July 29, 2021
The University will soon be welcoming you to “the Heights” for the start of classes on August 30. This communication contains reminders and updates for undergraduate and graduate students about campus life this fall.
Director of University Health Services Dr. Douglas Comeau noted the following important information in his July 1 letter:
- All students are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by August 23, 2021, or prior to that date if moving into campus residence halls or working on campus earlier.
- Students should upload their COVID-19 vaccination cards to UHS via the Agora Health portal by August 1, 2021, which is also the deadline for requesting an exemption from the coronavirus vaccination requirement.
- Starting on August 24, the University will begin taking action in regard to students who have not uploaded their vaccination cards, including restrictions on use of EagleID; access to Canvas, residence halls, dining, and the Connell Center; and ability to attend classes.
- To be considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19, students must receive the second Pfizer or Moderna or single J&J dose no later than August 9, 2021.
Boston College intends for the coming year to be as “normal” as possible. However, given the continuing global pandemic and spread of variants, certain changes in processes and procedures are required now (and others may be necessary in the months ahead) to help protect the health and safety of our campus community, including:
- Residence Hall Guest Registration. Like students, faculty, and staff on campus, all non-BC guests visiting residence halls must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Their hosts must ensure that their visiting guests, friends, and family members upload their vaccination cards, and provide contact information for possible contact tracing purposes prior to entering any University housing. Additional details about the guest registration process will be forthcoming.
- Residence Hall Room Capacity will be as follows:
- Traditional residence hall rooms – 2 guests per resident
- Apartments and suites – 4 guests per resident, maximum of 24 people (including resident hosts)
- Registered parties – 5 guests per resident, maximum of 36 people (including resident hosts) for indoor parties.
- COVID-19 Asymptomatic Surveillance Testing. Fully vaccinated individuals are well protected against COVID-19 and current variants, but “breakthrough” cases do occur. Thus, in addition to the initial PCR test upon move-in/return to campus, the University will be conducting limited weekly COVID-19 asymptomatic surveillance testing throughout the semester, with a particular focus on “high contact” groups, such as dining workers, housekeeping staff, resident assistants, etc. If selected and notified via email, students will be required to complete their COVID-19 test as instructed. Those who test positive will be placed in University housing for isolation. UHS and Massachusetts DPH protocols will be followed for those identified as close contacts; fully vaccinated students will be tested, and if negative, will not require quarantine or isolation.
- Masks/Face Coverings. At this time and subject to change, fully vaccinated students, faculty, and staff will not be required to wear masks on campus, but should feel free to do so, including in class. Students with University COVID-19 vaccination exemptions will be required to wear masks when inside BC buildings, including classrooms and laboratories.
- Building Occupancy. On-campus dining facilities, residence hall common areas, classrooms, and libraries will return to pre-pandemic occupancy limits.
- Daily Symptom Monitoring. Given the possibility of “breakthrough” COVID-19 cases, students will be expected to monitor their health on a daily basis, utilizing the BC Check app, which may be required for access to certain venues on campus. If students have any symptoms, they should contact University Health Services immediately and must not attend classes or use campus facilities.
As has been the case since the start of the pandemic, the University may need to modify policies and procedures because of changing conditions and guidance from local, state, and federal officials. Students will need to be flexible to help safeguard the health and safety of the Boston College and broader community.
Please be alert for additional information from various departments and offices on campus. The BC Forward site will continue to be a resource for important updates and communications.
The Boston College community has responded generously and effectively to the challenges of COVID-19 since March 2020, and I am confident that it will continue to do so. I look forward to the coming academic year.
Executive Vice President