Welcome back! We are excited to welcome you back to campus this fall, and we wish you a great academic year. We know that the last few years have been challenging and we congratulate you on your resilience and persistence. I am writing to let you know that we have increased our campus wellness? resources and services to help you with your wellness. Please read this message carefully so that you are aware of the COVID protocols and wellness requirements we have in place this year, as well as the support and resources available to you.
While we are in a much better place than we were in spring 2020, we recognize that the pandemic is not over. While we have lifted most COVID restrictions, we will continue to expect community members to be vaccinated, will provide access to testing, communicate public health guidance, and be prepared to take additional precautions in the event of increased public health risks presented by new variants or surges. Here is what you need to know this year:
What you need to do:
- All community members should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccine or have requested an exemption. To be up to date with your COVID vaccine you should have at least one booster. Starting September 7, Salem State will be offering booster clinics on campus with the new booster. Information about the upcoming on campus COVID booster clinics can be found here: www.salemstate.edu/covidvaccine.
- In addition to the COVID vaccine, students need to be in compliance with all immunization requirements for new students: www.salemstate.edu/chs/new.
- Please review our protocols and public health information in more detail by reviewing the “Fall 2022 Compass Campus Health and Safety” Canvas training.
- If you have concerns about your health in terms of symptoms, exposures or testing positive please connect with counseling and health services (CHS) and follow the public health guidance.
- For more information, please check out our website, and keep an eye out for emails with updates as conditions evolve.
- Remember that Vikings Care for each other by taking care of themselves, following public health guidance, and being compassionate and respectful of each other. We all have been impacted by the pandemic, but some may have personal circumstances or vulnerabilities.
What to expect on campus:
- The university remains mask-flexible. Please always have a mask with you, and please wear a mask on campus if you have any concerns about your health.
- We are no longer enforcing or recommending physical distancing in instructional or other spaces or asking people to show a CoVerified Badge.
How to take care of your health:
- Please continue to monitor for symptoms. If you experience any new symptoms associated with COVID please get tested.
- Concerned about symptoms or exposure and unsure if you should test for COVID: use the SSU student surveys found on www.salemstate.edu/quarantine.
- COVID testing is more available via five on-campus self-testing tables. Students are encouraged to create their COLOR account and access on-campus testing with their @salemstate.edu email address. More information and guidance: www.salemstate.edu/covid19testing.
- Rapid antigen tests are available at some of the self-testing tables and at health services, as supplies allow. Students are advised to keep a few home tests on hand at all times to access should symptoms develop.
- COVID positive students should notify CHS via 978.542.3240 or by sending a message on their student health portal www.salemstate.edu/healthportal (note: we are no longer using CoVerified)
- Students should be prepared to notify their own close contacts, faculty, supervisors if they test positive for COVID www.salemstate.edu/quarantine.
- Students should prepare for the possibility of needing to isolate for five to 10 days and not attend in person campus activities, in the event that they test positive for COVID. Be prepared, make your isolation plan, have supplies, etc.
- COVID isolation: reminder that residential students are required to complete their departure plans in their housing portal and complete isolation off campus unless they have extenuating circumstances https://www.salemstate.edu/campus-life/living-campus/guide-living-campus. Please note that we are no longer able to use Bates for quarantine and isolation housing. We have an extremely limited number of beds on campus for students who test positive but are not able to isolate off campus. There may be a chance that a positive student would have to isolate in their assigned residence hall space. If this were to happen, they would have to notify roommates so that all could take precautions.
- Taking care of your general health and wellness is always important, but even more important during a pandemic. Physical and reproductive wellness are critical to student success and CHS offers in person and virtual medical services and sexual health resources www.salemstate.edu/chs and www.salemstate.edu/sexualhealth.
- As we gather in larger numbers than we have in the most recent semesters, we will likely see increases in illnesses such as the common cold, the flu, etc. Please take care of yourself and take advantage of flu vaccine clinics starting in late September.
- If you have any questions or concerns related to Monkeypox, CHS is also a resource for you. Please know that the strategies we have learned during COVID can also help protect us against other diseases. You can read more about it here: https://ask.salemstate.edu/kb/monkeypox.
Mental Health Support
Struggling with anxiety, depression and mental health in general is more common than ever. We are working to make support easily available for students in person and remotely. Please take advantage of support and encourage fellow students to do the same. Let us be compassionate with ourselves and others and normalize taking about mental health.
- 24/7/365 Mental Health Support Line 978.542.8327.
- On-going counseling and one-time same day visits at Counseling and Health Services (virtual and in person). Call 978.542.6413 or message us in your health portal.
- This academic year only:
- Five free telehealth or face to face counseling sessions with off campus providers by calling 1.833.434.1217.
- Access to SilverCloud, a self-guided mental health content and self-assessments:
- https://student.silvercloudhealth.com/signup, which will bring students to a landing page for SilverCloud.
- Students will select their school from the drop-down menu.
- Students will create an account using their school email address.
- Students will receive a confirmation email from SilverCloud which they need to respond to in order to complete the log-in process.
- We also have student wellness case managers that can help students connect with the resources they need and support them if they are going through a challenging time. To contact a case manager please email email@example.com.
Thank you for your attention to these important matters.
We wish you a healthy, successful, and amazing academic year. We are here for you.
Elisa Castillo, Associate Dean of Students for Wellness