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COVID-19 Update: Masking, Testing, Capacity

Dear Emerson Community, 

We continue to see increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates and decreasing COVID-19 cases in the City of Boston and in Massachusetts.  As we have shared in previous messages, the College continues to follow the science and evaluate policies and guidance as it relates to the Boston campus experience for students and employees.  With the positive shifts we have seen in the region, we are sharing the following updates for July, effective today:

  • Individuals who are currently working and studying on campus, and are fully vaccinated are still recommended to wear a mask while in campus spaces (except for in private offices or rooms where masks are not required). It is still required that individuals who are not fully vaccinated remain masked at all times while on campus, except for in your private room or office. More information on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health mask guidance can be found here
  • As we approach the fall term and look forward to welcoming back our full Emerson community from around the country and the globe, and work to rebuild our “Emerson Bubble”, the College will require all members of the campus community who are on campus beginning August 16, 2021 through at least September 17, 2021 to be masked regardless of vaccination status. It is our goal to  return to a mask-optional policy for a majority of campus (i.e. with the exception of Center for Health and Wellness and ECAPS) for fully vaccinated individuals and a mask recommendation for unvaccinated individuals after that time period. A campus wide communication with additional guidance will be sent around September 17. As always, please be aware that should official guidance from local or state officials change due to the state of the virus, we may need to extend mask requirements.  
    • Because of the nature of certain academic programs and assignments, the mask requirement will not apply to some  specific programs.  The College will share detailed  information about those programs directly with applicable community members
  • The College will require all members of the community (faculty, staff, students, and vendors) working and studying in person on the Boston campus this fall to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing in partnership with the Tufts Medical Center. Individuals on campus for one day or more per week will be required to adhere to this testing cadence. Staff at our LA, Kasteel Well and Paris College of Art programs will provide more information directly to the individuals participating in those programs. 
    • More information on arrival / baseline testing and the ongoing schedule and process will be shared closer to the start of the fall term.  Students will be required to sign up and commit to a regular weekly testing time before the start of the semester. 
  • As a reminder, effective June 1 all meeting spaces, function rooms, elevators and common spaces have returned to their original capacity limits. 
    • Classrooms are scheduled to have 3 square feet of distancing for the fall term and appropriate signage will be posted in each space with adjusted capacities.  
    • Non-Emerson guests must be registered through iVisitor and must remain masked at all times while in Emerson academic and administrative buildings, regardless of vaccination status. 
      • Guests and visitors are still not permitted in residence halls during the summer sessions.
  • Reminder: Students are required to be fully vaccinated prior to their arrival to campus. Unvaccinated individuals (without an approved exemption) will not be able to move into the residence halls or attend in-person classes.Their documentation needs to be uploaded in their student health record by July 15, 2021. Questions about exemptions or needs for extensions should be directed to healthservices@emerson.edu
    • The College will accept all FDA-EUA and WHO-EUL approved vaccines for the start of the fall term.
  • Additional information for faculty and staff related to vaccination requirements will be shared in the coming days. 

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.  Please let us know if you have any questions. 

Be well, 
Erik Muurisepp
COVID-19 Lead
AVP, Campus Life

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