About

  • Public Health Information FAQs

    Common queries regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Worcester State

    From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, the situation rapidly evolved, and new information continues to be made available. The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is of the upmost important to us. The following questions and answers reflect how the university is responding to the global pandemic while operating remotely. Many of our in-person services can now be conducted online and by phone. Worcester State continues to work in real-time to provide updated, accurate information to our community and to continue to answer questions as they arise.

    Student Health Services is available to provide students with support and information related to the coronavirus. Student Health Services can be reached at 508-929-8875.

    Employees who have questions and concerns about the coronavirus should contact Human Resources at 508-929-8117.

    Updated: August 11, 2020 12:00 p.m.

  • For Students

    Is Worcester State offering any financial support for students in need? (New March 27)

    Worcester State has long supported students in need with the Student Emergency Fund, which assists Worcester State students by providing limited emergency financial support when they need assistance with unexpected, unforeseen, and unavoidable circumstances that jeopardize their ability to successfully continue in school. More information about this fund can be found at https://www.worcester.edu/Student-Emergency-Fund/.

    Additionally, information related to the CARES Act funds received by Worcester State can be found at https://www.worcester.edu/CARES-Act/.

    Will tutoring services be available? (Updated August 11)

    Tutoring Services will be available through the Academic Success Center's Tutoring Services, the Math Center, the Spanish Clinic and the Writing Center.

    What library services are available? (Updated August 11)

    The library has transitioned to offering services remotely. A full list of resources available remotely is located here.

    How will my learning accommodations work with the online learning portions of my schedule? (Updated August 11)

    Training for faculty has included accessibility considerations, as well as methods of teaching that are not fully online.

    To discuss your personal situation, please reach out to Student Accessibility Services at sas@worcester.edu.

    What should I do if I think I have COVID-19? (Updated March 19)

    Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, must inform Health Services at 508-929-8875.

    Close contact is defined as:

    • Living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19;
    • Caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19;
    • Being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for about 15 minutes;
    • Being in direct contact with secretions from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 (e.g. being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).

    For Prospective Students

    Will admissions events (tours, information sessions, transfer decision days) be held on campus? (Updated August 11)

    Admission events, including campus tours, information sessions, transfer decision days, and group tours are being offered in a variety of modalities. Please review our Visit Us page, as well as our Transfer Students page, and find our admissions events calendar for more information.

    If you would like to speak to an admissions counselor, please call 508-929-8040 or email admissions@worcester.edu.

    Is Worcester State still reviewing applications? (Updated March 19)

    We continue to accept and review applications for the fall. Additionally, we will be as flexible as possible with students trying to submit documents to complete their application. We understand there may be a delay in submitting high school and/or college transcripts. Documents may be sent electronically directly from the high school and/or college to admissions@worcester.edu. As a reminder, Worcester State is a test-optional institution and students have the option to self-report their test scores.

    For Faculty/Staff

    What should I do if I have COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19? (Updated March 19)

    Faculty and staff must contact Susan Moore, Executive Director for Human Resources, at 508-929-8117 if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or if they have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.

    Close contact is defined as:

    • Living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19;
    • Caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19;
    • Being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for about 15 minutes;
    • Being in direct contact with secretions from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 (e.g. being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.). 

    Please call in sick per your normal departmental protocol and use sick time to cover your absence. If you are absent in order to care for a family member, you should use sick-in-family.

    What if I don’t have enough accrued time to cover my medical absence due to COVID-19? (Updated March 13)

    With appropriate medical documentation, employees may be allowed access to the relevant APA or MSCA sick leave bank (if they are a member) or an AFSCME sick leave extension for this purpose, without being required to go off the payroll first.

    What should I do if my child’s school closes but the university is open? (Updated March 13)

    Employees should use personal, vacation, and/or compensatory time to cover their absence for the purpose of caring for a child until they can arrange for alternative childcare.

    Depending upon the employee’s role at the university, and with authorization from Human Resources, other options may be available. Please contact Susan Moore, Executive Director for Human Resources via email to inquire about your options.

    What should I do if I am considered higher-risk according to the CDC guidelines, or if I live with someone who is? (Updated March 13)

    The University is committed to working with employees and their health care provider to determine appropriate avenues for the maintenance of their well-being. If you have concerns about your ability to remain in the workplace because of a pre-existing medical condition or similar higher-risk situation, please contact Sue Moore directly for further discussion at 508-929-8117 or by email.

    Supervisors should not approve any work-from-home or other alternative modality options for their employees without the authorization of Human Resources. Specific parameters and guidelines will be set for any reasonable accommodations put in place. The supervisor will be involved in the conversation as it relates to the responsibilities of the job. Medical information will remain confidential in Human Resources.

    How are absences handled for 03 contractor (part-time, non-benefited) employees? (Updated March 13)

    03 contractors do accrue sick time, and they may apply that sick time to their absences. Otherwise, 03 contractors will only be paid for time worked. 03 contractors may continue to work during spring break and the following week (March 14-29).

    Health & Prevention

    What should students, faculty and staff do to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19 on campus? (Updated August 11)

    Given that the best way to prevent the virus is to avoid being exposed to it in the first place, all members of our campus community are encouraged to be vigilant in practicing social distancing (minimum of 6' between individuals).

    Please follow the CDC's guidelines on how best to protect yourself. This includes:

    • Wearing a face covering.
    • Washing your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds and especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • Using hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) when soap and water is not available.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily.

    For information regarding the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, please visit their coronavirus information page.

    Am I still able to travel on university-related business? (Updated August 11)

    No. Travel restrictions – including local, New England and out-of-state – will continue until further notice.

    Athletics

    Are Lancers teams playing/practicing? (Updated August 11)

    Worcester State University, the MASCAC, and the NCAA have canceled the fall season and championships. 

    All athletics activities, including all athletic events, team meetings, practices and contests, both on and off campus, have been suspended.