Emerson reopening plan not affected by new Mass. regulations

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Media: Jakob Menendez

The college’s positivity rate sits at 0.17 percent after 576 tests.

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 14 days upon their arrival or until they produce a negative COVID-19 result from a test administered in Massachusetts. Travelers who provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before entering the state are also not subject to the quarantine requirement. 

The regulations may potentially disrupt plans for family members who may have been planning to stay in the state after move-in.

Mandated baseline testing for all students prior to their move-in will satisfy the state requirement, Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Jim Hoppe said in an email. Students are required to quarantine after they take the test until they receive their results, by state law and college policy. 

The restrictions apply to anyone entering the state, unless they are coming from a state exempt of the regulations, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii. If they cannot produce a negative test prior to arriving in Massachusetts, they will be required to adhere to the 14-day quarantine requirement or leave the state immediately. 

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“These new guidelines could have implications for individuals who plan to stay in Massachusetts, particularly if your stay is longer than 24 hours,” the email reads.

Those entering the state will also be required to fill out an online Massachusetts travel form.

Each student will not be allowed to bring more than one person to assist with moving to campus.

“We were pleased that the Governor’s order supported our original directives on initial testing and quarantine for students shared last week,” Hoppe said.

The college’s student body is heavily composed of students from Massachusetts or other states in the northeast that are exempt from Baker’s requirements. However, 13 percent of the student body came from California in 2019, a hotspot for the virus.