Transition to an Optional Self-Testing Program
August 3, 2022
COVID-19 Update: Transition to an Optional Self-Testing Program
As we look forward to September, the COVID-19 Task Force would like to welcome our new students and thank everyone for their continued efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of our campus community.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hampden County has a Low COVID-19 Community level. Although this is good news, COVID-19 is still circulating among us in the form of new subvariants, but the risk they pose for our community can be managed.
- To reduce risk, we recommend wearing a high-quality, well-fitted mask in crowded indoor settings. Please note, masks are still required when riding on the University shuttle and visiting Health Services.
Some Important News:
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.
New COVID Testing Now Available on Campus
For the fall semester, Bay Path University will no longer require regular surveillance testing. However, self-administered PCR and rapid/antigen testing will be offered as an option under certain circumstances. This transition to optional testing is informed by the guidance of public health officials of which the University has followed throughout the pandemic.
We are excited to announce that the University will make this transition by continuing our relationship with the Broad Institute and welcome their new partner, Color Health, Inc., to offer our students and employees quick and easy access to COVID-19 testing. Color Health is a population health testing company that has partnered with other major universities, municipalities, and enterprises to help facilitate large-scale COVID-19 testing programs. Learn more about this groundbreaking company.
Self-administered testing kits will be available in several location throughout the Longmeadow Campus and in the Phillip H. Ryan Health Center. Locations, instructions and additional details will be provided later on in the month.
Contact Tracing Update
Beginning August 22, if you test positive, you 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 take the next steps including: testing, monitoring for symptoms, and quarantining, 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.
If You Test Positive
If you are a student who has tested positive using the Broad/Color Health testing kits, a rapid test or outside testing program you will be required to report your results on MEDICAT and notify Health Services at email@example.com.
If you are a faculty/staff member who has tested positive using Broad/Color Health, a rapid test or outside testing program you are required to notify Ashley Pereira, Interim HR Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we continue to relax our mandatory restriction, we ask that each of us do our part to protect our community. If you have symptoms, we ask that you remain home. If you are sick and test negative for COVID, please wear a mask for the consideration of others. Respect those who wear a mask in mask-optional settings. No one should be made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcomed for wearing a mask.
We will continue to monitor indicators of pandemic activity regionally and within the Bay Path community. If new information indicates an increased health risk, some health and safety requirements may be reinstated.
More information about testing, close contact, and masking requirements will be provided later in the month.
Thank you for all your efforts to keep our community healthy.
The COVID-19 Task Force