Boston College's COVID-19 cases continue to decrease from the spike that occurred the week of September 7, with 26 positive cases reported this week (25 undergraduates) out of a total of 7,933 tests, for a weekly positivity rate of 0.33%. The Massachusetts state average remains at 0.80%.

A total of 73 cases had been reported between September 7-13, which raised concerns throughout the BC community.  

Consistent with its strategy of utilizing asymptomatic surveillance testing to aggressively target close contacts of positive cases, the University increased its weekly testing capacity since September 14, focusing on individuals identified through contact tracing and areas on and off campus where positive cases were detected. Through today, 111 of the cumulative positive cases have been identified through the University’s contact tracing efforts.

Since testing began on August 16, the University has conducted 37,674 tests of BC community members, including 25,068 tests of undergraduates, with a total of 153 positive cases, including 150 undergrads.  By comparison, Boston University has reported 115 total positive cases, Providence College 186, Northeastern University 77, and University of Notre Dame 725.

Currently, there are 32 BC undergraduates in isolation—16 in University isolation housing and 16 recovering at home. A total of 120 undergraduates have recovered and returned to normal activities.

“We are pleased that the numbers have steadily declined since the spike we experienced during the fourth week of testing,” said Director of University Health Services Dr. Douglas Comeau.  “We will continue to quickly identify and test individuals who are deemed to be close contacts of anyone testing positive, and follow our quarantine and isolation protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Comeau said that Boston College continues to work closely in its contact tracing with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Contact Tracing Collaborative and the departments of health in Boston, Newton, and Brookline. The Boston Globe had erroneously reported on September 15 that the state was “taking over” BC’s contact tracing efforts, but issued a correction later that day. Other media have also reported the inaccuracy.

In addition to daily symptomatic testing conducted through University Health Services and The Broad Institute, asymptomatic testing is offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays throughout the semester in the MAC Courts in the Margot Connell Recreation Center. Testing results are posted upon receipt from The Broad Institute Tuesdays through Fridays on the Reopening BC website:

The weekly community test totals and community positivity rates since testing began are as follows:

•    7,681 tests Week of August 16-23. Positivity Rate 0.04%
•    10,127 tests Week of August 24-30. Positivity Rate 0.08%
•    4,322 tests Week of August 31-September 6. Positivity Rate 0.60%
•    2,972 tests Week of September 9-13. Positivity Rate 2.46%
•    4,639 tests Week of September 14-20. Positivity Rate 0.37%
•    7,933 tests Week of September 21-25. Positivity Rate 0.33%.

University Communications / September 25, 2020