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Important COVID Testing Changes Update: May 6, 2022

DEPARTMENT(S): 
May 6, 2022

This message was sent to the WPI community.

Message Highlights:

  • Routine COVID-19 testing is optional as of May 9 for all members of the WPI community. Anyone may continue to test weekly, or more often, as they choose.
  • The testing schedule will change for Commencement week and the summer.
  • The testing location will change to the Hackfeld Lot May 16
  • We continue to encourage testing for those with symptoms or special circumstances.
    • Anyone with symptoms should get a rapid antigen test at the Hackfeld Lot trailer.
  • Masks are optional but recommended when on campus. Good masks (N95s or KN95s) work!
  • Updates to testing protocols will change our COVID-19 Dashboard data.

Now that we’ve reached the end of D-Term and the spring semester, we’re eagerly looking forward to Commencement and the summer. Below are important updates, including changes to the university’s COVID-19 testing program.

Commencement

  • All students graduating next week—and everyone planning to attend or staff Commencement events—are strongly encouraged to wear a high-quality (N95 or KN95) mask indoors to avoid COVID, colds, and flu before Commencement.
  • Graduating students will receive an email with additional instructions for testing before Commencement.
  • Guests and others staffing or attending Commencement are strongly encouraged to take a rapid antigen test the day of their ceremony. Free tests are available at 27 Hackfeld from 8 to 11 am and 2 to 4 pm Monday through Friday, through May 13. Anyone who tests positive or is experiencing symptoms should stay home; all events are live streamed via links provided on the Commencement webpage.

 

Routine Testing is Optional as of May 9

As of May 9, routine COVID-19 surveillance testing will be optional. All students, faculty, and staff, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, may test if they wish but they are not required to do so. Anyone showing symptoms should get a rapid antigen (at-home) test at the trailer in the Hackfeld Lot and isolate as appropriate. Report at-home positive tests using the WPI Symptom Tracker and fill out a positive case form.

 

Testing Center Hours and New Location

For Commencement Week, the Testing Center in Harrington Auditorium will be open:

  • Monday, May 9          8 am to noon
  • Tuesday, May 10        8 am to noon
  • Wednesday, May 11   Noon to 4 pm

 

As of May 16, the Testing Center will move from Harrington Auditorium to the trailer in the Hackfeld Lot. Hours are 10 to 11 am Monday through Friday for students, faculty, and staff wishing to test.


Testing Recommendations:

We trust every member of our community to continue to exercise care and caution, and we strongly recommend testing:

  • for those with health complications, or those who live with someone at higher risk
  • at least 5 days after exposure to someone with COVID-19
  • prior to and after travel
  • prior to and after attending large gatherings
  • those who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms should pick up a test at Hackfeld.

 

Dashboard

Given the shift away from mandatory surveillance testing, the university COVID dashboard will be retired as of May 15. WPI will continue to report all known positive cases to the Worcester Board of Health, per city mandate.  

We recognize that some members of our community prefer surveillance testing for peace of mind, and we encourage everyone who wishes to test to continue to do so at their convenience. We also continue to encourage the use of masks, particularly indoors, and ask that everyone in our community continue to be respectful of others’ needs and to show the care and kindness that have brought us through the last two years together.

We hope that these additional changes toward normal operations will allow our community to build greater connection with one another as we work towards Fall 2022.

Thank you!

WPI Testing Coordinator