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Oct. 8, 2021

Dear Students,

As we approach the upcoming long weekend and fall mini-break, I wanted to share some best practices for staying healthy and safe when traveling or staying off campus. This break, we should all be focusing on making good decisions, practicing important self-care and returning to campus healthy.

Avoid Large Mask-less Indoor Gatherings
The risk of contracting COVID-19 is much higher in crowded indoor settings where face coverings aren’t worn regardless of vaccination status. Remember to be smart about your interactions and to wear a face covering when in a crowded indoor setting. The same can be said about remaining on campus. So far, the majority of on-campus COVID cases have spread from crowded gatherings and get-togethers where face coverings weren’t worn. While a vaccinated person is unlikely to suffer severe illness, even young vaccinated people with breakthrough cases can feel lousy for a few days, feel behind on academics and/or miss time with friends and family. Don't miss out!

Stay Home if you are Sick
If you begin to feel ill or display any symptoms of COVID-19 while home for the break, do not return to campus until you are tested. Like with any illness, it’s important to not return to a community until you are better, or have ruled out the possibility of a contagious illness like COVID-19.

Practice Self-Care
It’s important that we all take this opportunity to focus on our mental health and to gain some much-deserved rest and relaxation. This has been a busy fall semester so far, and we know that a lot has been asked of our community. Take time to recharge and prepare to return healthy next week. It’s important that we come back to campus safely to ensure the continued success of the fall semester.

Keep your Screening Testing Appointment
Students are not required to complete pre-arrival testing before coming back to campus. However, all undergraduate and residential students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to test each week through at least the month of October. Remember to keep your testing appointment next week, or schedule a test for Wednesday or Thursday if you will be off campus at the start of the week.

Face Covering Reminders
When you are back on campus next week, please remember to continue to wear your face covering before entering all academic and administrative buildings on campus (including the Library). You are also required to wear a face covering in all dining areas when not seated and actively eating or drinking, and in most areas of the Student Center and Dana Center. Following the Bentley requirements helps to ensure that the university is compliant with the masking order issued by the Waltham Board of Health last week.

Athletic Events Vaccination Requirement
Earlier this week, it was announced that all fans attending an indoor athletic event on campus would be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or documentation of a negative test result administered within the past 72 hours. As all members of the Bentley community are required to be vaccinated—and those with approved exemptions are required to test on a weekly basis all semester—simply showing your Bentley ID will provide sufficient proof for entry.

COVID-19 Testing Dashboard
Since ­August 22­­, ­144 positive cases have been reported on the dashboard. With 18,651 total tests administered, that leaves us at a 0.78% positivity rate.

As always, you can find the latest health and safety guidelines, as well as an archive of these newsletters, on bentley.edu/backtobentley. Whether you’ll be traveling or staying on campus, please enjoy a safe, healthy and relaxing fall break.

Until next time,
Geoff

Geoffrey C. Bartlett, CEM
Director of Emergency Management