Marietta College COVID-19 Dashboard

Marietta's COVID-19 Dashboard is where the College will report on the number of ongoing and resolved cases of COVID-19 within the campus community.

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2021-2022 COVID-19 Information for Marietta College’s Campus Community

Marietta College’s mission is to provide a strong foundation for a lifetime of leadership, critical thinking and problem-solving. As we prepare to welcome students to campus for in-person learning during the 2021-2022 academic year, we recognize that the COVID pandemic continues to pose risks. We also acknowledge that by pursuing as normal an educational experience as possible for our students, all of us — students, faculty, and staff — are assuming a whole variety of risks. Therefore, it is imperative that as a community we make optimal use of our collective skills in leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving to balance risk against our pursuit of normal operations.

>With regard to COVID-19, we must make every possible effort to minimize and mitigate risk so that we can protect our own health and well-being, as well as that of our fellow students, faculty, staff, and local community members. Doing so will ensure our ability to continue delivering the high-quality in-person experiences that are essential to a Marietta College education. Therefore, the College will continue to follow the guidance set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Ohio, and local health officials. As the pandemic continues to evolve, College operations must remain flexible, since new information and best practices may lead to new guidance that we will need to follow.

COVID-19 Immunization

The College expects that every student or employee who is able to get one of the three COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson) will do so and will present a print or digital copy of their vaccination record to theCenter for Health & Wellness (students) or to the Office of Human Resources (employees). For students, this documentation should be provided prior to their arrival on campus for the Fall 2021 semester. You can upload your COVID-19 and other immunization information and documentation by going to https://marietta.medicatconnect.com and logging on using your Marietta College e-mail username (without the @marietta.edu extension) and password, and then using the tabs there to enter the required information and to upload the necessary documentation. Employees should present their COVID-19 vaccination documentation to HR as soon as possible, but no later than Thursday, August 19th.

Students and employees who choose not to receive or who cannot receive one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines are required to email either the Center for Health & Wellness (students) or Human Resources (employees) to notify the College of their decision. This will help us accurately track the percentage of our campus community who are fully vaccinated before classes begin, which in turn will allow us to work effectively with local health officials to advocate strongly for the College’s best interests in the event of an increase in COVID cases on campus and/or in the local community during the fall semester and beyond.

Please be assured that individual health records and information will remain confidential, while aggregate data regarding the number of students and employees vaccinated against COVID-19 will help shape the College’s planning and operations with regard to effective COVID risk management.

IMPORTANT: Individuals who have recovered from a prior infection of COVID-19 are not considered by the CDC or the Ohio Department of Health to have the necessary acquired immunity to be exempt from face covering, physical distancing, testing, or quarantining unless they have also been vaccinated or are still within the 90-day window from the date of their infection. This is also the case for individuals who have a positive antibodies test for COVID-19 but no documented vaccination and no documentation that they are still within their 90-day window from the date of their infection.

Full vaccination against COVID-19 is required for all students in any of the College’s graduate programs unless they apply for and receive a waiver through the Center for Health and Wellness. This is to support these students’ ability to participate in required experiential learning modules at off-campus sites that require vaccination; being vaccinated will ensure these graduate students’ timely progress toward degree completion.

Intense clinical practicum study in health, medicine, and education does, by its unique, face-to-face or hands-on nature, involve situations where students may be working quite closely together and directly with individuals and clients of all ages with a vulnerable, fragile, and/or compromised health status, including an unvaccinated status for COVID-19. Clinical practicum with these individuals (e.g. Pre-K through 12 students, adults in congregate living, pediatric and adult medical patients, and older adults) requires practicing techniques and approaches while in close contact or proximity with individuals in a variety of circumstances during pre-internship fieldwork, as well as internship training.

We believe that our Marietta College students will best protect themselves, our campus community, and the individuals they work with, by being fully vaccinated. Therefore, any Marietta College student who will be in field or clinical placements will be required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. This policy presumes a research and science-based approach to health and safety but allows for a religious or medical exemption under existing policy. We follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State of Ohio health guidelines. This is a policy that applies to all field and clinical placements for undergraduate and graduate students of Marietta College, including the teacher candidates of our Education program.

