Novel Coronavirus Information
Simmons University is closely following the latest news and updates related to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We will continue to update this web page to keep our community informed of the University’s efforts related to this disease and to provide additional resources and guidance.
Our Latest Information
- Vaccine Rollout: Simmons University is one of several Massachusetts higher ed institutions that has received a very limited number of COVID vaccine doses. We are closely following CDC and state guidelines regarding vaccine rollout.
- Undergraduate Programs - Spring 2021: In an effort to keep you as up to date as we possibly can, our latest update shares what we know for certain, and what decisions are still being considered.
- On-Campus Life - Spring 2021: The COVID Recovery Task Force continues to analyze the latest public health data on the pandemic. Based on the data and current number of students who are planning to return to campus, we are moving forward with the Spring semester as originally communicated last November. While the numbers are still fluctuating, currently about 235 students are slated to live on campus this semester. In addition, the Task Force is working on Simmons’ vaccine planning and rollout, and we will share that information as it becomes available.
- Graduate Programs - Spring 2021: Like the Fall, all of our courses will be online for the Spring 2021 semester, with very few exceptions. This follows our deeply held value of ensuring equity and fairness in opportunity and experience.
- Information for Staff and Faculty: Campus Access policy and protocols, as well as guidelines for remote working, resource pages, Spring 2021 FAQs and who to contact with questions.
- Testing and Health Protocols - Policies and practices representing our plans for students, faculty, staff, and visitors coming to our physical campus. These include protocols for non-residential students in off-campus placements. We've also created a Testing Dashboard to provide current testing information.
- Test Optional for 2021-22 Academic Year: Simmons University will not require students applying for the 2021-22 academic year to submit standardized test scores.
- Federal CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund: Details can be found in our quarterly reports.
- Supporting Our Students (SOS) Fund: We are grateful that so many members of the Simmons community have expressed concern for our students and asked how they can help. In response, we have established the Supporting Our Students (SOS) Fund to help provide needed resources to our students.
- Stay Safe: Things you can do to keep safe.
- Previous Communications: See previous communications sent to our community.
Simmons University is one of several Massachusetts higher ed institutions that has received a very limited number of COVID vaccine doses. We are closely following CDC and state guidelines regarding vaccine rollout. Massachusetts has outlined a stringent phasing plan for vaccine distribution that Simmons must adhere to. The state is currently in phase one, which includes vaccinations for clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers doing direct COVID-facing care, long-term care and assisted living facilities, first responders, congregate care settings, homecare workers, and healthcare workers doing non COVID-facing care.
We are hopeful we will receive additional vaccine doses in the future and are currently developing a process by which eligible recipients can apply and schedule appointments. In addition, we are working with clinical partner sites to determine vaccine availability for eligible student clinicians and employees. We anticipate that additional information will be available for us to share in the coming days and weeks.
Guidelines for Remote Working
All non-essential personnel at the University will continue to work remotely. Essential personnel include certain employees required on-campus to deliver safety or service needs to students, or those who maintain certain recurring business continuity functions. Employees who are considered “essential” have been notified in advance. Please note that Simmons is not “closed.” We are open for business, and we are doing our work remotely.
With the expectation that most employees remain remote and that campus access remains limited, we understand there may be a need to visit campus. Learn more about the policies, protocols and acceptable visit criteria.
- Faculty Support for Online Transition
- Employee Resources for COVID-19 Transitions
- Technology Resources for Online Instruction
Employees should keep a close eye on their email and on the Simmons Internal Faculty & Staff website for more information. Please continue to reach out to [email protected] with any specific questions not answered in our FAQs.
Federal CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provides funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the coronavirus, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet.
Simmons University has signed and returned, to the Department of Education, the Certification and Agreement related to the CARES Act and will use no less than 50 percent of the funds received to provide emergency financial aid grants to eligible students.
Details on the amount received, the number of eligible students as well as the methodology for determining which students received grants can be found in our latest 30 Day Fund Report.
30 Day Fund Reports
- 30 Day Fund Report: December 31, 2020
- 30 Day Fund Report: September 30, 2020
- 30 Day Fund Report: May 20, 2020
Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting - Institutional Portion
The University has been awarded $1,111,221 from the Department for institutional support pursuant to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Formula Grants Authorized by Section 18004(a)(1) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These funds are being used by the University to help cover additional costs that have been incurred as a result of the significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. The below report represents a summary of those costs that have been incurred during the period from July 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020.
- HEERF Quarterly Report: July 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020
- HEERF Quarterly Report: October 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020
Supporting Our Students Fund
We are grateful that so many members of the Simmons community have expressed concern for our students and asked how they can help. In response, we have established the Supporting Our Students (SOS) Fund to help provide needed resources to our students. Gifts to the SOS Fund provide relief for alternative housing and transportation, mental health and medical needs, groceries and personal items, technology, and other accommodations to complete coursework.
Learn more about supporting our students.
In any instance of in-person interactions, keep in mind the safety measures the CDC offers – stay about 6 feet apart, be careful to cover your coughs and sneezes, resist shaking hands or touching your face, wear a mask when out in public, and wash your hands often and properly. Keep calm, wash your hands and stay home if you're sick.
For more information on what to do if you feel sick, or if you become aware that you or someone in your household may have been exposed to the virus or becomes symptomatic, check out our frequently asked questions.
We will continue to send updates as we have them and as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves; please keep a close eye on your email and on the Simmons web page.
Also, since March 18th Simmons has been sending staff and faculty frequent information, updates, upcoming virtual events, where to find resources, and more via email. These emails will continue. If you have particular questions or concerns, please send them to [email protected] and we will get back to you with accurate directions, information, or answers.
- November 10, 2020 - Spring Semester Announcement
- October 19, 2020 - Spring 2021 Semester Planning Update
- July 14, 2020 - Update on Undergraduate Programs
- June 15, 2020 - Update on Graduate Programs
- May 8, 2020 - Planning for Fall
- April 15 - A communication was sent to students with details about the undergraduate and graduate Commencement ceremonies.
- April 3, 2020 - Update for Students and Families
- March 17, 2020 - Latest Campus Closure Information for Students and Families
- March 13, 2020 - Residence Campus Closure Information
- March 13, 2020
- March 11, 2020
- March 5, 2020
- February 28, 2020
- February 5, 2020
- January 27, 2020
Learn more about our plans for Spring 2021
Learn more about our plans for Graduate and Certificate programs for Spring 2021.
Contact information and resources for staying informed about COVID-19, as well as the city and state response.
The Recovery Task Force and seven subcommittees have been hard at work evaluating a variety of scenarios and requirements related to when and how we can re-open campus this spring.