Massachusetts issued a new travel order effective August 1, 2020 that applies to all individuals entering Massachusetts, including returning residents. An exemption to this order is granted to individuals entering Massachusetts from a lower risk state designated by the Department of Public Health (DPH). States currently designated as lower risk by DPH include Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.
Those that do not meet the exemption must:
- Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival; and
- Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts
In order to comply with the state travel order, Wheaton students coming to campus from any state, jurisdiction or country other than the lower-risk states designated above must do the following prior to arrival on campus:
- Provide the College with documentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result on a sample that was taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts; or
- Quarantine off campus in Massachusetts or a lower risk-state until you receive a negative test result; or
- Quarantine off campus in Massachusetts or a lower-risk state for 14 days
At least one of the above measures must be met prior to student arrival on campus for move-in. Now that Massachusetts has opened up the opportunity to take a test prior to travel, we highly encourage students from high-risk states to take a test prior to departing your area. This state order is no longer just an advisory and the state has declared that failure to comply with the travel order may result in a $500 fine per day.
If you cannot satisfy this requirement, you should seriously consider studying remotely for the semester, as we have seen other students already choose to do. Given what we are seeing on the national level, we do not expect relaxation in these restrictions and the uncertainty of every state’s pandemic situation could even lead to any of the current states being removed from the lower-risk list.
If a parent/guardian/family member is entering Massachusetts only to drop off the student and then immediately leaves the campus and the state, then they would meet an exemption for transitory travel and need not provide a negative test or quarantine. If they are staying overnight, then they are subject to the requirements of the state’s travel order.
All students, regardless of what state they are traveling from and whether they have a negative COVID test within 72 hours, will still be required to adhere to the college’s testing and quarantine protocols upon arrival to campus.
Travel Off Campus
The college expects employees to limit business travel. If travel is necessary, employees are expected to follow the national and state travel guidelines. The college will utilize a travel registry to track all business-related travel of faculty, staff, and students.
Employees should not travel together in a vehicle and if group travel is necessary, then face masks should be worn at all times.
All on-campus residents are strongly encouraged to minimize travel off campus. Travel should be limited to essential needs such as attending medical appointments or work. It is expected that all residents abide by current college policy regarding off-campus or out-of-state travel and the subsequent requirements for self-isolation. All students, residential and commuter students, are expected to practice social distancing, face covering and good hygiene practices.
Employees started to return to campus on June 15 in a coordinated, phased-in process. The college’s phased plan is designed to support the re-opening efforts while safely and appropriately increasing the on-campus presence of staff to support the return of students in August. The complex process of reintroducing employees to on-campus work will be tightly controlled and coordinated to mitigate potential risks and promote the safety of the entire campus community. Therefore, departments should not increase staffing levels in their areas without approval from their senior manager or division head and the Office of Human Resources. For more information please refer to the Return to On-Campus Work Guidelines posted on insideWheaton.
Visitors include vendors, contractors, family members or friends of a student or employee, prospective students and their families, alumni, and guest speakers.
Visitors will be restricted unless they have prior approval from:
- Vice President for Finance and Administration for any contractors or vendors
- Vice President for Enrollment and/or Director of Athletics for prospective students and families
- Associate Vice President for Human Resources for any interviewees
- Provost for any guest lecturers or speakers
Admission tours will be limited in the number of registrants, conducted with staggered start times and locations, and will be restricted to outdoors.
All visitors to campus are expected to comply with college safety guidelines, including face coverings, symptom checks and social distancing.