• Andrew Thurston

    Editor, The Brink Twitter Profile

    Photo of Andrew Thurston, a white man with black glasses. He smiles and wears a maroon polo shirt.

    Andrew Thurston is originally from England, but has grown to appreciate the serial comma and the Red Sox, while keeping his accent (mostly) and love of West Ham United. He joined BU in 2007, and is the editor of the University’s research news site, The Brink; he was formerly director of alumni publications. Before joining BU, he edited consumer and business magazines, including for corporations, nonprofits, and the UK government. His work has won awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the In-House Agency Forum, Folio:, and the British Association of Communicators in Business. Andrew has a bachelor’s degree in English and related literature from the University of York. Profile

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There are 14 comments on BU to Dial Back Some COVID Testing, Masking, Guest Protocols

  1. Looking to the future- does the University plan to develop or distribute antigen tests?
    Since PCR isn’t an option for weeks after infection (and we do not test for 3 months after a recovery) how will we keep the reinfections at bay?

    1. Regular asymptomatic testing is not required or recommended for 3 months after an initial infection. While rare, re-infections during this time may occur. Using an at-home antigen test can be particularly helpful in these situations. Free at-home rapid tests can be ordered online at: https://www.covidtests.gov/

      If you develop concerning symptoms within this 3 month time period it is advisable to seek medical care to determine if there is another cause. Re-testing within this 3 month period can be done at the Health Services Annex but these results will need to be interpreted accordingly as we know that PCR testing can continue to pick up fragments of genetic material that is not infectious.

  2. I am extremely dismayed to see that BU will continue to force mask wearing upon faculty, staff, and students. We are a highly vaccinated community of professionals and the decision should be left to the individual based on their own level of risk tolerance. It is especially disheartening to know that it is expected of us to wear masks when, in a matter of weeks, mask mandates are being lifted for children in the school systems. Children are the least vaccinated among us. How come they are allowed to go free of masks, and vaccinated adults at BU are stuck wearing them? This is wrong.

    1. I normally would agree but as someone who experienced how quickly Omicron caused staff shortages due to people out legitimately sick with COVID for 1-2 weeks, I’d rather not go back to having to cover for half of my team ever again, what a nightmare.

      1. They still wore masks though. No matter what it’s gonna happen. Masks do not stop the spread and it’s fairly obvious at this point, you covered for half your staff while they wore masks. I’d understand if there was measurable impact but there isn’t. It’s time to get over this.

    2. hello im an actual student and the same age as your son. we’ve seen that omicron is extremely contagious and wearing a mask is literally the easiest thing we can do to prevent it. stop being dramatic, ur son is fine

      1. Wish I had seen this platform earlier- to person who thinks that the masks are actually doing something to protect from Omicron – WAKE UP – it’s not.
        Everyone’s been wearing masks because of all the mandates in Omicron still surged. Doesn’t that tell you that they really didn’t work ?
        I agree with the fed up faculty number that says enough is enough, masks should be over with.
        Please tell Dean Elmore !!

  3. My son is a junior at BU and had only one semester where Covid wasn’t part of his life on campus. Early on, I felt confident in the mitigation steps taken by University administration to keep our kids safe and was 100% supportive of the LFA model that was employed where the BU community wore masks and took covid tests 2-3 times a week. At this point, the vast majority is vaccinated, and the masks are over-kill. I am disappointed and disgusted to see that the administration insists on continuing to mask my child. He, along with all of his peers have received booster shots, and are young, healthy vibrant 20 year old men and women. There is no excuse for them to walk around in masks because of the fear and anxiety that Drs. Platt and Waters seem to be harboring.

    1. Well said, and I completely agree! My son is a senior–he’s had only a normal year and a half of college life. These are his last months as an undergraduate. As a mom I’m no longer in fear for his health–he’s young and otherwise healthy, Omicron is a much less severe variant, and he’s triple-vaxed–as mandated by BU for ALL students and staff. (I was more fearful of the effects of my son’s Moderna shots due to its risk of heart infection, especially in young men.)

      I’m thankful for the BU restrictions that have been lifted, especially that parents are now allowed to step into the BU living quarters that they’re paying for, and that professors don’t have to speak through masks anymore–so students will be able to properly hear their professors. But it’s time for BU to lift the mask mandates for all–let individuals decide when/where to wear a mask based on their own risks and fears.

    2. Another mother of a senior agreeing heartily about ending mandatory mask-wearing . Let these students reclaim some of the normal college experience they’ve missed. Take mental health into the whole risk equation, and the balance tips completely to taking masks off.

    3. hello im an actual student and the same age as your son. we’ve seen that omicron is extremely contagious and wearing a mask is literally the easiest thing we can do to prevent it. stop being dramatic, ur son is fine

  4. I’m so happy to see these comments aligning with my own sentiments. This is total nonsense. I’m tired of BU and the rest of the city peddling fear. If you’re so concerned about getting COVID wear a mask and stay locked up in the house. It’s not going to stop you from transmitting COVID. If you haven’t learned this by now…? How do we allow children to unmask or broadcast a Superbowl where all the politicians, celebrities and rich can do as they please while the rest of us have to follow authoritarian rules for the timid and hypochondriacs? People are literally driving alone in their cars wearing a mask. I mean seriously. It’s time to live again!!

  5. I am very glad they lowered the guest policy, and really hope they drop masks soon, at this stage in the pandemic we need to start learning to live with it and it should be a choice based on our own personal risk assessment.

    That being said, I do not support them rolling back accommodations for students/professors who have covid. Those should have been in place before and should be a given for people who are out sick due to any reason.

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