Metro, Boston

Councilor Breadon Calls BC’s COVID-19 Testing Plan ‘Insufficient’

Boston City Councilor Liz Breadon has written a second letter expressing her concern with Boston College’s response to COVID-19. She said that BC’s current testing plan is “insufficient,” especially in comparison to other colleges and universities in the city and surrounding area. 

Eighty undergraduates are in isolation as of publication on Tuesday, according to BC’s COVID-19 dashboard. Five undergraduates have tested positive since Monday, out of 811 undergraduates tested. 

“My colleagues and I were disappointed that a representative of Boston College was not available to testify when invited to join the Boston City Council Committee on Public Health hearing on the reopening of colleges and universities amid the COVID-19 pandemic on July 9, 2020,” Breadon said. 

Senior Associate Director of University Communications Ed Hayward did not respond to a request for comment on Breadon’s letter.

Representatives from Northeastern University, Harvard University, and Boston University were in attendance at the Boston City Council meeting to discuss their reopening plans. 

“Furthermore, the College may need to consider suspending its athletics programs and participation in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season,” Breadon said in her letter. 

The COVID-19 positivity rate for BC undergraduates tested last week was 3.6 percent, according to BC’s COVID-19 dashboard. 

BC now updates the dashboard every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Saturday, BC reported a 2.5 percent positivity rate for undergraduates tested last week, but the University has since updated last week’s totals to include six additional positive undergraduate cases and 596 fewer undergraduate tests. The dashboard says that BC updated the number of conducted tests on Tuesday to correct a “data error.”

Breadon also wrote a letter to the University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J. on Aug. 17, expressing her concerns with BC students returning to off-campus housing in Allston-Brighton. 

“The physical proximity of off-campus students to neighborhood residents increases the risk of community spread beyond the university campus,” 

Breadon urged the University to “better communicate and work collaboratively” with the community in her letter on Monday. 

“The City has worked tirelessly with our partners and neighbors to ensure a safe and equitable recovery for the duration of the pandemic, and cannot afford the hasty decisions of some to impact the health, safety, and livelihoods of all,” Breadon said.

Featured Image by Ikram Ali/Heights Editor

September 15, 2020