February 21, 2022
Dear Members of the Boston College Community:
We write to provide an update about COVID-19 and to announce changes in the University’s coronavirus testing program.
Currently, 99.5% of BC students, faculty, and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 100% of those eligible and authorized to be on campus have obtained booster shots. Moreover, this academic year no member of our campus community has become seriously ill or been hospitalized because of COVID-19, and there has been no known virus transmission in our classrooms and laboratories.
On January 28, the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts urged colleges and universities to “accelerate their efforts to transition back to ‘near normal conditions.’” They wrote again on February 15 encouraging higher education presidents to consider “longer term strategies for managing an endemic and strengthening our mental health supports for students and personnel.” Boston College continues to be mindful of the mental health of our campus community and sensitive to minimizing COVID-19-related anxieties.
Therefore, given present realities, high vaccination and booster rates, and the desire to have campus life be as normal as possible, Boston College, in consultation with public health departments in Boston and Newton, will make the following COVID-19 protocol changes, effective February 21:
- End required asymptomatic PCR surveillance testing, except for BC students, faculty, and staff with University-approved medical and religious vaccination exemptions;
- Continue testing of undergraduate students with COVID-19 symptoms at University Health Services and isolating those who test positive on the Pine Manor campus;
- Offer asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff the option of obtaining a walk-in PCR test once per week, Monday through Friday, at the Connell Recreation Center testing clinic through March 31 (in addition to rapid antigen tests readily accessible in stores and online, and available through the federal government).