We expect to begin the academic year with no virus on campus and to respond quickly to any positive test that occurs, therefore, we are instituting a multi-phase testing and contact tracing program, with an emphasis on pre-arrival and arrival testing. We have contracted with the Broad Institute of Cambridge, MA to conduct our testing.

Effective August 1, 2020, visitors to the state must submit the Massachusetts Travel Form if traveling from states other than Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. Travelers must also quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. Please note: the list of low-risk states changes frequently. Please visit the Massachusetts State Department website for the current listing.

Arrival and Pre-Arrival Testing

  • Pre-arrival: All students are recommended to obtain a test within 72 hours of arriving on campus and to bring their proof of a negative result with them to campus. Students who test positive must remain at home for 14 days and until they no longer test positive. These students will be able to begin classes remotely.
  • Arrival: All students will be tested on arrival (even those with a negative test results, due to the occurrence of false negatives in testing). Those who test positive will have the choice to return home to isolate for 14 days and until they test negative, or they can enter Supported Isolation Housing on campus for 14 days and until they test negative. Recognizing the difficulty of living in isolation for at least 14 days, the preference is for students to return home, but we understand for some that will be very difficult given distance.
  • Commuter Students: All commuter students will be tested at the Health Center the week of August 31st. Students will be notified of their scheduled test date and time.

Surveillance Testing

Each week, 10 to 20 percent of the student population will be randomly selected and tested to identify positive tests among asymptomatic individuals. Students who test positive will be moved to Supported Isolation Housing (see below) for 14 days and until they test negative. These students will continue their studies remotely.

Diagnostic Testing

Any student who reports symptoms of COVID-19 or has a confirmed exposure to someone who has tested positive will be tested as recommended by the staff of the Health Center.

Contact Tracing

A trained campus Contact Tracing team will work in concert with the Health Center and the City of Springfield Department of Public Health to identify anyone who has been exposed to someone with the virus. Those individuals will be quarantined for 14 days. Quarantine in this circumstance means that a student cannot enter other residence hall rooms/apartments on campus (other than their own), does not attend class in person (i.e., takes classes remotely), does not eat in the dining hall or other food service areas (i.e., they pick up their “Grab and Go” meals from Cheney Dining Hall and eat outside or in their room), and does not visit any offices on campus. Students in this type of quarantine may be outside, using proper face covering and social distancing.