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COVID Update: Masking Policy

Hello,

We are committed to reviewing our mask and guest policies on or before September 17, and as we quickly approach that deadline, we wanted to let you know that the College has been regularly consulting with our Tufts Medical Center partners on this topic. As a result, the College’s requirement that everyone wear a mask while in and around Emerson buildings and property will remain in effect until further notice. The indoor mask mandate also remains in effect for the City of Boston. 

In addition, we will continue our current guest and visitor policy, which states that non-Emerson guests and visitors are not permitted on campus until further notice. This includes guests in our residence halls. This policy will help the College limit virus exposure to our community. We understand that there may be situations where a non-Emerson person may request campus access for a class or other function. All visitor exceptions must be sent to the appropriate dean or vice president for review and consultation with the COVID Operations Team in advance of any visit to campus. We appreciate your cooperation with this. Please note that we will continue to offer admission tours, as well as annual events such as Family Weekend, with appropriate protocols in place for the safety of all participants.

Further, we are pleased to report zero transmissions originating in classrooms this term, and cases to date remain relatively isolated. This can be attributed to your cooperation with the policies we have put in place. We thank you for that. As you will see on the COVID dashboard, the number of positive cases is higher this fall than it was last fall. While this increase can be attributed to a number of factors, our medical advisors remain cautiously optimistic about our current status and operations.

Finally, please note these other important updates and reminders: 

  • All face coverings must be at least three-ply. Gaiters and masks with vents are not acceptable.
  • We have not transitioned to a pooled testing model, but will be doing so in the coming weeks. Until then, we will continue to use individual PCR tests. 
  • Rapid tests are reserved for initial/first-time testers ONLY. Please do not request a rapid test at the Test Center if you are already in the testing program. 
  • Initial/first time COVID tests: Please self-identify and let the TMC staff know this is your initial/first COVID test. IF you have already taken your initial/first test, please continue your regular weekly testing; there is no need to self-identify.
  • Please do not arrive at the test center before 8:00 am and form a line outside the center. Doors open promptly at 8:00 am. 
  • Track your symptoms using the Emerson app each day you report to campus! Please do not come to campus or leave your residence hall if you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms. If you have symptoms, reach out to your PCP or the Center for Health and Wellness (CHW) to receive instructions. Coming to campus with symptoms puts the community at risk. 
  • If you receive a notification of an invalid or TNP test result, please return to the test center as soon as possible, let them know about the invalid or TNP result, and take another test. You will also need to test on your weekly testing day in addition to this retest for compliance purposes.
  • Should you be aware of violations of COVID policy, they can be reported here.

Thank you for your continued support. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Erik Muurisepp
COVID Lead
AVP, Campus Life

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