Coronavirus

Latest updates

4.1.2020 Wellesley will not be hosting an in-person commencement or reunion this spring. We will go forward with a virtual ceremony on May 31 in order to confer degrees. Next year, after the pandemic has passed, we will gather at Wellesley to celebrate in person with our red class of 2020. For more information, see the Update on Commencement and Reunion 2020.
3.31.2020 Wellesley College campus is now closed to the public, a decision made in consultation with officials of the Town of Wellesley and the Wellesley Police Department, to ensure the safety of our community and comply with public health guidance.
3.28.20 Shared information on student employment and work-study in COVID-19 Response, Student Employment

COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

This page provides updates to the Wellesley community about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the steps and policy decisions the College is taking in response to this global and rapidly evolving public health crisis. At this time, the College has removed to remote instruction for the rest of the semester. For more information, see President Johnson’s College Announcement and the FAQs.

There have been no cases of COVID-19 among Wellesley students, faculty, and staff on campus or among those studying or working abroad. If a case were to be identified on campus, we would promptly inform the community, provide resources and assistance, and take any necessary action in adherence to all public health best practices.  

The College will continue to work with the Massachusets Department of Public Health (Mass. DPH), the infectious disease department at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and the local Board of Health to monitor the situation locally. We are also continuing to monitor changes in restrictions and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is also providing general information on the coronavirus and what you need to know.

Community

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Access to campus

Effective March 31, Wellesley College campus is closed to the public.

Campus buildings and facilities are only open to students remaining on campus, faculty, and staff. All athletics facilities—indoor and outdoor, including the track, fields, and tennis courts—are closed. Only Wellesley College registered vehicles will be permitted to park in campus parking lots. 

Additionally, both the College and the Hunnewell family, owners of the property next to the College that also borders Lake Waban, have decided to close the privately owned walking path around Lake Waban to the public. Only faculty, staff, and students (no guests) are welcome to walk on Wellesley College’s portion of the lake path, and around campus, while maintaining social distance.

Wellesley police have offered to help the College enforce this by limiting parking along Route 135, Route 16, and Pond Road, and our Campus Police will ask visitors they encounter on campus to leave immediately.

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Building access

Social distancing should be practiced at all locations until further notice.

Buildings Access
 
Open Information
Alumnae Hall Limited staff Swipe card access  
Bae Pao Lu Chow Faculty, staff, and students

Beginning March 29:

Weekdays

  • Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dinner: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Late night: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Weekends

  • Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Brunch: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dinner: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Late night: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Bae Pao Lu Chow is open for service in between meal times
Bates Students and staff Swipe card access  
Bates Dining Hall Students and staff

Beginning March 29:

Weekdays

  • Breakfast: 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dinner: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Weekends

  • Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Brunch: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dinner: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
 
Billings Hall Limited staff Swipe card access  
Cazenove Students and staff Swipe card access  
Cedar Lodge Students and staff Swipe card access  

Cheever House
(828 Washington Street)

Staff Swipe card access  
Child Study Center Staff Swipe card access  
Clapp Library Faculty and staff M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Swipe card access for faculty and staff
  • Faculty and staff should consult the LTS website to ensure the library has at least one LTS staff member present
  • If there is no staff coverage, we ask that faculty and staff call the Campus Police to let them know they will be in the library
Collins Cinema CLOSED    
Davis Museum Staff Swipe card access  
Distribution Center Staff Swipe card access  
Emporium Faculty, staff, and students

Beginning March 29:

Mon & Fri: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tue-Thu: 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Sat & Sun: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

 
Founders Faculty, staff, and students Key access
  • Students should plan to participate in classes remotely and not meet with faculty in person
Freeman Students and staff Swipe card access  
Global Flora Limited staff Swipe card access  

Green Hall

Faculty, staff, and students Key access, door outside HR open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays
  • Students should plan to participate in classes remotely and not meet with faculty in person
Health Services and Stone Center Staff Swipe card access (Front door only for Stone Center)

 

Houghton Chapel Faculty, staff, and students Swipe card access 8 a.m. to 10 pm
  • Limited to small groups of no more than 5 people
Intercultural houses Students and staff Swipe card access 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Limited to small groups of no more than 5 people
Jewett Faculty and staff Swipe card access

 

Jewett Art Library Faculty and staff M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Swipe card access
  • Faculty and staff should consult the LTS website to ensure the library has at least one LTS staff member present
  • If there is no staff coverage, we ask that faculty and staff call the Campus Police to let them know they will be in the library
Keohane Sports Center Limited staff Swipe card access
  • Building access is limited to working staff. Fitness center, pool, and workout rooms are closed.

