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The College is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all students, employees, contractors, and visitors. It is our priority to keep everyone healthy. We will continue to abide by governmental guidelines as we strive to balance public health concerns with the individual needs of all our constituents.

Following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), and the Office of the NJ Secretary of Higher Education, the college is issuing the following guidelines. Adherence to these guidelines is mandatory.

Full Reopening

Effective Sept. 6, the college will be open for all in-person services and operations without capacity restrictions. The College reserves the right to implement capacity restrictions and/or remote operations if indicated by public health authorities.

SUMMARY / HIGHLIGHTS

  • Both campuses will be open without capacity restrictions.
  • Full vaccination, including all boosters for which one is eligible, is strongly recommended. We will not collect information regarding vaccination status at this time.
  • Masks are recommended but not required unless one is returning from quarantine or isolation before day 10, the CDC designates Mercer County as an area of high transmission, or federal, state, or local officials establish a requirement.
  • Frequent handwashing is encouraged.
  • Students and employees should report positive cases to Human Resources: hr@mccc.edu
  • Contact tracing is a county function, rather than a College function, but we will note clusters or spikes and respond accordingly.

EMPLOYEE AND STUDENT VACCINATION STATUS

Vaccination is the leading prevention strategy to protect individuals from COVID-19. A growing body of evidence shows that people who are up to date with their vaccines are at substantially reduced risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 compared with unvaccinated people. Pursuant to CDC guidance, MCCC recommends that all faculty, staff, and students should be vaccinated as soon as possible and remain up to date in their vaccinations, including receiving boosters when eligible. Please note that guidance regarding time spent in isolation or quarantine may differ depending on an individual’s vaccination and booster status.

MASK WEARING

Consistent and correct mask use by all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, is strongly recommended in indoor settings where there is increased risk, including during periods of high community transmission, crowded settings, settings involving activities with close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated, settings where the vaccine status of other individuals in the setting is unknown, and where an individual is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease. Surgical and N95/KN95 masks have been shown to offer more protection than cloth masks and are therefore recommended.

The College requires mask wearing in the following circumstances:

  • During periods of elevated community transmission – when COVID-19 community levels are high, New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) recommends that College strongly consider universal masking for all students, faculty and staff, especially if there is difficulty incorporating other layered prevention strategies (e.g., adequate 2 ventilation, adequate spacing of students).
  • After returning from isolation or quarantine – students, faculty, and staff who return to campus during days 6-10 of isolation or quarantine are required to mask until the completion of the 10-day period. Day 0 is the first day of symptoms or a positive test.

In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors. However, particularly in areas of high community transmission, individuals who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated.

HAND WASHING

Students, employees, contractors, and visitors are asked to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day.

REPORTING POSITIVE COVID-19 TEST

Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 should complete this form (which will notify the HR department) and contact their instructor or supervisor.

Most importantly, any individual who is experiencing fever, cough, congestion, and/or other COVID-19 symptoms should obtain a COVID-19 test before returning to campus. Home tests are now readily available at pharmacies, and free testing is offered by the NJ health department. Those receiving a positive result should follow the CDC Guidelines for Isolating and Quarantining based on vaccination status and risk factors.

Anyone who is sick with COVID-19 should also inform close contacts that they may have been exposed to the virus.

  • Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of someone with suspected or known COVID-19 for 15 or more minutes during a 24-hour period.
  • An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours/2 days before they have any symptoms or test positive.

Students should contact their faculty members to request arrangements for any missed classes or course assignments. Faculty may request a doctor’s note if the student is absent for an extended period of time (3 days or more).

Employees should contact their supervisor regarding the use of sick leave or alternative working arrangements. Employees who are absent for more than five days may be required to provide a doctor’s note. In the event an employee needs to be absent from work for more than five days, they should contact Human Resource to discuss an accommodation under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Employees may return to work and students may return to class after a negative COVID-19 test or after symptoms have subsided and they are fever-free without medication for 24 hours.

CONTACT TRACING

Contract tracing is a useful tool; however, traditional contact tracing may not account for every individual an infected person may expose. The college will work with local health agencies to facilitate contract tracing if necessary.

College will not initiate contract tracing unless it becomes aware of a cluster of COVID-19 cases.