Coronavirus Information 2022-23

As the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve from a pandemic to an endemic disease, mitigation strategies also continue to evolve. This page provides resources and information about expectations on campus as well as links to the experts. The university reserves the right to revise expectations based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Massachusetts Department of Health guidance, as well as conditions on campus and in the community.

Note: This page reflects news and information for the 2022-23 academic year. To learn about the university's response in 2020-22, and to see an archive of communications and data related to the first 30 months of the pandemic, please visit our earlier COVID information in the 2020-21 archive and 2021-22 archive.

Update for Returning Students, Spring 2023

As students return to residence halls for the Spring 2023 semester, the university will provide two COVID tests upon check-in. While students will not be required to test during check-in and share results, they are encouraged not to come to campus if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Students who are symptomatic are asked call their primary care provider, follow their recommendations, and notify studentaffairs@fitchburgstate.edu, being sure to indicate that they are are a residential student.

Vaccine and Boosters

All members of the Fitchburg State community, students, faculty, and staff, are required to provide documentation of a complete initial vaccine course and one booster. Medical or  religious exemptions will be considered. To submit documentation of vaccine and booster, please email a copy of your immunization card to immunizations@fitchburgstate.edu (students) or HRCovid@fitchburgstate.edu (employees.) If you have already provided Fitchburg State documentation of your vaccine and/or booster, no need to send again. Note that religious exemptions must be renewed annually.

Medical or religious exemption requests: 

Testing

Fitchburg State will continue to offer rapid COVID test kits to members of our community. Tests (and masks) are available on campus:

  • Hammond Hall Information Desk
  • Human Resources, Sanders 202
  • Student Affairs, Sanders 204
  • Housing & Residential Services Office, Aubuchon Hall

We encourage campus community members to observe if you are becoming symptomatic and test to determine if you are COVID positive. See below for what to do if you are symptomatic.

Masking Policy

(updated Aug. 19, 2022)

Fitchburg State University is a mask-optional campus. This means that the wearing of masks is an individual decision based on personal choice. All community members and guests are strongly encouraged to wear masks at any time when it is personally warranted or desired to protect oneself or others. Please be respectful of each other’s choice. Mask wearing has been shown to be a successful tool in reducing the spread of germs, and we encourage people to wear masks, if they choose. Please continue to carry a mask with you while on campus to be able to accommodate requests. If you have forgotten yours, you may pick one up at the Hammond Information Desk, or in the Sanders Administration Building in the Student Affairs Office or Human Resources.

There are a few exceptions to the policy, which include:

  • Employees may request that others don a mask when entering a private office at the request of the staff/faculty member. Employees requiring guests to mask in their office will also wear a face mask or alternative covering.
  • Faculty have the option of requiring masks in their classrooms. Students must comply with individual faculty requests. A faculty member requiring students to mask in the classroom will also wear a face mask or alternative covering if approved in the classroom.
  • Common office spaces may have employees with personal preference related to mask wearing. Individuals are welcome to wear a mask or alternative covering at their work space. (Managers do not have the authority to require that individuals in the common office space be masked unless all employees agree.)
  • The university library is a mask-optional space. Librarians have the option of requiring masks when engaged in instructional sessions.
  • The university administration reserves the right to require mask-wearing or make modifications to this policy at any time in the future, if COVID-19-related data necessitates it. If there are additional memorandums of agreement with unions, administration will review and determine if changes need to be made to this policy.

Isolation and Quarantine for Residential Students

Residential students who test positive for COVID-19 will be asked to return home to isolate if it is safe for them to do so without using public transportation. Students unable to return home will be required to isolate themselves in a residence hall designated for this purpose for a minimum of five days and will be able to resume normal activities on day six, if symptoms have improved or resolved, and if a negative rapid test is demonstrated.

What Should I Do if I am Symptomatic?  

If you are symptomatic for COVID-19, begin wearing a mask whenever you are around others and obtain a rapid test off campus or from the Hammond Information Desk or Human Resources. If the test is positive, return to your living environment. Then notify studentaffairs@fitchburgstate.edu (students) or HRcovid@fitchburgstate.edu (employees) of the result. Students should also notify your faculty members, and employees should notify your supervisors. If you are a residential student, contact the Housing office (978.665.3219) during regular business hours or University Police (978.665.3111) after hours/weekends/holidays to discuss isolation options.

Contact your primary care physician.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following:

Resources

Dear Fitchburg State Community,

We are around the midpoint of the Fall 2022 semester, and cold and flu season is upon us. It seems like a good time to remind our community about resources and expectations when folks feel sick.

If you are experiencing symptoms, feel unwell, or have been exposed to colds, flu, or COVID, please do the following per CDC guidance. Here is the short version. For more detail, see below.

  • If you have been exposed to any respiratory infection (COVID-19, flu, colds, etc.):
    • Wear a mask when out in public, no matter the cause
    • Monitor symptoms
    • Test for COVID if symptoms are present
    • Test on Day 5 if symptoms do not manifest
  • If you are sick for any reason, please stay away from campus
  • Tests and masks are available on campus:
    • Hammond Hall Information Desk
    • Human Resources, Sanders 202
    • Student Affairs, Sanders 204
    • Housing & Residential Services Office, Aubuchon Hall

More details:

Note:

  • Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19
  • Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure
  • Continue precautions for 10 full days.

Expectations for the Fitchburg State community:

  • Wear a high-quality mask as soon as you find out you were exposed to COVID. 
    • Wear a mask if you have been exposed to colds or the flu as well.
    • Take extra precautions if you will be around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
    • If you forget your mask, masks are available at the Hammond Information Desk, Housing Office, Human Resources and Student Affairs, Sanders Administration Building
  • Begin monitoring your symptoms and testing for COVID. 
  • If you develop symptoms:
  • Test at least 5 full days after your last exposure (which would actually be Day 6)
    • If you test negative, continue with precautions through Day 10
    • If you test positive, isolate immediately