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BC Breaks COVID-19 Record, Temporary Mask Mandate Ends

Boston College broke its all-time record for the highest number of COVID-19 cases on campus for the second time this semester, with 386 undergraduates testing positive out of 7,842 tests—a positivity rate of 4.92 percent—according to the BC Forward website

The University’s undergraduate positivity rate increased 2.13 percent from last week, which saw a positivity rate of 2.79 percent. BC also reported a non-undergraduate positivity rate of 1.93 percent, with 29 cases out of 1,501 tests. 

The previous record for highest number of COVID-19 cases on campus was set during pre-semester testing—from Jan. 10 to 17—when 330 undergraduate students tested positive out of 7,305 tests, a positivity rate of 4.52 percent. 

Amid a nationwide surge of the Omicron variant, BC announced updated spring semester COVID-19 restrictions in early January, including a temporary mask mandate and heightened penalties for testing noncompliance. 

The temporary mask mandate required that all members of the BC community wear a mask on campus “wherever physical distancing cannot be maintained.” This mandate, which was announced during Winter Break, expired on Tuesday.

Barring any changes to the University’s current COVID-19 policy, BC will be one of the only colleges in the Boston area to not have an indoor mask mandate on campus.

Though BC’s cases rose again this past week, Massachusetts’ seven-day positivity rate has been decreasing since Jan. 11, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Featured Image by Steve Mooney / Heights Editor

February 1, 2022