Protecting Our Community

The policies and practices below are intended to represent the plans we are implementing for students, faculty, staff, and visitors coming to our physical campus, but we are asking all members of the Simmons community, wherever you are, to follow the latest recommendations and guidelines for hand-washing, physical distancing, mask-wearing, and other key practices that will prevent the spread of COVID-19

Vaccine Booster

Following the same process from this fall with input from the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force and our public health experts, Simmons has decided to require a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for all campus-based employees and undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled on our campus during the spring semester. The requirement also includes students who participate in face-to-face curricular and co-curricular activities at any of our Boston or remote locations, including all face-to-face classes, immersion weekends, off-site cohorts, and other in-person events at these locations. It does not apply to individuals previously granted a religious or medical COVID-19 vaccine exemption.

Our campus-based community members should get their COVID-19 booster by January 18, 2022, or 14 days after they become eligible for the booster. Read our FAQs for more information.

Vaccination

In order to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 on the Simmons campus, all students who participate in face-to-face curricular and co-curricular activities at any of our Boston or remote locations are required to be vaccinated. Vaccination is also required for all faculty and staff who work on campus.

Testing

Given the rise of the Omicron variant, Simmons is updating its testing policy. All students, faculty, and staff who are on campus one day a week will continue to test once a week. If students, faculty, or staff are on campus more than one day a week, they will now need to test twice a week – regardless of vaccination or booster status, until further notice. We will evaluate this policy as the semester continues. Compliance with Simmons testing protocols are critical to remain in good standing with full access to campus, to ensure the health and safety of the campus community, and to continue to allow face-to-face experiences and a vibrant on-campus learning and working experience.

All students, faculty and staff will test in the Linda K. Paresky Center on the 3rd floor of the MCB on the Academic Campus. Walk-in testing is available until January 14. After that date, all students, faculty, and staff are required to utilize CoVerified to schedule their testing appointments, view test results, and track testing compliance. See Frequently Asked Questions about testing at Simmons.

Spring Semester Hours of Operation

January 3-510:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
January 6-79:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
January 10-149:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
January 15-179:00 am. - 5:00 p.m.
January 18 -Resume regular hours of operation

Regular Hours of Operation

Monday - Thursday9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Any questions about testing should be directed to the Simmons Health Center.

CoVerified 

CoVerified is an application available for smartphones or through a web portal that allows Simmons community members to manage on-campus COVID-19 test appointments and results.

Students, faculty, and staff participating in regular testing on campus are required to use CoVerified to manage their testing. The CoVerified app can be downloaded from the App Store or coverified.us/download. A web version of CoVerified can be accessed at web.coverified.us.

Testing participants should be able to log in to CoVerified using their Simmons credentials. Once successfully logged in, participants can use the Testing module to schedule testing appointments or the Reports module to view test results. Those who cannot access an on-campus testing appointment during scheduled hours can upload a test result from off-campus through the app to remain in compliance.

CoVerified has three statuses:

  • Cleared - A green Cleared status means you have either tested negative within the last 12 days or you have been exempted from testing because you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days.
  • Restricted - Your default CoVerified status will be “Restricted” until you receive your first negative test. Following that, a red Restricted status means you have either tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 5 days or it has been more than 12 days since your last negative test. Anyone with a Restricted statuses should immediately report to the testing center upon arriving to campus. Continuing to come to campus while on a Restricted status without testing may result in removal of campus access.
  • Remote - If you are not going to be on campus for two weeks or more, set your CoVerified status to Remote and you will not be required to participate in weekly testing. However, you also should not come to campus while on Remote status. If you are coming to campus for any reason, click the “Return to Campus” button and follow the prompts. If it has been more than 12 days since your last test, you must immediately get tested in order to get back into compliance or leave campus.

Instructions to download and use CoVerified can be found on the Technology website. Any questions about the CoVerified app should be directed to Simmons Health Center.

Contingent Workers

Contingent workers must have a 7-digit numerical Simmons ID number to properly use CoVerified. Contact HR to get the following forms which must be filled out and returned to HR to get the correct Simmons ID number:

  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Temp & Contingent Info Form - Answer yes to “Will technology access to Simmons email and Network accounts be required?”

Please expect that it will take a couple days to process.

Reporting Positive COVID Test Results

If you tested positive for COVID-19 during the winter break, please make sure to upload the results in CoVerified. Students should ALSO notify the Health Center immediately. This is very important, as it impacts testing protocols and our campus COVID data. Per CDC guidelines, any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is exempt from further COVID testing for 90 days.

Quarantine, Isolation, and Contact Tracing

Anyone who tests positive on campus will be contacted by the Health Center with information and guidance on isolation requirements and other medical care options. Individuals who test positive will be expected to participate in contact tracing with the assistance of the Health Center and the CoVerified app in accordance with public health regulations. 

