Return to Campus Newsletter
September 18, 2020
Dear Bentley Community,
Classes and campus operations continue to move forward as we pass the halfway mark of September. I mentioned last week that it was important for all members of our community—students, faculty and staff—to keep up momentum and remain vigilant in continuing to follow the on-campus health and safety protocols. Our on-campus students must consistently make and keep their scheduled screening test every week. Please do not let down your guard or become complacent. Getting to November requires your relentless vigilance.
With the fall trimester in full swing, our on-campus students have been increasingly accessing areas of campus such as the Library and Dana Center. The staff members responsible for keeping these areas operational have been working hard these past few weeks, and it’s important that we treat them respectfully by obeying all health and safety requirements when in these spaces.
In addition, many administrative offices, such as the Office of the Registrar, continue to operate with essential in-person services. Check with specific offices first to confirm that they have availability. Though buildings are locked, student ID cards will provide access during business hours if in-person services are provided.
Effective Face Coverings
As new studies related to the most effective type of face covering and masks emerge, it’s important that we update the community on some best practices and tips to continue to do our part to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on campus.
Your face covering should have two or more layers of breathable fabric, cover your nose and your mouth and fit snuggly against the sides of your face. Some face coverings such as face shields and neck gaiters have unknown effectiveness that is still being evaluated by the CDC. Masks with exhalation valves or vents are not recommended as they do not prevent wearers from spreading particles and droplets, and as a result are not effective in mitigating the spread of the coronavirus. A helpful guide as to what face coverings and masks are most effective can be found here from the CDC.
As this sign reminds us, face coverings and masks are meant to help you keep your colleagues safe. Their face coverings protect you, and your face coverings protect them. Masks with valves prevent you from protecting others
With cooler temperatures quickly approaching, cases of seasonal upper respiratory illnesses such as the flu, common cold and strep throat are on the rise. During this time when all members of our community are consistently evaluating themselves for symptoms that may be related to COVID-19, the likelihood that an illness may be suspected to be COVID-19 is high.
The Health Center is exercising appropriate caution when it comes to cases of seasonal respiratory illness. Because symptoms of COVID-19 so closely mirror other respiratory illnesses, they are treating patients with such symptoms as “suspect cases” until COVID-19 is ruled out. If you are feeling ill and showing signs of respiratory illness, contact the Health Center immediately by calling 781-891-2222, or if after hours, University Police at 781-891-2201. For immediate assistance in a medical emergency on campus, call the University Police emergency number 781-891-3131. Remember, do not go to the screening test area in the Miller Parking Lot if you are feeling ill.
Symptomatic students may be asked to relocate to isolation housing or return home if possible until diagnostic test results come back, usually within 24-48 hours. That student’s roommate(s) may also be asked to quarantine in some cases depending on the student’s symptoms. This relocation will help prevent the spread of illness during the time when the patient is waiting for their test results.
If COVID-19 is ruled out, the Health Center will work with the patient towards recovery and most likely they will return to their usual housing location. Their roommate(s) will also be allowed to leave quarantine. Only confirmed cases of COVID-19 appear in the dashboard, and suspect cases in isolation or contacts in quarantine won’t be added to the dashboard unless a COVID-19 diagnosis is confirmed.
Since August 17, more than 11,500 COVID-19 screening tests have been administered at our Miller testing site. As displayed on our COVID-19 dashboard, there has been only one positive case to date. That low number is a testament to our community’s hard work over the past month and strict adherence to campus testing and safety policies. But we cannot become complacent. We must remain vigilant in our practices if we hope to continue building on this success. Continue to check the dashboard for updated numbers each week.
I’ve shared these in my past updates but wanted to forward them again in an easy-to-access location. Be sure to access these frequently and as needed this fall.
- Daily Personal Health Checklist
- COVID-19 Dashboard
- Back to Bentley Website
- CDC Face-Covering Best Practices
I’m looking forward to sharing more with you as we continue to move forward.
Geoffrey C. Bartlett, CEM
Director of Emergency Management