Weekly Update

February 19, 2021

Campus remains at a Yellow Alert Level.

WEEKLY METRICS

As of 9 a.m. Friday, here’s how our metrics look for the week:

  1. Total new positive cases: 6 (stable)
    1. 1 on-campus
    2. 5 off-campus
  2. 7-day positivity rate: 0.16 (stable)
  3. Isolation and quarantine capacity: 96% available (trending favorably up)

As always, more info is available on our dashboard.

EASTER BREAK PLANS

We’ve had many questions about plans for Easter break. We are planning for a six day Easter recess to provide what will be a much needed break to our students and faculty in April.

We encourage students to stay on The Hill or in the area, and stay in the testing protocol for recess. The testing center will operate under its normal schedule. Keep in mind that if you travel, you will still be required to follow the Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order. If you do choose to travel, continue to adhere to COVID safety guidance, wear your mask, and limit your contact with others.

The plan is to shift the College alert level to Orange effective Monday, April 5. The two days following the break, Monday and Tuesday, April 5-6, will be mandatory testing days for all students. All students, on-campus or off-campus, with the exception of fully remote students who do not have access to campus, MUST test on one of those days.

We will stay in Orange until we stabilize any COVID-19 case numbers resulting from the break.

COVID prevalence at the College has been low so far this semester, thanks to all of your collective efforts to limit the spread. However, many factors could change that, including the UK and South African variants of COVID that have been recently detected in Massachusetts. This means what we observe today could change before Easter, and our plans must be flexible. More details, including plans for on-campus classes, will be provided as we get closer to the recess.

WORKOUT SPACE AT LUTH ATHLETIC COMPLEX/OUTDOOR ICE RINK

Beginning this evening, the Blaney Gymnasium and the Indoor Practice Facility at the Luth Athletic Complex will be available as fitness spaces to all students in the testing protocol  Monday-Friday, 10 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday-Sunday, 8 to 10 p.m. Students must register ahead of time via myHC and confirm their registration upon arrival.

Equipment will not be provided, but students can bring their own for a personal workout or use the space for jogging. Upon arrival, students must swipe in through HC Clear, confirm their registration time, sanitize their hands, adhere to posted capacity limits and remain socially distanced while using the spaces.

Please note, in the event of inclement weather, the Indoor Practice Facility may not be available; inquire with the building manager upon arrival.

In addition, you may have noticed the new outdoor ice rink being installed in Lot 6, next to Luth. We’re still putting finishing touches on it, and a grand opening is tentatively scheduled for next Saturday, Feb. 27. More info to come!

‘INCONCLUSIVE TESTS’

The Broad Institute, which processes all our COVID test results, has improved their tests from a single probe to a double probe test, meaning each specimen is tested twice to ensure sensitivity and accuracy. With this change, you may also notice a new result: inconclusive.

An inconclusive result means one probe tested positive and the other negative. The test could be picking up an early infection, or viral shedding from an old infection. If you receive an inconclusive result you must get tested again right away.

However, please do not go to the testing center at the Jo if you are symptomatic. Students should call Health Services, employees call their primary care provider.

REMINDERS

A few reminders about on campus policies:

  1. Any student who comes to campus must be compliant with the testing protocol and tested twice a week throughout the semester. Remote students not in the protocol are not permitted to come to campus for one-off events or classes.
  2. You should arrive at the testing center at the time of your appointment. Please do not arrive too early, as this is causing queues, especially first thing in the morning and immediately after lunch.
  3. There is no food allowed in academic buildings or libraries. Eating is permitted in the first floor of Hogan, Crossroads, and Kimball Dining Hall.