Anyone who tests positive through an outside source should upload the results in CoVerified. Students should ALSO notify the Health Center immediately. This is very important, as it impacts testing protocols and our campus COVID data. Per CDC guidelines, any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is exempt from further COVID testing for 90 days.

Isolating after a positive COVID test

Simmons continues to follow public health guidance from local, state, and federal agencies. As a result, we are implementing Mass. Department of Public Health’s updated isolation recommendations following a positive COVID test.

Students

After receiving a positive test, residential students whose permanent address is within 200 miles of campus will be asked to isolate at home. Other residential students will be moved to on-campus isolation facilities. Commuter students, faculty, and staff should stay away from campus until the end of their isolation period.

Students now need to isolate for five days. On the sixth day, students who show no symptoms can begin to attend classes in person with a proper, tight-fitting mask

Students who isolate at home for the first five days will be allowed to return to in-person instruction on the sixth day if practical. However, they must commute from home until the completion of the tenth day.  If students are unable to physically come to campus for classes, they should work with their faculty members individually, per the campus absence policy, to stay on track academically during the remaining isolation days. 

Students placed in isolation on the Residence Campus can return to face-to-face instruction on the sixth day if they show no symptoms, but they must remain in the campus-based isolation living space for the full ten days (because of CDC guidance that a mask must be worn at all times when around other people). Individuals who are still symptomatic after five days are to remain in isolation for the full 10 days, per Mass. DPH guidance. These guidelines are subject to change as additional information becomes available by the CDC and Mass. DPH.

Employees

Simmons continues to follow public health guidance from local, state, and federal agencies. As a result, we are implementing Mass. Department of Public Health’s updated isolation recommendations following a positive COVID test. If an employee shows no symptoms five days after a positive COVID test, the isolation period will now be shortened from 10 to 5 days, followed by five days of wearing a tight-fitting mask indoors and when around others. If you have a question about your symptoms, please contact a medical professional. Individuals who are still symptomatic after five days are to remain in isolation for the full 10 days, per Mass. DPH guidance. These guidelines are subject to change as additional information becomes available by the CDC and Mass. DPH.

CoVerified Status

CoVerified automatically sets your status at Restricted for 5 days following a positive test. If your symptoms began before the test results and begin resolving, you may be eligible to discontinue isolation sooner than 5 days after your test. Students should contact the Health Center to learn when you are eligible to be cleared to return to campus, and faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider.

Anyone who has received a booster shot, completed the two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months, or completed the one shot of the J&J vaccine within the last 2 months does NOT need to quarantine after close contact with a COVID-positive person unless they have symptoms. However, you should test 5 days after their exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms and should wear a mask indoors in public for 10 days following exposure or until your test result is negative. Because all students, faculty, and staff are currently being tested weekly, the weekly test should suffice to clear you if you are a close contact, but you can get an additional test if you wish. If you have been a close contact and begin experiencing symptoms, you should immediately go home and contact your healthcare provider.

Anyone in close contact with a COVID-positive person who has completed two shots of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and is not boosted, completed the one shot of J&J over 2 months ago and is not boosted, or has not been vaccinated should stay home for 5 days and continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days. You should also test on the 5 days after exposure, if possible. Because all students, faculty, and staff are currently being tested weekly, the weekly test should suffice to clear you if you are a close contact, but you can get an additional test if you wish. If you have been a close contact and begin experiencing symptoms, you should immediately go home and contact your healthcare provider.

Students who must isolate or quarantine should notify their instructors that they cannot attend class. Employees are responsible for notifying their supervisor that they will not be able to come to campus. If the employee is not able to work while in isolation or quarantine, they can use the COVID-19 leave or accrued sick time.

COVID Exposure Information Graphic: Have you been exposed to COVID-19 or tested positive? This chart will answer explain what you need to do next.

Masks, Physical Distancing, and Cleaning

Based on the latest CDC guidance about the relative ineffectiveness of cloth masks, students, faculty, and staff should wear a KN95 or N95 mask whenever possible. There are many counterfeit KN95 masks for sale on the internet, so please visit ProjectN95 or the CDC to find safe and effective masks. Alternatively, you may wear a medical/surgical paper mask with a close fitting cloth mask over it.

Common areas and restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected every night and during the day. Classrooms and meeting spaces will be cleaned and disinfected every night. In addition to the cleaning and disinfecting protocols, disinfecting wipes will be available in all classrooms and meeting spaces, and hand sanitizing dispensers will also be available in high traffic areas (near elevators, lobbies, and dining areas). All community members are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and utilize the sanitizer dispensers around campus. Physical plexiglass barriers have been installed at all service locations to provide an extra layer of protection for in-person interactions.

Anyone coming to campus will be expected to comply with the Physical Distancing, Face Coverings, and Hygiene Policy.

Dining and Food

Dining in Bartol Hall will be grab and go. The Fens and Common Grounds will be closed until Monday, January 24.