August 10 Message to Faculty & Staff from the Office of the President

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Dear Faculty and Staff,

It was great to see so many of you at last week’s Town Hall. I know you still have questions about the fall, and I appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to adapt our policies to the changing landscape and new scientific developments.

I write to clarify a few of the most frequently asked questions and to remind you that we have a dedicated COVID-19 website that includes all relevant communications, mask and vaccine polices, and updated FAQs.

Mask Policy: Masks must continue to be worn indoors at all Mercy campuses, including in classrooms, in all common spaces, and when near others. Masks may be removed when eating or when working in a private space.

Visitors: 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 essential guests (including parents/guardians, prospective students and families, board members, alumni, donors, partners, etc.). All other visitors will be admitted by appointment only. All visitors must self-screen for COVID-19 and not come to Mercy if they are feeling ill. 

Course Modalities: 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.

COVID-19 Testing: Unvaccinated students and employees, including those with approved medical and religious exemptions from the vaccine, as well as those whose vaccination status is unknown to the College, will be subject to required on-campus COVID-19 testing. Sanctions will apply to those who fail to participate. 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.

Sick Leave: 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.

Quarantine and Isolation:

  • 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 about whether they should come to work. In certain circumstances, the College may recommend the employee work remotely 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.

We will continue to keep you informed of updates as we monitor the increasing vaccination rates among our community members. If you have not yet submitted your vaccination status, please do so here.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we work through these continuously challenging circumstances. I know this remains an uncertain time, but we are confident that our continued safety measures and the effectiveness of the vaccine – with its high uptake in our surrounding communities – will help to ensure a successful fall term for all.

If you have specific questions, please contact Human Resources at


Timothy L. Hall