(Last updated September 11, 2020)
The University is following a rigorous testing protocol during the semester. Like the pre-arrival and arrival testing, this protocol is informed by the imperative of individuals having accurate information to protect themselves and by the fact that asymptomatic individuals with COVID-19 can transmit it to others.
Public-health experts have advised us that, in tandem with good health and prevention practices (e.g., masks and social distancing), using a regular testing protocol is among the best ways to mitigate spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Regular testing also allows the University to build upon the baseline of safety that the pre-arrival and arrival testing provide, to act swiftly to identify individuals who test positive and should be quarantined and receive medical treatment, and to mitigate the spread of the virus (including through contact tracing).
This in-session testing protocol includes the following steps:
- Upon arrival, all students will be required to be tested once every three days. Depending on the kind of results we are seeing, and what the larger context is, we may adjust to a lower frequency later in the semester, but have no plans to do so automatically.
- Throughout the semester, faculty and staff will be tested once per week.
- Students who test positive or have symptoms after arriving on campus will be asked to return home if they live within driving distance of Clark and to isolate at home. Students who are unable to return home will isolate on campus.
- Employees who test positive or display symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home. Those who test positive will not be allowed to come to campus until cleared to do so by the Department of Public Health.
- The Healthy Clark website includes additional information about the protocol the University will follow for positive tests for students and employees, including for contact tracing.
- Should the situation warrant, such as if the number of positive tests grows, we will revert to testing all students and student-facing employees two-times-per-week protocol.
Response to Noncompliance
(Last updated October 7, 2020)
It is the shared responsibility of students, faculty, and staff to strictly adhere to Clark’s COVID-19 testing protocols, which are the cornerstone to maintaining a safe and healthy Clark campus this semester. Students who will be on campus are required to be tested every three days. Faculty and staff who will be on campus are required to be tested every seven days.
Faculty and staff who will be on campus infrequently — less than weekly — must come to campus to be tested 48 hours in advance of their business visit. Once they have received a negative result — typically within 48 hours — they can visit campus to conduct their business.
Violations of these protocols will be dealt with swiftly and decisively to mitigate the risk to our community. Violations of testing protocols include:
- If you are required to be tested every three days and you miss getting a test within your required window, or
- If you are required to be tested once every 7 days and you miss getting a test within your required window. This applies to those who will have a regular in-person presence on campus — at least weekly — during the semester.
Step 1: Noncompliance Notice
You will receive a noncompliance notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours before going anywhere else on campus. Otherwise, you will risk:
- Notification of your course professors about your testing status
- Disenrollment and being barred from campus
- Forfeiture of fees and tuition
You will receive a notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours or risk the notification of your department chair and the dean of the faculty and being barred from campus other than to report to the test center at the Kneller Athletic Center.
You will receive a notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours or risk the notification of your supervisor and being barred from campus other than to report to the test center at the Kneller Athletic Center.
Step 2: If You Miss First 24-Hour Window to Get Tested
If, after missing your required test date, you miss the first 24-hour window to get tested and to get back in compliance:
- You will receive a second notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours, or you will be automatically disenrolled and barred from campus other than to report to the testing center at the Kneller. Fees and tuition will be forfeited, and emergency contacts may be notified. Your course professors will be notified of noncompliance.
- Follow-up will include locating you and making an appointment to meet at the testing center. If you are tested at that time, re-enrollment may be considered.
- You will receive a second notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours, or you will be barred from campus other than to report to the test center at the Kneller Athletic Center.
- Your department chair and the provost will be notified.
- You will receive a second notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours or you will be barred from campus other than to report to the testing center at the Kneller Athletic Center.
- Your supervisor will be notified.
- Follow-up will include locating you to determine the circumstances surrounding the missed window and make an appointment to meet at the testing center.
Step 3: If You Miss Second 24-hour Testing Window
You will automatically be disenrolled and barred from campus other than to report to the testing center at the Kneller Athletic Center, and you will forfeit fees and tuition. Emergency contacts may be notified.
You will be barred from campus other than to report to the testing center at the Kneller Athletic Center, and you may be put on unpaid leave for the remainder of the semester if you continue to come to campus.
You will be barred from campus other than to report to the testing center at the Kneller Athletic Center, and you will be subject to progressive disciplinary action up to and including unpaid leave or termination if you continue to come to campus.
Multiple Instances of Noncompliance
If you have repeat offenses of the testing protocols, Clark reserves the right to skip the first 24-hour “grace” period and proceed more quickly to more severe action.
If you have repeat offenses of the testing protocols, Clark reserves the right to skip the first 24-hour “grace” period and proceed more quickly to actions that may include being barred from campus and unpaid leave. No disciplinary action will supersede the dictates in the Faculty Handbook.
If you have repeat offenses of the testing protocols, Clark reserves the right to skip the first 24-hour “grace” period and proceed more quickly to progressive disciplinary action that may include being barred from campus, unpaid leave, or termination.
