COVID-19: Updates, Resources and Information

Welcome to our COVID-19 planning site, designed to keep our community informed of the steps Framingham State University is taking in response to this public health emergency. I encourage everyone to visit this site regularly for the latest information and updates on our planning.

The pandemic continues to evolve with new variants forcing communities to adjust on the fly in order to keep everyone safe. At FSU, we are following the highest safety standards while continuing to offer students as close to a normal college experience as possible. I'm grateful to everyone for their efforts as we navigate this public health crisis.

President Cevallos

President F. Javier Cevallos

COVID-19 Vaccinations - Boosters Now Required

Framingham State University will host a booster clinic on campus for members of the FSU community from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Monday, February 7th.  FSU recently joined the rest of the Massachusetts State University System in announcing that all students, faculty, and staff will be required to get a COVID19 vaccine booster within 30 days of becoming eligible. This decision requires all members of our community who do not have an eligible exemption and who plan to live, learn or work on campus to get boosted.  Click here for more information.

Preparing for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

Framingham State University is preparing for an academic year that should look much more like a traditional semester with in-person classes, full residence halls, athletics and activities. We will continue to follow all safety guidance from local, state and federal officials as we move to reopen our campus.

The University has updated its isolation and quarantine policies for those who test positive for COVID-19 to match the latest CDC Guidelines.

Isolation Guidance if you test positive for COVID19:

For Everyone: In accordance with the current CDC guidelines, individuals who receive a positive COVID test result or experience symptom onset must go into *isolation for a minimum of 5 days with the first day being the day after their positive result is received.

If symptoms have resolved or are significantly improved, and the individual is at least 24 hours fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication:

  • For residential students: Residential students who are in isolation on campus must take a rapid COVID test on day 6 and receive a negative result before leaving isolation. If a negative result is received the individual may resume low contact activities and remain masked when around people for an additional 5 days. If a positive result is received, the individual must remain in isolation until a negative rapid test result is received and then begin the 5-day masking requirement described above when in contact with other individuals.

    Individuals who are isolating at home and are unable to obtain a rapid test may remain in isolation for a full 10 day period and not be required to produce a rapid test result.
    Resident students who isolate off campus can return on day 6 with a negative rapid test or on day 11 without a test. Test results may only be received and approved by the FSU Health Center Monday-Friday regardless of when they are taken.

  • For nonresidential students/commuters: Nonresidential/commuter students should follow the protocol described above for residential students, but the rapid test requirement is recommended rather than required.

  • For employees: Rapid test on day 6 or later is recommended for employees before returning to work but not required. Employees must read and complete the Return to Work Self-Attestation form to hr-leaves@framingham.edu. and wait to receive a response confirming receipt and approval prior to returning to campus.

*Isolation: People in isolation should stay in a specific “sick room” or area and use a separate bathroom if available.

Helpful charts to explain isolation guidance:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FIWgxwfVgAE6fGv.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FIWgxwlVEAEb0Q9.jpg

Quarantine Guidance if you have been exposed to COVID19:

If you were exposed to Covid-19 and are up-to-date with the vaccine:

• No quarantine is required if you do not have symptoms (you may go about your usual activities)
• Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days whenever you’re around others
• Monitor your symptoms for 10 days
• If you develop any symptoms, isolate and get tested
• Even if you don’t develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after Covid contact
• Avoid travel
• Avoid people who are high risk

If you were exposed and NOT up to date with the vaccine

• Stay home and quarantine for 5 days
• Wear a well-fitting mask around anyone in your home
• Monitor for symptoms for 10 days
• If you develop any symptoms, get tested
• Even if you don’t develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after Covid contact
• If negative, you may be released from quarantine but must continue wearing a mask through day 10
• Avoid travel for 10 days
• Avoid people who are high risk

Here is a helpful CDC chart with the same information:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html#print

Below are the dates and times for FSU community asymptomatic testing through the Spring Semester. Any member of the FSU community is invited to test on the listed dates. No appointment needed. All testing will take place in the gym

  • Onboarding testing for Spring Semester: January 17-19 9:30-2:30 each day

Regular Testing Schedule:

  • Monday 1/24/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 1/25/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Wednesday 1/26/2022 10am-1pm
  • Monday 1/31/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 2/1/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Monday 2/7/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 2/8/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Monday 2/14/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 2/15/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • NO TEST Monday Holiday 2/18/2022
  • Tuesday 2/22/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Thursday 2/24/2022 10am-1pm
  • Monday 2/28/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 3/1/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Monday 3/7/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 3/8/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Monday 3/21/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 3/22/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Monday 3/28/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 3/29/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Monday 4/4/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 4/5/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Monday 4/11/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 4/12/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • NO TEST Monday Holiday 4/18/2022
  • Tuesday 4/19/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Thursday 4/21/2022 10am-1pm
  • Monday 4/25/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 4/26/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Monday 5/2/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 5/3/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Monday 5/9/2022 10am-1pm
  • Tuesday 5/10/2022 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Thursday 5/12/2022 10am-1pm

Q: What exactly are COVID-19 symptoms?

