Aug. 4, 2021

Dear Students,

We are excited to welcome you to campus for the Fall semester. Our goal is to provide a positive and safe student experience. To that end, we are planning a number of great activities and programs, while taking precautions to ensure the safety of all. This email outlines some of the decisions that have been made for the Fall semester. Please visit our COVID webpage for additional information on our policies and protocols. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our policies as necessary. 

You’re Invited: A Virtual Student Experience Town Hall

A student-focused Virtual Town Hall will be held on Monday, August 09, 2021 at 7pm EST to provide more details on the information below and give you and your family an opportunity to ask questions. 

Face Coverings

Effective Wednesday, Aug. 4, Springfield College requires all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear masks when inside campus buildings, regardless of vaccination status. Members of the Springfield College community who are exempted from vaccination, or who are not fully completed with their course of vaccinations (post two weeks final inoculation) must wear their masks at all times while on campus – both indoors and outdoors.

Currently, vaccinated individuals may choose not to wear masks outdoors, alone in a private office, when students are in their living space, and may remove masks during the consumption of food or drinks in dining areas. Like all issues surrounding COVID, this policy will be reviewed on an on-going basis and changed as necessary. 

This action follows CDC and Massachusetts public health officials’ recommendations for fully vaccinated people to begin wearing masks indoors again in locations with high COVID transmission rates. Hampden County has been identified as an area of “substantial” risk for transmission of the COVID-19 virus due to its increased number of cases.

The COVID vaccines available in the U.S. are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Getting vaccinated remains the most important step you can take to protect yourself and others. We urge all members of the Springfield College community who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. 

Guest/Visitor Policy

A “guest” refers to any non-Springfield College person (including parents). At this time, only residential students are permitted to enter the residence halls. Commuter Students are not allowed in the residence halls, except to visit the Counseling Center, which will move to Massasoit Hall in the Fall. Allowance will be made during move-in where two guests may assist a student moving into the residence halls during the student’s assigned three hour block. 

While guests are not permitted in the residence halls, they are welcome on campus, provided they follow our established face covering policy.

COVID policies will be included in the Community Standards section of the student handbook and the COVID addendum (if applicable) within the Student Handbook. 

Vaccination Requirement Reminder

Springfield College requires that all students intending to study on our main campus in Springfield for fall 2021 receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to their arrival to campus. Forward facing employees are also required to be vaccinated. Proof of vaccination or exemption request must be submitted by August 6th to healthcenter@springfield.edu.  For more information please review the Vaccination FAQ.

Testing

  • Pre-Arrival

    • All students arriving from abroad (vaccinated and unvaccinated) are required to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within one week (preferably 72 hours) of arriving on campus. Students who do not comply will need to quarantine. 

    • Mandatory pre-arrival COVID test for any student who is not fully vaccinated. Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within one week (preferably 72 hours) of arrival to campus. Students who do not comply will not be allowed to move into the residential halls.

    • While not required, it is recommended that ALL students receive a COVID test 12-14 days prior to their arrival on campus. Data shows that vaccinated individuals can contract COVID-19 and remain asymptomatic. Advance testing will allow a student who tests positive to complete the 10 day isolation period at home, before arriving on campus. Residential students who test positive upon arrival will need to move into supportive isolation housing for 10 days. 

  • Arrival

    • All residential students will be required to have a COVID-19 test upon move-in. Students will be required to wear their mask until their arrival test confirms a negative status. Unvaccinated students will continue to wear a mask at all times. 

    • All non-residential students will be required to have a COVID-19 test on either Tuesday September 7th or Wednesday September 8th. 

    • Various dates for testing to accommodate specialized early arrival populations will be communicated to those groups directly. 

  • Surveillance 

    • Any student who is not fully vaccinated will be required to have weekly testing. Testing will occur in the PE Annex (239 Wilbraham Avenue) next to Towne Health Center.

All students must first visit the PE Annex (239 Wilbraham Avenue/next to Towne Health Center) prior to checking into their residence hall to receive their arrival COVID test from the Health Center. Students are encouraged to arrive at the earlier portion of their move-in window to allow time to be tested. Please bring a Picture ID to the Health Center for your test.  

All students are required to wear a mask indoors and outdoors until their on-campus arrival test result comes back negative. Test results are typically communicated to students within 24-48 business hours. Unvaccinated students must continue to wear their mask at all times.

Recent Positive Test

Any student who has tested positive over the summer should provide documentation of their positive test to the Health Center (email healthcenter@springfield.edu). Per CDC recommendations, asymptomatic testing is not recommended for 90 days from the date of a positive test. Any student within their 90 day period will be exempt from pre-arrival and arrival testing, but they will still need to check in at the Health Center BEFORE checking in at their residence hall. Unvaccinated students will be exempt from surveillance testing until their 90 day period ends

Please visit our website for the full testing and Contact Tracing protocol and additional information about the Fall. I look forward to meeting you virtually on Monday evening for our Town Hall and in person on campus!

Sincerely,

Dr. Slandie Dieujuste

Vice President for Student Affairs