About

  • 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: September 3, 2021 11:00 a.m.
    Updated:

    • COVID-19 Testing Protocol
  • 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.

    COVID-19 Testing Protocol

    As part of the ongoing response to COVID-19, Worcester State University supports the safety of the campus community through a comprehensive strategy that includes COVID-19 testing. Worcester State manages the risk of spreading COVID-19 on campus via daily self-check of symptoms facilitated by the CoVerified app, contact tracing, isolation/quarantine housing, vaccine requirements, and sanitation protocols.

    Testing Information

    Testing frequencies may change based on community testing results and public health trends. This testing protocol summary is reviewed periodically and updated as local conditions and new public health guidance is received throughout the semester.

    For the purposes of this document, “fully vaccinated” is defined as two weeks after the second dose in a two-dose series and two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

    Onboard Testing Week

    August 29, 2021-September 3, 2021

    All Worcester State students with an on-campus presence regardless of vaccination status are required to participate in COVID-19 onboard testing.

    Fully vaccinated faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in COVID-19 onboard testing.

    Commuter students must receive a negative test result prior to coming to campus for the first week of classes.

    Residential students should plan to test upon arrival. Residential students are required to complete a second COVID-19 test within 3-5 calendar days after the first test and weekly thereafter.

    Individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 90 days do not need to complete onboarding or surveillance testing during the three months since their positive test, unless they experience symptoms of COVID-19.

    Surveillance Testing

    September 5, 2021-December 22, 2021

    • All students —both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated—will be required to test once a week if they are on campus one day a week or more throughout the semester.
    • Faculty, staff, and contract employees who will be on campus during the semester and have received a medical or religious waiver for the COVID-19 vaccine must test weekly.
    • Faculty, staff, and contract employees who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should plan to test until they are fully vaccinated, and some are required to do so per collective bargaining agreements.
    • Any member of the campus community who is arriving from an international destination and is not considered fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) will be required to participate in routine testing until they are fully vaccinated.
    • Students who are required to produce a negative test as part of on-site fieldwork, practicums, internships, clinical placements, or student teaching.

    Testing is encouraged for employees arriving from domestic or international locations with a high positivity rate for COVID-19 before returning to campus.

    Any fully vaccinated faculty and staff member of the campus community may choose to participate in surveillance testing throughout the semester.

    Worcester State community members identified as close contacts or classroom/lab/studio exposures through contact tracing efforts should follow campus protocols and public health guidelines for COVID-19 testing.

    Community members who are required to participate in COVID-19 testing also have the option to return to campus with a negative result in hand, from an FDA EUA-approved molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test that had been administered within 72 hours prior to arrival. These results must be presented upon arrival to campus at the Worcester State testing center in Wasylean Hall.

    Faculty, staff and students who are remote and do not come to campus are not required to participate in surveillance testing.

    Symptomatic Testing

    Students (both vaccinated and unvaccinated) with symptoms of COVID-19, should contact their primary care provider or Worcester State's Student Health Services (SHS). Commuter students should not come to campus until they receive a negative test or have been cleared to return to campus by a health care professional. Residential students should contact SHS for further instructions and testing options.

    Employees (both vaccinated and unvaccinated) who develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should not come to campus, or immediately go home if already on campus. Employees should remain home until they received a negative test result or cleared by a health care provider.

    Symptomatic Testing is available on campus for members of the Worcester State community by appointment only. Employees should contact the testing center 508-929-8908 and students should call Student Health Services at 508-929-8875 to make an appointment.

    Testing Center Schedule

    Onboarding Testing Week

    DateHours of Operation
    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

    Academic Calendar, Week One

    DateHours of Operation
    Sunday, September 51:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
    Monday, September 6CLOSED (Labor Day)
    Tuesday, September 78:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
    Wednesday, September 86:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
    Thursday, September 98:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

    Academic Calendar, Weeks 2-14

    (September 13-December 9)

    DateHours of Operation
    Monday8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
    Tuesday8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
    Wednesday6:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
    Thursday8:00 a.m.-Noon

    Academic Calendar, Final Exams Week

    (December 14-December 22)

    DateHours of Operation
    Monday-Thursday7:30 a.m.-Noon

    Note: The testing center will close for holidays and weather-related emergencies.

    CoVerified App and Campus Checkpoints

    The CoVerified app is an important piece of Worcester State University’s approach in mitigating the risk of COVID-19 on campus and part of an overall approach to keeping the community healthy during the fall semester. This app allows users to report symptoms, schedule tests, upload COVID-19 vaccine documentation and provides links to information on health and safety protocols. It is necessary for all students with in-person classes and activities, and those planning to come to Worcester State for any reason, to complete the daily symptom check before coming to campus. All residential students are required to submit a daily symptom report prior to leaving their residence hall.

