Dear members of the Emerson community,
As we continue to monitor the health and safety of our community and navigate the next phases of the COVID pandemic, I am writing today to provide a few updates that will impact our community, and share with you the College’s thinking as we head toward the end of Spring semester.
The College will begin to move toward an approach in which it responds to the ebb and flow of the COVID virus as part of institutional operations. This will require all departments to consider COVID policies and protocols as part of normal operations, and will mean that the COVID-19 Team will disband over the summer. More information on this plan will be shared so departments can begin planning for this transition.
In the interim period, as case numbers have fallen dramatically, there are several changes that will take place on the Boston campus in the next few weeks. The Los Angeles and Kasteel Well campuses should continue to follow guidance from their campus officials regarding health and safety protocols.
- In line with the recommendations from the Massachusetts governor, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and other medical professionals, beginning Monday, March 21, 2022 the College will shift to a “mask optional” policy for vaccinated and boosted individuals for indoor campus spaces EXCEPT for in classrooms, in the Center for Health and Wellness, and Emerson Counseling and Psychological Services.
- We encourage masking as people feel comfortable, if they are unvaccinated, have underlying medical concerns, etc.
- This will be the first step towards a goal of being fully mask-optional across campus on May 16, 2022.
- The College will continue once per week surveillance testing for all members of our community. However, should the positive test rate remain low, the College may consider a potential shift to a model of optional surveillance testing starting later in the Spring semester.
Residence Hall Guests
- The College will begin to permit fully vaccinated and boosted non-Emerson guests into the residence halls using the existing attestation form in conjunction with processes developed within Housing and Residential Education starting Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at 9:00 am. Additional information about the attestation and registration process will be shared by Housing & Residential Education.
Spaces on Campus
- Any spaces that have been operating at reduced capacity from their original/intended operations should plan to return to full capacity beginning May 16, 2022 (classrooms, office spaces, etc).
Although we are moving toward a new approach to managing health and safety on campus, please know that the College is ready to reinstate any of the restrictions utilized during the pandemic at any time should case numbers or infection rates increase.
William P. Gilligan, Interim President
Erik Muurisepp, COVID Lead