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The College has a multi-layered approach to health and safety that is designed to protect our community. We are relying on all community members—faculty, staff, and students—to follow the public health guidance developed by both the state and the protocols set forth by the College. We ask that you please do your part to keep everyone on our campus healthy. For an overview of the College’s efforts, see the COVID-19 Higher Education Control Plan.

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Symptom Tracker

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Complete the symptom tracker (formerly known as the daily health check) only when you are experiencing symptoms. A nurse from OEHN, our occupational health and safety consultant, will follow up with faculty and staff and Health Services will follow up with students. If you are experiencing symptoms, do not come to campus (faculty and staff) or leave your room (students).

Testing

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What you need to know about testing at Wellesley 

Wellesley is partnering with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard—one of the world’s leading genomic research centers—to provide asymptomatic testing for all students on campus and designated members of our faculty and staff. Regular asymptomatic testing is the best way to reduce transmission of COVID-19; identifying those who are infected but asymptomatic is critical so that they can be isolated and any unvaccinated close contacts quickly identified and quarantined.  

Regular asymptomatic testing

All faculty and staff on campus are tested once weekly as part of a pooled PCR testing program. Students will be tested twice weekly. Remember to bring your College ID to the testing site on the day you are testing. With pooled testing, all individuals are tested using a nasal swab, and the samples are analyzed in groups of 10.

Test results will generally be available by 9 p.m. the day after your test (24 hours after the test sample arrives at the Broad Institute). If you have never tested before, you will be prompted to register with an email from Wellesley COVID Testing (campuskey@wellesley.edu via notify.schooltesting.org). You should use your main Wellesley email address (the one with your username) and not one of your aliases when you register to view your results and select a password. Subsequent test results will come from this same email address. You will also receive a text from 38656. 

A pooled test will return one of the following results:

  • No follow-up testing needed or Negative: Test result was negative for COVID-19.
  • Inconclusive, Unsatisfactory, TNP, or Invalid: The pooled test samples could not be analyzed for one or more reasons. If this occurs, each person in the pool will receive an email and/or text with instructions to retest immediately with another pooled test.
  • Individual retest required: COVID-19 was detected in the pool, but it does not mean there was a positive COVID-19 test for any particular individual in the pool. 

If COVID-19 is detected in a pooled test:

  • Each person in the pool will receive an email and/or text with instructions to retest immediately at the College Club with both individual rapid antigen and individual PCR tests.
    • The College Club is open seven days per week to facilitate immediate retesting for students, faculty, and staff. Please see the chart below for weekly schedules.
    • Do not go to class, extracurricular activities, the office, or start your shift until you have been retested.
  • Take extra precautions until you receive negative results from both your rapid test and your individual PCR follow-up tests. Please wear a mask at all times (even outdoors), maintain physical distancing, and do not eat with others on campus.
  • An individual is not considered positive until an individual positive test result is confirmed. Individuals will be isolated immediately based on a positive rapid test, subject to confirmation through the individual PCR result.
  • You will be contacted regarding rapid test results within approximately an hour of testing. Both positive and negative rapid results will be shared via email and text. You will also receive texts and emails about your individual PCR test results—both positive and negative—the following day, similar to pooled test results. If you test positive, you will receive an email with next steps and a request to fill out a contact tracing form located in the Toolbox. To ensure quick notification, please make sure that your cell phone is identified in Workday as your primary phone number and make sure you have registered to receive test results. 

This is asymptomatic testing: if you have symptoms, you should not show up for testing and instead fill out the Symptom Tracker and see the guidelines for symptomatic testing.

Each Saturday evening, you will receive an email from campuskey@wellesley.edu assigning you testing day and location based on the preferences you indicate in the Toolbox. You may come without an appointment on your assigned day.

Testing hours and locations

Day

Hours

Location

Monday-Friday

7 to 11 a.m. and 12 to 4 p.m.

College Club and Beebe

Saturday*

10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

College Club

Sunday

12 to 4 p.m.

