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One Emerson: Weekend Travel…and the Flu Shot is Required This Year


With the three-day weekend ahead of us, we’ve been receiving questions about traveling out of state. If you plan to leave Massachusetts this weekend (or at any point in the foreseeable future), the Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order is still in effect.

Do I Need to Quarantine If I Travel?

While the College discourages travel outside the state of Massachusetts, we understand that in some cases it is necessary. We ask that all students who travel for a significant period outside of the state (longer than overnight) quarantine upon return until they take a COVID test and receive a negative result. This is particularly important for individuals who travel to one of the U.S. states not on the Massachusetts exemption list. Please note that many states that had been on the exemption list earlier this fall have been removed, notably Rhode Island and New Jersey.

Flu Shots are REQUIRED This Year

Beginning on December 31, 2020, the state of Massachusetts will require students attending colleges and universities in Massachusetts to document proof of the 2020-21 seasonal influenza vaccine (flu shot). The shot must be received on or before December 31 to maintain eligibility to study in Massachusetts.

Flu shots have always been a strong recommendation here at Emerson to prevent the seasonal flu that typically starts to show activity in late fall through the spring (November-April). The MA state requirement applies to students living or taking classes on the Boston campus this fall or spring. But with COVID-19 and the flu mirroring similar signs and symptoms this year, it is more important than ever to make sure your immune system is ready for the fight against the flu, no matter where you live!

The Center for Health & Wellness (CHW) will have a limited supply of vaccines available, and will be scheduling immunization clinics by appointment in the next several weeks. Dates and times will be shared soon.

You don’t have to wait for one of our immunization clinics, however; many places are now giving flu shots. Our local CVS at 631 Washington Street and local Walgreens at 24 School Street both have a good supply of flu vaccine on hand at this time. Or you can use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find a flu shot location near you. If you are on the student health insurance plan offered by Emerson, the flu vaccine is a preventative health benefit covered by the plan.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The flu vaccine is now listed as a requirement in the Student Health Portal. If you obtain a flu shot at an off-campus location, you must submit documentation into the Student Health Portal to prove that you have received the vaccine. Instructions for logging into the portal are on Once logged in, go to “immunizations” and then enter the date you received the vaccine and upload your verification document.

If you wish to submit a waiver from the flu vaccine requirement for a religious or medical reason, got to the Forms section in the Student Health Portal, where you can complete and upload the waiver exemption document. A medical waiver requires the signature of a health care clinician.

Get Your COVID Test Every Week… Even If Your Appointment Scheduler Isn’t Working!

You’ve probably seen the messages from IT and the COVID core team indicating that there’s a known software bug with our COVID-19 appointment scheduling software that impacts iOS (iPhone/iPad) users. While our vendors works to resolve the issue, you can simply use a desktop or laptop and visit to schedule or manage your appointments.

If you are unable to schedule your appointment, you still must take your weekly COVID test. If you can’t schedule a time, physically go to the Emerson testing site at Tufts Medical Center during their regular hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-6:00 pm) and you will be allowed to walk in for a test.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

This coming Monday, October 12, is a College holiday observed as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The movement to rename the federal holiday of Columbus Day has been growing in the United States, and many institutions, cities, and states have officially adopted the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day was proposed as an alternative at a United Nations conference in 1977 to acknowledge that Native peoples were the first inhabitants of the Americas. The recognition also urges Americans to reconsider a holiday that celebrates the arrival of the European explorers and colonizers who ushered in an era of mass extermination and displacement of Native peoples and communities. For information about the campaign to rally the city and state to recognize the day, visit Indigenous Peoples Day Massachusetts.

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

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