To the Saint Anselm community,
With seven weeks since students first arrived on campus, I wanted to share an update on our COVID-19 mitigation efforts. This week, our testing returned 3 positives and 623 negatives. As you know, we also had 10 positive test results last week, which puts our positivity rate for the semester at 0.38%. While we would prefer to have no cases of the virus on campus, our numbers remain lower than the current state average of 0.9%.
As part of our return to the Hilltop plans, we committed to 400 surveillance tests per week. We significantly increased our weekly testing with the emergence of COVID-19 on campus in an effort to identify anyone who may have been exposed to those who are positive. Last week, we tested 623 people; this week, we tested 626, which included all students living in the residence hall where the positive cases have been located, and all students, faculty and staff who may have been in extended contact. At the end of another week of robust testing, we remain confident we have contained this outbreak.
I also would like to share that while we are conducting randomized tests, in light of the recent positive cases we are accelerating our efforts so that every student on campus will have been tested twice this semester by the end of next week.
Testing is a key element of our plans, but let me remind you of the importance of avoiding COVID-19 in the first place. It is critical for all of us to abide by the Community Care Covenant, in particular the wearing of masks, social distancing and refraining from leaving campus as much as possible. More than anything, taking these basic precautions and maintaining our bubble are the keys to preventing community spread. Do your part to keep our Anselmian family safe.
Thank you for your continued efforts to protect the health and safety of our Hilltop. In eight short weeks, we will be heading home for Thanksgiving. Let’s continue to do the right things and we will make it to turkey day!
Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D.