The university released its updated COVID-19 testing hours for the week of Thanksgiving break from Nov. 22 to Nov 26. The university will also begin using a new software for ordering tests provided through the Broad Institute, according to an email sent to the community by Morgen Bergman, Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives, on Nov. 17.
“I wish you all safe travels, a healthy return, and renewed appreciation for the art of gathering and the sense of togetherness that have been elusive for too long,” Bergman wrote in the email.
Testing sites will be open Monday, Nov. 22 and Tuesday, Nov. 23 during the normal testing hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at both the Shapiro Science Center (SCC) and Mandel Center for the Humanities. According to the email, testing will only be available on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at the SCC testing site and the hours will be limited. The testing site will close early on Nov 24; the hours will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Both testing sites will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26, according to the email. The testing sites will also remain closed on Saturday, Nov. 27, like it usually is. The regular testing site hours and locations will resume on Sunday, Nov 29, according to the email. Regular Sunday testing hours are only available at the SSC from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the COVID-19 portal.
The COVID-19 portal has been adjusted to the new hours of operation in effect for the Thanksgiving weekend, so students cannot sign up for appointments during the restricted times, according to the COVID-19 portal. The testing site hours have been altered due to the university and the Broad Institute’s holiday schedules for Thanksgiving, according to the email.
Regular hours will be in effect until Dec. 10, according to the email.
The update from Bergman also included an update on the software used through the Broad Institute. According to Bergman, the Broad Institute will be partnering with Project Beacon, a program that seeks to increase the availability, accessibility and affordability of COVID-19 in the state of Massachusetts, according to their page.
Community members should expect an email by the end of the week of Nov. 14 that will provide a link where they can create their Project Beacon account for tests ordered through the university, wrote Bergman. The email address community members should expect to hear from is email@example.com. Upon receiving the link, community members should follow the directions outlined in the email, the link provided will expire within 72 hours after receiving the email, explained Bergman.
Beginning on Dec. 1, tests collected at the university will be ordered and resulted through the Project Beacon Platform; community members should expect results from them after Dec. 1. Bergman wrote that there will be no other changes to the program despite the fact that the university initially said it would begin pooled testing in the fall 2021 semester, according to a previous Hoot article.
Until Dec. 1 community members will continue to receive their results from CareEvolve— the university’s current system provided through the Broad Institute— according to the email. More information will be released closer to Dec. 1, wrote Bergman.
Bergman asked students and other community members to check the university’s COVID-19 website to stay up to date on current requirements for testing and quarantining after traveling. Students can check for updates on the universities travel policies on their COVID-19 page.
“With the holidays nearing, lots of travel and gatherings planned, and finals right around the corner, the COVID positivity rates are climbing in Massachusetts. Despite all of our precautions and incredibly high vaccination rates on campus, we are not immune!” wrote Bergman to the community.
Bergman reiterated the university’s current masking policy in indoor facilities including the Shapiro Science Center, hallways, the dining halls, Gosman, classrooms, the library and the Shapiro Campus Center, due to recent reports of an increasing number of students not complying with the masking policy.