Dear UMass Dartmouth Community,
On Monday, in response to rising COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, the Baker Administration announced important new public health guidelines.
The Department of Public Health has issued a Stay-at-Home Advisory that encourages all residents of Massachusetts to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Please note that the Advisory has an exception for those traveling “to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking emergency medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy.” UMass Dartmouth strongly recommends everyone comply with the Advisory which is designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
Massachusetts has also updated the face-covering mandate. Now, anyone over 5 years old needs to wear a mask in public no matter the amount of distance between them and others. To be clear, if you are in a public place indoors or outside, you need to have your nose and mouth covered. The update also allows employers and schools to request verification for medical exemptions to wearing a face covering. For more information on verification for the medical exemption, employees should contact Human Resources and students should contact Health Services.
There are many updates to health and safety protocols in the Commonwealth and I encourage you to review Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Updates and Information website. These new guidelines go into effect tomorrow - Friday, November 6.
Many of you on campus have asked about the use of breakrooms and we are currently looking into the safest way to operate these spaces. More information will be available soon.
Finally, as a reminder, all students who are on campus (living on campus, taking an on-campus class, coming to campus to use the library or another facility, etc.) are required to complete a daily symptom tracker and to participate in our surveillance testing program. Thank you in advance for your continued compliance and please schedule your on-campus COVID-19 test today.
Our campus community has done a great job adhering to health and safety policies and I want to thank you for adapting. We must continue to adapt and adhere to new measures that will stop the spread of COVID-19.
Mark Preble, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chancellor