There are many issues to address in the upcoming days and weeks. We will get through them together as a community with patience, charity, and communicating with one another. We will continually update this page with information that pertains to your particular role within the DMU community. Let’s pray for one another and stay safe and healthy


FAQ’s for Students, Faculty, and Staff

Is the campus open?
The campus is open. Please see Repopulation of the Campus here. Academic and student services will be available on campus with the caveat that a virtual Zoom option be available for students, faculty, and staff with health, family or other concerns that make it advisable for them to participate remotely. Many activities will be available on campus subject to the gathering size, social distancing, and other requirements included in this plan. Daily Mass will be offered subject to the number of participants allowed for social distancing and any other requirements included in this plan. Whenever possible, activities will include a virtual Zoom option for students, faculty, and staff with health, family or other concerns that make it advisable for them to participate remotely.

What are the Hours of Operation?
The campus hours of operation will remain similar to previous semesters.

Campus
Access to the building is available after the health screening during the following hours:
Monday 7am – 10pm
Tuesday 7am – 8pm
Wednesday 7am – 8pm
Thursday 7am – 10pm
Friday 7am – 5pm
Saturday 9am – 5pm

Library
Reference Librarian – 24 hours/7 days per week
Electronic resources – 24 hours/7 days per week
Campus circulating and reserve collection; library study rooms

Monday 7am – 8pm
Tuesday 7am – 8pm
Wednesday 7am – 8pm
Thursday 7am – 8pm
Friday 7am – 5pm

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Are classes being held?
Classes in the PsyD program are being held on campus with a virtual live-streamed Zoom option available for students and faculty with health, family or other concerns that make it advisable for them to participate remotely. Zoom access information is included on the schedule for students to join remotely. The PsyD new student orientation will be offered in a similar hybrid format. Student competency assessments that must be completed in-person will be conducted on campus during semester breaks or on days when no other classes are offered whenever it can be safely and effectively accomplished following this plan.

The Master of Science in Counseling, the Master of Science in Psychology, and Spiritual Direction Program that offer classes online will continue online. The Fall 2020 residencies for the Master of Science in Counseling and Spiritual Direction Program will continue to be offered online. The Center for Trauma and Resiliency Studies will offer on a small scale for some of its programs on campus, when education and training may be safely and effectively accomplished and following this plan. The IPS Center will be open for clients and student training consistent whenever the services and training can be safely and effectively offered following this plan.

What resources are available to help me with IT issues?
Online Classroom Support will continue to provide IT Support for both Students taking courses and Faculty teaching online during this period.

Will the coronavirus affect admissions deadlines?
Please refer to the each program’s admission information on the www.divinemercy.edu website for any changes in admission deadlines or temporary accommodations in the admissions requirements and process:

Master of Science in Counseling

Master of Science in Psychology

Doctoral program in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

Are events on campus cancelled?
Please pay close attention to communication from your program directors and/or the Office of the President for ongoing information regarding events.

Is the IPS Center open?
The IPS Center will be open for clients and student training consistent whenever the services and training can be safely and effectively offered following this plan.

Is the DMU Library open?
The library is open on Campus and online. All of the services that are available to students while on campus are also available for all students regardless of their location. Database access, electronic journal access, and all electronic course materials are available 24 hours, 7 days a week and are cloud based via our integrated library system. All students, faculty, and staff have login credentials and are able to access resources anywhere that an internet connection is available.

Reference services are available via email at library@divinemercy.edu, by telephone at 703-416-1441 x119, or chat service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (Click the hyperlink to participate in Chat Reference).

Library Hours: 
Monday 7am – 8pm
Tuesday 7am – 8pm
Wednesday 7am – 8pm
Thursday 7am – 8pm
Friday 7am – 5pm

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Social Distancing Guidelines During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
In the current circumstances, Divine Mercy University will implement these social distancing guidelines to avoid the spread of the disease among the staff.

During the workday, employees are requested to:

  1. Avoid meeting people face-to-face. Employees are encouraged to use the telephone,  online conferencing, e-mail or instant messaging to conduct business as much as  possible, even when participants are in the same building.
  2. If a face-to-face meeting is unavoidable, minimize the meeting time, choose a large meeting room and sit at least one yard from each other if possible; avoid person-to-person contact such as shaking hands.
  3. Avoid any unnecessary travel and cancel or postpone nonessential meetings, gatherings, workshops and training sessions
  4. Do not congregate in workrooms, pantries, copier rooms or other areas where people socialize.
  5. Bring lunch and eat at your desk or away from others (avoid lunchrooms and crowded restaurants).
  6. Encourage members of your team and others to request information via phone and e-mail in order to minimize person-to-person contact. Have documents, materials and information ready for fast pick-up or delivery.
  7. Avoid using personal devices of coworkers (phone, cellphone, personal computer, etc.)
  8. Maintain common areas as clean as possible (pantry, microwaves, kitchenette tables, etc.)

