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  • Current Campus Operations Status: Green, Blended
    Learn what this status means.
  • 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

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    Total tests administered
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    Students: Total positive
    results received

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    Employees: Total positive
    results received

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    Total positive
    results received

    (Students + Employees)
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    Percentage of
    positive cases

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    Worcester State University 7-Day Data

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

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    Tests administered
    vs - in prior 7 days
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    Students: Positive
    results received

    vs - in prior 7 days
    as of -

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    Employees: Positive
    results received

    vs - in prior 7 days
    as of -

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    Positive
    results received

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

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    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

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    Individuals currently
    in Isolation

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    City of Worcester Data

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    New cases in Worcester
    in prior 7 days

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    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 April 30, 2021

    Should we be letting H.R. (employees) or Student Health Services (students) know that we are fully vaccinated? How should we do that?

    Yes, please let us know when you are fully vaccinated. Students will be required to show proof of vaccination by the start of the fall semester. At this point, we request faculty and staff also be fully vaccinated to keep our campus as safe as possible. All nine state universities are working through their unions on the question of whether vaccinations will be required for employees. 

    Once you have received your second dose (Pfizer/Moderna) or single dose (Johnson & Johnson), you can upload a photo of your vaccination card through the CoVerified app. Go to Report > Upload Vaccine Record. 

    Students can also submit a copy of their card to Health Services. Employees can email a copy to sjeancharles@worcester.edu.

    I’ve been working remotely, but plan to be on campus for the Campus Commencement Experience (May 13-15). When should I get a COVID-19 test?

     

     You should get your test 24 hours before you are going to be on campus. Check the Safe Return site or the CoVerified app for testing center hours because they have been altered for finals week. 

    You also may be able to receive a rapid test if the testing center hours are inconvenient. For more information, contact Paul Vernucci, 508-929-8908, pvernucci@worcester.edu.

     

    With the CDC saying mask wearing is not required outside, and the state relaxing this mandate, will people on campus still be required to wear masks when they are outside?

    We ask that everyone continue to wear their masks while on campus, both outside and inside, until the end of the semester and through Commencement. We will then modify our outside mask wearing requirement for the campus to match the state and CDC guidance. Look for an announcement from the president’s office when that requirement changes.

    What is the status of remote working?

    H.R. is still working with division vice presidents on a comprehensive plan, which will probably involve a staggered approach to bringing more employees back to campus, perhaps in a hybrid capacity. More information will be forthcoming as the plans are finalized.

    Will the COVID-19 briefings continue every week throughout the summer?

    No, there will be a change to the frequency of the briefings. Next month, we will have briefings on May 7 and May 21. There will be fewer briefings in the summer, and that schedule will be announced shortly.

    Questions from April 16, 2021

    What is the timeline for staff to return to campus? Full capacity in offices spaces? I share a space with 3 other people, does that change anything in regards to returning to campus to work?

    We do not have a definitive timeline right now. Updates will be sent as we develop plans with the divisional VP's. At this time, you should continue working as you have been. As it pertains to office capacity, we will follow recommended state and federal protocols.

    Will on-going testing be required if we are vaccinated?

    Yes, fully vaccinated individuals will be required to test. There is still the need for testing as studies show that spread can still happens in vaccinated individuals. The Broad Institute will remain our testing provider and protocol is yet to be determined.

    What testing is available for students who will not be able to come to campus during the proposed abbreviated testing center hours in the summer?

    We will see what can be done to support student testing during non-traditional hours.

    Did the Board of Trustees approve the provisional budget proposal last week?

    Yes, the Board approved the provisional budget, which included the use of CARES Act funding to fill the budget gap.

    Where do we direct any RNs that might be interested in volunteering?

    Volunteers can register to volunteer here: Vaccine Corps Portal (https://commed.umassmed.edu/). There is a selection for licensed health care professional or unlicensed volunteer. Unless the person is employed by Worcester State or a current student at Worcester State - they should not indicate affiliation with Worcester State.

    Questions from April 9, 2021

    How will open positions be addressed?

    Once the provisional budget is approved by the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, April 13, we will have greater direction on how we will be addressing open positions.

    What will the Friday, April 23, briefing be like?

    This will be a special Campus Conversation led by Associate Dean of Health and Wellness Laurie Murphy and the Counseling Center staff to fill us in on the mental health issues students have been facing during this pandemic and what we can do as a community to offer support.

    Questions from April 2, 2021

    Similar to the vaccine days that were devoted to K-12 teachers, will there be any dedicated days for the Worcester State community?

