Forward Together: Safety Protocols (including Gathering Guidelines)

While many schools across the country closed their doors and turned to remote learning several months ago because of the spread of COVID-19 on their campuses, the Methodist University community has been vigilant, working with health care officials and maintaining guidelines. It’s what has afforded us a valuable on-campus learning environment this academic year.

In the spring, our goal has been to use the same, resilient, safety-first manner that was so successful in the fall. To do this, we continue to monitor and will frequently announce our status as we consider the governor of North Carolina’s executive orders for limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings and how those relate to our campus, city, and county specifically.

The only exceptions to gathering policies outside of classes and athletics – from which contact tracing has shown no COVID spread because of strict distancing protocols and a detailed set of safety guidelines – are approved gatherings of 25 or less in specific venues on campus (Hendricks 222, Huff Concert Hall, Matthews Chapel, PA Auditorium, Yarbrough Auditorium). These gatherings must be approved by direct supervisors/advisors, who will then seek official approval from the administration/events team.

Please check here for status during the spring semester and continue to comply with room-capacity limits – and always wear a mask and practice social distancing regardless of event (indoor or outdoor).

Remember, it only takes a few who don’t comply to jeopardize the health of everyone else. Let’s continue to care for one another, hold each other accountable, and move Forward Together.

Guidelines & Safety Protocols

Students, faculty and staff should adhere to the same safety protocols as we had in the fall, which includes:

  • Wear close-fitting face coverings over the nose and mouth indoors and outdoors (unless alone/in room with roommate only).
  • Always maintain minimum 6-foot social distancing.
  • Though low-risk, and showing no signs of COVID spread throughout the entire fall semester, classrooms will continue to have a limited, posted capacity (with masks and social distancing required at all times).
  • Non-class-related indoor events are discouraged, but if they are necessary, they are limited to 10 people, with appropriate mask and social distancing requirements. Gatherings of 25 or less are permitted in certain venues on campus (Hendricks 222, Huff Concert Hall, Matthews Chapel, PA Auditorium, and Yarborough Auditorium) with appropriate approval from direct supervisors/advisors and the administration/events team.
  • Outdoor events are encouraged (with masks and social distancing) but are limited to 25.
  • Students are not to visit/enter residence halls other than their own.
  • Dining Services is running on regular hours, and per current University safety guidelines is offering “take-out” or “dine-in” options. There will be 70 seats available for dine-in eating in the Green & Gold Cafeteria this semester.
  • Students, faculty and staff are expected to report on the Green Screen App each day.
  • External groups/speakers are not permitted on campus (for lectures, meetings, presentations or otherwise).
  • Visitors are not allowed on campus, though an exception is being made for families. Family members may help students move in to residence halls (wearing masks at all times). Family members may also visit during the semester, but should remain outside of the buildings and adhere to mask, social distancing, and other university guidelines in place at the time.
  • Though it’s exciting that we have athletic events scheduled, there are very specific guidelines for spectators. Please visit Forward Together: Athletics for the latest guidelines, and view MU Athletics for live-stream opportunities.
  • Extensive detail for staying safe (including washing hands frequently and additional hygiene instruction) is available at Forward Together: Health & Wellness Information.