Weekly Update

March 12, 2021

Campus is currently in a Yellow alert status. Find out more about what that means on our COVID Response and Reopening site.

Weekly Metrics

Total New Positive Cases: 23 (trending unfavorably up)
7-Day Positivity Rate: 0.33% (trending unfavorably up)
Isolation and Quarantine Capacity: 74% available (trending favorably up)

As always, more information is available on our dashboard. Note that the dashboard metrics do not include tests conducted outside of our campus testing program. The dashboard is updated periodically throughout the day, and is not real time.

Cases Rising and Likely Variants

Positive cases continued to rise this week, particularly among off-campus students. These cases are being isolated and close contacts are being quarantined. We are noticing an anecdotal hastening of conversions of quarantined cases to positive cases. Schools in the region that run their own labs and sequence their samples are seeing a significant rise in the prevalence of more infectious variants of COVID-19. This is likely to be the case here as well, and is likely contributing to the rise we are observing. This should be cause for continued diligence in complying with all of our standards. The team continues to closely monitor cases to identify specific problem areas and address them.

IMPORTANT: Testing Center Hours Change

Starting March 29th, the testing center at The Jo will close one hour earlier each day. After reviewing several months of data, we determined the final hour of the day is consistently the slowest portion of the day. Closing earlier will allow students additional time to use The Jo’s track for running, which is not allowed during testing hours.

The new hours, beginning March 29th, are:

  1. Mon: 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  2. Tue: 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  3. Wed (Late day): 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  4. Thu: 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  5. Fri: 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Reminder that there is no testing on the weekends.

Easter Break Travel and Testing

Easter break is on the horizon. To assure a safe resumption of the term, April 5th and 6th are mandatory testing days for all students with access to campus. The testing center hours for the 5th will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on the 6th, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Students who remain on campus or in the area should continue to test during testing center hours twice per week and on one of these days. Students planning to leave campus do not need to alert the College, but are expected to return during testing center hours on the 5th or 6th, and must test first thing on arrival. Students are expected to quarantine in their rooms until their results have returned negative.

Students traveling out of state are responsible for following any Massachusetts travel requirements that may be in place at the time.

A process for returning to campus for students unable to return on the 5th and 6th is being developed and will be communicated in a future update.

Attendance at Outdoor Athletics Events

Holy Cross Athletics, in accordance with College health and safety protocols and updated Massachusetts guidelines, will allow limited and select spectators to attend outdoor athletic events starting March 22.

Fan attendance will be limited to two guests per competing student-athlete and coach, as well as a designated number of Holy Cross students. Students must show verification of COVID-19 policy compliance through the HC Clear system and will be admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis until the maximum facility allowance has been reached. See here for more information.

Center for Career Development to Reopen on Campus

Good news! The Center for Career Development office on the second floor of Hogan will reopen next week from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

All individual and group counseling and advising sessions will continue to be conducted over zoom or phone, but the office will be open for students to stop by if they have questions, need assistance troubleshooting and issue, or just don't know how to get started.

Study Spaces

This is a reminder to students that we have designated study spaces available throughout campus. The most up to date listing is here.

Remember when using the spaces that masks must be worn at all times, maintain 6ft distance, no eating and drinking, and follow the posted occupancy. Only rooms marked as study rooms should be used. Other areas designated for class or reserved for other purposes should not be used.