The goal of this site is to provide guidelines that will help minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. Boston College’s plans will continue to be aligned with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston College will remain flexible in its approach. Accordingly, this site may require future updates.
Isolation and Quarantine
Faculty and staff who feel sick or have COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and contact their primary care physician, if needed. Faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must also contact their supervisor, department chair or dean, who will contact their Human Resources representative.
Positive cases should isolate for at least 5 days.
To calculate your 5-day isolation period, day 0 is your first day of symptoms OR your asymptomatic positive test date (whichever is earlier).
Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or positive test result.
On day 6 if you have had no fever for 24+ hours and have improving symptoms, you are released from isolation.
If you are able to end isolation on day 6, it is important to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days
Given that nearly all BC faculty, staff, and students are vaccinated and boosted, quarantine is not necessary for close contacts per the CDC and state/local departments of health (DPH). Faculty and staff positive cases may return to campus on day 6 if they are symptom free. No additional testing is required.
The CDC recommends any vaccinated person that has had close contact (defined as 6 ft for 15 minutes, cumulatively for 24 hours) with a positive case in the 48 hours preceding a positive test result or symptom onset, should be tested ~ 5 days following their exposure to the case. Close contacts should wear a mask for 10 days following exposure. Positive cases are responsible for notifying their own close contacts.
Consistent with the above, faculty, staff, and students who test positive are asked to inform the University immediately. If a student tests positive, faculty will be notified by the Office of the Provost. It is possible that the student will also notify faculty members. Faculty and staff are NOT to disclose a student’s positive test results to any member of their class or the larger campus community. Violating a faculty, staff, or student’s medical privacy is never appropriate.
If you are up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations and exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 you do NOT need to quarantine and may continue to come to campus. In such cases, however, faculty and staff should seek a test at day 5 from exposure, wear a mask until they receive a negative test result, and actively monitor for COVID-19 symptoms through day 10.
If you are not up to date on COVID vaccinations and exposed (a close contact - within 6 feet for a cumulative 15 minutes) to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you are required to quarantine for at least five (5) full days following the exposure, seek a test at day 5 from exposure, wear a mask until they receive a negative test result, and actively monitor for COVID-19 symptoms through day 10.
Yes, to the extent possible, isolating staff and faculty whose roles are conducive to working remotely will be expected to do so as long as they are able, provided they have been in contact with their supervisor or department chair/dean. Such staff and faculty who cannot work remotely shall be granted up to 5 days of leave with pay.
Off Campus Protocols
Per CDC guidance, any member of the BC community planning to travel internationally is advised as follows:
Pay close attention to the situation at the international destination before traveling outside the United States.
You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
Vaccination & Boosters
Login to the Agora Portal
Click the "PeopleSoft Human Resources Services" link located in the "Human Resources" section
Confirm your identity through BC's 2-Step Verification process.
From the “Main Menu” select “Self Service” then “Personal Information” and select “Update COVID-19 Record”
Enter the date of your completed COVID vaccination or booster in the date prompt then, in the drop-down menus, select the immunization type (booster or initial vaccine) followed by the vaccine manufacturer. Once complete, click the "Add Attachment" button and upload your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. If you are fully vaccinated and boosted, you will have two records on file.
Your vaccination date will appear on the page. Click "Save" to submit your record.
If you have any questions, please reach out to HR@bc.edu
Health & Wellness
Masks are optional in most locations on campus except medical facilities and on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations). While facemasks are not required on campus in buildings not open to the public, and the City of Newton discontinued its mask mandate for indoor public spaces on February 18, those who feel more comfortable wearing face coverings should feel free to do so.
We encourage any member of the University community who wants to wear a mask indoors to do so, and remind faculty and students that they are free to wear masks in classrooms if they so desire.
Yes. Faculty and staff who work on campus must conduct daily symptom monitoring each day before reporting to work utilizing BC Check.
Previously, in accordance with public health recommendations, individuals had been advised to seek medical attention if they had one of the following symptoms within the past 24 hours:
- Fever (temperature over 100.4) or chills
- Muscle or Body Aches
- Sore Throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Congestion or runny nose (not associated with allergies).
Now, individuals are being advised by DPH to seek medical attention only if they have two or more of these symptoms.
Additionally, individuals should now contact their health care provider and seek testing for COVID-19 if they have one of the following symptoms:
- New loss of taste or smell
- Shortness of breath
- Cough (not associated with allergies)
The changes were implemented by the DPH to help clarify what is likely to be a positive case of COVID-19, as opposed to a lesser illness such as a cold or sore throat.
The new standard is designed to help symptomatic individuals get seen faster by medical professionals, and for people with symptoms of other illnesses—such as strep throat or viral illness—to be able to be seen by healthcare providers at a health center or clinic.
Individuals should know that experiencing symptoms such as loss of taste and smell and shortness of breath are more likely to be a sign of COVID-19, whereas an isolated runny nose is more likely to be something else.
Boston College offers asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff the option of obtaining a walk-in PCR test once per week, Monday through Friday, at the Connell Recreation Center testing clinic through March 31,2022.
