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COVID Update: Important Changes to COVID Protocols

Hello, students, faculty and staff;

As we approach the end of the academic year, I am writing to update you on our community response to COVID-19. Our response reflects current CDC and Boston Public Health Commission guidance. We anticipate these changes, and the shift in approach, will remain in place for the next academic year.

Please review the following information carefully for the Boston campus: 

Testing – Beginning Monday, May 16, 2022, the College will change its testing strategy from required weekly surveillance testing to symptomatic testing for students only, which means testing only if you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms. Asymptomatic individuals are welcome to test themselves for COVID-19 using their own self-administered rapid antigen tests. The Center for Health and Wellness will serve students for more acute symptoms and further testing recommendations. Reporting mechanisms will be in place and we expect students to report positive test results to the Center for Health and Wellness (healthservices@emerson.edu).

Employees should consult with their primary care providers about testing if they develop symptoms or have concerns that they may have COVID-19. More information on reporting protocols for staff and faculty will be sent out at a later time.

Please Note: As we embrace this new approach, our testing center partnership with Tufts Medical Center will end on May 31, 2022. However, we will continue to work in collaboration with our partners at TMC regarding COVID-19 virus testing as needed in the future. 

Contact Tracing – Our contact tracing program will end on Sunday, May 15, 2022. Beginning on Monday, May 16, 2022 individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be able to access online instructions on what to do, and who to inform if they have tested positive. More information will be communicated and posted on a dedicated webpage before May 16. 

On-Campus Quarantine and Isolation – Beginning on Monday, May 16, 2022, the College will move to an “isolate in place model” and will no longer provide dedicated spaces on campus for students to quarantine and isolate after they have been exposed or have tested positive for COVID-19. Individuals who test positive will remain in their assigned living space and will be provided with information on how to safely isolate for the required amount of time, as well as information for roommates/suitemates. 

Students isolating on campus will also be able to leave their spaces to get food from the Dining Center, seek medical assistance, and other limited activities. These students must wear a well-fitting mask, available from the College, during their 10-day isolation time period. More information will be posted online prior to May 16. 

Vaccine and Booster – The College policy requiring full vaccination remains in place in order to study or work on the Boston campus. Medical and religious exemptions remain an option for those that require one. We ask that all members of our community remain up to date with all recommended COVID-19 boosters in order to remain fully vaccinated, and encourage individuals to check with their primary care provider to discuss booster shots, if they have questions. 

Masking – Effective May 16, 2022, masks will become optional in all indoor campus spaces, including academic spaces, except for when visiting CHW and ECAPS.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation, and be well,
Erik Muurisepp
COVID Lead

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