COVID-19 Updates and Safety Guidelines
Spring 2022 Semester
Given the rise in cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 globally, nationally, and in New Hampshire, Plymouth State continues to work closely with local, state, and national health officials to help keep our community safe. We are evaluating and responding to information that has been coming in almost daily.
After carefully considering all of the factors and options we will be opening as scheduled, with the first day of spring semester classes beginning on Tuesday, January 18.
We have learned so much since we first started down this path nearly two years ago, and with vaccinations, boosters, and several new therapeutics that have recently become available or will be soon, we now have many more tools to manage COVID-19. We have also learned that with this variant we need to be even more vigilant in testing and masking and as such we will be increasing testing frequency and are acquiring more medical grade, KN95 masks for faculty and staff and we will also be recommending them for students.
All students, faculty, and staff must have a COVID-19 PCR test before classes begin on Tuesday January 18, 2022.
COVID Updates for Spring 2022
Following discussion with experts, other USNH institutions, and the PSU COVID-19 response team, we are following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control regarding masking.
Effective March 10, 2022, masks/face coverings are no longer mandated in PSU’s indoor facilities and buildings.
While we have lifted our campus-wide indoor mask mandate, please be aware of the following:
Be respectful. Community members may still choose to wear a mask for various reasons. If someone asks you to wear a mask—including in the classroom—say yes if at all possible.
Please always have a mask available to you while you are on campus.
Health Services & PCR Testing Area – Face masks will be required during weekly PCR Testing in the HUB Courtroom and inside Student Health Services at all times.
Please carry a mask with you at all times when you are on campus.
- Students who have a diagnosis that rises to the level of a disability that does not allow for mask-wearing should contact Campus Accessibility Services to discuss accommodations.
- We will review this policy and make adjustments as appropriate.
We encourage everyone to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine/booster to help mitigate the spread of the virus. Our first vaccination clinic is scheduled for Thursday, January 20, 2022 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Please refer to this link for information.
- PSU strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated.
- PSU is not permitted by state law to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Students will be given the opportunity to share proof of vaccination to be exempted from weekly testing, quarantine, etc.
Proof of vaccination can be uploaded here >
- Students who do not share proof of vaccination may have additional requirements for testing, quarantine, etc.
- Employees can continue to share proof of vaccination with Human Resources between now and the start of the semester.
Weekly PCR Testing
All students will be required to have a weekly PCR test. We will continue weekly PCR testing through at least the first four weeks of the semester.
Please Note: A BinaxNOW test, or rapid test, will NOT take the place of the weekly PCR test requirement.
BinaxNOW & Health Services Rapid Testing
All students will have access to both BinaxNOW Rapid Test Kits and symptomatic rapid testing throughout the semester. Starting this semester, students residing in on-campus housing can access BinaxNOW test kits in their residential community. To have one of these kits delivered to your front door, please use the Community Advisor number for your community between the hours of 9 a.m.–10 p.m., and a Residential Life staff member will deliver the test kit.
Details on pick-up times can be found here: BinaxNow Pick Up Hours.
Symptomatic Rapid Testing will also be available throughout the semester to anyone who is exhibiting symptoms. This testing will happen at PSU Health Services. More information here >
Symptomatic Rapid Testing will be available throughout the semester to anyone who is exhibiting symptoms. This testing will happen at PSU Health Services. More information here >
PSU can quickly schedule full campus PCR testing at any time throughout the semester should the need arise.
Quarantine & Isolation
We will have very limited isolation or quarantine space this semester.
If at all possible all students will be asked to leave campus to isolate or quarantine at home or off-campus. Residential students who test positive or are verified “household contacts” of a positive case and cannot return home for legitimate reasons will be housed and cared for in Belknap Residence Hall.
Nonresidential students will need to quarantine or isolate in their local off-campus residences or permanent homes.
Important Note: Anyone who is fully vaccinated does not need to quarantine if they are exposed to someone who is COVID positive.
Unvaccinated individuals who are determined by PSU to be a close household contact will be contacted by a member of the PSU Rapid Response Team to coordinate quarantine for 10 days. If you do not receive a call from the PSU Rapid Response Team you are not required to quarantine. This policy is consistent with CDC and NH guidelines.
Updated Isolation Guidelines
With the start of classes on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, PSU will be following a modified version of the CDC & State of New Hampshire updated isolation guidelines for individuals that test positive for COVID-19. These guidelines will require six days of mandatory isolation. Isolation may end on day six if the student or employee has no COVID-19 symptoms and has a negative antigen (BinaxNOW) test result.
We are finalizing these procedures and will share details in the coming days. Anyone testing positive prior to Tuesday, January 18, 2022 will be required to isolate for ten days. This includes those who test positive via arrival testing over move in weekend.
Plymouth State University is following the most up-to-date guidance from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) regarding COVID-19 Isolation, Quarantine, and Contact Tracing Protocols for the spring semester.
If you test positive for COVID-19 you will be contacted by the PSU Rapid Response Team in 24-48 hours.
Anyone who is fully vaccinated does not need to quarantine if they are exposed to someone who is COVID positive.
Unvaccinated individuals who are determined by PSU to be a close household contact* will be contacted by a member of the PSU Rapid Response Team to coordinate quarantine for 10 days.
If you do not receive a call from the PSU Rapid Response Team you are not required to quarantine. This policy is consistent with CDC and NH guidelines.
*Close Household Contact is defined as immediate household members only. For PSU, this would be residential hall or student apartment roommates and off-campus housemates.
Prospect Dining Hall
In an effort to provide the safest dining experience possible, we will be shift our Prospect Dining hours for the start of the semester to reflect meal periods instead of offering continuous dining. Sanitizing will occur throughout the building between meal periods.
- Breakfast: 7:30 a.m.–10 a.m.
- Lunch: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
- Dinner: 4:30 p.m.–7 p.m.
As we start the semester, there are no strict limits on the size of gatherings indoors or outdoors, however, this could change if we experience a surge of positive cases at any time during the semester. Please think carefully about the size of the gatherings you host or attend on- and off-campus. COVID-19 is still in our community and represents a health risk for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. It’s important that everyone works together to keep each other safe and healthy.
All Plymouth State students will need use the Panther Pass to show that you are in compliance with our COVID-19 testing requirements. The Panther Pass will indicate that you are in compliance with our weekly PCR testing. If you haven’t downloaded the Panther Pass yet please do so before you arrive on Campus for spring classes. If you already have the Panther Pass on your device you don’t need to take any action right now. Your pass will be updated when you test before classes begin.
For health, safety, and other pressing issues that are not addressed on this webpage, please e-mail email@example.com or call the PSU COVID-19 Hotline at (603) 535-2409. The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This hotline will also have the most up-to-date messaging regarding testing, contact tracing, etc., via a recorded message daily.