Frequently Asked Questions

Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Overview

Mesa Community Colleges and our sister Maricopa Community Colleges care about the public’s well-being and are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students, staff, and community members. Maricopa Community Colleges and the Maricopa County Public Health Department (MCPHD) are diligently monitoring the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Maricopa Community Colleges' primary focus is the safety, health, and wellness of our community. We ask that everyone follow our safety protocols and be cautious when encountering anyone who is sick or has symptoms identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It is advised that everyone who develops even mild potential COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and consult with their health care provider, especially tose with autoimmune or other conditions that might increase the coronavirus risks.

Maricopa Community Colleges is acting in accordance with Arizona and Maricopa County Public Health Officials (AMCPHO) in notifying the organization if any student or employee reports having COVID-19. Local and state public health staff will determine if the patient meets the criteria for a Person Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Students, staff and faculty should notify the Maricopa Community Colleges Risk Management Office if they receive a positive diagnosis.

Recommended Prevention Precautions
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitize
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people
  • Stay home
  • Wear a mask or cloth that covers your nose and mouth when going out around other people
  • Cover mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue away
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends getting a the flu shot
Proactive Approach

Mesa Community College requires that everyone wears a mask or face covering on campus. Please request an exception before you come to campus. For religious accommodations, click here and follow up with the MCC Dean of Students at deanofstudents@mesacc.edu. For health accommodations, contact the MCC Disability Resources and Services Office by emailing DrsFrontDesk@mesacc.edu or calling 480-461-7447. DRS also provides real-time assistance via the Cranium Cafe. Failure to follow required health and safety protocols may violate the Student Conduct Code AR 2.5.2.

Also, MCC has implemented an ongoing and increased effort to sanitize as many public spaces as possible, including classrooms, keyboards, mouse devices, screen monitors, etc. to minimize the spread of COVID-19 as well as other diseases, such as the flu.

Additional Information and Resources

Coronaviruses enter through the eyes, nose and mouth and are most often spread from person to person by coughing, sneezing and close personal contact (e.g., touching, shaking hands, contact with a surface with the virus on it, etc.).

Reporting Coronavirus Contact or Confirmed Diagnosis

Notify Maricopa County Department of Public Health
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 602-506-6767 and ask for a Surveillance Nurse.
Monday-Friday after 5 p.m. and weekends. Call 602-747-7111 and ask for the Provider On-Call.

Notify Maricopa Community Colleges Risk Management, if you receive a confirmed diagnosis.
Students and staff should go to the reporting website for details.

For Questions
Call 602-747-7099 to speak to a Public Health Representative.

About COVID-19

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the risk to the American public of becoming infected with this novel coronavirus is currently low. Because this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, the CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, including any changes in the risk assessment.

How does it spread?

Although our knowledge about the virus is evolving, it is currently believed that it spreads like other respiratory viruses by people iinfected coughing, sneezing and even breathing. The droplets expelled by breathing are inhaled by other people or moved to the eyes, nose or mouth sometimes by contaminated hands.

What are the symptoms of this infection?

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills potentially to the point of shaking

If you have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, the CDC advises to be tested. If you have symptoms seek medical advice by first calling ahead to your health care provider.

Where can I get more information about the novel coronavirus?

For current information about this evolving public health situation, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus page.

For local information, visit Maricopa County Public Health

Health, wellness and prevention

What do I do if I feel sick?

If you are sick, stay home. If you develop symptoms — such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath — please take the following steps.

First: Call your health care provider in advance. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic. Telemedicine may also be available, enabling you to consult a provider from home.

The CDC also advises you to:

  • Avoid contact with others and do not travel .
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing (not your hands unless you can wash with soap and water immediately) .
  • Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If that is not possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when in public.

Monitor your symptoms closely. Take your temperature if you believe you have a fever but know not everyone infected runs a temperature.

Take care of yourself. Rest as much as possible. Drink lots of fluids.

What do I do if I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?

Stay home. If you develop symptoms after being in close contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19, please take the steps below.

Call your health provider in advance. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first. Telemedicine may also be available, enabling you to consult a provider from home. Notify the appropriate contacts at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and Maricopa County Community Colleges immediately.
  • Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., call 602-506-6767 and ask for a Surveillance Nurse
  • Monday-Friday after 5 p.m. and weekends, call 602-747-7111 and ask for the Provider On-Call
  • Maricopa County Community Colleges Risk Management, call 480-731-8947, 480-731-8888, or email dl-dssc-risk-management@domail.maricopa.edu
  • For additional information, call 602-747-7099 to speak to a Public Health Representative
I want to get tested for COVID-19. Where can I go?
  • If you are exhibiting symptoms, contact your physician or urgent care. A few testing sites still require a physicians order. Call first.
  • The Arizona Department of Health Services has a continually updated map featuring all the testing sites in the state. You can also call the 211 hotline or the Dept. of Health Services at 1-844-542-8201. Both options allow you to speak to a specialist.
  • Call the Banner Health Hotline at 1-844-549-1851 and a clinical team member will determine if testing is appropriate. The hotline is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. If testing is needed, the person will be scheduled to visit a Banner drive-thru site.
  • Free drive through and in-clinic testing is available from Embry Women's Health including 24/7 on the Mesa Community College Dobson & Southern campus. Make an appointment here.
  • CVS Minute Clinic COVID-19 Drive-Up testing. Go here to find the closest site.
  • Gateway Urgent Care, Gilbert, preregister, 480-499-0201
How do I help prevent the spread of viruses, including coronavirus?

