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Planning for Fall 2020

The UMass Dartmouth Pandemic Emergency Response Team (PERT) has released the Fall 2020 Re-Opening Plan to guide the campus community to a safe and successful semester. Please visit our Planning for Fall 2020 website to review all planning information.

Health & Safety Guidance

Please review the information below on how to protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What can I do to protect myself?

The best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple but important measures to practice as part of your daily routine:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Stay home if you feel sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing and call ahead before you seek medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the crook of your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Should I wear a face covering?

The Baker-Polito Administration has “ordered all residents over the age of two to use a face covering or mask in public places where maintaining proper social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not possible.” Face coverings must be worn at all times while inside “grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail stores. Residents are also required to wear a mask or face covering at all times when using any means of transportation service or public mass transit.”

Simply put, if you are around other people indoors or outdoors, you need to cover your nose and mouth. You do not need medical-grade masks to comply. This equipment is already in short supply and critical to our healthcare professionals and first responders on the frontlines treating patients with COVID-19.

The CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health suggest using homemade masks. Easy solutions can be the use of scarves or bandanas. There are also ways to create a mask out of cloth material with hair elastics without the need for sewing. They should be made of a machine washable material for frequent cleaning. You must wash your hands immediately after removing a face covering.

What is social distancing?

According to the CDC, limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people. In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread locally and across the country and world.

Limit close contact with others outside your household in indoor and outdoor spaces. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you—or they—have no symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

What if I or someone in my household develops flu-like symptoms?

Stay home and immediately contact your primary care doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.

How will I know if I have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19?

You will be contacted by public health officials as they perform their contact investigations.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)?

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.


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