Holiday Travel Guidance and Compliance Expectations
From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer
and Gary Nicksa, Senior Vice President for Operations
With the upcoming holidays and the break between semesters rapidly approaching, we are writing today to share some guidance about holiday travel, to clarify COVID-19 testing and health attestation expectations for faculty and staff during these upcoming breaks, and to announce the ability to schedule tests up to one month in advance moving forward.
Thanksgiving Break (Thursday, November 26 – Sunday, November 29)
Many aspects of a traditional Thanksgiving holiday, including travel and gathering in groups for extended periods of time, are also associated with risk of exposure to and spread of COVID-19. The University is encouraging all members of the community to avoid travel and large gatherings during Thanksgiving this year. If faculty and staff do travel out of state over Thanksgiving break, upon return you will be subject to current Massachusetts travel orders, which require quarantining for 14 days or until a negative test result has been received.
Due to the increased interactions that often occur over a holiday, coupled with the risk of viral transmission during shared meals, Boston University strongly recommends that all faculty and staff in categories 1-3 take two COVID-19 tests weekly during the first two weeks back on campus after the Thanksgiving break, rather than the normal limit of one test per week. These tests should be scheduled using the regular appointment scheduling system in Occupational Health Connect.
Thanksgiving Compliance Expectations
Faculty and staff are not required to complete the daily health screening during the Thanksgiving holiday (Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27), or during the weekend unless you are scheduled to work or return to campus for any reason on those days.
Our COVID-19 test collection sites will close at noon on Wednesday, November 25, and all sites will reopen on Friday morning, November 27. If you usually get tested on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, you will remain in compliance if you get tested either over the weekend (daily health screening required to do so), or the following Monday, November 30 or Tuesday, December 1.
Intersession (Wednesday, December 24 – Sunday, January 3)
Daily health screenings are not required during the year-end intersession holiday unless you are scheduled to work or return to campus for any reason.
Testing requirements will be waived from Thursday, December 24, through Sunday, January 3, unless you are scheduled to work or return to campus for any reason. The test collection sites will close at noon on Thursday, December 24, and will remain closed through Friday, January 1, except for limited hours in select locations on Sunday, December 27 (Kilachand 7 am – 2 pm; Agganis 8 am – 2 pm), and Wednesday, December 30 (Kilachand and Medical Campus 7 am – 2 pm; Agannis 8 am – 2 pm). All testing sites will reopen on Saturday, January 2. Details about intersession test collection hours can be found on the Human Resources website.
Period Between Intersession and Spring Semester Classes (Monday, January 4 – Sunday, January 24)
Between Monday, January 4, and Sunday, January 24, if you come to campus for any reason, you are expected to comply with all normal testing and daily health screening requirements, as determined by your testing category.
If you do not plan to return to campus at all during this period and are currently assigned to testing category 1, 2, or 3, ask your manager/department chair to change you to testing category 4 for the period. If you plan to return to campus only occasionally during this period, ask your manager/department chair to change you to testing category 3 for the period. If you are reassigned to a different testing category for this specific period, you should be reassigned to your previously assigned fall semester testing category, effective Monday, January 25.
If you are currently assigned to testing category 4, you are not required to complete the daily health screening or undergo testing, and you should continue to adhere to the requirement that you not return to campus for any reason.
These expectations are intended to maintain a healthy and safe campus environment, while providing flexibility during holiday periods when many of us will be away from campus. If you have questions please reach out to BU COVID Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-358-4990.
Announcing Ability to Schedule Testing up to One Month in Advance
We are pleased to announce additional scheduling flexibility is available to faculty and staff starting today. In an effort to make it easier to comply with the testing requirements, those in categories 1-3 will now be able to schedule testing appointments up to one month in advance.
Thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding.