Health & Safety Information
We will continue to follow the Massachusetts guidelines with the following additional protocols for our campus community.
Masks will be required for all students and employees, vaccinated and unvaccinated, indoors, in “public-facing” areas. N95 or KN95 masks are encouraged. Public-facing areas are defined as follows:
- All classrooms, library-space, meeting rooms, and conference rooms;
- the Sports Complex, gymnasiums, dance and workout space, and locker rooms;
- all cafeterias and serveries (except when actively eating);
- all hallways, restrooms, and other common areas in academic and administrative buildings;
- all health-related facilities and worship spaces; and
- any other space designated as public-facing.
Masks are encouraged but not required in residence halls for vaccinated individuals. Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals in residence halls.
Certain areas in residence halls may be designated as “mask required.” If this is the case, the area will be clearly marked with signs. However, in general, the residence halls are not being designated as “public facing.”
Yes, guests and visitors may access campus provided certain criteria are met. However, non-student guests will not be permitted in the residence halls for the first few weeks of the semester, until further notice is provided. Other campus guests and visitors are required to complete a short online form. Additional information and access to the form is available here.
Yes, at this time, residential and commuter students will be able to visit one another in their campus residence halls.
COVID-19 Testing at Stonehill
All students, employees, partners, and affiliates (vaccinated and unvaccinated) must submit a pre-arrival test. Please arrange for and take your test up to seven days in advance. Submitting your test results early will expedite processing of your documentation and help to avoid delays.
Securing a Pre-Arrival Test
The following are acceptable ways to secure your pre-arrival test:
- Come to the Testing Center in Alumni Hall on campus up to seven days before your move-in date or “first day” on campus, test, and go home, to await your results.
- Obtain a test on your own up to seven days before your move in date and upload it to our Student Health Services Portal if you are a student. Employees should upload their documentation here.
It is important to upload the test result prior to your move in date or “first day” on campus (allow at least 24 hours for your upload to be reviewed and approved).
Approved tests include:
- A PCR test administered by your medical provider, a pharmacy, or other health care professional.
- A rapid-antigen test administered by your medical provider, a pharmacy, or other health care professional.
- A self-administered rapid-antigen test.
These tests are available at most retail pharmacies like Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens, and large retailers like Target, Amazon, and Walmart. In-store and online availability may vary, please plan ahead.
Many of these tests have specific instructions about how to administer them, and some require that you take two tests within a 36-hour period, so while they are rapid tests (usually giving results within 15 minutes) you still need to plan ahead.
These tests may require you to register with the company and/or download an app to your phone in order to properly report results. Stonehill asks that you submit results using the method described in the tests instructions.
Stonehill strongly recommends that you verify the test you use has received, minimally, FDA approval for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90-days should submit a copy of their positive results instead of retesting, and do not have to submit a pre-arrival test and do not have to participate in weekly testing as current public health guidance does not require testing for 90 days after a positive result. If you had received a positive result from a test done at the Stonehill Testing Center, then you do not need to upload a test result, as we have it on file.
Submitting Your Test Results
We do accept photos of rapid antigen home kit tests results. Please ensure that the individual’s name and date that the test was taken is written on the test card prior to taking the photograph and uploading it. Students can upload a photograph to the Health Portal.
Please send an email to our Testing Center Coordinator, Monique Avila at email@example.com to provide information about your recent positive test, and please upload this test result to the Health Portal in order to satisfy the pre-arrival requirement. This positive test will take the place of your pre-arrival test, since current public health guidance recommends that an individual refrains from testing for 90 days after having a positive test. Please do not return to campus after a positive test taken within one week of the January move-in date without speaking to a member of the Contact Tracing/Health Services team first to ensure that you have finished an appropriate isolation period.
Please make sure the test has your name and date of the test on it. If it was a home rapid antigen test, please write your name/test date on the test card, photograph it, and upload the photograph to the student health portal.
At this time, the College anticipates requiring once a week surveillance testing of all vaccinated and unvaccinated students and employees. A determination on the extent and duration of surveillance testing will be made based upon the results of onboard testing as well as campus and local infection rates following the start of the semester.
Yes. The College will be providing symptomatic testing to students, faculty, and staff. During business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday), students experiencing symptoms should contact Health Services directly at 508-565-1307. Outside of normal business hours students should complete the Symptom Reporter and follow the guidance provided.
Employees experiencing symptoms should always contact their primary care provider first and follow up with COVID-19 Testing Center Director, Monique Avila at 508-565-1608.
No, however, to avoid long wait times students are asked to follow the general testing schedule below:
- A-L: Mon, Wed
- M-Z: Tue, Thu
Fridays are reserved for invalid tests performed earlier in the week.
The College will make reasonable efforts to send regular reminders via text to those who have not completed a test, but based on the current surge timely reminders may not always be possible and individuals are reminded that they are responsible for testing, and those who have not tested will be restricted from campus until a negative test is received.
For students, if you have questions regarding general health information and vaccines, you can contact Maria Sullivan, Director of Health Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-565-1307.
Employee should contact Monique Avila, COVID-19 Testing Center Coordinator, at email@example.com or 508-565-1608. She can also answer questions related to testing as well for all community members.
COVID-19 Case Management
When made aware of a presumptive positive test, the College collaborates with local and state health officials and works to implement contact tracing and all follow-up protocols. Faculty and staff who test positive will be sent home and required to self-isolate according to public health guidelines.
