EMMITSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — Wednesday was the first of several move-in days at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg. Nearly 600 of 655 incoming freshman will move onto campus this week, making it the university’s largest freshman class ever.
Of course, due to the pandemic, move-in and school in general will look a little different. Everyone who enters campus will be subject to temperature checks, and all students have been tested for COVID-19. The health and well-being of all members of the Mount community will remain the schools top priority.
Statement from President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.:
Mount St. Mary’s is fortunate to be able to offer in-person instruction this semester, and we are excited to be welcoming our largest ever freshman class. We have instituted many new policies and procedures to keep our community healthy and safe. Our rural location on 1,400 acres in Frederick County, which has a low positivity rate, supports our risk reduction measures. Through the Mount Safe Initiative, more than 100 faculty, administrators and staff have devoted thousands of hours to devising and implementing an excellent plan to reopen campus. Guided by five principles, with the health and safety of our community and student success at the forefront, we have carefully and thoroughly prepared for Fall 2020. We are confident that the Return to the Mount plan will effectively reduce risk. We are ready to deliver on our mission to educate ethical leaders who lead lives of significance in service to God and others.
While on campus, masks must be worn in hallways, restrooms and other common areas but are not students rooms. Campus dining will work under a reservations system and both students on and off campus will have the opportunity to have a hybrid learning model. The universities ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19 are as follows:
- Our risk reduction efforts involve five basic layers of protection including face coverings; physical distancing; handwashing; self-quarantine when needed, informed by daily health surveys for students and employees as well as testing and contact tracing; and limited exposure. Exposure will be limited by minimizing size of groups, adhering to posted occupancy limits and using virtual means of communication over in person as much as possible.
- Among the exposure reducing/physical distancing measures is the offering of hybrid classes in which a portion attend class in person and the rest join remotely and then the reverse happens for the next class thus reducing normal class sizes by half. Every classroom is technologically equipped to offer remote instruction.
- Every arriving student and seminarian is being testing for COVID-19 and random tests will be conducted through the semester.
- The Mount has continually consulted with the Frederick County Health Department as we developed our reopening plan.
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