Dear members of the Emerson community:
I am writing today to confirm that the College will begin in-person classes on the Boston campus on Tuesday, January 18 as previously planned. Over the last several weeks, the College has remained in close consultation with public health and local officials, and we remain confident that we can begin classes in-person as planned and maintain the health and safety of our community members.
The College community, over the last two weeks, has done a terrific job of following our testing guidelines for the return to campus and, although we have seen an uptick in positive cases, we believe that our continued commitment to these protocols will continue to serve us well as we transition to in-person classes. Students should expect to test twice per week for the foreseeable future as they continue to transition back to campus.
As a precaution, however, we have decided to extend the grab-and-go dining option for students until January 24. This will help limit the time students are unmasked in enclosed spaces together.
In addition, we will ask students to refrain from gathering together in indoor spaces, beyond classroom activity, through January 24. Weather permitting, we do encourage you to get fresh air outdoors while moving between classes or while traversing the pathways of the Common and Public Garden.
Faculty should continue their plans to receive two negative tests before classes begin on Tuesday. Please note that, as previously communicated, the College is requiring two negative tests at least three days apart. The Tufts Medical Center testing center will be open Wednesday through Friday (8:00 am-6:00 pm) and Saturday (8:00 am-4:00 pm) this week to support this requirement, but will be closed Sunday and Monday, in observance of the MLK Jr. holiday.
Staff should continue to follow the requirement to test twice within their first two weeks back on campus and obtain two negative PCR tests prior to returning to campus.
Anyone who has tested positive for COVID in recent days should notify firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who have tested positive for COVID are exempt from testing for 90 days following symptoms or a positive test
Please note that the College will continue to monitor government regulations at the federal, state, and local level, as well as public health and medical guidance. Along with these resources, we will evaluate what is in the best interest of our community to promote safety and we may make adjustments to classroom experiences, residential options, student services, and activities, at our discretion. Please remember that any statements we make about in-person experiences are not guarantees, as conditions on our campuses may change.
We look forward to a wonderful and exciting Spring semester and will, as always, keep you updated as conditions change and we adapt to meet the needs of our community.
William P. Gilligan,