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Return(ed) to Campus Newsletter

April 9, 2021

Dear Members of the Bentley Community,

We’re entering the final stretch of the spring 2021 trimester. It has been a challenging term, but with warmer weather on its way I hope that you are able to take advantage of opportunities to safely engage outdoors whether on or off campus. In these final few weeks, make sure you continue to follow all health and safety guidelines on campus and be smart with your social interactions.

Spring Term Case Severity
Since January 1, more than 340 members of our campus community have tested positive for COVID-19—a sharp increase from the 124 positive cases recorded during the fall term. Among these cases, the Health Center has seen a number of students requiring evaluation by urgent care and emergency room services, also a significant change from the fall experience. Additionally, some students have required referral to cardiac and pulmonary specialists for treatment in the weeks after recovering from COVID-19. We cannot say for certain why numbers are higher, but we do know that following our health and safely protocols can reduce the risk of contracting the virus.

While COVID-19 may only cause mild symptoms for some, for others, it can lead to serious illness that may require emergency care, hospitalization or cause long-term consequences. This is a reminder that COVID-19 is to be taken seriously on our campus, and that contracting the virus can have lasting effects on one's health. Please remember this as we enter these final weeks of the term. The last thing that we want to see is a student experiencing severe symptoms—something that anyone who catches COVID-19 is susceptible to experience.

Testing Protocols and Positivity
The vaccine rollout has ramped up significantly across the country in recent weeks, and some members of our community have had their first and second shots as eligibility expands; however, fewer than 2.5% of students are fully vaccinated. Remember, even if you are partially or fully vaccinated, you must still continue to be enrolled in the screening test program until the end of the term (twice weekly for residential students and weekly for non-residential students), and wear a face covering at all times.

As it pertains to testing, I wanted to reiterate that the tests administered by our partners at the Broad Institute are extremely effective and accurate, and that we should always follow the given results. If you test positive, you must follow the proper protocols for entering isolation, and if you are a close contact, must quarantine as directed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Even if you do not experience symptoms, your positive test result must be taken seriously so that we can reduce the risk of having the virus infect others in our community.

As of April 19, everyone age 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Be sure to visit for information on pre-registration and vaccine administration locations across the state. Though all members of our community will be eligible, the supply remains in high demand, so it may still take several weeks to schedule your appointment. We will continue to share updates provided by the state as the rollout continues and post important updates here.

COVID-19 Dashboard
Since January 1, 344 positive cases have been reported on the dashboard. With 51,648 total tests administered, that leaves us at a 0.68% positivity rate.

Geoffrey C. Bartlett, CEM
Director of Emergency Management