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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.
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Smith College A Culture of Care

Coronavirus Screening

Coronavirus Screening

Students approved to be in residence on or near campus are required to participate in the college’s mandatory, three times per week coronavirus screening. Approved on-campus employees will be required to participate in mandatory twice weekly coronavirus screening. Smith’s asymptomatic screening program is managed by the Broad Institute.

This dashboard will be updated daily. In accordance with applicable privacy laws, the college will not release any personally identifying information regarding individual cases.

View a text-based version of the COVID-19 Screening Data.


The following groups are included in the college’s mandatory, twice-weekly coronavirus screening: students approved to be in residence on or near campus and approved on-campus employees. Smith’s asymptomatic screening program is managed by the Broad Institute.

Only figures relating to the on-campus screening of employees and students are in included in these data.

While an initial 124 single-occupancy rooms have been set aside for quarantine and isolation, Smith College has the flexibility to add several additional houses as either isolation or quarantine space as needed.

National and state data from CDC COVID-19 Electronic Laboratory Reporting (CELR), Commercial Laboratories, State Public Health Labs, and In-House Hospital Labs via The US Department of Health and Human Services under an Open Data Commons Attribution License. For details on federal data definitions please refer here.

County data is provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is updated weekly. For more info about COVID response reporting in Massachusetts, please click here.

Data Definitions

14-day average positivity rate - The number of positive COVID-19 tests divided by the total number of tests collected (over the past 14 days).

New cases - The number of positive results returned in the past 7 days.

Positive Result - A screening result that has come back indicating the presence of COVID-19.

Inconclusive Result - A screening result that has come back flagged as unable to be processed.  

Total Tests - The total number of COVID-19 tests collected since the College’s screening program began on August 12, 2020.

Test turnaround time - The average time between when each test is collected and the time that a result is determined for that test (over the past 7 days).

Quarantine - Students are placed into quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.  Quarantine accommodations include a single bedroom and private bathroom.

Isolation - Students are placed into isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

Beginning Monday, January 18, 2021 new hours of operation for the Spring semester will be implemented:

Sunday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday & Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday & Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Closed on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

More information about on-campus isolation and quarantine is available in the student handbook.

Please send any questions regarding coronavirus screening or contact tracing to

  • All students enrolled in the screening program in Spring 2021 must be screened three times per week.
  • Students who have been approved to live near campus must schedule their own screenings.
  • Informed consent forms for the asymptomatic screening must complete the "Smith COVID Testing Consent Form" in the Residence Life Self-Service accessible via the Smith portal before your first testing appointment.
  • Results will be made available 36–48 hours after the screening is completed. Results will be made available in the new testing app, PolicyPath.
  • Only negative screening results will be communicated via PolicyPath.
  • Positive screening results will be communicated by health-care staff at the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness.
  • Students who test positive will speak with a member of the college’s Contact Tracing Team, who will provide guidance about isolation protocols and how to access needed health care.
  • Isolation space on campus will be available to residential students and, when possible, to students who have been approved for local, off-campus status.

The coronavirus asymptomatic screening site is at the Carroll Room in the Campus Center and will be open during the following hours:

Sunday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday & Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday & Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Please send any questions regarding coronavirus screening or contact tracing to

  • Employees that are on campus two times or more per week must be screened twice per week. Campus Safety, Health Service and other employees who work in residential houses where students are currently staying must also be screened twice a week. Employees who will be on campus at least two times per month and no more than once per week must participate in asymptomatic COVID-19 testing protocol once per week.
  • All employees required to work on campus must have a manager submit a return to campus request on their behalf. Faculty members may request these themselves. This is a required and very important first step into getting into the testing protocol pool. When this request is submitted, we are ensuring that you are in the Broad Institute’s lab software used for processing asymptomatic testing.
  • Employees must schedule their own screening(s).
  • Informed consent forms for the asymptomatic screening will be completed on site at the first screening appointment.
  • Results will be made available 36–48 hours after the screening is completed. Results will be made available in the new testing app, PolicyPath.
  • Only negative screening results will be communicated via PolicyPath.
  • Positive screening results will be communicated by health-care staff at the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness. Employees who receive a positive screening result should contact their manager and their human resources representative as soon as possible to discuss next steps.
  • A member of the college’s Contact Tracing Team will reach out to test-positive employees within 24 hours to discuss any close contacts they may have had on campus. Cases will then be passed on to the local Board of Health, which will interview the employee about any close contacts in the employee’s town of residence.

If you test positive for COVID-19

  • If you test positive after completing an asymptomatic screening, someone on the Schacht Center staff will call you to discuss your test result and offer guidance about how to access any needed medical care and how to navigate the state required isolation period.
  • After receiving a positive result, a member of the HR team will assist you in how to record your time on your timesheet (if applicable) and will assist in notifying your manager that you are approved for a leave of absence from your position. You will continue to be paid for any time spent in quarantine or isolation.
  • In accordance with state Department of Public Health requirements, a member of the college’s contact tracing team will call you within 24 hours of receiving your positive test result. The tracer’s job is to interview you and make sure you are connected with appropriate medical resources, offer broad information about isolation/quarantine guidelines, and work with you to identify anyone on campus with whom you may have had close contact. You will also be contacted by your local Board of Health in the city or town of your residence. They will work with you to ensure you have any additional support you need and will inquire about anyone in your local community with whom you have had direct contact.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, you will be able to return to work approximately 10 days after receiving your positive result. The Office of Human Resources will guide you in submitting appropriate medical certification to return to work.
  • If you do develop symptoms, you should contact your primary health-care provider for guidance. You may return to work after:
    1. 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
    2. 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications
    3. Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving
    4. Your doctor has cleared you to return to work and provided the Office of Human Resources with appropriate medical certification to return to work.
  • After you test positive, you will continue to show positive test results for up to 90 days. You should discontinue asymptomatic screening protocol during this time. A representative from the asymptomatic screening and contract tracing team will be in touch with you at the end of the 90 days to remind you to begin asymptomatic screening again.

Students and employees are expected to use the PolicyPath on a daily basis to document compliance with campus health practices; students and employees will also receive COVID-19 test results through the app.

Here’s what you need to get started and use the app. These directions are also available on the Digital Support site.

Download and Set Up the PolicyPath App

  • Download the iOS version (‎PolicyPath on the App Store) or the Android version (PolicyPath - Apps on Google Play)
  • When prompted to Enter your Organization type “smithcollege” all one word, lower case. If you have not previously logged in, you will be directed to the Smith login page. Enter your Smith credentials.
  • As with all smartphone apps, there will be occasional updates. Please process those quickly when prompted to do so.

PolicyPath Web Version

Available for those who are not able or do not wish to use the smartphone version

  • Go to the PolicyPath web application.
  • When prompted to Enter your Organization type “smithcollege” all one word, lower case. If you have not previously logged in, you will be directed to the Smith login page. Enter your Smith credentials.

Required Daily Tasks

  • Launch the PolicyPath app or website.
  • Respond to the daily questionnaire.
  • Take the recommended action(s), if any.

Symptomatic Screening

Students in Residence

  • Symptomatic testing is available for students at the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness. Students who have fallen ill and suspect that it may be COVID-19 should immediately call the Schacht Center to schedule a test.

Employees On Campus

  • Employees who have developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should stay home, complete this form and contact their primary health-care provider to determine if a symptomatic COVID-19 test is warranted. Symptomatic tests can also be offered by appointment at the Schacht Center.
  • Employees should remain home until they have been cleared for return by their primary health-care provider.

Coronavirus Screening FAQ

Why are we doing asymptomatic screening if the transmission of asymptomatic infections is rare?
The CDC warns that you can still pass along the virus even if you feel well and experience no symptoms. College campuses by nature are close- knit communities in which faculty, staff, and students all have regular interaction. Even though Smith has a limited number of students living on campus, there is still a sizable number of employees and students on campus on any given day. The asymptomatic screening process is in place to slow any potential outbreaks and decrease the rate of infection. Doing so can help lessen pressures on our local health-care institutions and prevent them from being overwhelmed by an outbreak on campus that could spread into our local community.

Why do we have an indoor space vs. an outdoor space for screening? Wouldn’t it be safer to do the screening outdoors, especially when you have to pull down your mask during screening?
The Carroll Room is a safe option for indoor screening. This room is a negative pressure room, which means the air is constantly being filtered outside and fresh air is filtered in. There is no recycled air coming back into this room.

Individuals who enter a testing booth are asked to pull their masks or approved face coverings just below their nose, but to keep the rest of their face covered. The ease of the collection process ensures that an individual’s mask is down for only a few seconds. We also have a regular cleaning protocol for the booths, which are in place to keep the staff safe who are working on site several hours each day.

As nice as an outdoor space would be, we had to find a more permanent option since the screening will span into the winter months. Since we have to have staff observing the swabbing it's not realistic to have them working outside for extended periods of time when the weather gets colder.

What happens if a line forms? How are we doing crowd control at the screening location?
During the first week of screening, the average wait time in line was no more than a few minutes. There are floor markers in place and staff monitoring the line to ensure that physical distancing measures are maintained. When the line does get longer, people are asked to wait outside. As we continue the screening process, we trust that the process will be streamlined even further and will prevent long lines from forming.

I see some people wearing masks or approved face coverings incorrectly—can there be communication sent out about the safety guidelines?
The entire campus community was required to complete a coronavirus campus training by early August. This outlined all of the safety measures in place and rules that community members need to follow in order to come to campus. Nonetheless, it is an ongoing process to ensure that all campus community members understand and adhere to the guidelines for wearing face coverings correctly. At the test site, we will continue to provide educational signage and offer friendly reminders about appropriate mask hygiene. We also appreciate help from the campus community as a whole and encourage everyone to have respectful conversations with peers when we notice ways to improve adherence to our shared safety guidelines.

What if I have trouble logging in to CareEvolve and haven’t received my results?
You will not be able to log in to CareEvolve, the The Broad Institute's lab software for accessing results until after you complete your first coronavirus screening and the registration process. Positive results will only be communicated by Schacht Center staff.

After completing your first screening, you will receive a message from CareEvolve titled "Lab results available from your provider-register now.” Depending on how your email is set up, this message might be filtered into a different view. Please search in your trash, spam, and other email folders.