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One Emerson: Welcome! First Stop – Test Center


And it all begins! We’ll start welcoming new students to the campus tomorrow and through the weekend, with returning students coming back next week. Welcome, and welcome back! We’ve been waiting for you.

First Stop: Testing!

The move-in time you have received via email includes your testing time. Emerson’s COVID-19 testing site will be at Tufts Medical Center in a building located at 116 Harrison Avenue. The first-floor site is on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Kneeland Street, in the former location of the Tufts Medical School Bookstore. Please note that while the street address is on Harrison Avenue, the entrance is on Kneeland Street.

map showing test site

There are printed Emerson signs displayed in the window, but not permanent Emerson signage on the building.

  • Cars cannot park, double park, or stand outside the testing facility.
  • Only students can enter the test site.
  • Face coverings are required to enter.
  • An in-person symptom check will be done at the entrance.
  • Come prepared with your email address and/or ID.
  • Come with your completed Massachusetts Travel Form (if not exempt).
  • No cellphone use inside the center (for privacy reasons).
  • No gloves. You will sanitize your hands multiple times as part of the testing process.

After checking in, you will be placed in a queue for a testing bay. Multiple students complete the self-swab at once under instruction and observation by a clinician. The process moves relatively quickly, as long as everyone has their email address or ID number and their completed Massachusetts Travel Form with them.

Check out this video to get a sense of what the testing center and process look like:

After Your Baseline Test

After your test, you will follow pink arrows on the floor through a series of doors to exit onto Harrison Avenue. An Emerson staff member there will give you a card with instructions for your next steps and information on your next test date. You will need this card to move in — hold onto it!

Proceed to your residence hall for move-in, or to your apartment if you are living off campus. If you’re living in residence, you will check in, pick up your initial meal pack, and have two hours to move in with your registered helper and Emerson’s move-in assistants (all of whom have had a recent COVID test).

Remember that you will need to quarantine in your room until you receive your test result. Test results will be available via email in 24-48 hours. Look for the email from CareEvolve, which will allow you to register for the lab results portal. Follow the prompts to complete the registration steps, after which you can view your results.

Parents and Family Members

Parents and family members may use the restroom facilities and have a place to rest during the testing and move-in time at the Bobby Brown and Steven Plofker Gymnasium, 150 Boylston Street (Piano Row building). Cars should not park or idle at the testing center or in front of Piano Row. Family members may choose to drive around the area or look for parking.

Once the student has completed testing and received the card at Tufts allowing them to move in, the student and car can proceed to the residence hall loading area. The driver should remain with the vehicle as the areas in front of the buildings are for unloading only, not parking. Emerson move-in assistants will help unpack items from the vehicle into a cart and bring items into the student’s room. The student should proceed into the building and the car should be moved from the loading zone.

While Emerson does not own a parking lot or garage, paid parking options in close proximity to campus include the following:

  • Boston Common Garage, 1 Charles Street
  • 660 Washington Street
  • City Place Parking Garage, 8 Park Plaza
  • 200 Stuart Street

Once in the building, the student will pick up their key and first meal pack. They will also receive the move-in pass/sticker for their one permitted move-in support person. The support person must have their move-in sticker visible on their clothing at all times during their two-hour permitted window. The student and their support person can head up to the room to start setting up. Any other family members are welcome to wait in the gym in Piano Row, or can explore downtown Boston.

Off-Campus Students

If you are living off campus, you should have received information about the date and time of your baseline test. While the residential pieces of this message won’t apply to you, the testing information does, as does the need to quarantine until you receive your test result. If you have any questions about testing, or anything related to living off campus, please do not hesitate to reach out to Off-Campus Student Services.

A Note About Disposable Masks

We received some questions after our last email about whether store-bought disposable face masks (surgical masks) would be allowed in place of cloth face coverings. Yes, Emerson community members can wear disposable masks. These should be discarded each day and a new one worn the next day.

We recommend cloth face coverings principally because surgical masks have sometimes been in short supply recently for medical providers. We want to make sure that doesn’t become the case again. Further, reusable cloth face coverings create less landfill waste than disposable masks. But to be clear: Disposable masks are allowable as face coverings at Emerson when worn properly over the nose and down to the chin.

As We Come Back Together

The start of the fall semester is always a time filled with many emotions. I think that’s never been more true than now. I would remind us all to take really good care of ourselves over the next couple of weeks: Find an outlet for your energy and nerves. Exercise. Be creative. Get organized. Eat right. Get some fresh air. Make time for sleep, even amid your excitement and preparations. Stay hydrated. Rely on friends and family for support. Pack lightly but smartly — and don’t forget those face coverings and a reliable thermometer!

Know that this semester will be different, because it undoubtedly will. But there will be a lot about it that will be great: You’ll have new classes and teachers, you’ll meet new people, you’ll find new ways of doing things, you’ll learn more about yourself and others in a time of real challenge. Take the fear and anxiety you may be feeling and channel it — into your preparations, your studies, your dedication to keeping yourself and others safe. We’re all going to have ups and downs over the next few months. We’re going to need each other to get through the hard times and celebrate the good ones. To stay safe, to stay healthy, to stay open, it’s really true: We’re in this together. We have to be.

Take good care,
Jim Hoppe
Vice President and Dean of Campus Life

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