October 29, 2020

Dear Assumption Community,

Due to the increase of positive COVID-19 cases and number of students in quarantine and isolation, the Worcester Department of Public Health contacted the University to assess the public health situation on campus. The city and University mutually agreed that a lock-down of campus effective 8 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, October 30 until Friday, November 6, with students sheltering in place, is necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on and off campus. The shelter-in-place status will significantly decrease interactions amongst members of the community and the potential spread of the virus.

All commuter students will be remote for the remainder of the semester. All faculty and staff, except for essential personnel, will teach and work remotely during the shelter-in-place. Campus offices will remain open to serve students, but remotely. Supervisors will inform staff this afternoon if they are classified as essential personnel.

At the end of the timeframe of the shelter-in-place, we will reassess the situation with the Worcester Department of Public Health. The University will continue to provide information to the community as it becomes available. 

Shelter-in-place means that students may not leave their residence hall, floor or apartment, nor exit or enter campus, except:
  • To pick up meals in Taylor, Charlie’s or at one of three drop-off locations if food is ordered from off-campus; students will be provided ample nourishment – three meals per day - during the shelter-in-place. (Each residence hall will be assigned a time to pick-up meals to reduce interaction.)
  • For medical emergencies
  • For the twice-per-week COVID-19 Testing

What does this shelter-in-place mean?
  • All classes will be held remotely for at least one week
  • All in-person co-curricular activities are suspended, including all athletics activities; virtual programming will continue
  • All intra-visitation is suspended
  • The Plourde will be closed, other than for testing
  • Package deliveries are also suspended
  • Meal delivery from off-campus is permitted, but will cease at 9 p.m. each evening
  • Meals may be delivered to the three drop-off locations on campus
  • For those students not on meal plan, please have groceries delivered by tomorrow, Friday, morning
  • Faculty and non-essential staff are prohibited from campus except for COVID-19 testing
  • Only essential personnel are permitted on campus after 8 a.m. Friday morning
  • We encourage faculty and staff to remain in the testing protocol. Faculty and staff will be permitted to go to the Testing Center, then immediately depart campus after they are tested
  • Those unable to remain in the testing protocol will need to have a baseline test when campus reopens.

If students wish to return home (including those in quarantine), please contact Residential Life to make the necessary arrangements. If students return home, they are not permitted to return to campus until January. Students in isolation should remain in Wachusett Hall until their isolation period has concluded, unless they decide to go home for the remainder of the semester.

As of 8 a.m. tomorrow, Friday morning, all visitors are prohibited from campus, except family members coming to campus to pick up their son or daughter to bring them home.

Students will be sent home for any instances of non-compliance with the shelter-in-place.

I realize the inconvenience that the shelter-in-place will cause students, faculty and staff, however this mutual decision by the Worcester Department of Public Health and the University is a necessary step to promote the health and safety of the campus and Worcester communities.

Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D.
500 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA, 01609  (508) 767-7000