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Winter and Spring Updates for Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleagues:

Please stay vigilant! As we learn to live with the many COVID safety measures and guidelines, I want to urge you to remain vigilant in your care for yourself and our community. We are heading into colder months after beautiful summer and fall weather, driving us indoors and potentially in closer proximity to one another.  Please wear your face covering and maintain your distance. 

Below are a few updates and information regarding Winter and what to expect in the Spring. With the current spike in COVID cases across the country, and continuing predictions of a worsening in the winter, we at Emerson are going to continue to do everything possible to keep our campus safe and reduce the likelihood of transmission on campus. One of the changes for Spring is that staff and faculty working on campus will be required (rather than opting-in) to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing.

Prior to returning to campus in the Spring, just as we did this Fall, staff and faculty working on campus will need to have a negative baseline test. Followed by the baseline test, staff and faculty will begin weekly testing. Emerson’s multi-layered approach to managing COVID, along with responding quickly with quarantine, isolation, and contract tracing, has been very effective, and we want to continue to build and strengthen our approach and the confidence of the Emerson community.

We will send more information about Spring testing in the coming weeks and months.


  • Flu Shots – Staff and faculty working on campus are expected to get a flu shot. We recommend that all Emersonians follow the public health recommendations. Please attest to your flu shot status on Workday here. 
  • Daily Symptom App – IMPORTANT REMINDER: In an ongoing effort to ensure that all community members in Emerson buildings are symptom free, all Boston building tap access is disabled nightly (at 12:00 am) and re-enabled after you submit a symptom-free self-assessment via the Emerson mobile app. You no longer need to show your mobile devices to gain access to Boston buildings. Our symptom tracking app will instruct those exhibiting symptoms as to next steps. In the event that you report symptoms in error, you may email the Human Resources Department at If appropriate, HR can allow you to re-submit your daily check to regain building access.  For questions about using the Emerson app’s symptom checker, as well as other details about the technology tools we are using to battle COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 Tech Tools guide.
  • COVID-19 Transmission – There can be higher transmission of the virus in break room settings where people remove their face covering in order to eat. When face coverings are down, there is greater concern and risk for transmission. Please find space where you can maintain a distance of more than 6 feet, and ideally in a room with open windows and not sitting face-to-face. 
  • Veteran’s Day, November 11 – The testing center will be open from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.
  • COVID-19 Testing During Winter Break – Emerson will continue COVID surveillance testing from November 24 – January 8, 2021 for students remaining on campus, as well as staff and faculty working on campus. The testing clinic hours will be significantly reduced starting on November 20, with a full schedule resuming in January. More details on the exact winter schedule to follow.
  • Pulse Survey – if you have not yet completed the pulse survey, please do so: Fall 2020 Emerson Staff Pulse Survey.

Even More Details

  • Winter Break – We received a number of questions regarding winter break. The College will be closed for winter break for the majority of community members. Just like previous years, we will have some students on campus, and as a result, there will be staff working during the winter break. Please talk with your supervisor if you have questions about work during winter break.

Below is a partial list of programs and/or processes in place that will remain in place for the Spring.  

Get in Touch

As always, don’t hesitate to ask questions via the HR webpage.

Shari Stier
Senior Associate Vice President, Human Resources

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