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2021 Spring Semester COVID-19 Update

Greetings, students,

 Whether you have been enrolled in classes this fall semester that were remote, hybrid, or in person, enrolled in your fall co-op, or new to Wentworth, we are looking forward to supporting your learning here on campus or remotely during the Spring 2021 semester. We are now finishing a highly successful fall semester during which our students, faculty, and staff adapted well to a new learning and living model that has kept our community safe while supporting our students in their academic progression.

Wentworth's Successful Public Health Measures for Fall 2020

Wentworth’s COVID-19 testing program, including pre-arrival and twice-a-week surveillance testing with 24-hour results, in combination with effective contact tracing, have resulted in an outstanding ability to rapidly quarantine and isolate impacted persons and significantly reduce the risk of disease transmission. Our community’s public health has further been supported by everyone’s commitment to mask-wearing, physical distancing, hand washing, symptom monitoring, and avoidance of public gatherings. These sustained and disciplined efforts have resulted in the prevention of disease transmission in classes, studios, and lab spaces and outside of residential suite spaces on campus.

Wentworth’s policies and protocols have been informed by medical, scientific, and public health expertise as well as are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Higher Education COVID-19 Control Plan and the Boston Public Health Commission’s expectations of the University. Transparency about our COVID-19 response is centrally important to us, and we regularly update Wentworth’s COVID-19 Dashboard to keep everyone informed in addition to our COVID-19 website and regular communications with the community. 

Same Strong Public Health Measures for Spring 2021

Given the successful measures that we have put into place to mitigate the risks of coronavirus transmission and safeguard the health of the community, we will continue with these measures in the spring semester. Below we share some important changes we have just made to the academic and residential move-in schedule and outline our plans for the Spring 2021 semester and what you can expect as part of your experience.

Delaying Residential Move-in to End of January. Beginning All Classes Online on January 19, 2021. On-Campus Learning Beginning on February 1, 2021.

Wentworth’s Re-Entry Team continues to monitor the rising COVID-19 infection levels nationally, in Massachusetts, and in Boston. Public health authorities project sharply rising infection levels in the coming weeks as well as hospitals reaching their surge capacity levels.

Based on careful evaluation of public health information, we have decided to start the spring semester with all classes in an online modality on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, and begin on-campus learning on Monday, February 1, 2021. We will delay our residential student move in by two weeks to the end of January 2021. The schedule will be as follows:

  • Monday, January 18: Spring Co-op Student Move-In with approval by and arrangement with CO-OPS+CAREERS and the Office of Housing.*
  • Tuesday, January 19: All academic classes will begin in an online modality.
  • Thursday, January 28 (12:00 pm - 6:00 pm): Returning Student Move-In (By Assigned Time)*
  • Friday, January 29 (12:00 pm – 6:00 pm): Returning Student Move-In (By Assigned Time)*
  • Saturday, January 30 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm): New to Housing (first year and upper-class students) Student Move-In (By Assigned Time)*
  • Saturday, January 30 (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm): Returning Student Move-in (By Assigned Time)*
  • Sunday, January 31 (9:00 am – 2:00 pm): Returning Student Move-In (By Assigned Time)*
  • Monday, February 1: Classes scheduled for in-person in the spring will shift from online to in person.

Additional details regarding the move-in process will be sent directly to residential students.

Wentworth’s academic calendar has minimal time between semesters. Therefore, to minimize disruption to the summer schedule, we cannot delay the start of the spring semester. As previously announced, there will be no spring break.

Students’ housing and meal plans will be prorated according to the number of weeks they will be residing on campus based on this delayed move-in schedule. Credits or refunds will be issued at the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester.

There will be limited staff presence on campus for a portion of December and most of January to help reduce transmission of COVID-19 during a time when infection rates are predicted to be high. Employees will work remotely from December 15, 2020, through January 29, 2021, unless scheduled by their supervisor for an on-campus presence for any point during that period.

We are taking these important steps to protect the health and safety of all members of the Wentworth community. Working remotely and delaying residential move in and on-campus presence over the next seven weeks will help mitigate the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus as well as other infections during the height of the cold and flu season.


In Spring 2021, Wentworth has committed to offering at least one in-person class to any student who would like to register for in-person coursework. In the fall, Wentworth offered 25% of its classes in person, mostly through labs and studios. We know that many of our students benefit from and desire “hands-on” learning experiences. Given the success we had in offering in-person coursework in the fall, we have expanded in-person learning to 50% in the spring. These courses will be delivered with the appropriate precautions in place.

In the spring, students continue to have the choice of deciding the mode of delivery of their courses – in-person/hybrid, a mix of modalities, or all remote.

Students who are not able to find courses in the modality needed to complete their spring schedule should fill out this request form and select “modality unavailable.” The form is available through Friday, December 18. If you have already completed the form, please do not complete it again as you will hear from us shortly. Please contact Associate Provost Joe Martel-Foley with any questions via at (

If a student needs any other assistance with registration for their spring classes, they should contact their faculty advisor or student success advisor in the Center for Academic Excellence.

Spring 2021 Co-ops
We are supporting our students in securing co-ops this spring semester. As with the fall semester, Wentworth is providing creative co-op opportunities for all students not able to secure co-ops positions by January 26 (the last day of add/drop). Students will have the flexibility to move to a traditional co-op at any point during the semester if the position is secured after January 26. Please contact your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor for a list of options available to you.

Planning for Spring 2021 Move-In

The delayed Spring 2021 move-in schedule outlined above will be staggered over a four-day period. Please note that move-in dates are subject to change due to weather events or COVID-19 situations.

Wentworth has planned a move-in process that ensures that staff, students, and their families are able to practice and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet, supports hygiene protocols, requires face coverings, limits the numbers of people on campus at any given point, and distributes people across campus spaces to avoid large groups of people gathering in any single space in observance of city and state occupancy limitations. Students and families should be aware of the following:

  • Wentworth will be utilizing the West Parking Lot as the principal location for this move-in process. 
  • Our students moving onto campus for the first time this academic year may have only one person assist them with moving in. Students returning to their residential space from the fall will not be permitted to have anyone assist them.
  • Families accompanying students to campus, but who are not permitted to enter the halls, must wait in or near their vehicle while parked in the West Lot while their student is moving in. When exiting their vehicle, family members must wear face coverings at all times.
  • Students and family members who are not feeling well or experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms during a scheduled move-in period may not to come to campus. A new move-in date will be scheduled at a later date when students and their family members are well.

Pre-Arrival Preparation and Post-Arrival Protocols 

  • Pre-arrival preparation: Students should begin to observe some best public health practices in the 14 days prior to arrival on campus. During this period students should do the following to the best of their abilities and based on their personal circumstances. 
    • Complete Wentworth pre-arrival training if not completed in the fall (more information to follow)
    • Conduct daily symptom monitoring and temperature taking
    • Wear face coverings outside the home and when one cannot physically distance from others to the extent possible
    • Stay home as much as possible unless it is necessary to leave for medical or work reasons
    • Minimize interaction with others and separate from other household members
    • Limit shared bedroom and bathrooms, to the extent possible
    • Do not share utensils, dishes, cups/glasses, bedding, towels, or other personal items
    • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily including phones, remote controls, countertops, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom handles, toilets, keyboards, and tablets
    • Wash your hands often and thoroughly
  • Student post-arrival protocols: Students will continue to be extra vigilant in observing some best public health practices in the first 14 days following arrival on campus including 
    • Conduct daily symptom monitoring and temperature taking via CoVerified app
    • Wear face coverings at all times when outside of assigned residence hall rooms
    • Stay within your room unless it is necessary to leave, such as for class, student life or orientation activities, or for meals
    • Minimize interaction with others outside of your residence hall room/suite and classes
    • Do not share utensils, dishes, cups/glasses, bedding, towels, or other personal items
    • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily including phones, remote controls, countertops, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom handles, toilets, keyboards, and tablets
    • Wash your hands often and thoroughly
    • Encourage your roommate/suitemates to observe these best practices with you

Students will continue to observe many of the above public health best practices throughout the spring semester.

