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For updates about COVID-19 at Clark, please visit the Healthy Clark Dashboard.

Minimizing Spread

Mask-wearing Guidelines

(Last updated Feb. 10, 2021)

As Clark prepares to return to on-campus activity, it’s important that we take every possible precaution to preserve the health and safety of our community. In recent weeks, a number of public-health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have touted double masking — the wearing of a cloth mask over a surgical mask — as an effective tactic to suppress transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The use of a single, FDA-approved KN95 mask is also considered an effective measure in filtering out airborne particles. The N95 mask continues to be the gold standard but is less available.

Clark is recommending for the Spring 2021 semester that anyone living, learning, and working on campus wear a KN95 or similar quality mask, or, in lieu of that, to double-mask as a means of providing additional protection.

Some things to know:

  • Fit matters. For maximum results, a mask should entirely cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the edges of the face. When you breathe in, a properly fitted mask should flex in. When you breathe out, it should flex out.
  • If you are using a cloth mask, be sure that it is ideally composed of three layers of tightly woven fabric and may include a pocket for adding a filter for more protection.
  • Clark is banning the use of vented masks, as well as the use of gaiters and bandanas as mask substitutes. Please do not wear a scarf over your nose and mouth in place of a mask.

Mask wearing is one part of a comprehensive strategy to suppress transmission, along with social distancing, frequent handwashing, and other measures as outlined in The Clark Commitment.

Protocol and Oversight

(Last updated July 13, 2020)

The protocol for containing the spread of COVID-19 on campus will be overseen by the University’s Chief Health Officer working in close coordination with Clark Health Services (for students) and the Department of Public Health. A designated containment team will be on standby to respond quickly and comprehensively to known or suspected cases of COVID-19.

During the initial period of return of students, closing some building spaces may allow focused sanitation of open spaces and the capacity to respond to unanticipated needs. Meanwhile, modest physical modification of spaces is likely in order to support social distancing (e.g., reduced seating in dining spaces, plexiglass partitions at customer service windows, reorganization of classrooms). Floor markings and other means will be used to promote six-foot social distancing in waiting areas and other locations

The following additional steps will also be taken.

Expanded Sanitation Practices and Protocols

(Last updated August 21, 2020)

  • High traffic areas: High-traffic areas, including common spaces, shared spaces, corridors, lobbies, entrances, bathrooms, elevators, and associated high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs and light switches) will be sanitized by Facilities Management 2–3 times every 24 hours, consistent with CDC guidelines. The availability of cleaning stations (e.g., antiseptic spray) will also support Clark community members to demonstrate personal responsibility and clean up after themselves.
  • Classrooms: Facilities Management will sanitize classrooms once every 24 hours, at the beginning or end of the course day. A basic cleaning station will be set up and stocked by Facilities Management in classrooms. Students and professors will be instructed to carry out additional sanitization in their immediate seating areas.
  • Dining halls: Dining halls will be cleaned and sanitized by Sodexo to industry standards and CDC guidelines.
  • Computer Laboratories: A sanitation protocol will be implemented for computer labs.
  • Science Laboratories: Sanitation will be handled by the faculty researchers who manage these spaces.
  • Individual workspaces (e.g., employee offices) and student private rooms in residence halls: Sanitization of these spaces will be carried out by the room occupants at their discretion, using sanitization supplies provided by Facilities Management.
  • Stairway and elevator usage: Buildings will be evaluated to determine if stairwells and entrances can be designated as one way with clear signage. Elevators will be limited to one passenger and should only be used by those who have physical limitations.
  • Department expectations: Departments will be supplied with a hygiene kit containing masks, hand sanitizer, and wipes (or paper towels and sanitizer spay if wipes are not available). Depending on departmental needs, kits will also contain gloves. Each department will appoint a staff member as safety liaison to be responsible for maintaining supplies and be the main point of contact for any safety-related communications. Access to breakrooms will be limited to accessing refrigerators, sinks, and appliances (microwaves, etc.).
  • Personal hygiene expectations: Employees will be encouraged to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. They also will be advised to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth and to follow related CDC recommendations.
  • Supplemental sanitation protocol: If particular locations on campus are identified as being associated with multiple COVID-19 cases, a supplemental sanitation protocol will be implemented.

For detailed information about Facilities Management’s cleaning of University academic, administrative, and residential buildings, please visit the office’s website.

