Simmons has announced that spring break will be extended another week due to further Boston-based outbreaks of the new coronavirus strain COVID-19.
An email sent to students on March 11 from the Campus Preparedness Committee (CPC) detailed the decision and gave students further information about Simmons’s response to the virus.
“Spring Break extended for all campus based students for one week—students should not return to campus until Sunday, March 22.
Classes will resume Monday, March 23.
All Simmons-supported travel – domestic and international — will be cancelled for at least the next 30 days.
Simmons travel study courses will be cancelled for the remainder of this fiscal year.
On-campus meetings and events for more than 20 people scheduled over the next 30 days should be offered virtually, if possible; if not, they should be postponed or cancelled.
Self-service dining options in the Fens, Common Grounds and Bartol will be discontinued,” the email read.
The email also acknowledged the state of emergency declared by Governor Charlie Baker and assured students that administration is monitoring the virus closely.
“As we wrestle with a wide variety of decisions at Simmons, we have used the following three C’s to guide us,” the email said.
“Caution: The health and well-being of all members of the Simmons community is of paramount importance.
Continuity: We know educational goals and plans are of critical importance to our students and their families, and to our faculty. We will make every reasonable effort to ensure our students can complete this academic year.
Compliance: We will regularly monitor and comply with advice and directives issued by local, state and federal health officials to ensure that Simmons follows recommended best practices and mandates.
A follow-up email was sent soon after clarifying the position of those who were planning on returning to campus after spring break.
“As it stands now, if you are currently on campus, you may stay as planned. If you have signed up to return to campus, you will be allowed to come to campus as scheduled,” the email read. “However, there will be further information forthcoming as the situation evolves and as we receive updates.”
Many Boston schools such as Harvard, Boston University, and Emerson are moving to online classes for the rest of the semester. As it stands right now, Simmons plans to reopen in-person classes after March 22.
The Boston Globe is continually updating a list of area college closings and cancellations, which can be found here.
CPC advises questions about COVID-19 and Simmons to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Simmons University will continue to update the community through the official COVID-19 page, found here, as well as on Instagram @simmonsuniversity and Twitter @SimmonsUniv.
UPDATE 3/12 at 4 p.m.: An email was just sent to students from Residence Life regarding returning to campus.
“If you are currently on campus or if you have signed up to return to campus by Saturday, March 14, you will be allowed to come to campus as scheduled,” the email read. “However, you are discouraged from returning to campus unless absolutely necessary. If you have not signed up to return to campus, please do not do so.”
The email continued that additional updates will continue to come, and advised Simmons students to check their email often.
This story will continue to be updated.