Returning from Spring Break

April 1, 2022

Hi everyone,

I hope folks are doing well, and that you got a bit of a rest during the break. After a two-week hiatus, here’s your Ops update, featuring guidance if you’re returning to campus from time away during break:

Students returning from break

If you’re traveling back to campus, please test yourself before embarking on your return trip. Use one of the antigen/rapid tests that were put in all student mailboxes in mid-March.

  • If you’re negative, go ahead and travel.
  • If you’re positive, please stay put, get medical care and postpone your return until you’re no longer contagious.

Once you’re back, please test again using the second of the antigen/rapid tests.

If you lost the college-provided antigen tests, didn’t take them with you, etc., please purchase a kit (they’re available at most pharmacies) and test yourself as instructed. Then get back into the campus test PCR program ASAP.

Returning students must mask everywhere on campus except your own rooms, until your first negative PCR test.

If you test positive…

Students, if you test positive after you arrive on campus, please email [email protected] to report the positive result and take steps to isolate yourself while you wait to hear from them. The Health Center will respond as soon as possible during business hours to discuss ongoing monitoring and next steps.

If you’re in a double, please also inform your Area Coordinator or Dean on Call, so they can facilitate your move to an isolation room.

On Day 5 of isolation the Health Center will invite you to come get a rapid test there. (Please don’t go until instructed to do so.) If your result is negative they’ll give you permission to move out of isolation on Day 6. If it’s positive they’ll give you a set of five more rapid tests. You’ll then test daily in your room and will be allowed to leave isolation once you test negative.

Isolation dining

Here’s the protocol for meals during isolation:

  • You can leave isolation and go to Paresky to pick up your own meals to go, as long as you stay masked the whole time (KN95 mask or equivalent) and don’t make any side trips.
  • You can use the GET Mobile app to order ahead from the ’82 Grill, Fresh ’n Go, Lee Snack Bar or Whitman’s. Or you can swipe into Whitmans and go through the buffet line.
  • Please take the food back to your room—you’re not allowed to dine in person until you’ve been released from isolation.
  • While you’re in Paresky you can also stop by the mailroom to pick up mail and packages.

Staff and faculty returning from break

If you’ve been away and out of the testing program during the break, we recommend that you, too, self-test with an antigen/rapid test. They’re available at most local pharmacies by now. If you test positive, please seek medical care from your provider and only come back to campus once you’re not contagious.

Campus testing

As of next Monday, everyone should be testing weekly again regardless of vaccination status, etc. Covid numbers are starting to go up a bit again with the advent of the latest variant: given how many people returning after travel, we need to monitor the situation carefully.

Starting Monday the testing centers will revert to their usual schedule of Monday-Thursday, 9 AM to 4 PM

  • The primary testing site is at Greylock. If getting over there poses an accessibility challenge, please contact the Office of Accessible Education to arrange an accommodation.
  • The Field House site is for staff/faculty drive-through only. Please don’t ask for a walk-up test at the Field House: they can’t provide it. No exceptions: Arguing won’t help and only adds unnecessarily to staff stress.

Also, if you arrive at the drive-through site and see cars are backed up out to the edge of the lot, please do not extend the line into Latham Street. It inconveniences the community and poses a hazard. Instead, go run a few errands or grab a snack and come back, or park in the garage behind the ’62 Center and test at Greylock, instead.

Finally, students, if you don’t stay on schedule with your PCR tests, you’ll get a reminder on Thursday morning, while there’s still time to catch up. Any student who falls more than 7 days out of compliance will be contacted by the Dean’s Office.

Summer testing

Folks have understandably asked what the plan is for testing this summer. It’s too soon to say, so we’ll make an announcement as we get closer.

Boosters

Same goes for second boosters: We’re considering the question of whether to require the second booster for those who are eligible, so please stay tuned.

That’s all. If you’re coming back from off campus please travel safely and test thoroughly. We look forward to having everyone back next week!

Jim Reische
Chief Communications Officer