Harvard Business School moves freshman education online amid spike in COVID-19 cases

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People cycle through Harvard Yard on April 5, 2020. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Harvard Business School is requiring all early years to take online courses in response to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases.

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the business school requires that all first-year MBA courses and some second-year MBA courses take place online until October 3. The Wall Street Journal reported. All business students must now be tested for COVID-19 three times a week, regardless of their vaccination status. Previously, vaccinated students had to be tested once a week and unvaccinated students had to be tested twice a week.

The University found that 81% of its 74 positive tests were for graduate students in its six-day exam from Sept. 19 to 25, according to the Boston Globe.

Contact tracers found that the majority of infections were in unmasked students at off-campus gatherings, rather than in classrooms, the WSJ reported.

95% of students and 96% of professors at Harvard have been vaccinated, the Boston Globe reported. The University is enforcing face covering in indoor environments and has capped indoor gatherings in residential dorms and 10-person homes, according to crimson.

In response to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the University has asked all students to take a number of precautions, including “limiting in-person interactions with other people outside of their homes, moving all online group gatherings and cancel group trips ”. Mark Cautela, spokesperson for the business school, said.

Penn started bi-weekly COVID-19 test for graduate students vaccinated last week. Random samples of faculty, staff and postdoctoral students are screened and notified by email weekly. that of the university the positivity rate is currently 0.36% following a sharp increase when the campus reopened in August.

Another Ivy League school, Columbia University, has announced a host of new COVID-19 protocols, including restricting access to residences, in response to 112 confirmed cases for the week of September 13. Brown University recently lifted restrictions on social gatherings, indoor dining, and outdoor events that were implemented after 82 community members tested positive during the week of September 13.


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