New Massachusetts COVID-19 Restrictions and Impact on Campus Policies

Good Afternoon,

As many of you are already aware, Governor Baker issued additional measures on November 2 to address the rising COVID-19 cases in the state. These orders go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 6. Wheaton College is committed to supporting the state’s efforts to stop the spread of the virus and we will continue to need your ongoing cooperation.

We have provided a brief summary of how these orders impact our community:

  • Face coverings must be worn at all times in public, indoors and outdoors, even when 6 feet of social distancing can be maintained. This means the only time you can take your mask off on campus is if you are in your own residence hall room or your own private office. Masks should be worn at all times outdoors.

  • A Stay At Home Advisory has been issued that instructs individuals to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. For residential students, you should already be limiting your off-campus activities, but please be back on campus by 10 p.m, unless traveling for work or an emergency.  Your movement on campus will not be limited during this timeframe, but you must adhere to all social distancing, face covering, and guest policies. For off-campus and commuter students, please be aware of the times to be back in your personal residences.

  • In adherence to these new restrictions, the dining halls will be grab and go only after 9:30 p.m.

  • For those that live in off-campus residences, please be aware that indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor to 25 people. All participants at these gatherings must maintain 6 feet physical distancing from each other.  All gatherings must end and disperse by 9:30 p.m.

  • The gathering size capacity limits at on-campus events has been reduced to 10 people for indoor venues and will remain at 25 for outdoor venues.  All gatherings must end and disperse by 9:30 p.m.

  • Please be aware that many off-campus businesses must close by 9:30 p.m.

As we mentioned in our emails last week, we have seen an increase in positive cases on and off campus. Please be sure to adhere to the college’s COVID-19 policies, including limiting off-campus travel to essential only. Also please take the time to review and prepare your quarantine bag in the event that you test positive or are identified as a close contact. Some students have not been prepared with clothing, snacks, and other supplies when they needed to relocate to Quarantine and Isolation housing.

We appreciate your support as we look to keep our community healthy and safe. If you have any questions, please contact covidtesting@wheatoncollege.edu.

On behalf of the Return to Campus Task Force,

Dean Zack