Medical and Safety Requirements
In addition to guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state and city, Wentworth is working with USHealthyWork to advise the University on the intricate planning for a healthy return to campus. USHealthyWork is led by Dr. David J. Shulkin and includes a team of medical professionals with expertise on COVID-19 and health. Using current scientific and medical knowledge, USHealthyWork provides customized counsel to help guide us through the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for our re-entry to campus.
Safety and Public Health Measures
To mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection and spread of the disease at Wentworth, we are implementing some critically important safety and public health measures that everyone must follow.
Face Coverings and Other Personal Protective Equipment
The consistent and proper use of face coverings/face masks are integral to our collective safety and public health. Face coverings must be worn in a proper manner, covering the mouth and nose, by everyone, everywhere, and always, with very few exceptions. Exceptions include children under the age of two, persons unable to wear face covering due to certain medical conditions, assigned residence hall bedrooms and suites, while showering, and during pre-approved athletic activities. Students within their assigned bedrooms and suites are highly encouraged to wear face coverings as much as practicable as a public health best practice.
Students, faculty, staff, contractors, visitors, and other members of the Wentworth community are expected to provide their own face coverings or masks. The University will provide other personal protective equipment in certain campus settings as appropriate due to health and safety needs such as in laboratories. If you are required to wear protective goggles or face shields as part of your employment or while in class, you will be notified by your supervisor or faculty member and will be provided with this equipment. The University can supply a disposable face covering if one is lost or forgotten.
Everyone will be required to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet between themselves and others whenever possible. Interactions that cannot be conducted while maintaining 6 feet of distance should be limited to less than 15 minutes and should include increased personal protective equipment. Exceptions to the policy on physical distancing include roommates and suitemates who are considered a “family unit.”
The CDC recommends everyday personal hygiene habits that help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Everyone will be expected to follow CDC guidance including:
- washing hands frequently and thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds)
- using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not readily available
- avoiding touching one’s face
- covering coughs or sneezes with a flexed elbow or a tissue
Students, faculty, staff, contractors, visitors, and other Wentworth community members living on or coming to campus will need to complete a daily personal health screening questionnaire before leaving an assigned residence space or prior to arrival to campus. In addition to completing the COVID-19 symptoms pre-screening tool, everyone coming to campus or residing on campus will need to take their temperature daily prior to re-entry to check for an elevated body temperature signaling a fever. All members of the community, including residential students, should acquire their own thermometers for their daily individual use; thermometers should not be shared. Those reporting COVID-19 related symptoms or a fever should not come onto campus or leave their assigned residence space until cleared to do so. Potential screening tools are being evaluated and guidelines for daily temperature monitoring are being developed. Once these details are finalized, there will be further updates.
With the guidance of USHealthyWork, Wentworth is developing robust protocols for testing of its students, faculty, and staff to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection for everyone at Wentworth and its surrounding communities. The University is partnering with the Colleges of the Fenway and from the Association for Independent Colleges and Universities for Massachusetts (AICUM) on a comprehensive plan to source testing and prepare testing protocols. We are making significant progress in this regard and exploring partnering broadly with area universities to secure post-arrival testing through the Broad Institute at MIT. For pre-arrivals to campus, Wentworth is exploring partnering with other health diagnostic companies to facilitate testing for students, faculty, and staff.
Below are preliminary details for the testing framework for students, faculty, and staff during the Fall 2020 semester.
The University is evaluating whether it will require pre-arrival and/or arrival testing of its students, faculty, and staff. These plans should be finalized and communicated by mid-July.
Symptomatic and close contact testing requirement
Every student, faculty, and staff member presenting with COVID-19 related symptoms or identified as having been exposed through close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 will undergo viral-based COVID-19 testing.
More information on testing protocols and frequency will be shared as plans are finalized. These testing protocols and frequency of testing plans may be altered depending upon factors including changes in testing technologies, federal, state and city requirements, evolving guidance on testing, and changing infection levels.
Students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are required to self-report this information to the University. If a member of the Wentworth community tests positive for COVID-19, the University will engage in a contact tracing process in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston Public Health Commission, and/or another state or municipal public health agency. The contact tracing process will identify those who have been in close contact with anyone who has received a positive COVID-19 test and help those individuals take steps for their own health and the health of the community. The University is evaluating contact tracing apps and services. More information will be shared as it is further developed.
The University is developing comprehensive protocols for quarantine and isolation that will be shared in forthcoming communication.
Members of the Wentworth community who experience COVID-19 symptoms and/or who have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-quarantine. The period of self-quarantine will depend upon the testing results for the person and a period of time of continuous symptom monitoring. Non-residential members of the community must quarantine in their residence off campus; residential members of the community must quarantine within their assigned living space. If a residential student tests positive for COVID-19, the student’s roommate and suitemates are considered to have been in close contact and will need to quarantine and follow all quarantine procedures. Residential suites are being treated as “family units.”
Currently, Massachusetts guidelines provide that people traveling into Massachusetts from out-of-state, with the exceptions of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, are advised to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. We will require students, faculty, and staff arriving from states other than the 7 states listed above to quarantine for 14 days within their home or assigned residential space upon arrival into Massachusetts. Wentworth will continue to revise this policy based on any updated state guidelines.
Members of the Wentworth community who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate. Isolation separates people infected with the virus from the general population.
Residential students who test positive for COVID-19 (but do not need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment) will be required to isolate. Residential students who live more than 200 miles from campus will be required to isolate in specially designated COVID-19 isolation housing on campus. Residential students who test positive for COVID-19 who live 200 miles or less from campus will be required to return home to isolate. Students will need to be picked up (or leave campus) within 24-hours of the test result. Students will be required to isolate in specially designated COVID-19 isolation housing on campus until they leave campus.
Commuter students who test positive for COVID-19 (but do not need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment) will be required to isolate in their off-campus apartment/house or at home.
Faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 (but do not need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment) will be required to isolate at home and should contact their primary health care provider.
More information about quarantine and isolation will be shared as it is further developed.