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Spring 2022 Updates - January

Welcome to the Spring 2022 semester!

In preparing for the semester, the MassArt Campus Planning and COVID Tactical teams have assessed various health and safety guidance provided by experts such as the CDC and DPH on the highly infectious COVID-19 Omicron variant. Based on that information, as well as that shared by our peer institutions, the following guidelines have been adopted to prioritize the well-being of our community.

While subject to developments with COVID variants, we are implementing the safety measures below as we begin the Spring semester.


ACADEMICS
  • We will have a remote start to the semester, January 18-January 25. We look forward to welcoming you on opening day, Tuesday, January 18th virtually, and classes will get underway as scheduled on Wednesday, January 19th remotely.  
  • These extra few days will allow us to ensure that everyone on campus has been tested.  
  • On Wednesday, January 26th classes will move from remote, to in-person instruction unless otherwise planned for a particular class.
  • Access for all permitted guests, including Visiting Artists and Visiting Lecturers will resume on February 2nd; prior to this date any guests should be hosted virtually.

TELEWORKING / ON-CAMPUS WORK
  • To align with the remote start to the semester, decisions for whether staff members will work on-campus or telework will be made in discussion with individual department managers.
  • In some departments, telework plans are already in place until early February – all managers and staff should review and confirm. 
  • Staff who hold positions with essential job functions that cannot be done by telework are expected to continue their on-campus duties. 

CAMPUS ACCESS 
  • During the remote start period of January 18-January 25, campus will not be open for general access.
  • Upper-level undergraduate majors and graduate students working on Spring semester projects can request access through their respective studio managers.
  • Students needing study space during the remote period may utilize Skedda to book a space on campus. Students will be asked to show their Skedda reservation confirmation upon entry to campus.
  • Students who are granted access will need to pick up COVID Test Kits from the DMC security desk and complete regular testing to maintain their CoVerified clearance. 

TESTING 
  • Beginning January 17, 2022 (MLK Day), we will resume our regular testing for all those who will be on campus, according to this schedule.
     
    COVID Testing Site Hours
    Monday to Thursday 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
    Monday to Thursday 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
    Friday 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
    Saturday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
    Sunday Closed

MASKING & PHYSICAL DISTANCING
  • Recent public health guidance has indicated that cloth masks alone do not provide protection to help mitigate the spread of COVID. More effective and closer-fitting masks are needed to protect against the highly infectious Omicron variant. The College strongly recommends medical grade masks, which include KN95, N95, KF94, or surgical masks, be worn on campus. Cloth masks may be layered over a medical-grade mask, but cloth masks alone are not recommended.
  • The College has a large supply of surgical masks and has ordered KN95 masks to be available at the two campus entry points, DMC and Kennedy.
  • Physical distancing of 6 feet is encouraged, whenever possible. 

RESIDENCE HALLS
  • New students will move in on January 13, and returning students may move in as early as January 14. The process for move-in will be communicated with resident students shortly.
  • All resident students are encouraged to take a PCR test within 72 hours of move-in if available, AND will be required to take a rapid test upon arrival to campus, followed by a PCR test as soon as possible.
  • Resident students who test positive at check-in will not be allowed to move in until they’ve cleared isolation off-campus. 
  • Testing for resident students will be increased to twice a week until mid-February.
  • Masks will again be required in all common areas, and will be re-evaluated after one month.
  • No non-resident student guests will be allowed until at least mid-February, at which time we will re-evaluate this policy, based on weekly positivity rate and contact tracing.

BOOSTERS & AVAILABILITY

The recent emergence of the Omicron variant emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters to remain fully protected. Boosters, in most cases, can now be received within five months of an individual’s last vaccination. 

  • Students are required to receive their booster dose by March 4, 2022 and Faculty and Staff by mid-April, exact date to be shared shortly. All are strongly encouraged to receive their booster as soon as they are eligible.
  • Boosters can be scheduled through the vaxfinder.mass.gov site.
    • Fenway Park booster clinics are being held daily as of January 6, 2022.
    • MassArt will host a booster clinic on February 15. Information on any additional COF clinics will be provided shortly.

Isolation/Quarantine Times
  • Isolation due to a positive COVID test
    • Fully Vaccinated/Non-Resident - 5 days, provided symptoms are resolved/resolving and fever-free for 24 hours. Must also continue to wear a mask for 5 more days when around anyone, indoors or outdoors.
    • A negative antigen/rapid test will be required after day 5 to return to campus.
    • Unvaccinated - 10 days
    • Resident Student - 10 days
       
  • Quarantine due to close contact/exposure
    • Vaccinated & boosted - no need to quarantine unless specifically identified by a Contact Tracer as a high exposure risk
    • Vaccinated but not boosted - 7 days 
    • Unvaccinated - 10 days
    • Required for all:
      1. A negative PCR test at Day 5 or later, and
      2. Symptom free in order to return to campus.

MAAM / MASSART ART MUSEUM
  • Opening February 2
  • When we return to in-person, will require:
    • Advanced ticketing
    • Proof of vaccination

EVENTS & GATHERINGS
  • Virtual for the first week of the semester (January 18-January 25)
    • Re-evaluate after entire community has been tested 
    • The following large scale events currently scheduled for January will be held in virtual format:
      • Opening Day - Tuesday, January 18
      • MLK Jr. Celebration - Friday, January 28 

Dining Hall 
  • We are recommending a return to the practice of a 20-minute time limit on dining - this will help limit the amount of time where a mask might be removed.
  • Furniture has also been set at 6-feet physical distancing for added safety

Questions?

FAQs for Spring 2022 & Covid Safety

Please direct any questions you may have about these plans to one of the offices below, where colleagues are happy to help:

COVID-19
covid@massart.edu
Academic Affairs
academic.affairs@massart.edu
Student Life
studentdevelopment@massart.edu
Human Resources
humanresources@massart.edu