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Reminders about Reduced Office Occupancy, Remote Work, and COVID-19 Testing

January 13, 2021

This message was sent to all employees.

 

We want to share some information about the extended state mandates around reduced office occupancy, remote work, and continued COVID-19 testing requirements at WPI:

Reduced Office Occupancy

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts extended temporary office occupancy guidelines earlier this month. Laboratories are not included in this new guidance; occupancy limits in labs will remain unchanged.

  • Recent changes allow 25 percent maximum permitted occupancy or five people per 1,000 square feet. 
  • Check with your supervisor about any impact this may have on your work.

As employees begin returning to work in offices, departments will consider these reduced office occupancy limits, as well as necessary office coverage, and the combined on-campus and remote work schedules of employees. 

Remote Work

The university is encouraging employees who are able to work remotely to continue to do so.

  • Check with your supervisor about your ability to work remotely if you aren’t sure.

Change in Work Status

If your working status changes permanently—for instance, if you were entirely remote and will now be working on campus in any capacity, or if you were working on campus and will now be entirely remote—email Talent & Inclusion to let them know your change of status. This helps the division track campus occupancy and COVID-19 testing compliance.

COVID-19 Testing

All employees who are working on campus in any capacity will need to continue to participate in WPI’s COVID-19 testing program. If you had any pause in your testing and have not resumed your normal testing cadence yet, you must complete onboarding testing first and then resume regular routine testing.

IMPORTANT: If you are experiencing any symptoms at all—even something you do not think is COVID-19—do not come to campus for any reason. Do not go to Harrington Auditorium for a test. Fill out the Symptom Tracker and contact your primary care physician for symptomatic testing.

  • Please refer to this flowchart for guidance for onboarding testing cadence. 
  • If you plan to return to working on campus in January, you must schedule your first onboarding test on campus and return home to await results.
  • You must schedule a second test no more than four days after your first test.
  • The last day for an employee who plans to work on campus (even if it is only once a week) to schedule an onboarding test is Thursday, January 21, with a second test scheduled for Monday, January 25.
  • PLEASE NOTE: COVID testing January 21 through 28 coincides with the student move-in onboarding testing times. If your appointments are during these days, plan accordingly for longer wait times and potentially longer result times.
  • If you don’t plan to return to working on campus until after February 1, you will schedule an onboarding test approximately three to five working days before your planned return date. You’ll come to campus for the test and return home to wait for the results. A second test must be scheduled no more than four days after the first test. If a negative test result from the first test is received by the time you come to campus for the second test, you may resume working on campus and do not need to work remotely while awaiting the second test results.
  • Open testing times are found on the link to schedule appointments.
  • Check the WeAreWPI Testing Protocols page for the latest testing updates.
  • Note: Pathway 4 employees who remain remote will not be tested until they return to campus; those dates are yet to be determined.

Continuing Vigilance Is Essential

As we see virus cases continue to rise, everyone in the WPI community must take precautions both on and off campus. To help mitigate the spread of the virus, that means following the guidelines to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing, wash hands and clean spaces, and, if on campus, continue with routine COVID-19 testing.

Thank you for your continued vigilance and your dedication to the WPI community as we continue to navigate this pandemic.

Sincerely,

Talent & Inclusion