Merrimack College

Spring 2022 Return to Campus

Spring 2022 Return to Campus

Merrimack College will be a fully open campus this coming spring semester. We will continue to make prudent decisions based on science and advice from public health leaders as to how best to proceed.

Spring 2022 Return to Campus Handbook

View Handbook (pdf)

An accessible version of the handbook is available - download plain text document

COVID-19 Booster Requirement

Merrimack College requires a COVID-19 booster for all eligible students, faculty and staff. Any Merrimack student, faculty or staff member who comes to campus or plans to engage in any type of College activity, internship, fellowship or student teaching position must be in compliance with the College’s vaccination and booster policy in order to participate in College-sponsored or required classes, work or activities (on or off campus) for the spring 2022 semester.

Eligibility and Booster Deadlines

Eligibility is defined as those who have completed a 2-dose vaccine series (five or more months ago for those who originally received the Pfizer or Moderna series), or received a Johnson & Johnson/Janssen single-dose vaccine two or more months ago.

As members of our community will be eligible for a COVID-19 booster at different times, this policy will have a rolling compliance deadline:

  • If you are eligible on or before Saturday, January 15, 2022, you must receive your booster by Tuesday, February 15, 2022.
  • If you become eligible after Saturday, January 15, 2022, you will have 30 days from your eligibility date to receive your booster.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Vaccination Requirement for Students, Faculty, Staff Visitors and Vendors

All students, faculty, staff, visitors and vendors who come to campus are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination.

Student Proof of Vaccination Status

Undergraduate, graduate, professional studies and international students must submit their vaccination documentation through their immunizations records on the Merrimack Patient Portal before arriving on campus.

Faculty and Staff Proof of Vaccination

All faculty and staff must submit proof of their COVID-19 vaccination by emailing the Office of Human Resources.

Visitor and Vendor Vaccine Status

Any parent, spouse, family member, partner, vendor, fan, neighbor or any other visitor to campus must be vaccinated, have proof of vaccination and show proof of vaccination at the gate to gain access to campus.

Those under the age of 5 who are not qualified to be vaccinated will be allowed to enter campus starting Monday, March 28, 2022.

The College may designate some major events, such as Commencement, housing move-out or Accepted Student Days, when unvaccinated visitors may be allowed on certain parts of the campus. Such designations are to be approved by the Office of the Executive Vice President and will be marketed as such.

Health and Safety

Surveillance Testing

Surveillance testing for COVID-19 is available to all members of the campus community. COVID-19 surveillance testing is through a self-administered swab test approved by the Broad Institute.

Beginning on Monday, April 4 the COVID-19 Testing Center will be relocated to the McQuade Library, 2nd floor. The hours will be Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Testing will be available through the end of the semester and will end at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 13, 2022.

Students, faculty and staff who test positive will be contacted by the College with instructions on what to do next. Negative test results will be assumed and not communicated.

Students, faculty and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days should not test for COVID-19 until their 90 days have passed.

Symptomatic Testing

If you are experiencing flu or cold-like symptoms, please contact Hamel Health or your primary care provider to get tested as soon as possible. Hamel Health has rapid tests available for all members of our campus community. As a reminder, if you are not feeling well you should not go to class or work, and should go to Hamel Health and get tested.

Students, faculty and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days should not test for COVID-19 until their 90 days have passed.

Daily Symptom Checks

Students, faculty and staff should check their own health and if they do not feel well – do not go to class, do not come to work, wear a face covering and get a COVID-19 test. If students experience symptoms, they should reach out to Hamel Health at (978) 837-5441 for assistance. If a commuter student, faculty or staff member experiences symptoms, they should remain home and contact their primary care physician for assistance. Any residential student who experiences symptoms should stay in their rooms and contact Hamel Health. Please note: all members of the Merrimack College Community have access to rapid COVID-19 testing at Hamel Health.

Face Coverings

On Monday, February 7, 2022, Merrimack ended its mandate on face coverings in public spaces, but continued to require face coverings in classrooms, learning environments, in designated areas and for special circumstances. In consultation with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the academic Deans and the College’s COVID-19 monitoring team, the College will continue to require face coverings in classroom settings for the remainder of the spring semester.

Effective Friday, March 25, faculty members may decide whether or not to wear a face covering in their classes, and may, at their own discretion, permit students to remove face coverings in their classes. Faculty members will inform students if face coverings are optional in their class.

Students in all classes must be respectful of the faculty member’s decision. If a faculty member has not informed students they can remove their face coverings, they must follow the campus requirement to wear face coverings in the classroom.

Face coverings will no longer be required at events in the Rogers Center, in College vans or in the Warrior Shuttle. Face coverings may still be required in residential units, and individual offices if hosts request their guests to wear them.

New Hamel Health Center Location

The College has acquired the property at 477 Andover Street, Andover, MA, located directly across the street from the main entrance to the College as the new location for Hamel Health.

Campus Access and Operations

Campus Access/Identification

All members of the campus community who are compliant with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement (either vaccinated or received an approved exemption) will need a 2021-2022 Merrimack identification card to access campus. These cards look the same for all compliant campus members based on category (faculty and staff, undergraduate student, graduate student, vendor, guest) and serve as the only institutional identification for access onto campus. All guests, fans and visitors must have proof of vaccination and must show proof of vaccination or a Merrimack-approved medical exemption to enter campus. Access to campus will be denied to any individual who is not compliant with this process. Merrimack identification cards will remain the same from the fall semester. New cards will not be distributed when individuals receive a COVID-19 booster.

Attending Classes

Most classes will be on campus and in person (with the exception of some hybrid classes, and online graduate and bachelor completion programs). Classrooms will be at full capacity. Plexiglass is available in all classrooms for faculty to use at their discretion. The College is mandating face coverings in all learning environments (classrooms, labs, etc.) until the end of the spring semester. Faculty members may decide whether or not to wear a face covering in their classes, and may, at their own discretion, permit students to remove face coverings in their classes. Faculty members will inform students if face coverings are optional in their class. The College will be providing surgical face coverings in classrooms as they are proving to be more effective in minimizing transmission of the Omicron variant. The College recommends that students utilize these face coverings.

Activities on Campus

From student organization meetings to club sports, music and theater, exercising in the fitness center, attending a Division I athletic events and more, the student experience is less restrictive and the campus is more accessible and open

Residential Living

Residential students are able to visit friends in other residential buildings, capacity limits are the same as the fall semester, and registered events are allowed.

Campus Access/Visitors

The College will continue to monitor the entrances to campus. Everyone entering campus must be fully vaccinated, this includes all students, faculty, staff, vendors, visitors and guests. Those who are not fully vaccinated, and do not have an approved exemption, will not be permitted on campus. Those under the age of 5 who are not qualified to be vaccinated will be allowed to enter campus starting Monday, March 28, 2022. The College may designate some major events, such as Commencement, housing move-out or Accepted Student Days, when unvaccinated visitors may be allowed on certain parts of the campus. Such designations are to be approved by the Office of the Executive Vice President and will be marketed as such.

Mental Health

The mental health of our faculty, staff and students is a priority for the institution. During this challenging time, no one is alone and someone is always available to help. If students need help, or are experiencing unexpected anxiety or just want to talk, the Office of Counseling and Wellness has 24/7 services to support and to talk through concerns and worries. They can be reached at (978) 837-5444.

Faculty and staff should utilize the resources of the Employee Assistance Program which can be accessed through MyMack.

The College will remain vigilant and responsive and reserves the right to alter or amend its COVID-19 safety policies.