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Coronavirus Pandemic Updates

Safety, job security top staff concerns for the fall

Emerson staff members are grappling with safety risks and the threat of job insecurity, as the college proceeds with a reopening plan that brought much of the community back to Boston.  Hundreds of full or part-time staff returned to their

In swift reversal, Emerson opts for daily COVID-19 updates

In a shift from prior announcements, Emerson administrators vowed Tuesday to begin updating the college’s COVID-19 dashboard daily after more than a month of less frequent updates. The decision marks a swift reversal for college officials, who originally said information

ELA campus won’t reopen in the fall, classes to remain online

Emerson’s Los Angeles campus will not reopen for in-person classes in the fall semester in light of new COVID-19 guidance from LA county officials. The program will continue online instruction through December and students may still be able to enroll

Emerson Coronavirus Testing

Last updated 1:12 p.m. Sept. 25 (All data is cumulative to date)


Positive Tests




Positive Test Rate

Reopening is going to plan, administrators say

The first week of Emerson’s reopening put into practice a plan that attempts to continue in-person instruction while staving off COVID-19 outbreaks, like those popping up at universities nationwide. So far, Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Jim Hoppe

Emerson reports three new positive tests since Monday

Emerson reported three new positive COVID-19 test results between Aug. 30 and Sept. 2, bringing the community’s positive tests to 10 out of 7,422 administered.  One individual is currently in isolation on campus, and 10 are quarantined on campus, according

Campus capacity severely limited with new retrofitting measures

The rapidly approaching fall semester will see Emerson’s vertical downtown Boston campus drastically altered due to COVID-19 safety restrictions and new retrofitting designed to keep larger groups from confined spaces, like elevators and stairwells.  Instead of students populating up to

State to mandate flu shot for college students

All college students will have to get the flu vaccine in the fall when it becomes available, the Massachusetts Department of Health announced Wednesday afternoon. Students older than six months attending child care, pre-school, kindergarten, K-12, and colleges and universities

Emerson reports first positive COVID-19 case since April

One Emerson community member has tested positive for COVID-19 and entered isolation, a college official announced Monday afternoon, marking the first time the highly contagious virus has permeated the college’s campus this summer. Assistant Vice President for Campus Life Erik

Paramount to house classes despite quarantine designation

Emerson will hold classes in the Paramount Center in the fall, just below the building’s residential floors that will serve as the college’s designated quarantine space for those exposed to or infected with COVID-19.  The decision will put healthy students

Emerson Class of 2020 commencement pushed to next year

The classes of 2020 and 2021 will share a commencement weekend in May 2021, the college announced Friday Both commencement ceremonies will take place the same weekend on May 8-9. The college will host two separate ceremonies, rather than one

Emerson Reopening: What we know so far

Over the past several months, Emerson has been slowly doling out new information on what on-campus life at the college will look like in the fall through emails and press releases, piecing together a picture of a complicated semester week

Emerson reopening plan not affected by new Mass. regulations

Emerson will not adjust its reopening plan as it already satisfies new quarantine and testing regulations announced by Gov. Charlie Baker Friday, the college said Monday night. The new regulations require travelers entering Massachusetts after Aug. 1 to quarantine for

Los Angeles program forced to begin online amid coronavirus spike

Los Angeles County officials have not given the college’s LA campus clearance to reopen in late August as originally scheduled, forcing administrators to shift at least the beginning of the semester online, according to a college official.  The program, which

New state travel restrictions could throw reopening plan into disarray

Travelers entering Massachusetts will have to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival unless coming from a state with a lower COVID-19 risk than Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker announced Friday morning. Those states currently include New York, New Jersey, Connecticut,

Sidewalk expansion delayed indefinitely

The college’s sidewalk expansion project on Boylston St. is indefinitely delayed, according to a college official.  The sidewalk on the campus side of Boylston St. will be reopened and free of construction when students return to campus in the fall,

All meals to be takeout in fall semester

All dining center meals will be served to go in the fall semester, according to a college official.  Food will be served by dining hall staff, seating will be dramatically reduced inside the dining hall and students will be able

ELA program in flux amid soaring case numbers in LA County

The Emerson Los Angeles program may begin the fall semester online and later transition to in-person classes, according to an email sent to ELA students Friday afternoon.  Allison Sampson, vice president and executive director of ELA, wrote that the school

Emerson projects up to $76 million in COVID-19 losses

The college projects losses between $33 and $76 million in the next fiscal year due to the COVID-19 crisis, according to a letter President M. Lee Pelton sent to faculty Monday.  The letter says Emerson has already suffered a loss

Professors contend exclusion from reopening talks, safety not considered

A virtual faculty assembly meeting erupted into angry questioning Tuesday when some professors denounced administration officials for their lack of transparency and communication regarding the college’s fall reopening plan.  The plan, announced last week after months of workshopping, fails to

Student leaders wrestle with managing organizations under COVID-19

Emerson’s hybrid-learning reopening plan, announced Wednesday afternoon, answered students’ lingering questions about the fate of the fall semester. But for many on-campus student organizations, uncertainty still surrounds their impending operations. An on-campus semester in the era of COVID-19 will bring

