Dear Bentley Community,
With our ease-in process completed as of this week, we’ve carefully and safely opened more spaces and services for residential students and non-residential students that have access to campus. We hope that those able to take advantage of these services and safely engage with one another are doing so as we wait for warmer temperatures and more chances for outside activities.
Important Update to the Broad Institute Testing Procedure
This week, our partners at the Broad Institute notified us – along with the many other colleges, universities and organizations that they conduct coronavirus testing for – that they were updating the standards by which they interpret positive test results, in light of scientific advancements related to the testing process that have increased sensitivity to the presence of coronavirus RNA. This change was made in consultation with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. As a result of this recent change, a small number of positive tests that came from Bentley over the last two weeks were retested to determine if they still fall under a positive diagnosis using this new guidance.
The science behind coronavirus testing is becoming more precise as the world continues to learn more about the virus. We will continue to work with Broad to make sure we have the best information available for students, faculty and staff.
Health Center Services
A quick reminder that the Health Center remains available to students for a number of non-COVID-19 related services as well as evaluating students who have COVID-like symptoms. With all health visits beginning with a virtual consultation, the Health Center staff are readily available to ensure your health and safety. To schedule an appointment, students with access to campus can call 781-891-2222.
Off-Campus Travel (for residential students)
Data indicates that 20% of the residential student COVID-19 infections at Bentley in the fall traced back to off campus travel—visits home and to friends.
As announced on Jan. 15, if off-campus travel is necessary, students will be required to complete the onboarding process (including producing a negative test that was taken within the past 72 hours and a test upon arrival), self-quarantine, avoid close contacts and wait for a negative test result before resuming activities on campus. Students needing to travel off campus overnight or out of state must complete the Temporary Housing Leave form online. The university will work with students on a case-by-case basis if unique circumstances arise.
Next Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the early afternoon, we will conduct a full test of the BentleyAlert emergency notification system by email, text message, telephone, classroom messaging and outdoor sirens and speakers. BentleyAlerts are sent using information submitted in Workday, so please be sure that your mobile phone number and email address are up to date in our database.
To do so, log into Workday > Personal Information > Contact Information > Edit > Change Home Contact Information. Remember to list your cell phone number as a “mobile” number in the system to ensure you receive text alerts.
Since Jan. 1, 68 positive cases have been reported on the dashboard. With 13,350 total tests administered, that leaves us at a 0.53% positivity rate.
Geoffrey C. Bartlett, CEM
Director of Emergency Management
Dear Bentley Community,