What are COVID-19 symptoms?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. According to the CDC, people with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • 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

I feel sick but I do not know if it is COVID-19.  Should I come to campus?
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come to campus. For yourself and as a courtesy to others, please stay home, rest and recover so you do not expose others, and notify your academic advisor or supervisor.  If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. 

HERE is a link from the CDC website that has detailed information regarding what to do if you feel sick with COVID-19 symptoms.

When may I return to campus?
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19,you may return  to campus once all three of the following conditions are met:

  1.  It has been 10 days since your symptoms first appeared; AND
  2. You have had no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications for 24 hours; AND
  3. Your other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (Note: loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​).

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?
Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

Isolation keeps someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms away from others, even in their own home.  

I was in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.  Should I quarantine?
Close contact is defined by the CDC as:

  • Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

If you were in close contact with someone who has tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID-19 you should quarantine for up to 14 days after your last contact with that person.

Here are some additional guidelines:

  • If you receive a negative test result for COVID-19, you can return to work.
  • If the individual suspected of having COVID-19 tests positive for COVID and you do not have symptoms or a positive test result, you can be around others after 14 days from last exposure to the individual with COVID-19.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of a positive test result, you can be around others after 10 days since symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​)

Who should I contact at DMU if I need to quarantine or isolate?
Please fill out the COVID Reporting Form and contact your supervisor directly if you believe you need to quarantine or isolate.  Your supervisor will ask you specific questions regarding your situation.  Your supervisor will notify the COVID-19 response team and make them aware of the situation.  The response team may contact you directly if they have questions related to the potential spread of the disease on campus and to determine if further reporting is necessary.  Please be aware that your identity and privacy will be protected throughout the process.

I would like to telecommute while I quarantine.  How do I arrange that?
If you have not filled out the Telecommute Agreement form, please ask your supervisor to provide the form.  You will need to discuss the details regarding work expectations with your supervisor.

There are some employees at DMU that are required to be on campus to complete their responsibilities.  Their supervisor and Human Resources will communicate directly with those employees regarding COVID-19 protocols related to their roles and responsibilities.

If I plan to travel, do I need to quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus?
As of today, December 1, 2020, the State of Virginia, the CDC and the University do not require individuals to quarantine if they have traveled.  HERE is the link to the CDC for frequently asked questions for those planning to travel both internationally and domestically.  This link provides access to recommendations for individuals planning to travel.

Because the COVID-19 Pandemic is a quickly evolving situation, state and local quarantine and travel requirements/restrictions may change.  The CDC has provided access HERE to get important information as you consider traveling to different cities and states across the United States.  By entering a city, zip code, or address at this link you will get up to the minute information regarding COVID-19 travel restrictions, guidance, and resources at your destination.If you live in Virginia, and had close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, self-quarantine (stay home) and monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after your last contact.

  • Answer the call. Your local health department will reach out to you with more recommendations if you are identified as a close contact during contact tracing.
  • Get tested. Contact your healthcare provider to ask about getting tested because of your exposure. There are many test sampling sites available throughout the state to get yourself tested. Call ahead and wear a cloth face covering when you leave home. If you test negative during your quarantine period, you will still need to complete your full 14-day quarantine before it is safe to go back to work or be around others.
  • Stay home and away from others (“self-quarantine”). Avoid contact with others to avoid spreading the infection to others. Do not go to work* or school. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares, if possible. Your local health department can assist you with making sure that your basic needs (for example, food and medication) are being met. More information, including scenarios on when to end quarantine, is available here.
  • Monitor your health. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day (once in the morning, once at night) and watch for fever. Also, watch for other signs and symptoms of COVID-19  such as cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell. You can download VDH’s Daily Symptom Monitoring Log to help keep track of your symptoms.
  • How long do I need to stay home? It may take up to 14 days from exposure for you to develop COVID-19. Self-quarantine and monitor your health for 14 days from when you last had contact with the infected person. View the VDH When to End Home Isolation and Quarantine Infographic for more.

More resources: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.htmlwww.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/local-exposure/