Assumption University has announced that in agreement with the city of Worcester, a lock-down of the campus is beginning Friday after a spike in coronavirus cases.
The lock down will have students sheltering in place from Oct. 30 until Nov. 6, according to a message from President Francesco Cesareo, who wrote that the measure is necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus.
On Wednesday, the university announced that eight more COVID-19 cases have been detected this week and that 22% of campus residents, or 115 students, were quarantined or in isolation.
With that many students in quarantine or isolation, the Worcester Department of Public Health contacted Assumption to assess the public health situation on campus, according to Cesareo’s message.
Additionally, all students who commute will be remote for the rest of the semester, Cesareo said.
All faculty and staff, aside from essential personnel, will teach and work remotely during the shelter-in-place, Cesareo said. Campus offices will remain open to serve students, just only remotely.
“The shelter-in-place status will significantly decrease interactions amongst members of the community and the potential spread of the virus,” Cesareo wrote.
When the shelter-in-place ends, Assumption will reassess its situation with the city’s department of public health.
During the shelter-in-place, students cannot leave their residence hall, floor or apartment, nor exit or enter campus except for medical emergencies, for twice-weekly coronavirus testing and to pick up meals. Students will be provided with three meals per day during the lock down, Cesareo wrote.
All classes will be remote for at least the weeklong lock down and all in-person co-curricular activities are suspended, including all athletics activities. Virtual programming will continue, Cesareo said.
Student who want to go home, including those in quarantine, can contact Residential Life to make arrangements. If students go home, Cesareo said, they are not permitted to return to campus until January.
As of 8 a.m. Friday, all visitors are prohibited from Assumption’s campus except for family members coming to campus to pick up a student who is going home.
“I realize the inconvenience that the shelter-in-place will cause students, faculty and staff, however this mutual decision by the Worcester Department of Public Health and the University is a necessary step to promote the health and safety of the campus and Worcester communities,” Cesareo said.
Assumption has a total of 2,400 students, with 1,979 undergrads and 421 in graduate programs.
- 22% of Assumption’s residential students are in isolation or quarantine as college sees COVID spike