Massachusetts Travel Order and Quarantine Information

July 25, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

We are writing to inform you of our quarantine guidelines for students coming to campus from beyond the Northeast states. We apologize for the delay in getting this to you. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker communicated a new travel order earlier today, and so we have modified our plans to comply. 

As of August 1, the state will require all travelers, with certain exceptions, coming to Massachusetts to:

  • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival.

  • Quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the state or acceptable region or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.

Students who have been in a state defined as “lower risk”  for at least 14 days prior to arrival in Massachusetts are exempt from these requirements. The states currently defined as lower risk are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Hawaii. Please note that the lower risk designations could change and we will keep you informed of any changes.

To comply with the state mandate, students who reside outside of the specified lower-risk states, or have been outside of these states regardless of residence in the 14 days prior to arrival in Massachusetts, must complete the Massachusetts Travel Form and then complete the Holy Cross Quarantine Arrangements form to inform the College of their arrival plans. Students may choose one of the following options:

  • Travel to one of the specified lower-risk states outside of Massachusetts and remain there for 14 days prior to coming to campus. (Reminder: The low-risk states could change.)

  • Travel to Massachusetts and self-quarantine for 14 days prior to coming to campus. The state has provided requirements for quarantine to which the State expects you will adhere.

  • Travel to Holy Cross, be tested, and quarantine on campus until you receive a negative test result.

  • Obtain a PCR test for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. Please note that most testing locations across the country are reporting a turnaround time for results that is longer than 72 hours and choosing this option may require that you remain at home past the beginning of the start of the academic year.

  • If you have been living within the lower-risk region since before August 1, you will not be required to self-quarantine.

We expect students who are approved to live off campus or are otherwise commuting to adhere to the state travel mandate. Please note that the College will not begin its regular campus testing protocol for all students who will be accessing campus until on or after August 28.

Arrival from low-risk state

In order to be exempt from the Massachusetts travel order, students may travel to a lower-risk state and remain there for 14 days prior to coming to campus. To allow time for this and to move onto campus for the start of school, students should arrive in that lower-risk state between August 12-14. 

Self-quarantine in Massachusetts

Students may come to Massachusetts and self-quarantine for 14 days. We expect that students choosing this option will comply with state requirements for quarantine and arrive in Massachusetts August 12-14.

Quarantine on campus while waiting for negative test result

Students may choose to travel to campus, receive a test and quarantine until they obtain a negative result. Students who choose this option will be assigned a campus arrival date between August 18-23. Students will be tested within 24 hours of arrival and receive results within 48 hours after testing. Once the student obtains a negative test, they will be able to move into their permanent housing for the semester. We will be communicating more details about specific arrival dates and times early next week. 

A few additional notes about the self-quarantine on campus:

  • Students will be housed in a single room with a private bathroom for the quarantine period.

  • Students who will quarantine on campus should bring sheets, towels, toiletries and any other necessities with them to campus. We are unable to accept packages shipped to campus until after August 24. 

  • We will provide meals for students during this time. If you are choosing this option and have food allergies, or follow a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, please fill out this form to ensure Dining Services can meet your needs. 

Students who travel to Massachusetts with their families may choose to stay in a hotel with them while they wait for their negative test result. 

As a reminder, the COVID-19 trends continue to evolve, as does state and public health guidance. Therefore, even as we finalize our plans and you plan for travel to campus, we recommend that you maintain flexibility. We suggest that any airline tickets that you purchase, particularly round trip tickets, are able to be changed or refunded.

Please note that if parents/guardians/family members plan to stay overnight in the state, then they must comply with the state mandate. If they are only dropping off the student and then immediately leave the campus and state they are exempted from the Order. Please see the state’s website for more information. 

If you do not reside in a lower-risk state, please complete the Holy Cross Quarantine Arrangements Form to indicate your arrival plan by Monday, July 27. If at the time of your planned travel to campus, you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, are recovering from COVID-19 or have been identified as possibly having been exposed, you should not come to campus and you should contact Health Services at 508-793-2276. We will then work with you on an arrival plan. For any other questions, please email

We recognize that this information is coming late in your decision process. For this reason, we will extend the deadline for completing the Acknowledgment and Election of Options form to Sunday, July 26. Please note, however, that we are unable to extend the deadline for the Housing Agreement and roommate selection process beyond Sunday, July 26. Instructions and information about the housing process can be found on the Housing Selection Process webpage.

Again, we appreciate your patience as we work through the many details involved with bringing our students back to campus. We will be providing more information to everyone about the move-in process shortly.


Michele C. Murray, PhD

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students