Students who are unable to arrive in the United States with enough time to fulfill the mandatory 14-day quarantine may begin their learning online while they complete their quarantine. If possible, students will quarantine off-campus, but arrangements can be made on-campus if necessary. We advise speaking to your local embassy for the latest guidelines on traveling to the United States.
Yes, all students arriving internationally will need to complete a 14-day quarantine, given the higher risks associated with extensive air travel.
While we appreciate that many students living abroad will have a COVID-19 test prior to traveling to the United States, we are still asking that all students be tested after arriving. Testing can be done at any approved testing site in the U.S., including for free at Meritus Health in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Returning F-1 visa students who are still in the United States should remain in the country and come to campus for in-person learning in September. Your child’s F-1 visa is their access for entry into the country and does not impact their active SEVIS status. They can study on campus with an expired visa.
We are aware that many countries are seeing delays in scheduling visa appointments and/or that previously scheduled visa appointments are being canceled or rescheduled. A full online learning program will be in place for any students who are unable to arrive on campus prior to the start of school. That program will be in place as long as is needed. The Office of Admission will update your child’s SEVIS record and Form I-20 accordingly. Please continue to communicate any updates about your visa interview appointment with Michelle Faust, primary SEVIS representative, and Anna Crouch, director of admission.
Yes, if a student has elected to purchase the health insurance provided through UnitedHealthcare, it will cover the cost of FDA-approved testing given in the U.S. of any person that is symptomatic, but it will not cover asymptomatic testing. Any hospitalization costs, including those for COVID-19, are covered under the insurance as well.
While we will ask families who are able to quarantine off-campus to do so, we also recognize that this may not be possible for everyone and will work with families to provide a safe quarantine option on campus if necessary. Students who elect to quarantine on campus should contact Chris Howes, assistant head of school for student life and culture. Students needing to quarantine on campus must arrive Friday, August 21—two weeks prior to the arrival of other students. There will be an additional nominal fee for this service. Completing the questionnaire being sent to you will help us know who is planning to utilize the on-campus quarantine as an option. Students planning to arrive after August 21 that need to be quarantined locally should contact Chris Howes for more information.
All students who are planning to learn on campus at some point during the 2020-2021 academic year will need to be fully engaged in Mercersburg’s virtual education programming from the beginning of the school year.
If a student arrives in the United States and tests positive for COVID-19 but doesn’t have a support network to assist in their care off campus, Mercersburg will have designated isolation/quarantine spaces on campus to meet their needs. In the event the campus locations are full the school may place students off campus (e.g. The Mercersburg Inn) for a nominal fee.
Mercersburg will continue to carefully monitor all travel restrictions that could potentially impact students while they are on campus. Should any concerns arise, including a sudden travel ban, the school will do everything it can to accommodate affected students on or off campus.