Return to Campus Newsletter
October 9, 2020
Dear Bentley Community,
We’re seven weeks away from Thanksgiving, which will mark the end of our on-campus experience for the fall trimester. With cases on the rise across the state, it’s of the utmost importance that we continue to be responsible and comply with all health and safety policies and protocols. Getting to Thanksgiving will take our collective efforts, and it’s crucial that we all do our part.
City of Waltham COVID-19 Risk Level Increase
This week, the City of Waltham was elevated to a higher-risk community by the Mass. Department of Public Health. Communities deemed higher risk, or those in the red, mean that there are more than eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents. As a result of this elevated status, the City of Waltham urges all residents to continue to practice the health and safety protocols put into place including wearing a face covering at all times in public and avoiding large gatherings.
This elevated risk assessment is a critical reminder for all of us in the Waltham area to be vigilant and responsible.
Flu Season Reminder
This fall, all full-time students under 30 years old who visit campus (even once), including all residential students, are required by the state to get the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is strongly recommended as well for part-time students and those over 30, as well as students attending remotely. As a reminder, Osco, through the Student Health center, will be hosting flu clinics for on-campus faculty, staff and students. The next flu clinic with availability is on Oct. 21, and you can register for an appointment here, though timeslots are limited. If you are unable to book an appointment, you can call the Health Center at 781-891-2222 to be put on a waitlist. Remember to bring your insurance card with you to your appointment.
All on-campus faculty and staff—that’s to say, those who are a part of the weekly testing protocol—are also require to receive a flu shot.
Contact Tracing: Doing Your Part
When someone tests positive for COVID-19, a thorough process is conducted to identify any individuals who can be considered a close contact. A close contact is defined as a person with exposure to an individual with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes and within 6 feet. Once contacts have been identified, they’ll be contacted by a public health official and instructed on quarantine and testing requirements. It is critically important that you answer this call from MA COVID Team (area code 833 or 857) and obey all state-mandated requirements. In addition to the public health official, you’ll be contacted by the Health Center and Bentley’s internal contact tracing team who will instruct you on next steps.
Contact tracing is an important process and reminds us that we should be responsible with our social interactions. More can be read on this important process at the Community Tracing Collaborative website.
As of today, 11 positive cases have been reported on the dashboard since the start of the fall trimester. With 23,010 total tests administered, that leaves us at a 0.05% positivity rate. As always, continue to check the dashboard each week for the most up-to-date testing totals.
Remember to keep your weekly screening test appointments if on campus, wear a face covering and stay in your room or at home if you are sick. It’s only when we all follow these policies that we’ll be able to ensure a healthy and safe community.
Geoffrey C. Bartlett, CEM
Director of Emergency Management