Guide for Students Enrolled In-Person this Spring

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Ongoing/Routine Testing

  • Routine COVID Testing

    Testing takes place by appointment only at Towne Field House between 9 am and 4 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays unless otherwise specified.

    Please refer to this this map for specific locations and traffic patterns.

    Students are required to take two tests per week. You should book appointments through the CoVerified app based on the following schedule:

    • Last names starting with A-L: Mondays & Thursdays
    • Last names starting with M-Z: Tuesdays & Fridays

    If you have symptoms, please call the Health Center 413.597.2206.

    If You Miss Your Scheduled Test…
    For everyone’s health and safety, including your own, please make absolutely every effort to make it to your scheduled testing appointment on the day and at the time you’ve reserved through CoVerified. If for some entirely unavoidable reason, you miss your appointment, make a CoVerified appointment for the next available testing day: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday. If you miss a test on Friday, schedule one for Monday.

    Email [email protected] for scheduling-related questions.

     

    4/13/2021

If You Test Positive After the Initial Quarantine Period...

  • Any student who tests positive for COVID will be moved temporarily to ‘isolation housing.’ If you are placed in isolation, you will have your meals delivered, and you will be in regular contact with our Health Center staff. If you are feeling well enough, you can continue your classwork remotely. Contact your dean to request access to course packets, textbook orders, or potentially critical mail deliveries.

    Any student who is identified as a “close contact” of a student who tests positive will shelter in place or moved temporarily to ‘quarantine housing.’ Once again, you will have meals delivered to your residence, and you will be in daily contact with the health center.

    2/1/2021

Social Distancing Protocols

  • Social Distancing in Student Residences

    • As of March 15, students are allowed to visit residential spaces other than your own as long as everyone involved adheres to the public health rules, including masking, distancing and capacity limits.
    • All students are assigned to one specific residential bathroom, and only one occupant can use the bathroom at a time. Students may not use residential bathrooms other than their own. They can, of course, use public bathrooms on campus (in libraries, classroom buildings, Paresky, etc).
    • Students may eat in common and study areas, with a few important caveats: Only one person at a time can eat in a space, and other people can’t be present (masked or not) during that time. For larger common areas, each seating cluster is regarded as a distinct space where one unaccompanied person can eat at a time.

    Interacting with Students Living Off-Campus.

    Students living in campus dorms will not be able to visit off-campus apartments or houses at any time during the semester, including houses on Spring Street and other streets that were considered on-campus in the fall. And students living in approved off-campus housing will not be allowed to host in those spaces guests who are living in dorms.

    Travel Off-Campus

    • As of April 5, students may travel in Berkshire County to specific places within this approved corridor.
    • Students are permitted to travel off campus in order to obtain groceries, prescriptions, personal care items and for hair care. Travel will be limited to an area along Route 2 from Williamstown to North Adams, including Wild Oats, Walgreens, Dollar General and Stop & Shop, and south along Route 8 to Wal-Mart. This corridor also includes several barbers and hair salons. Here is a map of the permitted area.
    • Students may only visit businesses within these boundaries for purposes listed above, and may not visit other locations, even along the corridor, including private residences, restaurants (except drive-through or contactless pick-up), bars, athletics and fitness centers, and other kinds of retail outlets.
    • Students may use personal cars to drive to the permitted locations. You may also transport podmates to these locations in your vehicle, or you may drive yourself and one non-podmate. You may not transport a combination of podmates and non-podmates, or more than one non-podmate. When traveling with passengers, the driver and passengers must be masked at all times. Occupants should be as socially distanced as possible and the windows should be open to increase ventilation, weather permitting.
    • Students can also use the BTRA public transportation system to get to the permitted locations, provided that you wear a mask and follow all public health guidelines.
    • Students will not be permitted to travel outside of Berkshire County for the duration of the spring semester. The only exceptions to this policy are medical or family emergencies. All travel outside the county must be cleared in advance by the Dean of the College and will likely require some level of quarantine upon return to campus. Use this form–well in advance–to request travel beyond Berkshire County. Students who travel without advanced permission will not be permitted to return to campus.

    4/13/2021

  • Masks should cover both your mouth and your nose. No bandanas, neck buffs or masks with exhalation valves are acceptable. Students, faculty, and staff are expected to wear masks in all indoor spaces (with the exception of students’ own residential space — dorm and common room — when they are alone or with only pod members).

    A Williams community members are also expected to wear masks outdoors whenever they are not able to maintain 6 feet of separation from others (this includes being less than 6 feet from both pod members and non-pod members). As a general rule, you should plan to wear a mask outside unless you are far removed from others (e.g., on a solo walk, run, etc.).

