Skip to main content

COVID-19 Early Warning Indicator Guide

Last Edited: September 29, 2020

Introduction

While the re-entry to campus for the Fall 2020 semester has been successful to date, Wentworth continues to closely monitor several criteria, or early warning indicators, to help guide decisions around any necessary changes in operations. These criteria/indicators include:

  1. Campus Positivity Rates and Related Indicators:
    • Number of positive COVID-19 cases identified through Wentworth’s testing protocol
    • Number of cases related to campus/campus spread as identified by contact tracing
    • Wentworth campus positivity rate trend (7-day average)
  2. Isolation/Quarantine Indicators:
    • University response time from diagnosis to isolation or quarantine
    • Number/percentage of designated on-campus beds in use for 1) isolation and 2) quarantine
    • Staffing levels available to support on-campus population and operations
  3. Local Positivity Rates and Hospital Capacity:
    • City of Boston positivity rates
    • Commonwealth of Massachusetts positivity rates
    • Local hospital capacity
  4. Ongoing guidance/directives from the City of Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Status Levels

The University will use a four-level status system: green, yellow, orange and red. It’s important to note that no single criteria/indicator on its own is enough to move the University from one status level to another, rather all indicators are viewed independently and collectively to identify where measures can be taken to address the issue(s) at hand. The University will post the current status level at any given time on the COVID-19 Dashboard page of the Re-Entry website. The remainder of this document will outline each status level and suggested mitigation and response measures.

Green Status

Green

Description: Green-level status indicates that Wentworth has achieved a full return to pre-COVID-19 operational status, with no limitations in place.

 

Yellow Status

Yellow

Description: Yellow-level status acknowledges the presence of COVID-19 virus, the ongoing pandemic, and a “new normal” of campus operations. There is a reduced COVID-19 transmission risk on campus due to effective mitigation strategies and/or minimal campus spread.

 

Mitigation Strategies and Response Measures:

  • Campus re-entry process is in progress or complete and all policies and protocols in the Fall 2020 Re-Entry Plan Document are in place and being followed to every extent possible by members of the Wentworth community, such as:
    • Public health policies and best practices
    • Testing, tracing, isolation, and quarantine
    • Residence hall restrictions
    • Meeting and event restrictions
    • Restrictions on visitors
    • Restrictions on travel
  • Curriculum is being delivered via in-person, hybrid, and virtual modalities as scheduled
  • Employees can work on campus according to state and city sector-specific operating guidelines for occupancy where applicable
  • COVID-19 mitigation strategies are in place including daily symptom monitoring, physical distancing, wearing of face coverings, personal hygiene, de-densification of all campus spaces, and weekly surveillance testing
  • All members of the community with an on-campus presence, as well as students living off campus in the City of Boston regardless of instruction modality, participate in weekly surveillance testing via the Wentworth Testing Hub

 

Orange Status

Orange

Description: Orange-level status indicates the presence of the COVID-19 virus on campus has increased and/or there has been an adverse change in early warning indicators. However, University testing, tracking, tracing, case management, and/or containment measures are in place, effective, and within operational capacity.

Mitigation Strategies and Response Measures:

  • Yellow-level campus operations are maintained, and policies remain in place, but increased restrictions may be implemented
  • Increased cleaning if new/increasing cases are found to be connected to particular campus areas
  • Curriculum is being delivered via in-person, hybrid, and virtual modalities as scheduled, but consideration may be given to moving additional courses (temporarily and/or permanently) to a fully virtual modality to further de-densify academic spaces and campus
  • Staff and faculty who can fulfill their responsibilities remotely may be asked to work from home
  • Dining may be shifted to takeout only or in-person dining may be limited/scheduled by residential area
  • In-person University or student-sponsored meetings and events, athletics, and recreational and fitness activities may be further limited or cancelled; some common areas, shared spaces, and fitness locations may be closed
  • Increased communication around COVID-19 mitigation strategies including daily symptom monitoring, physical distancing, wearing of face coverings, personal hygiene, de-densification of all campus spaces, and weekly surveillance testing
  • All members of the community with an on-campus presence, as well as students living off campus in the City of Boston regardless of instruction modality, continue to participate in weekly surveillance testing via the Wentworth Testing Hub; increased frequency of testing may be recommended for certain populations
  • Campus residence hall floors or buildings with clusters of positive COVID-19 tests or identified close contacts (via contact tracing) may be quarantined as necessary

 

Red Status

Red

Description: Red-level status indicates that the presence of the COVID-19 virus on campus has increased significantly and/or there has been a significant increase in COVID-like symptom reporting. In this case, University testing, tracking, tracing, case management, and/or containment measures are proving to be less effective and/or the University is reaching a stressed operational capacity.

 

Mitigation Strategies and Response Measures

  • Orange-level restrictions and policies remain in place, but further campus restrictions may be necessary (temporarily and/or permanently) such as:
  • restricting campus access to any personnel other than those deemed essential
  • residential students being required to quarantine
  • dining shifts to take-out only; all in-person dining spaces will be closed/removed
  • University and student-organized in-person gatherings and events are not permitted
  • Frequency of cleaning and disinfecting should be increased in all areas of campus
  • Curriculum should be delivered exclusively via virtual modalities as scheduled (temporarily and/or permanently) to fully de-densify academic spaces and campus
  • In-person University or student-sponsored meetings and events, athletics, and recreational and fitness activities will be cancelled; some common areas, shared spaces, and fitness locations will be closed
  • In addition to reminders about COVID-19 mitigation strategies, daily campus status updates should be provided to all key stakeholders (students, employees, families, and other key internal and external stakeholders) using multiple communications channels
  • All members of the community with an on-campus presence, as well as students living off campus in the City of Boston regardless of instruction modality, continue to participate in weekly surveillance testing via the Wentworth Testing Hub; increased frequency of testing likely

Note: There are scenarios where Wentworth may take steps to evacuate campus, thereby requiring an immediate change to fully virtual instruction for the remainder of the semester. These scenarios may include:

  • An inability to contain (and locate) spread of the virus on campus
  • Difficulty keeping up with contact tracing and case management needs
  • Reaching near-capacity of on-campus isolation/quarantine beds for a sustained/prolonged period
  • Directives and guidance from the City of Boston and/or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts