About

  • 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 Tuesday and Thursday evening with the latest information from our testing partners.

    Test data has been refreshed in anticipation of the fall semester - the return of student athletes on August 13, resident students on August 31 and September 1, and commuter students for the start of classes on September 2.

  • 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

    -
    Individuals currently
    in Quarantine

    as of -

    -
    Individuals currently
    in Isolation

    as of -

    City of Worcester Data

    City of Worcester data is now reported on a monthly basis.

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    New cases in Worcester
    in the period ending:

    -

    -
    New cases in Worcester
    in the period ending:

    -

    * 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 October 8, 2021

    Please explain the difference between isolation and quarantine as reported on the dashboard?

    Isolation and quaratine, as reported on the dashboard, are defined as:

    • Isolation: An individual must isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19. They must be alone, without direct contact with anyone else. This isolation period lasts for 10 days.
    • Quarantine: An individual must quarantine if they are identified as a close contact to someone with COVID 19 and are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. They must be alone, without direct contact with anyone else. It is recommended to be tested 3-5 days after the last exposure to the COVID positive individual, and tested again on Day 8 after exposure. The Quarantine period lasts for 10 days.

    The dashboard reflects only on-campus quarantine and isolation numbers.

    What is the count for Worcester State employees that are vaccinated?

    The employee vaccination rate is 94.5 percent. Students are nearing a 100-compliance rate, now at 99.57 percent and a vaccination rate of 93.12 percent.

    Can you provide clarification on the Safe Campus email and remote format sent to students yesterday?

    The email pertained to the bi-monthly Safe Campus Update meeting, which will be remote, and is not about learning modality. Should there be a need to change the current modality to remote, students and the campus community will receive notification from the Provost’s Office or by text message/SMS notification.

    Can you provide the number of exemptions broken down by medical and religious categories?

    The exemptions are not specified by category. However, the total number of student exemptions to date is 287.

    There are many students who have class during the weekly briefings. Can they be recorded and posted online in the future?

    These meetings are not recorded. However, we provide a record of the questions asked during the meeting and they're posted to the dashboard. We remind students and the campus community to check the dashboard regularly to be kept apprised of the health of the campus related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    There are students that aren’t being tested weekly. Can you explain why?

    Students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to test weekly. Those that do not receive a follow up notification to come in to be tested.

    Now that we have had over 50 positive cases, would it be possible – from a public health perspective - to detail vaccinated vs. unvaccinated from those positive cases?

    Our breakthrough rate is 87 percent of positive cases and this includes those that test off campus. To date, individuals with breakthrough cases are experiencing mild symptoms which means the vaccines are working.

    The number of tests that are being administered per week seem to be low. Is this what we expected?

    The average number of tests last fall was slightly over 23,000 for the semester and we are over 19,000 now. Also, last year we had a different matrix of on-campus/off-campus testing protocols. Therefore, the testing numbers are in line with what we anticipated this semester.

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

    Students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to be tested. Staff may test if they are on campus.

    Questions from September 24, 2021

    What percentage of employees and students are vaccinated?

    As of September 24, the employee vaccination rate is 90% and the student vaccination rate is 93%. If we include compliance (those with approved exemptions), that rate increases to 97%.

    What number of students and employees submitted an exemption to the vaccine?

    As of September 24, the number of student exemptions stands at 284 and the number of employee exemptions stands at 15.

    Are exempted individuals allowed on campus?

    Yes. Exempted individuals are required to test weekly and must follow the indoor mask requirement, which everyone – regardless of vaccine status – must follow.

    Will Worcester State offer vaccines to the campus community?

    Worcester State is open to having another small vaccine clinic on campus. We will liaise with the Worcester Department of Public Health to determine which vaccine product will be administered and to gauge the interest of our campus community for such a clinic.

    When the dashboard reports twice per week, are the numbers for a week or just since the last report?

    Data on the dashboard is from the start of semester and includes the last 7 days.

    When will we see staff, in high traffic areas like Sullivan and Ghosh, monitor students who are not wearing a mask at all or not wearing them properly?

    Most administration on campus take the responsibility to signal to students to wear their face covering properly. This is a community effort and we welcome colleague and peer-to-peer reminders. We will continue to communicate to all members of the Worcester State community that wearing a face mask and wearing it properly is the expectation while inside buildings and facilities on campus.

    Questions from September 10, 2021

    If Worcester State can hold events with hundreds of people attending, why can’t buildings (like the Library) be open for non-Worcester State students to use (for example, consortium students of neighboring institutions)?

    Our goal is to control our population and the spread of the virus on our campus and to do that, we must have regular testing of our campus population and limit and/or close open spaces to the general public.

