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Updates on positive COVID-19 cases at Springfield College

By Danny Priest

Over the weekend of Friday, Oct. 16 to Sunday, Oct. 18 there were four confirmed positive COVID cases on the Springfield College campus.

The uptick in positives was confirmed over an e-mail from Vice President of Student Affairs Patrick Love that was sent to the campus community at 7:39 p.m. on Sunday night.

Love wrote in his e-mail:

“All the students who tested positive have been moved to supported isolation housing or they chose to go home for the isolation time period. The 25 confirmed contacts of those who tested positive are in quarantine on campus (several others went home to quarantine). Of those in quarantine, six are in Lakeside Hall (on a recently vacated floor). Residents of Abbey Hall and several athletic teams were tested on Sunday afternoon. They have been instructed to self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result. We thank everyone involved for their cooperation and compliance in working with the testing, contact tracing teams, and quarantine housing teams.”

The Springfield Student was able to confirm that two additional positive cases were identified in the following days. One case was identified on Monday night and the other was on Tuesday morning.

Those cases have been handled in the same manner as past positive cases on campus.

“I am increasingly concerned, but I’m also still optimistic that if we continue to follow our process, and people continue to mask up, social distance, and stay in smaller groups; we’ll make it to Nov. 20,” Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper said.

As a result of the positives, The Student confirmed that residents of Abbey-Appleton Hall were required to be tested on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning, depending on their schedule.

Students were kept in a “modified quarantine” that has since ended.

A “modified quarantine” includes being restricted from attending in-person classes and going to Cheney dining hall to eat. Students may pick up grab-and-go meals, but they cannot eat inside.

Once students receive a negative result, they may go back to normal, on-campus style of living. If a student were flagged to move to quarantine or isolation housing, they must remain there for two weeks and be cleared by the Health Center.

It was also confirmed to The Student that a similar process was implemented for the second floor of International Hall.

A positive COVID case was identified on the second floor and on Monday night, residents of the floor were alerted that they must be tested and enter modified quarantine.

That quarantine will conclude on Wednesday when all results of the tests have been received.

The uptick in cases is an alarming development as the school closes in on one-month of in-person instruction remaining on the campus.

In an email to The Student, Patrick Love confirmed that these responses were procedural for the school.

“When there is a positive on a floor, we test the whole floor and ask them to quarantine until they get their negative test results back. They do not go into a full 14 day quarantine–just until they get their results back,” he stated.

“I have some concern, but I’m also encouraged by a number of things. One being that the initial two cases were found, but the contact tracing produced the next two cases. What we know is that the process works,” Cooper said.

As has been the case all semester, student cooperation is imperative to keeping the virus contained and the campus open.

Should more updates become available, The Student will report and share them.

Photo Courtesy of Cait Kemp

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