College Club and Beebe

* Saturday testing is only for retests and students who may have missed their test earlier in the week.

Symptomatic testing

If students are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should contact Health Services for confidential consultation and support regarding next steps. Health Services on campus is provided by Newton-Wellesley Collegiate Health and has the capacity to offer symptomatic testing to students on campus.

Faculty and staff should work with their primary care physician (PCP) if they have symptoms. It may be that the PCP will direct them to find a COVID-19 test. Positive test results (outside of Broad testing) should be reported to the College using the report positive test form found in the Toolbox. You will be excluded from testing for 90 days from your verified test date.

Students and employees approved to be on campus should also notify the College if they have been or know that they will be tested for COVID-19 based on symptoms or exposure; if they have been notified by a department of health of a known or potential exposure to COVID-19; or if they learn that they or their cohabitant(s) have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Contact tracing

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Close contacts are those who were without masks indoors within six feet of a person who tested positive for a cumulative total of 15 minutes within a 24-hour period.

Close contacts who are vaccinated and boosted will not need to quarantine unless they are symptomatic, but they will be asked to take additional precautions for the next 10 days to protect against the spread of infection: masking, physical distancing particularly when eating with others, being attentive to symptoms, and testing twice during the week.

Symptomatic and unvaccinated or “unboosted” close contacts will need to quarantine for at least five days with five additional days of strict mask-wearing.

If you test positive, you will receive an email with next steps and a request to fill out a contact tracing form located in the Toolbox. If you are not able to fill out the form, but were in close contact with others, call the contact tracer line (781.474.0383) and leave a message with the information. 

The College’s contact tracers will only contact you if they have questions. If you see a call from 781.474.0383, please answer the phone.

Isolation and quarantine

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For students

Students who test positive will need to isolate in designated rooms at a nearby hotel for at least five days with five additional days of strict mask-wearing. Health Services will be in contact with the student to monitor their health and advise on release from isolation. 

Symptomatic or unvaccinated students or “un-boosted” students who are identified as close contacts (more than 15 minutes within six feet and without masks indoors within a 24-hour period) will be subject to quarantine for at least five days with five additional days of strict mask-wearing.

Close contacts who are vaccinated and boosted do not need to quarantine unless they are symptomatic. They should take additional precautions for the next 10 days to protect against the spread of infection: masking, physical distancing particularly when eating with others, being attentive to symptoms, and testing twice during the week. See the guidance for close contacts  video for more details.

Students who need to isolate or quarantine will miss in-person class and therefore are advised to contact their faculty and their Class Deans to develop a plan for maintaining their work.

See the isolation guidance presentation for students for more details. 

For faculty and staff

Employees who test positive will need to isolate at home for at least five days (the date of the positive test is day 0) with five additional days of strict mask-wearing. A nurse from the Occupational Environmental and Health Network (OEHN) will be in touch with the employee within a day or two to monitor their health and advise on the duration of their isolation period. 

If an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 and he or she is not feeling well, the employee should use sick time and should not work. If the employee’s position allows for remote work, then the employee may continue to work remotely during the isolation or quarantine period. Employees should reach out to their manager.

Close contacts (more than 15 minutes within six feet and without masks indoors within a 24-hour period) who are vaccinated and boosted do not need to quarantine unless they are symptomatic. They should take additional precautions for the next 10 days to protect against the spread of infection: masking, physical distancing particularly when eating with others, being attentive to symptoms, and testing twice during the week. 

Close contacts who are unvaccinated or “un-boosted” need to quarantine at home for at least five days.

OEHN will advise employees when they are released from isolation and may return to work as well as their subsequent testing schedule. Employees should check in with their manager before returning.

See Isolation Guidance for Faculty and Staff for more details. 

