• Kat J. McAlpine

    Editor, The Brink Twitter Profile

    Kat J McAlpine

    Kat J. McAlpine is editor of The Brink, Boston University’s news site for scientific breakthroughs and pioneering research. Kat has been telling science stories for over a decade, and prior to joining BU’s editorial staff, publicized research at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and the University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering. Profile

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There are 5 comments on Boston University Weekly COVID-19 Report: November 4 to 10

  1. BU has just informed me that that my workplace adjustment request for the spring, based on meeting a CDC-recognized COVID health risk criterion, has been approved. However, I have been presented with a forced choice to either agree to be classified as teaching in a “partially remote” way that involves in-person interaction with students, and thereby be allowed access to my office on campus and the testing program (Category 3), or to forego any access to the university and university testing (Category 4). This is a widespread issue for a presently highly vulnerable group of employees. Why does BU insist on treating employees who are vulnerable because they are in COVID health risk categories in a way where they deny them access to COVID testing or office access unless they agree to meet students in person!? Category 3 does not need to be defined this way. The university is doing this so that it can pressure vulnerable employees into teaching in person, knowing full well that this raises an already significant risk of catching a virus that may kill them (since they are in risk groups). I know this isn’t a new policy, but I can’t resist pointing out once more that it is morally outrageous to exploit vulnerable employees in this way, as well as morally outrageous to leave many vulnerable employees out in the cold by not providing them with testing (those in Category 4).

  2. How can you continue to blame off campus student when clearly the highest percent is from staff. Maybe the students are getting it from the staff.
    Also there is so much blame about mask wearing, being a factor. The factor is that these kids are forced to go off campus ( be it an apartment or restaurant) to have any social interaction. These are the more dangerous scenarios. If student could safely be together in dorms on campus things could be better. Take a look at other schools. The reason students chose to go back to BU was because with your protocols they thought they could safely be in person classes ( my student and friends have none) and to have some social interaction. Again none. Fix/ blame staff first. Not just students. They are really trying despite isolation and depression.

    1. 1) I dont think the medical staff providing commentary for this post are “blaming” students vs staff. I think they are commenting on the data that the testing is presenting them. That data is showing that more of the positive tests among students are now coming from off-campus instead of on-campus students (or activities) and that off-campus students are a higher percentage of those not in compliance. They even state that some of the reason for off-campus positives being higher is simply because they are off campus and exposed to the greater community more than an on-campus student.

      2) How about we dont “BLAME” anyone – which was also the messaging in this article. Staff have also gotten emails about making sure they are following all of the guidelines and our compliance is tracked by our supervisors – they get a compliance report every week. Unlike most students you also have staff that get to work via public transportation, which adds another level of risk. They live further away typically than students, and even if they are able to take a car that adds extra costs (gas, traffic, parking, etc). Staff are working on campus (and taking public transit) every work day! They are on campus all day. The same can not be said for students that do not live on campus. They are incurring more risk bc of work than the students are bc of school.

  3. Hey Platt and Waters:

    What about the outside contractors we see on campus every weekday doing indoor renovations on elevators, etc. inside campus buildings, some of who come from outside MA (like NH, according to their vehicle license plates), and are not always wearing masks when they’re inside, especially when they take indoor breaks chatting away in a room with the door open and students/staff walking by clearly seeing them not wearing masks?

  4. BU do you get it yet-nothing you are doing or have done has done a single thing to stem infection rate; yet you continue to pat yourself on the back for over-testing and acting as if the added false sense of security is not the issue, thanks. Also I want to say thanks for not providing masks to staff and faculty-bang up job.

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