Harvard Business School is moving all all first-year and some second-year MBA students to online classes after learning that breakthrough cases are spiking amongst students and staff, despite stringent mask rules, frequent invasive testing, and one of the highest vaccination rates in the country.
“In recent days, we’ve seen a steady rise in breakthrough infections among our student population, despite high vaccination rates and frequent testing,” HBS spokesperson Mark Cautela told Poets&Quants. “Contact tracers who have worked with positive cases highlight that transmission is not occurring in classrooms or other academic settings on campus.”
“During this time, we have also asked all students to eliminate unmasked indoor activities, limit in-person interactions with others outside their household, move all group gatherings online, and cancel group travel,” Cautela begged. “We have increased the frequency of testing to three times a week and we are also preparing a new daily email to all students to keep them fully apprised of all aspects of the situation.”
Harvard University states on its website that 95% of students and 96% of employees are vaccinated, and notes that “COVID-19 testing requirements remain in place for every member of the community who is authorized to be on campus this fall, including those who come to campus infrequently. The Dashboard data is relative to individuals, living both on and off campus, authorized to participate in Harvard’s COVID-19 screening.”
Data from Israel reportedly showed earlier this month that “’fully vaccinated’” people are 27 times more likely to be infected and develop COVID-19 symptoms than unvaccinated people with natural immunity,” and “‘fully vaccinated’ people are 8 times more likely to be hospitalized from a ‘breakthrough’ infection.”