Health Services and Guidelines

Health Guidelines

 

The health and safety of our community is our top priority.

We are implementing several guidelines and protocols to ensure students and employees are actively monitoring and reporting symptoms that could be signs of COVID-19 infection. All returning individuals are expected to comply with these guidelines, protocols, and policies. 

Our guidelines are informed by a constellation of federal and state recommendations as well as guidance from public health experts such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Mass. Department of Public Health, the Needham and Wellesley boards of health, The Ragon Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Last updated: July 31, 2020

Arrival Requirements

Please review Babson’s arrival and quarantine protocols for students returning to our Wellesley campus so that you will be prepared and understand what you can expect to experience when you arrive on campus.

With the return of a large number of students, faculty, and staff to Babson, safely managing the first few weeks of the fall semester is absolutely essential to our ability successfully to reopen campus.

Arrival Checklists

 

Accomodations

As we focus on the health and safety of our community, we recognize that unfortunately COVID-19 will continue to impact our community until there is an acquired immunity, vaccine, and /or treatments, and our priority is to mitigate the spread of the infection. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with more detailed information provided by the CDC about COVID-19.

We also know that some community members may be identified as “high risk” or have certain circumstances that may require reasonable accommodations. We ask those students to contact Health Services, and employees to reach out to Human Resources.

Symptom Monitoring and Reporting

All students and employees planning to be on-campus will be required to participate in a daily symptoms reporting protocol.

Any campus community member with symptoms will be required to remain ‘at home’ and not engage in on-campus activities as they seek medical attention.

COVID-19 Symptoms

 

Testing 

For those of us who will be on campus, our new testing protocol is one of the ways we are working to keep our community safe and well.

The protocol has two components:

  • Testing of fulltime students who are symptomatic, which will be handled through Babson’s Health Services office;
  • Asymptomatic surveillance testing for all students, faculty and staff who will be returning to our campuses. 

We have partnered with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a renowned biomedical research institution that pivoted to support COVID-19 testing, to supply test kits and process tests. 

All students and employees returning to campus will be tested—the vast majority within 24 hours. Information about test scheduling will be shared as part of upcoming onboarding sessions for students and training for faculty and staff. 

 

Do I need to get a test prior to arriving on campus?

If possible, we encourage you to obtain an FDA and EUA approved molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test 72 hours before traveling to campus. If you receive a positive result, you must delay your travel to campus for 10 days and until medically cleared.

When will I first be tested?

All students and employees returning to campus will be tested – the vast majority within 24 hours. All testing will be conducted by appointment. More information on scheduling appointments is forthcoming.

Off-campus students are encouraged to schedule their testing early, any time between August 15–19, to prepare for the start of classes.

How often will I be tested?

Students will be tested twice during their first week on campus, and planning is underway for weekly testing of asymptomatic students, faculty and staff throughout the fall semester. Testing frequency may be adjusted up or down based on public health guidance and community needs.

Where will the tests take place?

Regular asymptomatic surveillance testing will take place in the lower level of the BECC garage. Full-time students experiencing symptoms, and/or those who may be identified as close contacts of symptomatic individuals, will be tested through Babson’s Health Services office. 

How will tests be administered?

Tests will be self-administered, under the direction of a health professional, using an anterior nasal swab. The anterior method is a more comfortable alternative to the nasopharyngeal swab, which involves inserting an elongated swab deep into the nose to the upper part of the throat.

How are tests processed?

Tests are sent to the Broad Institute for processing and analysis. Babson will use Nucleic acid amplification tests, or molecular tests, which detect active COVID-19 infection.

Tests identify the presence of characteristic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material (RNA) in respiratory samples of patients. If the viral RNA is detected, it suggests that the virus might be present. Use of the molecular RNA test enables rapid detection of infection, even in asymptomatic community members.

What happens if my asymptomatic surveillance test is negative?

Continue to go about your day-to-day activities, while observing proper public health precautions like social distancing and wearing a mask.

What happens if I test positive?

Students, faculty or staff who test positive will need to isolate until they are fever free for one day, have a noted improvement in symptoms, and 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms. Students who live on campus and test positive will isolate in designated living accommodations; more information on isolation and quarantine will be shared in mid-August.

What if I am asymptomatic and test positive?

Asymptomatic individuals who test positive will need to remain in isolation for 10 days from their test date.  

What if I am in contact with someone who becomes infected? 

Close contacts of a positive individual will need to quarantine for 14 days, even with a negative test. If symptoms develop, isolation begins from the date of symptoms onset and will last at least 10 days.

What if I test negative but was identified as a close contact of a positive case? 

An exposed person with a negative test will need to quarantine for 14 days.

 

Isolation and Quarantine

All residential and off campus students should quarantine for 14 days prior to arriving at Babson. Before arriving on campus, you’ll be asked to sign an attestation confirming you’ve quarantined for 14 days.

Prior to checking into your assigned residence hall, Babson College asks you to review and attest to the following:

  • I remained at home except for going out for essential items, outdoor exercise, my job-related work, or to travel to Campus; and when outside of the home maintained social distancing and wore cloth face coverings/masks and maintained physical distancing consistent with CDC guidelines.
  • I have not experienced or displayed any of the following COVID-19 symptoms in the last 24 hours:
    • Fever or chills
    • Sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, or other respiratory symptoms
    • Muscle pain or aches
    • Severe fatigue
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • I have not had close contact with anyone over the last 14 days who is confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • I have completed the College’s virtual onboarding program, understand what is expected of me and agree to do my part to help safeguard our community by following the health and safety protocols and instructions.

How are quarantine and isolation different?

 

Students who need to isolate or quarantine themselves have the following options:

Returning Home

Students living within 200 miles from campus are encouraged to return home, provided that a family member or guardian takes responsibility for their care and can provide transportation in a personal vehicle.

We strongly recommend that all students who live within 200 miles of Babson arrive on campus with a plan in place in the event that they must quarantine or isolate during the semester and prefer to do so at home.

Remaining On Campus

Students living farther than 200 miles from campus or with someone who meets the above criteria will remain under the care of the College in designated quarantine spaces on campus.

  • All of these spaces will be disinfected and furnished, and stocked with water, nonperishable food, and cleaning supplies.
  • Students will be prohibited from having any guests and visitors, including family members, for the duration of the isolation/quarantine period. 
  • Self-quarantined students will be called twice daily by Health Services. 
  • Students in isolation may be managed by the Wellesley Board of Health or Needham Board of Health, depending on jurisdiction.

Community Resources 

The current environment has caused many of us to feel overwhelmed or anxious, and Babson is committed to maintaining the mental health and well being of all of our community. Please know that we have resources and support available to our community that may be able to assist through this challenging time as well as moving forward.

Students: Babson Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is currently conducting tele-therapy sessions for all full-time, enrolled, returning students. We are able to provide this service to most students residing in the United States. If you are interested in meeting virtually with a CAPS clinician, please email us at counselingservices@babson.edu.

Employees: Our Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) is offered through Katherine Greer Associates (KGA) and includes resources to help you and your family members on your wellness journey. You have access to the EAP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may call KGA at 1-800-648-9557 or visit KGA’s website.

 

Enhancements to Campus Health Services 

  • Collaboration with Newton-Wellesley Hospital and local health authorities to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of student COVID-19 cases
  • On-campus testing for symptomatic students and those identified as close contacts of positive or presumptive positive cases
  • Babson's health and wellness team is certified in telehealth and telemedicine services