Lulu Chow Wang Center

Faculty, staff, and students

Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

McAfee Students and staff Swipe card access  
Multifaith Center CLOSED    

Pendleton East

Faculty, staff, and students Swipe card access
  • Students should plan to participate in classes remotely and not meet with faculty in person

Pendleton West

Faculty, staff, and students Swipe card access
  • Students should plan to participate in classes remotely and not meet with faculty in person
Physical Plant Staff Swipe card access  
Pomeroy Students and staff Swipe card access  
Schneider Hall Staff Swipe card access  
Science Center Faculty, staff, and students Swipe card access
  • Students should plan to participate in classes remotely and not meet with faculty in person
Science Modulars Faculty and staff Swipe card access  
Society Houses CLOSED    
Simpson West (faculty offices) Faculty and staff Swipe card access  
Waban House (756 Washington Street) Staff Swipe card access  
Weaver (Admission Office) Staff Swipe card access  
Wellesley College Club Staff Swipe card access  
Whitin Observatory Faculty and staff Swipe card access

 

 

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Limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued guidance on Monday, March 23, prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. All members of our community should follow these guidelines and practice social distancing at all times. We anticipate that additional guidance will be forthcoming from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for colleges and universities.

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Supporting our community members

We want to recognize the special burden the coronavirus outbreak has placed on the lives of many in the Wellesley community—particularly Asian and Asian-American members and others with close ties to impacted regions, and especially those with family, colleagues, and friends who have been directly affected by this outbreak. If any member of our community feels they have been discriminated against during this time, please reach out to our director of nondiscrimination initiatives and Title IX coordinator.

Events

All on-campus spring semester events have been canceled or postponed to a later date. 

 

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Commencement

Wellesley will not be able to host an in-person commencement this year. While nothing can replace our traditional commencement, this May 31 we will go forward with a virtual ceremony, during which we will confer degrees so that graduates are able to move forward with careers and further academic pursuits. Next year, when we expect this pandemic has passed, we will gather at Wellesley to celebrate in person with our red class of 2020.

In the coming weeks we will be in touch with more details about this spring’s virtual ceremony. We can’t tell you yet what it will look like—we want to tap the imaginations of our senior class council to make this, and the gatherings that will follow, as meaningful as possible. We will send an update when we have more information to share.

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Reunion

We regret that the College is unable to host reunion this year for the classes of 0s and 5s. The WCAA will email reunion registrants regarding refund procedures.

Health

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Notification of testing or exposure

Please notify the College through this form if any of the scenarios below apply:

  • you have been or know that you will be tested for COVID-19
  • you have been notified by a local or state department of health of a known or potential exposure to COVID-19
  • you learn that you or your spouse, partner, housemate have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
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Staying healthy

Remember, it is also the height of cold and flu season: Please continue to be diligent in washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds on a regular basis, coughing/sneezing into your elbow, and avoiding high-traffic areas if you are not feeling well. If you haven’t had a flu shot, they are still available at Health Services or from your local PCP.

If individuals have concern about potential exposure to COVID-19 and a sign of fever and symptoms ranging from a mild cough or runny nose to more significant shortness of breath and even pneumonia, we recommend they contact their health professionals. For students, contact Health Services. For faculty and staff, contact your PCP.

For more resources and general health tips, see Mass. DPH: Prevention.

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Can I be tested for COVID-19?

Should you believe you meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing, students should please first call Health Services and we can help facilitate this through Newton-Wellesley Hospital. The Department of Public Health and the CDC (not Wellesley College) determine who meets appropriate criteria for testing. Faculty and Staff should please call their primary care physician for guidance. All community members may also access the Coronavirus Line (through Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Mass General) that is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 617.724.7000.

