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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Find answers to general questions below about Montgomery College's coronavirus response. See the Student FAQs for student-specific information about classes, financial aid, and more.

How will the College protect those who will teach the in-person classes and students who attend them? 
MC is implementing new health protocols:

  • Masks will be required: not optional but required.
  • Classrooms will be set up so that social distancing is maximized.
  • Easy access hand sanitizers have been installed.
  • There will be enhanced cleaning.
  • Self-assessments will be required before coming to campuses. Take the self-assessment here
  • Folks will need to update their contact information so that they can be reached by contact tracers in the event of an infection among someone on campus (please answer your phone if you see "contact tracer" appear).
  • There may be schedule changes so that only part of a class comes in at the same time.
  • See Return to Campus: Health and Safety Guidance for more information. 

I live with a vulnerable family member. Can I continue to stay remote?
The College is concerned about all vulnerable populations. Please visit the HRSTM webpage for guidance about requesting a work adjustment. If a student registers for a class that has an in-person component, they should contact the faculty member to discuss options to stay remote. 

What MC facilities/buildings are open?
Access to MC buildings/facilities is restricted. The library, computer labs, and all athletic facilities (including outdoor athletic facilities) are closed. Classrooms that have in-person labs are only open to those registered for the class. In the Fall the following buildings will be open for registered students to attend specific classes:

  • Germantown Campus: Bioscience Education
  • Rockville Campus: Gudelsky, Science West, and Technical Training Center
  • Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus: Cafritz Arts Center and Health Sciences Center

What will be the deciding factors as to when the College reopens?
The College will base its decisions on state and county guidelines for the health and safety of the community. State and local authorities are basing their decisions on information relating to local trends in COVID infections and hospitalizations. See the Return to Campus Guidelines for more detailed information. 

Would it be possible to discuss in the meeting about installing "purifiers" in the heating/cooling systems throughout the college? During the "normal" flu season, germs flow through the heating/cooling systems and students, faculty, staff, administrators are sick for months. In addition to COVID-19 (wave 1 and 2) plus the flu season this could be very harmful.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) indicates HVAC systems in non-medical buildings play only a minimal role in infectious disease transmission, including COVID-19. Current guidance from ASHRAE recommends using MERV-13 filtration or higher which most MC building have, so we don't think there is a need to add additional air filtration to facilities.

Are laptops available to borrow by students or faculty?
We currently do not have a laptop loaner program for students. We are researching how the College might assist students with technology needs going forward. Faculty, staff, and administrators can request a loaner laptop through IT. The MC Foundation has a limited amount of funding and equipment to provide laptops to students in need. Students who qualify for CARES Act funding and receive the funding can also use those funds to purchase a computer or laptop when those funds are dispersed in this academic year.

When will the College return to normal operations? How long will the College work from home?
Please refer back to the website for a detailed list of guidance for students, employees, and our community. It is updated frequently. See the Return to Campus Guidelines for more detailed information. 

Are we examining our new working style to maximize the online and remote working culture to save money and also to enhance performance even after we return to normal working environment?
In anticipation of implementing MC 2025, the College and Board of Trustees have been deeply engaged in a conversation about the changing nature of work and the impact of technology—from the use of robots to clean our buildings to what and how we teach. What will this mean for our students and us as an institution in the post-knowledge world? The recent shift to remote learning and working necessitates a new kind of workforce—one that is equipped, trained, and skilled to meet the needs of students wherever they may be, and to ensure the efficient continuity of operations in both the physical and digital space.

Please visit the MC 2025 Operations Plan to see how we are addressing these needs.

Is MC looking into installing Plexiglas barriers in front of counter/information desk areas?
Facilities is exploring all options of barriers based on federal, state, and county guidelines.

What arrangements will be made for those of us who see a lot of students all day to remain safe? We are in offices in which it is very difficult to practice social distancing: counseling and advising, records and registration, Raptor Central, international student coordinators, financial aid, etc.
The College is going to make decisions with the health and safety of our College community as our goal. The College's Health and Safety Plan (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) identifies what we are doing for the phased in return and includes plans for social distancing and workspace distancing. See the Health and Safety webpages for more information.  

How will the College monitor how many people are allowed in a specific building at a time? I work in the Paul Peck Academic and Innovation Building on the Germantown Campus. I am curious how a specific number of persons allowed per building will be monitored since the second floor of this building is dedicated to county employees.
The College and county will follow protocols for building capacity based upon guidance from federal, state, and Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services authorities. Please look to posted signage for instructions. Most employees continue to work remotely until further notice. 

How will the College monitor the health of students and staff members on campus? What if someone comes to campus who exhibits signs of illness?
The Daily COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment should be completed by all MC employees and students each day before coming to campus. This simple self-assessment provides an immediate response; if the employee or student indicates they are experiencing symptoms, a prompt with a red “X” appears and an email is sent instructing them to stay home and seek medical guidance. If the employee or student is symptom free, they get a green check and may proceed to campus. See Return to Campus: Health and Safety Guidance for more information. 

We expect voluntary compliance, and we will provide education to students, employees, and supervisors. We will follow CDC recommendations/federal guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our community members. Noncompliance by students would be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The Montgomery College Health and Safety Plan (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)  outlines these expectations, a few of which are listed here:

  • Comply with preventative measures: face covers, social distancing guidelines, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette (i.e. cover cough/ cover sneeze)
  • Comply with guidelines for building entry for authorized employees
  • Stay at home, if sick (with any illness)

See Testing, Tracing, and Reporting for information on reported cases and contact tracing. 

I have a medical condition that puts me at high risk if I were to contract COVID-19. Will I be able to continue working from home? Will there be special procedures (i.e., paperwork similar to FMLA or ADA accommodations) I have to apply for in order to continue working remotely?

The Montgomery College Health and Safety Plan (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) outlines steps being taking by Human Resources and Strategic Talent Management to develop guidelines for the working conditions of vulnerable populations or those who live with someone in a vulnerable population:

  • Workforce plan: Develop a plan for flexible work schedule, on-going remote work, leave policies, phase in approach, managers identify most critical work processes and teams to be prioritized and staged for return; criteria based on organizational priorities, requirement to be onsite to conduct core work/inability to work remotely, staging and sequencing are established, develop guidelines for vehicle usage.
  • Occupational health plan: Develop a plan for employees, including vulnerable populations.