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Guide to Off-Campus Baseline Testing

This information regarding testing is for any off-campus student participating in any hybrid/flex courses on the Boston campus for Spring 2021. Please read carefully!

Spring Return to Campus

1. Schedule your TWO baseline tests

The Emerson App (same as Fall) and/or testing.emerson.edu is now open to all off-campus students to begin selecting baseline testing dates/times.

You must have an appointment in Appointment Plus (access on the Emerson App or testing.emerson.edu). All off-campus students will need to have two negative baseline tests before participating in any in-person classes on February 1. Off-campus students can begin baseline testing as early as January 19. Your baseline tests do not have to be on the same days as your selected cohort.

If you receive your first baseline test during the week of January 19, your second baseline test must be the week of January 25.

Following baseline testing, you will be expected to test twice a week for the remainder of the Spring semester. The twice-per-week testing is determined by your pre-chosen testing cohort (Monday/Wednesdays or Tuesday/Thursdays). If you have not already, you can sign up for a testing cohort here. We will send more information about scheduling your weekly testing within your cohorts in the next week. Please do not attempt to scheduling weekly testing times in the Emerson App yet, as your appointments will be lost.

2. Show up for your baseline test on that date and time

It is incredibly important that you show up at the same time and date as your appointment to be tested. You will notice that testing is now self-service and much quicker! Showing up at the correct date and time will ensure that wait times stay low.

The testing site is at the same location as the Fall: Tufts Medical Center, 116 Harrison Avenue, Boston

3. Quarantine until you receive your negative result

Once you take your baseline test, you are expected to immediately head to your off-campus apartment to quarantine until you receive a negative result. You will only need to quarantine for your initial baseline test, unless you receive a positive result. Plan on enough supplies (food, etc.) in the event you test positive and must quarantine for 14 days.

In addition, all Emerson students must participate in a “soft” quarantine from the time they arrive back in Boston through January 29, regardless of test results. This means that off-campus students should only leave their apartment for essential tasks such as picking up groceries, prescriptions, medical appointments, etc. See more below regarding the Stay at Home Quarantine Policy.

4. Repeat the testing cadence twice per week

More information will be shared in the next week regarding the semester’s weekly test scheduling. Please be sure that you have selected a cohort already; we will notify you when Spring semester scheduling opens. Please do not attempt to schedule weekly testing times in the Emerson App yet, as your appointments will be lost.

The testing cohort will remain the same for the entirety of the semester. You will be able to adjust appointment times within the days you choose. For example: If you choose the Tuesday/Thursday cohort, you will only see appointment times for those days.

Common Questions

What is the difference between baseline testing and weekly testing?
Baseline testing is how we rebuild the community bubble at Emerson when students are arriving back in Boston from winter break. All students need two negative baseline tests prior to attending in-person flex classes. Weekly testing refers to the two tests you take per week throughout the Spring semester following February 1. All students will be in a testing cohort this semester. You can learn more about selecting your cohort on Emerson Today.

What if I cannot book my two baseline tests prior to February 1?
We understand that this may be a challenge for some in extenuating circumstances. You will be unable to attend in-person classes until you receive two negative results through the Emerson testing site at Tufts Medical Center. Please contact your professors and explain when you are testing and when you will be able to be in-person.

What if I arrive in Boston earlier than January 19 and want to be tested?
Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate testing prior to January 19. Please go to the Massachusetts COVID-19 Testing Site Locator to see locations that are both free and for cost. Please note you will still need to sign up and complete baseline testing through the Emerson testing site between January 19-February 1.

When can I schedule my weekly testing for the semester?
More information will be shared in the next week regarding the semester’s weekly testing scheduling. Please be sure that you have selected a cohort already; we will notify you when Spring semester scheduling opens. Please do not attempt to schedule weekly testing times in the Emerson App yet, as your appointments will be lost.

Quick Dates to Remember:
January 13: Baseline test scheduling opens on the Emerson App for off-campus students
January 19: Hybrid/flex classes begin online
January 19: Baseline testing for off-campus students begins
February 1: Flex in-person classes begin
February 1: Twice-per-week cohort testing begins
TBD: Scheduling for semester testing

Additional questions can be directed to Off-Campus Student Services, OCSS@emerson.edu.

Understanding the Stay-at-Home Policy

Emerson students participating in flex courses for Spring 2021 to complete a “soft” quarantine from the time they return to Boston through January 29. This means that you should only leave apartments for food, mail, and medical. Students may also leave their apartments for work, if needed. Please confirm that your employer is following CDC and state guidelines regarding safety and prevention of COVID-19.

By limiting the amount you leave your apartment to only essentials, you are limiting the spread and exposure in the Boston community, as well as within the Emerson community.

Don’t forget to complete the Back to Campus Canvas course for Boston campus access for Spring 2021!

Staying in Boston?

COVID-19 Testing: Looking for information regarding testing in the city? Check out City of Boston resources for testing, the Stop the Spread campaign for no-cost testing.

Financial Support: The City of Boston has introduced their free Financial Navigators program. The Financial Navigators program offers Boston residents free, over-the-phone guidance on addressing financial needs.

Food Security: Connect with Project Bread through their hotline, 800-645-8333 for resources near you regarding food. You can also find resources via the Boston Food Resources Map.

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