Public Health Information

This page serves as a resource for our campus community regarding COVID-19 and other communicable illnesses. We will continue to stay abreast of the latest public health data points and inform the campus community as the academic year unfolds. 

COVID-19 information

Along with other colleges and universities, MCLA continues to navigate the challenges to campus life because of COVID-19. Although some of our COVID-related policies such as mandatory masking and required weekly surveillance testing have ceased, we will continue to monitor campus, local, regional, and national data surrounding COVID-19 and be prepared to respond to changes as necessary. If our safety protocols need modification, or the conditions change, we will be responsive and continue to keep the campus informed.

Given the significantly improved public health environment of our community and recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, MCLA has transitioned to a mask optional campus and asymptomatic testing will no longer be required for students who are fully vaccinated and boosted. 

An archive of campus messages regarding COVID-19 can be found below. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions and links to helpful information from the Commonwealth.

MCLA has set up a hotline phone number for questions related to COVID-19 at 413-662-5550. The hotline is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. You can also leave a message outside of these hours.

Mask Protocols and Vaccine Requirements

Similarly to how we ended last semester, masks will be optional around campus and individuals should decide to wear or not wear a mask based on their personal choice.  

There continue to be the following exceptions:  

  • Masks will be required in the MountainOne Wellness Center (Health and Counseling Services), as required by MA state law.
  • Faculty have the option of requesting that masks be worn in their classrooms.  
  • Staff and faculty also have the option of requesting that masks be worn in their individual office spaces, as posted.  

Mask wearing is still a successful tool in preventing the spread of germs. As we continue in a mask-optional environment, please be respectful of each other’s choices. We encourage people to wear masks, if they choose, and to always have one with them. Masks will continue to be available in locations across campus. The College reserves the right to require mask-wearing at any time in the future if public health related data necessitates it. 

We will continue to require all enrolled students to be vaccinated and to receive a booster shot in order to attend classes or participate in activities on campus.

Religious and medical exemptions will be reviewed and granted following the same exemption procedures MCLA utilizes for other vaccination exemptions as is consistent with Massachusetts state law. 

Students seeking a medical or religious exception will need to complete and submit the Health Services Vaccine Declination Form, which can be obtained by contacting HealthServices@mcla.edu.

Medical exceptions will be approved by Health Services and require a letter from a medical provider documenting the condition that prevents the administration of the vaccine. Religious exceptions will be approved by the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office.

For questions, please contact the COVID Hotline at 413-662-5550.

MCLA will work with unvaccinated students to meet their needs and enable them to continue their education in pursuit of their degree. MCLA requires all students attending in-person classes, living in campus housing, participating in on-campus activities, or accessing on-campus facilities to be fully vaccinated before coming to campus regardless of age or credit load, unless they have obtained an approved religious or medical exemption.

MCLA requires COVID-19 vaccines, including a booster shot of an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination.

According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

All students engaging in on-campus life or activities must be vaccinated. 

Yes, in accordance with current CDC guidelines students need to be fully vaccinated. 

Due to the current transmission patterns of variants, we will make use of rapid antigen tests for symptomatic testing for students in Health Services, and we will make asymptomatic antigen tests available at locations for pickup across campus for all members of our community. 

Anyone can also request free tests from covid.gov/tests

Students: We recommend all resident students test no sooner than twenty-four hours prior to (and preferably the morning of) their arrival to campus, or the morning before their first class for commuter students. If a student tests positive, they will need to: stay home for the minimum recommended five-day isolation period before coming to campus, notify Health Services and, for resident students, notify Residence Life and Housing for additional information and instructions.  

We will continue to follow CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health isolation and quarantine guidance for COVID-19 cases.  

Students: If you test positive for COVID-19 at any point during the semester please contact Health Services for guidance regarding isolation.  

Employees: If you test positive for COVID-19 please alert your supervisor and Barbara Chaput, Executive Director of Human Resources, ASAP. Supervisors alerted to a positive case should also be in touch with Human Resources for guidance. As standard protocol, we advise all COVID-19 positive employees to connect with their primary care physician or the Berkshire Medical Center COVID-19 hotline (855-262-5465) for additional instructions and guidance regarding isolation.