How to Clean

General Best Practices

  • Use chemicals in a well-ventilated area. NEVER mix cleaning chemicals with one another. This may create hazardous gases.
  • Prevent chemical contact with food during cleaning.
  • Handle used towels, gloves, etc., as little as possible.
  • Wash your hands after cleaning.

To Clean Hard, Nonporous Surfaces

  • Hard, nonporous surfaces include stainless steel, floors, kitchen surfaces, countertops, tables and chairs, sinks, toilets, railings, light switch plates, doorknobs, computer keyboards, etc.
    1. Follow labeled instructions on all containers.
    2. Clean surface with provided cleaning/disinfecting to remove all visible debris and stains.
    3. Wipe with clean paper towel or microfiber towel.
    4. Apply the disinfectant. To effectively kill the virus, make sure the surface stays wet with the disinfectant for at least 2 minutes before wiping with a clean towel.
    5. Dispose of paper towels in trash receptacles. Follow same procedure if wearing disposable gloves.
    6. Wash hands after cleaning/disinfecting.

About the Provided Chemicals and Supplies

Facilities Management uses 3 products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • FACILIPRO QC 57 Peroxide Multi-Surface Cleaner and Disinfectant. Primary EPA Registration #: 1677-238. Contact Time: 2 mins. This chemical is provided in the sanitation kits, classroom wipes, and used during operations hours to disinfect frequently touched areas.
  • FACILIPRO QC A-456 II Disinfectant Cleaner. Primary EPA Registration #: 6836-78. Contact Time: 10 mins. This chemical is used during overnight cleaning and disinfecting.
  • GENEFECT #7 Disinfectant Cleaner. Primary EPA Registration #: 10324-80. Contact Time: 10 mins. This chemical is used during overnight cleaning and disinfecting.

More information from the CDC can be found at

Safety Data Sheets for these products can be found here.

More information about Facilities Management’s Campus Services  can be found on the office’s website.

Mail Services

(Last updated August 21, 2020)

This year, there will be no mail deliveries to departments.

Additional information about Mail Services can be found on the Facilities Management website.

Classroom Health and Safety

(Last updated July 13, 2020)

  • All classroom capacities will be reduced to meet our requiring at least 45 square-feet per student and faculty member to establish maximum room capacity.
  • Seats will be blocked off in large, non-configurable fixed-seating lecture halls.
  • Chairs will be removed from reduced-capacity classrooms and used to furnish alternative classroom spaces.
  • Current rules concerning the scheduling of “departmentally owned” and “central priority” spaces will be suspended, allowing greater authority for the Registrar to schedule classes in these spaces.
  • Some spaces across campus that currently are not used for instruction (e.g., Grace, Lurie, ASEC 101) may be used as classrooms.
  • Faculty members have the option to teach in whatever modality they wish, and may be entirely remote to teach online, if that is their wish.
    • Students will respect the requests of faculty to observe all practices that protect the health and safety of everyone inside the classroom. These include wearing face coverings, adhering to social distancing guidelines, and following the measures outlined in the Clark Commitment and elsewhere in the Healthy Clark COVID Plan.
    • While a mask may provide an opportunity for self-expression, the images or words found on it have the potential to be offensive or hurtful to others. In keeping with their obligations as specified in the Student Handbook, students are expected to wear a face covering that demonstrates care, respect, and responsibility for the personal dignity and sensibilities of their fellow community members.

Instructional practices and flexibility

(Last updated February 3, 2021)

  • Faculty with an elevated risk profile (i.e., age, preexisting condition) are authorized to teach their courses fully online.
  • Face masks are required for students and faculty members during all in-person class meetings, regardless of class size.
  • Course content and design will be evaluated and modified on a course-by-course basis to allow social distancing in all instruction modalities, including projects, field trips, and laboratories.
  • For large classes, students may be split and rotated between the in-class and online formats in a hybrid model (e.g., half the class attends face-to-face on Tuesday sessions and the other half on Thursday sessions).
  • Irrespective of class size, to the greatest extent possible, Clark will ensure that instruction is recorded so those not present may access content and those present have the opportunity for playback.
  • Individualized instruction (directed or independent studies/readings) and advising sessions will be done under recommended social distancing policies, and, as much as possible, virtually.
  • Additional technological capacities will be available for both current classrooms and other spaces being used for classes (e.g., ability to record classes, the ability to present a digital alternative to chalkboard or whiteboard work).

