This message was sent to all employees.
WPI’s carefully planned phased campus reopening is well underway. With the recent reopening of Pathway 2 offices, we now have approximately 1,000 people on campus on any given day. Employees are adapting to the new routines as we all prepare for the students’ return and the beginning of a new academic year.
We know there are lots of questions about the university’s use of COVID-19 testing and symptom tracking to help minimize the spread of the virus on our campus.
All students (except those who are fully remote and will not be on campus at all) and employees who plan to be on campus for any amount of work will be tested upon arrival for the start of the academic year. Students and employees will be tested at a designated interval at least each week.
If you’re planning to continue remote work, this communication will help you know what’s being done, but you don’t need to do anything until you make plans to return to campus.
Everyone coming back to campus to work or study will be required to sign testing waivers to begin the testing process. Once the waivers are signed, the tests can be ordered. Employees in some Pathway groups have already been notified by T&I that the waivers are available for their signatures. Employees will then need to schedule and have a COVID-19 test, with negative results, right before their scheduled return to work (employees already working on campus will begin this testing process in the next two weeks). The test swabs just inside the entrance of the nose—it’s not the test that reaches deep in the nasal cavity.
WPI’s Testing Protocols pages on the WeAreWPI site will offer the most current information about how to establish your testing schedule when you return to campus. Because we are updating information so frequently, we encourage you to check the page regularly for the most up-to-date process.
WPI has partnered with the Broad Institute, Quest Diagnostics, Reliant Medical Group, and Triumvirate Environmental to administer our comprehensive routine testing protocol. There is no cost to employees; the university will cover the cost of WPI-required and routine testing. Results from initial and routine testing will be accessed through an online portal—we will follow up with information when that is available. Employees with symptoms will be directed to contact their primary care physicians to obtain a test; that test is generally covered by insurance.
WPI has worked diligently to find easy-to-use, secure, and reliable software that will allow employees to assess themselves for any potential COVID-19 symptoms before they head to work each day.
Students and employees will be expected to report their daily symptoms using a symptom tracking feature in the WPI Mobile App in accordance with state guidelines. This app feature can be accessed either through your phone or your regular computer. If you don’t have access to either of those and you are experiencing any COVID symptoms, you should not come to work. If you are not experiencing any symptoms, you should enter your information in the symptom tracker once you come to work and have access to a computer.
Fully remote students and employees (those who are not coming to campus for any reason during the term) do not have to conduct the daily self-assessment.
We will provide additional guidance when the symptom tracker is finalized; please continue to check our Testing Protocols page for information and instructions or links to additional pages.
As we have said before, our reopening plans and timeline is based on the continued forward progression of current state and federal reopening guidelines and public health trends. If at any point those guidelines or trends change, WPI’s plans may also change. We will keep the campus community updated as we learn anything that would change our approach.
In the meantime, we remain confident that our COVID-19 testing and symptom tracking processes are excellent tools to help mitigate the transmission of the virus on campus.
Director of Talent & Human Resources
Division of Talent & Inclusion