University Health Services continues to report low positivity rates for its COVID-19 testing this week (October 12–18), with a total of 18 positive cases reported through today out of 4,242 tests performed, including 17 positives among undergrads out of  3,298 undergrad tests, resulting in a weekly community positivity rate of  0.42%. The Massachusetts positivity rate stands at 1.3%.

This week's numbers represent an increase in positive cases over last week—mirroring reports at peer institutions—that is likely attributable to travel over the holiday weekend.

Currently, there are 27 BC undergraduates in isolation—21 in University isolation housing and six recovering at home. A total of 177 undergraduates have recovered and returned to normal activities.

Since testing began on August 16, the University has conducted 56,572 tests of BC community members, including 39,265 tests of undergraduates, with a total of 211 positive cases, including 204 undergrads for a cumulative positivity rate of 0.37 percent. By comparison, Boston University has reported 155 total positive cases, Providence College 246, Northeastern University 125, and University of Notre Dame 856.

“This week we are testing all BC undergraduates as part of our effort to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Director of University Health Services Dr. Douglas Comeau. “We have good momentum, and appreciate the efforts of all members of the BC community in following our testing, quarantine, and isolation protocols.”

In addition, the University surveyed all undergraduate students this week to gain an understanding of their preferences for the remainder of the semester following the Thanksgiving break. The survey asked students to state their preference between returning home for Thanksgiving and completing their studies remotely, or allowing students to remain in-state (either at home or on campus) to complete the semester at Boston College. The University intends to announce its decision next week.

In addition to daily symptomatic testing conducted through University Health Services and The Broad Institute, asymptomatic testing will be performed this week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in the MAC Courts in the Margot Connell Recreation Center. Testing results will be posted the following day upon receipt from The Broad Institute 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%
•    8,359 tests Week of September 21-27. Positivity Rate 0.49%
•    7,040 tests Week of September 28-October 4. Positivity Rate 0.18%
•    7,187 tests Week of October 5-11. Positivity rate 0.16%

University Communications / October 15, 2020