Fall 2020 Housing Information - update 7

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Move In Days have begun!

Earlier this week we welcomed our first group of around 100 residents to move their belongings into the halls. It was a safety-focused, social distanced event that has brought us great joy. The health, safety and well-being of our community is the highest priority for each of us.

We will continue a slow, deliberate and careful process moving forward over the next 2 weeks. If you haven't logged into your MyHousing portal and chosen your Move In Day, please do so today while times are available. Please plan to bring a majority of belongings (bedding, storage, clothing, fan, etc) as we will have limited space for full move ins during the Check In Days, August 31 or September 1, for anything more than a couple of bags.

Please note on check-in days, Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1, no off campus guests (family or friends) will be permitted inside the residence halls. It will be our expectation that the resident is dropped off with a minimal amount of belongings and proceed through testing and then the Check In process.

Before Arriving On Campus

A critical factor in the decision to return to campus is that each of us must do our part every day to protect our own health and the health of others––and that work, that commitment, must begin before you arrive on campus.

  • Sign your COVID Residence Hall Release and Acknowledgement form in your MyHousing portal prior to August 31.
  • Review every aspect of our Safe Return website, keep checking back as it will be continuously updated—and read emails from WSU offices, as we will continue to push notifications between now and the start of the semester.
  • Follow directions from WSU regarding testing — and be prepared to be tested once you arrive on campus. A time-sensitive task to note: required medical forms (from our 1st year students) must be submitted by August 31, or you will not be allowed to Check In to the Residence Halls.
  • Watch for our Symptom Tracker App that will be sent out in late August. All members of the community who come to campus at any point will be required to conduct a daily self-assessment using a symptom tracker app before coming to campus.
  • Get familiar with our Social Responsibility Guidelines and be prepared to attest to and abide by it once you arrive to campus.
  • Be extra vigilant in the two weeks before you come back to WSU to reduce the chance that you have the virus and could spread it on campus.
  • Educate yourself on how to prevent getting sick and ways to help reduce the chances of transmitting the virus.

Residence Hall Release and Acknowledgement

The University has taken steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, but the health and safety of the community is dependent upon all its members accepting the shared risk associated with the disease.

Each resident student will need to sign our COVID Residence Hall Release and Acknowledgement form in their MyHousing portal prior to check in on August 31st and September 1st. Please log in, read the release and acknowledgement, and sign it electronically. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at anytime at reslife@worcester.edu or 508-929-8074.

Given the evolving and uncertain nature of this crisis, we recognize that we don’t have all the answers at this time, but we are working diligently and continuously toward solutions and will supply the community with the most updated information possible.

Be Prepared.

In these uncertain times, the possibility exists that you may test positive for COVID and have to leave your room or apartment to move to a quarantine or isolation space. We would suggest that you consider bringing a pre-packed bag with items you may need should this happen. It will be a lot easier to grab a bag than trying to figure out what you may need for two weeks.

Suggested Items:

Bedding (sheets, pillow, blanket)


Extra cell phone charger
List of important peoples’ phone numbers and a list of any allergies
2 or more complete changes of comfy clothes; sweats, PJ pants, t-shirts

Fuzzy socks

Extra Blanket

Cough Drops
Tylenol (fever reducer)
Vicks VapORub

Mucinex DM or Robitussin Cough and Chest Congestion
Body Lotion
Feminine Hygiene

Hair Brush/Hair Ties
Prescription Meds


Gatorade or Pedialyte
A Few Masks

Some sort of distraction (coloring book/crayons/deck of cards)

New MA State Travel Order (Rhode Island update)

* Please note that Rhode Island has been removed as a "low risk state" as of Friday, August 7, 2020.

Please plan to adhere to the following guidelines, if you are currently living in a state that is not deemed "low risk" by Massachusetts.

Dear Students and Families,

We are writing to inform you of our quarantine guidelines for students coming to campus from beyond the Northeast states. We apologize for the delay in getting this to you. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker communicated a new travel order late on Friday, and so we have modified our plans to comply.

As of August 1, the state will require all travelers, with certain exceptions, coming to Massachusetts to:

  • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival.

  • Quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the state or acceptable region or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.

Students who have been in a state defined as “lower risk” for at least 14 days prior to arrival in Massachusetts are exempt from these requirements. The states currently defined as lower risk are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Hawaii. Please note that the lower risk designations could change and we will keep you informed of any changes.

To comply with the state mandate, students who reside outside of the specified lower-risk states, or have been outside of these states regardless of residence in the 14 days prior to arrival in Massachusetts, must complete the Massachusetts Travel Form and then complete the WSU Quarantine Arrangements form to inform the University of their arrival plans. Students may choose one of the following options:

  • Travel to one of the specified lower-risk states outside of Massachusetts and remain there for 14 days prior to coming to campus. (Reminder: The low-risk states could change.)

  • Travel to Massachusetts and self-quarantine for 14 days prior to coming to campus. The state has provided requirements for quarantine to which the State expects you will adhere.

