COVID Message from the Division of Student Affairs

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Dear Students,

Congratulations on finishing your spring term. We applaud your efforts to continue your education during such a challenging year.  We are looking forward to our campuses being fully open and welcoming you back for the fall term.

I write today with two important updates to the College’s health and safety policies related to COVID-19. Based on the widespread availability and known efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, Mercy will be implementing the following policies for the vaccine and the wearing of masks while on campus. These efforts are in alignment with many Colleges and Universities in our region and are intended to help keep our students, faculty and staff safe while continuing to provide in-person academic offerings.



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 proof of COVID vaccination prior to the start of the term. Students who fail to meet this requirement may be required to complete regular surveillance testing, face restrictions from attending certain events (or may be required to show proof of a negative test at their own expense) and may be dropped from the current term.

Next Steps:

By August 1, 2021 (for residential students and athletes) or by August 15, 2021 (for commuter students), all students must either submit proof of vaccination or request an exemption, or submit a waiver if fully online (as described below) or through the College’s health records management system here. Please note that this page will be available to upload documents the week of June 14.

Acceptable Proof:

Mercy will accept the following vaccines with emergency use authorization by the FDA: Pfizer-BioNTech,Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson / Janssen.

For those who may be receiving vaccinations outside of the U.S., Mercy College will accept documentation of COVID-19 vaccines which the World Health Organization has issued an Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL).

Required Proof:

Students will be required to provide the name of the vaccine and dates of doses in the College’s health records management system here as well as upload documentation including either a copy or photo of the vaccine card, the New York State Excelsior Pass, or email proof from provider.

Exemptions & Accommodations:

Students may seek a medical or religious exemption, and reasonable accommodations will be provided in accordance with College Policy. Required documents include a note from a medical provider or religious statement of belief, which will be reviewed by the Office of ACCESSibility. 


Fully online students will need to indicate on the exemption form that that they plan to take 100% of their courses online and do not plan to come to campus for any purpose. 


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.

We appreciate your cooperation and support as we strive to keep our community safe.  By working together, we can achieve herd immunity, the possibility of no longer requiring masks on campus, and the goal of an uninterrupted in-person academic year.


Kevin Joyce
Vice President, Student Affairs