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On Time, In Seat: Reopening Plan Fall 2020


The College of Mount Saint Vincent will return to on campus instruction for the Fall 2020 semester. In order to ensure the health and welfare of its students, employees, and campus visitors the College has implemented social distancing and safety protocols, consistent with state and Center for Disease Control guidelines, across all facets of its operation. The College has also established procedures to respond to, and limit, the spread of any COVID-19 exposure.

All members of the College community should be cognizant of the College’s mission. At this time, creating and maintaining a healthy environment that limits the opportunity for transmission of COVID-19 is one of our obligations to each other. We need to support each other in meeting these standards and hold each other accountable. Compliance with the established social distancing, PPE, and health and hygiene protocols is expected of us all. Repeated or intentional disregard of the protocols is not permissible.

Before returning to campus, all students and employees will be issued communication stating social distancing, PPE, health, and hygiene protocols. To be eligible to return, students and employees must acknowledge receipt of the communication and sign a form agreeing to adhere to the protocols.

  • All students, staff, and administrators will complete daily screening for COVID-19 symptoms/exposure before they are cleared to enter campus or campus buildings. All students and employees must show confirmation of the daily screening to enter campus or College facilities. Residential students must display the confirmation daily before leaving their residence hall.
  • If a person answers “yes” to any of the College’s screening questions, they will receive instructions from Student Affairs or Human Resources. These instructions will include information about quarantining or isolating, the need for COVID-19 testing, required documentation from a primary care provider to return to campus, and questions to facilitate contact tracing. The College will facilitate access to COVID testing if necessary. 
  • The College’s shuttle services will run on a normal schedule with additional vehicles to allow for social distancing. Additional shuttle service will be provided for the Riverdale Metro North station.
  • The College is working with St. Joseph’s Hospital and other local health care providers to prioritize access to testing for members of the campus community who are symptomatic or have had direct contact with confirmed cases of Covid-19.
  • Everyone must wear an approved facemask and practice physical distancing in all public spaces. Classrooms, residence hall corridors, lounges, and restrooms are public spaces. In labs and other spaces where social distancing is impossible, full protective gear, including gowns, gloves, and face shields, will be required.
  • Computer labs have been adapted by removing computers to ensure social distancing.
  • All classes will meet in person. All classes will be taught in spaces that allow for social distancing—six feet between students. In order to achieve necessary social distancing, course section caps have been reduced and additional sections have been added.
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be widely available across campus.
  • College buildings will be deep-cleaned regularly, with increased disinfection of high-touch points.
  • HVAC ventilation systems are being upgraded to include ion generator purifiers, exhaust fans are being upgraded, window air conditioning units will be disinfected every two weeks and set to incorporate the maximum amount of fresh air from outside. Additionally, new lavatories are being constructed in Founders Hall, and hands-free faucets and paper towel dispensers are being installed in restrooms throughout the campus. In various locations across campus, plexiglass shields have been installed as is appropriate.

Residential Life

In addition to the bullet points regarding residence life above, all rooms in residence halls will be double occupancy, except for returning students who have selected larger triple residency rooms. Residents should consider their rooms like their home and maintain a healthy living space with their roommate.

  • Visitation between rooms is discouraged, and residential students will not be permitted to enter residential buildings other than their own. Additionally, residents should maintain six feet of social distancing if welcoming others into their rooms.
  • No visitors will be allowed on campus after 4:30 p.m.
  • To help prevent congestion and prevent potential transmission in the College’s residences halls, outside visitors will not be permitted.
  • Residence hall restrooms/showers, hallways, lounges, stairwells, and lobbies will be deep cleaned twice daily, in accordance to CDC best practices. Social distancing will be required in all residence hall lounges, restrooms, and common areas. Plexiglass barriers have been installed where necessary. Reduced capacities are posted and must be respected.
  • Pursuant to State guidelines as of July 20, residential students from states / countries/ territories other than New York, New Jersey and Connecticut must move in August 20 and 21, 2020 to complete a required 14-day quarantine period. We anticipate the State will revise its guidelines to limit the required quarantine period to 7 days with testing for students from these areas shortly. The College will update this information and communicate with students accordingly.
  • Protocols and designated areas have been developed for quarantine and isolation in case residential students report COVID-19 exposure or symptoms.
  • Campus dining facilities are open for grab and go service only. Hot and cold meal options are available in Hudson Heights. Students will be able to pre-order meals on an app and retrieve them from a newly created pick-up register.
  • Additional outdoor seating will be available on the tented patio adjacent to the dining hall. When indoor dining is permitted in New York City, we will allow dining in Hudson Heights with appropriate social distancing.

Move-In and Orientation Dates

August 21 – September 3 Friday to Tuesday Drop Off Belongings (two-hour appointment slots, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
September 3 Thursday Residence Halls Open for New Students and Transfers attending Orientation
September 4 Friday Orientation Session #5 (make-up, long distance, summer admits)
September 6 Sunday Residence Halls Open for New Students and Transfers who attended July Orientation session
September 6 – 7 Sunday to Monday Welcome Weekend
September 7 Monday Residence Halls Open for Returning Students at 1:00 p.m.

Student Life and Athletics

  • All academic and support services will be available and modified to accommodate social distancing.
  • The College will offer its comprehensive slate of co-curricular student activities and mission aligned service initiatives. The size and frequency of events will be modified to comply with social distancing requirements. SGA is working with Student Activities and Campus Ministry to expand the repertoire of activities that can be done within guidelines.
  • The College continues to work with the Skyline Conference partners on shared protocols for participation in athletics. Golf and cross country can have full seasons; details are still being refined but our expectation is that Men’s and Women’s soccer and Women’s volleyball will have seasons as well.
  • A wide range of recreational activities will be offered outdoors, for example yoga, fitness, and high intensity interval training classes.

These measures are intended to promote the health and well-being of all members of the College community. We thank you for observing them.

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of professional accomplishment, service, and leadership in the 21st century.