Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, a respiratory virus that has become a global pandemic. Preventive measures have been put in place to stop the spread of the disease. Suffolk University continues to take steps to respond to the evolving coronavirus health epidemic, with the safety of our students, employees and the wider community as our highest priority.

Suffolk University is requiring students and employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Students and employees may request an exemption to not be vaccinated based on a medical contraindication or sincere religious belief.

See information on vaccination requirements for students and families or for faculty and staff.

Page Updated: August 12, 2021

Coronavirus Health Information

Suffolk recommends individuals follow CDC guidance regarding when to contact a healthcare provider over the telephone.

Students should call Counseling, Health and Wellness (CHW) at 617-573-8226 during business hours (M-F, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) to consult with a CHW Nurse Practitioner and report any of the following symptoms if you cannot attribute any of these symptoms to a preexisting condition. 
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

AND/OR

if you have had close contact with someone who is sick and being evaluated for COVID-19 or who has received a laboratory confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

  • Students should call Counseling, Health and Wellness (CHW) at 617-573-8226 during business hours (M-F, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) to consult with a CHW Nurse Practitioner.
  • Employees should call their personal medical provider.
  • Anyone can call the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) COVID-19 Hotline 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., 7 days a week with COVID-19 questions or concerns at 617-724-7000.
  • Anyone experiencing emergency symptoms, or seeking COVID-19 information after 8 p.m. should call the MGH Emergency Department at 617-724-4100.

The CDC and Boston Public Health Commission have recommended the following precautionary measures to decrease the spread of coronavirus.

Note: many of these preventive measures are recommended to decrease the spread of other types of viruses as well, including common colds and influenza.

  • Become fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Wear a mask when in indoor crowded spaces and if you have not been vaccinated. It is important to launder reusable masks between uses.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm, running water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow/sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Do not share food, drink, or eating utensils.
  • Have no contact with bodily fluids of an ill person.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Stay home when ill until fever-free for 72 hours.

To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public. Wearing a well-fitted mask or face coverings offer some protection to you and are also meant to protect those around you, in case you are unknowingly infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Face cover should:

  • cover your nose and mouth
  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face and do not have any gaps
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

The CDC cautions to NOT place face cover on:

  • children under the age of 2
  • anyone having trouble breathing
  • anyone unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face cover

For more information about wearing, making and cleaning face cover, see the CDC website.

Quarantine is the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but is not symptomatic. The person is separated from others to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.

Isolation is the separation of a person or group of people who are either symptomatic or have tested positive for COVID-19/.This means you must be alone, without direct contact with anyone else, until you can no longer spread the virus, which typically lasts about 10 days.

Students may quarantine in the residence halls (if they are residence students), with family in MA or in their off-campus apartments. There will be no additional cost for residence students to self-quarantine in the residence halls and food will be provided at no cost.

Programming will be available for students in quarantine and after they leave quarantine.

Suffolk strongly advises such individuals to follow Self-Quarantine instructions described here. Should a student require immediate administrative assistance regarding implementation of University quarantine guidelines, they should:

  • Boston Campus CAS/SBS students: call the Office of Student Affairs (617-573-8239) during business hours or call Suffolk Police (617-573-8333) after business hours and request to receive a call from the Dean on Call.
  • School of Law students: call the Law School Dean of Students Office (617-573-8157) during business hours or call Suffolk Police (617-573-8333) and request to receive a call from the Law School Dean of Students.
  • Madrid Campus students: call the Madrid Campus (+34) 91-533-5935 during business hours, or call Madrid Staff on Call at (+34) 628-294-290 after business hours to speak with a Madrid campus staff member.

Self-Quarantine Steps – COVID-19

The purpose of self-quarantine is to separate and prevent the movement of asymptomatic people who have been exposed to or at higher risk of having been exposed to an infectious disease, in this case, COVID-19.

“Self-quarantine” means that you will have to stay home and monitor yourself for any potential signs of infection—coughing, fever, chills or muscle aches—for the duration of the incubation period (see the latest information from the state of Massachusetts), checking your temperature in the morning and evening,

Stay at home means you cannot go to work or school, attend social activities, or visit any public places.

  • If possible, you should stay in a well-ventilated room that is your own living space in a home or apartment setting.
  • Do not spend time with family or friends in person.
  • Do keep in touch with friends, significant others, and family via phone or text as this is important to supporting your well-being.
  • Do not have contact with family pets or animals.
  • If you live with others, it’s recommended to have separate sleeping quarters (sleeping alone in a separate room).
  • It’s also preferable to have your own bathroom. If you must share one, it’s vital to clean it after every use, using disinfectants that contain at least 60-90% alcohol or bleach-based cleaning wipes.
  • Use your own dishes, drinking glasses and eating utensils; do not share with others.
  • Meal delivery is acceptable, but it must be left outside your door or room.
  • Hand washing is paramount. Frequent hand-washing with soap and warm, running water for at least 20 seconds is important; if soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • If you develop a fever or a cough and/or breathing difficulties, contact a medical provider or hospital ER by phone.
  • If you develop a fever or a cough and/or breathing difficulties, wear a mask if others need to enter your room for emergency care.

Consult CDC recommendations for more details for implementing both” self-quarantine” and “self-isolation” in the setting of potential exposure, or if you test positive for COVID-19.

Please consult the CDC recommendations above for any updates or changes.