    This is something we are working on behalf of Worcester State and the other colleges in the city. Ideally, we want our students to get vaccinated before they leave for the summer. We have already vaccinated several hundred student and employees, either because of their age and health status, the nature of their job, or because they have volunteered at the clinic.

    What do I have to do as a student in order to get the vaccine?

    If you fall into the eligible categories now (see mass.gov Vaccination Phases for those categories), you can sign up for an appointment on the state site (mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine). Everyone 16 and older can sign up for an appointment after April 19.

    Will our clinic be offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

    The clinic has previously administered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but is currently administering the two-shot Pfizer vaccine due to supply chain issues with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We anticipate offering Johnson & Johnson in the future if we can get more sent to us.

    Questions from March 26, 2021

    As we begin preregistration advising next week, there are a lot of students who are very wary of returning to on-campus learning in the fall. What specific plans have been to made to ensure a safe return (social distancing in classrooms, masking, etc.)?

    We know the majority of people will have access to vaccines this summer, and we encourage everyone to take advantage of getting vaccinated. As of now, there is no indication from the state that vaccinations will be required, and we expect to follow those guidelines. We anticipate spacing recommendations will change to 3 feet in classrooms and that masking will continue, but public health guidelines may evolve as we get closer to the fall.

    Is there is a CDC document or otherwise that explains the reasoning for 3 feet versus 6?

    The current 3-foot CDC recommendation is for K-12 students. No recommendation is finalized yet for higher education, but we anticipate the same type of guidance by the fall.

    If campus opens with 50-75 percent in-person or more, what does that look like for clubs and sports?

    Our goal is to open in fall 2021 with close to the same percentages of in-person classes as students experienced in fall 2019, not 50-75 percent as we previously discussed. As we get closer to opening in the fall, we expect to receive greater guidance on health and safety protocols that will be in place for athletic practices, competitions, and club activities.

    Questions from March 12, 2021

    Have safety protocols changed for people who have been fully vaccinated?

    We are following revised Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines that state if you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days and you are a close contact to someone who tests positive, you will not be required to quarantine. Fully vaccinated people also don’t have to test or quarantine if they come from out of state. However, they still must wear masks, remain socially distant, and continue with weekly testing if required.

    Will the extended panel discussion on vaccine safety, scheduled for March 26, be recorded for folks who can't attend the extended session or the full session?

    Yes, this session will be recorded and posted to the safe return website.

    Should we encourage (but not require) employees who have been fully vaccinated to share this information with Human Resources.

    We would prefer that you share this information with HR, confidentially, but we cannot require it at this time. A reminder that, once fully vaccinated, you may want to take a cell phone photo of your card in case proof of vaccination is needed. You also may want to share this information with your primary care physician.

    My students are asking what the fall will look like. Will a message be sent about the 50%-75% face-to-face goal, or will students need to wait until registration and just see the class schedule?

    The president sent out a message earlier in the semester on the 50%-75% percent goal. Faculty and department chairs have been notified and are keeping this in mind as they create the fall schedule, which will be released to students soon.

    How are we going to enforce signage for traffic flow in the buildings in the fall with the expected amount of in-person attendance when we've noticed that the signage/traffic flow isn't being followed by the students/staff now?

    Although walking by someone is very low risk, traffic flow guidance is an attempt to reduce that risk even more. We will continue to review recommendations in the fall, when regulating traffic flow may not be a priority. As a reminder, if we are all vaccinated, that will minimize the risk we all face.

    Does anyone know how scheduling appointments at our site will work now that the mass vaccine centers are part of the new waiting list process?

    We are begin told there is no change to our operation. We are a regional site, not a mass vaccination site.

    Has the Worcester State Vaccination Center been able to get desired supply of vaccines?

    No. As of today, we are vaccinating about 750 people with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the morning, and 750 people with the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in the afternoon. But we have the capability to accommodate 2,000 vaccinations per day.

    Are volunteers getting vaccinated?

    Yes, although you may not get it on your first shift.

    How do we sign up to volunteer?

    You can sign up at https://commed.umassmed.edu/vaccine-corps. You also must complete a CORI background check, which is handled through HR.

    Questions from March 5, 2021

    How does health services support students who are in isolation and quarantine?

    For students, both on- and off-campus, we do a daily check-in to see how students are feeling and see if they need supplies or support from academic affairs or counseling services. For resident students, Chartwells provides meals. We also facilitate the transition out of quarantine/isolation, coordinating with the city’s Department of Public Health, which makes for a quicker process.