D.C. program to proceed in the fall

The college’s Washington D.C. study program that sends students to the nation’s capitol to intern and take courses will proceed in the fall semester, according to a college official.  All students that were initially slated to attend the program will

Fall semester will see significant alterations to on-campus living

Residential life on campus during the fall 2020 semester will look significantly different than it has in past years as part of the college’s reopening plan “One Emerson Flex Learning,” according to a college official.  Residence halls will limit the

In-person classes to resume in the fall, college announces

The college will reinstate in-person classes for the fall 2020 semester with significant changes to student life following the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, President M. Lee Pelton announced in an email Wednesday. The program, called “One Emerson Flex

College unveils commemorative website for Class of 2020

The college launched a website to commemorate the achievements of the class of 2020 in an email sent to the community Monday morning.  The website features messages to the class of 2020 from faculty, alumni, and college officials as well

College announces emergency relief applications

Emerson released applications Wednesday for students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to receive emergency funding from the $2.7 million given to the college by the federal government through the CARES Act. To receive emergency funding, students must be eligible for

College extends deposit deadline by a month for incoming students

The Admissions Office has received positive feedback from prospective students and their parents, along with alumni, about its decision in early March to extend the first tuition deadline for accepted students—which would solidify their decision to attend Emerson—by a month,

Pelton plans for college to be open in the fall

The college currently plans to resume classes on campus this upcoming semester, President M. Lee Pelton wrote in a community-wide email Friday evening.  “The college is evaluating a multitude of possibilities across the academic and student life experience, including options

Remote classes bring innovation, frustration

Theatre education professor Bethany Nelson had no idea how she would adapt her class material when the college transitioned to online learning, because so much of the work involves students interacting in the same physical space.  “When it was announced,

Online learning results in alterations to VMA production courses

Sophomore visual media arts major Lauren Miller was preparing to film a group final project when the college announced it would be switching to remote learning in light of the progressing COVID-19 pandemic—she worried about what this would mean for

Emerson to house nearly 100 Tufts medical professionals

Emerson will provide housing for about 100 medical professionals from Tufts Medical Center during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a college official.   The college made the decision after the Tufts Emergency Management Team approached administration two weeks ago, Vice President

EVVY Awards delay nomination announcements

The 39th EVVY Awards delayed nomination announcements until April 15 due to complications arising from the COVID-19 health crisis, according to EVVYs officials. The nominations were initially scheduled to come out on April 6, but the judges needed more time to

Joint Session passes resolution to support students in first online meeting

The Student Government Association held two Joint Session meetings via Zoom this week where they discussed and passed a resolution to support students disproportionately affected by the college’s transition to remote instruction. Executive Treasurer Abigail Semple authored the resolution, which

Faculty vote to support pass/fail policy for undergraduate students

Faculty Assembly overwhelmingly voted to support a policy that will give undergraduate students a pass/fail option for their classes during their meeting Tuesday.  The policy lets students choose the pass/fail option as an alternative to their final grade. If a

Faculty Assembly to consider pass/fail option for students

Faculty will consider a new policy that would allow undergraduate students to choose a pass/fail option for their classes during Tuesday’s Faculty Assembly meeting. The policy allows students to choose a pass/fail option for each of their classes after final

College staff member tests positive for COVID-19

An Emerson staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first diagnosis within the college community, President M. Lee Pelton announced in a statement Wednesday. The staff member was last on campus Saturday but did not come into contact

COVID-19 at Emerson: The Story So Far

The COVID-19 pandemic has left little of Emerson College unscathed as the quickly growing public health crisis ignites action from national, state, and local governments.  The action at Emerson, a college with roughly 4,000 students, left community members scrambling to

Coronavirus pandemic shuts down 39th EVVY awards

The EVVYs canceled both of their award ceremonies for the first time in the show’s 39-year history due to the public health risk surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization’s faculty advisor said Monday.  “I haven’t been here all 39 years,

Students devastated after college decides to send them home

Junior Joe Davidi said he will submit a request to stay on Emerson’s Boston campus despite the college asking students to leave because of fears of him going back to his family, who are quarantined with COVID-19. “I was going

Pelton responds to “unprecedented” COVID-19 uncertainty

President M. Lee Pelton said many answers concerning long-term extracurricular continuation, housing feasibility, summer and fall classes, and room, board, and tuition refunds remain uncertain amid the transition to conduct remote classes due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

How COVID-19 affects Emerson College

In a packed press conference Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts and announced that cases of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, had doubled since Monday. Within hours, colleges and universities around the commonwealth released

College bans travel to five countries amid COVID-19 fears

The college announced Sunday that it will eliminate college-funded travel to five countries in response to the rapidly spreading COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus.  An email Sunday afternoon from President M. Lee Pelton said college-funded travel to Italy, China, South

Communication Department attributes coronavirus fears to misinformation

Mary Anne Taylor, associate professor of Communication Studies, stated in a panel discussion about the coronavirus that the media is using the same hyperbolic language for COVID-19 as they displayed during the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The event, titled “Understanding Coronavirus,”

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