UMass Lowell will resume on-campus instruction, research and campus life for Fall 2020. View the plan for more info.
All students are expected to read and accept the information within this Return to Campus Guide to lower the risk of a potential outbreak of COVID-19. In addition, all students must view a University Guidance Video for Returning to campus.
Students who wish to seek academic accommodations can begin the process by filling out a Public Accommodation Request. Student employees seeking employment accommodations should contact the UML Equal Opportunity and Outreach Office. Students who wish to seek alternative housing due to health reasons should contact the Office of Residence Life.
Students returning to campus will be expected to engage in protective personal behaviors to minimize the chances of the transmission of COVID-19. Students coming to Campus are expected to engage in the following measures:
All students are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols and guidelines. Failure to comply with university directives designed to limit spread/exposure to contagions (including viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc.) constitutes a violation of the Student Conduct Code, the Residence Life Guidelines, or other policies at the university. Students may be held accountable through the conduct process for failing to abide by the policies, protocols, and expectations outlined above.
Students are expected to bring the following items with them upon moving into the Residence Halls. Supply and demand have created some intermittent shortages:
• Cloth Face Coverings (at least two) / paper bag(s)
• Thermometer for personal use
• Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and or Ibuprofen: fever reducer
• Robitussin or Guaifenesin (cough medicine)
• Throat lozenges/cough drops
• Hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content)
• Insurance card
• Name of phone number of primary care health care provider
• List of allergies
• Prescription medication(s):at least a 3 week supply of each medication
• Antibacterial bar or pump soap and paper towels
• Cleaning supplies(Lysol/Clorox type wipes)
The Fall 2020 housing model was designed in consultation with medical staff in the Wellness Center and takes into account local, state and federal recommendations for health and safety. In addition, the model is intended to mitigate risk of contagion, while still maintaining a sense of community and connection among students. Based on this model approximately 3600 bed spaces will be available for occupancy during the Fall 2020 semester.
Visit The Solution Center for rate information.
Students who applied for housing by their respective deadline (April 14 for Returning Students and June 6 for New Students) and communicate their intent to live on campus (by following instructions sent from residence life to student email for the Intent to Live On Campus Confirmation process) will be prioritized to participate in Room Selection. Also, in order to ensure students have access to housing who live outside of a commutable distance, the proximity of a students’ permanent address to campus will be considered.
Depending on guidance at the time, occupancy in rooms where capacity was reduced for the fall semester may increase by 1 student for the spring semester. Housing charges will be adjusted accordingly. These spaces will be clearly identified during the room selection process. If this occurs, Residence Life will plan to notify students during the fall semester and provide the opportunity to pull-in another student into their room prior to any other student being assigned.
In the absence of a vaccine, the goals for using mitigation strategies in communities with local COVID-19 transmission are to slow the transmission of the disease and to protect the UML campus and surrounding Lowell community. The more an individual interacts with others, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. These strategies should be implemented at all times.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person. COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness and is primarily spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. Though unlikely to cause infection, it is thought that the virus may spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose or mouth, causing infection. Using personal prevention practices is important to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread.
Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if they have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. All students living on campus, regardless of whether they have symptoms, are expected to adhere to the following social distancing guidelines:
We know this is not easy and that much has changed in a short period of time. But social distancing techniques are critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and our collective actions will enable us to meet this challenge.
Because social distancing cannot be assured at all times, face coverings must be worn indoors, including in classrooms, laboratories and open office spaces. Face coverings must be worn outdoors when 6 feet of distance can’t be maintained. Face coverings are not required in private settings such as Individual offices and residence hall rooms.
It is recommended that face coverings be kept on your person at all times, even when outdoors, since it is possible that you may come within 6 feet of another person. Wearing a face covering helps to protect others by containing respiratory droplets when you cough, sneeze or speak. Since individuals can be contagious before the onset of symptoms, you may be contagious and not know it. If you cover your nose and mouth, it can limit the spread of COVID-19. Another good reason to use face coverings is you touch your face less when your face is covered. Touching your face after touching something contaminated with COVID-19 increases your chances of getting sick with COVID-19. Please refer to the Face Coverings FAQ and Knowing the Difference of the Types of Face Coverings for more information.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after touching your face.
When you cough or sneeze always cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow or a tissue if available. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
While facilities crews will continue to clean common spaces based on CDC guidelines, we all will play a role in taking additional care to wipe down commonly used surfaces. Follow posted instructions about disinfection in common use and high touch areas. Also, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Don’t share items such as food, drinks, utensils, vapes, or similar items.
It is important to stay physically distant from others when sick to reduce the transmission of disease. If you are sick, stay home to reduce exposure and transmission of the illness onto other individuals in the community. Students should notify their health care provider or the Wellness Center if they are experiencing symptoms first - and then notify the Wellness Center if they have not done so already to update their health record. Residential students should contact the Wellness Center and the Residence Life staff for their residence hall/ area if they feel ill so they can be supported while they remain in their room and minimize contact with others.
