Smith College A Culture of Care

March 15 Weekly CIRT Campus Update

Letters to the Community
March 15, 2021

Dear students, staff and faculty:

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

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

Over the past seven days, there have been zero positive cases of COVID-19 reported through the on-campus campus screening program. For more data on the screening program, please visit Coronavirus Screening. We would like to thank everyone who continues to help us limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus. While a low (or zero) caseload is a moment to note and celebrate, we urge everyone on and off campus to continue to be vigilant and adhere to the college’s Culture of Care guidelines.

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

Vaccine Forum

Join us on Wednesday, March 17, at 6 p.m. for The Beginning of the End: Demystifying the COVID-19 Vaccine. Let’s talk about the science, misconceptions, benefits and outcomes we face with the COVID-19 vaccine. What does the vaccine do? How does it work? How can we separate fact from fiction? Experts in public health, science and medicine will debunk vaccine myths and raise awareness about immunization. Let’s roll up our sleeves and fight COVID-19 in the Pioneer Valley and beyond! Sponsored by the Smith College Vaccine Working Group. Free and open to the public. Please register at

Vaccine Pre-registration

The Commonwealth’s new preregistration system makes it easier to request and schedule an appointment at one of the seven mass vaccination locations. Eligible people can preregister for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at mass vaccination locations only. More locations will be added to the system in April. Once you sign up for preregistration, you’ll receive weekly status updates. You can opt out at any time if you find an appointment elsewhere.

Due to constrained federal supply, it will take several weeks to be notified about available appointments at mass vaccination locations. Once an appointment is available, you’ll be contacted with the opportunity to book the appointment and have 24 hours to accept it.

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 locations are

UMass Vaccination Site and the Northampton Vaccination site at the 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.

Smith College has registered with the state to assist in the vaccine rollout. At this time, vaccination is not available on campus. We will notify our community immediately should that change.

Important Updates

While the CDC and Commonwealth have released updated guidance that relaxes some health and safety guidelines, it is important to note that Smith College is not changing any of its guidelines at this time. For the foreseeable future, the following restrictions remain in place to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty:

  • Vaccination status does not change any of the Culture of Care guidelines for individuals or groups (including masking, testing, etc.)
  • Social event restrictions and gathering size restrictions remain unchanged.

Neilson Library Opening

The target date for opening the new Neilson Library is Monday, March 29. This date may change due to a number of factors; any changes will be communicated promptly. Building access will be limited to students, faculty and staff who are in the campus COVID-19 screening program.

In addition, an occupancy limit will be set for the number of people in the library at one time and information on real-time occupancy levels will be displayed on the libraries’ website. Students, faculty and staff not in the testing program will have the option to receive library items by mail. Once open, Neilson Library will provide limited in-person services, including spaces for individual study, item pickup and checkout and collection browsing in the open shelving areas. The compact shelving area will be closed and books will be paged upon request. Special Collections services continue to be offered remotely. Full details regarding the building and its services will be shared soon. Please consult Library Services During COVID-19 for information on current services and access to collections.

Please send questions to

COVID-19 Incident Response Team (CIRT)