Home Social gathering effective class protocols to prevent transmission of Covid-19, according to HUHS | New

effective class protocols to prevent transmission of Covid-19, according to HUHS | New

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The positivity rate for Covid-19 on the Harvard campus has fallen to 0.16% over the past week, and the university said it had yet to identify a positive case caused by transmission in class.

Harvard University Health Services Executive Director Giang T. Nguyen touted the University’s “campus protection strategy” to fight Covid-19 in an interview Thursday with the Harvard Gazette, a publication directed by the University.

In the interview, Nguyen said that HUHS had not yet identified any cases in which someone had been infected through exposure in the classroom.

“At Harvard, we have created a teaching and learning environment that improves the safety of everyone involved, through a range of preventative measures,†said Nguyen, citing frequent testing, the mandatory use of interior mask and full contact tracing.

HUHS has identified indoor social gatherings where people remove their masks as the main cause of transmission.

“In social settings, staying safe means keeping close contact to a minimum, keeping your mask on, and planning outdoor events whenever possible,†Nguyen said.

Although a wave of Covid-19 cases among undergraduates at the start of the semester raised concerns and led Harvard to implement more frequent testing, the rate of positivity among college students has since declined. The overwhelming majority of positive cases over the past week have been identified in graduate students, according to Harvard’s Covid-19 dashboard.

Even though some classes are not conducive to social distancing, Nguyen explained that masking indoors is enough to prevent transmission.

“When everyone is properly masked, physical distancing is less critical than masking,†Nguyen said. “The medical experts in our advisory group made this point, noting the experience in clinical settings throughout the pandemic. “

While students reported confusion over how to respond to contract research notifications, Nguyen informed those who are informed that there is “no need to panic.”

Nguyen said that students who learn they are in close contact should immediately submit an additional Covid test. If they are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms, they can continue to attend classes but should avoid large social gatherings. If students who are told they are in close contact develop symptoms or are not vaccinated, they should quarantine and notify HUHS.

Nguyen acknowledged the stress caused by Covid-19 and encouraged Harvard affiliates to prioritize their mental health.

“Taking care of yourself and others also goes beyond COVID security protocols. The pandemic has added stress and anxiety to so many people, â€Nguyen said. “Be kind and considerate to other members of the Harvard community and contact a professional if you need help.”

—Editor Claire H. Guo can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @clairehguo.



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