News, On Campus, Top Story, Administration, Coronavirus Updates

Many Students Did Not Show Up for Mandatory Testing After Three-Day Weekend

Despite the University’s plans to test all undergraduates in the week following the Columbus Day holiday, not all students went in for testing that week.

BC reports on its COVID-19 dashboard that it conducted 8,171 undergraduate tests the week following Columbus Day, though approximately 8,600 students are back on campus this semester, according to Senior Associate Director of University Communications Ed Hayward.

Director of University Health Services Doug Comeau told The Heights on Oct. 15 that Boston College was testing all undergraduates following the holiday weekend. 

Hayward told The Heights in an email that students with scheduling conflicts, who were not feeling well, or did not show up to be tested were invited to be tested the following week.

The University’s dashboard reports the total number of undergraduate tests administered for the week, not the number of undergraduates who were tested—meaning that it is possible fewer than 8,171 undergraduates were tested in the week following the holiday. Some students, such as football players, receive multiple tests per week.

Last week, in a departure from the standard testing notification email from UHS, Comeau included a warning that testing is not optional and outlined the consequences of not completing a mandatory COVID-19 test.

“Failure to complete testing as outlined above will result in the placement of one or more holds on your student account, restricted access to University services, as well as a referral to the Office of Student Conduct for failure to comply with the Eagles Care Pledge,” the email read. “Subsequent failure to comply with required testing will result in additional disciplinary action.”

When asked whether UHS added this reminder because students who were called in for tests were not going in to receive them, Hayward said that it is a standard reminder used at all schools.

BC reported in the Tuesday update of its dashboard that two undergraduates have tested positive for COVID-19 out of 1,624 tests this week, an undergraduate positivity rate of .12 percent.

Fifteen BC undergraduates tested positive last week out of 6,451 tests, putting the weekly undergraduate rate at .23 percent, down from .29 percent the week before.

The University did not report any non-undergraduate cases of COVID-19 last week, the first time since the week of Sept. 28 that BC didn’t report any cases among non-undergraduates.

BC reported that 17 undergraduates were in isolation as of Tuesday—with nine in isolation housing and eight isolating at home—and that 211 undergraduates had recovered.

The University reported that it had conducted 72,504 total tests, with 235 total positive cases, through Monday. These numbers include 52,213 undergraduate tests, with 228 undergraduate cases.

Featured Image by Maggie DiPatri / Heights Editor

October 28, 2020

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