THE REVERE ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2020 Page 5 Many Greater Boston colleges able to keep COVID threat at bay By Christopher Roberson D uring the opening weeks of the fall semester, the majority of colleges and universities in Greater Boston have been able to shield themselves from the affl ictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Katherine Gianni, spokesperson for Boston University, said approximately 200,000 COVID-19 tests were administered during the past 10 weeks. “Generally, things are going very well and we’re pleased with the success of our screening, testing, contact tracing and other measures to limit and contain the spread of the virus,” she said. “By and large, our students are complying with the commitments and expectations they have agreed to.” Joseph O’Connell, spokesperson for Regis College, said a “limited number” of students, faculty and staff returned to campus last month, thereby keeping the number of positive cases under control. “They are adhering to a strict and robust return protocol that includes weekly testing and required mask wearing, among other measures,” he said. “We are pleased with how the semester has gone so far and continue to monitor the spread of the virus.” Daniel Magazu, spokesperson for Framingham State University, said there have only been a few minor hiccups since the semester began. “Students, faculty and staff have done a good job overall of following our safety guidelines around face coverings, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings,” he said. “We have not Veterans Day Dinner Dance cancelled this year A s a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Veterans Day Dinner Dance, which is usually held the week of Veterans Day, has been cancelled. The Veterans Committee and the Department of Veterans Services wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday. Please remember to wear your masks, keep a safe distance and remember our veterans. had any major student disciplinary issues to this point. We’ve followed up on reports of small student gatherings off campus, but nothing has risen to the level of a major disciplinary issue.” Magazu also said the university’s positive test rate has been well below the state average at 0.61 percent during the past 30 days. At Emerson College, spokesperson Rosemary Lavery said the college is utilizing its Campus Compact and the One Emerson Flex Learning Model for the fall semester. “The college has worked closely with our community members to ensure they understand the importance of following the Campus Compact, which outlines the health and safety guidelines that will ensure the safety of those on and surrounding campus,” she said. “We are confi dent our community takes these new protocols seriously.” Kimberly Allen, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said the school has reported an “extremely low prevalence” of COVID-19. Although strict penalties are in place for any violations, Allen said, such action has not been necessary thus far. “The vast majority of our students are committed to acting responsibly to ensure their safety and the safety of their peers and neighbors,” she said. However, that has not been the case everywhere as 11 freshmen from Northeastern University were found in the same room at the Westin Hotel in Copley Square. As a result, those students were dismissed from the university for the remainder of the semester and their tuition fees will not be refunded. “Northeastern takes violations of health and safety protocols very seriously,” said Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice chancellor of student affairs. “Cooperation and compliance with public health guidelines is absolutely essential. Those who do not follow the guidelines are putting everyone else at risk.” Estabrook also issued a stern warning at the beginning of the fall term. “Students who attend an unsafe gathering, social or party, either on or off campus can expect suspension,” she said in her letter to the student body. In one Merrimack College residence hall, 47 students tested positive for the virus. The school’s president, Dr. Christopher Hopey, said the building was closed and its 266 residents were moved into isolation. However, additional test results showed that the virus was confi ned to that particular residence hall. “We are optimistic that the campus can stay open and fully operational,” said Hopey. He also defended his reason to invite students back to campus rather than putting the entire semester online. “There are those who will argue the best way to minimize COVID-19 spread is not to have students on campus, but we felt that choice was and still is very harmful to our students, their mental health and their educational progress,” said Hopey. “Merrimack is an anchor organization in the Merrimack Valley and thousands of people are dependent on us being open, being safe and being present.” Gerry D’Ambrosio Attorney-at-Law Is Your Estate in Order? Do you have an update Will, Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney? If Not, Please Call for a Free Consultation. 14 Proctor Avenue, Revere (781) 284-5657

6 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication