Welcome to Issue 20 of Recap, MICA’s regular communication on the College’s progress and planning around the return to campus for Fall 2021 and beyond.
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Welcome to issue 20 of Recap, MICA’s regular communication channel.

Recap’s mission has been—and will continue to be—to help build shared understanding among the MICA community as the College navigated the complexities of the COVID-19 and reopening. As we begin to move beyond the pandemic, the ongoing need for an official College communications channel has not diminished—and Recap will carry on to fulfill this need. Here, we will continue to build shared understanding as One Team MICA.

We encourage you to use the Comment on This Topic button at the end of each story, and be sure to use the suggestion section at the end of each Recap not only to suggest ideas for future issues, but also topics for future One MICA Town Halls as well as feedback for previous ones.

And as always, some information may not apply to all programs and constituents, such as Open Studies. For specific information, please use the departmental directory at the end of this issue.

In This Issue:

  1. Looking Ahead: 2022 Spring Semester to Begin With Virtual Classes

  2. Deeper Dive: COVID-19 Testing Requirement After the Holidays

  3. Recap Revisit: COVID-19 Booster Shots

  4. More Info: Upcoming Winter Recess

  5. Follow Up: December One MICA Town Hall

  6. What If: What if I was denied teleworking in the fall semester—will MICA allow those employees to apply and be re-considered for this opportunity if their circumstances have changed?

  7. Transparency Report: A Snapshot of Responses from the Previous Issue of Recap

2022 Spring Semester to Begin With Virtual Classes
To add an additional layer of safety for our campus upon return, MICA’s Spring 2022 Semester will begin with virtual classes during the week of Tuesday, January 18-Friday, January 21. The College plans to resume our hybrid modality beginning the second week.

MICA is also asking that students spread their return to campus over the full first week of classes in order to keep overall density at key locations such as the dining facilities and residence halls reduced. A memo with full details was sent to students this afternoon. Read it here.

Employees who have been working in person on campus are expected to return to work as regularly planned. However, employees who have serious concerns about returning to work in person or who would like to have consideration for a work-from-home arrangement, please speak with your manager and PB&C ( Additional information about MICA’s Provisional Telework policy is here.
COVID-19 Testing Requirement After the Holidays
With the recent developments of COVID-19 cases rising and the latest COVID variant, Omicron, continuing to spread quickly, MICA is requiring students and employees to get tested using a PCR test in January.

On-campus testing will begin the week of January 3, and will run each week through the week of January 24.

We know there has been some confusion around the testing requirement, so we want to provide some insight into the thought process and guidance behind these recent decisions.

The College will be requiring all MICA community members to be tested in January 2022. This requirement includes every employee. Employees with telework agreements or faculty who are on sabbatical, even if they do not intend to be on campus in January, are still required to get tested.

There are a handful of key reasons why it is incredibly important to get all of our campus community tested at the start of the month.

First and foremost, this test will help to catch COVID cases among our community after they have spent some time away, during which time many individuals will have spent time around other people, and also potentially traveled, both of which increase possible exposure. Although no COVID precautions are perfect, this wide swath of testing—in addition to MICA’s other COVID protocols that remain in place—can help to prevent or contain community spread on campus.

And while we know there are some MICA employees who have telework agreements and are not regularly accessing campus, there is no way to predict whether an employee not planning to come into work may have to get called in.

Therefore, MICA is including those individuals in the mandated testing to ensure all employees who have any potential to access campus have taken a PCR test and have tested negative.

Second, and equally important, the information gained from campus-wide, community-wide testing at the start of the spring semester will provide key data as the College continues to monitor the public health and safety of the MICA community and to make science-based decisions around the upcoming semester, including, but not limited to, whether booster shots will be required.

This process will help us in our duty to do all we can to help keep the MICA community safe, and to have every piece of information possible to make the best decisions for the spring.

Below, we’ve put together this flow chart and breakdown of dates to help you understand when you need to be tested.


While initial memos to both students and employees were shared last week, announcing this information, we know this is a lot to absorb.

