Response to Health Department Shelter in Place Order: March 16, 2020

March 16, 2020

Dear Saint Mary’s Community, 

Today, in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, Contra Costa Health Services issued an order directing all individuals living in the county to shelter at their place of residence, beginning at midnight. Similar orders were directed in neighboring counties. This public health order is meant to ensure that people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible to slow the spread of COVID-19. Residents are also instructed to comply with social distancing requirements that they maintain at least six-feet of distance from others.

Saint Mary’s College and the town of Moraga lies within Contra Costa County, and therefore we must adhere to the requirements of the order. The wide-ranging measure clarifies that Saint Mary’s College is an Essential Business; and, as such, is strongly encouraged to remain open for purposes of facilitating distance learning and performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.

We will continue to serve our students through remote instruction. Faculty who have the capacity to conduct their courses from off-campus should do so; those who require campus-based remote technology services can continue to utilize campus technology resources including digital labs and Zoom zones. 

All essential functions and services will continue. Some services will be delivered remotely, with reduced staff, or with additional modifications to promote social distancing. Managers should work with staff to determine work assignments, responsibilities, and remote work arrangements as needed. 


  • We strongly encourage all students to return home at this time given the Public Health Department order.  If you cannot return home, please inform Residential Experience using the form that will be sent to you this evening. 
  • Students will continue to participate in their classes through remote instruction.
  • Public Safety will continue to operate 24/7.
  • Sodexo will continue to provide food services for students, faculty, and staff.  
  • The College’s Chapel will remain open but religious services will not be held.
  • Saint Mary’s Library will remain open to support academic services but is closed to the public.
  • Gael Pantry, located in the Mission and Ministry Center, will remain open.
  • Custodial services will continue throughout the week.
  • During this time, the Alioto Recreation Center and co-curricular offices will be closed.

The College will continue to monitor these evolving public health guidelines and will keep you informed of campus developments. We remain committed to the safety and well-being of all of those in the Saint Mary’s community and thank you for your care for others as we face these challenging times together. 


James A. Donahue