COVID-19: Updated Return to Campus Guidance for Jan Term

Dear Saint Mary’s Community,

After receiving input from groups across campus in response to the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, we would like to provide you with updated guidelines to follow in advance of returning to campus in January. 

With the spread of the Omicron variant expected to continue into 2022, Saint Mary’s is implementing the following measures as we make every effort to mitigate any impact on Jan Term instruction.

• All students are required to provide proof of a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours of returning to campus in order to attend classes, access campus facilities, and move into the residence halls. Students will receive an email prior to January 1, 2022 with instructions on how to submit proof of a negative test. Students will not be allowed to return to campus without proof of a negative test.

• If you test positive OR do not feel well, report it to the SMC COVID-19 Online Portal. Do not return to campus.

◦ Submitting your status to the online portal will allow the College to contact faculty on your behalf. Note that no health information will be shared.

◦ The College will have resources available to work with you if you require accommodations related to COVID-19.

◦ If you think you may be sick, here is a list of suggested actions to take.

Mandatory on-campus COVID tests for students will be administered from January 5th through 7th. When a student logs their negative COVID test prior to returning to campus, they will be provided with a time block for on-campus testing. If a student is unable to complete on-campus testing, they will be responsible for submitting proof of a negative COVID test at their own expense.

All classes held during the first week of January (Monday, January 3rd through Friday, January 7th) will be held remotely. This step is being taken to facilitate an extended move-in time for residential students, provide as many testing options for students as possible, and cause the least amount of disruption to class attendance.

• Beginning January 8th, classes will take place in person, as planned, or otherwise in accordance with the modality that has been posted for students when they enrolled (including the many grad classes, beginning of Graduate Professional Studies winter quarter, winter trimester, etc.). 

• Staff are expected to report to campus beginning on January 3rd.

• On-campus housing will open on January 2nd. Students will be required to sign up for a specific move-in time in order to make the process as safe as possible. More information on that process, including available time blocks beginning on January 2nd, will be provided via email in the coming days.

• Booster shots are also one of the most effective ways to stay protected and are highly recommended. To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment or booster shot, visit the state’s MyTurn app or website. You may also schedule an appointment through Contra Costa Health Services by visiting its online portal or calling 1-833-829-2626. Local pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens also offer booster shot appointments.

Due to the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic, we will continue to provide updates on procedures and protocols when available. For additional information, please visit the COVID-19 FAQ page. Thank you for your continued efforts as we work towards a safe and successful return to campus.

Best regards,

Richard Plumb, PhD