Connell Testing Clinic Hours:
Monday: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 6:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
If you would like to get tested for any reason outside of the walk-in process due to experiencing symptoms, you should seek out a Massachusetts testing site or an antigen test (see below for insurance coverage). You can visit the MA COVID-19 Testing website for an interactive map to find a testing site near you. Many sites may require pre-screening, a referral and/or an appointment.
Effective January 15th all health plans were mandated to begin covering COVID-19 at home testing kits.
A reminder that the federal government recently announced that they will provide 4 free tests per address to anyone who requests them. You can request the free kits by going to: https://special.usps.com/testkits
Coverage for at-home test kits you purchase will be provided through your Harvard Pilgrim Health Care membership, and NOT through the OptumRx prescription benefit.
Harvard Pilgrim will cover up to 8 tests per month per person and will reimburse up to $12 per test. We suggest you obtain tests as you need them and not stockpile them because they do have varying expiration dates.
As of now you will need to pay for the testing kits yourself and then seek reimbursement from Harvard Pilgrim. To find the Claim Form you can go to www.harvardpilgrim.org/coronavirus. Click on LEARN MORE and you will find a link to "form" and also a link to "View a list of eligible tests." (Ignore the comment on the site about visiting a Walmart or Rite Aid pharmacy for no upfront cost because that does not apply to our plan.)
Note that tests purchased using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) are not reimbursable through this process.
If you have questions, you may contact Harvard Pilgrim's Member Services at (888) 333-4742.
Faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must contact their supervisor, department chair, or dean--who will contact their Human Resources representative—and isolate at home until cleared to return to work by their physician. If faculty and staff are unable to work remotely during this time, they may use accumulated sick leave to cover their absence while in isolation. To the extent possible, isolating employees whose roles are conducive to working remotely will be expected to do as long as they are able, provided they have been in contact with their supervisor or department chair/dean.
Staff and faculty feeling anxious, grieving the loss of a loved one, or otherwise in need of counseling and support may contact the Director of Employee Wellbeing, Marie Elena Gioiella (email@example.com).
Return to Campus
In-person meetings may resume effective immediately. When meeting in-person, non-vaccinated individuals will be required to observe COVID safety protocols (masks, social distancing). Vaccinated individuals may participate without masks or social distancing.
Unless conditions change significantly, we expect to return to normal operations with regard to in-person meetings in the fall. Those needing to book spaces or who would like to serve food at meetings should continue to do so through BC’s Event Management team. Note that the availability of classroom spaces for the fall booking may not be released until the late summer.
Generally, the cleaning level (scope and frequency) of all university buildings will return to pre-pandemic “normal cleaning” regimens with enhancements. The CDC has continued to state that the risk of infection by touching surfaces is low and the most reliable way to prevent infection from surfaces is to wash hands or use hand sanitizer. Custodial staff will continue to pay particular attention to disinfecting high touch points after normal cleaning, especially in residence halls and high occupancy assembly areas.
Hand sanitizer stations will remain across campus and will be serviced by Custodial staff. Additionally, disinfecting wipes will continue to be available in classrooms and other select assembly areas for occupant use.
Cleaning and disinfecting in specialized areas such as University Health Services, The Childcare Center, and The Campus School will continue to be based upon guidelines for these areas.
During the summer of 2020 Facilities Services increased the level of filtration in centrally ventilated buildings to MERV 13 where design standards allowed. These filters are being replaced over the summer of 2021 and will remain for the academic year. We also increased the amount of fresh air going into buildings where this was possible. Fresh air is limited by its temperature, humidity and the design of each system.
Our campus spaces have been returned to pre-pandemic furniture arrangements without restrictions on spacing. There will not be restrictions or signage directing traffic flow and queuing. Practicing distancing when possible and the continued use of outdoor spaces is still encouraged.
Classroom & Teaching Protocol
Consistent with our policy last year, Health Services will not be communicating specific details about student health status to course instructors. However, the Provost's office will continue last year's practice of notifying instructors when informed that a student will need to be physically absent from the classroom for an extended period of time for purposes of isolation, quarantine, or other health-related issues. This is being done in order to help instructors manage support for students unable to attend class in-person. Students may share their health-related information with instructors on their own: if a student self-identifies as having tested positive for COVID-19, please confirm that they have contacted University Health Services (if tested externally) - no further action or notification on the part of the instructor is required.
Please note that the University continues to encourage students, faculty, and staff to exercise good judgment and stay home if they are not feeling well in order to protect the health of the community. We are grateful for the patience and care for our students shown by all of our instructors during this challenging period.
Capacity limitations for campus classrooms, office workspaces, and outdoor areas that were in place for the 2020-2021 academic year have been rescinded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, effective May 29, 2021.
At this time, we anticipate that the classroom environment will largely return to pre-COVID normal, and faculty should plan their pedagogy accordingly.
Yes. Classes scheduled for rooms equipped with Lecture Capture will continue to be recorded and linked to Canvas by default.
These recordings are not accessible until faculty make them viewable in the settings. Please refer to the CTE website for instructions.