Updates made to COVID-19 mitigation strategies

Ashley Barletta, Staff writer

Since the beginning of the school year, there have been regulations regarding the coronavirus pandemic. These rules are now changing.

As always, precautions will still be taken, but as Mercyhurst makes its way farther into the semester, COVID policies will be updated and revised.

So far, it has been made known that guests from traditional residence halls (Baldwin, McAuley, Warde and Ryan Hall) are permitted as long as everyone wears masks and remains socially distant. Guests are to sign in at the front desk and leave their student ID.

No more than one visitor per resident is allowed at once. However, some rules are different for the apartments and townhouses. Each resident of an apartment or townhouse is permitted one guest.

For example, a townhouse of six people may have six guests, as long as all residents are present. It is heavily encouraged that all non-roommate interactions should be outside, or in a lobby at the very least, that way social distancing can be more easily accomplished.

“At this point we are moving forward with guests in residence halls and apartment areas; however, guest policies are different between traditional buildings (such as Warde, Baldwin and McAuley and Ryan Hall) and the apartment areas. The reason being is that in traditional buildings there is more interaction between those that live among the same hallway; but the apartments and townhouses are approached a bit differently as we look at those as being a ‘family unit’,” Megan McKenna, director of Residence Life & Student Conduct, said.

Students are not allowed to gather in residential living areas in groups of more than six. If students are going to converge in a residential area, they must wear masks and social distance as much as possible.

Students are still being asked to limit their time off campus. Almost all of the positive cases we have had here at Mercyhurst have been linked to off-campus activity such as trips to bars or travel home.

One rule that remains the same is that outside guests, such as parents, must complete the online COVID-19 guest screening form before entering campus, in addition to wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

Another new guideline in place is the daily self-screening form that students, faculty and staff have to fill out. Every morning members of the Mercyhurst community are asked to fill out their contact information and answer questions related to their health and potential exposure.

If there is a concern that you or someone you know has the coronavirus, it is expected that you report to a staff member and cooperate with contact tracing and mitigation efforts.

If you are to quarantine, you must also comply with those rules and regulations. Failure to comply will result in suspension or expulsion from Mercyhurst University.

In the case where suspension or expulsion should occur, no refund of tuition, fees, or room and board will be given. Current residential student guidelines for COVID-19 can be accessed with this link: https:// www.mercyhurst.edu/sites/default/files/residence_life_guidelines.pdf.


When following these guidelines, remember that they are there to keep the Mercyhurst community safe and healthy. Numerous students have said how thankful they are that we are able to be here in-person and that they do not want to have to pack up and go home for the spring semester.

The coronavirus is still dangerous and could very well spread all around campus if we are not careful. Remember to wear your mask, wash your hands, and stay six feet apart.