Safe Campus

Mount Mercy is planning fully in-person work, academic, and student operations by Aug. 1, 2021. Our number one priority continues to be the safety of our entire community.

Current COVID-19 Protocols on Campus

Our athletics staff continues to work closely with the NAIA and Heart of America Conference on guidelines for our student-athletes. Daily health screenings are required before workouts, practices, and contests. To mitigate risk and limit exposure for our student-athletes and athletics staff, spectators are not allowed in the stands/field until further notice.

Home athletic events will be streamed for free, both live and on-demand, on the Heart Conference Network. Please be sure to visit to stay connected. Additionally, we've implemented limited capacity and screening in our athletic facilities, frequent sanitizing, no bench towels, soccer bench extensions for social distancing, no switching sides for volleyball, etc.

We will begin allowing visitors back on campus as long as they are accompanied by a current employee or student and follow the current guidelines we have in place. Please be sure to carry your employee ID with you at all times to enter campus buildings.

Classrooms have been reconfigured for social distancing, and masks are required. Funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), as authorized by the CARES Act, allowed us to invest in technology to optimize the learning experience.

Watch our Safe Campus Series for more information on our hybrid model and what classes look like.

Our classes were redesigned to maintain and ensure social distancing, which means that if someone in your class tested positive for COVID-19 (student or faculty), the rest of the class will not be considered a close contact. Through contact tracing, we have not seen any cases of community spread within our classrooms.

Our facilities team is doing an amazing job of frequently cleaning and sanitizing campus, according to CDC guidelines, as presented by Deb O'Hara, facilities operations manager, in this short video.

We will no longer have COVID-19 testing on campus this summer.  We recommend utilizing to find a testing time and location that best suit you if you have been identified as a close contact or have COVID-19 symptoms.

McAuley Cafeteria

The McAuley Dining Room resumed normal hours on August 31. Watch our dining services video to hear about food options, including precautions we're taking to keep all students and employees safe.

Hilltop Grill

Monday-Tuesday: 8:00 AM-8:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM-8:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Saturday-Sunday: 4:00-8:00 PM 

Basile Beans 

Basile Beans will be remain closed through the end of the academic year. However, Mount Mercy Dining has equipped Hilltop Grill to provide all Basile Beans products to students. 

Graduate Grounds

Graduate Grounds will be closed this semester due to COVID-related staffing limitations and the need to focus on other essential services (McAuley Dining, Hilltop) at the main campus locations. 

Mount Mercy University applied for and received funding from the federal government under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) as authorized by the CARES Act. These funds were made available to colleges and universities for expenses related to educational disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

MMU received $1,221,083 in total funding. $610,542 (50%) of the funds received are specifically allocated to cash grants for MMU students affected by COVID-19. Under guidelines provided by the federal government, 1,282 students were determined to be eligible for the grants. As of June 10, 2020, $644,660 of grants have been distributed by check to 1,282 students. 

As required by the U.S. Department of Education, grants were disbursed only to students who are eligible to receive Title IV funds. In compliance with federal guidelines, each student’s check was calculated based on the following criteria:

  • Students enrolled on March 15, 2020
  • Students living on-campus and required by Governor Reynolds to move off-campus
  • Students whose institutional scholarships were impacted
  • Students whose fees and/or declining balances were impacted
  • Students no longer able to work on-campus 
  • A minimum grant level was given to every eligible student

Your patience during this unprecedented time has been greatly appreciated. If you have additional financial needs, please contact

HEERF Quarterly Report (9/2020)
HEERF Quarterly Report (12/2020)
HEERF Quarterly Report (3/3021)

You do not need to wear a mask in your personal work or living space, or while eating in a public space. Students and faculty will still be required to wear masks for in-person classes taking place this summer
  • Not Yet Vaccinated: If you are not fully vaccinated yet, you are still required to wear a mask on campus unless eating or in your own personal living or working space. 
  • Fully Vaccinated: Those of you who have been fully vaccinated will have the option not to wear a mask in the following situations: 
    • If you are by yourself outdoors, you do not need to wear a mask OR if you and the people you are meeting with outdoors are fully vaccinated
    • If you are by yourself indoors in common spaces (i.e solo studying in the library, UC, or at the Grad Center)
    • If you are with other students/employees indoors, who are all considered fully vaccinated (for employees this will be up to the discretion of the supervisor as we will not be asking employees for vaccination status) 

Dealing with a natural disaster, adjusting to the COVID-19 changes, and preparing for classes can feel overwhelming. Please remember that students can access all services offered at our Olson Clinic free of any charge. Based on feedback from students, we've moved our main campus counseling support to the lower level of Busse Library. If you'd like to schedule an appointment, please email

To limit social contact and keep the entire campus community safe, quiet hours will begin at 8 PM, and no off-campus guests will be allowed. Rooms will have capacity limits for on-campus guests. Watch our Safe Campus Series for more information.

Please refer to the quarantine guidelines above if your roommate has tested positive for COVID-19. If you are in the same suite, but not the same room, it is possible that you are not considered a close contact. We will continue to monitor our residence halls throughout this process.

Close contacts and positive cases

In response to new research, feedback from the MMU Pandemic Response Team, and CDC recommendations, we have decided to adopt a 7-day quarantine period for close contacts compared to the 14-day quarantine we had previously. This requires the student/employee to take a PCR COVID-19 test after day 5 and provide the negative result to leave quarantine. Positive COVID-19 cases will continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the first symptoms or test date. With this decision, we align with Linn County Public Health, surrounding colleges and universities, and the majority of the Cedar Rapids community who adopted this CDC recommended change in December. 

Vaccinated individuals

Per CDC guidelines that were released on February 10, 2021, our Pandemic Response Team has recommended—and the Cabinet approved—that those who have been fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine based on three criteria: 

  1. You have received all doses of your vaccine at least 2 weeks ago 
  2. You are asymptomatic after exposure 
  3. You have received your last vaccine shot no longer than 3 months ago 

We are finalizing a centralized vaccine tracking system that requires you to prove that you have been vaccinated in order to waive your quarantine. 

We encourage our community to take advantage of this opportunity to protect yourself and those around you.
Please schedule an appointment with a health provider of your choice, and check the websites below regularly. Appointments may be scarce as the vaccine supply continues to be limited.

Learn more on our vaccine page

A letter to MMU families

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