UMass Lowell will resume on-campus instruction, research and campus life for Fall 2020. View the plan for more info.
Although we are expecting campus to be open this fall, we will be offering modifications to our course schedule, with approximately 25% of our classes being offered fully face-to-face, with the rest a combination of virtual and hybrid courses. If necessary, we will be prepared to pivot our on-campus courses to remote teaching in a way that supports a consistent student learning experience. Faculty will be offered a series of online summer trainings designed to support remote teaching and learning. Student services and support remain a top priority.
The university will provide engaging life in the residence halls and activities on campus to provide students as much of the in-person college experience as possible. The year will kick off with an exciting Welcome Week including New Student Convocation, Engagement Fair and a series of fun activities like mini golf, open mic’s, paint nights, outdoor movies and more that will continue throughout the semester. The Campus Recreation Center will be open with fitness equipment safely spaced, fitness classes on the Rec Center Lawn and outside intramural sports.
Students living in the residence halls will have the best access to these experiences in addition to Living and Learning Communities, floor programs and events, and the ability to hang out with other students in common areas. Student Dining has been modified to offer a variety of safe and exciting options including reservations for groups of 2-6, outdoor dining, the ability to order a full meal on line for pick up, and multiple grab and go options.
Students looking for an in-person engagement with activities and other students on campus will find it this fall, and we encourage those looking for that to seriously consider living in the residence halls.
The Fall 2020 housing model was designed in consultation with medical staff in the Wellness Center and considers 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. The university anticipates approximately 2,500 beds to be occupied during the Fall 2020 semester. Please see the Returning to Housing Guide for further details.
Traditional Hall Single Housing: 1 student per bedroom and limited availability of 2 students per bedroom in larger rooms designed for 3-4 students.
Suite and Apartment Cohort Housing: Groups of students living together in self-contained suites and apartments - Single occupancy bedrooms as well as double occupancy bedrooms will be available.
University Dining will provide a high-quality Dine-in and extensive To-Go experiences while considering CDC and state guidelines for health and safety. Dining will take full advantage of multiple modalities of food services and will engage in extensive cleaning and sanitation protocols to ensure food safety and mitigate the risk of contagion.
Transportation services may run at reduced capacity to accommodate the current social distancing guidance. The priority for on-campus shuttles services will be focused on connecting students to classes. Student will be encouraged to utilize alternative means to navigate campus if they are able including: walking, biking, skate boarding and using electrically propelled transportation devices. Please note that gas powered vehicles may not be stored in the residence halls.
We know that now is not the time to increase tuition and fees, so we are lowering costs. On July 20, the UMass Board of Trustees voted to freeze tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year to provide financial relief to students and families. In addition, some student fees will be reduced, including a 50% percent reduction in the student activity fee for the fall semester.
Please note that tuition will not be reduced in the event of a conversion to all remote learning. Regardless of delivery mode, UMass Lowell courses are taught by the same highly qualified faculty, are fully accredited and count equally toward degree requirements. The university’s costs to deliver instruction this fall will be greater due to increased technological resources, reduced classroom and residence hall capacity, regular virus testing and additional cleaning services across campus. Students will be provided the same resources and support services such as academic advising, regardless of modality.
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)
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
UMass Lowell will conduct weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing of its entire residential student population and select cohorts of commuter students and faculty and staff who frequently interact with others on campus. This step exceeds all current Centers for Disease Control recommendations.
Testing for any students who exhibit symptoms will be available through the Wellness Center. Symptomatic faculty and staff should contact their doctors for testing.
Surveillance testing is conducted among populations who are not showing symptoms in an effort to identify potential cases early and quickly isolate them before the virus can spread. UMass Lowell has partnered with the Broad Institute, a biomedical research center affiliated with MIT and Harvard University.
Students from Non-exempt States: Students coming from or who have travelled to states not on the exempt list in the two weeks prior to arriving on campus:
The role of the university in contact tracing can be characterized as supportive. The statutory responsibilities of local public health are to initiate and lead contact tracing. As a reminder, a close contact is defined as someone who was closer than six feet from you for longer than 15 minutes.
Our role as an organization would be (if requested) to clarify the scope of contact a student or staff member might have had while on campus. Local public health authorities may also contact the University if there are unusual and/or alarming levels of disease requiring more intensive investigations and accompanying interventions. The status of an employee's or student’s health is considered protected health information and will not be shared with the community in a manner that would violate the right to privacy of that community member.
Health Services will be asked to conduct the 14-day symptom assessment review and support the logistics of isolation and quarantine when a positive case is identified in our student population. This will be recorded by Health Services in the manner of other protected health information.
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:
On-campus courses will be scheduled to allow for time between classes for recommended classroom cleaning protocols, including cleaning and disinfecting of high touch areas. Students may be asked to wipe down spaces they occupy during class. Lab participants will be required to clean their work areas more thoroughly at the end of each class session. Students will be expected to follow social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings while in class, as will faculty. All students and faculty will be expected to follow safety protocols as recommended by the university based on CDC and state guidelines.
Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. If dining on campus, you should wear your face covering until you are ready to eat and then replace it afterward. Dining establishments are structured to allow at least 6 feet of distance between each customer, including lines and seating arrangements. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Students are encouraged to take food back to their residence hall rooms, vehicles or to eat outside, if this is reasonable for your situation.
Only use spaces designated as open and follow posted guidelines for use of space. Continue to engage in personal mitigation practices including wearing a face covering and staying 6 feet or more away from others.
Student services will continue to be provided and many will continue to operate virtually for fall 2020. Select in-person activity may be approved based on social distancing and event gathering guidelines. Individual meetings will continue using online conferencing programs. Small group educational events, like workshops will be delivered virtually. Please visit the website for specific information about delivery of specific services.
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).
Maintain social distance and follow posted guidelines. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. See the “Returning to the Residence Halls” guide for specific information about residence hall common bathroom usage.
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.
Convening in groups may increase the risk of viral transmission. Where feasible, meetings and gatherings of any kind should be held in whole or part using the extensive range of available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, telephone, etc.).
In person meetings are limited to the restrictions of local, state and federal guidelines. If participating in an in-person meeting or gathering, follow the social distancing expectations of that location/event.
During your time on campus, you are encouraged to communicate with others by email, instant message, telephone or other available technology rather than face-to-face. You can also use a range of available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Jabber, etc.).
UMass Lowell Counseling Services (UMLCS) is available for telehealth support, assistance, and counseling in this difficult time to help our students navigate challenges, persevere and succeed. Telehealth services are available via video or phone when video is unavailable. To request a counseling session, call the Wellness Center at 978-934-6800 or e-mail email@example.com during regular business hours.
You matter to UMass Lowell and the university is committed to supporting your overall health and wellbeing. UMatter2 serves to educate our campus community and connect one another to support our students’ mental health and wellbeing. Visit the UMatter2 website or Instagram for more information and resources to offer support, manage stress and enhance your resilience. #UMatter2UML