As of August 23, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced full approval for the Pfizer vaccine; it is no longer an emergency use approval. All of our local pharmacies have access to the vaccine and are taking walk-in and scheduled appointments. You will need to contact these locations to see which vaccine they are administering. 

Because we want to encourage vaccination as strongly as possible, all students and employees who submit documentation of their COVID-19 vaccination by the start of classes on Monday, August 23 will be entered into a drawing for one of the following prizes (winners’ names will not be announced by the College without the winner’s permission):

  • Two $500 gift card packages at Barnes & Noble for textbooks, etc.
  • Ten reserved parking spaces for the entire academic year (excluding accessibility spaces)
  • Multiple gift cards for $50 and $100 from Amazon and Champs
  • Other items that are still being secured
Daily Symptom Checking and Careful Hygiene

Regardless of vaccination status, everyone who is on campus for any reason (including visitors) should continue to self-monitor their health status. Anyone who is experiencing any symptoms of illness should refrain from interacting with others on campus until they can confirm through medical assessment that they are safe to do so. Employees and students will receive a daily e-mail reminder to complete a health status check online, and there will be follow-up communication from HR, a supervisor, or the Center for Health and Wellness (as appropriate) if any symptoms of concern are reported.

Also regardless of vaccination status, it is imperative that we all continue to practice careful hygiene practices (thorough handwashing at least five times daily, using hand sanitizer, sanitizing high-touch surfaces, etc.). This will reduce the spread of all illnesses, including COVID-19.

Indoor Mask Mandate for Non-Vaccinated Individuals

The United States is currently experiencing a significant increase in the number of daily COVID-19 cases, primarily because of the delta variant of the virus. The in-person educational experience we deliver on our campus, which is primarily residential and enrolls students from many different geographic locations, poses certain risks for the spread of illness among members of our campus community. Therefore, we remind everyone who is not vaccinated that current Ohio Department of Health guidelines require all non-vaccinated individuals to be masked when they are indoors. This indoor mask mandate requires that everyone who is not vaccinated to properly wear face coverings when they are indoors, with the following exceptions:

  • when eating or drinking in a designated indoor dining location, including at campus events where food is provided, which should be planned to mitigate the spread of any kind of illness (important note: eating during classes is prohibited, but drinking through a straw under one’s face covering is allowed);
  • when alone in an office or other space or within a cubicle that allows for 6 feet of distancing from others;
  • when engaging in activities in the DBRC where signage or instruction from a Marietta College employee indicates that face coverings can be removed.
Testing for COVID-19 in Non-Vaccinated Individuals

In an effort to prevent a spike in COVID-19 infections on campus that could jeopardize our in-person learning, we will conduct community sampling once a week to test for COVID-19 in non-vaccinated individuals during the start of the fall semester. This testing will continue until it is determined through weekly analysis that we can operate safely without it. This analysis will include — at a minimum — a consideration of the number of active cases on campus and in the local community, and also our vaccination rates on campus.

For the purposes of sampling, we will randomly select 10% of all non-vaccinated individuals. This selection will be conducted by Human Resources for employees and by the Center for Health and Wellness for students. Because the sampling is random, it is possible that the same person may be selected for testing more than once. We will be using rapid antigen tests for our sampling, which involves the collection of a sample from the anterior nasal cavity (shallow probe). Every individual selected for random testing is expected to comply with that request. Failure to do so will be addressed in accordance with the Student Handbook (students) or the Employee Handbook (employees).

IMPORTANT: Anyone — vaccinated or non-vaccinated — who wishes to be tested as part of our community sampling is certainly welcome to volunteer for that purpose. Employees can contact HR and students can contact the Center for Health and Wellness.

Individuals who are experiencing any symptoms of illness may also be tested for COVID-19. The Center for Health and Wellness can administer tests to students for a variety of illnesses, including flu, mono, strep, and COVID-19. The medical staff will determine which of these tests is appropriate, based on a student’s symptoms and case history, and this could include testing for COVID-19. Employees who are experiencing symptoms of illness will need to consult with a medical provider to determine whether they should be tested for COVID-19.