  • Travel to Worcester State on your Check In Date, August 31 or September 1, quarantine on campus, get tested until you receive a negative test result. Choosing this option may require that you remain in quarantine, on campus, past the beginning of the start of the academic year.

  • Obtain a PCR test for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. Please note that most testing locations across the country are reporting a turnaround time for results that is longer than 72 hours and choosing this option may require that you remain at home past the beginning of the start of the academic year.

  • If you have been residing within the lower-risk region since before August 1, you will not be required to self-quarantine.

Please note:

  • If you currently reside outside of the following states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii - you should only plan to move onto campus, on your assigned Check In date, August 31 or September 1.

  • Please note that the University will not begin its regular campus testing protocol for all students who will be accessing campus until on or after August 31.

Arrival from low-risk state

In order to be exempt from the Massachusetts travel order, students may travel to a lower-risk state and remain there for 14 days prior to coming to campus. To allow time for this and to move onto campus for the start of school, students should arrive in that lower-risk state between August 12-14.

Self-quarantine in Massachusetts

Students may come to an off campus location in Massachusetts and self-quarantine for 14 days. We expect that students choosing this option will comply with state requirements for quarantine and arrive in Massachusetts August 12-14, if they plan to move onto campus on Check In Days, August 31 or September 1.

Quarantine on campus while waiting for negative test result

Students may choose to travel to campus, receive a test and quarantine until they obtain a negative result. Students will be tested upon arrival and will move directly to a quarantine space. Students should receive results within 48 hours after testing. Once the student obtains a negative test, they will be able to move into their permanent housing for the semester.

A few additional notes about the self-quarantine on campus:

  • Students will be housed in a single room, in a Chandler Village apartment, for the quarantine period.

  • Students who will quarantine on campus should bring sheets, towels, toiletries and any other necessities with them to the quarantine location.

  • We will provide meals for students during this time. If you are choosing this option and have food allergies, or follow a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, Chartwells will be in contact with you to assure we meet your needs.

As a reminder, the COVID-19 trends continue to evolve, as does state and public health guidance. Therefore, even as we finalize our plans and you plan for travel to campus, we recommend that you maintain flexibility. We suggest that any airline tickets that you purchase, particularly round trip tickets, are able to be changed or refunded.

Please note that if parents/guardians/family members plan to stay overnight in the state, then they must comply with the state mandate. If they are only dropping off the student and then immediately leaving the campus and state they are exempted from the Order. Please see the state’s website for more information.

If you do not reside in a lower-risk state, please complete the WSU Quarantine Arrangements Form to indicate your arrival plan by Tuesday, August 4. If at the time of your planned travel to campus, you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, are recovering from COVID-19 or have been identified as possibly having been exposed, you should not come to campus and you should contact Health Services at 508-929-8875. We will then work with you on a new arrival plan.

Again, we appreciate your patience as we work through the many details involved with bringing our students back to campus. We will be providing more information to everyone about the move-in process shortly.

Testing and Contact Tracing

We will be testing all residential students on a weekly basis, through the Broad Institute. The Broad Institute is a highly regarded academic research institution founded in conjunction with Harvard University and MIT, which has developed a COVID-19 test based on viral RNA retrieved by a self-administered swab of the nasal cavity. See http://www.broadinstitute.org/.

We will be using an Observed Shallow Self-Swab Nasal Collection, as a means for testing, observed by medical personnel. The testing will be completed in the 7Hills Lounge located on the first floor of Wasylean Hall. Residents will sign up through their phone, with an app called CoVerified, based on a schedule that works best for them. Testing will be available Monday - Friday from 8am - 6pm. Testing is a mandatory requirement, on a weekly basis and will begin on Check In Day, August 31st or September 1st, when the resident arrives on campus.

Testing frequencies may change based on community testing results and public health trends.

Testing will be conducted in a 3 minute window from check in to completion. Results will be available within 24 hours and will be sent directly to students, as well as Student Health Services.

The process for the Observed Shallow Self-Swab Nasal Collection will be as follows:

  1. Each resident will sign up for a time each week that works best for their individual schedule via the CoVerified app

  2. Residents will report to the exterior doors of 7 Hills (off of the patio between Wasylean Hall and Sheehan Hall) and enter the testing room.

  3. At the check-in station, residents will be shown a consent form and verbally asked to confirm they have read, understand, and agree to it.

  4. Residents will confirm that the name, date of birth, zip code and information on the barcode label is correct when shown by the testing staff.

  5. Residents will receive a pre-made collection kit at the Check-In station with a resealable bag containing:

    1. • 1, individually wrapped Anterior Nasal Swab

    2. • 1, Collection Tube - labeled with barcode and participant information

  6. Residents should go to the drop-off station.

  7. Residents should not open the kit until standing in front of the staff member.

  8. Once in front of the staff member, the resident will administer the Observed Shallow Self-Swab Nasal Collection and follow instructions that the staff member gives them to complete the collection.

