Safe Campus

The entire Mount Mercy community is committed to a safe learning, living, and working environment for everyone.

More Information

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. 

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.

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 science behind masks video explains why masks are effective when minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

Our mask etiquette video, featuring Mustang Sally, shows why we're requiring masks on campus and how important social distancing is—even though we're happy to see each other!

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. 

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.

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 highly encourage our community to self-monitor their well-being, including temperature.

Here’s a short video from Dr. Nate Klein, vice president for student success, on what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms, how contacts are defined, when self-isolation is necessary, and available testing resources.

Kara Goslin, PA-C is on campus Monday through Friday from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM to provide medical support for our campus community including:

  • Health consultations for students (i.e. assessment of acute illness, some over-the-counter medication, weight assessment, and medical referrals) 
  • Flu shots
  • COVID-19 testing free of charge to anyone interested in getting tested

COVID-19 Testing Instructions

  1. Click here to set up a COVID-19 test on campus
  2. Follow Test Iowa instructions
  3. Enter personal information (include your MMU address: 1330 Elmhurst Drive NE – Cedar Rapids, IA 52402)
  4. Answer symptom, exposure, contact, and conditions questions
  5. Enter home information as it relates to your current MMU living situation
  6. Answer social distancing questions
  7. Enter Student as the category
  8. Answer question about place to stay
  9. Submit responses
  10. Select Mount Mercy University
  11. Select I am interested in being tested
  12. Select Additional scheduling options
  13. Select I would like to be tested at a local clinic
  14. Select Mount Mercy Student Health
  15. You will receive a QR code
  16. Visit Health Services (2ndFloor UC in Student Services) between 11am-1pm Monday through Friday and bring QR code (on phone or printed off).

Q: What test are we using on campus?
A: On-campus, we are using the Test Iowa test kits also known as the nasal swab test (PCR). 

Q: Where do we test?
A: You will be able to get tested on-campus in Health Services, located in Student Services on the 2nd floor of the University Center on Main Campus), or off-campus at one of Test Iowa locations (, your family provider, or other option that you may find. 

Q: What are the hours of Mount Mercy Health Services? 
A: Mount Mercy Health Services is open Monday through Friday 11:00 AM-1:00 PM. To schedule your COVID test on-campus, email Ahead of your appointment, please complete this form and bring your QR code to your appointment. 

Q: If I test off-campus, do I need to let you know? 
A: Once you receive your results from an off-campus testing site, we would appreciate if you could share them with us by emailing Thank you!

Q: How much does testing cost? 
A: While on- and off-campus testing via Test Iowa is available to you free of any additional charge, other options may be subject to additional fees and costs.

Q: When do results typically come back?
A: Results from on-campus testing (and through Test Iowa) average about 1 day turnaround time. Off-campus testing sites can take longer than that, but typically do not take longer than 48 hours from your testing time. 

Q: I was selected; do I have to test?
A: To be successful in identifying asymptomatic individuals within our community, and minimize the spread of COVID, we are hoping that everyone will participate and understand if you elect not to.

Q: How will I know that I was selected? 
A: Nate Klein, vice president for student success, will contact those who were randomly selected on Monday mornings via email. 

Q: I was selected, when do I have to get tested by? 
A: Once we have contacted you on Monday morning, we ask that you complete the test at your preferred location within 1 week. Thank you! 

Q: Do I have to quarantine until I get my results back?
A: You are not required to quarantine until you receive your results. However, while waiting for your result, once you begin to experience any COVID symptoms or were in close contact with another individual who tested positive, you will go through our COVID protocol. 

Q: I was randomly selected last week. Now I was selected this week again. Am I required to get tested again? 
A: As all tests currently available to us, only represent a specific point in time, we encourage you to get tested again, even when your last test was just one week ago. Certainly, you will receive another $5 Hilltop Grill/MMU Bookstore credit upon testing.

Q: I have a question that you have not answered yet. 
A: If you have any questions that are applicable only to you individually, or you haven't found the answer, please contact Nate Klein at

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 minimize exposure and social contact, Mount Mercy University is open to students and employees only. Please be sure to carry your employee ID with you at all times to enter campus buildings.

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 

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)

A letter to MMU families

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