| About | Safe Campus
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. Current protocols are 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: March 15, 2022
Worcester State University is updating its Spring 2022 COVID protocols in accordance with available guidance from the local, state and national health agencies. As with all things COVID-related, these guidelines are subject to change should public health guidance change due to new variants of the virus or other factors.
These changes will be effective Wednesday, March 23, following surveillance testing for four days at the end of Spring Break.
Masks will be required for everyone:
Masks are recommended in other indoor spaces, but are no longer required.
Masks are optional while outdoors.
Students engaged in on-site fieldwork, practicum, internships, clinical placements, research projects and student teaching will need to comply with external COVID-19 requirements by the hosting organization.
The following questions and answers provide information about COVID-19 vaccinations:
Will Worcester State University require students to be immunized against COVID-19?
Yes. 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:
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.
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:
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 email@example.com. 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.
The following questions and answers provide information about COVID-19 booster vaccinations:
Who is eligible for a COVID-19 booster?
According to the CDC website, the following groups are eligible for the COVID-19 booster vaccination:
Note: if you are ages 12-17, you can only get a Pfizer booster.
Where can I get a COVID-19 booster vaccine?
It is always advisable to make an appointment with your primary care physician (PCP) who has knowledge of your specific health profile and background. However, it is likely more efficient to make an appointment at local pharmacies such as Walgreens or CVS which will be able to offer the COVID-19 booster vaccine.
Are booster shots the same formulation as existing vaccination?
Yes, however, in the case of Moderna Vaccine, the booster vaccination is half the dose of the vaccine administered in the initial series of vaccinations.
If I had a specific COVID-19 brand, should I get the same for the booster?
According to the CDC website, a mix and match of brand types may offer a greater percentage of protection than to stay with the existing brand when initially vaccinated. However, this is an individual choice. More information can be found on the CDC website.
Where can I submit proof of receiving a booster?
Booster documentation can be uploaded to the CoVerified Campus app. The CoVerified Campus app is available in the Google Play Store and Apple Store.
Will there be a booster clinic offered on campus?
Worcester State will also hold a booster clinic on campus on Thursday, February 10, 2022 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Blue Lounge in the Student Center. The clinic will offer Moderna and Pfizer boosters. The Moderna booster is available to individuals ages 18+ and the Pfizer booster is available for eligible individuals ages 12+. You're strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment as this clinic is open to members of the Worcester State community and the public. There is no cost to participants.
How soon should I get a booster once I had a flu vaccination?
According to the CDC website, a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccinations can be administered at the same time as a flu vaccination. More information specific to vaccinations is on the CDC website.
What are the side effects of a booster shot?
The side effects are similar to the initial COVID-19 vaccination which can be: pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, muscle pain, chills, fever, headache and nausea. These are typical and will subside within 24-48 hours after the shot, and varies by individual.
How soon should I get a booster after receiving an initial COVID-19 vaccination?
According to the CDC website, a booster shot can be received as soon as 6-months following the initial COVID-19 vaccination. If you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as your initial series, you may receive your booster vaccination at least 5 months after your second vaccination. If you received Johnson & Johnson vaccine as your initial vaccine, you may receive your booster vaccination at least 2 months after your first vaccination.
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.
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.
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.
Sheehan Multipurpose Room. Self-administered rapid tests with results available in 15 minutes.
Note: The testing center will close for holidays and weather-related emergencies.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com or drop off a copy at the office.
Students and employees may update the University with their booster status by using the CoVerified Campus App.
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.
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.
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.
As we prepare for the start of the spring semester, all students with an on-campus presence regardless of vaccination status are required to participate in COVID-19 testing for the next two weeks.
Students must receive a negative test prior to their first in-person class and again the following week. Students should plan to test at least 36 hours before their first class due to the high demand for testing across the Commonwealth.
Testing will occur on campus in Wasylean Hall (7 Hills Lounge) at no cost to participants.
