To the Saint Anselm community,
I want to share a brief update on our COVID-19 testing results. As you know, we have significantly increased our testing and by early next week every student will have been tested twice since arriving on campus in August. We also are engaging in faculty and staff testing, and soon all those who are working on campus will be offered a coronavirus test. This week, as of this morning, we had four positive results out of 590 tests – a positivity rate of 0.67%; for the semester, we’ve conducted 4,734 tests for a positivity rate of 0.40%.
Once again, we cannot share too many details about these cases, but we do believe the students are part of a friend group. We are now working closely with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to conduct the contract tracing and additional testing to determine if this cluster is contained. The students have been moved to isolation housing and will continue with remote learning until they are released by the state.
This week’s latest positive cases remind us how quickly coronavirus can spread and why it is critically important to follow the Anselmian Community Care Covenant. Travel off-campus, whether to go home for a weekend or to Elm Street for dinner, is a real danger to our bubble. Likewise, having friends come to campus – we have several examples of this in recent days – can bring COVID-19 to the Hilltop.
We have reached the half-way point of the semester, and we are doing fairly well. But let me remind you, this silent virus spreads quickly and can easily overwhelm our ability to contain it. If that happens, we will not hesitate in taking action to protect the health and well-being of our community, which could mean a swift end to the semester on campus.
Fortunately, we are Anselmians. I am confident we will all continue doing the right things to carry us to turkey day.
Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D.