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COVID 19: Update

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020
Subject: A COVID-19 Update

A message from Dr. Chris Frazer, Executive Director of Wellness

Dear campus community,

I wanted to share some new information regarding the COVID-19 tests that were administered this week. Of the 827 tests taken by students, faculty and staff, eight students have tested positive (one from Tuesday, seven from Wednesday). We received the results back from the Broad Institute within less than 24 hours and already have contacted each of the affected students. All are in isolation and experiencing only minor symptoms to date. We have initiated our contact tracing protocols and will test and, if necessary, quarantine any members of the BSU community who may have come in contact with those who have tested positive.

Five of the eight cases were associated with the BSU men’s soccer team, which has been holding non-contact training drills under strict public health guidelines. These training sessions are not competitions and have been conducted in accordance with CDC and NCAA restrictions. We are testing all students and coaches associated with that program regardless of whether they have had contact with the positive students. Men’s soccer team training, which was scheduled to conclude next week, has been cancelled for the remainder of the semester.

Six of the eight students who tested positive live in BSU residence halls and two reside off-campus. Following our contact tracing procedures, we have begun notifying, testing and implementing quarantine or isolation procedures with any members of the BSU community who may have had close contact with the positive students. BSU has ample isolation and quarantine spaces on campus.

Public health officials from the Town of Bridgewater have been notified.

From Wednesday, October 14 through Wednesday, October 21, BSU administered 1,326 tests with 9 positive results - a positive rate of .68% (one off-campus student tested positive last week). As you are aware, the state, as well as much of the country, has been experiencing surges of varying degrees. For example, Massachusetts has seen its 7-day positive rate climb to 1.3 percent. Cumulatively, BSU has administered 7,920 tests with 18 positive results, a positive rate of .23%. Of these 18 positive cases, eight have recovered, while ten are in isolation (4 on campus and 6 off-campus).

This small cluster of cases reinforces the need for all of us to be vigilant in following public health protocols. For us to continue to have a successful fall semester, it is critical that we continue wearing a mask when outside of your residence hall room, apartment, home or private office; maintaining six-feet of physical distance; not gathering in any large groups; staying home if you are not feeling well; and frequently washing your hands.

As always, we will continue to keep the campus informed of any new information related to BSU’s COVID-19 testing results. If you have any questions, please contact us at covid-19@bridgew.edu. Please visit the COVID-19 website for additional information.