Students who test positive are expected to return home as well and should follow all public health guidelines. Those students who have to access public transportation and are therefore unable to return home will be moved when possible to an alternate campus location for isolation. Students required to self-isolate should contact their PCP for any medical concerns while isolating at home and Health Services if isolating on campus. Close contacts of the positive cases will be provided information consistent with public health guidelines to determine the need for quarantine.
Case management will occur for all persons with isolation or quarantine status, and they will be provided access to coursework, mental health support, and assistance with basic needs, such as food, as needed.
The Massachusetts Department of Health has adopted recommendations from the CDC regarding isolation and quarantine protocols, which the College will follow as we return for the spring.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination/booster status:
- Must remain in isolation for five days, regardless of having symptoms or not;
- Are required to isolate at home, unless public transportation would need to be accessed;
- Are eligible to leave isolation after five days if fever free for 24 hours and symptoms have improved;
- Must wear a mask indoors and outdoors for five days after having completed isolation when unable to maintain appropriate physical distancing;
- Individuals with ongoing symptoms must remain in isolation until symptoms resolve.
“Day 0” refers to the date of onset of symptoms or, if asymptomatic, the date of the positive test. “Day 1” of isolation refers to the day after the positive test, or the day after the onset of symptoms. (Example: 1/1/2022 you developed nasal congestion. On 1/3/2022 you test positive for Covid-19. Day 0 of your isolation period would be the day you started having symptoms.)
For more information on isolation protocols, check out this infographic.
The CDC recently updated their guidance that those who have been identified as a close contact and have not yet received their booster vaccination will be required to quarantine according to stated guidelines.
Close contacts who have received their booster or who are fully vaccinated with Moderna within the last six months, Pfizer within the last five months, or J&J within the last two months:
- Will not have to quarantine, unless symptomatic;
- Must wear a mask indoors and outdoors for 10 days when unable to maintain physical distancing;
- Are encouraged to test on day 5 after exposure or at any time if become symptomatic.
Close contacts who have not yet received their booster, and those with previously approved COVID vaccination exemptions:
- Must quarantine for 5 days (and are encouraged to do so at home);
- Must wear a mask indoors and outdoors after release from quarantine for 5 days when unable to maintain physical distancing;
- Should test on day 5-7 after exposure or at any time if symptomatic.
For more on quarantine protocols, check out this infographic.
Management of positive COVID-19 cases is coordinated with local public health officials. The College employs trained individuals who coordinate contact tracing. To aid in mitigating the spread of potential illness, all people diagnosed with COVID-19 should be prepared to list anyone who would be considered a “close contact” during the 48-72 hours prior to symptoms of illness onset up to the time of being notified of their positive test and onset of isolation. The College uses various means to perform contact tracing including telephone and email systems. Community members are expected to cooperate with contact tracing efforts.
Each week the College will publish a dashboard on its website. The dashboard will be available starting the first Monday after classes begin for the semester. View the dashboard here.
The College is prepared for many contingencies including plans to move to remote learning for a designated period of time if and when necessary. Please note that the guidance provided by public health officials with respect to the current surge helps to inform and provide context to such determinations with respect to high positivity rates within the context of community vaccination rates.
General Vaccination FAQs
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like washing hands often and staying at least six feet away from others. The College believes it is important to continue to follow Massachusetts Guidance.
No. Only if you have gotten two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or one dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine more than 14 days ago are you considered fully vaccinated.
It is important to note that the most effective tool against the virus is vaccination. Anyone can start their vaccination process now, and the College can assist.
In extraordinary circumstances, employees and students may still be able to receive a medical exemption by submitting a signed exemption from their licensed medical provider which documents a contraindication. For employees, while no specific form is required, documentation must be from a medical provider and should provide reasonable information which describes the reason why an individual cannot medically receive the vaccine.
An employee may receive a religious exemption by stating in writing that a vaccine conflicts with their sincerely held religious belief and submitting the form in confidence to Human Resources.
Students may also in extraordinary situations request to submit a late vaccination exemption (medical and religious) request to the Office of Health Services via the student health portal. Information about the Vaccination Exemption Request process is available upon request to the Director of Health Services.
It is not too late to get a flu vaccination. In fact, if you have not done so already, we strongly urge all individuals to receive their annual flu vaccine. It’s best to be vaccinated before flu begins spreading in your community. However, vaccination is still recommended because flu most commonly peaks in February and significant activity can continue into May.
Public health guidance is encouraging individuals to get the COVID-19 booster as soon as they are able. Per the CDC, "If you have recently had a COVID-19 breakthrough infection and are over 16 years old, it is recommended that you get your COVID-19 booster once your symptoms have resolved and you have met the criteria to end isolation—and the recommended time has elapsed since your primary series of either Pfizer (five months), Moderna (six months) or Johnson & Johnson (two months). Vaccinated people who received monoclonal antibodies as part of their COVID-19 treatment plan will need to wait 90 days before getting a COVID booster."
For anyone who has recently tested positive and has not already received a COVID-19 vaccine booster, we are extending a grace period for getting the booster, since you cannot get the booster until your infectious period/isolation period is over and you have recovered from your illness.
We ask that you schedule a booster dose within 30 days from the end of your isolation period if possible, which should allow for time to secure an appointment.
When you are ready to get your vaccine booster, there are a number of local providers in the Easton area who administer the vaccine, including retail pharmacies and regional vaccination sites. The following link helps you find a vaccine anywhere in Massachusetts.