Dec. 7, 2021
Dear Bentley Community,
As we approach the close of the fall term, we wanted to look ahead and share important health and safety requirements and guidelines for the spring 2022 semester. With COVID-19 cases beginning a precipitous rise in Massachusetts and across the country, it’s important that we use all of the tools at our disposal to ensure we reduce the risk of the virus spreading on campus.
Here are four important things you should know about the spring 2022 semester:
Booster shots will be required for all students, faculty and staff for the spring semester. Last week, the CDC announced that everyone age 18 and over should get a COVID-19 booster shot. A fully vaccinated and boosted community will ensure our ability to continue offering a fully in-person experience for students, faculty and staff in the new year. We are announcing this decision today to give you time to schedule an appointment based on your availability. Boosters are in high demand, so please do your best to schedule an appointment as soon as you are eligible. Getting your booster shot will not only give you added protection against contracting COVID-19 or becoming seriously ill, but will also help you to prevent spreading the virus to family members, colleagues and friends.
By the start of the spring semester, 94% of the Bentley community will be eligible to receive a booster shot. The timeline for receiving a booster shot depends on when you received the final dose of your COVID vaccine, so it will be different for everyone. The deadline to receive your booster and details to upload your vaccination record or approved exemption to the Bentley Health Portal will be shared in the coming weeks. Existing approved medical or religious exemptions will be honored for booster shots. New medical exemption requests must include documentation from your health care provider.
As a reminder, you are eligible to receive your booster shot:
- Six months after your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or a two-dose vaccine that is listed by the World Health Organization, or
- Two months after you received the single-dose Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Shots are available at local pharmacies and public vaccination locations. Find a booster shot by searching at Vaccines.gov or texting your ZIP code to 438829. If you are in Massachusetts, you can also find a booster location at vaxfinder.mass.gov.
Pre-Arrival Testing for Students
All residential students will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test before arriving to campus for the spring semester. PCR tests administered within 72 hours or antigen rapid tests (including home tests) administered within 24 hours will be accepted. Specific instructions for providing proof of negative test results will be sent to students over the break.
Weekly Screening Testing for Students
The screening testing program has proven to be an essential tool in managing COVID cases on our campus. Weekly screening testing will continue for the spring semester for all undergraduate and all residential students. Students will be required to schedule their weekly tests for the entire semester by the start of the term.
Face coverings will continue to be required in almost all indoor areas of campus with the exception of residence halls. We have seen far too many community members not wearing face coverings indoors, and it is critically important that we recommit to this practice in the spring semester.
We are only able to offer the events and engagement opportunities that make Bentley special when we follow these best practices and guidelines. Please continue to check your email over break for important deadlines and next steps before the start of the spring semester. For any questions related to the COVID booster policy, please check the vaccination FAQs at bentley.edu/vaccination or email COVIDVaccine@bentley.edu.
We wish you the best of luck in the final weeks of this semester and hope that you enjoy a safe and restful winter break. This has been a long but rewarding semester, and we are thankful for each member of this community and all that you are doing to keep yourselves, your classmates and your colleagues healthy and safe.
The Bentley University Cabinet
E. LaBrent Chrite
Donna Maria Blancero