RPI cases explode as national rates decline

In an email to the Rensselaer community today, Executive Director of the Health Center Dr. Leslie Lawrence reported that “We have had 15 cases in the past seven days. At this pace, we will soon reach Trigger Level 1, unless something changes dramatically.” During the sophomore town hall yesterday, Lawrence revealed that nine new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Tuesday alone. At the current rate, Rensselaer will have had over 30 new infections in a two week period, necessitating a two week lockdown as dictated in the University Pandemic Protocols.

If the number of positive cases continues to increase after the lockdown, the Institute may have to close campus and send students home. Local and national COVID-19 positivity rates have been decreasing, while on-campus rates have increased. During the town hall on Tuesday, Dr. Lawrence asked students to wear a mask, stay six feet apart, and follow the other precautions that RPI has laid out. Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson added that individuals who do not follow the implemented precautions create far-reaching consequences for the entire community.