Return to Campus Newsletter
July 23, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
I hope that your summer finds you healthy and safe. My name is Geoff Bartlett, and I’m the director of emergency management at Bentley. We continue to prepare to welcome students back to campus this fall. As the university announced on June 30, a great deal of planning is underway to ready the campus for the start of the fall trimester. The Return-to-Campus Task Force and its six workgroups have been working diligently to ensure that the Bentley community remains safe when on campus and that those learning and working remotely are fully integrated with campus.
Periodically, I’ll share updates with you in advance of the fall. This week, we wanted to share information about COVID-19 testing on campus.
This week’s testing updates include:
Differentiating between Screening and Diagnostic Testing
As announced in the Back to Bentley plans, COVID-19 testing will be conducted on campus each week throughout the fall. To understand the testing, it’s important to know the difference between screening and diagnostic testing. Screening refers to the regular testing of people without symptoms to identify positive cases of COVID-19. Diagnostic testing refers to the testing of people who show symptoms of COVID-19 or had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and is meant to confirm a suspected positive case. The weekly testing we will do on campus falls under the category of screening.
With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across the country, it’s likely that an on-campus student, faculty or staff member will eventually contract the virus. Screening our campus population will help us to identify positive cases and allow us to ensure those people self-isolate and take the necessary steps to recovery. When a positive case of COVID-19 is identified, we’ll trace recent contacts and follow recommended protocols for quarantine. If a student at any point believes they have COVID-19 symptoms, they should contact the Health Center.
Who will be Tested?
We previously shared that residential students would be tested when they arrive on campus and on a weekly basis to identify any positive cases of COVID-19. The task force and Cabinet considered how to expand that screening to others and decided that, in addition to residential students, all non-residential students who plan to be on campus as well as all staff and faculty who plan to be on campus will be required to undergo weekly onsite screening tests. Additional screening guidelines will be shared in the coming weeks.
Bentley is partnering with the Broad Institute to conduct screening testing. The Broad (pronounced brōd) test procedure uses a nasal swab in the front of your nose, which is less likely to cause discomfort. Results are expected in about a day. Details about on-campus testing sites will be shared in the coming weeks. Students with medical conditions should discuss remote learning with their personal healthcare provider to determine the plan that best fits their needs.
I hope that this update helps to provide a clear picture of the routine COVID-19 screening that will take place on campus this fall. Please continue to check the Back to Bentley webpage and associated FAQs for new details about the return to campus, as these pages are being updated frequently.
I recognize that this is a stressful time for many and hope that these updates reassure you that a great deal is being done to maintain the health and safety of our community.
Geoffrey C. Bartlett, CEM
Director of Emergency Management