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Virus and Communicable Disease Prevention and Response

Our community depends on our commitment to each other – that’s what makes a hive work. Though COVID-19 is no longer classified as a pandemic, it taught us important techniques for being vigilant against viruses that could impact the health of other students, alumni, parents and families, faculty and staff.

Today, the CDC recommends treating COVID-19 like other common respiratory viruses, including flu and RSV. Best practices include:

  • Staying to protect people against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. This includes flu, COVID-19, and RSV if eligible.
  • Practicing good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes, washing or sanitizing hands often, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
  • Taking steps for cleaner air, such as bringing in more fresh outside air, purifying indoor air, or gathering outdoors.

Questions? Contact Student Health.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I experience symptoms of a respiratory virus, what should I do?

If you are experiencing symptoms including but not limited to fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, or loss of taste and/or smell that are not better explained by another cause, you should:

  • Stay home and away from others (including people you live with who are not sick).
  • Monitor your health. See a doctor or urgent care if your symptoms become severe.
If I test positive for a respiratory virus, when can I return to normal activity? How should I modify my behavior?

The CDC recommendations suggest returning to normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever was present, it has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication.

Once you resume normal activities, you are encouraged to take additional prevention strategies for the next 5 days to curb disease spread, such as taking more steps for cleaner air, enhancing hygiene practices, wearing a well-fitting mask, and keeping a distance from others.

Are tests available for students and employees?

Rapid testing for strep throat, COVID, mononucleosis, and influenza may be available through Student Health. Employees should purchase their tests from a drugstore or other location.

Does the College require vaccination/booster shots?

Prior to enrollment, the College requires students to submit documentation of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine, a tetanus booster, the polio vaccine series, and vaccinations for Hepatitis B and meningococcal meningitis. COVID-19 is not required, but is an effective, safe and critical tool to combat COVID-19. The College encourages all members of our community to be vaccinated and boosted as soon as eligible.

If I am sick, what do I do about class?

Students who are experiencing illness that prevents them from going to class are expected to keep up with their schoolwork, as their health permits. It is essential that students reach out to their faculty to notify them that they are unable to attend any required in-person classes/activities and to make all necessary arrangements to complete assignments. 

Students should notify their faculty at the earliest possible moment that they:

  1. Are managing a health (or personal) matter under the care of medical professionals;
  2. May need flexibility with regard to deadlines or attendance policies.

Although the option to attend class virtually may be offered, faculty are not required to provide remote access to their courses for students who are isolating. Faculty will do all that they reasonably can to assist students in maintaining academic progress. Students are encouraged to follow up with a classmate to obtain class notes.

In some cases, particularly as the end of the term approaches, students and faculty may also wish to discuss whether an incomplete grade would be appropriate. The policy on incomplete grades can be found under  in the Catalog. 

In cases of significant illness or missed class, students may wish to withdraw from the class or from the College for medical reasons. Students who wish to withdraw from a course, may do so via MyMaconWeb within the withdrawal deadline. Students who wish to discuss options for medical withdrawal from a course after the deadline has passed, or for medical withdrawal from the College, should contact the Registrar鈥檚 Office at registrar@rmc.edu. Withdrawal dates are published in the College鈥檚 academic calendar

Related information:

Students who do not take proactive steps to notify their faculty of their circumstances or who fail to make arrangements to complete their coursework are likely to fall behind and may struggle to catch up and/or to achieve the grades they desire.

Students in quarantine and isolation are reminded that online tutoring and academic coaching is available through the Higgins Academic Center, and they are encouraged to utilize these additional supports during their time in isolation.

Students or faculty who need assistance with negotiating class arrangements may contact Dean Susan Parker (sparker@rmc.edu) for assistance.