MCLA Sees COVID-19 Rise Linked to Ashland Street Apartments
iBerkshires.com reports the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is dealing with the fallout of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Flagg Townhouse apartments.
On Tuesday, MCLA's vice president for strategic initiatives informed the campus community that the residence halls had been the source of eight positive COVID-19 tests over the last 10 days.
On Wednesday, the school moved to a "temporary targeted lockdown" of the Flagg townhouse, ordering its 242 residents to stay in place. MCLA also closed its fitness center and suspended all intercollegiate athletics until further notice.
Residents of the Ashland Street apartments will be required to participate in classes remotely and only leave their residences to pick up food from MCLA's dining services, seek medical attention or participate in the college's COVID-19 testing protocols, according to Wednesday's announcement.
On Tuesday, Gina Puc said that all students in the complex would be tested for the novel coronavirus, and she credited students' social behavior with causing the uptick in positive tests.
"The most common source of transmission we are seeing from contact tracing is close social contact in settings where masking, social distance, and other CDC mitigation measures are not being followed consistently.