On Campus, Top Story

University Reports 94 Undergraduate COVID-19 Cases, Highest of Semester

Boston College reported its highest number of undergraduate cases of COVID-19 this semester, with 94 undergraduate positives out of 10,505 tests performed since Sunday Dec. 5, according to its BC Forward website. 

The undergraduate positivity rate was 0.89 percent. The University reported an overall positivity rate of 0.92 percent, with 111 total positives out of 12,054 tests performed.

As of Monday, there are 103 undergraduate students in insolation, with 48 in insolation housing and 55 recovering at home. This semester, BC has reported a total of 421 undergraduate positives, with the 94 undergraduate cases reported this week representing 22.3 percent of that total. 

On Dec. 8, The Boston Globe reported that all BC community members on campus for the spring semester will be required to receive COVID-19 booster shots. The University has not yet confirmed this requirement in an official announcement. 

“[BC] will require a COVID-19 booster shot for all students, faculty, and staff, we are working on the logistics now, given the six-month waiting period for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines,” Associate Vice President for University Communications Jack Dunn said in The Globe

According to The Boston Globe, 72.5 percent of Massachusetts residents are fully vaccinated as of Monday. BC’s vaccination rate is 99.3 percent, according to its BC Forward website, which is 26.8 percent higher than Massachusetts’ rate.

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 Public Health on Dec. 4. 

On Dec. 8, an email was sent to off-campus students requiring them to move in early for COVID-19 testing for the return from Winter Break. 

“Off-campus students must undergo initial COVID-19 testing on campus between January 10-14th,” the email reads. “Plan your travel accordingly. Testing times and locations are forthcoming from UHS.”

In a Nov. 30 email that heightened penalties for testing non-compliance, Vice President for Student Affairs Shawna 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.”

Correction (12/18/21) 1:32 p.m.): Wording in this article has been updated to clarify that the 94 cases were recorded over the case of a week, and not two days.

Featured Image Courtesy of Nicole Vagra / Heights Staff

December 14, 2021