These Frequently Asked Questions and Answers are continually updated to address new and changing issues and concerns. Please check back often for the latest information.
Last updated: March 7, 2022, 11:11 A.M.
MASK AND BOOSTER REQUIREMENTS
Do I need to wear a mask?
As of March 21, 2022, masks will no longer be a requirement at Westfield State University except those areas where healthcare services are being provided (healthcare center and counseling center), and on-campus transportation. This applies to all university employees, students and visitors regardless of vaccination status.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health advises a fully vaccinated individual should wear a mask indoors if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated.
The university has also secured a limited amount of KN95 masks which can also be requested through the Procurement Office, as needed.
If our numbers begin to go in the wrong direction, CDC alters guidelines or the Department of Public Health issues warnings we may return to some form of a mask policy.
When do I need to show proof of a COVID-19 booster vaccine?
All students are required to show proof of a booster 30 days from eligibility of receiving the booster. That means five months from receiving the 2nd Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If you received an exemption for the vaccine, you have an exemption for the booster. If you received any Covid vaccine, you will not be eligible to apply for a religious exemption for the booster. (Any medical exemption will be reviewed by Health Services).
Once you have received your booster vaccine, please provide proof to Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 TESTING REQUIREMENT
When and where is asymptomatic COVID-19 testing offered and who needs to participate?
Our weekly asymptomatic testing program is offered each Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 141B of New Hall. Students, faculty, and staff, who are not vaccinated, including those with a medical or religious exemption, are required to participate.
What are the procedures for symptomatic COVID-19 testing?
Symptomatic testing for undergraduate students continues to be managed by Health Services. Students who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should contact Health Services at ext. 5415 for evaluation and testing. Employees who are exhibiting symptoms should not come to work. They should consult their medical provider, alert their supervisor, and contact Tina Bones in Human Resources at extension 5274 or via email at email@example.com.
If I received a positive COVID-19 PCR test result from an off-campus testing site, what should I do? Individuals who have received a positive COVID-19 PCR test result through an off-campus testing site should communicate and direct those results to Health Services (students) at extension 5415 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Human Resources (employees) at extension 5274 or via email at email@example.com.
Where can I find results of Westfield State’s weekly COVID-19 testing?
Data results of weekly testing are posted to the University’s online COVID-19 dashboard by the following Monday.
If I test positive for COVID-19, do I need to isolate?
Due to the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant, the University will only provide isolation space in Welch Hall for residential students who test positive for COVID-19. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status is required to isolate. Commuter students, faculty, and staff should stay home for five days if you test positive for COVID-19. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after five days, you can leave your house. Continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days. If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.
How are the rooms in Welch setup?
Students will either be placed in a single or double room. Depending on need, multiple students of the same gender may be placed in the same apartment or bedroom. Each apartment has a shower and two bathrooms.
What do students need to bring to Welch Hall?
Students should bring textbooks, laptop, chargers, prescription and over-the-counter medications, clothes and toiletries for duration of isolation, and bedding (sheets, pillow, blankets, towels, etc.). Meals are provided but students may bring their own snacks. Students may bring other items to keep themselves entertained but should plan to pack light and bring what they can carry in one trip.
How do students in isolation receive their food?
Food allergies and dietary needs are determined when the student is first moved to Welch. Meals are dropped off outside of the apartments each night. A hot dinner is provided as well as breakfast and lunch for the following day. A microfridge (combination refrigerator, freeze, and microwave) is provided in the apartment to allow students to reheat their food. If additional food is needed students may contact Residential Life for assistance.
Who can students call for assistance while in Welch?
When offices are open they can contact either Health Services at 413-572-5415 or Residential Life at 413-572-5402 for questions and assistance. When offices are closed (evenings or weekends) and for emergencies students can contact Public Safety at 413-572-5262.
Can students receive mail?
Students expecting mail can notify Residential Life. Mail and packages will be dropped off outside their apartment doors.
Are students able to do laundry?
Students are not able to do laundry while in isolation.
Once a student enters Welch they are expected to stay in their assigned bedroom for the duration of their isolation period. Students are not allowed to stay in the living room areas. No guests are allowed.
Students will be notified by Health Services when it is time to leave isolation. At the end of their isolation period students need to remove the trash from their rooms. The temporary ID and keys need to be returned to Residential Life on the same day of their release or the next business day (if released during the weekend).
What happens if I leave early or violate isolation expectations?
Students that violate isolation expectations may be referred to Student Conduct for additional follow up.
When, where, and how would I need to quarantine?
You will need to quarantine if you are deemed a close contact and you:
- Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over five months ago and are not boosted, or
- Completed the primary series of J&J over two months ago and are not boosted, or
- Are unvaccinated
You must quarantine off campus for five days, test after day five (if possible) and continue to wear a mask for an additional five days.
What are the exceptions to the need to quarantine?
You will not have to quarantine If you:
- Have been boosted, or
- Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last five months or
- Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last two months.
HOUSING / RESIDENTIAL LIFE
When can students move into housing for the Spring 2022 semester?
Sunday, January 16-Sunday, January 23 during check-in times listed in MyHousing.
Do students need to schedule a check-in time?
