STAYING STRONG

2021-22

Protecting the health and safety of the Meredith community.

STAYING STRONG AND STAYING SAFE AT MEREDITH COLLEGE

Keeping Meredith College students, employees, and all community members safe is a shared responsibility.   

For that reason, anyone who lives, learns, or works at Meredith or who visits the Meredith campus must adhere to Meredith’s community standards.

In acknowledgment of improving COVID-19 metrics on campus, in Wake County, and across N.C., Meredith has further relaxed our community standards.

  • Masks are encouraged but will be optional in indoor spaces on campus, with the exception of clinical spaces such as Carroll Hall and athletic training rooms, designated spaces in the Learning Center, and childcare facilities. The Lowery Fitness center will be mask-optional during open hours. 
  • Meredith officially moved to masks optional in most classrooms beginning  March 21.
  • Some faculty may request that students still wear masks while in their classes. Some individuals will continue to request that masks be worn in their private office spaces.

Meredith College now requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination from all students and employees (without an approved medical or religious exemption). 

Other guidance includes self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms maintaining physical distance, and frequently washing hands. 

Visitors are required to follow Meredith’s community standards when on campus. Learn more on the Visitor Information page.

Meredith leaders continue making decisions that are based on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State of North Carolina, and the American College Health Association. And while individuals may make decisions for the individual’s well-being, our responsibility is to make decisions that affect the 2,500+ students, employees, and guests of the College. Thus, all decisions are made with the health and safety of our entire community as the highest priority. Please visit this site regularly for updates

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FAQS

What is Meredith’s academic schedule for 2021-22? 
Classes, which start on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, will be held remotely through Friday, January 14, 2022. This change to the mode for the first week of class will give us more time to monitor cases and new guidance before requiring more people to return to campus for in-person classes.

Meredith’s full academic calendar is available on the registrar’s website

Has Meredith returned to a full schedule of face-to-face classes this year?
Classes, which start on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, will be held remotely through Friday, January 14, 2022. This change to the mode for the first week of class will give us more time to monitor cases and new guidance before requiring more people to return to campus for in-person classes.

Meredith’s classes are otherwise scheduled to be offered in face-to-face mode, with a few special exceptions made through the dean. Face-to-face is the term used for classes in a traditional classroom setting.

Is Meredith requiring face coverings in face-to-face classes?

In acknowledgment of improving COVID-19 metrics on campus, in Wake County, and across N.C., Meredith College will further relax our community standards, effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 4, 2022

  • Masks are encouraged but will be optional in indoor spaces on campus, with the exception of classrooms, clinical spaces such as Carroll Hall and athletic training rooms, designated spaces in the Learning Center, and childcare facilities. The Lowery Fitness center will be mask-optional during open hours. 
  • Provided COVID metrics continue to improve, the College expects to move to mask optional in most classrooms at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 21.

 

What other COVID-19 safety measures will be in place in classroom settings?
Classroom occupancies will be based on students being a minimum of three feet apart. While Meredith is using three feet as a measure, the actual room capacities are being guided by calculations that take a variety of parameters including virus strain, room size, air flow, masking protocols, etc. into account.

Faculty will, again, be expected to stay at the front of the classroom, approximately six feet away. 

No eating or drinking is allowed in classrooms or alcoves in academic buildings.

How should students advised to Quarantine/Isolate alert their faculty? Keeping Meredith College students, employees, and community members safe is a shared responsibility. During the academic year, students may receive guidance from health providers to quarantine or isolate for a number of days because of exposure or a positive COVID test.

  • Students asked by an on-campus or off-campus health provider to quarantine or isolate MUST IMMEDIATELY report their exposure or positive test to Student Health using the email healthcenter@meredith.edu.

  • Failing to self-report is a violation of Meredith’s Community Standards and will be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for review.

The student must take steps to notify the student’s instructors that they have been required to isolate or quarantine for a specific period of time. This may be accomplished in one of two ways:

  1. The student may forward the email the student received from the campus Health Center with the quarantine/isolation directive, or

  2. The student may contact the Office of the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@meredith.edu to inform the office of the directive and provide supporting documentation from a health provider for verification purposes. The Office of the Dean of Students will notify the student’s instructors and academic advisor that the student has been approved to isolate or quarantine for specific dates.

The student should immediately make arrangements with the faculty member of each class to stay current in the class.