    If someone is fully vaccinated (two weeks post second shot), do they need to be tested weekly?

    Yes, if you are in the weekly testing protocol, you should continue to get tested. The vaccine keeps you from getting sick, but you still may be a carrier of the virus. We also ask people who test positive if they’ve been vaccinated so we can track this data.

    Do you imagine the majority of students will be vaccinated in the fall?

    Yes, predictions are that by midsummer all adults who want a vaccine will be able to get one.

    Is there a move to require vaccination among students for the fall (especially for residential students)? And can Worcester State mandate vaccines if the state does not?

    The vaccines were approved on an emergency basis and thus are not fully approved by the FDA, and for that reason the state DPH cannot require vaccinations. It is still unclear whether we can mandate vaccinations if the state does not.

    If vaccination cannot be required before the university opens in the fall, what measures will be taken to ensure the safety of the campus community? Any alterations to opening, course modality, spacing?

    The expectation continues to be that 50-75 percent of the classroom experience will be in person in the fall. We will continue to follow many of our safe return protocols, including mask wearing, hand washing, and use of the Co-Verified app. We are examining the expected three-foot spacing recommendations in classrooms. Don’t expect a return to large gathering events. While we are seeing a decline of the positive numbers in our community, we will continue to monitor those numbers to keep everyone safe. Some form of testing will probably continue in the fall.

    How will the campus enforce masking, traffic flow in buildings, and the following of signage on campus? Specifically, if we are 50 to 70 percent in person, how will social distancing be maintained in tight spaces like Sullivan and other close quarters areas between classes?

    We will continue to be vigilant on the safety protocols that are in place.

    What will expectations for in-person office hours be in fall? Or will most office hours be conducted online?

    We will plan office coverage on a department-by-department basis. We expect more foot traffic in the fall, so we will need to consider that when making those plans.

    Does the Broad Institute COVID-19 test identify the variant a person has tested positive for?

    Yes, the PCR test we use does identify variants.

    As it pertains to one of the clusters identified this week, has the batting cage space been taken off-line for cleaning and sanitation? Why have classes not been moved when sports have been restricted from practicing after this most recent cluster?

    Any spaces that may have been occupied by a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 have been cleaned and sanitized per safety protocols.

    Is the wait list for vaccine clinic kept from previous weeks or do we need to put ourselves on the list again?

    Unfortunately, our clinic does not have a wait list. You must book your appointments through the state site: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine

    Do we know what happens with the extra shots at the end of the day?

    Staff of the clinic are very careful to draw the correct number of doses near the end of the day. No vaccine is being wasted.

    What web address or link does someone use to try and book an appointment for the vaccination clinic here?

    Questions from February 26, 2021

    What is a shared space notification?

    A shared space notification is to make you aware that you were in a space with someone who has since tested positive. It is not the same as being identified as a close contact. You are not required to quarantine or submit to any other restrictions. You should stay in the weekly testing protocol as usual, but if you are concerned and want to get tested immediately, please make another testing appointment.

    How will the March 26 COVID-19 briefing be different from the usual briefing?

    This will be an extended Campus Conversation of 90 minutes that will focus on vaccine information for the campus community. There will be a panel of faculty experts, as well as outside medical personnel, discussing the safety and importance of vaccines. We will also report on a recent COVID-19 survey that was sent to campus.

    Will we be reevaluating the room caps on our larger spaces because of the governor’s recent loosening of restrictions?

    Yes, the expectation is that we will have more flexibility with spaces based on these new guidelines.

    Will this change currently scheduled modalities?

    Current modalities for the spring semester will not change. We continue to hope that in the fall we can open the campus with 50 to 75 percent in-person classes, but many factors outside of our control may influence this.

    If the Wellness Center clinic faced a vaccine shortage, how would people with appointments be notified?

    If there is a change to any scheduled appointment, St. Vincent’s will notify you directly.

    How are we changing safety protocols for the more contagious mutations that are popping up?

    As of now, infection disease experts are telling us that the new variants are more contagious, not more virulent. There haven’t been any additional recommendations about safety protocols, other than what we are currently using: contact tracing, hand washing, physical distancing, mask wearing, testing, and using the Co-Verified app. The Broad Institute is monitoring all tests for the presence of new variants.

    What’s parking like on campus these days?

    There’s plenty of parking, but please enter campus through the South Entrance (near the May Street Building) and do not park in the clinic staff/volunteer parking in front of the Administration Building. The North Entrance (just past the Ghosh Science and Technology Building, across from the Latino Education Institute) is for the vaccine clinic only. Do not park in the North Parking Lot (the one that borders the Rockwood baseball fields), as this is just for the vaccine clinic.

    Is the campus vaccine clinic still seeking volunteers?

    Information about volunteering can be found on our vaccine site information page.

    Questions From February 19, 2021

    We have some staff who only work on campus on Fridays, but the testing center is closed on Fridays. How can they get tested?

    Contact Paul Vernucci (pvernucci@worcester.edu) and he can discuss options.

    Will students and employees be required to be vaccinated at the start of the fall semester?

    As of now, Worcester State cannot require someone to be vaccinated. However, state guidelines may change as we get closer to the fall.

    If you are fully vaccinated, do you still need to be tested?

    If you are in the campus testing protocol system, you must still be tested even after you are fully vaccinated because you could be a carrier.

    With five staff positives in the past two weeks verses three in the previous four months, how is this a decrease in cases?

    The overall positives (students and employees) on campus have decreased.

    Could we have an update on cleaning protocol for work spaces? What if it's a public space, like the library?

    Once a determination is made that an exposure occurred in a classroom or public space, we take that space offline for 24 hours and then it is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected by facilities. We work with the city’s Department of Public Health to determine which spaces are required to be cleaned based on exposure.

    Have vaccinations at Worcester State been cancelled for next week? The state website says 'No Clinic' for all dates after 2/20.

    Not as far as we know. But limited vaccine supply has caused St. Vincent Hospital to keep appointments to about 500 per day. Other appointments for next week will be released once they determine how many vaccines they can expect.

    When can staff/faculty/students who signed up to volunteer at the vaccine center expect to receive sign up days/times?

    If you signed up to volunteer (https://commed.umassmed.edu/vaccine-corps) you should be receiving an email with instructions shortly. All volunteers will need to have a CORI background check done by H.R., which could take a week or two due to the high volume.

    Is the Moderna vaccine also going to be offered at Worcester State clinic?

    At this time, only the Pfizer vaccine is being offered.

    Questions From February 12, 2021

    Will the testing center be open this Monday?

    The testing center will be open on Sunday, February 14, but will be closed for President’s Day, Monday, February 15. Thereafter it will operate as usual for the rest of the week.

    How do we volunteer at the Wellness Center vaccination site, and what do volunteers do?

    For information on volunteering, please refer to our Vaccincation Center information page.

    Where do people sign up for the vaccine at the Wellness Center?

    For information on registering for a vaccination appointment, please refer to our Vaccincation Center information page.

    Can companions get vaccinated at the Wellness Center vaccine site?

    Currently, a companion under age 75 cannot be vaccinated at the Wellness Center. This may change and if it does, we will let you know.

    If there are leftover vaccines, will they be offered to staff/faculty or will they be destroyed?

    We don’t want any destroyed, but our clinical partner, St. Vincent Hospital, will need to stay in synch with state eligibility requirements. We may create a waiting list through H.R. in cases where vaccines must be used or be destroyed due to expiration issues.

    What are the plans to ensure a safe on-campus experience for Fall 2021?

    We are optimistic about, and planning for, a more normal fall semester with increased on-campus courses. This is predicated by vaccine availability by midsummer. Additionally, social distance parameters may be reduced by fall, although we expect everyone will still need to wear a mask. We are exploring what less stringent distance planning would look like.

    If employees feel sick after the vaccinations, how will we indicate that time off?

    If people need to take time off from work due to illness, they should notify their supervisor of their absence and use their accrued sick time.

    What plans does the university have to accommodate high risk individuals or immunocompromised individuals in this “more normal” fall semester?

    For faculty and staff, we will continue to work with physicians regarding individual medical needs through the reasonable accommodation process in H.R. Students will continue to be served by our Accessibility Services Office and we will follow applicable federal and state law about reasonable accommodations.

    When will remote working stop or decrease?

    We will probably transition to less remote working as we move into the fall semester. Exact timing will be based on vaccine rollout and the status of the virus in our communities, as well as CDC guidance and commonwealth regulations.

    Questions From February 5, 2021

    Where can I find information about a change in testing center hours?

    Check the CoVerfied App for any changes in hours of operation.

    Should people who have already tested positive for COVID-19 continue to get tested?

    No, if you have received a positive test result in the last 90 days. Please submit a copy of your results to Student Health Services via email at health_services@worcester.edu.

