Dear Faculty and Staff,
With many of you returning to work on campus Monday, Aug. 2, we are writing to share information on public health measures in place for faculty and staff, based on federal and state guidance. We are also closely following developments regarding the Delta variant of COVID-19, and we will provide timely updates as needed.
- Every day before coming to campus, faculty and staff are expected to monitor their individual health condition and use the COVID-19 Daily Self Checklist.
- Vaccination remains the most important protection against COVID-19. The university believes the great majority of our faculty and staff want to and will be vaccinated, as reflected in Massachusetts’ high vaccination rate. All faculty and staff are strongly recommended to get vaccinated, and the university continues to operate a walk-in vaccine clinic. Requiring employee vaccinations is a term and condition of employment, which would need to be adopted in concert with our union partners. The university is in active conversation with unions about the importance of vaccinations to keep the campus safe.
- Individuals who have been fully vaccinated are not required to wear a mask or physically distance on campus, both outdoors and indoors. But individuals, as a personal choice, can certainly continue to wear a mask if they would like.
- Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are advised to wear face coverings in indoor settings and when they can’t socially distance. They may remove their face covering only in a private office when alone.
- Face coverings remain mandatory for all individuals in some limited circumstances: on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, PVTA and transportation stations); childcare facilities; healthcare facilities such as University Health Services; Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH), when getting tested at the Public Health Promotion Center at the Mullins Center; and the UMass Vaccine Clinic in the Campus Center.
This summer, Custodial Services focused on cleaning and sanitizing all offices and public spaces for the return of faculty and staff. Moving forward, they are shifting their focus on preparing auditoriums and classrooms for the start of classes. If you have a facilities question or concern, please contact the Solutions Center at 413-545-6401 or enter a request online.
Asymptomatic testing continues at the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC). Faculty not fully vaccinated are expected to be tested weekly if they are teaching or conducting research on campus. Staff not fully vaccinated are expected to be tested weekly if they work on campus. All fully vaccinated members of the UMass community no longer need to be tested regularly for COVID-19. Optional testing is available for all faculty and staff at their discretion.
Thank you for your continued vigilance as we work together to make the return to campus a safe and welcoming experience.
Co-Directors of the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC)
Ann Becker, Public Health Director
Jeffrey Hescock, Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety