Follow the University's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
March 11, 2020
CCovid-19 Update Hubor up-to-the-minute details on Wentworth's response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Dear Members of the Wentworth Community:
I am writing with important updates about Wentworth’s response and planning around Covid-19. In light of the growing public health concern, the global impact and potential for community transmission, we have a responsibility to our faculty, staff and students and to the greater community to minimize the risk associated with spreading the virus. While there are currently no known cases on campus, the following actions are being taken to ensure we are able to maintain the continuity of education and services to our students while protecting our community.
Information for Students
Wentworth is extending Spring Break through Wednesday, March 18 to allow our faculty to transition their courses to on-line modalities. Beginning Thursday, March 19 we will resume the Spring Semester using on-line and other methods of distance education. Students will be contacted by their faculty and academic departments regarding each course’s on-line methodology and revised syllabi. Faculty will be receiving more information about their responsibilities later today.
As the Institute moves to online classes, Accessibility Services is working with Learning Innovation and Technology to ensure classes are accessible to all students. Any student with accessibility needs who encounters challenges accessing the online curriculum should contact the Center for Wellness at 617-989-4390.
Wentworth will be closing its residence halls for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. International students unable to return to their home countries, students performing co-ops in the Boston area and domestic students with special circumstances will be able to petition to stay on-campus. The Office of Housing and Residential Life will be communicating additional protocols directly with residential students and accommodations will be made to ensure families have ample opportunity to remove student belongings.
Students currently in Co-op should work within their employer’s guidance. Students on co-op at Wentworth should follow Wentworth’s directions for employees. Those students on co-op who have elevated concerns about Covid-19 should discuss concerns with the Center of Co-ops + Careers. The Center will be communicating directly with our Spring co-op students with further details.
To minimize health risks to our community, we ask that students and families complete any business-related matters remotely. Critical services for students, such as counseling and health services will remain available. In all situations we encourage you to contact the department directly before coming to campus.
Wentworth is recalling students from our study abroad programs in Berlin, Germany and Waterford, Ireland. A separate communication was sent to them with details.
Information for Employees
Flexibility for Employees
Faculty and staff will continue working from campus. We know that Covid-19 is especially concerning for vulnerable populations. Members of our faculty and staff may have heightened concerns about exposure to the virus at work and the risk of disease transmission. To that end, we want to reiterate that if you are sick, or think you are sick, please stay at home. Please contact your medical care provider and follow their advice.
The CDC has identified several high-risk groups:
- People 60 years of age or older;
- People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, cancer, or diabetes;
- People who have weakened immune systems; and
- People who are pregnant.
Faculty and staff who are considered high risk will be able to work remotely. Anyone with questions about their ability to work remotely due to heightened health risk, as outlined above, should consult with their supervisor and/or Human Resources to coordinate.
Personal Travel Plans
Faculty and staff who have personal international travel plans should share those plans with their supervisor to ensure we can manage return to campus plans appropriately.
Information About Wentworth Activities
To safeguard the health and wellbeing of the university community, we will suspend all non-essential university-sponsored travel—both international and domestic. In select cases where in-person participation remains vital, decisions to approve air travel will be determined by your vice president or the provost, with input from Wentworth’s Covid-19 Task Force.
Anyone currently on Wentworth-sponsored travel may continue that travel and return as originally scheduled or explore an earlier return.
Faculty and staff with questions about this change should consult with their supervisor; students should contact the Center for Student Engagement at 617-989-4080.
Effective immediately through April 30, 2020, to limit the opportunity for virus transmission, Wentworth is cancelling all events. Event organizers are encouraged to seek ways to conduct events and meetings virtually whenever possible.
We are still evaluating options relative to Commencement and will communicate those plans as soon as they are available.
All Wentworth home games are currently scheduled to proceed as scheduled, but fans and spectators will not be permitted to attend these games. We are working with Commonwealth Coast Conference officials and member schools and will update you on the outcome of these discussions.
Information about Your Health
We encourage you to continue to keep yourself healthy by using the following information to help you avoid catching the flu, Covid-19, or even the common cold.
In all your travels, as well as in your everyday activities:
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
If you are experiencing elevated concern about the virus and need to talk to someone, students can contact the Center for Wellness at 617-989-4390, or ProtoCall (after-hours & weekends): 617-989-4390. Faculty and staff can reach out to AllOneHealth at 800-451-1834.
At this time of public health emergency, we must consider our responsibility to the public first and foremost. The Covid-19 Task Force, the planning teams and our Faculty and Staff will continue to work on maintaining Wentworth’s service to our community. As always, we will consider the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff first. We will continue to update you as decisions are made, or as new information becomes available.
Mark A. Thompson Ph.D.
- March 20, 2020—Wentworth joins other arts and engineering-based schools in shifting learning opportunities.
- January 16, 2020—Calling it a model example for the rest of the city, Walsh took a personal look at a program that has helped Boston’s youth develop transferable skills for future careers.
- December 9, 2019—Fifteen years after earning a bachelor’s degree at Wentworth Institute of Technology, the Roxbury native has been elected chair of the university’s Board of Trustees—the top governing position at the school.