    In addition to the symptom report feature, students can use the CoVerified app or web browser version to make testing appointments at Worcester State's testing center, change appointments, upload a vaccine record card and receive test results.

    CoVerified contains a clearance gate-keeping feature. Students with “Cleared” or a green bar on the home screen are approved to be on campus. The “Restricted” access red bar will appear on the home screen if the user has a positive test, fails to report a symptom check, or misses a test. All restrictions should be cleared prior to coming to campus/leaving residence hall rooms.

    Anyone who has a positive test result or is determined to be a close contact of someone with COVID-19 should not come to campus or leave isolation/quarantine until officially cleared to return by Worcester State's Student Health Services or local public health officials.

    This semester, additional safeguards are in place to ensure that students are using CoVerified. Checkpoints have been established throughout campus. Students should be prepared to show their cleared (green bar) status at campus checkpoint locations.

    CoVerified Campus Checkpoints

    • Fitness Center
    • Student Center Information Desk
    • Worcester State's testing center
    • Community Desks at Dowden, Sheehan and Wasylean Halls
    • In-person class/lab/studio at the discretion of the faculty member
    • Club or organization meetings or programs
    • Varsity athletic practices or competitions
    • Club sport practices or competitions

    All members of the Worcester State community are expected to follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines from public health officials and those outlined in the Safe Campus Plan. Students who fail to comply with a request to show their CoVerified clearance status or other University COVID-19 safety protocols may be referred to the Worcester State Community Standards Office for possible disciplinary action.

    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-middle, click the plus sign (+).
    2. Select “Upload Vaccine Record.”
    3. Select Vaccination type “COVID-19 Vaccine.”
    4. Select Manufacturer and choose which vaccine you got.
    5. 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.
       
    6. Enter where you got your vaccine under location.
    7. Select “attach a file” then choose your source by either loading an image from your device or taking a picture.
    8. Select “confirm” and then your screen will say successful.

    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.

    Employees 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.


  • Student Communications

    The following is an archive of “Safe Campus” related communications which have been sent to students. In some cases communications are sent to all students, and in other cases communications are sent to a subset of students. The intended recipients are defined with each entry below.

  • September 10, 2021: Vaccine Requirement Reminder Notification

    The following email was sent to students for whom the university had not received proof of vaccination at the time of sending:

    Dear Student,

    As of this email, WSU has not received a copy of your COVID-19 Vaccination Card. We received your name as someone who has failed to submit their vaccination record and is currently attending classes this fall.

    All students currently attending the Fall 2021 semester must be fully vaccinated (except those with approved exemptions for medical or religious reasons). You must submit a record of your vaccination by Wednesday, September 15, 2021. Failure to do so will result in a hold on your student account and/or removal from classes.

    If you are fully vaccinated:

    • Please upload a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card to the CoVerified Campus app immediately. The CoVerified Campus app is available in the Google Play Store and Apple Store.
    • Choose Upload Vaccine Record click the plus sign (+) in the lower middle of the screen to start this process.

    For recipients of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, please enter the date of the second dose under the ‘Date Performed’ section.

    If you have only one shot of a two-shot series:

    • Please upload a copy of your vaccination card. Once you have received the second dose you can upload another copy of your card to the app.

    Any questions regarding the CoVerified App can be directed to Paul Vernucci at pvernucci@worcester.edu or (508) 929-8908.

    Additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine requirement can be found here https://www.worcester.edu/Safe-Campus/.

    ***If you believe you are receiving this message in error, please contact Paul Vernucci at pvernucci@worcester.edu or (508) 929-8908.***

    September 1, 2021: Vaccine Requirement Notification

    The following email was sent to students for whom the university had not received proof of vaccination at the time of sending:

    Dear Student,

    As of this email, WSU has not received a copy of your COVID-19 Vaccination Card. We have received your name as someone who has failed to submit their vaccination record and are planning to attend classes this fall.

    If you believe you are receiving this message in error, please contact Paul Vernucci at pvernucci@worcester.edu or (508) 929-8908.

    All students planning to attend in Fall 2021 must be fully vaccinated (except those with approved exemptions for medical or religious reasons). Failure to do so will result in a hold on your student account and/or removal from classes.

    If you have only one shot of a two-shot series:

    Please upload a copy of your vaccination card and contact Paul Vernucci at pvernucci@worcester.edu and inform him of this status. Once you have received the second dose you can upload another copy of your card to the app.

    If you are fully vaccinated:

    Please upload a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card to the CoVerified Campus app immediately. Choose Upload Vaccine Record click the plus sign (+) in the lower middle of the screen to start this process. 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.

    Or, you may email a copy of your 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.

    Additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine requirement can be found here https://www.worcester.edu/Safe-Campus/.

    Any questions regarding the CoVerified App or COVID-19 testing can be directed to Paul Vernucci at pvernucci@worcester.edu or (508) 929-8908.