About

  • Current Campus Operations Status: Orange, Fully Remote
    (Remote November 23 through December 1, returning to Blended December 2)
    Review the Public Health Information page for more details.
  • COVID-19 Testing Dashboard

    Testing of students, faculty, and staff at Worcester State University will provide a key insight into the health and wellness of the campus community as we progress through the Fall semester. This dashboard will be updated each Monday and Thursday evening with the latest information from our testing partners.

  • Data updated: -

    Worcester State University Totals

    -
    Total tests administered
    as of -

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    Students: Total positive
    results received

    as of -

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    Employees: Total positive
    results received

    as of -

    -
    Total positive
    results received

    (Students + Employees)
    as of -

    -
    Percentage of
    positive cases

    as of -
     

    Worcester State University 7-Day Data

    Test outcome data for the last 7 days of reported data*

    -
    Tests administered
    vs - in prior 7 days
    as of -

    -
    Students: Positive
    results received

    vs - in prior 7 days
    as of -

    -
    Employees: Positive
    results received

    vs - in prior 7 days
    as of -

    -
    Positive
    results received

    vs - in prior 7 days
    (Students + Employees)
    as of -

    -
    Percentage of
    positive cases

    vs - in prior 7 days
    as of -
     

    Currently In Quarantine/Isolation On-Campus

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    Individuals currently
    in Quarantine

    as of -

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    Individuals currently
    in Isolation

    as of -

    City of Worcester Data

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    New cases in Worcester
    in prior 7 days

    as of -

    -
    New cases in Worcester
    in prior 30 days

    as of -

    * The last 7 days may not represent consecutive days if testing and/or results were not provided for any given day, for example a Sunday.

  • FAQs

    Questions From 11/20

    Is the proposal for the spring semester to delay until the start of February? Can we start the spring online, the last two weeks of January, THEN come to campus in February?

    Yes, the proposal would be to modify the start date. All scenarios are open for discussion, but the actual date is to be determined.

    In the President's letter to the campus, there is criteria for testing for resident students, commuter students, and faculty. However, there is no testing instruction for staff who are required to return on November 30.

    Staff testing procedures were included in a recent Human Resources memo to employees.

    Will in person classes remain remote until the semester is over?

    Right now, that is not our plan. This pivot to remote learning includes the first few days before Thanksgiving and the few days after. If all goes well, we will resume in person on Dec. 2. We are continually monitoring the health and safety of the campus and the city, and will keep everyone apprised should we need to deviate from our current plans as stated in President Maloney’s Nov. 18 message to campus.

    Why is that we had a drastic increase of cases after Halloween and the long weekend but we want to continue to keep the residence halls open after Thanksgiving, knowing well that people will be visiting families?

    We are keeping residence halls open due to feedback from students. We have given students the option to finish up on campus by allowing them to return. We expect all students who go home will follow the CDC guidelines for health and safety over the break.

    What is the rationale for the "partial pivot" after Thanksgiving?

    Faculty in several areas have classes, labs, and final examinations for which face to face is preferred. Some final projects require students to have access to facilities and equipment to complete in a timely manner. We will continue to monitor the situation following Thanksgiving and resume face to face only if it is safe to do so.

    Are appointments required for tests on the Sunday after Thanksgiving? Should we book it through the app as we would normally do? I don’t see available times for Nov. 29.

    Yes, that is preferred and we will adjust the scheduling in the app to allow for appointments. However, if you don’t have an appointment, we will do our best to fit anyone into the testing schedule.

    Could you please clarify the policy on an employee leaving the state?

    If employees are traveling out of state, upon return they must follow the quarantine protocol specified for the state they visited. They must test prior to their return to Massachusetts and provide proof of a negative PCR COVID test. 

    Employees leaving the state will need to notify Director of Human Resources Sue Moore of their travel.

    Will employees be reimbursed for testing?

    For employees that test off campus/in the community, there is a chance a cost will be incurred and that will not be reimbursed by the University. Employees are also encouraged to take advantage of free testing in and around the city of Worcester

    What is the new change in the quarantine time frame?

    Massachusetts Department of Public Health states that a close contact without symptoms who continues to test and is negative may end quarantine on Day 10. If the close contact is symptomatic, they must test and stay in quarantine for 14 days, regardless of test result.

    What about students attending night, noncredit classes? Are they allowed to test on campus? Previously, they have not been allowed due to limited number of tests.

    If fully remote and not currently part of the testing protocol, the answer is no. After Thanksgiving, all night, noncredit students who are taking classes in person will be able to test through the end of semester. This includes IELI students.

    Is the testing center open next week for employees and students?

    If you need to test before you leave for break, the testing facility is open Monday, Nov. 23, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday, Nov 24, from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Will there be testing in the latter part of December, from Dec. 18 through 31?

