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

Smith College A Culture of Care



Students and employees are currently required to participate in the college’s COVID-19 testing program until October 1, 2021. Smith’s asymptomatic testing program is managed by the Broad Institute.

This dashboard will be updated weekly. 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.

Community Testing

Students, staff and faculty— will be required to participate in asymptomatic community testing once per week.

Students, staff and faculty approved to be in residence on or near campus who develop symptoms should contact the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness for a test by calling first at 413-585-2250.

  • All on-campus asymptomatic testing will be conducted in coordination with the Broad Institute.
  • Asymptomatic testing will be done using a CRSP SARS-CoV-2 Real-time Reverse Transcriptase(RT)-PCR Diagnostic Assay. Testing uses anterior nasal swabs, which are less invasive than other methods.
  • Fall testing hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F beginning on August 16, 2021 in the Carroll Room.
  • Please send any questions regarding coronavirus screening or contact tracing to

Isolation Planning

Any student in residence who tests positive for COVID-19 will be moved to dedicated isolation housing for care and monitoring. Meals, transportation to and from medical care, and extended cleaning protocols will be provided for students in isolation.

Asymptomatic Testing for Employees

  • Employees must schedule their own screening(s) once their office has returned to campus.
  • 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. Negative screening results will be provided via email.
  • 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 an employee tests positive after completing an asymptomatic screening, a Schacht Center staff member will call them to discuss the test result and offer guidance about how to access any needed medical care and how to navigate the state-required isolation period.
  • If an employee receives a positive result, a member of the HR team will assist them in recording their time on their timesheet (if applicable) and will assist in notifying their manager that they are approved for a leave of absence from their position. Employees 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 employees within 24 hours of receiving their positive test result. The tracer’s job is to conduct an interview to make sure the employees are connected with appropriate medical resources, offer broad information about isolation/quarantine guidelines, and help employees to identify anyone on campus with whom they may have had close contact. Workers will also be contacted by their local Board of Health in the city or town of their residence. Board of Health staff will work with them to ensure that they have any additional support needed and will inquire about anyone in the local community with whom the employee has direct contact.
  • If the employee does not develop symptoms, they will be able to return to work approximately 10 days after receiving their positive result. The Office of Human Resources will guide them in submitting appropriate medical certification to return to work.
  • If the employee does develop symptoms, they should contact their primary health-care provider for guidance. They 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. Their doctor has cleared them to return to work and provided the Office of Human Resources with appropriate medical certification to return to work.
  • After the employee tests positive, they will continue to show positive test results for up to 90 days. They should discontinue asymptomatic screening protocol during this time. A representative from the asymptomatic screening and contract tracing team will be in touch with them at the end of the 90 days to remind them to begin asymptomatic screening again.