    What is being done to verify that students are being tested every week?

    The Testing Center compares rosters against tests completed for the week. Those who fail to test are referred to the Office of Community Standards.

    Questions from September 3, 2021

    How many students tested positive this week?

    There was a total of six positives: three students and three employees. Visit the testing dashboard for more info.

    What is the percentage of the student vaccination rate?

    As of September 2, 2021, there is an 84% vaccination rate for students registered for in-person classes. The vaccination rate for residential students is 96%.

    As it pertains to the vaccine requirement, why have noncompliant students been permitted to attend classes? What is the timeline for un-enrolling noncompliant students?

    We have communicated with all students concerning the seriousness of vaccination compliance. We are going through a process to identify noncompliant students and will do what we can to balance un-enrolling students with getting them in compliance. However, all students are expected to comply.

    Are we doing surveillance testing for the campus or is it recommended, but not required?

    Yes, we are doing surveillance testing and it is not required for fully vaccinated faculty and staff. We offer the individual PCR and rapid COVID-19 (upon request) tests. Any fully vaccinated faculty and staff member may choose to participate in surveillance testing throughout the semester. All students regardless of vaccination status will be required to test once a week if they are on campus one day a week.

    What is the turnaround test results?

    Approximately 24 hours from the time the test samples arrive at Broad Labs in Cambridge. Currently, samples leave campus twice a day at noon and 6:00p.m.

    What is the vaccination rate of employees?

    We are at an overall percentage of 80% for employees. This will change due to the finalization of the MOA with the unions a few days ago.

    How have other state universities managed the vaccination requirement?

    All state universities and HECCMA schools are taking the same approach to the vaccine requirement for students, which is: proof of vaccination for in person classes and activities; regular testing; and wearing masks while indoors.

    Can a sick person walk around and others not know it (because their union says it is not required - spreading it [virus] to students)?

    Exempted employees are required to test weekly. Testing is available to students, faculty and staff of the Worcester State community. The CoVerified app has a symptom checker as well. Testing will be a component to how we manage the virus on our campus. Employees who are not exempt and do not get vaccinated under the agreement, will not be allowed to work or be on campus.

    What happens to those walking around without a mask? Is there a location on campus where one can obtain a mask?

    Yes, masks are available in the Student Center Information Desk and the testing center. Administrative offices and academic departments may request boxes of masks. Masks may be removed while outdoors, but must be worn while inside all Worcester State buildings and while riding campus shuttles. All of members of the campus community should take an active role to remind students and others to wear their mask while indoors.

    What are the plans for a pop up clinic or booster clinic on campus?

    We are finalizing a pop up clinic with the City of Worcester for our campus soon, as early as next week. More information to follow.

    Will booster shots be available on campus?

    We do not have the details on this yet.

    When will students move their cars out of employee spaces in the garage?

    Following move-in this week, we will continue to work with students on where to park on campus.

    Questions from August 26, 2021

    Will positive cases be separated out on the dashboard by vaccinated and unvaccinated status?

    No. We will have traditional dashboard information, but not COVID-19 positive cases by vaccination status. This will curtail inaccuracy and preserve privacy of all individuals. It will also follow the MA Department of Public Health’s dashboard and protocols.

    What is the reported vaccination rates and/or exemption rates of students?

    Student rate is over 70 percent and total exemptions for students is 195.

    How many of our employees have submitted vaccination record?

    About 57 percent have reported their status to Human Resources.

    What is happening for employees-related to mask- and vaccine-mandate negotiations?

    Those conversations are ongoing and we cannot give additional details at this time.

    Are there medical exemptions and protocols in place for students who refuse to wear a mask?

    There is no medical exemption for wearing a mask. Students will be required to wear a mask when they are indoors, inside of a building.

    Will a vaccine-exempt student be allowed to attend classes, participate in campus life in the same manner as a fully-vaccinated student?

    Exempt students will follow a mask requirement and COVID-19 testing protocols. We have communicated with all students that filed an exemption.

    What happens with a vaccinated student who happens to test positive. What is the protocol?

    Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status is required to isolate for 10 days.

    When are employees expected to be tested?

    They should plan to test every week when they are on campus. The testing center will have expanded testing center hours for the next two weeks. (See the Safe Campus web page for testing center hours.)

    Many members of the football team are not wearing a mask or wearing it incorrectly when entering buildings. Are athletes going to be tested more frequently than others since they are in larger groups?

    Upon arrival to campus all athletes received a rapid antigen and PCR test. The NCAA has established guidelines as it relates to health and safety protocols including testing. Athletes who fail to comply with Worcester State's health and safety protocols such as mask wearing will face restrictions. Mask requirements are not optional, but devised to help students return back to campus in a more traditional way.

