April 16, 2021
Fall 2021: Easing the Safety Protocols
Dear Assumption Faculty and Staff,

As the spring semester concludes, we look forward to fall with aspirations of in-person classes and more students residing on campus amid an easing of the safety protocols (if conditions allow) that have kept the community safe for more than a year. Anticipating an improvement in the public health situation, please find below, information relative to the University’s plans for the fall semester. (This information will be shared with students this morning.)

Pivotal to welcoming as many students as possible back to campus this fall is achieving a minimum 90 percent vaccination rate of the campus community. To reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and the possibility of acute illness if you are infected, the University will require that all faculty and staff are fully vaccinated by Monday, August 9. Students must be fully vaccinated two weeks prior to their return to campus. To be fully vaccinated, you must have received all required vaccine doses and two weeks have passed after the final vaccination. Medical or religious exemptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please upload to Medicat proof of your vaccination once you have received all required doses of the vaccine.

The University anticipates positive changes to campus life this fall, changes that are welcome and that students have patiently awaited. If Commonwealth guidelines and the public health situation allow, and if 90 percent of the campus community is vaccinated, the fall 2021 semester will differ from the 2020 fall semester in the below ways:

  • The Academic Calendar (Subject to change based on the health conditions in the fall)
  • Returning students will move into residence halls by class year on Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29
  • It is anticipated that a 10-day quarantine will not be necessary for those who are vaccinated.
  • In-person classes will begin on Monday, August 30.
  • Students will again enjoy a day off on Labor Day and a return of the Columbus Day midterm break in October.
  • Campus Experience
  • Students who are vaccinated may be permitted to visit other residence halls and leave campus at their convenience.
  • Public gatherings and gatherings within residence halls will be accommodated in accordance with Commonwealth guidelines.
  • Maximum residential student occupancy will increase to 75 percent, or more, if permitted by the Commonwealth.
  • Additional students will be permitted to reside together in residence halls however, triple rooms will remain at double occupancy.
  • Most classes will be held in-person with additional students permitted in classrooms, which will be determined by Commonwealth social distancing guidelines for the fall.
  • Consequently, there will be some element of hybrid learning and some classes with remote-only instruction, depending upon the academic program.
  • Social distancing, wearing masks, daily symptom tracking, and regular testing will likely continue.
  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will follow the isolation protocol. 
  • Fully vaccinated individuals who have close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual will not need to quarantine unless symptomatic. Those not fully vaccinated who come into close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual will be required to quarantine.

We are hopeful that the virus will wane in its prevalence so we may collectively transition to a new normal of post-pandemic campus life. Please know that as the public health conditions change, the University will continue to share with you periodic updates.

The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has required each of us to make unprecedented and abnormal sacrifices for the benefit of the common good. Those sacrifices have been a challenge for our community, but the selfless efforts that define the Assumption spirit endured. A word of gratitude to the campus community for their arduous efforts to comply with the safety protocols this year.

It bears repeating that the University community is grateful for the continued patience of students and their families, as well as faculty and staff, since last March. Our decisions and safety protocols have been implemented to promote the health and safety of our campus community during a time of uncertainty and fluctuating conditions. This remains paramount and a responsibility we take seriously.

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