    Should people who have received the vaccine be tested?

    Yes, even if you have received the vaccine, you should be tested.

    How does the roll out of vaccines affect Fall 2021, specifically course scheduling, residence halls opening, and-on campus instruction?

    We are planning for a 'more normal' semester, with closer adherence to Fall of 2019 and campus instruction at 50 to 75 percent wholly in-person with the rest in blended and online formats. Department chairs are working through fall schedules right now.

    What should I do if I want to volunteer at the new mass vaccination site in the Competition Gym, opening Feb. 16.

    Volunteers should first register here: https://commed.umassmed.edu/vaccine-corps. Indicate that you are affiliated with Worcester State to be assigned here. Employees should then contact Sue Moore in H.R. to receive authorization. Students should reference an email sent by Deans Larrivee and Kazarian for more information. Volunteer hours can be considered community service hours.

    With the opening of the university as a vaccination center, does that mean that Worcester State students, faculty and staff will be vaccinated as part of this opening?

    Vaccination eligibility is determined by the rules of the Commonwealth. At this point, anyone 75+ can make an appointment to get a vaccine here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations. Volunteers at the site probably will receive vaccinations, but that eligibility will be determined by our clinical partner, Saint Vincent Hospital.

    Is the traffic getting to campus expected to increase much (Chandler Street) with the clinic?

    Yes, but the city will be handling any traffic flow issues.

    If the vaccine center will be open to the general public, how would this impact residents that still live on upper campus?

    The clinic will be isolated in the Competition Gym of the Wellness Center, with access from the North Parking Lot. Worcester State students and employees will still be able to use the rest of the building, including the recreation gym, training facilities, fitness center, and the Athletic Department offices. Traffic flow will be managed to reduce disruption to other parts of campus.

    Which vaccine will be being given at Worcester State?

    We will start with the Pfizer vaccine.

    Will information about possible side effects be distributed when people get the vaccine, like those you receive in the doctor’s office?

    Yes, when you get the vaccine, you also get a sheet of information about side effects.

    When will the Worcester State site be available for the 75+ population to sign up for an appointment time?

    We hope to be an option on the vaccination appointment site by today or Monday at the latest.

    Questions From January 29, 2021

    What is different in the testing protocols for the spring semester?

    • Any student—undergraduate, graduate, certificate program participant, commuter, resident—who comes to campus will be tested. This includes students who only come to campus for work or to participate in student clubs and activities.
    • Check points will be set up on campus for community members to show a green screen on the CoVerified app to show you are cleared to be on campus.
    • The testing center hours have expanded, and the center will be open Sunday through Thursday, rather than Monday through Friday. Detailed hours can be found in the "Testing and Contact Tracing" section of the Safe Return plan.

    What is new with the quarantine protocols for close contacts?

    Based on CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines, we have changed the quarantine parameters. Anyone who is designated as a close contact will be in quarantine for 10 days. On the eighth day after exposure, if the person tests negative and has no symptoms, that person will be released from quarantine after day 10.

    Will you need to get tested if you received a vaccine for COVID-19?

    Yes, anyone who has received the COVID-19 vaccine and is part of a required testing group should plan to test weekly until CDC and/or Massachusetts Department of Public Health issues new guidance.

    Is testing open to employees who are only on campus once in a while?

    Yes, anyone who comes onto campus will need to be tested.

    If a student is taking online classes only, but works on campus, should that student be tested?

    Yes, part time student employees are part of the required weekly testing group.

    What are the days and hours of the test center for spring semester?

    Testing hours of operation can be found in the "Testing and Contact Tracing" section of the Safe Return plan.

    If the campus closes due to snow and on-campus classes are canceled, would fully online classes or blended classes not meeting on campus that day be canceled as well?

    Yes, if Worcester State has a delayed opening or is closed for weather, online classes will also be delayed or cancelled.

    How do students sign up for Coverified?

    Download the CoVerified Campus App from the Apple store or the Google Play store, or access the web application at https://web.coverified.us/, and use your Worcester State credentials to sign in.

    Where is the testing center?

    First floor of Wasylean Hall.

    How often do students get tested

    Students who are part of the required testing groups are tested weekly.

    Are hybrid employees still being tested every two weeks?

    No, all hybrid employees are required to participate in the weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing program.

    Where are the study spaces on campus for the spring and what are their hours?

      Library: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

      Student Center: Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday noon to 8 p.m.

      Wellness Center: the small study space in the Wellness Center will be accessible during regular Wellness Center hours.