    My job can be done remotely, yet I am required to be in the office 2 to 3 days per week. I am curious why?

    Our hybrid work plan is not directly related to the COVID. The pandemic has demonstrated that some of our work can be done remotely. But there is always a need to have staff in the office. Specific questions should be addressed with your supervisor, division head, or Human Resources.

    Questions from August 12, 2021

    Will the testing center be restricted to students only?

    No. The testing center is for student and staff. On-boarding hours are:

    DateHours
    Sunday, August 298:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Monday, August 308:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Tuesday, August 316:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (*)
    Wednesday, September 18:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (*)
    Thursday, September 29:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Friday, September 39:00 a.m. - noon

    * residential student check in.

    Will students and returning staff on remote work assignments be required to test before returning to campus?

    Yes, testing is required before returning to campus.

    Will the campus community need to schedule an appointment for testing or will walk-in appointments be welcome?

    Appointments are recommended, but not required.

    How will you ensure that all students are getting tested, specifically commuter students?

    We will continue to message student through the start of classes and compare this against class rosters. The CoVerified app will assist us as well.

    Are there plans to switch modalities this semester?

    No, there are no plans to change modality from how they were originally configured.

    Will University offices be open to students this fall with full access?

    Yes, all offices will be open.

    Will remote office hours continue this fall?

    Yes.

    Distancing stickers are being removed. Will they be replaced with something else?

    No. Our focus is on masking while indoors and that is our position as we move into the fall semester.

    Will one-way entrances and exits remain in existence this fall?

    No. They have been removed.

    There seems to be students on campus this summer without supervision and not wearing a mask. Can you speak more about the required mask mandate?

    We have summer programs on campus. They are likely not adhering to protocols, but everyone is reminded that masks are required while indoors. This will be addressed.

    Will masking be required outdoors?

    No.

    Will there be online services and equipment for students learning remotely?

    Yes. We will work through the Deans and Student Accessibility Services to meet students’ needs for such services.

    Will emergency funds be available again to students?

    Yes, we will have some funds available this year.

    Will there be a parking plan modification?

    Yes, but only at the Goddard Lot which has been reduced. Residence Halls are currently at 80 percent occupancy and, therefore, we plan is to continue using Goddard Lot for residential students.

    Are students serving on the Safe Return to Campus committee?

    At present, no. However, we made a commitment to get students involved this semester.

    Questions from August 5, 2021

    Will face coverings be required indoors this fall?

    Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommend wearing a mask/face coverings while indoors.

    Will proof of vaccination be required for faculty and staff?

    Currently, Worcester State is recommending faculty and staff notify Human Resources of vaccination status. This is not a mandate, but will help the University plan for testing as it relates to the pandemic and the emerging delta variant.

    Will classrooms be assigned new occupancy limits?

    No. Classroom occupancy will be or have been returned to fall 2019 occupancy limits and departments will be notified of those limits. Common spaces, which were turned into special classrooms, will return to their original use.

    What happens if a student cannot take the vaccine? How do we accommodate them?

    We will work with the student on their specific accommodation and their schedule. Exemptions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Students may request religious and medical exemptions by submitting the vaccination and immunization waiver form

    Will there be a breakdown of vaccination by faculty, staff and students?

    This will be considered. However, proof of vaccination was not planned to be used in this way. The information will help the University to plan for surveillance testing and monitoring.

    Will plexiglass screens remain in place throughout campus?

    Yes, they will stay in place. However, at this time we are unable to secure additional plexiglass due to high demand.

    How are students being informed about compliance with the vaccine requirement?

    Worcester State regularly contacted students throughout the summer concerning the fall 2021 vaccination requirement. Students not in compliance may have restrictions or other sanctions placed on their record. They will also be subjected to additional testing as well as be offered the vaccine through a pop-up clinic on campus (the date for which is still to be determined).

    Will testing be provided on campus? What about cleaning stations?

    Yes. We will have a robust on-boarding protocol/testing, and cleaning stations will continue to be provided. Masks will be available on the first floor of the Student Center for students or Human Resources for employees if needed.

    How will the campus be notified concerning positive cases to the campus community?

    Positive cases will be handled in the same manner as last year.

    Will there be an update for the mask mandate in the syllabus this year?

    Yes. We will provide language to use to that end. The mask requirement has been in place all summer and will remain until we have confidence that the delta variant and/or transmission rates are significantly low in the city of Worcester.

    Will health services maintain their staffing level as last year?

    Yes.

    Will food service be open in the fall?

    Yes, food services will be open. Some food services have been relocated, such as Starbucks which is now in Sheehan Dining Hall. Sullivan Lounge will return to a student lounge without food service.