Emerson to require students to test negative before return to campus from Thanksgiving break


Domenic Conte

A sign on the window of Emerson’s coronavirus testing site at Tufts Medical Center.

By Vivi Smilgius

All students will have to provide Emerson with proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to their return to campus from Thanksgiving break, and take another test within three days of arriving, college officials announced Sunday. 

To ensure students have access to testing over the break, Emerson intends to distribute rapid tests to all students, Associate Vice President for Campus Life and “COVID Lead” Erik Muurisepp said in an email Sunday morning. Residential students will have tests delivered to them, while off-campus students and graduate students will have to pick up the tests at locations on campus. 

Upon returning to campus, students must take another test within the first three days of courses resuming, Nov. 29 through Dec.1, Muurisepp said. 

If students do not provide negative results within 48 hours of their return to campus, they will lose the ability to enter campus buildings until a negative test is provided. 

Kits for off-campus students will be distributed from the Campus Life office in the Walker Building between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and kits for graduate students will be distributed at the Information Desk in 172 Tremont between 8 a.m. and 12 a.m. 

Students who lose their testing kits or misperform their tests are still responsible for providing a negative result.

The new testing regulations come as Emerson is bracing for large numbers of students traveling across the country and then descending back on campus — potentially bringing the virus back with them. In 2020, the college did not reopen after the Thanksgiving holiday, holding the final two weeks of courses online.