Office of the President
Subject: Fall 2022 COVID Health Protocols - A Message from President Clark to Employees
Dear Faculty, Librarians and Staff,
I sincerely hope that you are having opportunities this summer to enjoy some time off with family and friends. We all need to be sure to rest a bit before the summer winds down in a few weeks.
As we approach the start of a new academic year, and with our first group of students arriving on campus this week, I wanted to provide you with an update on Fall semester public health protocols. The protocols were developed after reviewing current COVID-19 infection rates in this region; are considerate of conversations that have occurred at the state level with our three collective bargaining units; and are consistent with the practices of most other public universities in Massachusetts. Currently, the CDC ranks Plymouth County as an area with a medium “community level” and recommends being up-to-date on vaccines, and for those with high risk of severe illness, to consult with a healthcare provider about whether to wear a mask.
These protocols will be effective August 15, 2022 and will remain in place until further notice.
- Mask Optional Campus. BSU will continue to be mask optional throughout most of the campus. As a mask-friendly campus, however, we encourage mask wearing as an effective tool in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
- Classrooms/Instructional Spaces. As was the case in the spring and over the summer, masks will be required for students in all classrooms and instructional spaces during scheduled class times for the Fall semester. However, to provide more flexibility, faculty have the new option of NOT requiring mask wearing in their classes.
- Transit/Library. As was the case over the summer, students and employees do NOT need to wear a mask while on BSU transit or in public spaces of the Maxwell Library (unless in a classroom during class time).
- Wellness Center. Masks will continue to be required in the Wellness Center, as they are in all health care settings in Massachusetts.
- Single-Occupancy Offices. Employees have the option of requiring that a mask be worn in their individual single-occupancy offices.
- Supplies. Free medical procedure masks will be available throughout the academic year to all members of the BSU community.
- Vaccination Requirement. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, all members of the campus community are required to be vaccinated with an FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine.
- Current Employees. If you are a current employee who has already attested to your vaccination status or previously requested and received an exemption from the vaccination mandate, you do NOT need to take any further action for the Fall semester.
- New Employees. All new employees (i.e., employees hired after June 30, 2022) will also be required to be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines. New employees can attest to being vaccinated here.
- Per the CDC, you are up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines when you have:
- Received all doses in the primary series: Initial 2 Moderna/Pfizer vaccines or your initial single J&J vaccine; and
- Received one booster when you are eligible, either 5 months after completing your primary series of Moderna/Pfizer or two months after your primary series of J&J.
- Medical/Religious Exemption. If you require an exemption, please complete the appropriate form below. If you have any questions about religious or medical exemptions, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at EO@bridgew.edu:
- BSU will hold booster clinics during the Fall semester. Clinic dates and times will be communicated by the Wellness Center.
- Students who will live in BSU residence halls will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID test prior to moving into residence halls for the start of the semester.
- BSU strongly encourages exempted students or employees to test weekly by utilizing free rapid tests that will be made available for the campus community.
- We ask that all members of our campus community who are COVID-positive or want to report exposure to COVID, please complete our COVID 19 reporting form.
- Free rapid test kits will be available to the BSU community through the Wellness Center and at other on-campus distribution sites throughout the year.
- BSU will provide PCR testing by appointment only to individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19.
- BSU will continue to operate its COVID-19 webpage where the community can find the most recent communications regarding the university’s response to COVID-19.
- BSU will not post a weekly dashboard to the site as the university will not be conducting mandatory PCR testing. Vaccination percentages will be posted on the COVID page at various times throughout the semester.
All of the Fall semester protocols are subject to modification if public health conditions in our region warrant a change. If any employee requires an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation to perform the essential functions of their position, your department supervisor or Human Resources and Talent Management (HRTM) will assist in directing you to the Office of Equal Opportunity.
Thank you once again for your cooperation as we work to keep our campus healthy and safe. Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Frederick W. Clark Jr., Esq.