Please read these memos for full details. But to help summarize, below, we’ve broken down the highlights, TL;DR:

  1. Testing will occur on the following dates from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.:
    1. Week of January 3
      1. Wednesday, January 5
      2. Thursday, January 6
    2. Week of January 10
      1. Monday, January 10
      2. Tuesday, January 11
      3. Wednesday, January 12
      4. Thursday, January 13
    3. Week of January 17
      1. Tuesday, January 18
      2. Wednesday, January 19
      3. Thursday, January 20
    4. Week of January 24
      1. Monday, January 24
      2. Tuesday, January 25
      3. Wednesday, January 26
      4. Thursday, January 27

  2. MICA will require students to be tested twice, and will require employees to be tested once.
    1. MICA will require students to be tested twice as most are living within close proximity to one another, which can increase the likelihood of community spread on campus.

  3. All students must be tested on campus. These tests will be self administered in BBOX, and must be conducted within the first 72 hours of arrival to campus/the Baltimore Region.
    1. A second test must be completed 5-7 calendar days after the first.
    2. Graduate and other students already in the Baltimore area are encouraged to get their initial test through the MICA testing program during the week of January 10, with the follow-up test 5-7 calendar days later.
    3. Students are also strongly encouraged to take a PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival on campus. If you test positive, stay home until medically cleared. Please contact Student Health Services (410-225-4118) to notify them of this test result.

  1. All employees have the option to be tested either on campus in BBOX, or to receive a PCR test from an external site, such as a pharmacy or a state, county, or city-run testing center. Home tests, rapid tests, or antigen tests are not acceptable.
    1. Tests taken at MICA must be taken no more than 72 hours after returning to campus.
    2. Tests taken off-site must be taken no longer than 72 hours ahead of returning to campus and test results must be uploaded into Workday immediately. Instructions on uploading proof of a negative PCR Covid test will be sent out to all employees by January 4.
    3. As denoted in the above charts, employees who are teleworking but do not have a set return-to-campus date are to be tested at some point within the first two weeks of January 2022.
    4. NOTE: Staff who are in the Asymptomatic testing program for unvaccinated employees will follow the weekly schedule of testing beginning January 3, 2021. Faculty and students will restart on January 18. Testing location and process remain unchanged.
      1. As always, if you test positive, immediately refer to and follow MICA’s Exposure Policies, Procedures & Protocols.

  2. If testing on campus (whether student or employee), if you have not yet already, you will need to download the MGScanner app mobile device (Apple or Android). You will receive an email with a QR code from the lab to individually register yourself in the app. You will use this app to register and submit your test each time you take one.
    1. NOTE: Please do not wait until you are going to get tested to download this app and become registered. Downloading and registering ahead of time will help prevent backup and long lines during on-campus testing.

  3. If testing on campus (whether student or employee), you will need to sign a Release of Information form (ROI) upon arriving at BBOX.

  4. If you are tested on campus, you will NOT be contacted if your test is negative. You will be contacted IF you are positive with next steps for contact tracing and quarantine/isolation and care.

Do not show up to on-campus testing if you are having COVID symptoms. If feeling unwell, students should contact Student Health Services for guidance/testing. Employees should contact their PCP for guidance/testing.

COVID-19 Booster Shots
MICA, in accordance with guidance from our consulting epidemiologists, is strongly encouraging our campus community to get their COVID-19 booster shots once they become eligible.

At this point, MICA is not yet mandating booster shots, but continues to monitor the pandemic—including everchanging news around the Omicron variant—and can and will change this decision if it is deemed necessary. As discussed in the previous section, data points like the campus-wide testing upon return in the spring will help College leaders to make these decisions.

According to the CDC, the Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original virus. How easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta, or if the variant causes more severe illness, remains unknown. But, as recently reported in the New York Times, booster shots so far are believed to provide a necessary increase in immunity when dealing with Omicron.

TL;DR? Boosters are an immensely important piece in our tool belts for fighting this pandemic to help keep ourselves, and one another, safe.

