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Testing Cadence Change Begins Feb. 21

As noted in last week’s message from President Fithian and Provost Royo, Clark is taking a significant step toward returning to more normalized campus operations this semester. Beginning on Monday, February 21, Clark students will be required to test every 7 days, rather than the current requirement of once every 3 days. COVID-19 testing for faculty and staff will remain at once every 7 days. Anyone who wishes to test more frequently may do so. We strongly encourage students to choose a testing day that works best for you and stick with it — in effect, you will be resetting your testing cadence for the remainder of the semester.

Both the City of Worcester and the state have eased their protocols for mask-wearing given the decreasing spread and less severe health impacts of the Omicron variant. Worcester is lifting its indoor masking requirement beginning today, February 18, and with some exceptions, Massachusetts has relaxed its indoor masking advisory. While Clark’s masking requirement currently remains in place, the state is encouraging institutions of higher education to reassess our mitigation strategies — as we will continue to do — and we expect that if this trend of low positivity continues we will make adjustments to our mask policy later this semester.

We want to welcome back all Clark staff members who have been working remotely to help reduce density on campus. The work-from-home request will be lifted February 21, and the University will return to the hybrid work policies that were in place during the fall semester. We remind all returning employees to visit the COVID-19 Testing Center and get tested once you’re back on campus.

We have made changes to the COVID-19 dashboard, which now includes a column that reports the positivity rate of individuals who tested in a given week and over the last 30 days (in addition to the positivity rate based on the number of tests collected). Also, given the declining positivity trends, the dashboard will now be updated Monday through Friday by 9 a.m., rather than seven days a week.

Students who perform in theatrical events are not required to wear masks during a performance. But what actually constitutes a performance that would merit a masking exemption? The University’s internal events policy offers guidance on this question.

If you have tested positive in the past 90 days outside of Clark’s testing facility, please notify us of your test results through this form. Once your test results have been verified, you will be exempt from testing for 90 days after your positive test date. This may take up to 48 hours to be reflected on your record and you may get additional reminders, but you do not need to resubmit the form. If you will not be on campus at all this semester, if you believe you are in compliance with your cadence, or if there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from completing your test at this time, please email with details.

Stay healthy, everyone.