    Mask availability:

    • Williams will provide each returning student with three reusable fabric face coverings during your initial check-in.
    • Faculty and staff, additional fabric face coverings will be available during testing hours beginning Monday, February 15, if you need a resupply.
    • Disposable paper coverings will also be available starting on that day for everyone at the testing site, too.
    • We’re arranging to put supplies of paper masks in classrooms for emergency use.
    • As most of us have started to hear, the simultaneous use of two face coverings can provide additional protection from airborne droplets. You’re welcome to pick up extras for this purpose, including paper masks for doubling up. Please grab as many you’ll use in a reasonable period of time while leaving enough for others.
    • The college is not purchasing or providing N95 or KN95 masks. Use of these masks isn’t a current CDC requirement (if that changes, we’ll reconsider). While they’re valuable in certain circumstances, expert guidance doesn’t indicate their use for a setting like ours, where all community members are being tested regularly and safely managing their interactions. Since N95 and KN95 masks aren’t recommended for campus use, they shouldn’t be purchased with college funds. You can of course use your own N95s or KN95s if you have them. Just know that they’re only fully effective if you get them fit-tested. There are widespread problems with counterfeiting, so check the CDC list of approved manufacturers before you buy. Finally, know that such masks can sometimes be problematic for people with respiratory issues because they make breathing more difficult.

    2/8/2021

  • Students looking to access spaces for in-person events, meetings, or programs—indoors or outdoors—can find social-distancing guidelines and request form on the Campus Life website.

    2/8/2021

Health and Wellness

  • On Monday, April 19, Massachusetts moves into vaccination Phase 3, open to anyone 16 or older. This includes students who attend college in MA: You don’t need to be a Massachusetts resident to get vaccinated here, as long as you’re enrolled at Williams. Here are the steps students should take to get vaccinated.

    Students with two or more comorbidities should reach out to Director of Medical Services Deb Flynn [email protected] for support in accessing the vaccine sooner.

    4/15/2021

Public Health Commitments and Sanctions

  • It is our intention for all members of the community to hold themselves and each other accountable to these guidelines. Please do your part by behaving responsibly. The health commitment is being put in place to create an environment that keeps us all healthy so that we can complete a full semester on campus and protect those of us at risk in the community. If you see someone else behaving in ways that violate these guidelines, we encourage you to remind them — civilly and respectfully — that public health is a collective endeavor. Friendly reminders expressed between peers, colleagues, and community members will go a long way. Indeed, it is our hope that community members will serve as the primary corrective mechanism for addressing situations in which individuals make mistakes or ill-advised choices. Having honest conversations about safety can feel uncomfortable, but when those conversations are initiated with respect, generosity, and genuine concern for the community, they can have an outsized impact. It is this community-based orientation toward public health — rather than a disciplinary one — that will give us our best chance for success. This includes, but is not limited to: faculty and staff addressing concerns in their classrooms and other campus spaces; RSO advisors addressing concerns with their student groups and individual student members; athletic coaches addressing concerns with their athletes; and students responding to each other in the moment. These corrective actions need not involve contacting the Dean’s Office, Campus Safety, or other administrative offices.

    While we do not intend to frame our health initiatives around discipline, we recognize that some students are concerned about how the college will respond when students violate the guidelines and behave in ways that put the broader community at risk — even after being provided with peer-feedback, reminders, and conversations. We will implement a progressive model of corrective action.

    What happens when students continue to violate the health guidelines after the steps taken above?

    For the behaviors described below, continued incidents in which students do not respond to the corrective mechanisms described above will result in an educational meeting with a dean and/or residential life staff member. While these meetings are considered non-disciplinary, it is important to note that any subsequent violations will likely result in removal from campus and a requirement that the student transition into a remote learning model (for more information, see below). Repeated violations could also lead to a formal disciplinary process, which could result in probation, suspension, or expulsion.

    • Not wearing a mask as required
      • Masks should cover both your mouth and your nose. No bandanas, neck buffs or masks with exhalation valves are acceptable.
      • All students will be provided with 3 masks. Students are also welcome to wear their won masks as long as they meet the criteria described above
      • Masks must be worn in all indoor spaces (except in your dorm or common room with pod members)]
      • Masks should be worn In all outdoor spaces in which you are in close contact (less than 6 feet) with others — including podmates and non-podmates.
    • Not adhering to social distancing rules (at least 6 feet between you and all others except those in your pod)
    • First incidence of not adhering to the virus testing protocol in a timely manner
    • Minor violation of size/space limits for group gatherings outside your pod:
      • Note that we have set an upward limit for all informal student gatherings at 10 or fewer students.
      • This includes on-campus residence halls, off-campus residences, and any other gathering places. Face coverings or masks must be worn at all times at any such gatherings that include non-pod members.
      • Please note that while the upward limit is 10 students, this largely applies to outdoor spaces. When gathering in indoor spaces with anyone other than one’s own pod mates, you must ensure a minimum 6-foot distance between people at all times, and everyone present must wear a mask. Keep in mind that, because of their square footage and furnishings, most residential rooms can only safely accommodate 1-2 guests maximum. Students are responsible for keeping this in mind and honoring the rules in all cases—with no exceptions.
      • Please note that pod members count in the total tally of people within a space when non-pod members are present.
      • An initial violation that involves 3 or fewer additional people beyond what the guidelines allow will result in a dean’s meeting. Any subsequent violation, and any initial violation involving more than 3 additional people, will be treated as an egregious violation (see below)

