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COVID Update: Important Information for Arriving Back to Campus

As you plan for your return to campus, we wanted to share the following helpful information about testing.  Students, staff and faculty who live, study or work on campus one day or more per week are expected to test weekly at Emerson’s testing center.  Continued access to campus will be dependent on testing weekly. 

It is not required for you to have a COVID-19 test done in advance of your first day on campus. If you are traveling to Emerson from out of state,  we strongly recommend testing prior to your travel to Boston, regardless of your vaccination status. CVS, Walgreens, and other similar stores, have rapid antigen tests that are available over the counter. Any testing you do prior to arrival on campus does not need to be submitted, nor does it take the place of required baseline testing upon arrival.

Do not come to campus or travel to Boston if you are experiencing ANY COVID-like symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 within the 14 days. If either of these circumstances apply to you, you should receive clearance and guidance from your primary care provider before coming to campus. Weekly testing begins on your first day back on campus. 

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days and you have been cleared by your physician to come to campus, prior to  your arrival on campus:

  • Students must send the test results to the Center for Health and Wellness (CHW) ( and not test with us. 
  • Faculty and staff should contact You will need to resume testing 90 days after your positive test date, which will be given to you by staff at CHW or HR. 

Baseline Testing for Students/Staff/Faculty

Testing Location:

Emerson’s COVID-19 testing site is conducted in partnership with Tufts Medical Center, which  is located at 116 Harrison Avenue. The first-floor, fully accessible site, is on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Kneeland Street, in the former location of the Tufts Medical School Bookstore. Please note that while the street address is on Harrison Avenue, the actual entrance is on Kneeland Street.

There are printed Emerson signs displayed in the window to indicate the location.


  • The COVID tests are small Q-tip-sized anterior nasal swabs that are self-administered. These are NOT the very long interior deep nasal swabs.
  • Cars cannot park, double park, or stand outside the testing facility.
  • Only Emerson students, faculty, staff, and vendors can enter the test site. 
  • Face coverings are required to enter.
  • An in-person symptom check will be done at the entrance. If you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms please do not go to the test center.  
  • Come prepared with your Emerson College ID. New students will have their ID distributed to them at the test center. 
    • If you have not yet submitted your ID photo you will not be able to test and will not be able to move into the residence halls until you can test.  If necessary, on the day you arrive, Submit a photo online at our GET website or the GET app for IOS or Android and then proceed to 150 Boylston St to have an ID printed.  You can then return to the test center. Please know that it can take up to 1 hour for this upload and ID printing process to be completed. We recommend that you submit your photo ID immediately if you havet done so to avoid this delay.
    • If you have lost your ID, you must get a replacement before being able to test. Contact the ID Office.
  • No cell phone use will be allowed inside the center (for privacy reasons).

The process moves relatively quickly and staff from TMC will be available to guide you. At your first baseline test, you will do a rapid test and a traditional PCR test. Please follow the instructions provided at the test center. After checking in at the testing site, you will be placed in a queue for a testing bay. The results of the rapid test will be available to you within 30-60 minutes of taking the rapid test. You do not need to wait at the test center for those results. If you are fully vaccinated and your rapid test is negative, you do not need to quarantine after testing.  If your rapid test comes back positive, you will need to isolate and will receive additional information from a medical professional. If you have been on campus this summer and have tested weekly at the Emerson Testing Center, you will resume testing as you have been.

After Your Baseline Test

After your test and you receive a negative result you will follow arrows through a series of doors to exit onto Harrison Avenue. 

  • Staff and faculty can then proceed to their office or classroom
  • Students can then proceed to their  residence hall for move-in, or to your apartment if you are living off campus. Residential students will be provided with a card at the testing center that helps direct them to their next destination. 


Everyone must  schedule their baseline test (as well as ongoing weekly tests) through the Emerson App.  More information on how to do that can be found here. Please select your testing schedule by August 20, 2021. As a reminder, if you are already participating in weekly testing this summer, you do not need to baseline test. Please select your testing cohort for the fall term via the app. 

It is expected that you adhere to your weekly test schedule for the entire fall semester. Access to campus facilities will be removed should you not comply with weekly testing. You can check your status by clicking on the “Daily Status Check” on the Emerson app, which can be downloaded from the Apple store or Google Play. 


Please note: Residential students’ assigned move-in time IS considered their testing time. Students should plan to first report directly to the Emerson Testing Center at 116 Harrison Avenue. 

Off-campus students may begin scheduling their baseline testing at any time starting August 16. To schedule, please login to the Emerson app and select a time. The baseline test must occur prior to your first class in order to have access to campus. Please remember to bring your Emerson Student ID with you. Once you complete  your baseline test you must begin weekly testing after that, to remain in compliance. 

Students – Arrival Quarantine

Vaccinated Students

This year, due to the availability of the rapid COVID test, vaccinated students will not need to quarantine upon arrival. Students should anticipate receiving their test results in under an hour after they baseline test. If a student tests positive, they will be moved to an isolation space on campus. Should a roommate or suitemate of a student test positive, staff will work with all residents to coordinate any necessary moves. If a student tests negative, they will be able to continue normal activity on campus. 

Unvaccinated Students with an Approved Exemption or Partially Vaccinated Students with an Approved Extension 

In accordance with CDC guidelines, unvaccinated students arriving to campus with an approved extension or an exemption will be required to test immediately upon arrival, and then adhere to a 7-Day Stay-in-Room Policy. The purpose of this policy is to limit mobility and interaction of individuals around campus, allowing us to establish a “bubble” within the Emerson community, similar to the bubble developed each semester in the 2020-2021 academic year. During the Stay-in-Room period, students should be in their room except when they are doing the following:

  • Going to the Dining Center or an off-campus dining establishment to pick up a to-go meal. Meals should be consumed in the student room or outside, socially distant. 
  • Picking up a package or mail from the mailroom in the Little Building
  • Going to and from the Emerson Testing Center for your required COVID testing
  • Going to a designated medical appointment
  • Leaving your room to go outside for fresh air or exercise independently.

Please note, face coverings/masks must be worn whenever the student is outside of their room/apartment, even when outdoors. Also, during this time, students are not permitted to visit any other rooms or socialize in the lounges. Students are not allowed to have any guests in their space. Students should not be accessing other buildings beyond their residence hall, the dining area, the mail room, and the testing center. 

Should an on-campus student need to quarantine or isolate upon arrival or anytime throughout the academic year, the College has identified spaces in various residential buildings throughout campus that will serve as quarantine or isolation spaces.  These spaces meet the guidelines recommended by BPHC and the Tufts Medical Center. 

How to Find Out Your COVID TEST Results

All Emerson community members who test at Tufts Medical Center will receive test results within 24-48 hours from the Broad Institute. When your result is ready, you will receive an email from with the subject line “Activation for your account for the Emerson COVID Testing Portal.” The email will provide a “Set Password” hyperlink to create an account with Broad’s electronic system,, to which you can log in and view the result. These credentials will be unique to and not tied to your Emerson/Duo account, and you should set a unique password as a best security practice. Results will never be contained in the email.  More information can be found here

It is also expected that you follow instructions should you receive a follow up email from the TMC testing center. Contact if you have any questions or need assistance. 

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