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COVID-19 Guidelines for Students

The following guidelines have been produced for students at Martin Community College.

Points of Contact

Students with questions related to COVID-19 general questions should call the MCC Information Desk to be directed to the appropriate person: (252) 792-1521.

Students with questions regarding coursework should contact their instructor.

Counseling Services

MCC recognizes that in this challenging time, there are heightened fears and anxiety among our faculty, staff, and students. Students are encouraged to reach out to one of MCC's counselors.

Why Are Additional Health Requirements Needed Now?

The indication from current research is that COVID-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. The virus may spread when someone touches a contaminated surface and then their nose or mouth. The ease at which COVID-19 spreads is why personal prevention practices (such as wearing a face covering in public, handwashing, and staying home when sick) and environmental cleaning and disinfection are important practices.

Any scenario in which many people gather poses a risk for COVID-19 transmission. There are recommendations from many sources on limiting the spread of the virus. MCC is taking actions to reduce the risk of exposure and spread on campus. Some practices are in place due to the risk of asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19. Unlike many other illnesses, transmission from even those with mild or no apparent symptoms remains a risk.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People who experience these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or Difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Headache

This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Fever is determined by measuring a temperature of 100.4 °F or greater, or feeling warm to the touch, or giving a history of feeling feverish.

Face Coverings Are REQUIRED

Wearing face coverings, that cover the individual's nose and mouth, are required when entering buildings and in shared spaces on MCC's campus including hallways and lobbies. Face coverings are not required while a person is alone in their individual office. Face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Individuals should be reminded frequently not to touch the face covering and to wash their hands. Face coverings should not be placed on:

  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious.
  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
  • Anyone who cannot tolerate a cloth face covering due to developmental, medical, or behavioral health needs.

Alternative face coverings, such as face shields may be utilized by individuals with medical conditions that make breathing difficult or as recommended by a health care provider.

Face coverings are required when an individual is outside of MCC buildings if maintaining proper social distancing is not possible.

Ensuring Compliance with Face Coverings

Individuals who are not wearing or do not have a face covering will be informed of the College's requirement and given information on where to obtain a face covering if they do not have one. Individuals who do not comply with MCC’s face covering requirement could be denied entry into the buildings, are ineligible to participate in campus activities, and will be asked to leave campus until such a time they obtain and properly wear a face covering.

CDC Guidance on Face Coverings - Wear your Face Covering Correctly

  • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
  • Make sure you can breathe easily

Use the Face Covering to Protect Others

  • Wear a face covering to help protect others in case you're infected but don't have symptoms
  • Keep the covering on your face the entire time you're in public
  • Don't put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead
  • Don't touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands

Take Off Your Cloth Face Covering Carefully

  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
  • Handle only by the ear loops or ties
  • Fold outside corners together
  • Place covering in the washing machine (learn more about how to wash cloth face coverings)
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

Social Distancing and Minimizing Exposure

Social distancing is required when possible. It is a key tool to decrease the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing ("physical distancing") means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. The recommended minimum distance is six (6) feet.

Protecting Vulnerable Populations

Individuals who are considered high-risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 include people who:

  • Are 65 years of age or older
  • Have a high-risk condition that includes:
    • chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • heart disease with complications
    • compromised immune system
    • severe obesity - body mass index of 40 or higher
    • other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease

Students who are high risk should contact faculty to work on possible alternative learning arrangements, when feasible, though it is understood some programs may not allow for this. More information on who is at higher risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 is available from the CDC and NCDHHS.

Cleaning and Hygiene

Hand Washing

Everyone on campus should wash their hands as frequently as possible, with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. When it is not possible to wash your hands, MCC has hand sanitizer stations located near the entrances to the buildings on campus and in many instructional spaces.

Hand Sanitizer

MCC will provide hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Currently, the dispensers located near the entrances to buildings are filled with a hand sanitizer that is 80% Ethanol, 0.125% Hydrogen Peroxide, and 1.45% Glycerol. Individuals with extremely sensitive skin may choose to provide their own hand sanitizer, which should be at least 60% alcohol.

Hygiene Practices

Students are asked to cough or sneeze into their elbows or with their mouth and nose covered with a tissue.

The sharing of personal items and supplies, such as pens and pencils, should be avoided if at all possible.

Facilities Hygiene and Sanitation Practices

MCC Facilities Services will clean high touch surfaces that are part of the building, such as sinks, light switches, door handles, and handrails frequently. Items such as desks, keyboards, computer mice, and other equipment are to be cleaned by the individual utilizing the space. Cleaning supplies for labs or classrooms may be requested by contacting Facilities Services: billy.barber@martincc.edu or calling (252) 789-0303.

Monitoring for Symptoms

Regular screenings for symptoms and ongoing self-monitoring throughout the day can help reduce exposure to COVID-19. Students are encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If a student develops symptoms during the day, they should leave campus immediately and email their instructor(s). Students who are exhibiting symptoms will be required to leave the classroom and campus. Also, please text the COVID-19 helpline at 252-802-6116 and leave a name and number and you will receive a return call to discuss appropriate next steps.

Testing and Return Guidelines

Any individual who has one or more symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider or one of the testing services to determine if testing is appropriate.

Individuals Diagnosed with COVID-19

If a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19, they must text the COVID-19 helpline at 252-802-6116 and leave a name and number and you will receive a return call to discuss appropriate next steps.

If an instructor or student in a shared classroom space tests positive for COVID-19, the entire class will immediately shift to online only instruction for 14 days.

If a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19 per CDC recommendations, they may not return to campus until the following conditions are met:

  • At least fourteen (14) days have passed since the first symptoms or positive test, or official proof of a negative test, and
  • No fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medicine), and
  • Other symptoms have improved (e.g., coughing, shortness of breath, etc.)

Individuals in Close Contact to Someone Diagnosed with COVID-19

Close contact is defined by the CDC as being less than six (6) feet apart for more than 15 minutes with or without a mask. If a student has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is at high risk for exposure, per CDC recommendations, they may not return to campus until the following conditions are met:

  • At least 14 days have passed since the exposure or official proof of a negative test
  • He/she has no symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., coughing, shortness of breath, etc.)


Students who have tested positive or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 are required to stay home until they meet the guidelines to return.

Students who have been in close contact, and are at high-risk for exposure, are required to stay home until they meet the guidelines to return.

Faculty should modify attendance policies that enable students who are symptomatic to make up work without penalty.

Students who knowingly come to campus without meeting the criteria to return are subject to disciplinary action.

As new information is available, guidelines will be adjusted, and the current operational plan may shift. MCC Administrators will continue to monitor recommendations and guidelines shared by the federal, state, and local officials to make local adjustments to the guidance and ongoing operations of MCC.