    There are some situations where one egregious act can lead to immediate removal from campus (i.e., transition to remote learning mode) and a referral to the formal student discipline system, which can result in probation, suspension, or expulsion. Egregious violations include, but are not limited to:

    • not following all rules of quarantine or isolation when required to do so by health professionals
    • not adhering to travel restrictions
    • Missing more than 1 testing session
    • hosting or attending a gathering that exceeds guidelines (see above)
    • inviting/hosting individuals who are not members of the Williams community onto campus (this includes friends, relatives, Williams students who are not currently enrolled for the semester, and anybody else who is not a current Williams student)
    • purposefully exposing others to or threatening others with the fear of contagion (e.g., deliberately touching, coughing or sneezing on another with the clear purpose of transmitting germs or creating fear of transmission)

    3/15/2021

  • Students’ whose violations of the public health guidelines result in a formal disciplinary process can learn more about the process here.

    12/14/2020

  • Students who engage in violations of the public health guidelines that are egregious or repeated will lose the privilege to continue the academic year as an on-campus student. This will be considered a non-disciplinary response (it will not be noted on students’ disciplinary record), and students will be able to continue their coursework remotely. Decisions about removal from campus will be made jointly by the Senior Associate Dean of Students and the Senior Associate Dean of Campus Life after gathering the relevant information, including providing the student with notice of and an opportunity to respond to the alleged violation. Students will have the opportunity to appeal this decision to the Dean of the College. Appeal decisions will be final.

    As noted above, in some cases removal from campus and transition to remote learning may be accompanied by a formal disciplinary process.

    12/14/2020

  • While we take our public health guidelines seriously, we also want to ensure that students don’t sacrifice their personal safety to avoid consequences of a potential health guideline violation. Please note that any student who seeks medical attention or crisis support for themselves or for another due to a medical or personal emergency (e.g., alcohol or drug overuse, health crisis, sexual assault, interpersonal violence, or other emergency situation where amnesty applies) in the context of a situation that violates our public health guidelines will not be referred to the student conduct process. Additionally, no information that is acquired through the contact tracing process will be shared with the Dean’s Office for the purpose of referring a student to the student conduct system for any violation.

    12/14/2020

Athletics

  • Continually updated information on everything from facilities access to recreational tips and opportunities can be found on the Athletics Department website.

    1/14/2021

  • Please visit the the Athletics Department website for the latest information on the spring athletics season and competition, as well as other information such as facilities access to recreational tips and opportunities.

    3/29/2021

  • Information about on-campus and remote offerings and attaining PE credits during COVID can be found on the Athletics website.

    1/13/2021

  • Club sports will not compete or be able to travel off campus to events. We continue to work to develop protocols that will allow us to practice safely.

    1/13/2021

  • Access to athletics facilities is strictly limited during the pandemic. All students living on campus will have controlled access to indoor facilities such as the fitness center and swimming pool via a pre-registration system. More details are available on the Athletics website.

    2/4/2021

Access to Campus Facilities

    • All Williams College buildings are closed to the public.
    • For the campus community, buildings are restricted to card access only.
    • Buildings without card access have protocols in place that are clearly publicized at their locations and on their websites.

    2/22/2021

    • Sawyer and Schow libraries are open to current Williams faculty, students and staff.
    • New hours and services are in place for January through the start of the spring semester.
    • In addition to in-person access, non-contact services are available and recommended whenever possible. Read on for details.

    1/8/2021

  • Access to athletics facilities is strictly limited during the pandemic. All students living on campus will have controlled access to indoor facilities such as the fitness center and swimming pool via a pre-registration system. More details are available on the Athletics website.

    2/4/2021

Ongoing Services

  • The Health and Wellness Center will be open this spring. One important change is that rather than walking in, you need to make an appointment in advance. For the safety of all students and staff, the Health Center requires students to call the Health Center at 413-597-2206, to be pre-screened by a Registered Nurse (RN) for the appropriate care. Many appointments are available the same or next day.

    The Health Center will be relying heavily on telemedicine this semester. If a provider feels that a student needs to be seen face to face and feels it is safe to do so, the student will be scheduled an appointment. Students requiring more significant care will be transported to a local urgent care or emergency room.

