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

Vaccination

In order to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 on the Simmons campus, all students, faculty, and staff who live, study, or work on campus at any of our Boston or remote locations are required to be vaccinated and boosted. Full vaccination with a booster is also required for all faculty and staff who work on campus.

Testing

Starting May 31, COVID testing is no longer required for campus-based students, faculty, and staff. Free testing will still be available in the Special Functions Room (A-070, located on the ground floor of the MCB, near Fens Dining) on a walk-in basis. The hours for the testing site are:

  • May 23-27: Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm
  • May 31-June 30: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10am-5pm

Beginning May 31, we will no longer use CoVerified for appointment scheduling, viewing test results, or reporting off-campus tests. All testing will be conducted by walk-in during testing hours. Test results will be delivered via email from our testing system. When you receive your first result after the transition, you will be asked to create an account where you can view your results.

Any questions about testing can be sent to [email protected].

Reporting Positive COVID Test Results From Off-Campus

Through May 27, if you receive a positive test result from a rapid home test or an off-campus testing site, you can upload it to CoVerified in the app via the plus sign at the bottom of the app or on the CoVerified website by selecting "Reports" and then "Report Test Result".

After May 27, please fill out this form report your positive test to the Simmons COVID Team. You should be prepared to upload a picture, screenshot, or PDF of your test result. You should receive a follow-up email confirming receipt and including any information you may need. You can contact [email protected] with any questions.

Quarantine, Isolation, and Contact Tracing

Under current CDC and Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidelines, at least 5 days of isolation are required for people who test positive for COVID, and quarantine is still required for some based on vaccination status. Please review the below information to determine if you need to isolate or quarantine.

Per the CDC's recommendation to end universal contact tracing, Simmons is no longer conducting independent contact tracing for students, faculty, and staff. Those who test positive may still be contacted by their local health agency for contact tracing through their city or town. Additionally, we will no longer be notifying faculty members when a student tests positive. It is the student's responsibility to inform their professor if they will be absent due to isolation or quarantine. Faculty who are aware that a COVID-positive student has attended an in-person class who wish to communicate this to their students may use this letter to inform their class of the potential exposure, but it is not required.

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

Students living in the residence halls during the summer who test positive will be given the option of returning to their off-campus home to isolate or isolate in their summer residence room. Students who choose to remain on campus will be responsible for their own meals and will be able to pick up food from delivery drivers while wearing a tight-fitting mask. Students in isolation will use an assigned bathroom designated for those in isolation. COVID-positive students should wear a mask anytime they're in the hallways.

Roommates of COVID-positive students who remain in their room will be given the option of remaining in the room or going home. Unfortunately, given the highly transmissible nature of the current variants, and the fact that most people who test positive were contagious two days before symptoms appeared, it is likely that roommates will have already been exposed to the virus and must be treated as close contacts. If the close contact has not tested positive for COVID-19, is vaccinated, and has received a booster, they must continue to wear a mask around others for 10 days, then get tested for COVID-19 5 days following notification of a positive roommate. If the student is not boosted, they will need to quarantine for 5 days then continue wearing a mask at all times for an additional 5 days. If the contact develops symptoms, they should get tested and continue to isolate in place.

Students who are enrolled in on-campus classes must isolate for 5 days, but will be eligible to return to class on day 6, as long as they continue to wear a tight-fitting mask any time they are around others. 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.

The Simmons COVID team is no longer informing faculty of COVID-positive students in their classes. It is the student's responsibility to inform their professors that they will be absent due to isolation or quarantine.

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.

Quarantining After Exposure

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. 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

Effective June 6, 2022, masks are optional on the Simmons campus for those who are vaccinated and boosted, except in the testing site, the Health Center, and certain spaces where there is posted signage that masks are still required. Those who are unvaccinated are asked to remain masked while indoors on the Simmons campus.

Anyone who chooses to wear a mask should wear a tight-fitting 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.

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.

Campus Visitor Policies

Updated March 4, 2022

Visitors are welcome on campus, including families, prospective students, external partners, contractors, etc. By entering campus, any guest is attesting to being free of COVID-19 symptoms and will be expected to comply with any COVID-related policies. Visitors for the specific purposes below may have additional requirements.

Prospective students and families

For prospective students being hosted by Admissions or Athletics, they must complete a rapid antigen COVID or PCR-based test within a three (3) day window preceding their residence hall visit and then submit their negative test result to the host department. The host department will upload an attestation with the prospective student/athlete's contact tracing information. For Admissions, this includes individual "shadow" overnights as well as group overnight events. Please note: Those participating in guided tours that move through residential spaces are not required to submit proof of a negative test result.

Guest speakers and lecturers

Any invited guest speaker or lecturer for an event or class must be fully vaccinated and boosted. Any group or class inviting a speaker or lecturer is responsible for collecting the invitee's attestation via email using the below template:

Simmons currently requires guest speakers and lecturers to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 and to follow all public health guidelines while on campus. Please reply to this email and confirm that:

  • You are fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19
  • You have not tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days
  • You have not experienced any new occurrences of symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days
  • If you experience symptoms on the day you plan to attend the Simmons campus, you will contact the host and inform them you cannot attend
  • You will follow the current policies on masking while on campus.

Visitors to athletic events

By attending a game, spectators are attesting to being free of COVID-19 symptoms and will be expected to comply with COVID-related policies.

Residential Guest Policy

Any fully vaccinated and boosted friend or family member of a resident can be a guest in the residence halls as long as they are not currently exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

Residents are allowed to have one guest per resident and are responsible for the conduct of their guests. Residents must obtain the permission of their roommate(s) prior to the visit of any overnight guests. Overnight guests may stay for up to six days in a 30-day period and for up to three consecutive days at a time. Please note that the University does not allow cohabitation. A cohabitant is defined as a visitor, who adopts daily activities analogous to those of an assigned resident with respect to unlimited use of the room, using the amenities of the hall (such as a bathroom or laundry room) on a frequent basis, and any combination of these or similar activities.

Host Policy

For the purposes of the host policy, a guest is defined as anyone who is not a residential student or is a student, but is not a resident of the hall that they are entering/visiting. All guests must be escorted by their host residential student according to the Residence Campus escort policy.

The host policy (meaning that a guest must be escorted at all times) is in effect any time the residence halls are open. Guests must be escorted in all areas of the hall (including stairways) and into and out of the building. This includes the escort of guests on the Residence Campus quad to and from the exit at the Public Safety desk in Simmons Hall after 11:00 p.m. and until the gates are unlocked in the morning. Each resident is responsible for ensuring that the behavior of their guest is consistent with the policies of Simmons University. The host student bears the responsibility for policy violations of a guest and may be referred to the conduct process for a guest's violation(s). Should a resident host require assistance with the removal of a guest, they may call a staff member of Residence Life or Public Safety. Residence Life staff members reserve the right to require the removal of any guest deemed by them to be in violation of policy or disturbing to the community.