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Returning to Campus Update

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-August 19, 2021-

Dear IHP Colleagues,

As you know, we have been challenged in the past few weeks by the emergence of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. In July, when the Institute made the decision to return to campus this fall on a modified on-campus/remote schedule for employees, there were eight COVID patients at MGH and the transmission rate of COVID in Massachusetts was less than 1. At that point, we were hopeful we would be looking at COVID in the rear-view mirror come September 1.  

The most recent guidance provided by MGB is that all individuals on campus, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, must wear an IHP-issued face mask upon entry to all IHP buildings and when in all classrooms, labs, the library, public/common spaces, and all clinical and research locations including the IMPACT Practice Center. Masks can be removed in a private office, a workstation where there is six feet or more distance from another person, or in a designated eating space and have six feet between each person.

Based on this recent guidance, the IHP is making some minor adjustments in our return to campus plan that was distributed in July.

Our academic programs will commence and operate in the fall as planned. Courses that were planned to be online will remain online; the majority of our courses will be delivered in person on campus. The resources that support the student experiences (student services, study spaces, library, information technology support, etc.) will all be available to our students. As planned, faculty and student-facing staff will be on campus as needed, starting September 1 to provide a robust academic experience and support to our incoming and returning students.  

For all other staff, we are slightly modifying the transition plan.  We will officially transition to the model we had planned for September 1 on November 1. As a reminder, the model states that eligible employees will have the opportunity to work on campus three days per week and work at home two days per week.  

Faculty and staff who want to be on campus more frequently during this extended transition phase have every opportunity to do so. There is no restriction on the number of days people can come to campus. All faculty and staff must continue to fill out the COVID Pass to be on campus.  

Over the last 18 months, we have been making decisions based on the science and the exceptional guidance provided by MGB. Using the Commit @IHP model, our community has remained safe during the pandemic. Because we have been using the most appropriate safety measures, we have had very few cases of COVID among the members of our community and no instances of community spread. 

If you have questions about this plan, please reach out to your manager or your HR representative who can help clarify any questions you might have. In the meantime, I encourage those of you who are not vaccinated to get the vaccine. It’s the best way we can protect our community. Vaccines will be required of all employees by October 15, unless you have a religious or medical exemption. If you have questions about the vaccine or want to discuss your vaccine concerns, MGB has developed guidance to help answer questions

Sincerely,

Paula

IHP Communications

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