You can reduce the risk of spreading coronaviruses by taking the same steps as you would to prevent infection from the flu and the common cold:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for a least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol if water is not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Avoid contact with people and wear a mask or covering over your mouth and nose when going out.
  • Stay home and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the used tissue. Use an alcohol sanitizer if you are not able to wash your hands immediately with soap and water.
Should I wear a mask?

Mesa Community College requires that everyone wears a mask or face covering on campus. Request exceptions BEFORE you come to campus. Click here for religious exceptions. For health accommodations, contact the MCC Disabilities Resources Office by emailing DrsFrontDesk@mesacc.edu or calling 480-461-7447. DRS also provides real time assistance via the Cranium Cafe. Failure to follow required health and safety protocols may violate the Student Conduct Code AR 2.5.2

Are there steps individuals, families and communities can take to help prepare if there is widespread transmission of COVID-19?

The CDC has a guide for individuals, families and communities on prevention and mitigation of the spread of viruses, including COVID-19. These steps include many of those listed above for personal health, as well as others relevant for broader community efforts.

How can I manage my concerns or anxiety about the virus and how it is affecting my life and those I love?

We know this virus is presenting an added layer of stress and worry for many. This is a critically important time for all of us to reinforce a community of care on our campus and support one another. If you would like to talk with someone, support is available to students through the MCC Counseling department.

Also, The Resilient Arizona Crisis Counseling Program is a free and confidential resource for those impacted by COVID-19. By calling 2-1-1, you can be referred to a counselor who provides crisis counseling, education, helps develop coping skills and links you to resources. Free webinars are also available to learn more about the program.

How should I clean and disinfect communal spaces?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door knobs, tables, keyboards light switches). Use a disinfectant registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a 10% bleach/water solution to clean surfaces. Please avoid putting disinfectant gels or liquids on electronics and other equipment, including elevator buttons, unless they have been indicated as safe to use on those devices.

College operations

Are the MCC campuses closed?

MCC is closed except for essential staff, students attending on-campus classes and those with appointments. A task force has developed protocols that those returning to campus in Fall 2020 must follow to ensure the CDC guidelines for health, safety, and physical distancing are followed. As a reminder, the College and District are coordinating closely with county public health agencies and the Maricopa County Department of Health on its response, including contingency planning, and will continue to do so.

Will MCC's Fitness Centers be open ?

MCC's Fitness Centers are closed at this time.

Will any food services be open?

Chartwells in the Kirk Student Center and Grounds for Thought are currently closed.

How does MCC clean and disinfect?

For fall, MCC has enhanced its cleaning protocols to exceed new Centers for Disease Control and Research guidelines. The College’s regular custodial cleaning program uses an EPA-registered disinfectant to clean touchpoints, public and common area restrooms and kitchens several times a day. There are also dispenser stations throughout campus containing hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of the virus, though proper hand-washing technique is deemed to be more effective by the CDC.

Classes and academics

What classes are meeting and what services are open?
  • In-person components of hybrid classes will be conducted on campus during Fall 2020.
  • Online classes and Live Online classes are available during Fall 2020.
  • The college campus facilities are not open but student services are still available to students via email, phone and chats.
  • For fall 2020 students only, areas are available by reservations for Wi-Fi access and computers to use.
What has happened if students do not have a computer or internet access at home needed for remote learning?
There are a very limited number of laptops and chromebooks available for fall 2020. Students in need should contact faculty or department chairs. Wi-Fi spaces and computer use areas are available on campus by reservation for fall 2020 students only.
Can I obtain a refund for my class?

MCC refund policies have changed in response to the evolving issues in responding to COVID-19. Find the most up-to-date procedures and policies at MCC Refund Policies.

Information about Internet Services and Access

The Federal Communications Commission has an agreement which states that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots for increased accessibility to the internet. Visit https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-363033A1.pdf for information.

Please visit the following websites for the latest details on how to sign-up and leverage these services.

MCCCD Libraries are closed. We encourage students to make use of online resources from off campus in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Also, Maricopa County Public Libraries are temporarily closed for precautionary measures and the safety of the community. Visit https://mcldaz.org/.

    Athletics Information

    What sports are being impacted by this announcement?

    Consistent with the NJCAA national timeline, the below fall and winter MCCCD sports will tentatively move to the Spring 2021 semester with a modified season:

    • Volleyball, practice begins January 11, 2021
    • Men’s and Women’s Basketball, practice begins January 11, 2021
    • Men’s and Women’s Soccer, practice begins March 15, 2021

    The below fall MCCCD sports will be suspended for the Fall 2020 season:

    • Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
    How will Spring sports be affected by this decision?

