Dear Whitman community,

I wanted to give you just a quick update on the results from our post-Thanksgiving Break COVID testing. We are very pleased that out of 1,995 tests, only two positive cases were identified. This is a positivity rate of 0.001%, which is lower than we’ve seen in any earlier rounds of campus-wide testing. Being a fully vaccinated campus, combined with all the other health measures in place at Whitman and that you followed during the break, travel and holiday gatherings, continues to protect us, resulting in a very low number of cases and no evidence of on-campus transmission. Well done, Whitties!

Additionally, I want to say thank you to the members of the COVID Testing team, who continue to refine our testing process to make it as quick and simple as possible to almost 2,000 people through in just a few days. It is no small task to bring together all the necessary supplies, volunteers and student staff, coordinate the flow of people through Cordiner Foyer and manage all the data involved, and I am immensely grateful for their efforts.

As we head towards finals week and the long winter break, keep layering on the protection: get your vaccine booster as soon as you are eligible, wear your mask whenever you’re in public spaces or around people who aren’t your roommates, wash your hands frequently and get tested any time you have symptoms of COVID. Let’s finish this semester with confidence that all of our COVID-19 protocols are successfully allowing us to study and work together safely and in-person.

Peter Harvey
Chair, Coronavirus Task Force