Health Policies

Notice of Risk Related to COVID-19

In accordance with the recommendations and guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), the university has taken steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, but the health and safety of the community depends upon all its members accepting the shared risk associated with the disease.

There are inherent risks associated with participating in university required, sanctioned or voluntary activities on or off campus. It is not possible for the university to limit all potential sources of COVID-19 infection. Individuals must rely on their own judgment in assessing the safety of, or risks associated with, participating in university activities.

Further, campus community members must understand that campus safety in respect to COVID-19 is a shared risk and that everyone must do their part to contribute to the health and safety of the community.

To that end, the university has implemented certain policies and procedures intended to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19. The university may update or revise these protocols at any time in response to new information, recommendations or guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).

Please consult the Bridgewater State University COVID-19 website for additional information.

Working together, we can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring a rich academic experience for every member of the university community.

COVID-19 primary series vaccination is required for all students for the 2022-2023 school year. Students may request a religious or medical exemption as provided by state and federal law.

Regulations regarding cost of health services, confidentiality and required student health insurance

All full-time students (with 12 or more credits) including full-time graduate students (with nine or more credits) must submit a completed student health history and immunization report form to BSU Health Services. Massachusetts immunization laws apply to full-time students of all ages. Proof of immunization must be provided by a physician, health organization or prior school and must include the dates (month and year) of: two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), one dose of tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) within the last 10 years, three doses of hepatitis B vaccine and two doses of varicella (chickenpox). Physician documented proof of chickenpox will also satisfy the varicella requirement. Serologic laboratory proof (blood test) of immunity will be acceptable for MMR, varicella, and hepatitis B. Immunization requirements apply as well to international students attending or visiting classes as part of our academic exchange program. International students from countries with endemic tuberculosis (a high incidence of tuberculosis) are also required to have a negative skin test for tuberculosis (or if positive, a negative chest x-ray or proof of treatment) before entry onto the campus.

1 dose of MenACWY is required for all FT students 21 years of age or younger. Dose must be given on or after the student's 16th birthday.

A student, or the student's parent or guardian if the student is a minor, may opt to sign a meningitis waiver which details that the student has reviewed information about the risks and dangers of meningococcal disease and has elected to decline the vaccine. Such a waiver must also be submitted before the student moves into the residence halls as dictated by 105 CMR 220.700 (C).

Any visit to the Wellness Center (Health Services) or conversation with a staff member is a private matter.

Your medical record is held by the Wellness Center, but belongs to you. A Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) is posted and obtainable in Health Services. The NPP details your right to privacy. Your record is confidential and all disclosures (with the exception of federal and state law requirements) require your signed authorization for release.

As part of The Wellness Center’s broad-based initiative to improve the health of the university population, disease prevention and health promotion are emphasized through health education programs offered in residence halls, athletic facilities, the campus center and other on-campus locations. Programs deal with timely issues such as alcohol responsibility, drug/addiction education, acquaintance rape awareness and prevention, minimizing risk, smoking cessation, eating disorders, nutrition, weight management, help-seeking behaviors and stress management.

If you are a full-time student or a student carrying at least 75 percent of a full-time course load, (nine credits or more for an undergraduate, seven credits or more for a graduate student), on a yearly basis, you must provide proof (through an electronic waiver process) of comprehensive health insurance coverage. It is a Massachusetts state law. For students without comprehensive health coverage, Bridgewater State University sponsors an affordable Student Health Insurance Plan which provides 24-hour coverage during the enrollment period. Insurance waivers and enrollments are available on the Bridgewater State University Wellness Center web page. Deadlines for waivers are 30 days from the beginning of each semester, within 30 days of registration or, if late entry, by September 30th (for Fall) or February 15th (for Spring only admission).

All full and 3/4-time students are required to participate in this program unless they can certify they have comparable coverage. An electronic waiver must be submitted yearly as proof of comparable coverage.

Certain plans or programs are NOT comparable coverage according to the law, are not acceptable for waivers.  These include:

  • Students determined to be receiving services paid for by the Health Safety Net or Students enrolled in MassHealth Limited or the Children’s Medical Security Program;
  • Students with coverage from insurance Carriers outside the U.S. and coverage by foreign National Health Service programs, unless the Student is studying in a foreign country and the Student’s insurance provides coverage in that location; and
  • Students with a Health Benefit Plan that provides coverage through a closed network of providers, not reasonably accessible in the area where the Student attends School, for all but Emergency Services.

All international students must be covered under the university-sponsored insurance plan, unless they are participating in an embassy-sponsored program or a program with American-based insurance.

Failure to comply with the above stipulations will result in a "hold" on your student account which will prevent you from registering for future classes, obtaining transcripts and graduating. For complete information, contact the BSU Wellness Center at Weygand Hall at 508.531.1252.

Reviewed and Revised 8/2023 by Dr. Christopher Frazer, Wellness Center