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Thanksgiving break is just around the corner, so here is some information about the upcoming holidays: 

Holiday Testing Hours 

Post-Thanksgiving Testing Protocol

ALL resident students, commuter students, staff and faculty who will be returning to campus will need to be TESTED TWICE after the Thanksgiving break. 

Test #1: Please schedule a re-entry test in CoVerified for at least 1 DAY PRIOR to your anticipated first day on campus. After you receive your negative results and complete the daily symptom report, you will be cleared in CoVerified for access to campus. You will not be able to enter campus if you are not cleared in CoVerified. 

Test #2: Schedule your second test in CoVerified 4-5 DAYS LATER.

Without exception, everyone returning to campus will be required to take these two re-entry tests. If your first day returning to campus after Thanksgiving is the week of December 7th, you will need to participate in these re-entry tests as well. This increase in testing provides even more assurance that those returning to campus after break are healthy and COVID-free. If it is more convenient for you to test off-campus, you will need to follow these protocols to align with our testing standards. 

We will run additional testing on Sunday, November 29, 3:00-7:00pm, and return to regular hours the week of Monday, November 30 -- Friday, December 4.  

Enjoying the Holidays Safely

Our Thanksgiving break is just around the corner, and the semester break is four weeks later. Here are some recommendations to help you stay safe while enjoying your holidays:

  • Stay flexible. 

    • Be prepared to change your plans if needed. If anyone in your bubble/household or anyone you plan on gathering with starts feeling sick, or learns they were in contact with someone who has COVID, you should change your plans to avoid exposure or risk. 

    • Hold a virtual Thanksgiving instead, and have family or friends join you via Google Meet or Zoom.  

  • If you are feeling any of these symptoms, do not get together with friends or family. 

  • Avoid carpooling with people outside of your bubble/household. If you must carpool, wear a mask and keep the car windows cracked. 

  • If gathering with groups outside of your usual bubble/household: 

    • Wear your mask whenever you’re around others and not eating or drinking. 

    • Try to distance 6 feet in between others (set up your dinner area to allow for distancing).

    • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently.

    • Consider shorter get-togethers. Rather than spending all afternoon with extended family or friends, have dinner with your immediate family, and then stop by relatives/friends’ houses briefly for dessert or a walk outside.

    • Keep a window open, or have a fan going to increase ventilation. 

    • Weather pending, host your gathering outside. 

    • Avoid potluck-style gatherings and hold a BYO dinner, where everyone brings their own items, or one person (in a mask and with regular hand-washing) serves everyone. 

  • Consider some of these alternative activities, or look at our COVID-Safe Activities in Boston over Break page:

 



    Here's a visual about what to consider inside your home:  

Risk level of activities 

Not all activities are the same. It is important to consider how risky certain activities are, and then ideally choose the low risk options. 

Lowest risk

Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

Moderate risk

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community

  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Attending a small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place

Higher risk

Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.

Highest risk 

Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
  • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
  • Attending crowded parades
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household


Here is a visual from the Natick Health Department: 


Other recommendations and materials: 

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