News, On Campus, Top Story, Coronavirus Updates

COVID-19 Positivity Spikes Among Undergraduates, Swimming and Diving Team Affected

The COVID-19 positivity rate for Boston College undergraduates tested this week is 3.75 percent as of Thursday, according to BC’s COVID-19 dashboard. Forty-six undergraduates have tested positive out of the 1,228 tested so far this week.

Sixty-eight undergraduates are in isolation as of Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19. Twenty-eight are in isolation housing, and 40 are recovering at home.

This update comes after The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that at least 13 members of BC’s women’s and men’s swimming and diving team tested positive for COVID-19.

“We can confirm that members of our swimming and diving team have tested positive for COVID-19,” Senior Associate Athletics Director for Communications Jason Baum told the Globe. “We have temporarily paused all team activities with the swimming and diving program. The student-athletes who tested positive are in isolation in accordance with university COVID-19 protocols.”

Baum did not respond to The Heights’ request for comment on the swimming and diving team cases.

Allston-Brighton City Councilor Liz Breadon tweeted the Globe story on Thursday with the comment “Can BC contain this?”

Eighty-one BC undergraduates have tested positive in total, and 15 students have recovered, BC reported Thursday.

The positivity rate for undergraduates tested last week was .68 percent. Last week, BC was still conducting some entry testing for returning undergraduates, and it was retesting students from high-risk states and countries. It began asymptomatic surveillance testing on Sept. 2.

BC is conducting at least 1,500 asymptomatic surveillance tests each week. BC is randomly selecting participants for these tests, although it is testing people who work in high-contact positions at a higher rate, according to an email BC sent to students last week. BC has continually noted that its plans remain flexible.

On Tuesday, prior to reporting surveillance testing numbers for the week, BC reported three positive cases among the 109 undergraduates tested Monday.

Other schools that have brought students back to campus have been forced to adapt their plans, from temporarily moving classes online to sending students home altogether. The University of Notre Dame moved all classes online in mid-August after identified cases jumped from 58 to 147 in one day. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—with a student body of 30,000—moved online and sent students home after at least 177 students tested positive for the virus within a week of the start of classes.

Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Editor

September 10, 2020