As individuals continue to test positively for COVID-19 in Iowa, Mercy College of Health Sciences’ administrators are collaborating daily on campus-wide preparations and responses in accordance with federal, regional, and state authorities’ recommendations. Currently, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in the Mercy College community.
Upon returning from spring break on Monday, March 23, 2020, out of consideration for the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, all classes will be conducted online. The campus will remain in operation for faculty and staff during this period unless we receive alternate guidance from MercyOne, Iowa Department of Public Health, or the Polk County Health Department. This precaution will continue until further notice. All campus gatherings that expect an attendance number greater than 50 participants have been canceled. This includes the College’s upcoming Research Symposium.
In addition, all travel has been suspended until further notice. This includes the College’s Ireland immersion trip and all travel to conferences and meetings. Any exceptions must have Mercy College President's written approval. Students traveling to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, or Japan must self-quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to campus. Please reference the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website (www.cdc.gov), as the list of countries deemed unsafe may be updated. Any students who plan to take a cruise over spring break may also be asked to self-quarantine upon their return.
“The safety of all students and employees is always our top priority. The College is working closely with state and local public health partners as we prepare for an uncertain immediate future with COVID-19,” stated Mercy College President. “Please remember, there is no reason for panic. Normal procedures for infection control are warranted, and we do not take this decision to alter our academic calendar lightly.”
Mercy College will provide weekly COVID-19 updates to the campus community until such a time as they become unnecessary. More frequent communication may occur as the situation continues to develop.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, indicates that some people are at higher risk from this illness, including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. The CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to avoid the spread of respiratory diseases. These recommended precautions include staying home when sick, avoiding contact with ill individuals, coughing or sneezing into a tissue, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces with a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to avoid touching their eyes, noses, and mouths, and to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the restroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their noses.
About Mercy College of Health Sciences
Mercy College of Health Sciences is the only private Catholic college in central Iowa and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Located in downtown Des Moines, Mercy College prepares graduates for service and leadership in the healthcare community with a wide range of bachelor’s, associate, and certificate degrees. Visit www.mchs.edu or call (515) 643-3180 to learn how you can start Charting Your Course.