Please note that the length of the student’s quarantine or isolation period may vary, depending on the student’s specific situation.

What is the status of Meredith’s study abroad programs?
The Office of International Programs (OIP) has been consistently monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic since January 2020. After extensive review, Meredith reinstated study abroad programs to a limited degree in fall 2021, with a semester program at Meredith’s site in Sansepolcro, Italy, and through vetted and approved affiliate programs. A more robust slate of study abroad programs are being offered in spring and summer 2022.

Students choosing to participate in study abroad will be required to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols, including being fully vaccinated. Because the health and safety of our students and community members, including study abroad participants and faculty, are of paramount importance to Meredith College, OIP will continue to monitor conditions throughout the pandemic. Visit the OIP site for more COVID-19 Study Abroad Updates

Can students use the library for online meetings?
Meredith College students can use the Carlyle Campbell Library as a space to attend Zoom meetings. Students must wear face coverings while in the library. 

As a courtesy, students attending Zoom meetings in the library are asked to wear headphones and speak quietly. We ask students not to “attend” meetings on the library’s top floor, which is reserved for quiet study. 

Meredith has added air filters to each study room. Three study rooms will accommodate two individuals. Three others can accommodate only one. Room reservations can be made from the Library website. 

The library patio has good Wi-Fi access as well as tables and chairs.

Visit the Library website for details on library hours.   

What are library hours?
The library has resumed normal operating hours. Camcards are required to enter the library after 9 p.m. You can get more information about the library at infotogo.meredith.edu

Can students use an empty classroom to study or do classwork?
In addition to outdoor seating areas, the library, and first and second floor Cate Center, students may use unoccupied classrooms to do work or study. Please be sure to double-check the class schedule and occupancy limit, wear a face covering, and follow instructions on where to sit. Class schedules should be posted for each room on or near the classroom door.

Some courses are listed as face-to-face, online synchronous, online asynchronous, and hybrid courses. What do these terms mean?
Face-to-face is the traditional classroom setting. Almost all fall classes will be face-to-face. 

Other possible course types include

  • Online synchronous is an online class that has real-time course meetings.
  • Online asynchronous is a true online class with no real-time meetings.
  • Hybrid is a class with a mix of face-to-face and online (synchronous, asynchronous, or both) learning.

Why is Meredith requiring the COVID vaccination prior to the start of spring semester 2022?
Meredith College accepts the science showing that vaccination is the best way to protect our whole community. Keeping Meredith and its people safe is our first priority, as we have stated throughout our pandemic communications. Vaccinations are the latest addition to the tools we already use: testing, masking, social distancing, hand washing, hand sanitizer stations, CampusClear, and routine cleaning, as well as when necessary, disinfection. As the science shows, these tools overlap to address gaps in the prevention of transmission and minimization of effects, meaning these multiple practices are most likely to offer optimal protection.

For expert information on the COVID-19 vaccine, consider watching Meredith College’s webinar Viruses and Vaccines: The History, Science, and Impacts of COVID-19 

I have already submitted proof of vaccination to the portal – do I need to do anything else to comply with this requirement?
No. If you have already submitted proof of vaccination, there’s nothing else you need to do at this time.

Is Meredith requiring a COVID vaccine booster?
As of January 2022, Meredith College is not requiring boosters but strongly recommends that individuals who are more than five months out from their second Pfizer dose, six months out from their second Moderna dose, or more than two months after their single Johnson & Johnson/Janssen dose.

What will the vaccination cost?
Vaccinations continue to be available at no cost in the United States to anyone age 12 and older.

Where can I get vaccinated?
In Wake County, there are free vaccination sites available most days. Increasingly, COVID-19 vaccinations are also available at area pharmacies and doctor’s offices. The pharmacy in  Ridgewood shopping center is offering vaccinations by appointment and is within walking distance of campus.

The North Carolina Vaccine Locator includes a list of both government and private vaccine location sites throughout the state.

Do I have to get the Pfizer vaccine to satisfy Meredith’s vaccine requirement?
No. You can take the two-shot Pfizer vaccine, the two-shot Moderna vaccine, or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Taking any of those vaccines will satisfy the Meredith COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

How much time must pass between the first and second shots for Pfizer and for Moderna?
Physicians and vaccination experts guide the timing of doses. If you take the Pfizer vaccine, you must allow three weeks between the first and second doses. If you take the Moderna vaccine, you must allow four weeks between the first and second doses. 

