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Coronavirus FAQ

MassBay COVID-19 Information

 
 

Questions About MassBay and Coronavirus

With preserving the safety of our community and helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus as our paramount objectives, MassBay will hold a limited number of courses in the fall 2021 semester on campus. These FAQs are subject to change as the conditions of the pandemic evolve and the resultant federal, state, and College guidelines may change.

What will take place on campus during the fall 2021 semester?

MassBay will hold lab-based classes in automotive technology, STEM, and health sciences on campus. In addition, a limited number of courses in business, humanities, and social sciences will take place on campus.

What precautions are in place to protect against the spread of the virus?

  • Face coverings are required at all times in our buildings. The only time face coverings can be temporarily removed is to take sips from a beverage.
  • Six feet of social distance is required wherever possible. Hallways will be marked with floor clings to facilitate six feet; classrooms will spread chairs six feet apart; common areas will be closed to prevent gatherings in close proximity.
  • Restricted Access. The campuses are closed to the public, and only previously cleared MassBay students, faculty, staff, or vendors will be allowed on campus.
  • Mandatory vaccination for students in on campus Automotive Technology, Health Sciences, and STEM classes. Students registered for on campus classes in these subjects must have at least one dose by September 13th.
  • Mandatory testing for non-vaccinated students. Students taking classes on campus will be required to submit a COVID-19 test weekly, unless you choose to volunteer your proof of vaccination.

Are students required to vaccinate?

Students who are taking on campus classes in Automotive Technology, Health Sciences, and STEM are required to be vaccinated. Students who are taking on campus in other subjects may, if they wish, submit their proof of vaccination and avoid weekly mandatory testing.

Why is MassBay only requiring students in certain classes to vaccinate?

We fully understand the importance of lab-based coursework to our health science, STEM, and automotive technology programs. Without the hands-on learning in those courses, students may struggle to achieve the course goals and, in some cases, would jeopardize their professional certification. However, unlike in classrooms where chairs can be set up six feet from one another, in the lab setting it is far more difficult to maintain six feet of social distance. As a result, and to protect the safety of students and faculty in our labs, vaccinations will be required this fall.

Which classes require vaccination?

All on campus classes in Automotive Technology, Health Sciences, and STEM require vaccination. STEM classes include on campus sections in Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Technology, Mathematics, and Physics. Regardless of the classes you’re taking, MassBay urges everyone in our community to vaccinate.

How do I submit my vaccination status?

Students will upload a photo of their vaccination card to CastleBranch. Your vaccination status will be kept strictly confidential.

For instructions on how to upload your documentation to CastleBranch, please visit https://www.massbay.edu/immunization

How will I show my vaccination status when I’m on campus?

This fall, MassBay will introduce MassBay Mobile, a new mobile app. In addition to enhancing our communications and community engagement, the app will be used by each student coming to campus this fall to show proof of vaccination. You will receive instructions later in August on how to download the MassBay mobile app and how this process will work.

Will I receive the same student services as I would pre-pandemic?

YES. MassBay is committed to your success, regardless of our current public health crisis. Student services will continue to be robust and virtual by visiting www.massbay.edu/ask, where our experienced staff are standing by to answer any of your questions.

If I am fully vaccinated, do I have to wear a face covering on campus? Do I have to test?

At this time face coverings are required for everyone in our buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

If you have submitted your vaccination status you will not be required to participate in mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing. In addition, you will not have to submit a weekly attestation statement. (Note: vaccination is required for certain on campus classes in Automotive Technology, Health Sciences, and STEM; see earlier question for details on specific classes for which vaccination is required).

What happens if I am exposed to someone who tested positive to COVID-19?

Do not come to campus and call (781) 239-2222 immediately. Regardless of vaccination status, according to the most recent guidelines from the CDC, if you are exposed to COVID-19 you should be tested 3-5 days after exposure. If you test positive, you will be required to isolate for 10 days.

Why are you requiring some students to get vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccinations are the most effective tool that exists to stop the spread of this dangerous virus. They have proven to be safe, they protect the vaccinated person from COVID, they are free and readily available, and they help reduce the spreading of the virus to more vulnerable or ineligible people. All unvaccinated members of the MassBay community are urged to get theirs.

How long will these protocols be in place?

Until further notice. We reserve the right to adjust our protocols, policies, and procedures at any time as the pandemic evolves and as we respond accordingly.

What should I expect when I first come to campus?

For those of you who are either not vaccinated or haven’t volunteered your vaccination status, you will check in at the front desk with a security officer to pick up your COVID-19 test kit. The kit will have with it detailed instructions on how to exit the building, fill your test tube with saliva, cap it, seal and place it in a biohazard bag, and then drop the bag in the plastic collection bin in the hallway. Those of you who have submitted your vaccination status can skip that process altogether and enter the building, using the MassBay Mobile app to show proof of vaccination.

On the Wellesley Campus, we will rotate a senior administrator who will be in charge of the campus each day. In addition, two staff members with knowledge of student services will be on hand to assist students with any questions they have. In Framingham, Dean Lynne Davis or Director of Nursing Andrea Bresnahan will serve as the administrator on duty. An additional staff member will be available to support students and faculty during the first two weeks of the semester in Framingham. In Ashland, Dean David Protano or Ms. Cynthia Cahill will serve as the person on duty.

I am an athlete. Are there any special requirements of me?

Yes. To be eligible to play on a MassBay athletic team this fall, you are required to vaccinate.

What other changes to the campus should I expect?

Eating is only permitted in designated areas on campus. You are expected to temporarily lift your face covering to eat, and then promptly return it to cover your mouth and nose.
Each bathroom and each elevator are limited to one person at a time.
All water fountains are shut down.
The Bookstore is operating remotely.
A robust cleaning program will be in place.
Face coverings can be removed when outdoors where six feet of social distancing can be maintained.

Who should I contact if I have questions about MassBay COVID-19 protocols?

Please contact Anna Pilkington, MassBay’s COVID-19 Response Administrator at:

apilkington@massbay.edu

781-239-3177

 

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Best Practices to Protect Yourself

Basic steps everyone should take to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses and create a healthier campus community:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick or taking care of someone who is sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
 

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