What You Need to Know Now
- The current campus status and state occupancy guidelines may impact some building access and occupancy, as well as certain services and hours/operations.
- Only faculty, students, and staff who are participating in WPI’s COVID-19 testing program have access to campus facilities. Campus buildings will require card access.
- We remain focused on our cleaning and disinfecting protocols, particularly high-touch surfaces and high-traffic areas. Cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer are provided in classrooms and other spaces.
- Visitors and vendors will be continue to be strictly limited to those deemed “essential”—those who need to physically access equipment and/or spaces on campus to support services that are critical to WPI’s mission, those who are essential for operational business continuity, or those who have a direct academic purpose. The campus access form and approval process is available here.
- All WPI-sponsored domestic and international travel remains suspended until further notice in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. More travel guidelines.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
The WPI Facilities staff cleans and disinfects all campus buildings frequently, sanitizing high-touch surfaces with safe but powerful hospital-grade disinfectants and microfiber towels for greater surface-cleaning impact.
Frequently touched surfaces and high-traffic areas include building entrances, door handles, elevators and elevator buttons (inside and outside), stairwells, water fountains, office doors and doorknobs, light switches, classroom and lecture hall desks and tables, conference room tables, restrooms and fixtures, and other high-touch areas in academic, residential, and other buildings. More hand sanitizers and sanitizer dispensers can be found around campus.
Campus dining services have been reconfigured to reduce density, and we’ve increased cleaning and sanitation efforts as well. All food-service staff have been trained in COVID-related protocols.
The Facilities team works closely with WPI’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to help protect students, faculty, staff, visitors, and our community from health risks. Should there be a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus, WPI will deploy specific cleaning and disinfecting protocols to mitigate the risk to others on campus.
Buildings: What’s Open and When, and What’s Different
Note: The information below is subject to change based on the current campus alert status.
Occupancy limits: Classrooms, maker spaces, dining halls, residence halls, Gordon library, study spaces, offices and meeting spaces, research labs, restrooms, and other spaces will be reconfigured to limit the number of people in any space at a given time. Everyone will be required to wear face coverings (with the exception of those who have medical or other reasons that doing so is unsafe) while on campus, and to maintain social distancing in classrooms, hallways, stairwells, and other spaces.
Card Access: All buildings will require ID card access. ID card access data helps the university support public health, should someone on campus become ill, by giving insight into who may have been in contact with whom. It lets us work with public health officials to slow and stem the spread of illness.
Modifications to workspaces and learning spaces: Many spaces on campus will be reconfigured, some with protective enhancements like plexiglass separators in student service-focused offices, and all will have signage and floor markings to help everyone practice social distancing and other important health behaviors. Campus offices are fully operational and available for student needs. Students are encouraged to contact the specific office for more information on hours of operation and building protocols.
Outdoor spaces: We have a beautiful campus and, as long as the New England weather cooperates, we plan to use it. Keep in mind social distancing applies outside, as well, so the same occupancy guidelines will apply to patios and outdoor seating areas.
New habits need signs: New habits are hard to form, so we’ll be helping everyone with reminders: you’ll see signage and floor stickers inside and outside buildings, as well as markers for where to queue—and reminders that face coverings are required.
Mail courier service will be replaced with a network of lockers installed around campus to provide contactless delivery and align this service with social distancing recommendations. Locker banks are being installed in various buildings to replace the daily delivery and collection of mail to and from department offices. Each department will have a designated locker with PIN code access. An email will notify the department contact person(s) when mail is put into the locker. The same locker can be used for outgoing mail which will be collected during the daily route.
All WPI-sponsored domestic and international travel remains suspended until further notice, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. WPI considers all WPI-sponsored travel to be high-risk at this time.
WPI strongly discourages personal travel to destinations outside of Massachusetts, especially personal travel to states not included in Massachusetts’ list of COVID-19 lower-risk states.
Students, faculty or staff who wish to apply for an exemption to the current WPI-sponsored travel suspension should follow the guidelines here. (*Link to procedure below)
Any member of the WPI community who engages in travel outside of Massachusetts must comply with Massachusetts’ COVID-19 orders and guidance related to travelupon returning to Massachusetts.
Additional adjustments to our operations may be needed based on updated guidance and public health trends. We recommend you check back regularly for the latest updates.