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Updates for Prospective Undergraduate Students

Updated April 6, 2022

Welcome Future Golden Bears!

We are so excited to hopefully see you this fall! 

As we look forward to welcoming you onto campus, we know that there is a lot of information to manage as you transition to college life. To assist with keeping our future Golden Bears safe, we have a comprehensive web page: COVID-19 Updates for Prospective Undergraduate Students, so everything you need to know about our COVID-19 policies is in one place. 

I encourage you to read and familiarize yourself with the contents of this web page. Here you’ll find key information about vaccination requirements, exemption requests, isolation and quarantine protocols, entry testing, and FAQs related to COVID-19. COVID-19 remains dynamic, and new developments may occur, so please check the site frequently. In addition to our resources on COVID-19, you may find the overview of additional services and information provided by our Center for Health and Wellness beneficial. 

Throughout the pandemic, WNE has been a leader among peers in providing a high-quality student experience inside and outside the classroom. As we move to a post-pandemic state, WNE remains strong, vital, and resilient. With your help, we are looking forward to another robust, vibrant, and successful academic year defined by high levels of interaction among community members.  

Please know that the health and safety of the Golden Bear Community is of the utmost importance to us, and we will always be here to help you navigate these changes. Reach out if you have any questions, and know that we are here to help you get settled safely this fall—and beyond. We pride ourselves on building relationships and providing personal attention to our students and families.

Take care,


Director, Center for Health and Wellness
Western New England University
Center of Science and Pharmacy, CSP 235
1215 Wilbraham Road 
Springfield, MA, 01119
Office: 413-782-1256

Fall 2022 Information

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

All faculty, staff, or students who intend to live, learn, conduct research, or access any campus resources are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or file an exemption request with the Center for Health and Wellness. The CDC defines being fully vaccinated as two weeks after receiving all recommended doses in the primary series of their COVID-19 vaccine.

Requesting an Exemption from the COVID-19 Vaccination

New first year and transfer students for the fall 2022 semester that would like to file a request for an exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine need to complete an Exemption Request Form and submit the completed form to Kathleen.Noone@wne.edu

Religious exemption requests do not require any supporting documentation.

Medical exemption requests require supporting documentation from a medical provider and the exemption request form. Documentation should clearly state the medical reason for the request.

The review process is short and students can expect approvals to be issued within 72 hours of receipt. Students' health records will be updated to reflect their status.

Students that are approved for an exemption may be subject to additional surveillance testing. Testing requirements for unvaccinated students will be sent to the exempted student via their WNE email account as the fall semester approaches. 

We are happy to work with any students or family members who have questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccination exemption. Please contact Kathleen Noone, Director of Health and Wellness, by email at Kathleen.Noone@wne.edu or by phone at 413-782-1256 if you need further guidance.

Mask Policy

Western New England University is a Mask Ready campus. Community members are welcome to continue to wear masks and are encouraged to do so based upon their risk and comfort level, but they will no longer be required in most indoor settings.

There are a few exceptions that should be noted. Consistent with federal and local requirements (MA DPH Mask Requirements in Certain Locations), WNE will still require masks in the following locations or situations:

  • Center for Health and Wellness 
  • Community Patient Care Center 
  • Academic clinical work that involves or interacts with community members 
  • Traveling by bus for University-related functions or events 

In addition, faculty and staff members who convene classes, labs, or meetings may require attendees to wear masks. 

People with symptoms, a recent known exposure, or a history of being a close contact with a positive case must wear a mask until cleared by Health Services.

How to submit your COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation

Proof of vaccination can be accomplished by uploading an image (pdf or jpeg) of your COVID-19 vaccination card to covidvac@wne.edu. If you experience any issues during the submission process or have any questions with your documentation, please reach out to Kathleen.Noone@wne.edu, who can help troubleshoot and assist you in the submission process.

Please be sure your vaccination card includes your name, date of birth, vaccine brand, and date(s) of vaccination.

Fall 2022 Entry Testing Requirements

Check back soon; Fall 2022 Entry Testing details are expected to be finalized and posted soon.

Testing Positive and Isolation Housing

Students that test positive while attending WNE are encouraged to discuss housing options with the Center for Health and Wellness/Health Services Staff. Students can return home to complete their isolation and recovery from COVID-19 or temporarily move into designated housing on campus. The clinical staff will assist community members in identifying the best solution that meets the student's needs.

Should a student choose to stay on campus, the Center for Health and Wellness will mobilize resources to support the student; moving, meal delivery, emotional support, and regular medical check-ins. In addition, the team will assist the student with notifying their faculty, so appropriate academic support can be provided during the student’s recovery period. This will ensure ongoing engagement with classwork so the student does not fall behind.