     

     

    1/17/2021

  • All mental health services (both IWS and Talkspace) are being offered via distance methods. IWS will offer therapy via video or phone. Talkspace will provide live video, as well as video/audio/text messaging. (telehealth video and phone – IWS; live video and video, audio and text messaging – Talkspace.)

    State laws require that for psychotherapy services clinicians are licensed in the state in which the client is residing. For the 2020-2021 academic year, all students returning to campus can access psychotherapy services through IWS or Talkspace, while students studying remotely who pursue psychotherapy will access Talkspace. All students (whether on campus or remote) can participate in IWS psychoeducation groups, workshops and supportive offerings.

    Williams expanded the Talkspace offerings to include 4 live video sessions with the student’s licensed therapist per month (weekly sessions) in addition to unlimited messaging services. All students, whether studying on campus or remotely, will have access to IWS practice and psychoeducational group offerings, workshops and supportive offerings (a schedule of these groups and offerings will be posted on the IWS website as the semester begins). Beginning August 1, 2020, students can register for Talkspace and begin services immediately. You need only your Williams email to register.

    For students on campus, IWS will provide crisis response, individual and group psychotherapy, psychoeducational and practice groups (all students), psychiatric evaluation and treatment. All of these offerings will be provided remotely via videoconferencing or phone. IWS will also continue to provide psychiatric services to students on campus. Dr. Aillon-Sohl is a Diplomat of the Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and certified in Adult Psychiatry. Dr. Aillon-Sohl has provided psychiatric services to Williams College students since 2014 and she will continue to provide this service via telemedicine until the current public health circumstances allow for a return to in-person assessments. State licensing laws prohibit Dr. Aillon-Sohl from providing services to students outside of Massachusetts, however, Dr. Aillon-Sohl and the IWS team can assist students in locating a psychiatrist in the student’s home state via student health insurance as needed. Dr. Aillon-Sohl can provide adult psychiatric assessment and medication treatment management for most psychiatric conditions, including: Depression, Anxiety & Panic Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Psychotic Disorders. While Dr. Aillon-Sohl does provide some basic supportive therapy and can teach some basic Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques during appointments, the primary focus is on psychiatric medication management. During your course of treatment with Dr. Aillon-Sohl, she may recommend individual psychotherapy with your own dedicated therapist.

    Dr. Aillon-Sohl will not be able to provide new treatment with a controlled substance via telepsychiatry given the constraints of federal law. Federal law (Ryan Haight Act) prohibits prescribing of any controlled medications (benzodiazepines, ADHD stimulants, and some sleep medications) over telemedicine without an in-person yearly assessment. If Dr. Aillon-Sohl had previously prescribed one of these medications to an established patient, and the current public health circumstances allow for an annual in-person assessment, then it may be possible for this treatment to continue. If this is not possible, Dr. Aillon-Sohl will work with you to identify a new provider. Additionally, some conditions require a higher level of care than can be safely provided via telepsychiatry, such as: actively having thoughts or urges to self-harm or attempt suicide, actively having thoughts or urges to harm someone else, eating disorders (anorexia, binging/purging), alcohol or drug addiction/abuse and any other condition or set of symptoms deemed by Dr. Aillon-Sohl at any point to be severe enough to need a higher level of care.

    For on-campus students seeking to make an appointment with an IWS therapist, email [email protected] subject line – “Appointment Request” to Kim Tremblay or Jessica Russell. If you have a preference about which IWS therapist you are placed with, please let IWS know and they will do their best to accommodate your requests. The IWS staff is a multidisciplinary, diverse group of clinicians with broad experiences and training treating a wide range of issues. Students can also self-schedule their own appointments via the patient portal at health.williams.edu. Once you log in, look for IWS Self Schedule sessions and you can select a time and clinician based on availability. In addition to scheduled appointments, on-call crisis services are available to students 24/7 throughout the semester by calling 413-597-2353 and selecting option 2 or calling campus safety at 4444 and requesting the therapist on call.

    Students enrolled on campus and students enrolled remotely are eligible to meet with a therapist for live sessions (4 times per month), or engage in unlimited messaging, via Talkspace. If you are interested in being matched with a therapist of a specific identity, language or other factor, you can speak with a Talkspace support representative who will assist you in finding a therapist to suit your needs.

    If you are unsure of what kind of support you need, whether on campus or off, please email iws​@williams​.edu and request an appointment for a meeting with a therapist so we can help you assess your needs and select appropriate options.

    1/17/2021

  • Whether you’re attending on-campus or remotely, we recommend shopping for your books on the Bookstore website once you’ve registered for classes. Click here for information about ordering, payment, accessing the book grant, and more.

    1/17/2021