COVID-19

COVID-19

 

Medical University of the Americas Information Regarding Fall 2021 Semester

Medical University of the Americas ("MUA") is excited to welcome all students back to the MUA campus for the Fall 2021 semester. The below addresses questions you may have in more detail, however, the school expects all students to return to the campus in time to attend the first day of classes in Fall 2021 Semester. Additionally, consistent with the school's priority of protecting the health of our community, including the St. Kitts-Nevis community, vaccinations will be required for all returning students, faculty, staff and administrators. Given the logistics of vaccination and travelling to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis (St. Kitts-Nevis) including government entry approval, students should plan their vaccinations immediately (if not already complete) and book their travel as soon as possible. Availability of flights to St. Kitts-Nevis is often limited at the start of a school term. This will be especially true for this coming Fall semester due to the number of students returning and the fact that the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will be hosted in the Federation from August 28th - September 19th, 2021. You may have to arrive on Nevis prior to the start of the term in order to be in classes at the start of the term. Below is additional information regarding the return to Nevis for the Fall 2021 semester. If you have any additional questions, please contact returning-students@mua.edu. In addition, you have here the latest information brochure from the government regarding travel to St. Kitts-Nevis. It is very well done and we recommend you read it thoroughly.

CAMPUS VS ONLINE

Will the Fall semester start in person or online?

All students will be welcomed back to in-person learning on campus on Nevis for the Fall term. It is mandatory to be on campus, in person from the first day of the Fall semester except as discussed below. Attendance will be taken from the first day of classes forward, and any absences will be recorded in accordance with the school's attendance policy. Our priority is protecting your health, and that of the St. Kitts-Nevis community, by preventing the spread of the disease. As part of our plan for a safe return to campus life, COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all returning students, faculty, staff, and administrators. We urge all students who have an opportunity to get fully vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. We remain committed to providing you with all the resources and support needed to be successful. 

Will virtual learning be an option?

While our expectation is that all students will eventually return to campus, we also recognize that the pandemic, travel, and vaccination delivery is an evolving situation. Although our goal is to return all students to in-person learning as quickly as possible, we will be reasonable in our consideration of exceptions to in-person education and temporary use of online education for the Fall semester. MUA remains committed to helping all our students to continue to make academic progress and recognizes that certain issues are beyond the control of students. As such, students may request exemptions from the in-person learning requirement under certain circumstances that prevent them from coming to the campus by the start of the Fall semester. Decisions regarding any such exemption are final and are at the University's sole discretion. Circumstances that may make students eligible for such exemptions include: 

  • Lack of access to vaccinations in the country where you currently reside 
  • Lack of travel visas, passports, and flights from some countries 
  • Other situations, hardships, and reasons that may require students to remain online for the Fall semester 

Information on how to request a temporary exemption will be provided in the weeks ahead. 

If I have to remain virtual for the Fall 2021 semester, how will it be different from the usual in-person program?

MUA will continue to provide all of our new and returning students with the best learning experience possible. Whether on-campus or online, we are committed to providing you with the resources and support you will need and delivering the same level of education that has led to strong outcomes for the past 20+ years, such as performing well on the USMLE and excellence in postgraduate residency attainment. We have developed an engaging distance learning curriculum with live courses and personalized academic support to provide students with the tools and resources needed to succeed. 

COVID-19 AND VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS

For the most up-to-date information regarding coronavirus in St. Kitts-Nevis and the actions being taken in accordance with the situation, please visit https://covid19.gov.kn/

Is the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for access to campus?

Yes. As part of our plan for a safe return to campus life, COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all returning students, faculty, staff, and administrators. 

What safety measures and protocols have been put in place on campus to prevent the spread of the virus?

The University has implemented the appropriate infection control public health measures to protect the University community on campus. While the University community will be vaccinated, we continue to encourage students, faculty and staff to follow safety guidelines as directed by the St. Kitts-Nevis government. MUA has been approved and is in compliance with the Statutory Rules and Orders (SRO's) enacted by the Federal Government. Every person must submit to temperature checks, wear a mask, use provided hand sanitizer and practice social distancing. 

The re-opening of St. Kitts-Nevis remains a phased approach and is continuously monitored by the Federal Government. 

The situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic remains fluid, and the St. Kitts-Nevis Government reserves the right to change any conditions when the circumstances require such. 

Does the student health insurance cover COVID treatment and testing?

Yes, COVID-19 medical treatment is covered and considered like any other medical treatment. COVID-19 testing is covered if deemed medically necessary (does not include testing required for travel). The MUA-sponsored health plan covers accident or illness as described in the student health insurance brochure. 

TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

What are the travel requirements for St. Kitts-Nevis? 

The St. Kitts-Nevis Government publishes guidelines for travel on their website https://www.stkittstourism.kn/travel-requirements. Students should visit this website for the most up-to-date information regarding travelling to St. Kitts-Nevis. Please familiarize yourself with all entry requirements before completing the entry form. This should be done prior to booking any travel. 

I am fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Will I need to quarantine when I get to St. Kitts-Nevis?

Yes. Vaccinated individuals are required to quarantine upon entry into St. Kitts-Nevis at this point. 

Are there quarantine sites on Nevis? 

Yes, multiple hotels are approved sites as well as Serenity Apartments. A complete list of hotels can be found at the St. Kitts-Nevis website https://www.stkittstourism.kn/. In addition, Serenity Apartments has units available near the campus. If you are interested in further information please contact the owner, Mr. Kevin Huggins at bookings@serenityapartmentsnevis.com or via cellphone/WhatsApp 1-869-662-7482). 

APPLICATION PROCESS/REQUIREMENTS 

Will MUA admissions requirements/deadlines become more flexible or change as a result of COVID-19 disruptions? How will this impact my application review and decision on acceptance?

Our Admissions Committee has made a number of accommodations to provide extra flexibility to students affected by COVID-19. While there are no changes to our admission standards, the Admissions Committee understands that many external examinations have been canceled or postponed during this pandemic. We continue to monitor the changes and the availability of external test administrations and are prepared to offer conditional acceptances and to exercise reasonable flexibility in making admissions decisions. 

Please contact your admissions officer or admissions@mua.edu for specific details. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been disruptions in the administration of the MCAT examination. Will MUA make any changes to the application requirements as a result of these disruptions?

While MUA requires the MCAT for US citizens, permanent residents, and nationals, we understand that COVID-19 may have interfered with your ability to take the MCAT. As such, MUA has waived the requirement to submit MCAT scores for all students for the Fall 2021 semester. Students who have taken the test, however, are still encouraged to submit their MCAT scores. 

If my undergraduate institution has switched to virtual learning during this pandemic, will that affect my admissibility?

We understand that the disruptions caused by the coronavirus may have changed the course of your education. Please be assured that your candidacy will not be negatively impacted by the fact that your labs/lectures were conducted virtually. 

Return to Campus

Medical University of the Americas ("MUA") continues to conduct in-person classes, and barring any changes in circumstances, the campus will remain open for the September 2021 semester. Further, according to the local government, there are currently no COVID-19 cases on the island of Nevis. Businesses on the island are open, and there are no COVID-19 related restrictions on movement or social activities.

MUA strongly recommends that both new and current students return to the campus as soon as is possible. The school strongly believes in the value of in-person learning, and believe it is a significant advantage to medical students to be in person, on campus. While MUA is offering the option of remote learning during May 2021, it is our expectation that all students will be on campus for the September 2021 term. The school further expects that all students who are able to return to campus for the May 2021 term do so.

To facilitate students' return, the school has arranged for a limited number of quarantine opportunities for students at Serenity Apartments. Serenity Apartments is approved by St. Kitts and Nevis government as a quarantine site for the required 14-day quarantine. To encourage students to return to the campus, the school will pay for the costs of security and housing during the quarantine period for students who quarantine during the quarantine periods listed below.

The arrival dates for the quarantine periods are as follows:

  • Saturday, April 24, 2021 (Quarantine April 24 - May 8)
  • Wednesday, May 12, 2021 (Quarantine May 12 - May 26)
  • Saturday, May 29, 2021 (Quarantine May 29 - June 12)
  • Wednesday, June 16, 2021 (Quarantine June 16 - June 30)

As quarantine capacity is limited, quarantine availability will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, and the quarantine costs the school will pay for are solely for these periods. As such, we encourage students to respond as soon as possible and let the school know your preferred arrival date. Based on the number of students who have already begun the process of returning to campus, we expect these quarantine periods to fill up very quickly. Students should contact Mr. Kevin Huggins at Serenity Apartments (bookings@serenityapartmentsnevis.com or via cellphone/WhatsApp 1-869-662-7482) as soon as possible to make a request for a quarantine period. We also ask that students contact the school at returning-students@mua.edu once you have travel approval from the government of St. Kitts and Nevis, or if you have any questions regarding the return to campus. Students should also review St. Kitts & Nevis Health and Travel Protocols, which can be found here, which outlines the travel and quarantine protocols for entering St. Kitts and Nevis.

