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A WPI Update; Returning to In-Person Instruction, Visitor Policy Update and More

January 21, 2022

This message was sent to the WPI community.

Message Highlights:

  • Classes return to in-person instruction next week (with remote support for students still in isolation)
  • Return to optional unmasked speaker practice
  • Visitor policy update
  • Free at-home COVID tests by mail


All Courses Return to In-Person Instruction by Wednesday, January 26

  • As COVID cases on campus begin to decline, we will be moving to on-campus instruction of all courses next week as expected. Faculty who are currently delivering courses remotely may return to in-person instruction as soon as Monday, January 24. By Wednesday, January 26, all classes scheduled as in-person will be delivered in-person.
  • We recognize that many students will remain in isolation and quarantine in the coming weeks. Faculty will continue to provide assistance for students who need to be remote for ~1 week periods of time with ongoing lecture capture and other remote course delivery options.


Return to Optional Unmasked Speaker Practice

Fully vaccinated speakers (faculty, presenters, instructors) may, at their option, lower or remove their face coverings when actively providing instruction in a classroom or lab setting IF the following conditions are met:

  • At least six feet of physical distancing from the speaker to the audience can be maintained. 
  • All others present (students/participants) are masked.

This also applies to public speaking/presenting for campus-sponsored academics, events, or activities and does not change the general requirement for the use of face coverings in all indoor spaces on campus. 


Visitor Policy Update

As COVID case numbers on campus continue to decrease, external visitors will now be allowed on campus at athletic competitions, events and campus programs as of Friday, January 28, as we return to a more normal campus environment and increase support for campus programming and student activities.

  • All external guests are required to show proof of vaccination, or proof of a negative COVID test prior to attending an event: either a negative PCR test within 72 hours or a negative rapid antigen test within 24 hours.
  • The event host is responsible for ensuring compliance with the above.
  • All attending WPI community members must be in the testing protocol.
  • Indoor events with external guests will follow current capacity limits depending on the space used; no event will exceed 500 attendees.
  • Food/beverages are not permitted at any event involving external guests.


Free At-home COVID Tests

You can now get up to four free home COVID-19 rapid antigen tests as part of the Biden administration's effort to increase testing. To sign up, visit and enter your name, email, and residential mailing address. The US Postal Service will begin shipping the tests in late January. Note: We have not tested this process for students in residence halls at this point in time.