A: Symptoms of a COVID-19 infection can be similar to the common cold, the flu or allergies and include cough, fever, difficulty breathing, nasal congestion or discharge, sore throat, headache, new loss of sense of smell or taste, chest pain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, body aches and fatigue.

Q: When will the COVID dashboard be available to the community and how often will it be updated?

A: The COVID dashboard is currently available here. It is updated every Monday.

Q: May I ask an employee/student about their vaccination status? What should I do if an employee/student reveals they are not vaccinated?

A: You should not inquire of an employee or a student whether they are vaccinated, as this is personal medical information. However, if an employee/student reveals they are not vaccinated, you should ask them to make sure they are completely compliant with masking and testing requirements. The employee/student may have received a medical or religious exemption for the vaccination mandate. If so, they are subject to a weekly testing regimen.

Q: Can asymptomatic faculty and staff be tested on campus?

A: Yes, both students and employees who are asymptomatic may be tested on campus weekly at our regular Tuesday testing clinics at the Athletic Center from 9:30-2:30. This asymptomatic testing is referred to as surveillance testing (meaning for those without any symptoms) and is encouraged for everyone at FSU.

Q: How will the University ensure that anyone with a vaccination exemption is being tested regularly and is not attending classes or other on-campus activities if they are not completing these tests?

A: The University is tracking testing for students & employees with exemptions. They will also be removed from on-campus classes either temporarily or permanently if they fail to satisfy the required testing.

Q: I don’t understand contact tracing – how is it done and who does it?

A: Contact tracing follows standard guidelines and seeks to verify from the COVID positive individual who their “close contacts” were prior to their diagnosis. Not everyone that individual had contact with in the days prior to their diagnosis is considered a “close contact”. Factors such as the amount of time spent with the individual and their location to other individuals’ factor into this determination. Only close contacts are notified that they may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19. Depending upon that individual’s status as a vaccinated or unvaccinated individual, will determine whether testing, isolation or quarantine is recommended or required.

Who performs the contact tracing of the person with the positive test depends upon who receives the results of a COVID-19 test. For on campus student cases, this is often/usually the FSU Health Center. For employees, assuming they tested off campus, that is generally their local Department of Public Health. The FSU Health Center works with local public health authorities to identify both on and off campus contacts.

Q: What should I do if a student in my class exhibits symptoms that are consistent with a COVID infection?

A: A student exhibiting symptoms should be referred to the FSU Health Center for testing and asked not to return to class unless they test negative for COVID. The Health Center will be issuing a letter to students who are cleared to attend class.

Q: What should I do if a student informs me they tested positive for COVID?

A: If a student informs you they have tested positive for COVID, you should (a) inform the student not to come to in person class until they are past the 10-day isolation period, and (b) ask the student to report this to the Health Center if they have not already done so and. (c) inform the Health Center of the notice you received from the student at healthcenter@framingham.edu.

Q: Will I be notified if a student in my class tests positive for COVID?

A: As with any other illness or injury that results in a need for an absence from class, you will be notified by the Dean of Students Office of an absence that is due a medical condition. However, the notification does not specify the medical diagnosis, as that constitutes personal medical information. The notification that you receive indicating a 10-day absence for a student could be due to a positive test result or a student who is in quarantine due to an exposure, but not a positive test result. The Health Center will undertake contact tracing in such cases, and an instructor and members of a class will be notified if they need to undergo testing. In cases where the student tests positive off campus, it is likely the student will contact you first. Please ask the student to contact the Health Center so contact tracing can begin.

Q: If a COVID-positive student was recently in my class, do others in the class need to quarantine or be tested? What is the contact-tracing process?

A: As soon as the Health Center is notified of a positive case in a class, Center staff will begin the contract tracing process. A close contact is defined by the CDC and MDPH as anyone who is within 6 feet of a person has tests positive for more than 15 min. The MA Public Health protocol does not require testing or quarantining for vaccinated people who are in close contact with a person who tests positive. However, in an excess of caution, the Health Center will be requesting testing of all members of the class, including the instructor on the next scheduled campus testing date (most often Tuesdays from 9:30-2:30). Should there be an individual in the class who has received a vaccine exemption, they will be directly instructed to quarantine.

Q: What kinds of accommodations are we expected to give students who are required to quarantine?

A: If a student needs to miss class due to quarantining or isolation requirements, you should provide the same kinds of support and assistance that you would provide to any student who needs to be absent from class due to illness or injury. Students will reach out to notify you if they will be absent from class due to any COVID related reason.

Q: Why can symptomatic students be tested at the Health Center, but employees cannot?

