Two Days Before Winter Break, 89 Students Test Positive in 48 Hours

In the past day, 39 students tested positive for COVID-19, out of over 400 rapid tests administered by the College, according to this evening’s email from President Carmen Twillie Ambar. The announcement comes after yesterday’s news of 50 positive tests, which resulted in the College making classes remote for the final three days before winter break. 

The College has now gone through its supply of rapid tests but has secured additional rapid tests from the state due to arrive tomorrow and anticipates being able to resume testing in Hales Gymnasium by 5 p.m. tomorrow. Tests will now be available to faculty and staff, as well as students. The tests will be take-home and available to anyone who feels they need them, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms or are a close contact of someone who tested positive. The College has not said how many tests it will receive. 

Yesterday, the College announced that all professors will be required to offer a remote learning option in January for students who do not plan to return to campus for the final three weeks of the semester. Additionally, the College announced that booster shots will be mandatory by Feb. 18, and all dining will be grab-and-go only. 

The increase in positive tests just days before winter break has led many students to make challenging decisions about travel plans, with some students isolating themselves in dorms or campus houses alone over the holidays. 

“I know this isn’t how any of us wanted to start our holiday break,” wrote President Ambar in her email. “For those of you who have tested positive and are isolating on campus, please know we are here to support you. I want to remind you to let the ObieSafe team know if you test positive, especially if you tested off campus since they won’t have access to this information otherwise.”