COVID-19 Response

Holy Cross has moved away from an emergency response towards a model that more closely resembles post-pandemic operations. Under this approach, each member of our community is empowered to evaluate risks and make decisions based on their personal circumstances.

Vaccination

All Holy Cross students, faculty, staff and volunteers, except for those who have asked for and been granted an exemption, are required to have received a primary vaccine series and at least one booster, when eligible. We highly recommend individuals get the updated Bivalent COVID booster, when eligible. A previous COVID-19 infection is not a valid reason for exemption.

Student Information
Faculty, Staff and Volunteer Information

Masking

The City of Worcester is tracking COVID, flu, and an uncharacteristic rise in cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and issued a notice urging everyone to take precautions, including wearing masks and receiving COVID boosters and flu vaccines when eligible.

As of 11/30/2022, a Respiratory Virus Advisory is in effect at Holy Cross. At this time,  masks are strongly encouraged in indoor public spaces while around others.

One-way masking remains an effective way to reduce the risk of contracting pathogens like COVID-19. College employees may request that others wear a mask in their personal work space. Faculty members have the right to require masking in their classrooms, labs and personal offices. Masking is required in Health Services, the Counseling Center and on HC Transportation. Masking is highly encouraged in crowded areas.

The College will shift back to a mask mandate as recommended by the Public Health RN in response to an outbreak, or if required at the local or national level.

We strongly recommend masking for all close contacts for 10 full days after the most recent exposure to a COVID positive person, or for anyone who is unvaccinated, immunocompromised, over the age of 75, or who lives and/or works closely with others who are immunocompromised or over the age of 75.

Testing 

If you have COVID symptoms and you have a PCR test pending, you should isolate until you receive the results of your PCR.

Students

Rapid and PCR testing is available in Health Services for students who are exposed to COVID or who have active symptoms. Students who test positive should fill out this form for further instructions. Even if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, it is recommended to take an antigen COVID-19 test if you become symptomatic during that 90 day period.

If anyone has symptoms of COVID-19 and they test negative on an antigen test, they should repeat an antigen test within 48 hours.

Employees

At-home rapid tests are available for pick up from Human Resources in Smith Hall.

PCR Tests

If you have COVID symptoms and you have a PCR test pending, you should isolate until you receive your results of your PCR.

Isolation

Students

Students who test positive are required to isolate for a time period consistent with the CDC guidelines in effect at the time. Students who test positive are asked to isolate off campus if at all possible. Those who cannot isolate off-campus are permitted to isolate in their dorm room. Students are asked to coordinate any make-up work directly with their professors.

The College has limited respite space available for individuals who are severely immunocompromised whose roommate is completing a dorm isolation. However, this space is very limited and admittance must be approved by the Public Health team. Students may submit a respite space request here.

Students should no longer test out of isolation. If you test out of isolation and your test is negative: continue to mask day 6-10. If you test positive: isolate for another 24 hours and mask for 5 more days after your last positive test. Note: this may go past day 10.

Employees

At-home rapid tests are available for pick up from Human Resources in Smith Hall.

Faculty and staff members who are exposed to COVID are expected to follow the guidelines provided for in the CDC’s tool “Isolation and Exposure Calculator.” If positive, employees must notify their supervisor to discuss sick time or their ability to work remotely. During the academic year, faculty should notify department chairs.

After a positive test, you should continue to wear a mask for five days following your isolation period. Employees should also mask with any COVID-19 exposures, especially with household exposures.

Supervisor Reporting Form

Close contacts

COVID positive individuals are responsible for notifying their close contacts. A close contact is someone who was within 6 ft for 15 minutes or longer within a 24 hour period. This period starts 48 hours before the COVID positive’s symptoms start or if asymptomatic, 48 hours before testing positive.

Close contacts should test between day 4-6 after being last exposed to a COVID positive person. If an antigen test indicates a close contact is COVID negative, the individual should retest within 48 hours.  If that test is negative, retest again in 48 hours. Even if you have had COVID in the past 90 days, it is recommended that you still take an antigen test.

Visitors

We strongly encourage all visitors to adhere to the following guidelines to keep themselves and others safe:

  • We strongly encourage all visitors to campus to be fully vaccinated and boosted. 

  • If you are able, please take a home rapid test before visiting campus.

  • Individuals who are symptomatic are asked to not come to campus.

Events

All in-person activities may resume in full. Event organizers are not expected to screen guests’ vaccination status or to require tests.

If you suspect an event on-campus may have led to a COVID outbreak, please email coronavirus@holycross.edu.

Travel

Although health conditions have improved in the US and in many locations around the world, travel still poses risks, and individuals should take appropriate precautions before deciding to travel domestically or internationally. Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before you travel internationally. Consider getting tested with a viral test as close to the time of departure as possible before travel and 4 to 6 days after returning. Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is recommended in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).

COVID Response Leadership

As the Public Health Registered Nurse, Alyssa Price MSN, BSN, RN, in consultation with the College’s medical advisor, has primary responsibility for monitoring all public health concerns, including COVID, and implementing appropriate mitigation strategies.

If you have questions for Alyssa, please reach out to her at coronavirus@holycross.edu.

Questions

Questions and comments may be sent to coronavirus@holycross.edu