Response to COVID-1907.07.20
Dear Students of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology,
We trust that this update finds you well as we all continue to navigate these challenging, and yet nevertheless grace-filled, times. Indeed, our long sense of history – salvation history – comes to our advantage in moments like these. Rather than doubt, we have hope; rather than fear, we have joy. At least that is the goal of our lives lived in the freedom of the sons and daughters of God.
However, while we are hopeful and joyful, we are also prudent, and so this update is intended to inform you of the plans and policies that we will be implementing for the 2020-2021 academic year, at least for the period of time in which we are dealing with the effects of this global pandemic.
First of all, our plan is to offer classes in-person. While the option for remote learning is helpful in times when face-to-face communication is impossible, the value of interpersonal interaction is hard to ignore. That being said, the following policies and procedures are intended to ensure that we provide a safe environment for all of our students, faculty and staff:
- Prior to visiting the seminary campus or the satellite campus in Vandalia, for any reason (e.g., class, visiting the library, attending an event, etc.), students are asked to perform a health self-evaluation. This evaluation will include looking for symptoms as indicated on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html).
- Those with a temperature of 100.3º F or higher, a cough, respiratory distress, new loss of taste or smell, muscle or body aches, sore throat, congestion, or other symptoms identified in the CDC link above are asked not to come to campus.
- Social distancing of 6 feet or more must be observed on campus at all times. Classrooms have been configured to accommodate this spacing.
- All students are required to wear facial coverings while inside the building. They should cover the lower half of the nose (including the nostrils) down to the base of the chin.
- Daily liturgies in the chapel and meal service in the refectory will be closed to non-residents.
- Students may continue to access the classrooms, library, and bookstore as needed, while observing the social distance and facial covering policies above.
We realize that the details outlined here will add a level of inconvenience for us all. However, these policies will also enable us to continue to do the work that the Lord is asking of us right now: to deepen our knowledge and love of Him, and to make us well-equipped to assist in the Church’s mission of building up the Kingdom here on earth.
MTSM has been monitoring news concerning the coronavirus and will continue to do so. The seminary and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are preparing for any potential impact, and will follow any recommendations from local, state and federal officials. This page will continue to be updated with new information once it is available.