Health & Safety Guidance
In each functional area of UMass Dartmouth, health and safety remain the top priority. Throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic, the University has followed the science as well as the guidance of the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health and will continue to do so in the future. All efforts are aimed at mitigating the risk of infection and the potential for spread on campus and within the greater community. Every member of UMass Dartmouth must abide by public health and campus guidelines to ensure the safety of the entire campus community.
- UMass Dartmouth is using all available methods of communication to promote the necessary safety precautions to inform the community.
- All students are required to sign the UMassD Shared Responsibility Compact that confirms their commitment to all UMass Dartmouth required safety practices.
- Face coverings are required in all public places on campus unless a medical exemption is obtained.
- The University utilizes a robust asymptomatic surveillance-testing contact tracing program.
- Areas of campus that contain a high volume of personal interaction are outfitted with transparent barriers.
- Increased and enhanced cleaning is occurring in all campus buildings, especially high traffic areas. The Facilities team uses a specific protocol if an individual who has been on campus reports being sick or tests positive for COVID-19.
- Necessary sanitation supplies are provided across campus.
- Occupancy requirements in all areas are continually monitored and updated as needed to meet requirements per CDC and Massachusetts guidelines.
- All meetings and gatherings, if appropriate, should continue to take place over video chat.
Please note that UMass Dartmouth is working with students, faculty, and staff who have self-identified as at-risk for severe illness to provide remote learning, teaching, and working opportunities. The University is also working with those who have childcare, homeschooling, or other life responsibilities that affect their ability to come to campus.
A major aspect of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and the associated risks of contracting the virus comes down to personal responsibility. Every member of the UMassD community must do their part to protect one another, including:
- Mandatory daily symptom checking using the Daily Symptom tracker before coming to campus or attending classes. The Symptom Tracker is available within the Health Services portal.
- Staying home or isolated if you feel sick or exhibit known COVID-19 symptoms.
- Using face coverings in all public places on campus unless a medical exemption is obtained.
- Employees are required to wear a face covering while in offices that are not their own and in shared workspaces and should not gather in break rooms.
- Practicing good personal hygiene including handwashing per CDC guidelines.
- Ensuring that social distancing (at least 6 feet of space between people) is always maintained whenever possible.
- Keeping shared workspaces, living spaces, and equipment clean and clear by wiping down at the beginning and end of each day and removing clutter and unnecessary items from surfaces to allow for additional cleaning each night.
Following updated guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID-19 Higher Education Control Plan and the UMass President's Office, UMass Dartmouth utilizes a robust asymptomatic surveillance-testing program. The University tests thousands of students, faculty, and staff a week.
All UMass Dartmouth residential students and commuter students that visit campus regularly are required to test weekly. The University encourages all faculty and staff to also participate in the on-campus testing program. Appointments can be scheduled via the Health Services Patient Portal.
The University has contracted with Clinical Research Sequencing Platform (CRSP), LLC of The Broad Institute, Inc. to process and analyze tests. The on-campus Testing Center in Woodland Commons is fully operational and open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. during the spring semester. Anticipated results are available 24 - 48 hours of pickup. Please note that negative test results will be emailed directly to the individual and reported directly to the Department of Public Health. All these systems and procedures are fully HIPAA/FERPA compliant.
Any faculty, staff, or student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate—even if they are asymptomatic—and will be required to follow the instructions of the COVID testing center case manager, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Local Board of Health. Contact tracing will be done by the Local Board of Health in collaboration with the COVID testing center case manager and the Community Tracing Collaborative. Any faculty, staff, or student who is identified as a close contact will be required to quarantine for up to 14 days and referred for testing. A close contact is any individual within 6 feet of a laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 patient for at least 15 minutes.
Each department, especially those that interact with students often, are required to keep a daily occupancy log. This log should have the name and contact information of anyone presenting to the department and should be kept for three weeks for contact tracing.
For more information on testing, please visit the COVID-19 Testing website.
Quarantine and isolation help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the community. According to the CDC, quarantine is the act of separating and/or restricting the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick (lasts 14 days). Isolation is the separating of sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine and isolation will continue until advised by a healthcare provider or the local board of health. An individual can end quarantine on Day 8 if the individual is asymptomatic, has a negative PCR test result from a test taken on Day 5 or later, and continues to monitor for symptoms for 14 days. A strict quarantine of 14 days is required if an individual has experienced any symptoms even if tested negative.
- The University has specific residence halls and rooms on campus for required periods of quarantine and/or isolation for residential students.
- Both on-campus and off-campus students should have a plan for the possibility that they need to quarantine or isolate. This includes, if possible, returning to their primary place of residence. Students should plan to have items necessary for a prolonged period of restricted movement ready.
- All residential students who are in quarantine or isolation on campus will be fully supported including dining services, counseling, health services, and academic advising.
- Off-campus commuter students are not allowed to quarantine or isolate themselves on campus.
- For off-campus commuter students, faculty, and staff, please review CDC guidelines for quarantine and isolation.
- Please note that the local boards of health have the legal authority to require an individual to isolate or quarantine.
Assistant Professor Monika Schuler and Associate Professor Nancy W. Street from the College of Nursing & Health Sciences and Marianne Sullivan, Director of Health Services provided the campus community with information on COVID-19 on March 3, 2020.