We look forward to another successful semester for all students and look forward to welcoming more students back to our campus.

May 2021 Semester

The Medical University of the Americas (“MUA”) Nevis campus is open, and in-person classes are available.  Barring any changes in circumstances, the campus will remain open for the May 2021 semester.  MUA strongly recommends that both new and current students return to the campus for the May 2021 semester. MUA, however, is not requiring students to return to the campus, and will still offer the option of remote learning for the May 2021 semester.

We will provide additional updates to students as available via this website.

We look forward to another successful semester for all students and look forward to welcoming more students back to campus.

January 2021 Semester ** Update

We are writing to update on the status of the campus opening for the January 2021 semester.  As previously announced, we are working with the government of St. Kitts and Nevis to gain approval of the Nevis campus reopening plans.  While we are making progress, we have not finalized the plans with the government. As such, there will be a delay in the opening of the campus to in-person classes.  The exact date is still yet to be determined. We will provide further updates as soon as available.

January 2021 Semester

Medical University of the Americas (“MUA”) is in the process of finalizing details with government with regard to campus reopening and specifics on quarantine procedures. We expect the campus to be open for in-person classes for the January 2021 semester. Further, according to local government, the COVID-19 situation is well in hand on the island of Nevis. Businesses on the island are open, and life on Nevis is returning to normal.

MUA strongly recommends that both new and current students return to the campus for the January 2021 semester. MUA, however, is not requiring students to return to the campus, and will still offer the option of remote learning for the January 2021 semester.

For students coming to Nevis for the January 2021 semester, the Nevis government has outlined a number of entry and quarantine requirements related to COVID-19. A summary of the current process includes:

  • All inbound travelers to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis will have to log on to the National website
  • Complete and submit the entry form including evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test done within three days of travel
  • Travelers will be screened at the airport and be requested to download the SKN COVID-19 mobile app
  • Travelers will quarantine at approved sites with access to an approved package of services for fourteen days
  • Traveler will be tested for COVID-19 on day 7 and day 14 of their quarantine
  • If the test on day 14 is negative travelers will be allowed to integrate into the Federation

MUA is currently working with government to identify approved quarantine sites, and to ensure appropriate services (e.g., food delivery) for students during this period. We will update you as to specifics as we finalize details with government.

In addition to the Nevis Government related quarantine and entry procedures, students should also check if any other governmental travel restrictions apply to their planned itinerary.

Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to Nevis. There are scheduled flights to St. Kitts from New York, Miami, Atlanta and San Juan. Ferries are also operating from St. Kitts to Nevis.

Due to limitations on the number of people the government will allow to quarantine at one time, student arrival will likely be staggered. In the coming days we will ask your intention regarding traveling to Nevis. New students, and students coming to Nevis for the first time, are reminded that in addition to the COVID-19 related requirements, they must also complete the normal incoming student immigration requirements communicated by the admissions office. For housing questions, please contact the school at housing@mua.edu. If you have any questions as you plan your return to Nevis, please contact the school at returning-students@mua.edu.

We will provide additional updates to students as available via this website.

We look forward to another successful semester for all students, and look forward to welcoming more students back to campus.

September 2020 Semester ** Update

Medical University of the Americas ("MUA") is committed to providing students with the highest quality medical education to further students' goals of becoming practicing clinicians. The faculty, staff and administration are in the process of developing plans to allow the opening of the Nevis campus for this coming fall term. As we embark on this journey, our overarching goal is to ensure that our community members feel comfortable and safe as we resume campus operations. As we reopen, our actions will be guided by public health considerations and best practices around COVID-19.

Assuming the resumption of international travel, and appropriate governmental approvals and conditions MUA plans to reopen the Nevis campus for the Fall 2020 semester.

MUA is seeking ways to establish modes of academic engagement that will allow our students to achieve their academic objectives while maintaining a safe environment. To this end, our goal is to provide simultaneous in-person and synchronous remote teaching to create a flexible learning experience designed to accommodate a diverse range of situations in which students might find themselves because of public health considerations, travel restrictions, or personal health circumstances. We expect that this system will allow students who are unable to return to campus this fall to fully participate and be current in their studies when they do return to campus. Some of the specifics are still being worked out. Please check back regularly as we will post the latest updates here.

For those upperclassmen who are in the clinical medicine portion of the program, as our affiliated hospitals begin to resume core and elective clerkships, you will be scheduled as they become available. Until such time we will continue the remote learning activities presently being offered by the university.

