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New Event Guidelines, International Travel, COVID-19 Testing Schedule and More

December 7, 2021

This message was sent to the WPI community.

Message Highlights:

  • New Event Policies
  • President Biden just announced new testing requirements for all travelers coming into the U.S.
  • Details for COVID-19 testing from December 12 – January 3; start of C-Term/Spring Semester
  • Staying Strong to Get to Winter Break Safely

New Event Policies

Effective Immediately: WPI is removing capacity limits for both indoor and outdoor events involving only WPI students, faculty, and staff within the WPI Testing Protocol. Food will no longer need to be boxed or individually distributed. For contact tracing purposes, event registration/attendance records will continue to be required for all events; face coverings will also continue to be required at all indoor programs until federal or local guidance changes. 

Effective December 8: WPI is adjusting restrictions for indoor events with/for external guests. Organizers can plan for 75% room capacity; food will be allowed. Face coverings and attendance tracking will continue to be required, and external guests must continue to provide either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event (including minors).

NOTE: For more details, please read WPI’s COVID Events Guidelines.


New Federal Requirement for Travelers Coming to the U.S.

President Biden announced that, as of Monday, December 6, 2021, the U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols for all inbound international travelers by requiring them to test within one day of departure, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. See the CDCs guidelines regarding the kinds of tests that will be required; more details can be found here.

  • Students, faculty, or staff returning from project centers abroad at the end of B-Term 

NOTE: Anyone traveling for B-Term project work will receive information from the Global Experience Office (GEO) for assistance.

  • Students, faculty, or staff returning for C-Term after the winter break.

NOTE: Any WPI community members traveling internationally can contact International SOS for 24/7 assistance. Additionally, the International House will provide information to international students and are happy to answer any questions they may have.


COVID-19 Testing December 12 – January 3… and the start of C-Term/Spring Semester:

  • The testing center will be open:
    • Normal hours from Sunday, December 12 – Thursday, December 16
    • Normal hours from Sunday, December 19 – Tuesday, December 21
    • Testing will only occur from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 28

NOTE: Appointments can be scheduled here

  • There will be no testing:
    • Wednesday, December 22 – Thursday, December 23
    • Monday, December 27 
    • Wednesday, December 29 – Thursday, December 30
    • Sunday, January 2 
  • The testing center will resume normal operations at 8 a.m. Monday, January 3.

Upon returning to campus from their respective breaks, employees and students must resume regular testing protocols to help minimize the spread of infection among our community:

  • All students must test the day they return to campus (or the first day the testing center is open).
  • Employees and graduate students must resume weekly testing upon their return. 

All undergraduates and anyone not vaccinated must continue to test twice weekly for at least the first two weeks of C-Term/Spring Semester. (Our positivity rate will determine if we can make adjustments to testing cadence).


Staying Strong and Getting to the Winter Break:

In order to finish B-Term/Fall Semester strong and enjoy the upcoming Winter Break, we must all continue adhering to WPI’s health and safety protocols—which follow local and federal guidance.

  • The City of Worcester continues to mandate the use of face coverings indoors in public/shared spaces. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, is required to wear a face covering/mask in all WPI buildings and vehicles with the following exceptions:
    • WPI Office Buildings – May be removed when alone in private offices
    • Student Residences (residence halls, apartments, Greek houses) – Optional for fully vaccinated WPI students in all campus-operated residential buildings and apartments; required in Residence Hall spaces shared with the broader community (i.e., the Wedge at Morgan Hall, the offices on the first floor of Daniels Hall, or the Founders Hall dining area)
    • Athletic Competitions – Optional for athletes who are actively competing
    • Dining Areas – May be removed when actively consuming food or beverages 
  • Face coverings are optional for vaccinated individuals outdoors and at all outdoor events

NOTE: Unvaccinated individuals should wear face coverings at outdoor events where physical distancing cannot be maintained.