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

    A Plan for Resuming In-Person Instruction & Activities for Fall 2021

    The goal of Worcester State’s Safe Campus planning is to protect the health of the campus–and the broader–community, while enabling students to progress toward their educational goals. As we progress towards opening day in September, plans may be subject to change as conditions evolve and we receive further guidance from federal and state health officials. Worcester State is eager to welcome students back to campus as safely as possible.

    Updated: June 30, 2021 5:00 p.m.

  • Vaccination Requirement for Fall 2021 Semester

    The following questions and answers provide information about COVID-19 vaccinations in relation to the Fall 2021 semester:

    Will Worcester State University require students to be immunized against COVID-19?
    Yes. For the fall 2021 semester, undergraduate and graduate students who are attending in-person classes, conducting research on campus, living in residence halls, or participating in campus life activities will be expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the first day of classes. Deadlines may be prior to September 2, 2021 for those students living in residence halls, participating in varsity athletics or late summer programming.

    Where can I submit my proof of immunization?
    COVID-19 vaccination documentation can be uploaded to the CoVerified Campus app. For recipients of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, please enter the date of the second dose under the ‘Date Performed’ section. The CoVerified Campus app is available in the Google Play Store and Apple Store.

    Will I be able to register for Fall 2021 without being vaccinated yet?
    Yes, however, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination prior to the first day of classes, September 2, 2021

    Will Worcester State offer opportunities or assist students with getting a vaccine?
    Due to the length of time it takes to become fully vaccinated, students are encouraged to schedule vaccine appointments as soon as possible. It is recommended students get their first dose of a two-dose vaccine by July 15 to be prepared for returning to campus in the fall. Resources include:

    • Mass.gov
    • VaxFinder.mass.gov
    • Massachusetts Immunizations (to search vaccine clinics based on your location and availability)
    • CVS
    • Walgreens

    The State Universities, including Worcester State, have requested a supply of COVID-19 vaccinations for use on campus. Please continue to check back for more information and updates.

    How will Worcester State enforce the vaccine requirement?
    Students will receive email and text reminders about submitting a copy of their official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card prior to the start of the Fall 2021 semester and/or prior to move in to the residence halls.

    Will unvaccinated students be permitted on campus?
    Worcester State will work with unvaccinated students to meet their needs and enable them to continue their education in pursuit of their degree. 

    Will I be required to be vaccinated if I only come to campus to use services such as the library or attend activities like a social event?
    Yes. All enrolled students who periodically come to campus for services, appointments or activities, must follow the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

    Will there be mask requirements for the campus community regardless of vaccination?
    Currently, everyone is required to wear a mask indoors while on campus, even if they are fully vaccinated. Worcester State will evaluate the need for mask wearing in the fall and adapt the protocols according to the data and recommendations by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At this time, all fully vaccinated individuals who plan to be on campus must continue to adhere to public health and University COVID-19 protocols related to masks, physical distancing, gathering limitations, COVID-19 testing protocols, staying home when sick, and quarantine/isolation. Campus health and safety protocols will be updated for the fall semester. Any new or updated protocols will be shared before the fall semester begins.

    Does this requirement mean COVID-19 testing requirements or other health and safety protocols will change?

    Worcester State will continue to monitor and follow MA DPH and CDC guidelines when it comes to health and safety protocols. All health and safety requirements, including testing, sanitation protocols and social distancing remain in place until further notice.

    Will visitors to the residence halls be permitted?
    Yes. All visitors will be required to follow University COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

    What is the definition of "fully vaccinated"?
    According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated: 

    • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
    • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

    Do students need to be fully vaccinated before coming to campus?
    Students should plan to be fully vaccinated before arriving on campus for the fall semester. Those not in compliance will be unable to move in or take part in in-person learning and other in-person activities.

    Will non-matriculating students, dual enrollment/early college students or students auditing classes be required to be vaccinated?
    All students engaging in on-campus life or activities must be vaccinated.

    Will there be exemptions against COVID-19 immunization?
    Religious and medical exemptions to the COVID vaccine requirement will be approved in the same manner Worcester State approves other vaccine exemptions.

    What is the process for students seeking a medical or religious vaccination waiver?
    Students may request religious and medical exemptions by submitting the vaccination and immunization waiver form. Any questions concerning the waiver process should be directed to Student Health Services at (508) 929-8875 or health_services@worcester.edu. Faculty and staff should contact the Office of Human Resources at 508-929-8117.

