August 11, 2021

EmmanuelForward Update: August 11, 2021

As active preparations continue for a safe and vibrant fall semester, the College is aware of evolving external conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an August 6th update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Delta variant is now the predominant strain of the virus in the United States. Compared to earlier forms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Delta is nearly twice as infectious, spreads faster, and may cause more severe illness in unvaccinated persons. In view of Delta’s rapid spread throughout our country and world, the College is implementing several new community health protocols and is reviewing a number of additional measures for the fall.

Masking

While we will have a very high percentage of fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff on campus, it is important that we use additional means, including masking, to prevent and contain the spread of the Delta variant. Consequently, as of today all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask when indoors on campus. Those who are unvaccinated must mask both indoors and outdoors. Masks may be removed within an individual residence hall room and during meals in dining spaces. This requirement, along with others, will be reviewed monthly.

Testing & Safety

Anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 is expected to undergo testing for the virus at the earliest opportunity. In addition, those who have been granted a vaccination exemption must participate in surveillance testing once per week. In the coming weeks, the College will evaluate whether conditions call for testing individuals who are fully vaccinated.

To ensure community safety, the College will continue to encourage distancing within indoor spaces. Further, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing will take place throughout campus buildings.

Events & Activities

The College plans to proceed with scheduled events this fall. While at present there are no restrictions on gatherings within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the City of Boston, we continue to be in contact with officials and will communicate any policy changes promptly. In the coming weeks, we will share final plans for our move-in weekend and the impact of any new guidance.

Resident students will be able to visit between residence halls. However, overnight visits by outside guests will be prohibited through mid-October as we assess current data and trends related to COVID-19.

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) last week announced policies related to Fall 2021 varsity sports. A full schedule of competitions will proceed, with the provision that student-athletes and personnel who have approved exemptions will participate in COVID testing twice per week and wear a mask during all athletic activity. The full announcement can be found here.

Thank you for your ongoing flexibility as we strive to assure a safe environment for living and learning at 400 The Fenway. Please continue to visit our Fall FAQs page for regular updates and send questions to emmanuelforward@emmanuel.edu.

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