May 2023 marked the end of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration. This signaled that COVID-19 has passed the pandemic phase and has entered into what officials call an endemic phase, meaning the virus that causes the COVID-19 will likely continue to evolve new strains as the virus tries to spread with seasonal peaks in different regions of the world. In response, the FDA has cleared new COVID boosters, with hopes that they can blunt a possible spike in winter illness. Data on the virulence of newer variants is lacking, but for most people, symptoms are generally mild and include sore throat, cough, congestion, headache, and fatigue. Beginning on September 25, 2023, the CDC is providing four free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests for each household.  

The Campus Safety Committee continues to work to provide important guidance for those in the Garrett community who become ill or come in contact with others who test positive. Out of primary concern for the safety and well-being of the Garrett community, we have launched two self-reporting portals, one for students and one for faculty and staff (please read on to see when to make use of them). We believe it is incumbent upon us as a Christian community to uphold and care for the health and safety of others, and self-reporting is one way we can put into practice Christ’s love in our midst. 

We ask you to take the preventative measures below to keep our infection rate at Garrett as low as possible:  

If you are symptomatic, (a) get tested, (b) use a mask regardless of the test result since a negative test does not guarantee that you are not infected with the virus, and (c) do your best to isolate yourself from others.

For those who testpositive:

  • Employeeswho test positive should stay home and isolate for at least 5 days. You are most likely to infect others during this time. Day 0 is the first day of symptoms. Please fill out the Employee Self-Reporting Form.

  • Studentswho test positive should also isolate at home and not attend class for at least 5 days. Please fill out the Student Self-Reporting Form. This tool enables us to properly follow-up with classes, offices, and/or groups that may have been exposed. We will not be implementing contact tracing and we encourage students to communicate directly with those faculty whose classes are meeting in-person.

  • Foremployeesandstudents: While you may end isolation after 5 days if your symptoms are improving and you are fever free, you should wear a mask through day 10.

If you wereexposedto someone with COVID-19, the CDC has guidelines on COVID exposure; see their helpful "Isolation and Exposure Calculator" so you can move through their assessment, which takes into consideration a number of personal factors, in order to make an informed decision about what practices relative to masking and testing are appropriate for your situation.

In general, you do not need to isolate unless you develop symptoms; however, you should get tested on or after 6 days from exposure, and you should wear a mask indoors around others for 10 days In addition to basic health and hygiene preventive strategies such as regular and thorough handwashing, you can lower your risk of getting sick by spending more time outdoors, maximizing ventilation while inside, staying up to date with vaccines, and avoiding contact with people who are sick. 

Thank you for taking care of yourself and looking out for others. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the academic dean’s office at 

Campus Safety Committee

Counseling Services for Students

Six free counseling sessions: If you are a current student and feel the need for professional counseling, the seminary will provide up to six free counseling sessions at a rate of $75 an hour.

The first step in the process is for the student to contact Dean Mosby at Students will be asked to review the list of professional counselors at the Samaracare Counseling Center that is available on MyGETS. The Samarcare Counseling Center site provides a picture and a short introduction of the scope of work and practices of the providers. Students choose a provider from this site and set up an appointment. Prior to going to the appointment, students will need to download the Counseling Center Verification Form (available on myGETS) and procure a digital signature on the form from Dean Mosby. The Counseling Center Verification Form (with the requisite signature from Dean Mosby) needs to be taken with you to your first session or emailed to the chosen provider prior to the first session if your session is online. If students encounter problems or have concerns about these services, they should notify Dean Mosby as soon as possible.

If students prefer to seek counseling with someone outside of the Samaracare Counseling Center, they will be reimbursed up to $450 ($75 per session for six sessions). All expenses beyond the $450 reimbursement must be covered by the student.


Student Chaplain

Students may contact Dean Karen Mosby via her Garrett email ( to schedule a time to talk by phone, online, or in person. 


Employee Assistance Program for Faculty and Staff

Garrett faculty, staff, adjunct faculty, student workers and their spouses and children have access to our Employee Assistance Program provided by Perspectives. This service provides six free in-person or now telehealth counseling services. To find out how to access this benefit, visit the Employee Assistance Program page on myGETS.