Faith Monahan ’24
The first student case of COVID-19 at Trinity College for the fall semester has been identified as of Monday, Sept. 27. This update follows last week’s test results which recorded the College’s first case among employees and affiliates.
Trinity conducted a total of 324 tests during the week of Sept. 20. None of these results were positive and 3 were invalid, according to the College’s COVID-19 Dashboard results by week. It remains unclear how the positive case has been identified though no positive test results have been reported as of Sept. 27.
Trinity College continues to report the lowest number of cumulative cases (two) in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) up to this point in the fall semester. It is extremely important to note that each NESCAC school has a different testing protocol in place which could have a great effect on the total number of positive cases identified. Though all NESCAC schools require vaccination and indoor mask-wearing, the testing protocols vary. Seven of the eleven NESCAC schools continue to test all students twice a week, regardless of vaccination status, while Hamilton and Williams are testing students once a week. Middlebury is only testing unvaccinated students once a week and is not performing regular tests for vaccinated students. Meanwhile, Trinity is testing all unvaccinated students weekly, as well conducting weekly surveillance testing on 10-15% of the vaccinated student population.
Several NESCAC institutions have experienced significant increases in the number of active cases, including both students and employees, this past week. Colby College’s COVID-19 Dashboard reported 13 active positive cases in isolation as of Sept. 26, an increase of four cases in isolation compared last week. In addition, Bates currently has six active cases (three students, three employees) up from a single case a week prior. Middlebury’s active case count has also risen from two last week to four this week. Furthermore, Bowdoin’s active case count recently rose from one to three cases over the course of the past week.
Other NESCAC institutions have seen cases either remain stable or decrease. For example, Hamilton College reported zero new cases and one active case for the week of Sept. 26. These findings mirror Hamilton’s testing results for the week of Sept. 18. Wesleyan, Williams, and Amherst all saw their case counts drop from last week. Wesleyan went from eleven to three, Williams two to zero, and Amherst three to one.