NBME Testing ** Update

NBME Testing Announcement

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the school’s administration of the various NBME exams has been disrupted. We are examining options that will work technologically, are equitable and that maintain the integrity of the exams. As soon as we have finalized our plans we will provide further update.

June 2020 Commencement Ceremony **Update

COVID-19 June Commencement Announcement

As previously announced, this year’s in-person commencement ceremony regrettably needed to be canceled. We would like to invite all of this year’s graduates, family, friends, faculty and staff to an online reciting of the Hippocratic Oath on June 6th at 10am EST. Details of how to access this event will be forthcoming by email and on the COVID-19 page of the Medical University of the Americas website. This oath is one of the earliest expressions of medical ethics in the medical profession and signifies your transition into the profession of a physician. As mentioned previously, all students and their families are invited to participate in the 2021 commencement ceremony.

June 2020 Graduation **Update

COVID-19 Graduation Announcement

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is with great regret that we cancel the June 2020 Commencement Ceremony for Medical University of the Americas in Providence, RI. This has been a very difficult decision as we understand the significance of this ceremony to the graduates, families and friends, as well as members of our faculty and administration. However, given the uncertainty surrounding travel and the situations that face communities around the world, we feel that holding this year’s Commencement Ceremony, although desirable, may in fact be infeasible. For this reason, we feel it is necessary to cancel this year’s ceremony. We realize how disappointing this news is for all of you. We continue to look for alternatives to holding a commencement ceremony in person. For those of you and your families who would like to take part in the 2021 Commencement Ceremony, we invite you to do so.

May 2020 Semester ** Update

COVID-19 May Semester Announcement

We have made the decision to deliver Basic Science courses on our virtual learning platform for the May semester beginning with the term start date of Monday, May 4, 2020. We have temporarily transitioned the Basic Science portion of the program to this virtual learning platform in order to seamlessly continue supporting our student’s education, while they remain in the safety of their homes. We are well-prepared to deliver an interactive and seamless virtual learning experience, and will continue to enroll and start our programs without interruption. Clinical students should consult with the Clinical Department about their May 2020 semester clerkship schedule.

COVID-19 Update

Medical University of the Americas ("MUA") remains committed to the safety of our students, faculty, staff, colleagues and members of the community at large. As such, we would like to make you aware of actions the school is taking at this time. MUA will continue to provide updates as the situation and circumstances demand.

As always, our school is committed to ensuring the safety of our community. We also remain committed to our mission "To provide students of diverse backgrounds who exhibit a passion for the field of medicine with the opportunity to acquire the medical and clinical expertise needed for a successful career as a practicing clinician along with the skills and confidence needed to critically evaluate and apply new information." Consistent with this mission the school is taking all steps available to ensure the safety of our students while continuing their medical education as possible given the realities of the situation. The following will outline:

  • COVID-19
  • Resources available regarding COVID-19
  • COVID-19 on Nevis (No reported cases)
  • Basic Science students
  • Clinical Medicine students
  • May 2020 term

COVID-19

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person.

The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • shortness of breath

People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently

Resources available regarding COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides information on the virus and how to protect yourself, as well as the situation in the United States and updates at their website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

The Canadian Government also provides information on the virus and information specific to Canada on its website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html.

Basic Science Students

The Nevis campus remains open and operational. While we recommend that students, faculty and staff continue to take the everyday preventative actions described above we continue to have classes and other events as normal. We do remind everyone that if you are sick you should not come to the campus.

Although we are not closing the Nevis campus, we are offering students the option to return home and continue their education through remote learning. All Basic Science courses will be available through remote learning. MUA will employ the following modalities to deliver the Basic Science courses:

  • Asynchronously via Panopto, a lecture capture video platform
  • Synchronously via Zoom, a video conferencing platform
  • Exams will be administered via ExamSoft, a secure assessment platform, and through Prometric, secure testing centers if open

Additional information about how to access these resources and how students can interact with the faculty will be made available directly to students.

Clinical Medicine Students

MUA is diligently working with its clinical sites in the United States to help ensure that students can continue their clinical education throughout this situation. We remind students to follow the protocols and recommendations in place at their clinical site. As with all our students, we advise them to take all precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. We also request that clinical students update the clinical department on any known exposures to MUA students or faculty as soon as possible.

Education at a number of our clinical sites has been disrupted by COVID-19. To the extent possible MUA is developing workarounds to minimize any disruptions to students’ education. The school will prioritize students who are nearing graduation to help ensure that these students can complete their clinical education in time for scheduled graduation.

MUA appreciates the efforts of the entire community through this challenging time. We will continue to monitor the situation both on Nevis and at our clinical sites, and provide updates as available.

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