As a reminder—all adults 18 and older who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines are eligible for a booster at least six months after their second shots. Adults 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson’s shot are eligible for a booster shot at least two months after their first shot.

Visit the CDC’s website for full details around booster shot eligibility. You can also take the Maryland booster eligibility quiz.

Not sure where to get your shot? You can schedule an appointment through pharmacies like CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, and also through the State of Maryland, as well as local jurisdictions like Baltimore City (or see the city’s walk up clinics that change each week here) and County.

Those who have received their COVID-19 booster, or once you do receive your booster, please upload your proof of booster vaccination to Workday (employees, instructions in the November 30 memo) and Medicat (students, instructions at the link).  

Upcoming Winter Recess
As laid out in both the October 20 memo and Recap 19, the College will close between December 24 through January 2 for a Winter Recess in order to provide a time of rest and relaxation for our community.

In addition to the previously scheduled holidays—Friday, December 24, Monday, December 27, and Friday, December 31—MICA is providing three floating holidays for eligible staff to use for the Winter Recess on Tuesday, December 28, Wednesday, December 29, and Thursday, December 30.

As of Wednesday, December 15, the Office of Payroll has added those floating holidays into Workday, and staff are now able to submit for that time off.

Please note—the floating holidays will not show up in your absence balance until December 23, as they are to be used during the Winter Recess unless you are an essential employee who is working during that time. But, you can still submit the time off request for those days before December 23.

Although MICA will close during the Winter Recess, there are a few areas of the College that provide critical, essential services, and will not be off during this time. As a reminder, if you are an essential employee and work during the Winter Recess, you will enter your hours worked as you normally do. These employees will be allowed to take the equivalent number of Winter Recess days off prior to May 31, 2022.  

For a full breakdown of who qualifies for time off during this time period—as well as the schedule for upcoming years—be sure to read the original memo in its entirety.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Office of People, Belonging, and Culture at

December One MICA Town Hall
Did you miss the December One MICA Town Hall? Don’t worry! You can view it below.

During this town hall, MICA’s Office of People, Belonging, and Culture introduced its five new hires, members of WERC (formerly Great Colleges) provided an update, Winter Recess and post-holidays COVID-19 testing details were discussed, a number of MICA community achievements were shared, and more.

And don’t forget—all previous recordings of town halls can be found at

What if I was denied teleworking in the fall semester?
As a reminder, What if? is an ongoing feature of Recap intended to help create a shared understanding by posing real-world "what if" scenarios submitted by the community.

What if I was denied teleworking in the fall semester—will MICA allow those employees to apply and be re-considered for this opportunity if their circumstances have changed?

The primary factor to be considered to determine whether the individual employee is eligible for a telework arrangement is the employee’s ability to work independently while meeting organizational and service goals and the nature of the employee's position—for example, required physical on campus presence. Employees are encouraged to discuss changes in circumstances with their direct supervisor and request to be reconsidered for a telework arrangement. Please review MICA's Telework policy here.
A Snapshot of Responses from the Previous Issue of Recap
As mentioned previously, we’ve included the ability for you to submit comments on individual topics for each issue of Recap in order to help provide an open dialogue around the complex and evolving issues of mounting the 2021 semester.

We thank all of you who have submitted thoughtful comments from past issues. Those comments are used to inform future issues, raise awareness on topics, and ultimately help build shared understanding as One Team MICA. And while we cannot provide individual recognition for each comment, we are providing a summary snapshot of those comments to promote transparency.

Please address specific questions to an appropriate departmental contact.
Graduate Studies:

Undergraduate Studies:

Student Affairs:

Open Studies:


Strategic Communications:

Human Resources:

Strategic Initiatives:



Parent Relations:

That’s it for this installment of Recap. Thank you for your engagement in this ongoing dialogue and building of shared understanding. If there are any topics you would like to have addressed in future installments—or in future One MICA Town Halls—please provide your ideas here.

Stay safe and be well.

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