Letter from President Maloney: NYT Article and Self-reported COVID-19 Positive Cases

July 30, 2020
By: WSU News

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

By now, most of the campus community has either read or heard about today’s New York Times article, “More Than 6,300 Coronavirus Cases Have Been Linked to U.S. Colleges,” which lists Worcester State University, the only public university in Massachusetts referred to in the article, with 33 positive cases.

Contrary to the NYT headline, which would give the impression that these positive COVID-19 cases happened on our campus, I assure you they did not. The self-reported numbers occurred after mid-March when the university transitioned to remote learning and work. The reporting of cases is based on information shared, voluntarily and following DPH protocol, by students and other members of our Worcester State community. While the narrative accompanying the list lays out the caveats about what these numbers represent, Worcester State feels publishing these numbers is misleading and punishes the most transparent campuses.

I will address this matter in future meetings of Campus Conversations. However, here is the information from our website which has been regularly updated since April:

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is important to us. We continue to take steps to ensure that our campus community is informed with the latest information about the pandemic and how it affects Worcester State. Worcester State University has been notified of 21 self-reported positive cases (19 students, 2 employees), and 12 presumptive positive cases (11 students, 1 employee) of COVID-19 to date.

We have been diligently working on our plan for a Safe Return to campus, although should there be any immediate questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at presidentsoffice@worcester.edu.

Sincerely,

Barry M. Maloney
President

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