Adapted from https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2020/03/02/what-does-it-mean-if-you-are-asked-to-self-quarantine-for-the-coronavirus/#7073f9327def

Vaccines are safe and effective for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and are recommended by the CDC, Commonweath of Massachusetts and the Boston Public Health Commission.

 

Travel Information and Advisories

Any CAS/SBS undergraduate or graduate student with international travel questions should contact Greg Jabaut, Director of International Student Programs. Any law students with international travel questions should contact Laura Ferrari, Law School Dean of Students.

Beginning in January 2021, Suffolk University has partnered with Morneau-Shepell to provide student support counseling via my SSP for students living outside Massachusetts and those students who prefer to speak with a counselor in a language other than English.

My SSP can help address common concerns such as:

  • Adapting to a new culture
  • Being successful at school
  • Relationships with friends and family
  • Stress, worry, sadness, loneliness and much more!

As a Suffolk Student you can now receive support:

  • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone or chat
  • From a student support sounselor that understands your unique challenges
  • Multilingual support available
  • At no cost to you!

Access support anytime, anywhere by:

  • Downloading the free My SSP App: Search ‘My SSP’ from either the Apple App Store or Google Play and download today
    • Through the app, you can call or chat with a Student Support Counselor 24/7 in real-time or schedule a telephone or video session
    • Browse our digital library of helpful articles and videos.
    • Access unlimited Fitness Journeys through LIFT, an app-based fitness programs customized to your fitness level and goals that can be performed anywhere, at any time.
  • Or call direct 1.866.743.7732 (If calling from outside North America, dial 001.416.380.6578)

Watch this short My SSP App Tutorial Video to learn more and check out the My SSP today!

Video Tutorial

Suffolk-specific domestic travel restrictions for students and employees are no longer in effect. While domestic travel is permitted, COVID19 impact on travel remains fluid. As such, we urge all travelers, especially those traveling with students, to understand the risks and local conditions and carefully plan for contingencies. Students and employees must still meet all state and federal travel requirements.

International travel for academic or business purposes requires approval by the appropriate senior leader, i.e., Senior Vice President Laura Sander for business travel by staff or Provost Julie Sandell for academic travel by faculty or students. All student organization travel must be approved in advance by the Student Leadership and Involvement Office.

We are implementing a three-step process:

  1. Students, faculty and staff planning to travel outside the United States for academic or business purposes should consult with our Risk Management team (Karen Kruppa or Tim Albers) when planning that travel for advice on risks and risk mitigation;
  2. The Risk Management team will consult with senior leadership on each case of requested travel;
  3. Senior leadership will approve or deny each request for international travel.

For more on information on international and domestic travel guidance, please refer to the CDCs page.

Additional Resources and Information

Boston Campus Students

Counseling, Health & Wellness
5th floor, 73 Tremont Street
617-573-8226

Suffolk CARES
12th floor, 73 Tremont Street, Student Affairs Office
617-573-8239

Dean of Students Office/Law School (Law Students only)
4th floor, Sargent Hall
617-573-8329
[email protected]

Center for International Programs and Services
9th floor, 73 Tremont Street
617-725-4151

Interfaith Center
8th floor, Sawyer Building, 8 Ashburton Place, room 823
617-573-8325

INTO Suffolk (INTO Students Only)
4th floor, 73 Tremont Street
617-573-8700

COVID-19 Job Search Resources

Madrid Campus Students

Madrid Campus
(+34) 91-533-5935

Comunidad de Madrid
Dedicated line for Madrid COVID-19 concerns at: 900 102 112

What should employees do if they think they have been exposed to the Coronavirus?

  1. The employee should stay home or go home and immediately seek medical guidance.
  2. The employee should consult with their healthcare provider and follow their healthcare provider’s guidance OR call a COVID-19 health resource and follow their guidance:
    1. The Massachusetts General COVID-19 hotline at 617-724-7000 is open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., 7 days a week. After 8 p.m., call your local hospital ER.
    2. The Boston Public Health Commission at 617-534-5050.
  3. The employee should notify their manager about how medical guidance will impact their work attendance, if this is the case. Please note: If medical guidance indicates that your concern about coronavirus exposure does not warrant self-quarantine or self-isolation, you can return to work if you are not ill, or contact your manager about work from home options.
  4. If an employee needs to remain home from work per medical guidance, they should contact our 3rd party administrator, Sedgwick, at 888-436-9530.  Sedgwick is our third-party absence management administrator providing consultation and administrative support.
  5. The Suffolk HR Benefit Leave Administrator will be notified by Sedgwick and will follow up with the employee’s manager and the employee to review next steps. For any questions about this or leave of absence, email Human Resources.

Concerns about Students

Faculty and staff responding to questions from students about coronavirus are encouraged to refer students to these advisory pages for more information.  Faculty and staff should also instruct students who are concerned about their own health related to coronavirus to call CHW (617-573-8260) to speak with a Nurse Practitioner.

Employee Support

Suffolk employees with questions about their health related to coronavirus should contact their personal health providers.  We are aware some employees may have family or loved ones impacted by coronavirus, and others may be experiencing increased distress or worry related to the outbreak.  Employees in need of emotional support are encouraged to contact EAP resources for assistance. For more information visit their website, enter “Suffolk University” for company name, and “guest” for the password, or call them at 1-800-828-6025.