How long before I am considered fully vaccinated after getting vaccinated?
You need to allow two weeks beyond the last shot in your series (after the single shot for Johnson & Johnson; after the second shot for Pfizer or Moderna). That’s why Meredith is announcing our vaccine requirement now (September 2021) to allow plenty of time for you to get a vaccine and be fully vaccinated (two weeks after your last dose).

How soon can I take the vaccination?
For maximum protection, you should take the vaccine as soon as possible. If you are on campus, unvaccinated, and subject to routine surveillance testing, being vaccinated sooner rather than later means you can stop the routine surveillance testing when you have received emailed approval from student health services to do so.

Can I take the vaccination just before I return to school for spring semester?
You need to have finished your vaccination or vaccination series at least two weeks before you return to campus for the start of spring semester.

Once I am vaccinated, how do I report my vaccination status to Meredith College?
You will need to upload a scan or photograph of your vaccination card into the portal https://cvdsubmit.meredith.edu/ and complete the required data fields there. You must do so by January 4, 2022.

What if I need a medical exception or religious exemption to this requirement?

You can fill out the form for a medical or religious exemption request and upload it to the portal https://cvdsubmit.meredith.edu/ .

The exemptions section of the portal is open only for new Spring 2022 students and students who were on leave during Fall 2021. The portal will close for these students on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

Students who were enrolled in Fall 2021 are not eligible to submit or resubmit exemptions at this time. The deadline for students enrolled in Fall 2021 was November 15, 2021.

Please only submit the Meredith-specific exemption forms.

Additional documentation, beyond what is required on the form, will not be considered as part of the review. Forms that have been altered will not be considered.

 

Exemption requests will be considered anonymously, without the reviewers knowing the name of the person submitting the information. To protect this process, please do not submit a request via email.

 Once an individual’s request form has been accepted for review, it cannot be amended or re-submitted. The decision of the review committee is final.

Note: students or employees who want or need to exercise their right to exemption may be subject to special masking, distancing, and testing requirements.

 Will there be any testing requirements for the Spring semester?
Testing requirements for the Spring will depend on campus and community conditions later this year. We will announce any testing requirements closer to the end of 2021 and/or the beginning of 2022.

Testing Requirement FAQ

Who does the weekly surveillance testing requirement apply to?
Students who have not submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination by August 23, 2021, are required to participate in routine testing throughout the 2021-22 academic year.  All Meredith students who are unvaccinated and either registered for an in-person course or living on campus will be required to attend testing once a week. (If a student has tested positive in the past 90 days, they will need to contact Student Health for a personalized testing schedule.) 

Please note that any unvaccinated Meredith undergraduate or graduate student enrolled online-only who needs to come to campus should be tested each week she or he comes to campus for any reason.

How is this requirement enforced?
Under Meredith’s Honor Code, students must adhere to campus policies and Community Standards, including the required COVID-19 testing. Students who miss their weekly testing will be referred to the Community Standards Task Force.

Where and when will COVID testing be held?
Testing will be held on campus at various times during the week in the lobby of Jones Auditorium. Unvaccinated students will be emailed weekly with the following week’s testing dates, times, location, and a booking link. The College will try to keep the same days, times, and location, but they may vary depending on the academic schedule and events.

Is there a fee for COVID-19 Surveillance Testing? Will an unvaccinated student be out of pocket the cost of COVID testing on campus at Meredith this fall?
Students who are required to participate in routine testing will pay a $1,125 fee (15 weeks of testing at $75 per test) to cover the costs of this service for the fall semester.

The student will need to fill out a form for financial assistance and then Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) will cover the cost of testing. This is available to all types of students: US citizens, Undocumented, Permanent Residents and foreign students.

What if I applied for government funds earlier—am I still eligible for these funds?
Yes, as long as you file with the Office of Financial Assistance. If you have a specific question about your case, please consult with the Office of Financial Assistance.

Why must COVID testing be done at Meredith and not at an off-campus site?
The testing results will be sent concurrently by Mako (the testing company) to students and the college, ensuring that any discovery of a positive result can be addressed quickly to reduce the possibility of the spread of COVID. This quick response is crucial to Meredith’s ability to provide a safe learning and living environment for our students. If test results were to come in from multiple doctors, county testing sites, pharmacies, and all the other places one might be tested, there would be great lag time, which would reduce our chance of containing campus spread. 

