This page serves as a resource for our campus community regarding COVID-19 and other communicable illnesses. We will continue to stay abreast of the latest public health data points and inform the campus community as the academic year unfolds.
Along with other colleges and universities, MCLA continues to navigate the challenges to campus life because of COVID-19. Although some of our COVID-related policies such as mandatory masking and required weekly surveillance testing have ceased, we will continue to monitor campus, local, regional, and national data surrounding COVID-19 and be prepared to respond to changes as necessary. If our safety protocols need modification, or the conditions change, we will be responsive and continue to keep the campus informed.
Given the significantly improved public health environment of our community and recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, MCLA has transitioned to a mask optional campus and asymptomatic testing will no longer be required for students who are fully vaccinated and boosted.
An archive of campus messages regarding COVID-19 can be found below. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions and links to helpful information from the Commonwealth.
MCLA has set up a hotline phone number for questions related to COVID-19 at 413-662-5550. The hotline is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. You can also leave a message outside of these hours.
Similarly to how we ended last semester, masks will be optional around campus and individuals should decide to wear or not wear a mask based on their personal choice.
There continue to be the following exceptions:
Mask wearing is still a successful tool in preventing the spread of germs. As we continue in a mask-optional environment, please be respectful of each other’s choices. We encourage people to wear masks, if they choose, and to always have one with them. Masks will continue to be available in locations across campus. The College reserves the right to require mask-wearing at any time in the future if public health related data necessitates it.
We will continue to require all enrolled students to be vaccinated and to receive a booster shot in order to attend classes or participate in activities on campus.
Religious and medical exemptions will be reviewed and granted following the same exemption procedures MCLA utilizes for other vaccination exemptions as is consistent with Massachusetts state law.
Students seeking a medical or religious exception will need to complete and submit the Health Services Vaccine Declination Form, which can be obtained by contacting HealthServices@mcla.edu.
Medical exceptions will be approved by Health Services and require a letter from a medical provider documenting the condition that prevents the administration of the vaccine. Religious exceptions will be approved by the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office.
For questions, please contact the COVID Hotline at 413-662-5550.
MCLA will work with unvaccinated students to meet their needs and enable them to continue their education in pursuit of their degree. MCLA requires all students attending in-person classes, living in campus housing, participating in on-campus activities, or accessing on-campus facilities to be fully vaccinated before coming to campus regardless of age or credit load, unless they have obtained an approved religious or medical exemption.
MCLA requires COVID-19 vaccines, including a booster shot of an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination.
According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated:
All students engaging in on-campus life or activities must be vaccinated.
Yes, in accordance with current CDC guidelines students need to be fully vaccinated.
Due to the current transmission patterns of variants, we will make use of rapid antigen tests for symptomatic testing for students in Health Services, and we will make asymptomatic antigen tests available at locations for pickup across campus for all members of our community.
Anyone can also request free tests from covid.gov/tests.
Students: We recommend all resident students test no sooner than twenty-four hours prior to (and preferably the morning of) their arrival to campus, or the morning before their first class for commuter students. If a student tests positive, they will need to: stay home for the minimum recommended five-day isolation period before coming to campus, notify Health Services and, for resident students, notify Residence Life and Housing for additional information and instructions.
Students: If you test positive for COVID-19 at any point during the semester please contact Health Services for guidance regarding isolation.
Employees: If you test positive for COVID-19 please alert your supervisor and Barbara Chaput, Executive Director of Human Resources, ASAP. Supervisors alerted to a positive case should also be in touch with Human Resources for guidance. As standard protocol, we advise all COVID-19 positive employees to connect with their primary care physician or the Berkshire Medical Center COVID-19 hotline (855-262-5465) for additional instructions and guidance regarding isolation.
Once you're vaccinated:
MCLA CARES Act, CRRSAA, and ARP Act (HEERF I, II, III) Reporting
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):