Safe internship requirements and other academic policies to minimize spread

(Last updated June 10, 2020)

  • Clark will suspend Consortium cross-registration for in-person courses in the fall semester. Cross-registration for online courses is encouraged.
  • Clark will require external organizations offering internships or other off-campus engagement opportunities to provide a workplace safety plan that is broadly similar to Clark’s. Absent such a plan, Clark will suspend nonvirtual or remote internships and community engagement activities with these organizations for the fall semester.
  • Clark will suspend all study abroad and away programs for the fall semester. A decision on study abroad and away for spring 2021 has not been made at this time.
  • Clark is suspending dual enrollment in Clark University courses.
  • Clark is reviewing the necessity of suspending all enrollment of high school students in Clark University courses.

Part-time options for students

(Last updated July 13, 2020)

We recognize that not all Clark students will be able to join us in-person for the fall, whether because of travel or visa restrictions or because of personal health circumstances that make returning to campus impossible. We are committed to finding ways for all students to continue their academic progress toward their Clark degrees, whether in-person or online, full-time or part-time.

Students interested the part-time option with an online-only experience should contact their faculty advisor (or Academic Advising in the Dean of the College Office for First-Year students).

Part-time students (defined as taking fewer than 3.0 units in a single term*) may not live on campus, and so Clark’s online-only classes will provide the greatest flexibility to most students. For undergraduate students, the fee for such classes will be pro-rated: 1/4 usual single-semester tuition—which covers a minimum of four courses per semester—for one part-time course; and 2/4 the usual tuition for two part-time courses. Students interested in the part-time option must apply for this through the Dean of the College Office.

*Please note, if a student drops below 3.0 units per semester, they will not have access to institutional merit and grant aid. They may still be eligible for federal loans or partial Pell Grant aid if they currently receive a Pell Grant.

Residence Hall Health and Safety

(Last updated Feb. 10, 2021)

All efforts will be made to ensure that students residing in on-campus housing can do so safely, comfortably, and with minimal disruption to their routines. To accomplish this, Clark will make modifications to how rooms and common spaces are occupied, and create pathways for student traffic through residence halls.

Occupancy standards and modifications

(Last updated July 14, 2020)

  • 180–200 beds will be removed from undergraduate and graduate housing to create 60–80 spaces for isolation and quarantine.
  • If a larger isolation and quarantine space is determined necessary, Clark will consider other options, including spaces in the city.
  • Based on enrollment projections, Clark will:
    • Encourage students to move off campus and let students out of their housing contracts without penalty.
  • There are very few triples on campus, and they have been allocated to students in the spring as part of the room selection process; these spaces are appropriately sized for their designation as triples (i.e., they are not “doubles” made into “triples”). Nonetheless, if an already-assigned triple room loses an occupant, the room will remain a double and only be assigned as a triple if necessary. No “forced tripling” will occur and the few triples allocated for first-year housing will not be used, leaving those rooms as doubles.

Expectations of students who will live in residence halls

(Last updated Feb. 10, 2021)

  • Students will be required to wear face coverings (masks) whenever they are not in their rooms. One face covering will be provided to each student upon arrival at Clark.
  • Masks must be worn every day on campus and in the community. We encourage anyone living, learning, and working on campus wear a KN95 or similar quality mask, or, in lieu of that, to double-mask as a means of providing additional protection. We recommend you bring several to use throughout the week. The most effective masks:
    • Have a snug fit around the edges/side of face
    • Are made of a tight weave and thread count
    • Are multilayered (3) and may include a pocket for adding a filter for more protection
    • Use a blend of materials (silk, cotton [600 threads], chiffon)
    • Are well-secured with ties or ear loops
    • Allow for breathability without restriction
    • Can be machine-laundered and dried
    • Are water-resistant
  • Students will be expected to participate in social distancing by remaining six feet away from one another whenever possible. This will require:
    • Care in passing one another in hallways
    • Creating distance from one another in common areas
    • Keeping all areas clean (including vigilance in cleaning up after oneself)
    • Refraining from touching roommates’ belongings/surfaces in shared residential rooms
  • Signage, training, and coordinated messaging will communicate protocols and safety measures.
  • Common areas will bear occupancy limit signs. If students violate capacity limits, the common areas will be locked.
  • All resident adviser interactions with students will be done under recommended social distancing policies, and, as much as possible, virtually.
  • Students will be expected to bring a thermometer and cleaning supplies for their rooms. Emergency grant funds will be available for those who cannot afford to purchase these supplies.