Fully Vaccinated Students and Employees

In addition to the foregoing information on daily symptom checking and careful hygiene, students, faculty, and staff who have received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and who have submitted proper documentation to the College, but who are not experiencing any symptoms of illness:

  • Masks are required indoors, regardless of vaccination status — and all are more than welcome to wear face coverings outdoors;
  • Are exempt from physical distancing guidelines, but are more than welcome to observe physical distancing if they so choose;
  • Are not required to quarantine if exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
Not vaccinated Students and Employees

In addition to the foregoing information on daily symptom checking, careful hygiene, use of a face covering indoors, and community testing, students, faculty, and staff who are not fully vaccinated for COVIID-19, or who have not submitted the proper documentation to the College, must also observe physical distancing as circumstances allow. Any member of the campus community who wishes to be vaccinated can visit https://www.vaccines.gov/ to locate the nearest location and to make an appointment. Students can also contact the Center for Health and Wellness (740 376-4477 or healthandwellness@marietta.edu) for assistance with local vaccination options.

Not vaccinated individuals will be ordered by the Marietta-Belpre Health Department to isolate if they test positive for COVID-19, or to quarantine if they are identified as a close direct contact of a new positive case unless they are still within the 90-day window of their own positive diagnosis for COVID-19, as evidenced by proper documentation. In addition, students are expected to make their own arrangements for isolating off campus if they test positive for COVID-19, or for quarantining off campus if they are contact traced to someone who tests positive, unless extenuating circumstances prevent them from doing so. Vaccinated individuals will not be ordered to quarantine if they are identified as close contacts of a new positive case. Isolation or quarantine will last until the necessary time frame and/or testing requirements of the Ohio Department of Health and the Marietta-Belpre Health Department have been satisfied. If a not vaccinated student has to isolate/quarantine in Marietta and there are no available isolation/quarantine spaces on campus, the College will place the student at a local hotel and arrange meal delivery and other necessary services for that student, but the hotel charges and any meal charges exceeding those covered by the student’s meal plan will be billed to the student’s account. These charges will be waived if the student has provided documentation to the Center for Health and Wellness that they are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons.

Visitors to Campus

Visitors to campus who are vaccinated are not required at this time to wear a face covering outdoors (although they are more than welcome to do so), and they are not required to maintain six feet of distance from others. As stated above, all non-vaccinated visitors are required to wear a face covering indoors, except in the circumstances described above (Indoor Mask Mandate). Visitors who are not vaccinated are also required to practice physical distancing as circumstances allow. All guests are asked to refrain from coming to campus if they are experiencing any symptoms of illness.

What to Expect in the Classroom/Absences Due to Illness or COVID Management

Course delivery for the 2021-2022 academic year will be primarily or exclusively in person, unless public health orders necessitate a shift to hybrid or fully virtual learning. In addition, classroom set-up will not guarantee a minimum of six feet of physical distancing between each person in the classroom. Therefore, for specific classes (long night classes, labs, music rehearsals, etc.), individual departments may mandate their own pedagogy choices to support safe learning. We also strongly encourage the use of daily seating charts or asking students to use the same seat during every class period. This will help us identify anyone who may need to be treated as a close direct contact of a new positive case of COVID.

Given these plans for classroom course delivery, no guarantee can be offered that a virtual attendance option will be available for any class absence resulting from any illness or from COVID management. Therefore, it will be the responsibility of each student to work directly with their instructor to make up any work missed due to illness or COVID management. Importantly, the Center for Health and Wellness will never share with a student’s instructor that the student needs to miss class due to COVID management (i.e., isolation or quarantine) unless such information must be shared for the purpose of effective contact tracing as required by orders from the Ohio Department of Health and the Marietta-Belpre Health Department.

Athletics

The NCAA released its Fall Guidance for the Resocialization of College Sports on August 6, 2021. Consequently, the OAC is in the process formalizing league standards for Covid protocols. The highest priority remains the health and safety of all our athletes, coaches and staff to ensure that we are putting healthy individuals on the game and practice fields. This is a fluid process, with the expectation that protocols will be altered frequently. The Athletic Training staff at Marietta College is the best source of information for current protocols.

Regardless of anyone’s personal opinion and news source, the fact remains that young people are still testing positive for the virus and experiencing symptoms. Our staff is witnessing it locally in Washington County and on campus. The best way to stop the spread and eliminate repercussions of exposure to the virus is to get vaccinated. Beyond that, the NCAA is our governing body and we must adhere closely to its recommendations to maintain the privilege of participation.

