An Andover community member tested positive for Covid-19 this week, the first positive test in over a month, according to the Andover Campus Public Health Update for October 14 and the Covid-19 testing dashboard on the andover.edu website. Andover had hoped to progress to the “green zone,” the lowest virus transmission risk zone starting this week. This comes a little more than a week before Family Weekend, where families of all students will be welcomed to campus.
The positive case had been from off-campus testing from the past seven days, according to the health update. The community member is now in isolation. When all students were tested on Monday, October 11, no students tested positive from the campus testing.
In order to progress to the green zone, there must be zero Covid-19 cases diagnosed in the Andover community, according to the testing dashboard. A single Covid-19 case forces the campus to remain in the “yellow zone,” or the lower risk transmission rate zone, which allows for one to four Covid-19 cases. Andover will not have the opportunity to reach the green zone until next week as the green zone requires there to be no positive cases from the past seven days, according to the dashboard.
With moving to the green zone, the administration had hoped to adjust restrictions on masking indoors, dorm-visiting, and movement off-campus, according to an email from David Gardner, Dean of the Pine Knoll Cluster, sent to students in the cluster. While boarders are currently restricted from riding in cars with day students, parents, and others, the administration may revise those guidelines once the campus reaches the green zone. Gardner’s email additionally noted that day excuses and overnight permission limitations also might ease.
While unvaccinated community members and those who are immunocompromised who opted in for testing will continue to undergo Covid-19 testing, all students will additionally be tested on Monday, October 18, Thursday, October 21, Thursday, October 28, and Monday, November 1, according to the health update. As of October 14, 99.2 percent of Andover students have received 1 or more doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 99.1 percent are fully vaccinated.
Locally, the town of Andover reports 13.7 daily Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people, and the state of Massachusetts remains at a “high” Covid-19 risk level with 20.4 daily cases per 100,000 people, according to the health update. Also in the state, vaccination rates of those eligible for the vaccine have reached 78.4 percent for residents with one or more doses and 68.6 percent for those fully vaccinated.