A: The Health Center is funded exclusively through student fees and has the capacity only to serve students’ health needs. It is not on a preferred providers list for any of FSU’s employer health plans. Employees who have symptoms should not come to campus. They should seek testing and treatment from their own health care provider or through their own local community’s programs, comply with all other Human Resources policies related to absenteeism due to illness, and notify Human Resources of their positive test.

Q: One of my staff has arrived on campus, has reported to work, and is exhibiting symptoms, what should I do?

A: It’s always advisable if someone is sick or exhibiting symptoms of an illness that they not stay on the job where they have the potential to spread their illness to others. As COVID symptoms often seem like a cold, allergy or flu, testing of a symptomatic individual is important to reduce the possibility of the spread of the illness. Supervisors should ask the employee exhibiting symptoms to go home and advise COVID testing at their local free site.

The employee must use accrued leave time for an absenteeism due to a COVID related matter, unless the supervisor approves remote work if feasible and the employee feels well enough to work until the COVID test results are received.

Employees who are symptomatic cannot test on campus. Testing is available at many pharmacies and in multiple public locations including the following:

• Framingham Project Beacon https://www.mass.gov/info-details/regional-express-covid-19-testing-sites-in-massachusetts
• Ashland Stop the Spread
• Metro West Pharmacy, 214 Union Avenue, Framingham, MA info@metrowestpharmacy.com

The employee must use accrued leave time for an absenteeism due to a COVID related matter, unless the supervisor approves remote work if feasible and the employed feels well enough to work until the COVID test results are received. Human Resources is able to advise the employee if supplemental leave time is available for the purpose of seeking the test and/or awaiting test results.

The supervisor should report this information to Human Resources at 508-626-4570 or hr-leaves@framingham.edu. The employee will be asked to present a negative COVID test result before returning to campus.

Q: One of my staff reports receiving a positive COVID test result, what should I advise them?

A: An employee should not come to work on campus after receiving a positive COVID test result.

The employee must use accrued leave time for this absence, unless the supervisor approves remote work if feasible and employee feels well enough to work. Human Resources can advise the employee if supplemental leave time is available for the purpose of isolation and recovery.

The supervisor should report this information to Human Resources at 508-626-4570 or hr-leaves@framingham.edu. The employee will be asked to present medical documentation from the local board of health prior to return to work on campus.

Q: One of my staff has called out sick and is describing flu-like symptoms what should I advise them?

A: An employee should not come to work while feeling sick, but should follow standard procedures for calling out sick.

Q: I have to miss work because:
• I’m waiting for my COVID test results
• I have tested positive for COVID-19
• I’m caring for a family member with COVID-19

A: Call the Human Resources office at 508-626-4570 or email hr-leaves@framingham.edu to determine the type of time that you are eligible to use depending upon your individual situation.

Q: One of my staff recently tested positive for COVID – should I have our office area cleaned?

A: You can contact Human Resources at 508-626-4570. They will discuss the circumstances with the Facilities department to determine if additional cleaning/sanitizing is required. In accordance with CDC guidelines, if it has been more than 24-hours since the employee has been on campus, additional cleaning is typically not required.

Q: I have to miss class because:
• I’m waiting for my COVID test results and I’m having COVID
• I have tested positive for COVID

A: Don’t go to your face-to-face course if you have any COVID related symptoms or you have tested positive for COVID. Contact your faculty member and explain your situation and work with them to devise a plan for you to continue your coursework remotely while you work with the Health Center to determine when you can safely return to class.

Prevention

Prevention

The best way to prevent illness is to get vaccinated. On its website, the CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases.

If you are a student experiencing a fever and symptoms of a respiratory illness (such as cough or shortness of breath), please contact your PCP or University Health Services (508) 626-4900. The Health Center is also available to answer questions from faculty and staff, but those who are experiencing symptoms should contact their PCP.

Trust the Facts, Get the Vax

Stimulus Fund Reporting

Stimulus Fund Reporting

Framingham State University is receiving funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) under Section 18004 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT).  Half of this funding will be used for emergency grants to students and can cover expenses due to the disruption of campus operations from COVID-19. Such expenses may include housing, food, technology, health care, or child care.

Disclosures & Reports

Helpful Links

Campus Contacts

OfficeEmailPhone
University Police508-626-4911
Health CenterView Email508-626-4900
Counseling CenterView Email508-626-4640
Dean of Students OfficeView Email508-626-4596
Academic AffairsView Email508-626-4582
Human ResourcesView Email508-626-4530

Anyone with an @framingham.edu e-mail address is welcome to submit comments or suggestions on the University’s response to the COVID19 pandemic to c19suggestions@framingham.edu.

Virtual FSU

Our students often say they feel it as soon as they step on campus. The sense of community and fRAMily is something in which we take great pride. We want you to feel it, too, even if you can't physically visit our campus. We have built a number of virtual experiences for students and families who are new to our community so you can connect virtually with faculty, students and staff.