Yes. Students can select a check-in day/time in their MyHousing account by going to the home page under their housing assignment.
Where do students go to check-in?
Students moving into housing for the first time this academic year and those completing a room change should go to the Residential Life main office located in the basement of Scanlon Hall. Students will be checked in, issued keys, and their student ID (if a new student).
Students returning to housing from the fall semester can go straight to their residence hall.
Can students bring guests to help them move in?
Yes. Students can bring family/friends to assist with their move-in. All guests must follow campus safety procedures including wearing a face mask that covers their nose and mouth.
Are face masks still required in the residence halls?
Yes. All students and guests walking around the residence halls must wear a mask that covers their entire nose and mouth. Students are encouraged to follow the most recent CDC guidance and wear a KN95 or N95 mask to ensure maximum protection.
Are there any new policies/restrictions in the residence halls for the Spring 2022 semester?
Not at this time.
Can my commuter student use their meal plan on campus during periods of remote instruction?
Yes, students who have completed the requirements to come to campus can utilize their meal starting on 1/16/2022.
What if I am nervous about eating in the Dining Commons?
We offer a to-go program that uses re-usable containers to allow students to take meals to go. We wash and sanitize each container between uses and also provide disposable cutlery for use as well.
Do students wear masks in the DC?
We have a simple rule … sit down, mask down; stand up, mask up. When not actively eating, students are required to wear a mask. This semester you cannot even enter building without wearing a mark.
My student is sick or was moved to Quarantine/Isolation (Q/I), how will they eat?
We provide to-go boxes for students to have a friend pick up food or sick meals are available for pickup in Marketplace through the GET App. If your student needs to Q/I, we provide three meals a day plus snacks delivered by members of the Residence Life team daily. A hot dinner and a cold breakfast and lunch are provided. Microwaves and refrigerators are available in each housing space used for Q/I. Dietary needs or accommodations for illness such as special diets can be ordered by Health Services directly with Dining.
Is it safe to eat in the DC?
Dining facilities provide hand sanitizer upon entry, follow strict protocols for employee health, maximize outdoor air exchange and utilize UV lights in the HVAC system to kill viruses and germs. Its team of dedicated staff disinfect surfaces and high-touch areas every 30 minutes.
How did you calculate the refund amount?
12% credit rate reflects the time in which the University conducted remote learning and not all students returned to campus to utilize their room and meal plan.
Meal plan reimbursements are 12% of meal swipe amount (Cost of plan minus Dining Dollars) for each plan. Students on the On the Go Plan did not receive a refund due to the unique usage of this plan by each student and that the plan only includes 50 meals.
What does disbursed aid mean?
Disbursed aid includes financial aid that has been paid onto your account. Federal, State, and Private Agencies pay the University for the value of your financial aid after the semester has started. The University does not receive these funds until a certain date and therefore cannot issue refunds until the funds are paid onto your Student Account.
How will I receive my refund?
The Student Accounts office is responsible for refunding any credit balance that appears on a student’s account. Westfield State University partners with BankMobile to deliver electronic refunds to our students. As such, the Student Accounts office will process and send your refund to you according to your BankMobile refund preference (Deposit to an existing account or deposit to a BankMobile Vibe Checking Account).
How may I monitor my student account for a possible refund?
We encourage students to view and monitor their student account from their myWestfield portal. Once logged in, click ‘finances’ and then ‘View Account and Pay Bill’. A negative sign (-) in front of your balance denotes a credit balance.
Students can also designate Authorized Bill Pay Users from this same menu. Just select the link for “Set Up Authorized Bill Pay User” immediately underneath the “View Account and Pay Your Bill Link.”
When will I receive a refund if one is owed to me?
Potential refunds (separate from the credits) that are due to students resulting from a pro-rated credit, combined with any refund owed from excess distributed financial aid, will be completed by the end of February.
I moved in on the 16th and then went home, will I receive a credit?
Yes, you will receive the 12% Credit
I did not move back to campus or use my meal plan during the remote period, will I receive a credit?
Yes, you will receive the 12% Credit
I stayed on campus for all of the remote period, will I receive a credit?
Yes, you will receive the 12% Credit
What is the exact credit that I will receive for my meal plan?
- Unlimited - $240
- Blue - $222
- Gold - $198
- Hoot 5! – $114
- Commuter 5 – $114
What is the exact credit that I will receive for my housing charges?
- Traditional Hall Standard Room - $481.25
- Traditional Hall Premium Single - $606.25
- Apartment/Suite Standard Room - $531.25
- Apartment/Suite Premium Single - $656.25
If I request a release from my housing agreement for the Spring 2022 semester as a result of the change to remote learning for the first two weeks, will I be responsible for the Cancellation Fee?
No, students will not be assessed the Cancellation Fee if their Petition for Release was submitted after the University’s announcement.
Will I receive a parking fee credit?
No, currently we are not processing a credit for the parking fee.
Will I receive a fitness center fee credit?
No, currently we are not processing a credit for the fitness center fee.
Who can I contact if I have further questions?
Housing & Residential Life
M-F | 8AM – 430PM
M-F | 8AM-430PM
413.579.3080 or 413.579.3019
Student Accounts (Bursar)
413.579.3090 or 413.579.3019