August 25, 2021
Dear Members of the HWS Community,
As we continue to deal with the outcome of the initial cluster of COVID-19 cases, we are seeing a high prevalence of breakthrough cases in vaccinated students. Today, 14 students tested positive, 12 of whom were vaccinated. All but one of these positive cases were contacts of previous cases and are related to the initial cluster. The students who tested positive for COVID-19 today are either asymptomatic or have allergy-like symptoms.
Given the high prevalence of cases, and using the data as our guide, we have decided to implement a new testing protocol:
- Arrival testing and testing for unvaccinated students will continue this week.
- All unvaccinated students will continue to be tested once per week.
- Beginning next week, all vaccinated students will be tested bi-weekly, the approach the Colleges used last year. Each student will be assigned a testing week and will be expected to visit the testing center during their assigned week. More information will go out to students later this week with details on the testing schedule.
We know this isn’t the best of news but we also know that we have successfully managed these kinds of cluster cases in the past. To effectively stop the spread of the virus will require the combined will of all of us. As we provide care for our students who have tested positive, we continue to urge everyone to please wear masks in indoor public spaces or whenever you feel it necessary to protect your own health and the health of your fellow community members.
Provost and Dean of Faculty
Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students