Fall 2021: Easing the Safety Protocols
The University celebrated additional in-person classes and more students residing on campus amid an easing of the safety protocols that have kept the community safe for more than a year.
Continuing to Promote the Health and Safety of the Campus Community Amid COVID-19
“We are hopeful that the virus will wane in its prevalence so we may collectively transition to a new normal of post-pandemic campus life,” said Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., president of Assumption. “The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has required each of us to make unprecedented and abnormal sacrifices for the benefit of the common good. Those sacrifices have been a challenge for our community, but the selfless efforts that define the Assumption spirit endured. The University community is grateful for the continued patience of students and their families, as well as faculty and staff, since last March.”
Pivotal to welcoming as many students as possible back to campus this fall was achieving a minimum 90 percent vaccination rate of the campus community. To reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and the possibility of acute illness if you are infected, the University requires that all faculty and staff were fully vaccinated by Monday, August 9. Students must have been fully vaccinated two weeks prior to their return to campus. To be fully vaccinated, individuals must have received all required vaccine doses and two weeks have passed after the final vaccination. Medical or religious exemptions - including moral and conscientious objections - will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Diocese of Worcester: Forming Consciences on COVID Vaccines
Academics & Enjoying the On-Campus Experience
Because 90 percent of the campus community is vaccinated, the fall 2021 semester differs from the 2020 fall semester in the below ways (Note that the below are subject to change depending upon the public health condition and guidance of public health officials):
The Academic Calendar (Subject to change based on the health conditions in the fall)
- Returning students moved into residence halls by class year on Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29
- In-person classes began on Monday, August 30.
- Students enjoyed a day off on Labor Day and a return of the Columbus Day midterm break in October.
Transitioning to the Post-COVID New-Normal
- Students who are vaccinated are permitted to visit other residence halls and leave campus at their convenience.
- Public gatherings and gatherings within residence halls are accommodated in accordance with Commonwealth guidelines.
- Maximum residential student occupancy will increase to 75 percent, or more, if permitted by the Commonwealth.
- Most classes are held in-person with additional students permitted in classrooms, which was determined by Commonwealth social distancing guidelines for the fall.
- Social distancing, wearing masks, daily symptom tracking, and regular testing continue.
- Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will follow the isolation protocol. Fully vaccinated individuals who have close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual will not need to quarantine unless symptomatic. Those not fully vaccinated who come into close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual will be required to quarantine.
- President Cesareo added that the University’s decisions and safety protocols have been implemented to promote the health and safety of our campus community during a time of uncertainty and fluctuating conditions, which remains paramount as the University moves toward loosened protocols in the fall.
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