Therefore, we are implementing the following COVID procedures until we reach a higher vaccination percentage and the infection rate slows down.

  1. Previous guidance has allowed each team to be its own ‘community’. We will maintain that standard. However, previous guidance suggested that 85% vaccination rate of the community could eliminate masks and testing protocols unless symptoms were exhibited. The 85% rule is eliminated and individuals will be treated as ‘vaccinated’ or ‘not-vaccinated’.
  2. All vaccinated athletes should immediately upload a valid vaccination card into the ATS portal as soon as possible.
  3. Intake testing: All not-vaccinated athletes need to present two negative rapid antigen tests results or one negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test before they are permitted to practice. The PCR test is a deep nasal pharyngeal probe and requires two or three days for lab results to be returned. The rapid antigen test is a shallow anterior nasal cavity swipe and produces results in fifteen minutes. We strongly encourage you to arrive to campus with negative test documentation in hand. The test must be administered at a medical facility. Home use tests are not acceptable. If it is a PCR test, it should have been administered three or four days before arrival. If it is an antigen test, it should have been administered one or two days before arrival. Our Athletic Training staff will administer the second antigen test on the day you arrive. If you arrive with no test documentation, our Athletic Training staff will administer two antigen tests with one day in between each test.
  4. Regular season testing: 100% of all not-vaccinated in-season athletes will be tested two times per week with a rapid antigen test. Failure to appear for the test will result in immediate suspension from athletic activity.
  5. Non-traditional season testing: 100% of all not-vaccinated non-traditional season athletes will be tested one time per week with a rapid antigen beginning August 23rd. This applies to any activity composed of Marietta College athletes. Failure to appear for the test will result in immediate suspension from athletic activity. If there is a non-traditional season game with outside competition, all not-vaccinated athletes will given an additional test 24-48 hours before the competition.
  6. Testing Procedures: Not-vaccinated student athletes will be expected to appear for testing when they are called by either their team’s Athletic Trainer or one of the nurses in the Center for Health and Wellness. Most likely our testing hours will be early morning before classes and daily responsibilities begin. Coaches will be notified of those who miss their appointment and those who test positive.
  7. Isolation procedures: All athletes who test positive must isolate for 10 days from the date of a positive test result or the onset of symptoms of illness. Isolation should be done at home or in a location arranged by the student or the student’s family. However, if extenuating circumstances exist, local arrangements may be made by the Office of Student Life. Please be aware that if space is not available on campus, isolation will take place at a local hotel, and all room charges and any meal charges that exceed the student’s meal plan will be charged to the student’s account.
  8. Contact Tracing: Vaccinated athletes will not be contact traced or quarantined for exposure to a person who tests positive. Athletes who are not vaccinated will be considered during the contact tracing procedure and will be order to quarantine by the Marietta-Belpre Health Department if identified. Quarantine should be done at home. However, if extenuating circumstances exist, local arrangements may be made by the Office of Student Life. Please be aware that if space is not available on campus, quarantine will take place at a local hotel, and all room charges and any meal charges that exceed the student’s meal plan will be charged to the student’s account.
  9. Game Cancellation and Team Shutdown: The OAC is adopting a Game Cancellation Policy with the following guidelines. Teams should begin the consideration of canceling games and potentially pausing all program activity when they meet the criteria established in sections A through D below.
    1. For teams with fewer than 40 participants, the team has three or more concurrent positive tests based on the required pre-competition testing protocol (i.e., PCR/NAAT test within three days of first competition of the week or antigen test within one day of the specific competition of unvaccinated Tier 1 individuals);
      or for teams with 40 or more participants, concurrent positive cases of 7.5% or more of all participants based on the required pre-competition testing protocol (i.e., PCR/NAAT test within three days of first competition of the week or antigen test within one day of the specific competition of unvaccinated Tier 1 individuals);
    2. Or 50% or more of any team’s roster is unable to compete due to COVID protocols (positive tests and contact tracing);
    3. Or College or local community health officials determine that it is unsafe for a particular team to compete.
    4. Tier 1 individuals that are either fully vaccinated or have documented infection within the past 90 days, although not subject to pre-competition testing protocol, are to be accounted for as a negative test when determining positivity rate for team competition status.
    5. Once positive cases and contact traced individuals have be put into isolation or quarantine, respectively, and if time before the contest allows, teams are permitted to retest to satisfy one of the criteria above.
    6. For purposes of OAC championship seeding, any OAC competition (competition between two OAC teams) that is unable to be completed due to COVID-related roster issues will be considered a loss for the team unable to compete and a win for the opposing team. While the competition may not be rescheduled, the team without COVID-related roster issues is permitted to find another opponent on the day of the originally scheduled competition (additional competition between two OAC teams that was not originally on the OAC schedule will not count for purposes of OAC seeding/standings).

