We are more than 20% of the way through spring semester classes. Consistent with our experience in the fall, our positive cases for COVID-19 remain relatively low. However, since students returned to campus we have experienced a rising positivity rate. This is because the virus is more prevalent on college campuses now than it was in the fall. Positive cases of COVID-19 are up at universities throughout the Northeast, with many schools experiencing levels much higher than on Bryant’s campus.
Our number of students in preventative quarantines is also higher than what we had this fall. This is a result of the aggressive testing, contact tracing and quarantine practices that are in place to contain the spread of the virus. We remain committed to a contact tracing strategy designed to break chains of transmission and avoid a significant outbreak. That strategy worked to benefit the entire Bryant community during the fall semester, and is working this semester. We had anticipated higher cases and quarantines in the spring and planned accordingly so we have sufficient space for the necessary quarantines.
The spring semester will require us to remain vigilant in following the proven practices that work to mitigate the spread of the virus, and nimble in adapting to the changing context.
In addition to masking, social distancing and using the Health Checker app to screen symptoms, it is essential for students to be vigilant in adhering to public health guidelines that limit social gatherings to those they live with. Experience shows that even small gatherings are unsafe, particularly when students travel from one group to another.
We are grateful for the collective commitment of all Bryant students, faculty and staff. If we all work together, we can keep our community strong.