Flu Vaccines

Prior to any student returning to the Wentworth campus in January, it is critical that each student obtain their flu vaccine. Massachusetts is requiring all college students accessing campus to get a flu vaccination by December 31, 2020. Documentation evidencing timely flu vaccinations should be submitted to Please contact the Center for Wellness at 617-989-4390 for any questions you may have about this re-entry to campus requirement.

COVID-19 Safety and Public Health Measures

To mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection and spread of the disease at Wentworth, we will continue to adhere to critically important safety and public health measures in the Spring 2021 semester that include:

  • Wearing face coverings properly over the mouth and nose at all times
  • Maintaining physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart); interactions that cannot be conducted while maintaining six feet of distance should be limited to less than 15 minutes and should include increased personal protective equipment
  • Avoiding off-campus indoor gatherings and parties, even in small numbers beyond immediate family and friends
  • Monitoring oneself daily and reporting daily COVID-19 symptom monitoring via CoVerified app
  • Participating in pre-arrival, arrival, surveillance, close contact, and symptom-based COVID-19 testing requirements
  • Participating in contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation protocols as required
  • Washing hands frequently and thoroughly (at least 20 seconds) and avoiding touching one’s face

COVID-19 Testing

During the spring semester, we will continue with the testing protocols that Wentworth put into place in the fall semester. The testing protocols include pre-arrival, arrival, surveillance, symptom-based, and close contact COVID-19 testing. The PCR-based testing will be conducted at Wentworth’s expense. Wentworth is using an anterior nasal swab method in its testing, which is less invasive than a nasopharyngeal swab. Wentworth will continue to contract with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for on-campus tests and with LetsGetChecked for pre-arrival tests for students residing outside of a 50-mile radius of the campus. The Broad Institute processes testing for more than 100 colleges and universities in the region and is generally able to return results within a 24-hour period from delivery of the samples to the lab. 

On-campus testing will continue in the Testing Hub located between Ward Street and Beatty Hall. Symptomatic and close contact testing is conducted by Optum Student Health Services, by appointment, at a separate respiratory clinic that is located between Rodgers Hall and the MassArt Treehouse building.

  • Pre-Arrival Testing: All students, except those enrolled in entirely remote learning, must undergo pre-arrival testing within three to five days of a student’s arrival on campus. 
    • On-Campus Testing: Students living in residence halls whose permanent address is within a 50-mile radius of campus, students living in off-campus housing, and commuter students are required to have a pre-arrival test in Wentworth’s testing hub within three to five days of arrival on campus
    • Mail-in and Arrival Testing: Students living in residence halls whose permanent address is outside of a 50-mile radius of campus are required to take a mail-in test provided by Wentworth and undergo arrival testing because the mail-in tests do not satisfy a 3-to-5 day testing result requirement. Both pre-arrival and arrival tests must be negative for a student to access campus. These students may arrange for pre-arrival testing on campus if conducted within three-five days before arrival.

More detailed information and directions about pre-arrival testing will be sent to students and their families at a later date in preparation for the spring semester.

