Student Policies

Williams' COVID-19 vaccine requirements for students and for faculty and staff are designed to help us safely provide the core aspects of a Williams education: in-person learning, chances to socialize with friends and classmates, and opportunities to engage with your local community and the world.

Unfortunately, vaccination is not a panacea. We may need to shift our plans or policies in response to emerging concerns. If a change is necessary the college will let you know promptly and explain our reasons.

  • To inform our pandemic measures, the college monitors guidance from the CDC, state officials and our local health board, and consults with national public health experts. Please understand that we may need to shift to more restrictive policies for public health reasons at any time.

    The college can and will take steps to create a safe environment. But no one can guarantee a risk-free campus. Students need to also take steps to protect your own health and safety.

    By enrolling at Williams, you've agreed that you will do your part, avoid endangering yourself or others and comply with the college’s rules and protective measures. As a reminder, all enrolled students have signed the Public Health Commitment and Acknowledgement attesting to this promise.

    All students were required to receive a booster shot by February 1, 2022. Once you've received your booster, upload your information to the Ephs Patient Portal:

    • Log in using your Williams username (this is your email address without the @williams.edu: e.g., ezw21) and password
    • Select the “Upload” tab and from the dropdown menu
    • Choose “COVID Test Result”
    • Then proceed with the upload

  • Currently, all students must mask in all indoor spaces except residence halls and dining halls (while you’re actually eating—please mask up while in the serving areas). This includes masking at student events in any locations other than the residence halls. 

    • Students must be masked in classrooms. Faculty who are vaccinated and boosted may still unmask in the classroom if they believe doing so will positively improve the quality of instruction, and if they can do so at a safe distance from others in the room.
    • Participants in varsity athletics and official club sports may unmask indoors while actively engaged in competition or practice.
    • Students may all unmask outdoors. If you do so please maintain social distancing when possible, and consider masking up when it’s not.

    The college is providing personal protection supplies available: if you’d like to request more hand sanitizer, please ask your area custodian or contact Facilities. And if you’ve run out of masks, a limited number of KN95s will be available next week at the Greylock and Field House test sites, the Jessica Park Mailroom and the Facilities offices. Since supplies are limited, though, please use up any stock of masks you have before taking more.is providing all students with packets of KN95 masks on a regular basis. See the CDC’s Masking website for information on how to properly wear and maintain a mask. The New York Times offers a guide on how long masks can be worn safely.

  • Regular Semester Testing Protocols:

    • The test site is on the second floor of Greylock Hall and is open Monday through Thursday, 9 AM to 4 PM, during the academic year. Any schedules during college breaks will be communicated in the weekly Ops updates.
    • Sign up for your testing appointments via CoVerified
    • All students test once a week, regardless of vaccination status
      • Students with last names beginning with A through L should test every Monday and Wednesday
      • Students with last names beginning with M through Z should test every Tuesday and Thursday
      • If this schedule conflicts with your courses or commitments you may test on different days at your discretion. Please try to reliably space your tests a week apart.
      • If you test on a different day you'll continue to receive reminders about your originally-assigned dates. We don't have the ability to adjust CoVerified's reminder system.
    • Everyone misses a test occasionally. Just try to keep such mistakes to a minimum. If you do miss a date, just test on the next available day (for Thursday tests this will be Monday), then return to your original schedule.

  • Isolation rooms

    If you test positive through the college's program you'll be notified by staff and instructed to move into isolation.

    • If you live in a single and test positive, you'll isolate in your current room.
    • If you live in a double and test positive, you'll be asked to relocate to a designated isolation room until you're medically cleared to return.
    • If you're isolating, you'll receive an information packet from Health Services and are strongly encouraged to call 413.597.2206 for 24/7 support.
    • If you're the roommate of someone who tests positive, but you continue to test negative, you'll stay in your current room.
    • If you and your roommate test positive at the same time, you'll isolate together in your current room.

    Students who test positive and can get home via a personal vehicle may work with Health Services to determine whether you can complete isolation at home. Please speak with a Health staff member before leaving campus.

    Bathrooms

    The college is no longer designating specific bathrooms for people who are isolating in place. Students may use any appropriate bathroom.

    Meals

    During isolation you'll pick up your own takeout meals from Whitman's, and eat in your room. Please remain masked while you're out of your room.

    If you feel you're too ill to pick up your own food, please contact the Residential Life team for support.

    Medical and academic support

    • The Student Health Services team will stay in regular contact with you to monitor your health, and will also explain the criteria for release from isolation.
    • Your professors can help you make arrangements to stay on track academically during your absence from the classroom. If you have to miss classes or assignments please contact them as soon as possible for help.

  • If you develop symptoms of any illness, mask up, avoid in-person interactions, and contact the Health Center immediately to arrange a test in safe circumstances. Don't go to the college testing site.

    And please don't self-diagnose: in vaccinated people, the Delta and Omicron variants can cause a sore throat, congestion, sniffles and other upper respiratory symptoms that can easily be mistaken for a cold or flu.

  • Students who test positive are advised by the college on how to identify and inform close contacts. A person is considered a close contact if they've spent 15 minutes or more within six feet of a known positive, cumulatively within 24 hours, regardless of whether or not they were masked at the time.

    If you are a close contact who has been vaccinated

    • For ten days following the date of exposure please mask at all times outside of your room and to take your meals to go
    • Continue to live in your regular room
    • Continue your regular weekly college testing schedule
    • If you test positive, you'll be moved into isolation

    If you are a close contact who has a vaccination exemption or is significantly immunocompromised

    • You'll be instructed to move into a designated quarantine room
    • You'll take a PCR test on Day 5. If the test is negative, you'll be allowed to go back to your original room
    • Please mask at all times outside of your room and to take your meals to go until Day 11 from the date of exposure

  • Students who are fully vaccinated and boosted may be unmasked in all Dining locations. This includes while choosing food, as well as eating and socializing.

    Students who have an exemption or are otherwise not fully vaccinated and boosted should stay masked except while eating.

    Please see the Dining website for more information.

  • If you leave Berkshire County for an overnight trip or longer, please get a COVID test before you return to campus.

    If your pre-arrival test is positive, don't travel or come to campus. Please contact the Health Center to let them know. They'll work with you to arrange a delayed arrival.

  • Off-campus guests not enrolled at Williams may not enter any residence hall unless the college has granted an exception.