Boston College, along with other area colleges and universities, experienced delays in receiving COVID-19 test results due to issues with The Broad Institute’s testing equipment, University Health Services reported on Thursday, November 19. 

The issue, since resolved by The Broad Institute, resulted in a “delay in return- of-results for samples received early afternoon Wednesday, November 18 through midday Thursday, November 19.”

As a result, UHS reported today a total of 51 positive COVID-19 cases (50 undergraduates) thus far for the week of November 16-22, out of 8,051 tests conducted, reflecting a trend of increased positive cases at colleges and universities throughout the region, as well as cities and towns nationwide. BC’s weekly community positivity rate, the metric used by educational institutions and media outlets, stood at 0.63% on 11-20. The Massachusetts weekly positivity rate stands at 3.2%.

Currently, there are 67 BC undergraduates in isolation—54 in University isolation housing and 13 recovering at home. A total of 258 undergraduates have recovered and returned to normal activities.

Since testing began on August 16, University Health Services has conducted 106,252 tests of BC community members with a total of 341 positive cases reported. Among undergrads, UHS has conducted 78,825 tests with 325 positives. The University’s cumulative positivity rate stands at 0.32%.

By comparison, Boston University has reported 388 positive cases, University of Massachusetts-Amherst 365, Northeastern University 309, Providence College 340, and the University of Notre Dame 1,724.

University Health Services is testing all undergraduates in advance of Thanksgiving travel. In the Thanksgiving Travel Survey issued to students, roughly half of the BC undergraduate population stated their intention to return to their home state for Thanksgiving and complete their remaining classes and final exams remotely. Those choosing to stay at Boston College or elsewhere within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts during Thanksgiving break may complete the semester on campus.  

As reported, all campus residence halls will close for the semester on the last day of exams, scheduled for December 21, and will reopen at the start of the second semester on January 28. All students, faculty, and staff who plan to be on campus during the spring semester must be tested before classes resume.
—University Communications | November 20, 2020