Co-Verified App

A free app for Google Play and iPhone that integrates with the Broad Institute's testing platform, and allows users to monitor symptoms, receive test results, and get clearance for classes and activities. See https://www.coverified.us/. You will get an email from Worcester State with the WSU download information, once its ready.

CoVerified was built for universities from the ground up by MIT and Harvard physicians, engineers and public health experts. This app provides us with an analytics dashboard as well as a symptom app for use by students, faculty and staff.

Contact Tracing

Tied to any testing will be a process known as contact tracing–a public health process used to quickly track close contacts with an infected individual in order to identify other individuals with the virus and break the path of contagion. Together with other tactics contact tracing is considered a key method to reduce the infection rate for COVID-19.

Need Your OneCard?

FIRST YEAR RESIDENTS ONLY - You will need an official Worcester State University ID card, known as the OneCard to access a range of services and benefits across campus. To get your first OneCard, follow the steps below to submit your photo at least 10 business days before you move in. We’ll have your new OneCard ready when you move in.

Photo Requirements

We'll need a recent color photo with a plain, neutral background (white, off-white, cream, beige, light gray).

  • Face and hair should be clearly visible, with your face centered and facing forward. No hats, face coverings or masks please.

  • Wear prescription glasses if you normally do so, but do not wear sunglasses. Your eyes should be clearly visible.

  • A natural smile or neutral facial expression is best.

  • Use proper lighting.

  • Crop the photo from just above your head to your collarbone.

  • Save the photo in .jpg format.

How to Submit a Photo

  • Open the email you received requesting you to upload your Photo. Follow the instructions

  • Upload your Photo, upload your State picture ID, and sign the Terms and Conditions.

  • email the Terms and conditions back to: www.OneCard@worcester.edu.

  • The OneCard office will email you with approval or next steps if your photo cannot be used.

Once your photo is submitted and approved, you cannot submit another photo. If you would like a new or different photo on your OneCard please visit the OneCard office, 486 Chandler St. in the Administration Building to have a new photo taken and pay the $25.00 replacement fee. Deposit the $25.00 into your Common Fund before going to the OneCard office.

Card Pick Up

Your OneCard will be available for pick up at the Resident Life office located in Sheehan Hall. Please remember to bring valid government issued identification. Acceptable forms of identification include: Driver’s License or Non-driver ID Card issued by DMV, U.S. Green Card, Passport book or card, U.S. Military ID Card.

If you are having issues uploading your photo, please contact the OneCard office at: OneCard@worcester.edu or call 508-929-8888.

Planning to live Off-Campus?

If you are a current resident student and are no longer interested in living on campus for the 2020-2021 academic year, please go to worcester.edu/myhousing, look under APPLICATIONS and complete the fall 2020 Status Change Form. Please choose buy-out as the reason.

We would like for you to consider all factors and make the best decision for you and your family under these challenging circumstances.

If you have any questions please email reslife@worcester.edu.


We know there may be factors which might impact your continued interest in on-campus housing. We have heard from students that the number of your classes meeting in person on campus, hybrid, or remotely may be an important factor. Regardless of course designation you are more than welcome to continue your on-campus housing for fall 2020.


We will not be inviting early arrivals to the halls this year. Check In for Dowden and Sheehan Hall will be Monday, August 31st and for Chandler Village and Wasylean Hall, on Tuesday, September 1st. More information will be forthcoming regarding assigned arrival times for these check in days.

Resident Student Parking

To park in a designated space for residents, you must first apply for a decal.

Resident Parking Permit Application

The deadline for Resident Student Parking Permit Applications was July 31st 2020. Applications received prior to this deadline will be decided by the number of academic credit hours completed. Anyone who applies after the July 31st deadline, will be placed on a wait list and this list will be reviewed once parking spaces have become available.

You will be notified if you have been approved for a fall 2020 parking decal in mid-August. You will be notified through an email sent to your worcester.edu email account.

Dining on Campus with Boost Ordering

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MICROFRIDGE with Safe Plug

Interested in buying or renting a microfridge? Visit mymicrofridge.com to get yours today, microfridges will be delivered to your room so it is one less thing you have to worry about bringing to campus!


Move In Week 1

Monday, Aug. 3rd, 10am to Friday, Aug. 7th, 4pm

486 Chandler Street

Worcester, MA


Monday, Aug. 10th, 10am to Friday, Aug. 14th, 4pm

486 Chandler Street

Worcester, MA


Monday, Aug. 17th, 10am to Friday, Aug. 21st, 4pm

486 Chandler Street

Worcester, MA

Dowden & Sheehan Hall Check In

Monday, Aug. 31st, 8am

486 Chandler Street

Worcester, MA

Details and Information to Follow

Chandler Village & Wasylean Hall Check In

Tuesday, Sep. 1st, 8am

486 Chandler Street

Worcester, MA

First Day of Classes

Wednesday, Sep. 2nd, 8am

486 Chandler Street

Worcester, MA