Two staff members test positive for COVID-19, college implements self-reporting feature on website

By Belen Dumont, News Editor

Two additional college staff members on the Boston campus tested positive for the coronavirus and are recovering off campus, according to a community-wide email sent Monday afternoon.

The members were last on campus April 1 and April 2, and did not come into contact with any students, President M. Lee Pelton wrote. 

The college will provide support and maintain communication with these individuals as they recover. The Human Resources department has contacted people who may have had exposure to these staff members, providing guidance in terms of monitoring for symptoms and getting evaluated or tested. 

Almost two weeks ago, the college announced that two students tested positive for COVID-19. The first known individual to test positive in the Emerson community was a staff member, according to an email sent by Pelton on March 25. As of yesterday, there were 7,954 new tests conducted in Massachusetts for a rising total of 116,730, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The department also reported 2,615 new cases in the state for a total of 25,475.

“We understand that this information may be difficult to receive and anticipate that more positive COVID-19 test results may be forthcoming as testing and community transmission increases,” Pelton wrote. 

The college will provide updates on community members that test positive on their COVID-19 page, moving forward. The site also includes a new Self-Report feature so Emerson community members may self-report positive test results. There is an option to submit a report anonymously. 

Students may contact the Center for Health and Wellness at 617-824-8666 and Emerson Counseling and Psychological Services at 617-824-8595 for health-related questions, while staff may reach out to the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-828-6025 for support.

“Please continue to keep all those who have been impacted by COVID-19 in your thoughts,” Pelton wrote. 

A spokesperson for the college was not immediately available for comment. This is a developing story.