As students prepare to return to campus for the spring semester, Babson College has instituted a new coronavirus testing cadence and is reminding the community of safeguarding protocols to be followed for the institution to continue to deliver an in-person learning experience.
“For those enrolled during the fall semester, in person or virtual, you know we were quite successful in maintaining operation, in no small part because of the extraordinary cooperation and commitment of our student body,” said Lawrence P. Ward, Vice President for Learner Success and Dean of Campus Life, in a community forum for students January 8. “Every member of our community shares in the responsibility to keep us safe and together.”
Over the coming weeks, students will be required to test twice a week. Safeguarding measures from the fall continuing this semester include the de-densification of campus buildings, classrooms, and spaces, as well as enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, designated one-way pathways, improved air-flow and ventilation systems, and the ensurement of safe operations in campus eateries and the Babson Recreation and Athletics Complex.
“We are excited for your arrival, and we look forward to tackling this challenge, and this opportunity, together.”
Lawrence P. Ward, Vice President for Learner Success, Dean of Campus Life
Students will be required to continuously wear a face covering and monitor and report symptoms daily. They also will be reminded to practice physical distancing and wash and sanitize their hands frequently.
“The balance between efforts to safeguard our community and maintain connection is vital to campus life,” Ward said. “We know that being together, even when it looks and feels a little different, matters.”
Before and After Arrival
Students—who were required to quarantine for 14 days prior to arriving on campus—have been assigned a move-in date and time, and must complete their first Babson-administered COVID test immediately after arriving on campus. They may not enter their assigned residence hall until doing so. Students are permitted to have one additional person assist them during move-in. Anyone accompanying students to campus must complete a visitor registration form.
After moving in, students are expected to quarantine in their assigned room until their first negative COVID-19 test result, which they can expect to receive within 24 hours.
Students are permitted to leave campus only for essential errands. Those who disregard these expectations and safeguarding measures are likely to be removed from the in-person experience.
New Testing Cadence and Protocols
Students must receive two negative Babson-administered COVID-19 test results before attending in-person classes.
Initial tests should take place between three and five days apart. Students then can expect to test on a cadence of twice a week until February 15, with at least 48 hours passing between tests. Students will receive their daily campus pass following their second negative Babson COVID test, and also will be permitted to schedule recurring appointments.
In the event that a student tests positive, or has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, that student will enter quarantine/isolation protocol. Students in quarantine or isolation will be assigned a case manager, receive three meals a day, and be in constant communication with health services and faculty. Counseling and psychological services also will be available.
“Whether you are starting at Babson for the first time, or returning for your final semester,” Ward said, “we are excited for your arrival, and we look forward to tackling this challenge, and this opportunity, together.”