Management of Positive Test Results
(Last updated July 14, 2020)
If Clark becomes aware of a positive test, immediate notification is made to the University Director of Clark Health Services. The University will follow Department of Public Health (DPH) and CDC guidelines for assessing close contacts who may require quarantine.
(Last updated July 14, 2020)
- Students who test positive will be required to comply with COVID-19 contact tracing protocols.
- Students who share a room with a student who tests positive will quarantine until cleared by DPH and medical services.
- Protocols will be followed that guide providing food to affected students and the cleaning of isolation and quarantine spaces.
- To the extent possible, students will receive support to continue their academic coursework online while in quarantine or isolation.
- The University will meet the accommodation needs of those with mobility restrictions who require quarantine or isolation housing.
- Residential spaces associated with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case will be sanitized the same day.
(Last updated July 14, 2020)
- Employees should notify Human Resources as to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and follow guidelines for contact tracing.
- Employees identified as having been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 will be directed to self-quarantine at home until cleared to return to campus.
- Work spaces for an employee with suspected infection will undergo same-day sanitization.
Student Quarantine and Isolation on Campus
(Last updated November 10, 2020)
Students may enter into quarantine or isolation housing upon a conversation with Health Services regarding symptoms, their COVID test, or being reported as a close contact of someone who has a positive COVID test.
- Students should bring their Go Bag with them when being escorted to Quarantine housing. This should include any materials necessary to sleep, learn, and live in the quarantine and isolation spaces for the duration of time required.
- Three meals will be provided twice daily by Dining Services. Students will get lunch and dinner for the night will include items for breakfast the next morning. Students have the opportunity to denote food allergies or other concerns to University Police upon assignment to the Quarantine or Isolation space.
- Garbage is collected every day, Monday through Friday. Students should leave any garbage outside their apartment door by 9am in the morning to be collected.
- A member of the Dean of Students will email students the first day of quarantine or isolation to check in and provide resources. Students can reply to this email with any questions or concerns throughout the duration of their time in Quarantine and Isolation.
- Guidance for next steps medically will come from Health Services, who is working closely with the Department of Public Health. Students will be notified via phone about their healthy, testing, and quarantine or isolation status. Should there be questions or concerns, Clark Health Services is available from 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday at (508) 793-7467.
- Students who have in-person classes will not be able to attend, and should communicate with their faculty members. Students do not need to reveal that they are assigned to Quarantine/Isolation, if they do not wish to do so, as such information can be considered private. The Dean of Students, Dean of the College, and Graduate School can assist students in crafting messages to faculty regarding catching up with any work missed.
- University Police at (508)793-7575 are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Should something develop overnight or students feel unwell overnight, they are encouraged to call UP, who can direct them to the necessary resources.
- Students are urged to communicate with family or emergency contacts to make them aware of what is going on. Staff in the Dean of Students office are able to join a conversation when a family member has questions or concerns. Clark will not call family members to notify them of a student’s assignment to Quarantine or Isolation unless the student is admitted to the hospital. In this case, a member of the Dean of Students office will call the Emergency Contact a student has submitted on record. Students can submit two Emergency Contacts and should talk with their supporters and family members to determine whose information is submitted.
- The Center for Counseling and Personal Growth is available to engage in video counseling during quarantine and isolation. Students can call Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm to schedule an appointment at (508) 793-7678.
- CPG After Hours provides telephonic mental health support by professional therapists when CPG is not open. CPG After Hours counselors have extensive training in helping students feel more stable when their emotional state is overwhelmed. Students can access CPG After Hours between 5pm and 9am on weekdays and 24 hours on weekend. To connect with a professional therapist through CPG After Hours, students should call the counseling center at (508) 793-7678 and select option #2 on the voicemail prompt.
- Students will be tested periodically during quarantine and isolation. All testing schedules will be coordinated directly with Health Services and UP, so that students can be escorted to the proper testing area and return back to their quarantine or isolation spaces.
- Students with questions, concerns, or particular requests should work directly with University Police if the need is urgent (i.e., change in health, food needs, needs for the room, etc.) A student can also work with the Dean of Students office for support.
(Last updated Oct. 7, 2020)
- Contact tracing: Contact tracing will identify individuals who meet “close contact” criteria that would trigger quarantine requirements. According to the CDC, “[A] close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.”
Per Clark policy:
- Participation in contact tracing is mandatory for all those testing positive for COVID-19 while at Clark University.
- Contact tracing will be managed and overseen by the Worcester Department of Public Health.
- Self-checks: Clark is determining the method for conducting daily self-checks. Whatever the ultimate approach used, the following will apply:
- All faculty, staff, and students will be expected to be familiar with the symptoms of COVID-19 infection.
- All employees will be directed to complete a daily self-check for any symptoms of COVID-19. They will not be allowed to work on campus if they display any of these symptoms.
- All students will complete a daily symptom self-check.
- Students exhibiting symptoms will be expected to promptly call Clark Health Services at 1-508-793-7467. Faculty and staff experiencing symptoms will be expected to promptly call their health care provider and inform Clark Health Services via phone.