Residence hall entrance and exit protocols

(Last updated July 13, 2020)

  • Students will be asked to limit their number of guests in the residence hall to one per room at any time.
  • Students are encouraged to socialize in larger gatherings only in larger, public spaces that allow for a minimum of six feet of social distancing. (Space maximums must always be observed.)
  • In large, multi-access residence halls, resident staff will work with residents to identify appropriate traffic patterns to avoid bottlenecks in peak hours.
  • In large, multi-access residence halls, students will be required to enter through the “Main Entrance” and exit only through side doors. During off-peak hours, exceptions will be allowed for other life-safety reasons.

Lack of compliance

(Last updated June 10, 2020)

Students will be given an opportunity to learn and adapt their behaviors to the established health and safety measures. The University’s conduct protocols will be used to review the behavior of students who blatantly disregard these requirements. Sanctions will escalate in intensity if a student’s behaviors do not change or if a student is disruptive or does not follow campus public-health expectations, including for social-distancing and mask-wearing.

Campus Events

(Last updated August 17, 2020)

These programming/meeting guidelines are intended to provide guidance to the Clark community as we create opportunities for connection and work, both virtual and in-person, that maximize opportunities for engagement while adhering to COVID-19 safety precautions. Every contact that a person has presents a risk to the safety of our campus. Within that context, the goal is to prioritize in-person student-facing learning and support, while maintaining health and safety guidelines. At all times we will adjust our policies and procedures to be in compliance with State guidelines.

General guidelines

(Last updated August 17, 2020)

  • Programming and meeting remotely is the default operation, with the exception of academic courses and student advising, which may be in person. Other exceptions to the default remote mode must be approved by the relevant vice president, who may choose to consult with the chief health officer, Campus Reopening Committee (CRC), or the Presidential Leadership Team — when in doubt, consult.
    • Meetings that may be prioritized for in-person mode include advising and emergent student support needs.
    • Meetings that should occur remotely are departmental and staff meetings.
  • The following requirements apply to all in-person meetings:
    • Follow institutional guidelines.
    • Follow appropriate social distancing, cleaning and safety protocols, and wear face masks.
    • Conduct in-person meetings in either reservable space, departmentally assigned space, outside, or in a personal office while following specific social distancing and safety guidance.
    • Limit indoor meetings to no more than 10 people and reconfigure spaces to enable people to be separated by at least 6 feet, or at least 45 square feet per person.
    • Face masks must be worn at all times; no food/drink will be allowed in meetings/programs.
    • Limit in-person programs and meetings to the Clark community only (no outside participants).
    • Meetings with individuals outside of the Clark community must be conducted remotely (e.g. invited lecturers, employee searches), unless approved by a vice president.

Clubs and organizations

(Last updated August 17, 2020)

  • Any and all student club and organization events should be approved by the director of student leadership and programming.
  • When possible, meetings of clubs and organizations should be virtual. In-person meetings must follow Clark guidelines for social distancing and face coverings.
  • Events will not be open to guests.
  • No activity may exceed 25 people, or the limit of the space as calculated to accommodate social distancing, whichever is smaller.
  • No food shall be served at events unless it is individually packaged, essential to the purpose of the event, and approved by the Office of Student Leadership and Programming.
  • Rooms must be cleaned after an event, including all objects that have been touched, such as markers, tables, chairs, and other surfaces.
  • Signature in-person events with more than 25 people will not be permitted at this time. Organizers are encouraged to consider digital events or breaking out into multiple smaller groups. Please contact Student Leadership and Programming for support in creating your engagement activity.

Athletics and recreation

(Last updated August 17, 2020)

  • Protocols will be put in place to allow access to the Bickman Fitness Center, the pool, and other fitness spaces. These protocols will meet all Massachusetts requirements for fitness centers, including for maximum occupancy and sanitation, and increased spacing of equipment.
  • For the health and safety of its players, coaches, and fans, Clark University is not competing in varsity sports through the NEWMAC conference this fall. Protocols are being developed to allow teammates to safely participate in conditioning and practicing on Clark’s campus.

Visitors to Clark

(Last updated August 17, 2020)

  • Only authorized visitors will be allowed on campus. These will include job candidate finalists and contractors, who are required to follow the guidelines and protocols outlined on this site.
  • Academic and administrative departments and student organizations will not be allowed to hold any lectures, events, or social activities that include any non-Clark visitors to campus.
  • Guest lecturers many only speak to classes in a virtual format.
  • No outside groups will be allowed to rent and use any of the Clark facilities for the coming year.
  • No visitors from outside the Clark community will be allowed to enter any of Clark’s facilities.
  • Prospective students and their families will be allowed to visit with Admissions in a way that limits their contact with members of the Clark community.


