Here's What Move-in Week Looks Like at One Massachusetts College

Students will be subject to weekly coronavirus tests at Merrimack College once classes begin

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Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts is implementing strict coronavirus reopening guidelines as students return to campus for the fall semester.

The safety measures -- outlined in a 50-plus page handbook -- include assigned move-in dates and times for students with a two-hour time limit between Monday and Friday this week. Only two visitors are permitted to help with the move.

Students living on campus will be required to take an initial COVID-19 test and comply with contact tracing protocols. Once classes begin, weekly coronavirus testing will start.

Students who test positive will be "properly quarantined, isolated or removed from campus,” said Jeff Doggett, the school's executive vice president and chief financial operating officer.

Meanwhile, the college is reporting one of the largest freshman classes in its history -- joining a record number of returning upper-class students -- according to the Eagle Tribune.

The institution has created more space in classrooms, dining facilities, and residence halls. They have also increased campus cleaning schedules.

Students were given three choices for this semester: Take a year off with no penalties upon return; live on campus and take a hybrid of online and in-person classes; or live at home or off-campus and take all classes online.

Students who choose to take classes remotely will not be allowed on campus in an effort to reduce the risk of transmission.

The college also has a plan in place to deal with an outbreak if one should occur, which includes sending people who test positive to isolation rooms in a location separate from regular dormitories.

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