COVID-19 Task Force Rescinds Vaccination Mandate
April 19, 2023
All Employees and Students,
Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bay Path University’s COVID-19 Task Force diligently met each new challenge by implementing the most suitable health and safety measures, including mandating the COVID-19 vaccination as the national surge of COVID-19 variants took hold in the spring of 2021. From the outset, the Task Force has prioritized the health and well-being of our community, and we extend our gratitude to the students, faculty and staff who have played a pivotal role in keeping themselves and others safe.
At present, the status of the COVID-19 pandemic has markedly improved, with cases and hospitalizations continuing to decline in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the United States. This can be attributed to a combination of factors, such as the availability of new vaccines and boosters, advanced treatment options, immune response after infection, appropriate use of other protective measures, and our enhanced knowledge of how to treat the most vulnerable. This has led many institutions, businesses and states, including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to reassess their response to COVID-19 and adapt accordingly.
As a result, as the pandemic transitions from a critical public health crisis to a personal health responsibility, Bay Path University has made the decision to no longer mandate the COVID-19 vaccination (the primary series and booster(s)) for students and employees.
The policy change will come into effect on May 11, 2023, coinciding with the end of the COVID-19 national public health emergency. However, there still may be certain situations in which students and employees must be vaccinated due to the requirements of the hospitals and health care facilities where they work and study.
While members of the Bay Path community are no longer required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, the University “strongly encourages” all members to stay up to date with COVID-19 immunizations in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations.
Bay Path University welcomes invited visitors and guests to campus. However, campus buildings will remain accessible via the Bay Path University ID only. As such, visitors will need to be met at the door and escorted into the buildings by members of the Bay Path University community. It should be noted that visitors are no longer required to be vaccinated.
Resident students are still required to comply with the Residential Life and Learning guest policy and pre-register overnight guests by submitting a “Visitor Guest Request Form.” Nevertheless, guests of resident students are no longer obligated to provide proof of having received a COVID-19 vaccination.
All students, employees, and visitors are free to choose to wear a mask. However, face coverings are still recommended in certain situations, such as for those who are immunocompromised. It is important to note that masks are still required when visiting the health services suite.
Positive COVID-19 Tests
Students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 are no longer required to report their results to the University. Instead, all students and employees should refer to the CDC for isolation guidance following a positive test and consult with their healthcare provider for appropriate care.
Rapid antigen tests will continue to be provided, free of charge, at the following locations until December 12, 2023 or until supplies last:
- Health Services, Student Life-Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Hatch Library
- Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM 9:00 PM
- Friday and Saturday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Sunday 1:00 PM - 9:00 PM
- Ryan Center by calling Helen Gentile at 413-565-1059
Although the COVID-19 vaccination mandate has been lifted, the Task Force will still continue to monitor any new developments and provide updates as they arise. The Task Force would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the Bay Path community during the unprecedented public health crisis.
The COVID-19 Task Force