Health & Safety Guidance
In each functional area of UMass Dartmouth, health and safety remain the top priority when planning for the fall 2020 semester. 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 while on campus and the potential for spread within our community. Every member of UMass Dartmouth must abide by public health and campus guidelines to ensure the safety of the entire campus community. Please review the information below on how to protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- UMass Dartmouth will use all available methods of communication to promote the necessary safety precautions so that our community remains well informed of what they must do to help our efforts.
- All students, faculty, and staff are required to sign the UMassD Shared Responsibility Compact that confirms each member of our community’s commitment to all UMass Dartmouth required safety practices.
- Face coverings are required in all public places on campus unless a medical exemption is obtained.
- Areas of campus that contain a high volume of personal interaction will be outfitted with transparent barriers.
- There will be increased and enhanced cleaning in all campus buildings, and especially high traffic areas. Our Facilities team will use a specific protocol if an individual who has been on campus reports being sick or tests positive for COVID-19.
- Necessary sanitation supplies will be provided in all classrooms and common areas.
- For cleaning supplies and other items related to COVID-19 safety, please visit the Administrative Operations & Compliance website and click on "Departmental COVID-19 Supplies Request Form" located on the top right. It is requested that the department designate one individual to request these supplies and order for the entire department. Orders will be delivered on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. There is no cost to departments for these supplies.
- Occupancy requirements in all areas will be continually monitored and updated as needed to meet distancing requirements per CDC and Massachusetts guidelines.
- The use of conference rooms is discouraged. All meetings, if appropriate, should continue to take place over Zoom or similar video chat platform.
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 our community must do their part to protect one another, including:
- Mandatory daily symptom checking using the Student COVID-19 Daily Symptom Checklist or Employee COVID-19 Daily Symptom Checklist before coming to campus or attending classes.
- Staying home or isolated if you feel sick or exhibit known COVID-19 symptoms.
- Using appropriate face coverings in all public places on campus unless a medical exemption is obtained.
- 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 has developed a robust asymptomatic surveillance-testing program for the fall semester.
All UMass Dartmouth residential students and commuter students and faculty that visit campus regularly will be tested weekly. All staff who have student-facing positions will also be tested weekly (e.g. the Bursar’s Office, Health Services, and Dining Services). The University anticipates it will conduct as many as 4,500 tests on campus every week.
The University has contracted with Clinical Research Sequencing Platform (CRSP), LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Broad Institute, Inc. The vendor will deliver test kits and pick up specimens each day. We anticipate results within 24 - 48 hours of pickup. An on-campus team is currently developing the final testing logistics, including identifying student-facing positions, testing locations, and availability. Please note that test results will be available to the individual, healthcare providers in Health Services, 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 Health Services, 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 Health Services and the Community Tracing Collaborative. Any faculty, staff, or student who is identified as a close contact will be required to quarantine for 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 name and contact info for anyone presenting to the department. The log should be kept for 3 weeks to assist with contact tracing. It is vitally important that all faculty, staff, and students who are included in an identified population cooperate with all instructions. This will include signing an informed consent form and providing the demographic and personal information that is required for testing and contact tracing.
Please visit our COVID-19 Testing website for more information on scheduling a test and how results are received.
During confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, quarantine and isolation can help reduce the spread within the community. It is important to know the difference between the two tactics. 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 (lasts until you have 3 days with no fever and respiratory symptoms have improved and 10 days since symptoms first appeared). Quarantine and isolation will continue until advised by a healthcare provider or the local board of health.
- The University has identified specific residence halls and rooms on campus to allow individuals to quarantine and/or isolate should they be required.
- 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 as well as items necessary for a prolonged period of restricted movement.
- All students who are in quarantine or isolation on campus will be fully supported including dining services, counseling, health services, and academic advising.
- Off-campus students are not allowed to quarantine or isolate themselves on campus.
- For off-campus students, faculty, and staff, please review CDC guidelines for quarantine and isolation.
- The local boards of health have the legal authority to require an individual to isolate or quarantine.
Facilities Management developed a fall 2020 Facilities FAQ to inform the UMass Dartmouth community about upgraded health and safety protocols in campus buildings.
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.