All students have the option to return to campus with a negative result in hand, from an FDA EUA-approved molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test that has been administered within 72 hours prior to arrival. These results must be presented upon arrival to campus at the Testing Center in Wasylean Hall.
If you have tested positive during winter break through a health care provider or home test, please contact Student Health Services by email firstname.lastname@example.org with the date of your positive result.
Individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 90 days do not need to participate in any testing program during the three months since their positive test, unless they have symptoms of COVID-19.
Dear Worcester State Community,
As we begin the start of the spring semester, we are closely monitoring the Omicron variant that is surging in Massachusetts. The Safe Campus Team continues to assess its impact on and off campus, and will recommend adjustments, as needed, to our testing protocols; we will apprise the campus community of any changes.
This particular variant is more contagious than previous strains. Best practices state that using the appropriate mask and wearing it properly (above the nose and below the chin) slows the spread of the virus, especially when combined with being vaccinated and boosted as soon as eligible. We will continue to enforce mask wearing while indoors for all community members and maintain our public space sanitation and ventilation protocols. Masks, for those that need one, are available throughout administrative offices, most classrooms, and at the Information Desk in the Student Center. More information on the Omicron variant and appropriate masks can be found on the CDC website.
Limited winter testing hours began this week and we will begin onboard testing for the spring semester on Sunday, Jan. 16 Saturday, Jan. 15. Please see the Safe Campus website for the full schedule and hours. The booster clinic, which is available for any member of our community, is slated for Thursday, Jan. 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Blue Lounge of the Student Center. Registration information will be shared with the campus community on Monday. Community members that have already received a booster shot may upload their information through the CoVerified app.
Our expectation today is that we will start our spring semester on time. However, we are monitoring the community spread and our own testing data. I encourage you to check your emails regularly for announcements concerning the spring semester.
Barry M. Maloney,
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Yesterday afternoon, the Massachusetts State University system – which includes Worcester State University – joined a growing number of colleges and universities across the country and Commonwealth requiring their campus community to receive a booster shot of an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination.
To keep our community safe and in light of the aggressive spread of the Omicron variant in the last few weeks, requiring a booster vaccine is a move in the right direction. This will minimize the spread of COVID on university campuses and allow us to remain open. For Worcester State, we will continue our testing protocols for students and employees, indoor mask-wearing, enhanced sanitation protocols, and campus contact tracing.
As many of you know, Worcester State obtained a 100 percent vaccination compliance rate of students, faculty and staff this fall which included vaccinated individuals and those with approved medical or religious waivers. Therefore, I expect all students and employees who received a COVID-19 vaccination to also receive an approved COVID-19 booster shot within thirty (30) days of becoming eligible. If you have already received your booster, the documentation can be uploaded to the CoVerified app with instructions on our Safe Campus website. Employees may also submit their documentation directly to Human Resources.
If you are able to find a booster clinic over the holidays and before the return to campus for the spring semester, I encourage you to get the booster. Worcester State will also hold a booster clinic on campus on Thursday, January 20, 2022. Students should check their Worcester State email over the break for additional information about the booster shot and employees should look to receive additional information from Human Resources.
I appreciate your attention to this matter and wish everyone a healthy and happy break.
Barry M. Maloney
The following email was sent to students for whom the university had not received proof of vaccination at the time of sending:
As of this email, Worcester State 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:
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:
Any questions regarding the CoVerified App can be directed to Paul Vernucci at email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 929-8908.***
As of this email, Worcester State 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 email@example.com 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.
Please upload a copy of your vaccination card and contact Paul Vernucci at firstname.lastname@example.org and inform him of this status. Once you have received the second dose you can upload another copy of your card to the app.
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 email@example.com or drop off a copy to the secure mailbox outside of the office at Sheehan Hall.
Any questions regarding the CoVerified App or COVID-19 testing can be directed to Paul Vernucci at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 929-8908.
SAFE CAMPUS CONTACTS
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