Stay on track for your finals and flights by taking the following steps

December 09, 2021

Dear students,

We know that you have many end-of-semester responsibilities and are looking forward to the upcoming break. We want you to know that, even with our high vaccination rate, 59 students are currently in 10-day isolation after testing positive for Covid. Fortunately, those who have tested positive are experiencing mild symptoms. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires that they isolate for at least 10 days. That may affect their ability to take finals and complete other academic requirements.

We need your help to keep case numbers from growing by taking the following steps:

  • All students still on campus who have not already met their twice-a-week testing requirement should test on Friday. Remember that you must test on your cadence twice weekly and attest daily (policy). Be sure to turn in your unobserved self-test on the same day you complete it;
  • If you have any symptoms or test positive, do not go to class or to your final exam. If you find yourself with symptoms or if you test positive, you may request an excused absence (OX) from your professor in coordination with your dean from Student Support Services or GradSupport. An OX grade allows you to complete the course at a later date at an agreed upon time with your professor. The policies for undergraduates or graduate students provide additional details;
  • We strongly advise that you get a booster shot if you haven't already;
  • Be diligent about wearing a well-fitting face-covering when indoors (policy). If you host guests or visitors, be sure they comply with MIT’s face-covering requirements;
  • Leave some distance between yourself and others when eating indoors, and limit the time you spend eating in groups (policy); and
  • Avoid crowds and events with large groups of people generally.

 

At this time, we are not changing any Covid policies or procedures significantly. We are, however, requiring that student-run events on campus serve food or beverages grab-and-go style, and consuming food and beverages during the event is prohibited. This change will go into effect tomorrow, December 10. This is not a requirement for living community events under 10 people (e.g., study breaks, suitemate dinners, cook-for-yourself meals). And we are encouraging all students to exercise caution if they attend events on or off campus by wearing well-fitting masks and avoiding dining in large groups.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of regular twice-per-week testing and wearing a mask consistently. If you need self-test kits, please pick one up at any of the locations listed on the Atlas Covid Pass app and follow the instructions. You can also do observed in-person testing at MIT Medical.

Speaking of your upcoming break, please consider taking some precautions after you travel. Test two or three days after reaching your destination. Avoid large gatherings for a few days. And if you are around individuals at any time who have an increased risk for contracting Covid, please wear a mask for their protection. Lastly, if you develop any symptoms at all, get tested as soon as possible.

We’ve been here before – case increases are to be expected, especially in cold weather. Our best protection is redoubling our efforts to test on time and to follow basic Covid prevention steps. Let’s do this together, with patience and understanding, and end the semester without further disruption.

Sincerely,

Cecilia Stuopis, MD 
Medical Director, MIT Medical

Suzy Nelson 
Vice Chancellor and Dean for Student Life