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Important Changes to COVID-19 Testing for Employees

December 10, 2020

This message was sent to all employees.

As B-Term winds down and WPI’s winter break approaches, we have important information regarding changes to WPI’s COVID-19 testing for the next month:

Anyone within the following groups will be required to continue with routine COVID-19 testing on campus and must schedule each appointment; walk-ins cannot be accommodated.

  1. Employees and researchers continuing to work on campus December 12 - 22
  2. *Employees essential to vital campus operations over the winter break December 23 - January 4
  3. *Specifically designated researchers required to work on campus December 23 - January 4 (or later)

*If you are not sure if you belong category 2 or 3, check with your supervisor. If you are in one of these categories, you will be tested once a week during this time, regardless of previous testing routine. All employees are encouraged to speak with their supervisors to determine actual return dates.

  • Please check the We Are WPI Testing Protocols page before heading to campus for a test; all updated information will be found there.

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The following testing modifications will apply to employees who are off campus for the winter break:

  • They will not continue with WPI’s COVID-19 testing program during that time.
  • They will participate in onboarding COVID-19 testing before returning to on-campus work in January.
  • Once they have a negative onboarding test result, they will then resume regular, routine testing appointments.

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Between the end of B-Term on December 11 and the beginning of winter break on December 23:

Employees and researchers will schedule appointments during the assigned testing hours noted here:

  • Week of December 14: Monday 12 pm-6 pm, Thursday 6 am-12 pm
  • Week of December 21: Monday 12 pm-6 pm, Tuesday 6 am-12 pm
  • You will be required to test once a week during this time, regardless of previous testing routine.
  • Hourly employees not scheduled to work on the appointment days listed above will be paid to come in for testing or will be accommodated by EHS.
  • Note: This option will not be available for those who do not meet this criterion.

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Testing will be conducted on December 28 and 29 at Harrington Auditorium, 6 am–12 pm only for those who are considered specifically designated employees and researchers (as noted above).

  • Appointments are limited and must be scheduled; walk-ins cannot be accommodated.
  • Hourly essential employees not scheduled to work on the appointment days listed above will be paid to come in for testing or will be accommodated by EHS.
  • Note: This option will not be available for those who do not meet this criterion.

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After employees return from break -- beginning on January 4 and throughout the month:

As part of the post-break onboarding process, employees who are returning from being off campus for the holiday break will be required to test twice during the week of January 4 (or the week they return) —including those who normally test once per week.  

For example, employees returning on the week of January 4, would get tested that Monday, return home and work remotely, and await results. They may resume working on campus when they receive a negative result. Then they would test again on Thursday, January 7.

  • Testing will be available Monday and Thursday the week of January 4, 2021 for those returning the first week of January.
  • Employees returning to work later in the month may schedule an initial onboarding test with a second test scheduled three to four days later (for example a Monday/Thursday testing schedule or a Thursday/Monday testing schedule).
  • Open testing times are found on the link to schedule appointments.
  • The last day to schedule an onboarding test is Thursday, January 21 with a second test scheduled for Monday, January 25.
    • PLEASE NOTE: This time coincides with the student move-in onboarding testing times. We do not recommend that employees sign up for onboarding testing this late; if your appointments are during these days, plan accordingly for longer wait times and potentially longer result times.
  • Employees will come to campus for their first test and will go home to work remotely until they receive a negative result.
  • The second test must be scheduled at least 24 hours (and no longer than three to four days) after the first test.
  • Note: Pathway 4 employees who remain remote will not be tested until they return to campus; those dates are yet to be determined.

For a visual representation of this new schedule, look at the Changes to Employee COVID-19 Testing Over Winter Break flowchart.

We appreciate your ongoing engagement in the university’s efforts to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The past year has presented challenges and changes we could have never predicted. Employees rose to meet those challenges so the university could continue to do the important work of providing our students the top-notch education they expect and deserve. We are grateful for all your hard work and dedication, and we hope you enjoy time to relax and recharge during the university’s extended winter break.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Talent & Inclusion.