    We will continuously monitor pandemic conditions locally and nationally, using CDC and state guidelines, and we will finalize all decisions for the spring semester by November 25, 2020.

    How does the suspension of sports affect a student athlete’s NJCAA eligibility?

    A year of NJCAA eligibility is only used if a student-athlete is certified and competes in an NJCAA sport. If a season is suspended and a student-athlete does not compete in an NJCAA sport, a year of NJCAA eligibility is not used.

    The NJCAA’s complete Eligibility Pamphlet can be viewed here, and the NJCAA’s COVID-19 FAQs can be found here.

    How does this affect athletics scholarships?

    All student-athletes signed to an NJCAA Letter of Intent will have their scholarships honored for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters should they enroll at their MCCCD College, whether athletics are suspended or not.

    Does the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct still apply?

    Yes, the expectations of Maricopa Community Colleges student-athletes remains the same.

    Will students be able to try-out for upcoming sports?

    With the recent escalation of COVID-19 infections in Arizona, Maricopa Community Colleges will not hold in-person tryouts at this time. Prospective student-athletes are encouraged to connect with college athletic staff for further information.

    Are there current testing protocols for student-athletes?

    MCCCD does not currently provide a COVID-19 testing protocol for student-athletes.

    Will athletic facilities remain closed?

    The Maricopa Community Colleges’ athletic facilities will remain closed through December 31, 2020. No organized in-person athletic activities (this includes the NJCAA 8-hour- per-week allowance, practices, conditioning, small group activities, in-person weights, etc.) will be available during this time.

    CARES Funding

    What is CARES funding and how much did MCC receive?
    The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) established by the United States Congress. MCC received $7.3 million, of which $3,676,051 will be distributed directly to students. MCC also received an additional $478,185 to distribute to students due to our Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) status.
    Who is eligible for funding?

    MCC students who were impacted by COVID-19 due to in-person course(s) converting to online/virtual format, and the following criteria as determined by the Maricopa County Community College District.

    • Must be enrolled in credit or clock hour courses as of March 13, 2020
    • Must be US Citizen or permanent resident, or refugee, or Visa type of U or T (victim of crime)
    • Must possess a valid social security number (meaning, must be eligible to file a FAFSA)
    • Must be enrolled in non-online classes (meaning, students exclusively in online classes are not eligible)
    • Must have HS completion (diploma), GED or homeschool certification
    • If male and over the age of 18, must have registered for selective service
    • Must not have been state or federally convicted for drug possession or sale
    • Must not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits
    • Must not be in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant
    • Must be in an eligible degree or certificate program
    • Must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Performance (SAP)
    • Must not be in loan repayment default or grant overpayment
    • Must be enrolled at least 3 credit hours.

    The criteria above exclude the following populations:

    • DACA/International
    • Dual and Concurrent Students
    • Non-Credit Students
    • Fully Online students (prior to March 13)
    • MCCCD Tuition Waiver Students
    • Students taking less than 3 credit hours
    How will the funds be disbursed?
    Students who may qualify based on eligibility requirements are receiving an email, asking them to self-certify they meet all eligibility requirements. Once their certification is reviewed, funds will be disbursed using the refund method the student has selected in their Student Center.
    How much money will eligible students receive?

    Funding is based on the number of credit hours in which the student is enrolled and the areas of need the student self reports; such as health care, housing, food, childcare, loss of employment, etc. The maximum award is $550 for an eligible student.

    What if a student has extenuating circumstances such as medical expenses or homelessness because of COVID?
    If all funding is not distributed through the initial process, ,students who indicate they have had extenuating circumstances will be reviewed for eligibility to receive additional funding.
    What if I am a student who is not considered eligible per the guidelines, however, I was still impacted by COVID and I have extraordinary circumstances. Can MCC assist me?
    Contact Counseling Services to learn more about available support: https://www.mesacc.edu/departments/counseling

    Public health response

    Can you tell us more about any MCC community members who are being screened for coronavirus?

    Due to HIPAA and other privacy laws, MCC legally is not able to release personal information about any students or college community members who are being monitored or tested for novel coronavirus. Should any MCC community member be diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, the relevant local health department and MCC would initiate appropriate protocols to protect the health of anyone deemed to be at risk.

    How are you following up with people who were in contact with anyone who is being tested?

    Local health departments monitor people who are at potential risk and have protocols for contacting individuals who may have been in close contact with MCC community members being screened for the novel coronavirus, such as roommates. Should any MCC community member be diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, the relevant local health department and MCC would initiate appropriate protocols to protect the health of anyone deemed to be at risk.

    Are there resources for combating stigmatization, bias and xenophobia related to the coronavirus?

    Many are concerned about possible stigmatization or discrimination about COVID-19 based on racial bias or appearances. Please help others understand that the risk of coronavirus is not connected with race, ethnicity or nationality.

    Stigma doesn’t fight the illness and will hurt innocent people, but sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to keep rumor and misinformation from spreading.

    Know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors.

    For MCC Employees

    Frequently asked questions for Employees have been moved to the COVID-19 Return from Remote Working FAQ.

    Website content adapted from University of Washington, with permission