News, Coronavirus Updates

BC Reports Second Lowest Number of Undergrad Cases of COVID-19 This Semester

Boston College reported 20 undergraduate cases of COVID-19 out of 9,216 undergraduate tests last week, a positivity rate of 0.22 percent, according to the University’s COVID-19 dashboard.

As of Friday, 29 undergraduate students were in isolation, with 23 in isolation housing and six recovering at home. 

The week prior, the University reported a record low for the spring semester, with 18 undergraduates testing positive. Last week marks the second lowest number of undergraduate COVID-19 cases this semester, according to the COVID-19 dashboard.

On the week of April 5, BC surpassed 1,000 undergraduate cases of COVID-19 this academic year. As of Thursday, BC has recorded 1,082 total undergraduate cases.

The University previously set a record for the largest number of cases in a single week during the week of Feb. 8, with a total of 85 undergraduate cases. There was also a record-high number of undergraduate students in isolation that week, with 115 students in isolation on Feb. 9.

“The pattern of cases clearly demonstrates that many students are ignoring the basic health and safety protocols that allowed us to remain in-class and in-person on campus during the first semester,” Executive Vice President and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Lochhead wrote in a Feb. 9 email to students. “This behavior threatens the health and safety of our shared campus community.”

The University will also require all students, faculty, and staff on campus next fall to be vaccinated by the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year, according to a letter sent to the BC community on April 23.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was administered on April 26, 27, and 28 in Conte Forum to assist undergraduate students in meeting the vaccination requirement. For those still on campus or within driving distance, the second dose will be provided on May 17, 18, and 19, according to the letter.

“The months since COVID-19 surfaced more than a year ago have been challenging, but our campus community has responded with generosity, commitment, and grace,” University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., wrote in the letter. “I ask that we continue to help and care for one another as the spring semester comes to an end and planning for another academic year moves forward.”

On April 27, Governor Charlie Baker announced that face coverings will no longer be required outside where social distancing is possible beginning on April 30. BC has not said whether it will continue to enforce a mask mandate on campus. 

Associate Vice President for Student Engagement and Formation Tom Mogan thanked students for following University safety protocols and encouraged them to continue adhering to the protocols to end the semester strong in an email to students on April 16.

“I thank you again for everything that you are doing to ensure that we maintain a safe and healthy learning environment on campus,” Mogan wrote in the email. “We ask that you remain vigilant so that we can finish out the last few weeks of the semester on a strong note.”

Featured Image by Nicole Vagra / Heights Staff

May 2, 2021