Message to Returning Macon Traditional Students from President Underwood

July 16, 2020

As we look forward to coming together on campus this fall at Mercer University, we are dedicated to ensuring that you have a vibrant and meaningful residential, in-person college experience in a safe and healthy environment. Keeping that pledge in mind, we have been working diligently to prepare for your return to campus and in-person classes by implementing the appropriate protocols to limit exposure to COVID-19. The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff remains our top priority, hence our fall semester protocols for all campus locations are developed under the guidance of leading infectious disease experts in Mercer’s School of Medicine. This situation is dynamic and evolving, and correspondingly our response and policies may change as we receive new information from government authorities and health officials.

While respecting the rights of individuals, we must remain united as one Mercer community.  We must unilaterally share the responsibility of taking the necessary steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections throughout our campuses. As a Mercer family, we must all do our part to uphold and adhere to newly implemented protocols to respect others and support the health and safety of all as we welcome our incoming and returning students to campus in the fall.

Therefore, for the safety of all Mercerians, all Macon undergraduate students are required to be tested for the SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19). Students may choose from the following testing options:

  • We encourage you to be tested prior to coming to campus in your hometown by a clinical testing provider within 10 days of your move-in date and communicate your test results to Mercer Medicine by August 12.  Email your test results, with “COVID Test” in the subject line, to shcmacon@mercer.edu. Based on those results, Mercer Medicine will issue an email to you giving you clearance to return to campus.
  • Or, you may choose to receive your COVID-19 test through Mercer Medicine on the date you are scheduled to move into campus housing, during August 14-17 (excluding Lofts). You will need to schedule your testing appointment 30 minutes prior to your assigned move-in time and report to the University Center for your testing appointment. Your assigned move-in time with testing appointment instructions will be provided by the Office of Housing and Residence Life (OHRL) in the coming days.
  • If you have already been tested and tested positive, you will most likely not need to be tested again. However, you must contact Mercer Medicine at (478) 301-2696 to receive an email clearance to return to campus, regardless of the test result.
  • For returning students without a housing assignment (including Lofts residents and commuters) who choose to be tested through Mercer Medicine, we will send you a follow-up email outlining procedures for scheduling a test.
  • Returning students who are early arrivals as part of a larger group will receive move-in information and testing appointment instructions from OHRL, which will communicate with group leaders. You will need to schedule your testing appointment 30 minutes prior to your assigned move-in time and report to the University Center for your testing appointment.
  • Please note that in the case when students do test positive when they move in, we have designated isolation areas on campus and have already made accommodations to ensure continuity of academic instruction.

Mercer Medicine will provide all clearance to students to return to campus and move into University housing. Students who are not cleared by Mercer Medicine will not be allowed to return.

We encourage you to follow these instructions within the specified timeline so that we can welcome all of you back to campus safely.

We look forward to seeing you in the fall!