News, On Campus, Top Story, Coronavirus Updates

BC Testing Every Undergraduate This Week Prior to Thanksgiving

The University reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 out of 1,979 undergraduate tests in its Tuesday update of the COVID-19 dashboard, an undergraduate positivity rate of .51 percent. Three of those cases came from 517 new tests from last week, a positivity rate of .58 percent.

This week’s COVID-19 undergraduate positivity rate so far stands at .48 percent, with seven undergraduates testing positive out of 1,462 tests. 

BC is testing all undergraduates this week as many students prepare to return home for the Thanksgiving Break next week, according to a University release. The University previously told students that those remaining on campus or in Massachusetts for the Thanksgiving holiday may finish out the semester on campus, but students who choose to travel out of state must complete the semester remotely.

The Massachusetts positivity rate came in at 3.25 percent on Tuesday, while the University’s seven-day COVID-19 community positivity rate is .30 percent. BC’s higher level of testing among the population as compared to that of Massachusetts, though, is likely to produce a lower positivity rate. 

The Commonwealth only recommends that people with symptoms of COVID-19 and close contacts of those who have tested positive be tested, but BC conducts random asymptomatic testing of most undergraduates each week. 

Boston’s positivity rate for the week of Nov. 6 through Nov. 12 was 9.6 percent, up from 7.9 percent the week before, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, BC ’09, said at a Tuesday press conference that the recent spike in cases is reminiscent of the outbreak of the pandemic earlier this year.  

“What we all need to know right now is that every metric tells us that we’re in the midst of a significant and concerning increase of COVID activity here in the city and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Walsh said. “The daily cases we’re seeing are starting to look like the numbers we saw near our peak in April and May.”

BC reported that 26 undergraduates were in isolation as of Tuesday—with 21 in isolation housing and five isolating at home—and that 256 undergraduates had recovered.

The University reported in its Tuesday update that it had conducted 100,162 total tests this semester, with 297 total positive cases, through Monday. These numbers include 73,905 undergraduate tests, with 282 undergraduate cases.

Featured Image by Colleen Aslami / For the Heights

November 18, 2020