Despite having most of its staff and students administered two full doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Harvard Business School (HBS), based in Boston, Massachusetts, is implementing a shutdown after a recent virus outbreak was discovered in the academic institution.
The COVID-19 outbreak was observed in September after a confirmed twenty-percent surge of test-positive cases among MBA students in just three days. This was confirmed by Dean Srikant Datar, who related that the positivity rate in the HBS was “twelve times” compared to that of the rest of Harvard. Datar added that the rise in test-positive cases was so high that it already got the attention of local public health officials.
The announcement of the shutdown by Datar and other Harvard University administrators immediately followed suit. The instruction platform is now going to be online, which negatively affects students who are still in their first-year and second-year levels in the HBS.
Along with the recently announced shutdown, the HBS also divulged that the mandatory COVID-19 testing on students would be increased to three per week. However, the HBS still hasn’t confirmed if this guideline will be required for vaccinated and unvaccinated students. Previously, the HBS only required vaccinated students to undergo COVID-19 testing once per week and twice weekly for their unvaccinated counterparts.
On a related note, the HBS head of communication and spokesperson, Mark Cautela, revealed that they are also asking students not to participate in face-to-face social gatherings to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. In addition, Cautela disclosed that the HBS got wind of a “Great Gatsby” themed party attended by hundreds of students, one of the possible infection points they are looking into.
Moreover, Cautela reminded the HBS students and staff of the importance of wearing masks and the observance of other crucial COVID-19 measures. He also emphasized that the transmission of the virus was not taking place during the in-person teaching sessions or inside the Harvard university.
“Contact tracers who have worked with positive cases highlight that transmission is not occurring in classrooms or other academic settings on the campus,” Cautela pointed out.