Masks ‘strongly encouraged,’ Monkeypox ‘carefully monitored’

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Photo: Hongyu Liu

Emerson’s testing site at Tufts Medical Center.

By Adri Pray, News Editor

The college released additional information regarding its revised COVID-19 protocol, including updated isolation and quarantine guidelines as well as an acknowledgment of the emerging Monkeypox virus.

The protocol was last updated April 2022 when senior administrators implemented symptomatic-only testing, introduced the “isolate in place” model, and announced a mask-optional policy starting May 16.

Before returning back to campus this fall, students are expected to update their Student Health Portal as the college requires full COVID-19 vaccination status for those living on campus or attending in-person classes or events. Students who do not comply with this requirement will not be permitted to move on campus or attend in-person classes or events.

The office suggests each individual take a COVID-19 test before returning to campus. Those who test positive should fill out the COVID Self-Reporting Form and email the Emerson’s Wellness Center for isolation and contact tracing protocol. Currently, Emerson utilizes an “isolate-in-place” model and will no longer provide designated housing for infected students.

Additionally, students subjected to isolation will be permitted to leave their designated space to get food from the Dining Center, seek medical attention, and participate in “other limited activities.”

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Emerson will “strongly encourage” masks in classroom spaces, though masking is not mandatory. Face masks are still required in any space managed by The Office of the Arts and in the Emerson Wellness Center.

“We’re asking everyone to do their part, and be aware of and responsible for their own health.  This includes monitoring any symptoms, reporting positive test results, and following appropriate isolation guidelines if you test positive,” Dean of Campus Life Jim Hoppe wrote. “Failure to follow policies and directions for quarantine or isolation will result in a referral to the Office of Community Standards.”

The college is “carefully monitoring” the Monkeypox virus and will adapt campus health and safety procedures accordingly.