    Right now, our plan is to test through Dec. 20, after which there will only be testing for those essential employees that remain on campus until the start of the spring semester.

    Is the campus considering vaccine distribution for staff, faculty, and students?

    We are open and willing to be a vaccine distribution point for the Commonwealth. We have made this known through our local and state colleagues. We know that first responders, health professionals, and those at higher health risks will be the first to receive the vaccine. We also know there is a benefit to having such a distribution location on our campus and we are poised for such an opportunity.

    Is there a way faculty can be informed when a student who had tested positive is now cleared to return to the classroom?

    Health Services will determine how this might be provided for the instructor as requested.

    Questions From 11/13 Briefing

    Does the positivity rate on the dashboard reflect the weekly rate or the rate from the start of testing?

    The dashboard provides both the positivity rate overall (currently 0.2%) and rate for the most recent seven days (also currently 0.2%).

    Will COVID testing still occur on campus between December 9 and January 21?

    Employees and students on campus will continue to be tested during Wintersession. Beginning December 18, the Testing Center will be open on Mondays, from 8am-6pm and Tuesday through Friday from 6:30-11:30am. These hours are subject to change and testing will once again increase following Wintersession. upon return. Details for employees will be sent out after the Thanksgiving holiday.

    Can the positivity rate reflect the number of people tested, in addition to the total number of tests?

    Yes, this will be reported at the next briefing.

    Why isn’t the University considering going fully remote after Thanksgiving?

    As of now, we will resume classes after Thanksgiving. However, the option to go fully remote is still in play and any decision will be reflective of the positivity rate on campus and in our community, among other factors. Faculty and staff have been asked to have a remote working/teaching plan in place if this happens. Please be patient and flexible as we respond to quickly changing circumstances.

    Is contact tracing continuing or is it reaching saturation level?

    Health Services continues to contact trace in conjunction with the Worcester DPH.

    Would you suggest keeping a contact tracing diary as a daily reminder of where you’ve been?

    Yes, this would be helpful, since if you test positive or are considered a close contact to someone who has tested positive, you will be asked about your past activities.

    Will there be any more on-campus flu clinics?

    No, but you can find a flu clinic here: https://vaccinefinder.org/find-vaccine

    Has any decision been made about a pass/fail option for students this semester?

    Yes, students will have until December 31 to exercise the pass/fail option for Fall 2020 undergraduate courses. However, departments may continue to enforce prerequisite required grades and limitations on courses in some majors/minors.

    Due to the testing and quarantine protocols required for resident students returning from Thanksgiving will there be clear and consistent messaging and/or recommendations for those who instruct classes and how to instruct on Monday 11/30?

    Students will receive a detailed email about how to return to campus following Thanksgiving. Employees have received an email from Human Resources with full details.

    If we are expecting the spring semester to be similar to the fall, are there any plans to modify the deadlines indicated in the academic calendar for spring semester?

    At this time we are only considering the fall semester.

    Should the Friday after Thanksgiving be considered an all remote day for employees?

    A memo has been sent to all campus following the meeting which outlines campus operations following the Thanksgiving holiday.

    Questions from 11/6 Briefing

    With respect to Spring semester - when we will know definitely if class will be all online? Is there a possibility that labs would be cancelled next semester?

    Spring semester is planned and the course offerings are available for students to meet with their advisor and select courses and modalities that suit their needs. Modality information is explicit in WebAdvisor and represents faculty plans and expectations for the course sequence.

    How are tests performed off campus for symptomatic students reported? Are they included in our dashboard numbers?

    Off campus students self-disclose off campus testing to Student Health services. These numbers aren’t reflected in the weekly dashboard, but are announced on Fridays during the weekly briefing.

    Given the rise in COVID cases, why are classes not being switched to online only?

    Positive results on campus remain at relatively low rates and are tracked continually. Any change in modality for a part of the fall semester will be communicated campus wide.

    Why aren't students allowed to take more than one COVID test per week?

    At this time, our on campus testing efforts support once per week testing for students. This decision was made based on several factors including but not limited to: the number of students on campus in face-to-face classes, the total campus population at any specific time, and the cost of testing.

    Will COVID testing still be provided at no cost next semester?

    Yes.

    Why are students coming back after Thanksgiving when after Halloween week-end we saw a rise in cases?

    Following the Thanksgiving break, residential students will be required to take a COVID test and quarantine in the residence hall until their test has been returned negative. Commuter students who are part of the on-campus testing program are also encouraged to be tested. The Testing Center will be open on Sunday November 29 from noon to 6 p.m.

    Why are community members able to walk around campus without adhering to mask guidelines?

