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October 23, 2020

Dear Bentley Community,

Earlier this week, the plans for the spring trimester were announced with many of the existing health and safety protocols carrying over from the fall on-campus experience. As more details become available for the spring, be sure to check the Spring 2021 Guidelines section of the Back to Bentley website.

Update on Campus Cases
Last week, a first spike in positive cases of COVID-19 was detected in our community after a small gathering of students occurred in a dorm room where face covering requirements and safe physical distancing were not adhered to. After this gathering, those who attended began to unknowingly spread the virus to close contacts. This small, casual gathering exemplifies how easily the virus can spread. It does not take a large gathering or an event to create a sudden cluster of cases. Regular interactions that occur without the necessary health and safety measures in place can have unintended consequences. This demonstrates how important it is that we be careful and responsible with our social interactions on and off campus, always wearing face coverings and respecting distancing guidelines.

Thanks to our screening test program, we were able to identify and isolate positive cases and quickly quarantine others through effective contact tracing, in many cases before the onset of symptoms. Of the subsequent confirmed positives, two-thirds were already in quarantine. To ensure a thorough process, we added a special testing day for specific groups of students on Friday, when screening normally doesn’t take place. On that added day of testing, we conducted 1,044 tests and three more confirmed positives were identified and placed in isolation.

While we’re cautiously optimistic that isolation, contract tracing and quarantine have contained the recent spread, continued vigilance is necessary for the future success of our on-campus experience. 

Flu Shot Clinics
As a reminder, all on-campus students, faculty and staff are required to receive a flu shot this season. The Health Center will be hosting an additional flu shot clinic on Oct. 28. You can register for an appointment here. Remember to bring your insurance card with you to your appointment. No walk-in appointments will be accepted.

COVID-19 Dashboard
On Wednesday we collected our 30,000th screening test. With last week’s increase in cases, 55 positive cases have been reported on the dashboard since the start of the fall trimester. With 31,695 total tests administered, that leaves us at a 0.18% positivity rate.

Remember to check the Back to Bentley website for all details related to the remainder of the fall on-campus experience and the beginning of the spring trimester.

Geoffrey C. Bartlett, CEM
Director of Emergency Management