Earlier this week, it was shared with undergraduate students that an increase of COVID-19 cases had been detected on campus. As students continue to test, we are concerned about the number of additional positives reported. We want to be clear that our primary concern continues to be your wellbeing, health and safety. Your physical and mental health are equally important to us, and the growing number of cases pose risks to both of those. In response to our current positivity rate, we are stepping back to some of the ease-in period restrictions from earlier this term effective today and continuing through at least Sunday, March 14:
All off-campus undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the screening test program will have access to campus only for classes, completing their weekly COVID-19 screening test and student employment (please check with your supervisor). Off-campus students are not allowed to visit the residence halls or surrounding areas, the Student Center or Dana Center (unless approved for work purposes) or social/organizational activities on campus.
Off-Campus Travel for Residential Students
Residential students should try to avoid off-campus overnight travel during this period. Contact tracing shows that many cases in our community begin with a student leaving campus or traveling out of state and unknowingly bringing back the virus then spreading it to their peers. If you are leaving campus overnight, you are required to complete the January onboarding process again, which includes producing a negative test that was taken within the past 72 hours, testing upon your arrival and self-quarantining in your personal room while waiting for a negative result. Students who need to travel off campus overnight or out of state must complete the Temporary Housing Leave form online.
Inter-Residence Hall Visits
As was the case in January, on-campus students will not be allowed to visit any residence hall other than their own. Students are strongly advised against visiting other rooms within their residence halls and should restrict their interactions with others to common areas, appropriately distanced, and with face coverings.
Meals temporarily returned to take-out only beginning at noon today.
The Bentley Shuttle to Harvard Square will return to weekday service only. The last shuttle returning to campus on Friday will depart Harvard Square at 10:30 p.m.
The Fitness Center and pool will return to lower occupancy limits.
We know that this update does not have all of the information you need and we are committed to sharing more information in the days ahead. You can submit any questions that you may want addressed in that update here.
During this period, in-person classes will continue for students, as safety measures within the classroom have proven to be effective in preventing spread among students and faculty.
Our data shows that new cases have been caused when students spend time with each other in small groups and then interact with friends outside those small groups. The return to our ease-in period restrictions will help mitigate risk in these less structured spaces.
The pandemic has altered our lives in unimaginable ways, and we know this is not how you hoped your educational experience would be. While for some, the virus may not lead to severe illness, for others it can be extremely dangerous with devastating effects. We cannot forget this. We need to be responsible and do our part to not put ourselves in situations that could harm others or unknowingly spread the virus unchecked throughout our community.
Bentley is a special place because of you. The world has long known Bentley students to be leaders who do what is right even in difficult times. We know that you can make the right decisions. Avoid gathering with those outside of your immediate residential circle, wear a face covering whenever you’re not in your personal room and continue to keep your distance. We are counting on you to do your part. The light is at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, and we will get through this, but only with your help.
Please be smart, and stay safe.