Revised August 12, 2021

Fine Arts Performers

Specific guidelines for students, faculty, and staff participating in courses or productions offered by the Departments of Music and Theatre will be finalized before the start of the Fall 2021 semester, based on guidance from the CDC, the State of Ohio, and industry-specific organizations. Students and employees participating in the performing arts are expected to get the COVID-19 vaccine If they are able. Any possible restrictions on performers have yet to be finalized, but they will very likely include appropriate mitigation measures such as masking, and they will be shared as soon as possible. It is also unclear at this time what role vaccination status will play in those restrictions, but again, any specific restrictions for those individuals will be shared before the semester begins. Any performer experiencing symptoms of illness may be advised by a medical professional to suspend their participation in those activities until they are cleared for return.

Expectations in Residence Halls, at Off-Campus Locations, and Outdoors

Our experience tells us that the community spread of COVID-19 occurs frequently when individuals gather in large numbers and are unmasked and in close proximity to one another for extended periods of time, or while engaging in activities that involve shouting, singing, etc. These gatherings occur in residence halls and at other locations both on and off campus, including events outdoors. In order to minimize the likelihood of an interruption to your studies or your work at Marietta College because of exposure to COVID-19, you should avoid participating in such gatherings if you are not vaccinated unless you remain masked and are able to maintain adequate physical distancing from individuals who are not masked. The total number of individuals in any residence hall space at one time should not exceed the capacity that allows reasonable physical distancing to mitigate the spread of illness, especially if non-vaccinated individuals are unmasked.

College-Associated Travel and Transportation

In keeping with public health guidance on the use of public transportation systems, groups of students and/or employees traveling together in a College-owned or College-rented vehicle for a College-sponsored activity must remain masked during their time together in that vehicle, at least until we are able to determine that we can lift the temporary indoor mask mandate.

Study Abroad is available to Marietta College students during the 2021-2022 academic year, but all students currently abroad in Summer 2021 and those planning to be abroad in Fall 2021 have been required by their third-party program providers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Therefore, any student who wishes to participate in a study abroad experience in 2022 should seriously consider being vaccinated, to maximize the options available to them in terms of third-party program provider choices and country destinations. Marietta College continues to actively review U.S. State Department travel advisories, along with a number of other risk assessments provided by international education agencies and the CDC. The Office of Education Abroad will keep all students interested in studying abroad informed of any updates on the countries they are interested in, but students should understand that policies regarding those countries can change rapidly. To ensure the greatest flexibility possible in their study abroad planning, it is very highly recommended that students receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Reporting of Cases

Any student who receives a positive COVID test result from a medical provider other than the Center for Health and Wellness (CHW) should report that result immediately to CHW (740-376-4477 or healthandwellness@marietta.edu). This will allow CHW staff to provide proper guidance to the student and also determine if there are any close contacts on campus who will need to quarantine.

Any employee who receives a positive COVID test result should report that result immediately to their supervisor, who will collaborate with the Office of Human Resources to provide guidance to the employee and determine if the employee had any close contacts on campus who will need to quarantine.

Similar to the 2020-2021 academic year, Marietta College will inform the community of positive cases and quarantines via email and regular updates to the COVID-19 dashboard on the College’s website.

Questions

Marietta College is deeply committed to the education of its students and to the safety of all members of the campus community and beyond. Throughout the pandemic, the College has strived to maintain open lines of communication with students, their families, employees, alumni, and the local Marietta community. Please remember that as the pandemic continues to evolve, College operations must remain flexible, since new information and best practices may lead to new guidance that we will need to follow. If and when any guidance emerges that requires a change in our operations, we will communicate that information as quickly as possible. In the meantime, If you have any specific questions or concerns about the College’s plans for the 2021-2022 academic year, please contact the appropriate office below: