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COVID-19 Update: Restriction Revisions

Dear members of the Emerson community:

The last week of health and safety restrictions has shown us that when we follow the guidance and increase our vigilance to ensure our community’s health and wellbeing, we can manage the spread of the COVID -19 virus. Our case numbers have leveled in recent days, which means the campus can return to less restrictive operations – with some additional precautions.

Having consulted the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) regarding our current COVID situation on campus, effective at 7:00 am on Thursday, April 15, we will adjust the current restrictions which went into effect last week: 

  • We will lift the stay-in-room order, which has been in place for all students. 
  • Within the residence halls, visiting other rooms / suites will not be permitted.  We will review this restriction on Wednesday, April 21.  Masks must be worn at all times when you are not in your private room.
  • Distancing in classrooms and other indoor spaces must remain at least 6 feet, and small group work is not permitted during in-person classes. 
  • Limited indoor seating will resume in all dining areas, properly spaced and with limited numbers at each table.  
  • We will expect and require that all members of our community, regardless of their vaccination status or last PCR test result, to adhere to strict guidelines around masking at all times you are around others, keeping at least 6 feet distance and avoid gatherings, especially indoors.  This applies on and off-campus. 
    • Academically required project work (i.e. film shoots) will be permitted, but must adhere to the VMA safety guidelines and must take place outdoors, the warehouse, or other appropriate campus spaces, and all participants must remain masked at all times. 
  • In-season, outdoor, athletic practices and competitions sanctioned by the NEWMAC will be able to resume with strict protocols in place.  
  • The Fitness Center will reopen on Thursday, April 15, at 8:00 am.
  • Meeting room reservations will resume and must follow space and distancing guidelines. 

Throughout this past week, while many of our community have done their part by adhering to the restrictions put in place, we have also received some  reports of individuals and groups who violated the safety restrictions. Unfortunately, behaviors like this can quickly result in additional clustering and potential outbreaks of what appears to be a very transmissible variant of the COVID-19 virus.  If this were to happen again, we would need to enter another period of restrictions.  

All members of our community must respect the guidelines above and limit their exposure to others, gathering in groups, and indoor dining as we enter into the final weeks of our Flex classes for the remainder of the semester.

Thank you and be well,
Erik Muurisepp
COVID-19 Lead
AVP, Campus Life 

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