This Week in COVID-19: Case numbers go down following Valentine’s Day spike

COVID-19 case numbers have shown noticeable signs of improvement after they peaked following Valentine’s Day. The university reported 21 new cases on Thursday and 171 in the week before, which are much lower than the record-breaking spike set in just the last two weeks; a single-day high of 67 new cases were reported on Feb. 15, and the weekly record was broken when 321 cases were reported in the week before Feb. 18.

The average number of positive COVID-19 cases has gone down 24% over the past week with an average of around 19 students testing positive per day in the week before Thursday on the Medford/Somerville campus.

While cases continue to decline in Massachusetts, Medford saw a rise in COVID-19 numbers on Feb. 19, with around a 35% increase in the average number of weekly positive cases in the city. Somerville also saw a slight increase in the average number of positive cases from Feb. 14 to Feb. 19.

A total of 66 people were in isolation on Thursday, with some students completing their isolation at the Homewood Suites Hotel in Arlington. With 134 rooms in the modular buildings and a number of rooms under maintenance, The Mods were at around 80-90% capacity in the week after Valentine’s Day, prompting the university to send students to hotels off campus for isolation. Besides Homewood Suites, Tufts told the Daily that it also has a contract with the AC Hotel in Cambridge and will evaluate whether to renew leases with either hotels depending on operational capacity in The Mods in the future. 

Amid the pandemic’s overwhelming influence on mental health in college campuses, Tufts Counseling and Mental Health Services continues to serve student needs with existing clinicians and the addition of two counselors from outsider provider Mantra Health. CMHS has seen a rise in the demand for services in the past few years, which can be attributed to the long-standing effects of the pandemic and the destigmatization of mental health treatment.

For more details, visit the Daily’s COVID-19 dashboard.


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