Health care

Students with mild symptoms will be treated by our Health Services team provided by Newton-Wellesley Collegiate Health and led by Dr. Jennifer Schwartz, medical director. Those requiring additional care will be treated at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, or if needed, at Mass General or Brigham and Women’s Hospital, two of the best hospitals in the world. Faculty and staff should consult their PCP about care and treatment options.

Vaccines

graphic of a nurse with a clipboard

All Wellesley students, faculty, and staff are required to receive a booster shot before January 15, 2022. Faculty and staff should upload evidence of their COVID-19 booster shot in Workday using these step-by-step directions. Students should upload proof of their booster shot in Patient Gateway (see instructions).

Similarly, all campus visitors and vendors should also be fully vaccinated and boosted.

Students, faculty, or staff who are not eligible for a booster before January 15 should upload proof of their booster shot within 30 days of becoming eligible. Those who test positive for COVID-19 should get the booster after completing isolation and symptoms have improved. See the CDC website for more details.

Students who are eligible for a booster by January 15 and who fail to upload proof of their booster shot by that date will not be allowed to move into the residence halls for spring semester. Students who become eligible after January 15 and fail to comply with the booster mandate within 30 days of eligibility will lose housing privileges per the Community Values Code of Conduct Honor Code policy.

Faculty and staff who fail to upload proof of a booster on January 15 or within 30 days after becoming eligible for a booster are subject to being placed on unpaid leave.

Individuals who were previously granted exemptions from vaccinations for medical or religious reasons will be exempt from the booster requirement.

If you’ve been vaccinated

  • Vaccinated community members in the testing pool will continue to be tested and should continue to follow all campus protocols including masking indoors.
  • If a fully vaccinated community member is identified as a close contact, they may continue working or going to class providing they have no symptoms. If any symptoms develop, they should complete the symptom tracker indicating so and not go to work or class.

Gatherings

graphic of a group of five people in a group wearing masks

Departments and individuals should work with the Events and Scheduling Office to plan in-person events.

  • Departments are welcome to hold student panel events in accordance with mask requirements and posted capacity limits, particularly in larger indoor spaces.
  • Large indoor gatherings (over 50 people) must still be organized and managed by the events office and/or the Office of Student Involvement.
  • Maintain physical distancing to the extent possible if groups are gathered indoors.
  • Eating in academic and administrative buildings is permitted as follows:
    • Established break rooms with distancing as previously established.
    • Individual offices (up to three people).
    • Conference rooms that are not also used as classrooms (up to 10 people).
    • Cow Chair Room in the Lulu (up to 10 people).
    • Tables near the Leaky Beaker in the Science Complex atrium/Faroll Focus.
    • Up to 10 faculty/staff and students may eat together.
    • “Light refreshments” permitted in large, well ventilated spaces (Farroll Focus, Alumnae Hall Ballroom, Tishman, KSC Fieldhouse, Library Lecture Room) with masks on a reduced capacity.

Wear a mask

graphic of three women wearing masks over their noses and mouths

We are asking all community members to wear KN95, KF94, or well-fitting surgical masks when indoors. Protective masks will be available at testing sites in advance of the start of classes. Faculty as well as facilities, dining and residence life staff can place a service request for masks on the Facilities website.

  • Masks are required inside all academic and administrative buildings.
  • Faculty and students are allowed to bring covered beverages to class and briefly slip down a mask to drink, but should keep masks fully on when they are not drinking. Eating in classrooms is not permitted. 
  • Classes held in tents outdoors are considered instructional spaces and require masks.
  • Masks are required to be worn in shared College vehicles or when traveling together in a vehicle for a College-related purpose.
  • Students are allowed to take off their masks in dining halls when seated and eating and common spaces in groups of less than 10 in the residence halls where HEPA filters are installed (living rooms). If students are on their own floors they may also opt to take off their masks. 
  • Staff are not required to wear masks when alone in private offices with the door closed or the single stall restrooms.
  • Masks are not required outdoors, except at gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • More mask questions? See Environmental Health and Safety’s mask update.

Wash your hands

graphic of a person washing their hands at a sink