Spring 2022 Reopening   Communication #3

Dear Montserrat Community,

We look forward to having everyone back together on campus! Thank you for your continued patience as we prepare for the start of a new semester. As we approach our fifth semester dealing with the pandemic, we realize how much we have learned and continue our commitment to maintaining a safe environment. 

Given the current COVID-19 situation in Massachusetts right now and to ensure a healthy and safe start to the spring semester, we have made some adjustments. Resident students will still move in, and test, as originally scheduled starting on Sunday, January 23rd. Student Affairs will be sending updated testing schedules pertaining to testing time slots.

The first three days of  this semester will be held remotely (January 26-28th). Students and faculty will be meeting online during the scheduled course time. In-person classes will commence on Monday, January 31st. By making this decision, we allow more time for testing and quarantining as we come back together as a community. Additional information will be coming from Academic Affairs closer to the first day of classes so be on the lookout for additional information after moving in.

With this decision, we will be adjusting the testing schedule for next week. As scheduled, testing will occur on January 23, 24 and 25. There will be NO TESTING on January 26th as initially noted, but additional testing will occur on January 27, 28 and 29 for faculty and commuting students. Additional information (location, times, etc.) will be emailed directly to faculty and commuters. 

While we are administering on campus PCR testing, if you have access to a COVID-19 rapid test we encourage you to take one prior to returning to campus, but it is not required. With the fast spreading Omicron variant we expect to see a higher positivity rate on campus than we are used to. By taking a rapid test, knowing if you are positive prior to coming to campus allows us to mitigate the risk of on campus spread. 

We are in another transition period while things are not like they were in March of 2020, they are also not the same as they were in September 2021. COVID has a way of keeping us on our toes in that sense. Our community continues to do the right thing by getting tested, vaccinated and wearing masks. It is because of those actions to date we have had no on campus spread and zero hospitalizations. We have made the decision to mandate booster shots and will send out more information on that once everyone is settled back on campus. If you have received your booster shot or have an appointment scheduled, please notify Sheryl Max, sheryl.max@montserrat.edu

For questions regarding vaccinations, testing, masks, and visitors, please refer to the Spring Semester – Communication #2

We had a successful fall semester and I look forward to welcoming you all back to Beverly for a great spring semester! 

Be well, 

President Kurt 

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VACCINATIONS 

At this point, all members of the community are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless you have received an approved exemption. If you have received your booster shot, please take a photo of your updated official vaccination card and email it to sheryl.max@montserrat.edu

At this time, the college strongly encourages booster shots for those eligible (five/six months after receiving your second Pfizer/Moderna or the J&J vaccination). 

We anticipate hosting a mobile BOOSTER clinic on campus in early February. 

TESTING

ALL employees and students will be tested (PCR) ON-CAMPUS prior to the start of the semester (onboarding testing). To avoid any confusion on timing or test type, we will NOT be accepting test results from tests taken in advance. Onboarding testing will start on January 19th. Please find below the testing schedule. After taking your test, you will need to quarantine at home until you get your test results. Once residential students have been tested, they will need to quarantine in their apartment until receiving test results, as well.

If you  were diagnosed with COVID over the winter break, please report that to Sheryl.max@montserrat.edu before returning to campus. It is important that we have this information because it will impact individual testing schedules.

UNVACCINATED STUDENTS and EMPLOYEES will need to be tested WEEKLY. Details will be provided to those students and employees prior to the start of classes.

SURVEILLANCE TESTING will occur BI-MONTHLY for all resident students and those designated in the ‘high risk’ category – those with ‘high contact hours’ with resident students and individuals with limited contact hours with residential students who have medically defined risk factors for severe COVID illness. The surveillance testing schedule will be emailed out at the start of the semester.

Throughout the semester, symptomatic students will be tested as needed. Symptomatic employees will be referred to their own PCP or Urgent Care for testing.

DAY DATE TIME
Wednesday January 19 10am – 12:30pm, 1pm – 3:30pm
Thursday January 20 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Sunday January 23 9am – 12:30pm, 1pm – 4pm 
Monday January 24 9am – 12:30pm, 1pm – 4pm 
Tuesday January 25 10am – 12:30pm, 1pm – 4pm 
     

Additional testing will occur on January 27, 28 and 29 for faculty and commuting students.

MASKS

We will continue to require mask wearing by all community members indoors in public and common spaces for the spring semester. 

VACCINATED students will NOT need to wear masks inside of their on-campus apartments, but should wear a mask when visiting other apartments.

VACCINATED employees will not need to wear masks in their individual office when alone or with other vaccinated employees if all agree. Faculty when in classrooms when no one else is present, including while on a break, will not need to wear a mask. 

UNVACCINATED students and employees will need to be masked at all times.

VISITORS

Residences: Resident students ONLY may visit other resident students, across campus, only with FULL HOUSE APPROVAL. Unvaccinated residents MUST be masked at all times when in housing, except when sleeping. There can be NO OVERNIGHT visitors until further notice. NO commuters or other guests (family, friends, etc.) may enter any residences until further notice.

Campus Buildings: ALL visitors to campus – guests, galleries, classrooms, Admissions, vendors, etc. – must remain masked while indoors.

SYMPTOM CHECKER

We are asking everyone to continue to use the CampusClear App through the spring semester. Symptoms should be reported on the app and then emailed to COVID-19@montserrat.edu so that Sheryl Max, RN can follow-up with next steps.

CLEANING OF THE CAMPUS

The college will continue to follow CDC guidance for cleaning protocols.