    As a public university, our grounds are accessible to the local community. The Governor's mask mandate applies to all spaces in the Commonwealth for all individuals over the age of five. Reminders regarding this requirement are prominently displayed on campus signage and reminders have been included in communications with our local community.  University staff area also diligent in asking those they see to comply with the mask requirement.

    With the rise in cases related to students who have been to campus, are professors still able to require students to come to campus for in person classes? Are virtual options going to be made  available to students who are no longer comfortable coming to campus?

    Students should discuss any changes to their individual circumstances regarding attendance at in person classes with their professors.

    What should I do if I have missed lab classes due to staying home to monitoring possible COVID symptoms?

    Your class instructor will be able to answer your question. Plans are specific to each class.

    Will there be virtual options available during the Spring semester for students who are not comfortable coming to campus?

    The spring schedule will list a variety of classes offered in a fully online format. You should work with your advisor to construct a schedule that works for you.

    The results of the campus COVID survey have been released - has there been any discussion of utilizing these results to refine our strategies moving forward?

    There will be a Campus Conversation relating to the survey on November 19 at 1pm and an invitation to attend has been sent to the campus community. In addition, multiple campus committees will be discussing the survey results in relation to safe operation planning.

    Does everyone have access to the CoVerified app?

    Yes, CoVerified is available in the iOS and Android app stores as a free download and is also available to use on a computer.

    Questions from 10/2 Briefing

    Are there plans to report the results for community members who were tested elsewhere? It seems those positive results are of interest to the WSU community as well.

    This information will not be part of the bi-weekly dashboard update. We will provide the number of reported cases at the weekly briefing. Once we are notified of these types of cases, we will follow the same protocols for contact tracing and notification.

    I understand why people who test positive outside of our testing facility wouldn’t be included in the current numbers, but it would be helpful to know the numbers of commuter students who come to campus for classes and faculty/staff who come to campus who test positive.

    When a faculty/staff member is informed by a student that they have tested positive, the faculty/staff member should refer the student to Student Health Services (SHS). SHS will follow up to determine the nature of the information and commence health and safety protocols, if necessary.

    Do all commuter students get tested each week?

    No. Frequency of testing for commuter students is based on the number of in-person classes. Currently, students with four or more credits are included in the on-campus testing program. Commuter students who have questions about the weekly testing process should call Paul Vernucci at 508-929-8908 or email pvernucci@worcester.edu.

    Questions from 9/18 Briefing

    Who changes our status in the app? Today was my cleared date for 2 weeks quarantine but the app still says "restricted."

    The University has the capability to make adjustments in the app. If you are experiencing an issue, please contact Paul Vernucci at pvernucci@worcester.edu.

    How is off-campus testing incorporated into our campus data?

    Off-campus COVID-19 testing of students, faculty, and staff is not included in our on-campus dashboard.

    How many students are currently quarantined in response to the positive cases?

    As of September 18, 2020 Worcester State currently has 11 students in quarantine.

    Will the campus have to shut down if cases increase, if so how many more?

    A decision will be made based upon several factors including consultation with the Worcester Department of Public Health and guidelines established by the Department of Higher Education and the CDC.

    If a student was in a classroom and then tested positive, would everyone in that class receive an email notifying them of exposure?

    Health Services personnel, in conjunction with the city’s Department of Public Health, will determine on a case-by-case basis who will be notified.

    Is anything being done to make the quarantine spaces are comfortable for students?

    Yes, we have made quarantine spaces comfortable for students and they have been instructed to have a “grab and go” bag ready with their personal belongings should there be a need to be quarantined.

    What level of care is being provided for students quarantined on campus?

    Residence Life and Student Health Services working together to cater to any quarantined student's health, safety, and care needs.

    Can you clarify the decision criteria for a pivot to remote? For example, the Safe Return Site specifies that if City of Worcester trends to red we would shift to 2 weeks of remote instruction.

    The Campus Operations Plan is a guideline based upon several factors. The City of Worcester trending red is a factor. While Worcester is currently trending red (as of September 18, 2020), the percentage is not at a rate to trigger a shift in our operations. We are monitoring this closely and will determine when and if we move from our current operational level.

    Is being around a person who tested positive for only 10-15 minutes a risk? Even if inside?

    Close contact is defined as being within six feet of someone who has tested positive for 10 to 15 minutes.

    How do we respond to students who are requesting that they be able to complete their courses online due to positive cases? And how are we connecting the students in quarantine to their courses?

    We are not recommending that students "go remote" because of cases. If a student has an interruption to their learning due to quarantine or a medical or mental health reason, the Academic Affairs office will contact the instructors on behalf of the student and will also remind students that it is their responsibility to make up work on their return.

    What category are the positive tests in- staff, faculty, or students?

    The COVID-19 positive test results are categorized as total tests, negative and positive tests at this time.