General Questions

How will we be handling the symptoms of colds and flus that overlap with COVID-19?

Students experiencing symptoms should visit the Health Center, who can run a rapid test followed by the PCR test if warranted. Faculty and staff should utilize their sick time and monitor their own health, contacting their primary care provider or urgent care center as needed. Faculty and staff may use the Sick C code in ADP to track sick time related to COVID-19. All other symptoms should use the regular sick time code.

How will large in-person events be handled this fall?

In-person events such as Homecoming and the 2020 Commencement Ceremony will be held in accordance with guidelines set forth by the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

What is the current mask policy? (Updated Aug. 3, 2021)

All unvaccinated individuals must wear face coverings for the entirety of their duration on campus. Vaccinated individuals must wear a mask while indoors, but may choose to wear a face covering outdoors if they prefer. 

Faculty and Staff Vaccination Status

Our entire campus is returning to a face to face and in-person modality for Fall 2021 and beyond, which means we are requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for most employees and all students, starting August 9 and beyond.  We have now finalized our College's Vaccination Policy, which can be found here.  Please review the policy carefully and watch for any emails in the near future from HR as a follow-up.

Religious Exemption

Based on the Vaccination Policy, a Religious Accommodations/Exemption Form has been created.  If, based on the Vaccination Policy, you need to seek an exemption from the vaccination requirement for religious reasons, you would need to complete and submit this form.  Please make sure you are specific on all questions and answer each thoroughly to avoid any unnecessary delays.

ADA Accommodations- Vaccine Related

If, based on the Vaccination Policy, you need to seek an exemption from the vaccination requirement for reasons related to your health or a disability, you would need to complete and submit the ADA Accommodations Request form, found here.  All such requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation from your healthcare provider.

Vaccination Status

Please submit your vaccination status via one of the options listed below, but only if you have not done so already.

  1. Click this attestation form link, and submit your information electronically.
  2. You can email a copy of your vaccination card to Healthcenter@springfield.edu.
  3. You can drop a copy of your vaccination card off at the Health Center during regular business hours.
  4. You can interoffice mail a copy of your vaccination card to the Health Center at whatever hour you want.
  5. You can snail mail a letter and copy of your vaccination card to the Health Center and count the days until it arrives (this is the less desirable option).

Testing, Contact Tracing, Quarantine

What are the testing requirements for all students, faculty, and staff on campus?

All residential students, regardless of vaccination status, will be tested upon arrival to campus. Students will need to remain masked until their negative test results are received. Non-residential students will be tested during the first week of classes.

Any unvaccinated student, faculty, or staff member will need to participate in weekly testing, held on Mondays and Thursdays. 

If fully vaccinated and you test positive, do you go into quarantine and for how long?

Yes. If you are fully vaccinated and you test positive, you should be isolated for ten days. Students will have the opportunity to isolate on campus, or may isolate at home if they can access home via a private car.

As of guidance released by the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, released July 29, 2021, vaccinated individuals who are identified as a close contact should be tested three to five days after their exposure, and should wear a mask until they receive a negative test. Vaccinated individuals without symptoms do not need to quarantine.

How will criteria for "close contacts" for the purpose of contact tracing be redefined to more accurately reflect the Delta variant's higher viral load and faster infection rate?

We will continue to follow the guidelines put forth by the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

What will be the cost & availability of on campus testing for faculty? staff? Students?

At this time, the College is providing weekly surveillance testing for unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff. 

Can staff/faculty ask a student’s vaccination status?

Student vaccination statuses will be shared on a need to know basis, determined by supervisors, department chairs, and/or division leadership. 

What policies apply to students, faculty, and staff at the regional campuses?

The College vaccination policies apply to all students attending classes in a face-to-face format. Completely online students do not need to provide proof of vaccination. 

All students, faculty, and staff should follow guidelines set forth by the governing agencies in the areas in which they live/work. 

Academics

A number of classrooms were taken off line last year due to substandard ventilation.  Will these classrooms be back this year?

Yes. All classrooms have been adjusted to fit the ventilation needs, and will be returned to normal use. 

Will vaccinated students and professors be masked in classrooms? (Updated 8/4)

At this time, vaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask in the classroom. 

What are the expectations or plans if faculty switch back to virtual instruction?

The College is prepared to adjust and pivot as needed, should the need arise to return to virtual instruction. We anticipate remaining on campus for the duration of the fall semester, but we will continue to update the campus community via email as updates are needed.

If faculty need to not be on campus because of symptoms (or to care for a quarantining child), should they plan to cancel classes or move to Zoom?

Faculty should coordinate with their department chairs and deans on a case by case basis. Telework options should not be used in cases of caring for a sick child or member of your home.

Are there remote options for the Faculty Institute this fall?

The Faculty Institute is currently planned to be an in-person event for all faculty teaching at the Springfield campus. Faculty who have concerns should contact their department chair.

Athletics

Will spectators be allowed at athletic competitions?

We will continue to make decisions in concert with NEWMAC and the NCAA, and should have more guidance on this in early August. Our goal is to have all activities return to normal in as safe a manner as possible. 

Dining

Will Cheney allow sit down seating or grab and go?

The Table at Cheney will be returning to normal occupancy this fall. There will be a grab and go option featuring a reusable container available for purchase for $5. Harvest Table will continue to release more information on this opportunity.

Housing and Residence Life

Will Residence Halls have limitations on the number of people in their space? How will that be communicated?

At this time, all COVID-related occupancy limitations have been lifted. The College is maintaining the same overnight guest policy, prohibiting guests from staying overnight in a residence hall. No outside guests or commuter students are allowed in the residence halls.

Is any residence hall staying empty for isolation or quarantine?

Yes. Lakeside Hall is currently mostly offline, with only a few students living in the building. Additionally, the Graduate Village and Kakley Graduate Annex are held for quarantine and isolation spaces.

Student Life

How is the college planning to address if students express a preference for maintaining telehealth for their mental health appointments?

At this time, mental health appointments will be held in person at the Counseling Center’s new location in Massasoit Hall. Many of the emergency telehealth accommodations set forth by governing agencies are ending soon.

What will be the availability of outdoor activities and seating areas for students?

The Division of Student Affairs will continue to offer as much outdoor programming as possible while the weather permits, including a return of food trucks.

Facilities has increased the number of picnic tables and adirondack chairs over the past year, and has cleaned them in preparation of returning to campus this fall.