October 20, 2020
Dear Boston University Students,
We are writing to reinforce the importance of complying with all the testing requirements and distance and gathering protocols we have put in place to keep our community safe from COVID-19. If you look at our dashboard, you will see a very worrisome increase in the daily numbers of cases of the virus among our student body, as well as our staff, over the last week. Over the last seven days we have reported the largest number of new cases since the final week of Move-In in August.
Although the number of cases per day is still relatively low, our growing concern is driven by the number of cases in Massachusetts and declining compliance with our mandatory requirement for testing and daily symptom attestation that applies to all students living on and off campus who come to campus (categories 1–3). From our analysis of our cases, we know that a critically important driver for our increasing infection rate is the number of social gatherings (on and off campus), as well as personal travel and off-campus visits with family and friends where participants do not adhere to physical distancing and mask-wearing.
If we are going to remain successful at keeping the infection rate low, we must all:
- Adhere to the testing program and be tested according to the established testing frequencies—take a moment to review them;
- Submit a daily symptom attestation (through Patient Connect each day), whether you are on campus or not, if you are in category 1, 2, or 3;
- Avoid gatherings in small, indoor spaces and adhere to physical distancing and mask wearing when with others, including in your student residence or off-campus apartment or home; and,
- Follow the other protocols, policies, and guidance in place on campus.
To emphasize the importance of these rules, beginning on Thursday, October 22, 2020, we will require a green daily attestation badge in order to enter our dining halls, the George Sherman Union, and several other public spaces on our campus. We hope this will be a reminder to everyone of the importance of daily symptom attestation and testing for keeping our campus safe.
It is the responsibility of everyone in our community to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We started the year with protocols in place to protect our in-person learning environment and for us to be able to gather, safely, in the midst of this pandemic. For the common good, we resumed in-person operations with necessary restrictions to keep us safe. Let us recommit to a shared understanding of the critical importance of these protocols and restrictions so that we may care for each other and ourselves.
Robert A. Brown
Associate Provost and Dean of Students