With an extremely low COVID-19 positivity rate and nearly no spread of the virus on campus, Regis College's pandemic protocols are working. Tammi Magazzu, associate dean and director of the Center for Health and Wellness, explains the science behind the university's success, and the science that will inform future decisions.
Q: How has Regis College done this semester responding to COVID-19?
A: The Regis campus community has done tremendously well in its response to the pandemic this fall. Since students moved back to campus starting in August, and faculty and staff returned to work in person, the campus has a 0.13 positivity rate out of more than 10,000 tests.
As part of the campus experience there have been many large, in-person gatherings this fall including Founders’ Day and Convocation, and we have seen no evidence of COVID-19 spread from those events or in the classroom.
Q: Why has Regis been so successful?
A: There are two main reasons Regis has been so successful. The first is our campus has a 96 percent vaccination rate.
The second is our students, faculty, and staff are incredibly diligent at following the protocols we have in place because they understand that is how we could return to in-person learning, athletic events, and large gatherings. They are wearing their masks indoors, getting their weekly tests, and showing their status on the CoVerified app when prompted.
Q: When people talk about “following the science,” what science is Regis following?
A: Since the beginning of the pandemic, university leadership has utilized the most up-to-date information and recommendations available from organizations such as the World Health Organization, the CDC, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Weston Board of Health to inform Regis’ pandemic response.
In addition to the vaccine and weekly tests, contact tracing has been a critical tool in our COVID-19 response. In the event of a positive case, it allows us to pinpoint the source of COVID-19 that has yet to demonstrate prevalence in on-campus spaces.
Q: What can the Regis community expect in the coming weeks in terms of COVID-19 protocol updates?
A: The COVID-19 working group, which continues to meet regularly, and the Center for Health and Wellness will monitor national and state case trends and our own test results to gauge how our protocols can be adapted.
We will certainly take a layered approach to any changes or rollbacks to ensure the health and safety of the campus community. We also understand how important the on-campus experience is for our students and that COVID-19 protocol fatigue is growing. We look forward to supporting all the great on-campus experiences that make Regis a home away from home for our community members.