The on-campus experience will undoubtably be different the 2020-2021 academic year, however, our teams of student life and dining professionals have worked incredibly hard this summer to create a safe and healthy environment for our students. This page will be updated frequently with new details on the move-in process, testing procedures, and the latest offerings available through Parkhurst Dining.

Residence Life

Mercyhurst’s residence halls and campus apartments encourage supportive, welcoming communities that support all facets of students’ personal and academic growth. As part of Mercyhurst’s safe reopening plan, we are implementing new social norms for living on campus. These include move-in and COVID-19 screening procedures, guidelines for roommate discussions and living agreements, and information about required cleaning and health and safety checks.  

Students living on campus must commit to high standards of personal behavior and hygiene to protect themselves and the other members of their living community. Different measures will be required in various campus residences, depending on the configuration of the rooms, apartments, and townhouses.

Changes in policies for residential students include additional cleaning measures, changes to furniture arrangements and capacity to promote social distancing, and separate isolation/quarantine spaces for students who have been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19. 

Residence Life staff, including hall directors and RAs, will establish and communicate procedures for maintaining health and personal hygiene. Emphasis will be placed on shared responsibility and honest communication. 

Questions? Please contact Residence Life directly at 814-824-2422.

Pre-Arrival Testing

Prior to returning to campus for the start of the semester, all students are requred to submit the negative result of a COVID-19 test administered no earlier than 72 hours before arrival on campus. To facilitate this process, Mercyhurst is offering FDA-authorized test/home collection kits through Picture Genetics. This is a self administered nasal swab test backed by Fulgent Genetics, a certified and accredited clinical diagnotic lab. All students will be tested again within a few days of arriving on campus. The university will facilitate this second round of testing on campus with our local testing partner. Further details of this post-arrival testing will be provided in the near future. Throughout the spring semester, we will conduct COVID-19 surveillance testing. This process will involve testing appropriately sized samples of the student population at various times to monitor for potential spread of COVID-19 on our campus. 

Once a negative test result is received, students will be sent a final confirmation, granting approval to move-in at their selected times. Move-in will begin on Friday, January 22. Please reserve a specific move-in time through the Housing Portal.

Please direct questions or concerns to 814-824-3600 or

Guests in Residential Areas

Due to social distancing guidelines and best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, there are regulations in place in regard to guests in on-campus residential areas. All visitors (parents, siblings, etc.) must be registered online using the Mercyhurst Visitor Screening Form. All guests to campus must wear a mask or facial covering and practice social distancing by remaining six feet from others.

In Baldwin, McAuley, Warde and Ryan Halls, no outside guests are permitted in personal residential areas. This includes commuter students, off-campus students, visitors and guests. Guests are permitted in lobby areas. Residents of these buildings may have no more than one on-campus student guest per resident from the same residence in their room at any time; social distancing should be practiced. Students residing in on-campus apartment and townhouse areas are permitted one guest per resident, averaging no more than six persons at one time based on occupancy. (It is recommended that all non-roommate interactions take place in a lobby or outdoor area where social distancing can be more easily practiced.)

Congregating in residential living areas in groups of six or more is not permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, residence hall lounges, kitchens, lobbies, study rooms/spaces, etc. All students who are congregating in the communal space must wear a mask. 

Dining Services

Campus dining facilities will continue to observe physical distancing guidelines, limited capacity in locations, reconfigured serving stations, and removing self-service stations. Tables and chairs will be removed or shifted to account for physical distancing recommendations and procedures as put forth by state regulatory departments. Directional signage will be laid down on flooring to create clear pathways for location entrance, station queue points, location flow, and location exit areas. Additional signage will be placed throughout dining locations to highlight the “No Bare Hand Contact” policy, disinfecting touch points, and more. Until further notice, our dining venues only accept meal plans, Dining Dollars, Bonus Bucks and credit cards. Cash transactions are temporarily suspended.

Plates and metal silverware will be removed from service areas and will be replaced with recyclable products to limit potential spread of  biological contaminates. All items will be served in disposable containers and then passed to the guest; each station will require a new container to reduce contact. Hours will be monitored and adjusted at locations to meet COVID-19 code requirements and provide for safe dining opportunities. 

At Grotto Commons and the 501 Grille, the University’s two board-swipe dining venues, all self-service stations — including the salad bar, dessert stations, and beverage stations — will be eliminated and replaced with prepackaged, individually wrapped grab-and-go items or attendant-prepared stations. These venues will begin on a 25% capacity model for dine in, until the state lifts or changes its enhanced restrictions. Parkhurst Dining Services will offer ongoing education for guests in safety measures and will maintain safe practices to reduce lines and dine-in crowds. The Laker Inn and Roost locations will operate as takeout locations, and additional options will be available via the GET App. 

As a precautionary measure all employees will be required to follow new check-in procedures that will ensure that prescribed health standards are met before their workday begins. Employees will wash their hands, sanitize their shoes and have their temperature checked all before entry is allowed.