    Do students still need to be vaccinated if they  have had COVID?
    Yes, students need to be fully vaccinated even if they have previously had COVID-19.

    What will the policy be for international students who do not have access to the vaccine or receive a vaccine not authorized by the FDA?
    Vaccines that were received outside of the United States and have not yet been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) will be reviewed and accepted following the CDC and state public health guidance. Please check with Student Health Services for further guidance.

    If a student is vaccinated and tests positive for the virus, but they do not have symptoms, do they have to quarantine?
    Yes. All individuals who test positive for the virus are treated as active cases and will need to isolate immediately and regular contact tracing protocols will occur.

    How to Update Your Vaccine Status via CoVerified

    Students and employees may update the University with their vaccination status by using the CoVerified Campus App.

    You can upload a copy of your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to the CoVerified App by:

    1. In the lower-left, click “Report.”
    2. Select “Upload Vaccine Record.”
    3. Select Vaccination type “COVID-19 Vaccine.”
    4. Enter date in “Date performed.”
      • For recipients of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, please enter the date of the second dose under the ‘Date Performed’ section. Please wait to upload this information until you receive your second dose.
      • Date performed for those who received a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen will be the date of your vaccination.
    5. Enter the location in “Name of healthcare facility.”
    6. Select “Choose” under attachment and upload a photo of your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card as proof of vaccination.

    Please note, all employees or students who have been remote will need to click the “Return to Campus” prior to uploading your vaccine information.

    Students may also email a copy of their vaccination card to Student Health Services at health_services@worcester.edu, or drop off a copy to the secure mailbox outside of the office at Sheehan Hall. New students can place a copy of their COVID-19 vaccine card with their Health and Immunization Form.

    Employee may also send may also email a copy of their vaccination card to Human Resources sjeancharles@worcester.edu or drop off a copy at the office.

    Campus Operations Status

    The university’s Operations Status Plan will use multiple factors to determine its operational levels. These include, but are not limited to: current positive cases, transmission of the virus on campus, guidance from public health officials, and the ability to manage contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation. A change may occur when internal and/or external factors indicate a pivot to the next level would be in the best interest of the health and safety of the campus community.

    Level One: Safe Return - Blended
    • Classes offered in-person, blended and online
    • Number of positive cases and transmission of the virus are controlled on campus
    • Available capacity of on-campus quarantine and isolation spaces
    • Students, faculty and staff participate in weekly surveillance testing program
    • Massachusetts Phase III Opening
    • Wellness Center and in-person dining open with limited capacity per Massachusetts guidelines
    • Some employees work remotely
    • One or more factors indicate a pause or temporary suspension of in-person classes and activities is in the best interest of the community and campus moves to “Level Two: Pause of In-Person Instruction Activities – Cautious”
    Level Two: Pause of In-Person Instruction and Activities - Cautious
    • Remote learning with a limited amount of in-person classes
    • Additional surveillance testing of certain campus populations
    • No on-campus student practices or club/organization meetings
    • No visitors on campus
    • Most employees move to remote work
    • A building-wide quarantine may be put in place if multiple cases are reported in a residence hall
    • One or more factors show it is safe to return to “Level One: Safe Return - Blended”
    • One or more factors indicate further restrictions are necessary and in consultation with public health officials and campus moves to “Level Three: Limited on Campus - Restricted”
    Level Three: Limited on Campus - Restricted
    • All classes move online with few exceptions
    • Virtual activities only
    • Wellness Center closes and dining moves to takeout only options
    • Access to campus buildings limited
    • On-campus students may be required to stay in their rooms with few exceptions
    • No visitors on-campus
    • Employees move to remote with the exception of staff to support on-campus students and continuity of operations
    • One or more factors indicate in-person instruction and activities are no longer in the best interest of the health and safety of the Worcester State community and in consultation with local and state officials campus moves to “Level Four: Severely Limited - High Alert”
    Level Four: Severely Limited - High Alert
    • All classes online
    • Fully remote operations
    • Only staff as identified by Human Resources on campus
    • A phased move out of the residence halls with limited exceptions

    Note: The campus is planning for a return to a more traditional Fall 2021 semester as wide-spread vaccination continues across the Commonwealth and neighboring states.