WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Westfield State University will offer the first week of classes remotely after announcing that it will be required for all students to provide a negative PCR test before returning to campus.

In an update from the President of the University on Friday, it was announced that all students will be required to show proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to campus. This included students moving into the residence halls beginning January 16th. Instructions will be sent to students on Tuesday via email.

In order to give students time to get a PCR test, classes from January 18 to January 21 will be offered remotely. Students that move onto campus this weekend will also need to attend classes in the first week remotely. On Monday, January 24, all classes will return to in-person or online.

All students are required to be vaccinated and provide proof to the Health Servicers on campus. Booster shots will also be required for students, faculty and staff. Westfield State held a booster vaccine clinic on Wednesday from noon to 4:00 p.m. Another booster vaccine clinic will be held Friday, January 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Room 141B in New Hall. Registration is required.

“We’re expected about 250 students here on campus now so we expect to booster a majority of the students if we can,” said Mark Butera, Manager at Stop & Shop Pharmacy and assisted in running the clinic.

Masks will also be required when indoors on campus. It is encouraged that students wear KN95 masks. An emergency supply of KN95 masks will be available to students that do not have access to masks.

The campus will continue to offer weekly asymptomatic testing for unvaccinated students, faculty and staff on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 141B in New Hall.

Amherst College, Elms College, Smith College, Springfield College are requiring students to be vaccinated and boosted when they return from winter break. School officials are hoping that this will help limit the spread of the Omicron variant as COVID-19 cases within the classrooms reached spiked before students went on vacation.