Westfield State reports 11 COVID-19 cases in first round of tests

WESTFIELD- Westfield State University reported 11 total positive test results out of more than 1,600 tests administered in the first round of COVID-19 testing of the semester. 

Ten of the positive results came from students, who returned to campus last week for the first time since the university was shut down in November due to the COVID-19 outbreak. One of the positive results came from a university employee. 

Any residential students who test positive for COVID-19 will be quarantined in Lansdowne Place on Thomas Street in downtown Westfield until they are cleared to return to campus. 

The 11 positive tests are a promising start for the Westfield State Fall semester, considering the recent infection rates across Massachusetts. With 11 positive tests out of 1,655 administered tests, Westfield State has an infection rate of 0.664 percent. 

Westfield State administration officials estimated that about 750 students returned to live on campus for the Spring 2021 semester. Approximately 1,500 students were on campus for the Fall semester. Westfield State typically has a student population of at least 3,000 students. 

Tests will be administered to students and employees on at least a weekly basis until the conclusion of the semester.

In a letter to the Westfield State campus community, Interim President Dr. Roy H. Saigo thanked everybody for their cooperation in the onboard testing program. 

“It has been a pleasure to welcome home our students for the Spring 2021 semester,” stated Saigo, “I offer a note of thanks to the full campus community for its collective cooperation in adhering to the onboard asymptomatic/surveillance COVID-19 testing and other necessary protocols as we continue to Weather the pandemic. Our efforts are key to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on campus.”

In-person learning was originally scheduled to begin on Feb. 1, but the nor’easter brought enough snow for in-person classes to be cancelled. The start to classes the following day was delayed until the afternoon because the storm was still ongoing Tuesday morning.

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