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What You Need to Know Now

Updated January 6, 2022

  • Have you received a positive COVID test result or been told you're a close contact? Here's what you need to know.

  • Allow extra time for COVID test results right now. The Broad Institute is experiencing extremely heavy volume and final test results are taking up to 72 hours. Please be patient during this time. Remember to check your email for your test results (all results will be delivered this way) and anticipate a possible delay of 24 to 72 hours.

  • The university is responding to the Omicron variant with updated guidelines. Read President Leshin's message about the new updates.

  • WPI will no longer permit the use of cloth masks alone. We strongly encourage use of a KN95 or a snug-fitting single-use surgical mask (which are even more effective when doubled up), although use of a cloth mask over a disposable surgical mask is permitted. 

  • WPI is requiring COVID-19 boosters for all students, faculty, and staff. Read President Leshin's message. All vaccinated WPI employees must submit their COVID-19 vaccination documentation (including booster information) by uploading a picture of their vaccination card into Workday on or before January 18, 2022.  

  • All members of the campus community should test twice per week for at least the first few weeks of January or until case counts drop. We will notify you if our testing cadence changes.

 

Face Coverings on Campus

Everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face covering/mask in all WPI buildings and vehicles unless in a private office or living environment; masks are optional in private settings. Face coverings are required in dining areas except when you are actively consuming food or beverages. For vaccinated individuals in outdoor spaces, face coverings/masks are optional. For unvaccinated individuals, masks are advised if social distancing is not possible. Masks will be required at some large outdoor events, especially those that include large numbers of off-campus visitors. Make it a habit to always carry a mask with you. Exceptions include those who have a disability accommodation from WPI because of a medical condition or another reason that would make wearing one unsafe. WPI must continue to follow a mandate by the City of Worcester that individuals must wear face coverings when indoors in public/shared spaces. (Be sure to also wear a mask when visiting businesses in Worcester.). WPI will no longer permit the use of cloth masks alone. We strongly encourage use of a KN95 or a snug-fitting single-use surgical mask (which are even more effective when doubled up), although use of a cloth mask over a disposable surgical mask is permitted. Masks will be required in residence hall common areas for the first few weeks of January. Read CDC guidance on how to best wear a face covering.

 

Vaccinations

Vaccination provides the best protection against COVID-19, and provides the best chance for us to return to the daily activities that are so critical to college life. Our campus vaccination rate will significantly influence our operations for the fall; to get back to unrestricted status, models suggest that vaccination levels of at least 90% are necessary to prevent the continued spread and dire health impact of the virus. 

As announced by President Leshin on December 16, WPI will now require that all students, faculty, and staff receive a vaccine booster shot and upload their vaccination information including a copy of their vaccination card(s) by January 18, 2022, or within 30 days of becoming eligible, whichever is later. Students must upload their vaccination information into Medicat using this link. Employees must enter all vaccine information, including a copy of their vaccination card into Workday by following these instructions or by going right to Workday.   

 

Physical Distancing

Students, faculty, and staff should always ensure social distancing of 6 feet or more between themselves and others on campus. Building-specific signage along with reconfigured workspaces, classrooms, offices, and common spaces will help facilitate appropriate physical social distancing on campus. 

 

Testing

WPI has a robust COVID-19 testing protocol that requires all students, faculty, staff, and contract workers to be tested before they come back to campus. WPI is also conducting ongoing routine testing, as well as symptomatic testing and symptom tracking. See the Testing Protocols page for more information and details about the testing process and testing hours.

 
 

 

Required Health Monitoring

Students, faculty, and staff will be expected to use WPI's Symptom Tracker if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, are a close contact, or have tested positive for  COVID-19. If you have any symptoms, indicate that in the Symptom Tracker immediately and isolate at home.

 

Healthy Practices

Each of us has a role to play in keeping the WPI community safe. All students, faculty, and staff working and learning on campus are expected to follow these guidelines, including personal health practices. We encourage you to continue practices, such as thorough cleaning, hand washing, social distancing, and wearing face coverings, to limit the chance of virus exposure when at home or away from campus, such as when visiting a grocery store or a gym. This is absolutely critical to protect the health and safety of our community.

 

Campus Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols

The WPI Facilities staff cleans and disinfects all campus buildings at least daily and more frequently as needed, focusing on frequently touched surfaces and high-traffic areas, including building entrances, door handles, elevator buttons (inside and outside), classroom/lecture hall desks and tables, etc. Learn more.

Employees are expected to clean and disinfect their own personal workstations and shared spaces (such as conference rooms) between use. WPI will provide cleaning supplies for each workplace in centralized locations. You are encouraged to wipe down your workstation or shared space at the start and end of every work shift or organized activity. Frequently cleaning surfaces and objects touched by multiple people (e.g., tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, touch screens, equipment, screens, computer keyboards and mice, phones, printers/copiers, coffee makers) is important. 

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.