Boston College continued to experience a steady decrease in positive COVID-19 cases this past week, closing out the week of September 14-20 with 17 positive cases resulting from 4,639 total tests, including 3,248 tests of undergraduates.

The downward trend followed a spike of 73 cases last week (September 7-13) that University Health Services said was attributable to several off-campus gatherings where students did not wear masks or practice physical distancing.

The University increased its testing capacity this past week in light of the increase in positive cases that occurred September 7-13. Since testing began on August 16, the University has conducted 29,741 tests of BC community members, including 18,521 tests of undergraduates, resulting in 127 positive tests, including 125 undergrads. By contrast, Boston University has reported 105 total positive cases, Providence College 141, Northeastern University 62, and University of Notre Dame 698.

Currently, there are 24 BC undergraduates in isolation--12 in University isolation housing and 12 recovering at home. A total of 103 undergraduates have recovered and returned to normal activities.

“The increase in cases that occurred during our fourth week of testing (September 7-13) was concerning to all of us,” said Director of University Health Services Dr. Douglas Comeau. “We are pleased that the numbers have steadily decreased each day since, and we will continue to quickly identify and test individuals who are deemed to be close contacts of anyone testing positive.”

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. As of September 21, 94 of the 127 positive cases on campus were identified through the University’s contact tracing efforts.

UHS announced that it would increase its asymptomatic testing beginning this week to Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays throughout the semester, all in the MAC Courts in the Margot Connell Recreation Center, in addition to its daily symptomatic testing conducted through University Health Services and The Broad Institute. Results are posted to the BC Reopening website. The University expects to conduct more than 6,000 tests this week.

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

  • 7,681 tests conducted Week of August 16-23. Positivity Rate 0.04%
  • 10,127 tests conducted Week of August 24-30. Positivity Rate 0.08%
  • 4,322 tests conducted 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%

University Communications / September 21. 2020