Students who return to campus must conduct symptom monitoring every day prior to coming to campus or leaving their residence hall room. You must be free of ANY symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 or have had an evaluation and clearance by Health Services to be eligible to report to class or participate in any other activity on campus. At this time, these symptoms include one or more of the following:
If you have any symptoms, always wear a face mask to avoid possible virus transmission to others. You should first contact your health care provider. After calling your health care provider, you must also call the Wellness Center hotline to notify them of your symptoms. A health care professional from Health Services will contact you shortly. You should self-isolate until cleared by Health Services.
While a monitoring app is not required, several options exist to help gauge symptoms.
Take the COVID-19 Self Checker
Community bathrooms will be cleaned by Facilities staff once per day and revisited throughout the day as needed to maintain the APPA-2 standard of cleanliness. Cleaning supplies will be made available for residents to clean sinks and counter tops as needed
In between these cleanings, cleaning supplies will be made available for residents to clean sinks and counter tops after activities beyond hand washing, particularly for activities like tooth brushing that release respiratory droplets and saliva.
Including: Donahue, Inn & Conference Center, River Hawk Village, River Hawk Village Townhouses, Riverview West, Riverview East, Sheehy, University Suites, Merrimack Apartments
Residence halls with in-room bathrooms and shared living spaces that are located in the room, suite, or apartment fall under the responsibility of the residents occupying that space. During your roommate contract meeting with your RA, you will work to create a cleaning schedule that will meet the minimum established cleaning guidelines.
Elevators: Maintain social distance or ride solo. Please use the stairs whenever possible. If you are using the elevator, wear your face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator.
We encourage you to build time in when preparing to leave the building to ensure you are able to arrive on time. If you are physically able to do so, we highly encourage you to use the stairs in your building.
Stairwells and Hallways: Stairwells and hallways are to be used only for travel and are not congregation spaces. Students are expected to be wearing face coverings at all times and remain 6 feet away whenever possible in common areas of the residence halls including stairwells and hallways.
Laundry Room Usage: In an effort to minimize the number of residents using the laundry room at any given time, and to permit us to maintain our six feet of social distancing expectations, signage will be posted in each laundry area with information regarding hours of operation and usage expectations. River Hawk Village, River Hawk Village Townhouses, and 725 Merrimack St. are exempt from these usage guidelines due to having in unit laundry machines.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. You may be required to quarantine if you feel healthy AND had contact with a person with COVID-19:
Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Prior to moving onto campus, residential students will identify an off-campus isolation plan through the Housing Portal.
In the event that a student contracts COVID-19 or they need to evacuate campus, students will be instructed to vacate campus to their designated Isolation location. In the event a student is unable to designate an isolation plan, a plan will be implemented that isolates the student in a room on campus.
You will be required to isolate if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or, are waiting for test results, or have cough, fever, or shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19:
Residence hall services and building office operations will be fully available and will be conducted in a manner that supports social distancing. Service areas will be restructured as necessary (including separation barriers) to facilitate safe interactions with students for packages, keys, etc.
Each residence hall/residential area will continue to be overseen by a professional full-time live-in Area Coordinator or Residence Director. The Area Coordinators and Residence Directors supervise a team of Resident Advisors and are responsible for the overall experience and functioning of the residence halls. Resident Advisors will be placed and assigned in each residence hall based on occupancy numbers. Residence Life staff will provide a 24-hour, seven days a week on call system to address residents’ needs and concerns.
Connection and community are vital to the college experience, the development of students and their mental and emotional well-being. Residence Life staff, in collaboration with other campus partners, will provide a community focused experience that fosters connection among students while supporting social distancing.
To maintain social distancing, restrictions will be applied to campus mail locations - all residential mail will be distributed out of the Fox Hall mailroom. Other location may reopen as conditions allow.
If you must take public transportation or use Campus Transportation, wear a face covering before entering the bus and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible and before removing your mask. Occupancy of Campus Transportation will be reduced to support social distancing and protect drivers, likely resulting in extended wait times. Consider alternate forms of transportation to navigate campus: walking, biking (bring your own or use the Free Wheelers), scooters (electric or manual).
Move-in will be conducted in a manner that supports social distancing including appropriate use of common areas and elevators. The move-in period will be extended to achieve this goal and may include students moving their belongings into their rooms, and returning home until a specified building occupancy date prior to the start of classes.
Specific move-in directions will be developed for students and families including:
Student email will be the main method of communication for all communication. Information will also be posted to the Residence Life website as well as social media platforms.
Communication 1: Outline of Housing Update and Committal of Contract
Communication 2: Housing Status and Room Selection Information
Communication 3: Room Selection Confirmation and Move-in Instructions
University Dining will provide a high quality dining experience while taking into account CDC and state guidelines for health and safety. University Dining will engage in extensive cleaning and sanitation protocols to ensure food safety and mitigate the risk of contagion.
The full complement of meal plans will be available for the 2020-21 academic year.