Smith College A Culture of Care

March 1 Weekly CIRT Campus Update

Letters to the Community
March 1, 2021

Dear students, staff and faculty:

Below, please find important campus, regional and national updates from the COVID-19 Incident Response Team (CIRT).

Campus Status

The campus is currently operating in GREEN mode. For an explanation of the college’s color-coded operating modes, please visit Status & Operating Modes.

We would like to recognize the milestone represented by our move to green mode and the incredible work our students, staff and faculty have done to get us here.

We look forward to seeing you in our bi-weekly community update meeting on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. at (Smith login required).

Over the past seven days, there have been four positive cases of COVID-19 reported through the on-campus campus screening program. For more data on the screening program, please visit Coronavirus Screening.

Important Updates

Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Changes in State Reopening Status

On Thursday, February 25, Governor Baker announced that the Commonwealth will move to Step 2 of Phase 3 of reopening on March 1, 2021. This step relaxes a number of regulations and permits reopening of performance venues and recreational facilities at 50% of capacity.

Smith has not made any changes to our health and safety rules as a result of the Governor's announcement. Smith is very likely to maintain its current approach to group sizes, masking, distancing and more though the spring semester. We advise all departments to continue to work within their existing operational plans.

Furthermore, we advise all members of the Smith community to continue to avoid large venues, even if those venues operate under newly-relaxed Commonwealth guidelines. We are a long way from meaningful protection through vaccination and we are tracking increased cases of COVID-19 variants in New York and New Jersey.

Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccine Immune Response

Given that vaccine recipients can have a range of normal and expected immune responses, the college is offering up to two paid leave days to support employees whose immune response interferes with their ability to engage in their normal work duties. Contact Serena Harris,, if you need to take advantage of this additional time off.

Eating in Green Mode

Dining rooms will open at limited capacities. Please do not move tables or chairs. If you are getting your food to go, we ask that you eat in groups of four or fewer and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet. We also ask that you eat only in locations away from other individuals or groups. Masks must be placed back on as soon as you are finished eating.

Vaccine Information

As a reminder, the following people are eligible for vaccination at this time:

If you are eligible, please use this website to locate a vaccination site. The nearest location is the Northampton Senior Center on Conz Street which is within walking distance to campus. Students with questions about transportation to a vaccination site should contact Student Affairs.

While Smith College has applied to assist in the vaccine rollout, no vaccines are currently available on campus. We will notify our community immediately should that change.

Please send any questions to

COVID-19 Incident Response Team (CIRT)