Skip to Main Content

Important Health Information-Fall-2022

August 23, 2022

All Employees and Students,

There are several important health reminders and updates for our Bay Path Community to consider as we prepare to return to campus for the 2022-2023 academic year. Please read below the important information regarding Covid-19 and Monkeypox.


Vaccination and Booster Requirements

All employees and students (including fully online course instructors and students and remote employees) planning to be on campus for any reason will be required to provide proof of vaccination and one booster shot. Additional boosters are not required, but are encouraged for those who are eligible. For extraordinary circumstances, employees and students may request a medical or religious exemption from receiving the vaccination or booster by submitting the appropriate form found on the portal.

Face Masks

Mask mandates will remain in effect when visiting Health Services or riding on the university shuttle. At this time face masks are optional for other locations on campus, including classrooms. Students and employees who are not vaccinated and have an approved medical or religious waiver ARE required to wear a mask in all indoor settings unless actively eating or able to completely isolate themselves from others. We continue to strongly encourage the use of high-quality masks to reduce the risk of transmission in crowded settings or for individuals who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. High-quality masks worn correctly and regularly will significantly reduce the risk of viral transmission even if others around you are not masked.

Social Distancing

Social distancing is no longer required in all indoor settings on campus.

The CDC has dropped its recommendation that individuals who are not up to date on vaccinations “stay at least six feet away from other people” in indoor public places. Instead, the CDC notes it is important to consider the risk in a particular setting, including local community levels. Currently, the COVID-19 infection level in Hampden County is classified as “low”.

All large-scale indoor events hosted on campus that are open to the public may require additional safety protocols. The sponsoring organization or department is required to contact John Stankiewicz at or 565.1217 for up-to-date guidance or to answer any questions.

Who Should Test

Students and employees are no longer required to participate in a regular surveillance testing regimen. However, self-administered PCR and Rapid/Antigen testing will be offered as an option under certain circumstances. The transition to optional testing is informed by the recent announcement from the CDC and public health officials.

Testing remains important in preventing the spread of infection and is recommended when circumstances warrant. Test results can inform your behaviors as you consider joining in-person classes, attending events, or traveling.

Close Contact

Any individuals with a known COVID-19 exposure (been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19) are encouraged to submit to a PCR test via our new Broad/Color Health testing option at least five (5) days after your exposure (sooner if symptoms develop). Beginning September 6, test kits will be available at these four locations:

  • Health Services / First floor Theinert Hall: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m.
  • Student Life Administrative & Transportation Assistant in Breck’s Student Life Office, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Hatch Library Monday-Friday, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. -9:00 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 9:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.
  • The Ryan Center-Health Science, 9:00 a.m -4:00 p.m.


Anyone experiencing symptoms is encouraged to take a rapid/antigen test as soon as possible. Results are available within 15 minutes. Test kits will be available at four locations on campus:

  • Health Services - Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Student Life Administrative & Transportation Assistant - Breck Student Life Office - Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Hatch Library - Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. -9:00 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 9:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.
  • The Ryan Health Science Center - 9:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m. 

How Do I Access Color Health and Submit My PCR Test?

More information about the testing procedure will be provided in a follow-up email and detailed instructions will also be displayed at each of the pick-up sites and the drop-off site located in the Blake Student Center.


Those who test positive are now responsible for informing your close contacts. We ask that you reach out to these close contacts as soon as possible to let them know of their exposure and the date, so they can make the necessary plans and determinations for their next steps. With your assistance, these close contacts can be made aware of their exposure so they can take steps to complete a test, monitor for symptoms, and quarantine if applicable. If any close contacts have questions about how you made your determination, we ask that you have a discussion with this individual directly.

Did You Test Positive?

Students who have tested positive using Color Health, a rapid test or an outside testing program should seek guidance here. Students who test positive outside of the Color Health program should report their results on MEDICAT and notify Health Services at

Employees who have tested positive using Color Health, a rapid test or outside testing program should see guidance here and are required to notify Interim HR Director Ashley Pereira at

On-campus Isolation

All on-campus students who test positive for Covid-19, regardless of their living situation, are required to isolate themselves in Theinert Hall. Further instruction will be provided by a member of the Student Life Team. Whenever possible, students are strongly encouraged to return to their permanent residence by private car to complete their isolation period.


Monkeypox is a rare disease first identified in 1958 that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It has recently been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). Since May 2022, there have been over 28,000 cases reported worldwide.

Monkeypox spreads primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids.

Monkeypox is not a Sexually Transmitted Infection but can spread through close physical contact like kissing, cuddling, or sex. It can also spread through direct contact with infectious rashes, scabs or fluids or by touching items that have previously been touched by an infectious rash or bodily fluids (such as clothing, sheets, or towels).

Monkeypox may start with symptoms similar to the flu, including fever, chills, generalized body aches, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of a fever or other flu-like symptoms, a person can develop a painful or itchy rash that looks like a blister. The rash may be located near the genitals, anus, inside of the mouth, hands, feet, chest, or face.

Monkeypox is not a new illness, however, there is concern about the increasing number of cases across the United States and globally. At this time, data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up the majority of cases in the current monkeypox outbreak. However, anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.

If a student is experiencing symptoms of monkeypox, we recommend that they contact a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Healthcare providers can provide testing. Vaccines are available to some individuals who have been exposed to monkeypox. Local vaccination sites can be found on the official website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Health Services is available to answer any questions regarding symptoms or testing at

Employees with monkeypox symptoms or exposure should contact their primary care provider.

For more information on the monkeypox virus, including preventative measures, please visit the following:

As always, the COVID-19 Task Force is grateful for your cooperation and will continue to monitor public health trends (both locally on and off our campuses) and our requirements and guidance will be updated accordingly.

Thank you for all you do to keep our community healthy.
COVID-19 Task Force