Boston College reported 54 undergraduate cases of COVID-19 out of 9,238 tests since Sunday, a positivity rate of .58 percent, according to its BC Forward website. As of Monday, there are 56 undergraduates in isolation, with 25 in insolation housing and 31 recovering at home.
Including non-undergraduate cases, there were 66 positives out of 10,620 tests performed, an overall positivity rate of .62 percent.
This was just the second time this semester that the overall positivity rate surpassed .60 percent. Between Nov. 22 and Nov. 28—the week of Thanksgiving Break—the overall positivity rate was its highest at .65 percent.
This increase in positive cases follows an email sent from Vice President for Student Affairs Shawna Cooper-Gibson on Nov. 30 that heightened penalties for testing noncompliance. These increased penalties include account holds, limitations on attending campus events, and constraints on future housing privileges, according to the email.
This semester, BC has reported 327 undergraduate positive COVID-19 tests, with the 54 undergraduate cases reported this week representing 16.5 percent of that total.
According to The Boston Globe, 71 percent of Massachusetts residents are fully vaccinated as of Friday. BC’s vaccination rate is 99.3 percent according to its BC Forward website, which is 28.3 percent higher than Massachusetts’ rate.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts reported a seven-day positivity rate of 4.53 percent this past week, which is 3.91 percent higher than BC’s overall positivity rate last week.
Both the University and the state have seen a recent increase in positivity rates over the past couple of weeks, coinciding with a recent wave of concern over the identification of the Omicron variant. The first case of the Omicron variant in Massachusetts was reported by the Massachusetts Department of Health on Saturday.
In the Nov. 30 email, Cooper-Gibson urged students to get tested, which she said will only be more important as winter approaches.
“As a member of the BC community, it is critical that you do your part to help keep our community safe and healthy,” Cooper-Gibson wrote. “This is particularly important as we have entered the cold weather season and many of our activities have moved indoors.”
Featured Graphic by Annie Corrigan / Heights Editor