Office of the President
Subject: Fall 2022 COVID Health Protocols - A Message from President Clark to Students
I truly hope that you are having a relaxing and fun summer. We are excited to welcome you to campus in a few short weeks for what is going to be a great year!
With COVID-19 still present, I wanted to provide you with an update on Fall semester public health protocols. We are happy to report that we are able to further relax some of the restrictions that were in place last year. The protocols were developed after reviewing current COVID-19 infection rates in this region and are consistent with the practices of most other public universities in Massachusetts. 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. You should prepare to wear masks in all classrooms and instructional spaces unless a faculty member has eliminated the requirement in their class.
- 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.
- Returning Students. If you are a returning student 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 Students. All incoming new and transfer students attending Fall classes in-person and/or using BSU facilities are required to be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines. New students 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. Medical and religious exemptions will be accommodated according to state and federal law, following the same exemption procedures BSU uses for other vaccination requirements. If you have a sincerely held religious belief that prevents you from vaccination against COVID-19 or a documented medical exemption, please download the appropriate form below and then contact the Wellness Center at 508.531.1252 once you have completed the exemption form:
- Again, returning students who attested last year or received an exemption, do NOT need to reattest this year or seek a new exemption.
- 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 (rapid tests are acceptable) prior to moving into residence halls for the Fall semester. You will receive a separate communication prior to move-in with instructions on how to do so.
- BSU strongly encourages exempted students to test weekly by utilizing free rapid tests that will be made available for the campus community.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
All of the Fall semester protocols are subject to modification if public health conditions in our region warrant a change. 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.