Harvard Business School moved all in-person classes for first-year MBA and some second-year students online this week and increased its Covid-19 testing requirements to try to curb a recent surge in Covid-19 breakthrough cases on campus.
The school is switching to remote learning through Oct. 3 to try to suppress the virus, which is mostly infecting the university’s fully vaccinated graduate students, according to the school’s website. Roughly 95% of the university’s students and 96% of its staff are vaccinated. More than 1,000 students are enrolled in the business school’s class of 2023.
“Contact tracers who have worked with positive cases highlight that transmission is not occurring in classrooms or other academic settings on campus,” business school spokesman Mark Cautela said in a statement. “Nor is it occurring among individuals who are masked.”
Cautela added that the university is requesting that students avoid unmasked indoor events, group travel and gathering with anyone outside their households.
The business school is also mandating Covid testing three times a week for all students, regardless of vaccination status, Cautela said. The university previously required fully vaccinated students to get tested once a week, while unvaccinated students had to submit test results twice per week.
Harvard’s graduate students represent the majority of active Covid cases on campus, according to the school’s online coronavirus dashboard. The university administered 41,864 Covid tests from Sept. 20 to Sept. 25 and found that graduate students comprised 60 of the 74 positive Covid test results recorded over those six days.
Harvard reports that 87 students are currently isolating following Covid exposure, while 28 students are in quarantine. Masks remain mandatory in all indoor settings at Harvard.