  • Arrival Testing: All residential students must undergo an arrival test. Residential students will need to quarantine in their residence hall space until the results of the test are received. If an arrival test is positive for COVID-19, the student will be required to enter into Wentworth’s isolation protocol and participate in contact tracing efforts.
  • Surveillance Testing: All students, except those enrolled in entirely remote learning outside of Boston, must participate in Wentworth’s surveillance testing program.
    • Residential Students: All residential students will undergo twice-weekly surveillance testing on campus. The surveillance testing schedule is based on residence hall assignments as follows. 
      • Mondays and Thursdays - 610 Huntington Avenue, Baker Hall, Apartments@525, Louis Prang Apartments
      • Tuesdays and Fridays - 555 Huntington Avenue, Evans Way Hall, Tudbury Hall
    • Varsity Athletes: Varsity athletes will undergo twice-weekly surveillance testing on campus and will work with their coaches to test on dates identified for their teams.
    • Commuting Students: All commuting students who are on campus more than one day a week will undergo twice-weekly surveillance testing on campus. Commuting students on campus once per week will undergo once a week surveillance testing.
    • Students Residing in Off-Campus Housing in Boston: Under an agreement with the City of Boston, all students residing in off-campus housing in Boston will undergo at least once a week surveillance testing – even those enrolled in fully remote learning and those completing a co-op off-campus. If an off-campus student living in Boston is on campus more than once a week, the student should undergo twice-weekly surveillance testing.
    • Faculty, Staff, and Contractors: Faculty, staff, and contractors who are on campus more than one day a week will participate in twice-a-week testing. Those on campus one day a week will participant in once-a-week testing.
  • Symptomatic and Close Contact Testing: 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 testing. Those presenting with COVID-19 related symptoms, or those who have been exposed to COVID-19 through close contact, must not test in the Testing Hub.

Isolation Protocol

Residential students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate in specifically designated COVID-19 isolation spaces on campus that provide students with private rooms. The University’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Case Management Team ensures that students receive meals, over-the-counter medications, and other needs and conducts daily check-ins with students. Off-campus students and commuting students testing positive are strongly encouraged to return home to isolate. Those students unable to return home are encouraged to isolate in their off-campus housing or may request to isolate in designated on-campus housing.

  • For those who have tested positive and are symptomatic, they may leave isolation when there is a resolution of symptoms (including being free of fever for at least 24 hours, improvement of respiratory symptoms for at least 24 hours, and at least 10 days since the onset of symptoms). Students should only leave the isolation space when cleared by Wentworth’s COVID-19 Team.
  • For those who tested positive without symptoms, they may leave isolation once 10 days have passed since testing positive without the development of symptoms. Students should only leave the isolation space when cleared by Wentworth’s COVID-19 Team.

Quarantine Protocol

Students who have not tested positive for COVID-19 but who are identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive will be required to begin a quarantine protocol. Residential students will be placed into specifically designated COVID-19 quarantine spaces on campus that provide students with private rooms. The University’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Case Management Team ensures that students receive meals, other needs, and conducts daily check-ins with students. Off-campus students and commuting students will be required to quarantine in their apartment/home. The University’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Case Management Team will conduct daily check-ins with these students as well.

The current protocol requires students to quarantine for ten days, with release from quarantine on Day 11, provided the student first receives a negative test result on Day 8, from the last date of exposure to the infected person. Students should only leave the quarantine space when instructed by Wentworth’s COVID-19 Team.

Students who have not tested positive for COVID-19 but who experience COVID-19 symptoms will be required to quarantine and to consult with Optum Student Health Services or their own medical provider. These students should remain in quarantine until they receive and share with Wentworth documentation indicating they are cleared to return to campus.

The quarantine protocol is subject to change based on evolving guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Boston Public Health Commission. Any changes will be communicated to the community.

Cleaning and Sanitation

Wentworth will continue with its protocol of increased frequency of cleaning and sanitation across campus. Additionally, cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer are widely available across campus. While personal hygiene, physical distancing, and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face coverings are the best ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19, students, faculty, and staff will continue to wipe down desks, tables, and other high-touch surfaces after use.

Anticipating the New Semester

We are looking ahead and forward to what will be a highly engaging, successful, and healthy spring semester. We will be sharing many more details about all aspects of our return to campus this spring in the weeks ahead.

Until then we are wishing you well as you complete your end of fall semester work and that you have a restful, enjoyable, and safe holiday break.

Respectfully yours, 
Mark A. Thompson, Ph.D., President
Ian Lapp, Ph.D., Provost and Senior Vice President
Annamaria Wenner, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students