COVID-19 Information

Important Updates for Fall 2021

MasksVaccinationsTestingQuarantine & IsolationContact TracingOpen Campus

In consultation with the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services and outside COVID-19 experts, The PSU Cabinet has decided to keep the Indoor Mask Mandate in place through the end of the fall semester (Friday December 17, 2021). 

Faculty, staff, and students at PSU are required to wear a mask in the following indoor spaces:

  • All Academic buildings and classrooms at all times
  • Residence Halls while outside your assigned room or suite including public gathering places like lobbies, lounges, and on elevators when riding with other people.
  • Public spaces in buildings across campus, including the HUB, Lamson Library, the Silver Center, Speare Building, and Prospect Dining Hall when not eating or drinking.

Please carry a mask with you at all times when you are on campus.

  • Students who have a diagnosis that rises to the level of a disability that does not allow for mask-wearing should contact Campus Accessibility Services to discuss accommodations. (See ADA Disclaimer for more information).
  • Mask requirements may change at any time based on changing COVID-19 health conditions on or off campus.

ADA Disclaimer

ADA guidance does not support blanket exemptions from wearing masks. An individual is entitled to request documentation from their medical provider stating they cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, though the ADA also suggests most providers will advise their patients not to engage with the public as that would put those already vulnerable patients at high risk. Organizations and businesses that require masks are not obligated to allow entry into their buildings by the unmasked individual. Rather, they can offer an alternative such as curb side pick-up or remote work or learning. The ADA regards allowing an unmasked person entry into a space where masks are required a substantial threat to the health and safety of the employees, employer, and patrons. Additionally, the ADA has issued a warning about “mask exemption” cards, stating that none of these cards are ADA issued or supported. Interested parties can consult for further information.

  • PSU strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated.
  • PSU is not permitted by state law to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Students will be given the opportunity to share proof of vaccination to be exempted from weekly testing, quarantine, etc.
    Proof of vaccination can be uploaded here >
  • Students who do not share proof of vaccination may have additional requirements for testing, quarantine, etc.
  • Employees can continue to share proof of vaccination with Human Resources between now and the start of the semester.
  • A vaccination clinic for the PSU campus is scheduled for Monday, August 30, in the HUB Courtroom from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Plymouth State is consulting with state health officials regarding possible booster vaccination clinics on campus as appropriate during the fall semester.

November Testing Schedules

General Testing Information

All students will utilize BinaxNOW antigen self-test cards for testing throughout the semester.

  • Students and employees who have not shared proof of vaccination will be required to test weekly with the BinaxNOW self-tests.
  • Students and employees who have submitted proof of vaccination will be tested randomly throughout the semester utilizing the BinaxNOW tests. Approximately 25% of the vaccinated campus population will be tested each week.
  • Any person who tests positive through the BinaxNOW tests will be required to isolate and have a PCR test completed in 24 hours as the definitive test for positive or negative.

Symptomatic Rapid Testing will be available throughout the semester to anyone who is exhibiting symptoms. This testing will happen at PSU Health Services. More information here >

PSU can quickly schedule full campus PCR testing at any time throughout the semester should the need arise.

  • Belknap Residence Hall will serve as our quarantine and isolation facility for the fall semester.
  • Residential students who test positive or are verified “household contacts” of a positive case and cannot return home will be housed and cared for in Belknap Residence Hall. Nonresidential students will need to quarantine or isolate in their local off-campus residences or permanent homes.
  • PSU will provide staffing, delivered meals, and health services just as we did during the last academic year.

Plymouth State University is following the most up-to-date guidance from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) regarding COVID-19 Isolation, Quarantine, and Contact Tracing Protocols for the fall semester.

Isolation: All positive COVID-19 cases, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, must isolate for 10 days. Testing out of isolation is not permitted. Total isolation time is 10 days from the date of a positive test, not symptom onset date.

“Close contacts” are defined as immediate household members only. For PSU, this would be residential hall or student apartment roommates and off-campus housemates.

  • If a close contact tests positive, any other immediate household member who is vaccinated does not need to quarantine but should monitor for symptoms and have a PCR test. PCR tests may be required as part of campus protocols.
  • Anyone who is unvaccinated after being exposed to a close contact must quarantine immediately and have a PCR test 5–7 days after their last exposure to the positive individual. Total quarantine time is 10 days. Unvaccinated individuals cannot test out of the 10-day quarantine.
Additional Contacts

PSU will additionally attempt to identify other close contacts of COVID positive individuals as shared with the Contact Tracing Team. However, per NH DHHS guidelines, unvaccinated/under-vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine but voluntary quarantine is optional. Voluntary quarantine housing is not available on-campus. All non-household close contacts are encouraged to observe themselves for the development of symptoms, be tested 3–5 days after last exposure, and wear a mask in indoor settings for 14 days or until receiving a negative test result. Classroom contact tracing will generally not be performed. NH DHHS Guide to Self-Observation of Symptoms is here:

The PSU campus will be open to the public, however certain buildings, services, or offices may have additional COVID-19 protocols in place for non-PSU community visitors.

For health, safety, and other pressing issues that are not addressed on this webpage, please e-mail or call the PSU COVID-19 Hotline at (603) 535-2409. The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  This hotline will also have the most up-to-date messaging regarding testing, contact tracing, etc., via a recorded message daily.