• Art Jahnke

    Senior Contributing Editor

    Art Janke

    Art Jahnke began his career at the Real Paper, a Boston area alternative weekly. He has worked as a writer and editor at Boston Magazine, web editorial director at CXO Media, and executive editor in Marketing & Communications at Boston University, where his work was honored with many awards. Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 12 comments on BU’s COVID-19 Testing Passes Its First Test

  1. Very grateful for the hard work by everyone to ensure this works though only time will tell if we can avoid community spread and have majority compliance by students.
    Thankful for our interview with Dr.Platt for our BU parents group on Facebook “BU Parents United” as so many concerns were answered.
    Please do consider a hotline for non-compliance as well as an added student consent to keep parents or designated emergency contact in the loop if diagnosed positive and quarantined or placed in isolation due to being a close contact.
    Thank you again! Go Terriers!

  2. I am confident in BU’s testing program. I am moderately confident in BU’s in-person protocols and requirements.

    I am less than confident in the student body. The influx of students combined with student behavior and exposure (i.e. MBTA, work, student life, etc.) is a recipe for disaster and a surge/resurge. It is a public health risk that will endanger students, faculty and staff, and the City of Boston.

    Although remote learning is subpar to in-person learning, it might be necessary to hold Fall 2020 completely online. I hate it for so many reasons, but it is probably the most responsible given the uncertainties and lack of control.

    I am not confident in LfA; the restrictive, in-person environment will not be conducive to learning with the implemented protocols. Best option: remote learning for all.

    “A Boston city councilor is urging Boston University, Northeastern not to host in-person classes this fall”

    https://www.boston.com/news/coronavirus/2020/08/04/kenzie-bok-northeastern-boston-university-in-person-classes-letter

    “With influx of college students looming, how will Boston keep safe?”

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/07/25/metro/with-influx-college-students-looming-how-will-boston-keep-safe/

  3. I am confident that the University has done everything it can and then some to bring students back in a safe manner. As a parent, I applaud BU for putting in the money to bring kids back and to be at the forefront in higher education.

    The issue is solely on the students. As we have seen this summer across the country the 20-30 year old age group have been responsible for the increased positivity rates in many states.

    Will this group finally understand and be accountable for their actions while at school? That is the million dollar question. The University has done their job extremely well. Now it is up to the students to make it work. It is their responsibility.

    If it doesn’t, there will be no one else to blame. FOLOW THE RULES and you will have a great college experience although in a different environment. Let’s make this work for all.

    1. “The issue is fully on the students.”

      Respectfully, I think this is nonsense. BU is fully aware of what it can and cannot reasonably expect from students, and the motivation of their ill-advised plan is purely financial. The beauty of “LfA” is that BU will transition to entirely remote learning mid-semester, and tuition deposits will be non-refundable because “students knew what they were signing up for”. That students will be to blame for an entirely predictable outcome is just icing on the cake.

      It’s also worth mentioning that while the testing program is ambitious and perhaps commendable, other elements of BU’s plan to keep students safe are laughable (there are stairwells that could generously be considered one-way that have been designated as two-way). Someone could post “No Covid Allowed” signs in the classrooms, and I would be hard-pressed to identify them as reality or satire. I sympathize with BU’s financial plight, but I don’t believe that excuses their blatant disregard for the potential consequences of their plan. I just hope that BU (and other schools in similar circumstances) end up closing before any staff, faculty, students, or members of the Boston community die as a result of this plan.

      -A student who follows the rules

  4. Students that tested over 48 hours ago have to receive their results. How can this be paraded as a success when the apparent backlog will leave students who test on Thursday or Friday receiving their results on Monday? The principle of “catch it while it’s hot” clearly can’t work if the time between testing and results is longer than 24 hours.

    The goal of getting 750 per day done while students are still well under the posted hourly rate of the sites and not getting their results back in a timely manner is foreboding.

    A classic case of putting the cart before the donkey, it will be an uphill battle to say the least.

  5. Based on this report, testing trials had already started. Is it possible for students who are currently in Boston to join the trial and get tested before Aug 15th? How should one proceed?

    1. The Dean of Students Office will be communicating with both graduate and undergraduate students (non-residential) about initial testing schedules, which will not begin until the weeks of August 17 and August 24. Residential students will have their initial test upon move-in.

    1. This isn’t research. The pilot program tests the collection system and implementation of RT-PCR testing, which typically has close to 100 percent accuracy. Inconclusive, false positive, and false negative test results will be attenuated by repeated testing.

  6. I want to be sure I am signed up for testing on the afternoon I move in so I will be able to attend my first day of class. I understand someone is supposed to send an email to schedule, but I haven’t had a lot of luck with timely emails (I assume everyone is very overwhelmed right now). Who can we contact for the appointment?
    Thank you.

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