Fall Semester COVID-19 Updates for Students - August 31, 2022

Dear Students,

We hope this message finds you well and that you are enjoying these final days of summer. The COVID-19 Recovery Task Force has continued to monitor and review current information and today we are writing with an update on fall COVID policies and procedures.

As COVID vaccines, boosters, and antiviral therapies are now widely available, Simmons has accordingly updated its guidelines to reflect the latest public health guidance from local, state, and federal agencies, and to align with other higher education institutions in the Boston area.

In This Message

COVID-19 Vaccinations Required

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.

Mask Wearing

Masks are optional on the Simmons campus for those who are vaccinated and boosted, except in the Health Promotion and Wellness Center, Counseling Center, and certain spaces where there is posted signage that masks are still required. Those who have an approved vaccination exemption are asked to remain masked while indoors on the Simmons campus.

Pre-Arrival Testing

We recommend that all students, both residential and commuter, take a rapid or PCR test within 72 hours of returning to campus for the fall semester. In addition, all residential students are required to take a rapid antigen test on the day they move in, and they must bring their negative test (or a picture of it) dated from that day to check-in.

If students are not able to get a test before arriving on campus, a limited number will be available at check-in. If students receive a positive result, they must immediately return home and complete at least five days of isolation, or 10 days if symptoms have not begun resolving or if they continue testing positive at day five. Rapid tests will not be available for students arriving early to campus. They must supply their own day-of test result.

Testing During the Semester

There will be no regular PCR testing offered on campus this fall. However, we have contracted with the Broad Institute and the clinical testing company Color in case the public health situation changes, and we need to reinstate surveillance testing.

Students who are experiencing symptoms can obtain a rapid antigen test at the Health Promotion and Wellness Center (masks are required). Free antigen tests are also available from the USPS and local pharmacies.

Because we will no longer provide or require surveillance testing, Simmons is discontinuing its online COVID-19 case dashboard. Close contacts of an infected person should wear a mask indoors for 10 days. In addition, they should take a rapid antigen test at day five after exposure, and sooner if they feel symptoms.

Positive COVID Cases

Students who test positive for COVID-19 during the semester must complete at least five days of isolation, or 10 days if they remain symptomatic, or if they continue testing positive at day five. Students who live within 200 miles of campus must isolate at home. Students remaining on-campus should isolate in place in their room.

The regular attendance policy will be in effect for the academic year and students should work directly with faculty to make up any missed work. Faculty will no longer be notified of positive COVID cases, so it is important that students and faculty are diligent in working together to maintain safe and healthy classrooms on campus.

Simmons' COVID-19 policies are subject to change if public health conditions dictate additional safety measures. The COVID-19 Recovery Task Force continues to monitor the latest guidance and data and will communicate future changes as needed. The Task Force is also monitoring the latest on the Monkeypox virus and will share additional information in the coming days.

Thank you for your cooperation as we ensure a safe living and learning environment this semester. If you have COVID-19 related questions, please email [email protected].


The COVID-19 Recovery Taskforce
Latest COVID-19 Related Information