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Precautionary steps on campus

The College has increased the frequency with which we clean all our facilities, made hand sanitizer broadly available, and launched a public health campaign to encourage proper handwashing techniques.

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Thank you to the many faculty and staff members across campus who have identified various items of personal protective equipment (PPE) that had been stored in locations across campus. Items such as gloves, goggles, face masks, some lab coats and disinfectant have been retrieved and inventoried. The College has donated some PPE items to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health stockpile for distribution to health care professionals and will continue to re-evaluate whether additional donations are possible. The College’s first priority is to ensure that we have sufficient stock to supply our own needs to protect campus students and the staff supporting them.

Academics

Wellesley will move to remote instruction starting on March 30 until the end of classes on May 6. 

 

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Pedagogical and technology resources, workshops

LTS staff have created several instructional and library resources (including, for example, our College-wide license for Zoom, a popular video conferencing platform) and invite faculty workshops designed to introduce and these and discuss some tips and best practices for remote teaching and learning.

All faculty are invited to attend any of the workshops below (all in Clapp 131):

  • Tuesday, March 10, 3:454:45 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 12, 12:451:45 p.m.
  • Friday, March 13, 3:454:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 18, 4:305:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 19, 12:451:45 p.m.
  • Friday, March 20, 3:454:45 p.m.
 
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Study abroad and summer programs

The Office of International Study has been in touch directly with students in study abroad programs to encourage them to return home and to offer financial assistance with travel. Most students are following this guidance; a few have elected to stay, despite our recommendation.

We are monitoring developments and expect to make programming decisions later this spring on summer programs, research, internships and study abroad.

Currently, no fall semester study abroad programs have been suspended.  We are continuing to monitor developments and will be making a decision later this spring based on public health guidance. The Office of International Study will work with on-campus partners so that students are able to retain housing and register for courses on campus in the event that programs are canceled.

For questions about a current specific program, please contact OIS.

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Grading

The College’s goal is to give students the fullest opportunity to complete this semester’s academic work and make progress toward their degrees. To that end, all courses this semester, including independent studies and senior theses, will be converted to mandatory credit/non grading status. For more information, see the communication Academic Policies and Calendar for the Rest of the Semester.

Travel

We are suspending all College-related international travel, and all College-related domestic air travel or out of state travel. We are also suspending College-related local travel to gatherings (conferences, meetings, or events) of more than 10 people. Any exceptions will need to be approved by the President, the Provost, or the Vice President and Dean of Students.

We strongly discourage all personal international travel and urge caution about any personal domestic travel.

 

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International travel prohibitions and restrictions

Before planning international travel, please check the CDC website for risk assessment levels for COVID-19.

Wellesley is suspending all travel funded or sponsored by the College.

If a member (or a spouse, partner, or housemate) travel to a location with a CDC Level 2 or 3 warning, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. 

We advise members of our community to consider postponing all international travel in the immediate future. Given the global spread of the virus, it is impossible to know which countries might become severely affected. If you travel to an area that is currently safe but becomes severely affected during your trip, you may not be able to return to campus without 14 days of self-quarantine. Non-U.S. citizens may be unable to reenter the U.S. 

If you do travel internationally, sign up for the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) before you travel to receive email updates about travel warnings and travel alerts. International students and scholars may contact the Slater International Center with questions related to international visas and travel.

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Register all travel, work-related and personal

All faculty and staff should register any international or out of state domestic travel plans (whether work-related or personal). 

Registration will ensure that the College is aware when members of the community travel to areas that are currently designated or become designated in the future by the CDC as severely affected. This information will only be used for the purpose of advising on your return to campus and will be shared on a “need to know” basis according to Wellesley’s data privacy policy.

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Domestic travel

Cases of COVID-19 have appeared in several states in the U.S., which may impact domestic travel by our community members. We are continuing to monitor the outbreak in U.S. states, such as Washington and California, and will take those developments into account for our programming and College-wide decisions.

We encourage any members of the community planning domestic travel to check their local state department of health websites for updates on the number of cases, airport protocols, states of emergency, and other information. If you are traveling out of state, please register your travel plans.

More resources

View past College announcements
National Institutes of Health
World Health Organization
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Questions

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