 

Archive Communications

Spring Break Information for Resident Students (3/9/22)

Spring Break Information for Commuter Students (3/9/22)

Student Updates - Booster Requirement Extension, Move-in, Start Date and more (1/13/22)

Student Updates (1/6/22)

Student Spring 2022 COVID-19 Update- Booster Requirement

Fall 2021 Student Update (8/18/21)

Information for Students - Fall 2021 (6/23/21)

Vaccinations (4/26/21)

Message to Students About Move-out Procedure and Protocols and Related Information (4/1/21)

Lost Wages Fund Request (3/29/21)

Looking Ahead to Fall 2021 (3/15/21)

Student Message: Updated Information for Spring and Vaccine Guidance (3/10/21)

Reminder to out of state students: MA Travel Order is required when returning to Massachusetts this week (1/19/21)

Student Spring '21 Return (1/11/21)

Message to Students: Spring 2021 Semester Updates (12/14/20)

Communication to Students re: Early Move-Out (11/16/20)

Students Spring 2021 Updates (11/13/20)

Ready for Remote Checklist (11/13/20)

Student COVID-19 Updates: Executive Orders, Travel, End of Semester Move-Out (11/5/20)

Resident Student Fall Move-Out Appointment Scheduling (10/30/20)

Important new protocol for travel from and return to campus (10/29/20)

End of semester move-out and process for limited exceptions (10/21/20)

Student Message Regarding Off-Campus Gatherings (9/3/20)

Return to Campus Student Guide (8/26/20)

Early Add/Drop Period for Returning and Transfer Students (8/25/20)

Important: Trailblazer Agreement (8/19/20)

Important Information for Resident Students about Move-in (8/17/20)

COVID Testing Broad COVID-19 Testing Consent Form (8/17/20)

Fall 2020 Student Update (8/6/20)

MCLA Return to Campus Final Report July 2020 (8/6/20)

Trailblazers Keep Going Initiative (4/27/2020)

Explore. Create. Connect! A new place for community connections (4/6/2020)

Student Communication Update (4/2/2020)

Student update regarding remote instruction resources and other resources (3/26/2020)

Billing adjustments due to COVID (3/23/2020)

Stay-At-Home Advisory (3/23/2020)

Resident Student Update: Retrieving Your Belongings and Waiver Request To Live on Campus (3/18/2020)

Important COVID Related Updates for Students (3/17/2020)

Message to Students: COVID-19 Updates and Spring Break Travel Planning (3/10/2020)

Employee Updates - Testing, KN95 Masks (1/14/22)

Employee Updates (12/31/21)

Employee Spring 2022 COVID-19 Update- Booster Requirement

COVID-19 Updates (9/24/21)

Update for AFSCME Unit Members on Agreement for COVID-19 preventative measures (9/7/21)

Update for APA Unit Members on Agreement for COVID-19 preventative measures (8/30/21)

Employee COVID-19 testing this week (8/30/21)

Update for Day Contract MSCA Unit Members on Agreement for COVID-19 preventative measures (8/27/21)

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for all Non-Union Employees (8/17/21)

COVID-19 Related Campus Updates (8/3/21)

Employee Updates (6/3/21)

Employee Communication and Travel Updates (4/22/21)

Spring 2021 Pivot to Remote Learning Employee Follow-up (4/1/21)

Faculty and Staff Semester Opening COVID-19 Updates (1/25/21)

Employee Spring 2021 Return to Campus (1/12/21)

Employee Update: Extending Remote Work Until 1/17/2021 (1/8/21)

MCLA Return to Work Guide for all employees

Employee Update: Extending Remote Work Until 1/10/2021 (12/23/20)

Message to Employees: Spring 2021 Semester Updates (12/18/20)

Faculty and Staff Updates: Remote Work, Holiday Schedule, Travel, Testing (11/16/20)

Interim Telecommuting Guide

Faculty and Staff Spring 2021 Updates (11/13/20)

Faculty and Staff COVID-19 Updates: Executive Orders, Travel, and Employee Testing (11/5/20)

COVID-19 Dashboard and Testing Update (9/3/20)

Broad Employee COVID Consent Form (9/3/20)

Employee Return to Campus Health and Safety Update (8/27/20)

Employee Fall 2020 Return to Campus Update (8/6/20)

MCLA Return to Work Guide July 2020 (7/2/20)

Temporary Telecommunication Continuation (6/22/2020)

Return to Work Guide (7/1/2020)

Working Safely on Campus - Training

ADA Accommodation Medical Certification

ADA Request for Reasonable Accommodation

Request for Temporary Telecommuting Continuation Form Spring 2021

Gov. Baker's Executive Order Re: Masks (6/5/2020)

Extended Remote Work (4/27/2020)

Important Message about Equal Opportunity and Equality (41/2020)

Federal Families First: Coronavirus Act (4/1/2020)  (Printable Poster)

Emergency Help for Students in Need (4/8/2020)

Stay-At-Home Advisory (3/23/2020)

Message regarding Telecommuting for Staff (3/17/2020)

Faculty and Staff COVID updates (3/10/20)

Informative Websites

Once you're vaccinated:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html

Massachusetts FAQs:

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions

MCLA CARES Act, CRRSAA, and ARP Act (HEERF I, II, III) Reporting

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.berkshirehealthsystems.org/coronavirus

U.S. Department of Education Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Information and Resources

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Information on the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Office of Student Health Services