Dear Campus Community,
We hope you are having a relaxing summer. Please see important updates below related to our COVID health and safety protocols. These updates will go into effect July 19 and many of them serve as a reminder to previous communications.
All Salem State students are required to be fully immunized against COVID-19 before returning to campus for the fall semester. This includes undergraduate and graduate students who are attending in-person classes, conducting research on campus, living in residence halls, or participating in campus life activities.
Students are expected to be vaccinated prior to returning to campus unless they apply for and receive an exemption. The exemption process is located on the student health portal. The laws in the Commonwealth related to immunizations allow for medical and/or religious exemptions and as such, are also allowed for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Students claiming a medical exemption must present documentation from a medical provider stating that the vaccine is contraindicated and upload the documentation to the health portal. Students who are seeking a religious exemption should complete and upload the religious exemption form on the health portal.
Students who receive exemptions and are not vaccinated will be expected to follow current CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines including wearing face coverings indoors and will be required to participate in regular COVID-19 surveillance testing during the fall semester, to obtain a Cleared CoVerified badge and be allowed to participate in on-campus, in-person activities and classes. Students who are not in compliance will be referred to community standards. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html.
Students should upload their immunization documentation or complete the exemption process in the health portal as soon as possible.
Students who will be entirely remote are encouraged to submit their vaccine documentation but may also complete a remote status attestation form in their health portal to meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
All employees are expected to be vaccinated by the start of the fall semester. Being vaccinated will protect you and the community as we return to campus in the fall. We are looking forward to being safely together again.
- To be fully vaccinated by August 27, you should receive your first dose on or before the following dates:
- Moderna: July 16
- Pfizer: July 23
- Johnson & Johnson: August 13
- The vaccination rate in the city of Salem is above 72% for eligible individuals, and more than 4.5 million adults in Massachusetts have been vaccinated (61% of the population).
- We strongly encourage all community members to get vaccinated as soon as possible in an effort to protect themselves and the community.
Visit salemstate.edu/covidvaccine for more information.
All full-time students, health science students, residential students, and international students must still submit traditional immunization documents to the health portal. Please visit the health portal or salemstate.edu/chs/new for the health form and traditional immunization requirements.
Please note that remote students who are full time, health science, residential, or international students must still meet traditional immunization requirements and should also submit this documentation on their health portal prior to the start of the semester. Failure to do so may result in a registration hold being placed on your student account.
Thanks to widespread vaccinations, effective July 19, 2021, we are removing the mask requirement on campus for those who are vaccinated. Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, unvaccinated individuals are advised to continue to wear a mask for their own protection and for the protection of the community. Of course, anyone is welcome to wear a mask for any reason (their comfort, their health, their family) and we should not assume that someone is not vaccinated just because they are wearing a mask. We ask community members to be sensitive to each other’s wishes and respect requests to mask or physically distance to protect the wellbeing of community members.
Masks will continue to be required for all individuals in counseling and health services, at the COVID-19 testing site, and in shared public transportation including the shuttle, per state and CDC guidelines.
We will continue to use CoVerified this summer and this fall to help ensure the safety of our community. A CLEARED CoVerified status indicates you have met the health and safety requirements for participation in on-campus activities. Any student or employee coming to campus should continue to use CoVerified to report their daily symptoms and access on-campus COVID-19 testing. Students or employees should not come to campus if they are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 and have a RESTRICTED CoVerified badge. Students who have concerns about their health should contact counseling and health services and employees should contact human resources.
Students who are working or taking classes on campus this summer should continue to access weekly testing. Students must have a negative test result every seven days to maintain a “Cleared” CoVerified badge. Employees are also encouraged to access testing. Free COVID testing is available this summer in Viking 123 on Mondays from 2-4 pm, Wednesdays from 4-6 pm and Thursdays from 10 am-12 pm. For the most up-to-date schedule and to schedule your test, please use the CoVerified app or visit web.coverified.us.
This fall residential students will be tested when they return to campus during move-in and we will encourage all community members to access testing during the first weeks of the semester. Moving forward, unvaccinated individuals will be expected to be tested weekly to maintain a CLEARED CoVerified badge, and testing will be available to all community members who would like to get tested. Unvaccinated or exempted students who do not comply with testing will be referred to community standards and will be prevented from accessing on-campus, in-person services and activities.
University cleaning protocols and practices will continue to support a healthy and safe campus environment, following CDC recommendations. To make sure your space is being maintained by facilities, faculty and staff should make sure it is included in your departmental re-population plan.
Campus Visitors and Guests
As of July 19, the campus is open to visitors and guests. This includes the Berry Library. Visitors to campus are no longer required to complete the attestation form. Hosts should continue to be responsible for taking attendance and making sure guests are aware and able to follow campus policies. Residence life will be updating housing guest policies for the fall 2021.
This fall, classrooms will be set up for three (3) square feet of physical distance. All indoor meeting spaces will be set up to not exceed 75% of typical occupancy. Room reservations have been adjusted accordingly. We are looking forward to having more in-person events and opportunities, but we want to make sure that events do not feel crowded, and people are able to physically distance if needed.
The COVID-19 response team leads will continue to monitor the situation and will communicate with the community if additional measures are required to maintain the health and safety of the community. Thank you for your efforts to keep yourself, your fellow Vikings, and our community safe.
Elisa Castillo, PhD
Associate Dean of Students for Wellness
Associate Vice President, Public Safety and Risk Management
Chief of Police