Fall 2021: Easing the Safety Protocols

The University aspires for additional in-person classes and more students residing on campus amid an easing of the safety protocols (if conditions allow) 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.”

VACCINATION REQUIREMENT 
Pivotal to welcoming as many students as possible back to campus this fall is 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 will require that all faculty and staff are fully vaccinated by Monday, August 9. Students must be 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 
If Commonwealth guidelines and the public health situation allow, and if 90 percent of the campus community is vaccinated, the fall 2021 semester will differ from the 2020 fall semester in the below ways: 
 
The Academic Calendar (Subject to change based on the health conditions in the fall) 

  • Returning students will move into residence halls by class year on Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29 (it is anticipated that a quarantine will not be necessary for those who are vaccinated). 
  • In-person classes will begin on Monday, August 30.
  • Students will again enjoy 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 may be permitted to visit other residence halls and leave campus at their convenience. 
  • Public gatherings and gatherings within residence halls will be accommodated in accordance with Commonwealth guidelines.
  • Maximum residential student occupancy will increase to 75 percent, or more, if permitted by the Commonwealth.
  • Most classes will be held in-person with additional students permitted in classrooms, which will be determined by Commonwealth social distancing guidelines for the fall. 
  • Social distancing, wearing masks, daily symptom tracking, and regular testing will likely 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.