently Asked Questions including how Mercy is responding to this situation.