(Last updated August 17, 2020)

  • Student-facing events by Clark offices (e.g., the Career Connections Center) and all student clubs and organizations events — including all graduate student events — will be approved and entered into EMS by the director of campus life.
  • Other exceptions to the policy require the following steps:
    • The person seeking an exception has to write a brief request outlining:
      • What is desired — date/time and room preferences — and
      • Why it should be treated as an exception.
    • Approval by the supervisor of the person requesting the exception
    • Approval by the relevant vice president
    • Final approval by David Chearo, vice president of strategy and planning
    • Events that are approved through this exceptions process — and we anticipate a very small number of them — will be entered into the EMS system by David Chearo, the vice president for strategy and planning.


(Last updated July 13, 2020)

Clark is committed to providing a robust variety of dining options while also making use of new seating areas to promote the health and safety of students and employees.

Higgins Dining Hall

(Last updated July 13, 2020)

  • Seating will be reduced from 360 diners to approximately 160 diners.
  • All diners will receive self-service containers and a disposable cup instead of plates, bowls, etc., whether they plan to eat in the dining hall or elsewhere. All cutlery will be disposable.
  • Only students on meal plans will be allowed to use the dining hall facilities.
  • Traffic flow will be marked out to help with social distancing.
  • The cleaning regimen between meal periods will be enhanced.
  • Contactless technology will be used for meal plan swipes, eliminating students’ time standing in line and eliminating the need for a cashier to touch cards.

Bistro and other dining facilities

(Last updated July 13, 2020)

  • The number of stations at the Bistro will be reduced and traffic flow altered to maximize social distancing.
  • The Bistro will no longer prepare made-to-order meals. Prepackaged meals and grab-and-go items will be offered.
  • Swappable grab-and-go options will be enhanced at Jazzman’s and the Den.
  • Additional dining spaces will be opened in Tilton Hall (150 seats).
  • Additional seating will be available beneath a large tent outside the University Center.
  • Another option under consideration is creating “pop-up” facilities at various locations.

Meal plan adjustments

(Last updated July 13, 2020)

  • The “All Access” meal plan will be temporarily replaced by a 19-meal plan.
  • A number of meal-plan choices are available

Building Access and Use

(Last updated July 13, 2020)

Access to and activities in Clark buildings and facilities will be significantly restricted when campus reopens to minimize the chance of COVID-19 transmission.

Entry and activity

(Last updated July 13, 2020)

  • Most classroom and residential buildings on campus will shift to card-access only. High-traffic doors may be unlocked during peak times to avoid bottlenecks but, as a default, will otherwise be locked
  • If they cannot maintain six feet of social distancing, employees must wear face coverings outside of their office. They should always wear face coverings when meeting someone in their office.
  • Authorized visitors must follow state-mandated social distancing and face covering guidelines.
  • Employees in shared office locations must wear face coverings. Staggered work schedules or other arrangements are recommended to reduce the number of shared work spaces.
  • Group meetings will be held virtually.

Travel Policies

(Last updated July 13, 2020)

  • All international travel on University business remains suspended until further notice.
  • Undergraduate and graduate admissions counselor travel to events, high schools, and college fairs is suspended until further notice.
  • If allowed by state regulation, local and regional advancement travel for one-on-one meetings may take place if approved by the relevant Vice President. Travel to events or group meetings is not authorized at this time.
  • Any employee uncomfortable with travel will not be required to do so.
  • All staff who travel on University business must follow state quarantining guidelines for travel out of state.
  • Faculty and student travel for research continues to be suspended until further notice. This includes University-funded, externally funded, and self-funded professional travel to conduct field research, teach, and present or attend professional meetings and conferences. However, on a case-by-case basis we will consider exceptions to this policy. Faculty should contact the Associate Provost and Dean of Research and Graduate Studies.
  • Students, faculty, and staff are asked to engage only in personal travel that is deemed necessary, and, while doing so, are expected at all times to participate in social distancing and to wear face coverings, regardless of the policies of the locale where the travel occurs.
  • Student travel as part of a club or organization is permitted only if approved by the Office of Student Leadership and Programming. Travel is prohibited except in certain circumstances that may include day-travel and also adheres to social distancing and safe practices in wearing face coverings.
  • Students are expected to minimize their engagement in activities in the City of Worcester, and will, at all times, be expected to engage in safe mask-wearing and social-distancing behaviors.