Because Mako is working with Meredith to provide tests at reduced costs, they are not able to process individual insurance claims. Many insurance policies do not cover the cost of serial surveillance testing. Because the tests are done on Meredith’s campus, the student can have costs covered by HEERF.

In addition, by providing the testing at multiple times on campus, Meredith is making testing convenient for students—and not forcing them to take time to get to remote sites and wait in long lines there, not having to do additional work to get results filed with the College, and not worry that their results might have gone astray between provider and College.

What if a student gets vaccinated during the fall semester? Would that student have to continue surveillance testing?
Students who receive a vaccine during the Fall semester will no longer need to test weekly once they are fully vaccinated (two weeks after their last dose in a series).

Students would first need to upload their proof of vaccination status after completing the full series of a vaccine to Meredith’s private, secure portal. After uploading, the documentation will go through the approval process (generally within 24 business hours).  After approval, students will be instructed on when they can stop the weekly surveillance testing program. The testing fee will be prorated based on the number of weeks a student is required to participate in weekly surveillance testing. 

Why are vaccinated students not being tested routinely?
Vaccinated students will be doing daily screenings like all students through Campus Clear and will be tested if symptomatic. This procedure follows current local, state, and federal guidance. They too will be charged for those diagnostic/symptomatic tests and will follow the same procedures to file with Financial Assistance, so the costs of testing will be covered by HEERF funds.

Are there medical or religious exemptions to testing?
Medical and religious exemptions apply to required vaccinations; they do not apply to testing.

Is Campus Police on duty?
Campus Police continues to provide 24/7 assistance to campus community members.

Is the Learning Center available?
This semester, the Learning Center is offering in-person and online appointments during regular business hours and online appointments during the evenings.  Appointments can be scheduled online on the Learning Center website.

Will health services be available?
Students are seen at the Student Health Center by appointments only.  The Student Health Center will continue to provide care for residential students through a telehealth platform.

Counseling appointments are currently available through telehealth delivery. Email counselingcenter@meredith.edu or healthcenter@meredith.edu for more information.

Are career planning services available?
The Office of Career Planning is open and offers virtual appointments. Schedule an appointment via Handshake or email career@meredith.edu. Opportunities to connect with employers virtually are available. visit Handshake regularly for event updates.  Contact career@meredith.edu with questions.

What other campus resources are available?
Most campus offices have increased their in-person office hours to a more typical level. Most Meredith offices have also adapted their offerings to a virtual model. Students should check department sites on MyMeredith for full details.

Meredith’s Campus Store is currently open. Visit shop-meredith.com to shop online. Current store hours are available at meredith.edu/campus-store

Admissions: In-person campus visits are back   – but in a modified format that meets Meredith’s Community StandardsVisitors to campus are expected to comply with Meredith’s COVID-19 protocols. 

My financial situation has changed because of COVID-19. What should I do?
We understand that the shifts in the economy have personally affected many of our students and their families. As always, students should be in touch with the Office of Financial Assistance to discuss any changes to their income status. Contact finaid@meredith.edu or (919) 760-8565.  

Wear A Mask

Wearing a face covering is an important part of the Three Ws. These three standards -- Wear a Face Covering, Wait Six Feet Apart, and Wash Hands or Use Hand Sanitizer Frequently -- work together to keep the Meredith community healthy. For more information on Meredith’s COVID-19 prevention efforts, visit meredith.edu/staying-strong.

Wear A Mask

COMMUNITY STANDARDS

Meredith College has established Community Standards for the campus in response to COVID-19.

SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Meredith College is taking many precautions to safeguard the health of our community for the 2021-22 academic year.

REMEMBER THE THREE WS

3w-mask

Wear a face covering indoors, especially when safe distancing isn’t possible.

3w-six-feet

Wait six feet apart. Avoid close contact.

3w-wash-hands

Wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.

COVID-19
Daily Screening Checklist

Symptoms may appear up to 14 days after exposure to the virus. All employees, students, and campus visitors should self-screen for the following factors:

  • Close contact (longer than 15 minutes over a 24 hour period within 6 feet) with someone with a known positive COVID-19 case or who is sick
  • COVID-19 case or who is sick with fever and cough
  • Fever (above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea